on air now

Australia lands key blows before dinner in Adelaide

Article image for Australia lands key blows before dinner in Adelaide

Australia landed a double blow in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.

Mark Stoneman (36) and Alastair Cook (16) put on 53 for the first wicket, but the openers fell before Tuesday’s dinner break.

Nathan Lyon (1-6) and Mitchell Starc (1-29) grabbed the crucial breakthroughs for Australia, who were all out for 138 earlier on day four.

Captain Joe Root (7*) and James Vince (8*) will resume in the final session with their side at 68-2, needing another 286 to pull off England’s highest successful run-chase in Tests.

South Africa, playing against Australia in January 1950, are the only side to lose a Test after opting against enforcing the follow-on when available, and Steve Smith will hope a session under the lights can move his team further away from ignominy.

Australia should have had an early breakthrough when Josh Hazlewood (0-26) trapped Cook in front when the opener was on one.

England were struggling for runs until Stoneman sent Starc for three consecutive boundaries – all off his pads.

Lyon, a constant threat in the opening two Tests of the series, got plenty of turn as he again troubled England.

But for the first time since 1999, England had an opening partnership of at least 50 for the first wicket in the fourth innings in Australia.

Before Cook departed, Stoneman was almost caught, his sweep off Lyon falling just short of Hazlewood at backward square leg.

But Cook was trapped in front by Lyon and Australia needed a review to finally get rid of the former England captain and Stoneman was finally prised out after going into his shell, caught by Usman Khawaja at gully after pushing at a Starc delivery outside off.