England in trouble after following on
Australia 481 (Smith 143) v
England 149 & 203-6 (f/o) (Cook 85)
Fifth Test, The Oval, day three
Michael Clarke broke new ground by asking England to follow-on leaving the home team in deep trouble trailing by 129 runs with just four wickets remaining at stumps on day three of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.
England started the day on 107 for eight after 40 overs and Moeen Ali (30) and Mark Wood (24) both got a flurry of fours.
However, Mitchell Johnson (3-21) ended the 57-run partnership by getting Wood and then in the next ball getting Ali to edge one to wicket-keeper Peter Nevill.
Mitchell Marsh (3-30) ended with three wickets along with Johnson while Peter Siddle (2-32) and Nathan Lyon (2-40) took two each.
England were all out for 149 and were still trailing by 332 runs so Clarke asked them to follow on keeping the weather forecast - which suggests rain coming in tomorrow afternoon - in mind.
England started their second innings steadily with Adam Lyth (10) getting two fours off Johnson (1-51). Siddle (1-14) bowled economically and England managed just 19 for no loss in 10 overs.
Siddle eventually got the breakthrough in the 13th over ending Lyth’s disappointing Ashes as he edged one to second slip.
England went into lunch at 31 for one after 17 overs. Ian Bell (13) was jittery in the post-lunch session surviving a review as well.
He had more luck when Clarke dropped him on three at second slip off Marsh’s (1-28) bowling.
His incredible luck continued as he was dropped again on nine by Chris Rogers in the 26th over off the bowling of Marsh again.
However, the very next ball he gloved to Clarke as England reached 62 for two after 26 overs.
In the next over from Marsh, Cook (85) got aggressive with three fours. Cook eventually reached his fifty in 119 balls but in the same over, Joe Root (11) lost his wicket pulling one to long leg off Johnson’s bowling.
Jonny Bairstow (26) started aggressively hammering Johnson for three fours in the 41st over and England went into tea on 123 for three after 43 overs.
Lyon (2-52) got Bairstow with a loopy delivery that got the inside edge and was caught at short leg ending the 41-run partnership.
Replays later showed that the ball had touched Adam Voges' helmet before he completed the catch and for the second time in his career, Bairstow can count himself a touch unlucky to be dismissed in such a manner - the laws of the game state the ball should be called as dead if this happens.
The same over, there was more trouble for England when Ben Stokes (0) edged one to the slip driving loosely outside off stump.
England were reduced to 140 for five after 52 overs. Jos Buttler (33 not out) added 59 runs with Cook for the sixth wicket.
However, Cook who was inching towards an elusive home Ashes century, was defeated by the part-time spin of Steve Smith (1-7) at the brink of stumps after a 234 ball marathon innings - also caught at short leg.
England ended the day on 203 for six after 79 overs still needing 129 to avoid an innings defeat and make Australia bat again.
Siddle was exceptional with the ball giving away just 14 runs in 16 overs.
© Cricket World 2015