The Australian team looks at Joe Root (R) after he was struck by a delivery from Mitchell Starc on the fourth day in Adelaide on Sunday. AFP
Joe Root fell in the final over of the fourth day on Sunday to leave England in deep trouble at 82 for four chasing a massive 468 to win the second Ashes Test, needing a history-making miracle to avoid slumping 2-0 down in the series.
No team has ever posted such a big score in a fourth innings to win in the history of Test cricket — with the West Indies' 418 for seven in beating Steve Waugh's Australia at St John's in 2003 the highest.
It is an even harder task at the Adelaide Oval, where Australia's 315 for six to defeat England in 1902 remains the best fourth-innings run chase. England's problems stem from being bowled out, after a batting collapse, for 236 on Saturday in reply to Australia's 473 for nine declared.
They reached the close on day four with ailing skipper Root out in the last over of the day, leaving Ben Stokes not out three. England are still 386 runs adrift, facing the near impossible task of batting out three sessions on the final day to salvage a draw with only six wickets remaining and the world's number one ranked Test batsman back in the pavilion.
Mitchell Starc (R) celebrates after dismissing Joe Root (L). AFP
The hosts resumed their second innings at 45 for one and declared on 230 for nine midway through the second session, giving their bowlers a crack at England with the pink ball as twilight loomed.
They immediately made inroads with Jhye Richardson steaming in to Haseeb Hameed and the ball flying off his glove to wicketkeeper Alex Carey without scoring.
Dawid Malan, who hit 80 in the first innings, was dropped by Steve Smith, but only lasted three more balls before debutant Michael Neser trapped him lbw for 20.
Opener Rory Burns was desperate for a big score after a lean spell and managed 34, but was then beaten by Richardson's sheer pace, edging to Smith at slip.
Root hurt his abdomen during a warm-up that saw him miss the opening 85 minutes while he went for a scan. He appeared mostly untroubled while batting but late in the day took a nasty blow in the same area from Mitchell Starc that left him writhing on the ground in agony.
Mitchell Starc (3/L) celebrates with teammates after dismissing Joe Root (R). AFP
Root gingerly got up, but in a huge blow was out for 24 in the final over, caught by Carey off Starc. With England crashing by nine wickets in the first Test at Brisbane, their hopes are all but over of going into the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne in a week's time only 1-0 down. A 2-0 defeicit in the five-match series will mean the Ashes are as good as gone.
The only instance of a team coming from 2-0 down to win the urn was by Australia in the 1936-37 series.
Hero and villain Buttler
Earlier, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head both made 51 for Australia, steadying the innings after England took three quick wickets for seven runs to start the day.
Interim skipper Smith could have enforced the follow-on late Saturday, but opted to send in his batsmen to build an unassailable advantage.
Marcus Harris resumed Sunday not out 21 with nightwatchman Neser on two after they lost David Warner to an amateurish run-out the previous evening. Neser only survived seven balls before a full-length Jimmy Anderson delivery rattled his middle stump, and Harris departed to a blinding catch from wicketkeeper Jos Buttler after getting a nick off Stuart Broad.
Buttler's celebrations were short-lived when he incredibly missed a regulation catch off Smith the very next ball, in a blunder reminiscent of the two sitters he put down from Labuschagne in the first innings. But he soon went from villain to hero again by taking another fine diving catch to remove Smith for six off Ollie Robinson.
Head played at a rapid clip to reach an eighth Test half-century from 49 balls, but then pulled Robinson to Ben Stokes in the deep. Labuschagne took 96 balls to reach his 50 but also holed out to Stokes, becoming part-time spinner Malan's first Test wicket, before late cameos ahead of the declaration.
Set 468 runs to win, England was bowled out for 192 with 21 overs remaining on the final day of play in the day-night test at Adelaide Oval.
After heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, the visitors must win in Melbourne to keep the five-Test series alive, with Australia only needing a draw to retain the urn as holders.
After restricting England's second innings to 297, the Australians needed just 20 runs to clinch the match. They did it in 5.1 overs, for the loss of only makeshift opener Alex Carey (9), with Marcus Harris (9 not out) hitting a boundary to finish off.
The Pakistan-born Khawaja, playing his first Test since the 2019 Ashes series in England in place of COVID-isolated Travis Head, was at his unflappable best in notching an unbeaten hundred to put Australia in charge at 321 for six at tea.
The Girls in Green, Fatima Sana and Shawal Zulfiqar, sailed the team towards victory. Fatima's 3 wickets for 18 runs guided the girls towards a crucial first win and Shawal's 41 runs off 42 balls helped Pakistan chase the 128-run target set by the Kiwis.
South Africa’s Blitzboks overcame a spirited Argentina 12-7 to lift their fifth straight Emirates Dubai 7s trophy – equaling the record for successive titles at a single location. Although Argentina had to settle for silver it represented their best ever result in Dubai.
The 18-year-old Bojica, whose entry on the big stage of women’s tennis came at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open earlier this year, eased past Slovakia’s Nina Danisova 6-2, 6-3 in 99 minutes to set a meeting against eighth seed Peangtarn Plipuech of Thailand.
Connor Beasley claimed his 19th winner for the season with a treble at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday, a haul that included victory in the feature Union Day Stakes, aboard Ahmad Bin Harmash’s Delorean, who went gate-to-wire in the contest over a mile. It was one of two wins for in-form trainer Harmash,