England end the third day of the last Ashes Test in a dominant position with 377 points ahead of Australia after 91 for Joe Root and 78 for Jonny Bairstow

England will look to send Stuart Broad into retirement today with another famous Ashes win.

The hitters did their job. Now onto Broad and the rest of the bowlers to complete a task they were unable to complete in Manchester last week due to bad weather.

Keep Australia away in the final two days here and a series-saving win at the Kia Oval would be a fitting send-off for one of their all-time greats.

And the man himself is unlikely to pass up an opportunity to rekindle the home crowd as the final curtain falls on his 167-cap career.

As he went out to bat at 6:13 p.m. last night, trying to make more valuable runs, he took a moment to cast his eyes over every corner of the floor and survey the scene.

Moments later, Jimmy Anderson, his longtime teammate and dear friend, joined him in the middle with a knowing smile. There were laughs between them, too, as Anderson swept, both classic and reverse, for four against Todd Murphy.

They will head back into the fold together for one last time this morning not to resume the partnership they are renowned for. That will come later in the play with the splitting of a duo with a combined 1,292 Test wickets representing the end of a golden era for English cricket.

Trying to prevent the fairy tale farewell will be an Australian team who have retained the urn courtesy of this fourth draw, but have still announced their aim of being the first to win an Ashes at outside in 22 years.

To do so, they must not only challenge the England attack, but chase what would be the second-highest total in their history. Only once, when the 1948 Invincibles team knocked down 404 three-wickets at Headingley, did they make more runs to win a match.

And even allowing for a few showers over the next 48 hours, and the blistering pace of Australian pedestrians this summer, with two days remaining, a draw now appears out of the equation.

Australia started this tour with a Test victory at the Oval which confirmed them as world champions in the format, but England showed yesterday that they will face a much tougher challenge at the end.

The third innings of Test matches have historically challenged the batting team to consider their strategy for setting up their final pangs, a process that balances offense with the threat of losing wickets in the process.

However, this England side only have one and their step-by-step approach – unlike Australia’s stonewalling 24 hours earlier – has seen them resume their role as trailblazers in this series.

The 12-point deficit that Ben Stokes’ side started the day with was wiped out in the opener.

In an echo of the series start in Birmingham, Crawley grabbed a four-ball giveaway to open the innings, threading a cover drive through unoccupied covers, this time off Mitchell Starc.

Two more bounds followed after Crawley rotated the strike, as clearly wary of offering Ben Duckett any width, Starc was punished for overcorrection – a mid-punch and a slug-out. across the midwicket.

Unlike their recent bowling innings, Australia overlooked the opportunity to start with deep protection, but the border runners were quickly redeployed, curbing a first flurry that saw the 50-point stand come up in nine overs.

It’s not since 2010-11, when Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were the stones on which historic success was built, that England have had such a prolific first-wicket pairing in an Ashes.

England raced to 130 for one at lunch as Australia once again struggled to differentiate the lines and lengths of two players nearly a foot tall; one left, one right.

They are two of the top six scorers in the series – Usman Khawaja is the only Australian – and the others were on board once Mitchell Starc found a feather to send Duckett back for review.

This dismissal for 42 years had brought Stokes to the crease as a replacement for injured Moeen Ali to a crescendo of cheers.

Three balls after lunch, the England captain took a short ball around the wicket delivered by Josh Hazlewood which deflected off the top edge and worked its way over the boundary thin-legged through the clumsy attempt to Mitchell Starc to catch.

But it was a rare chance for the Aussies as England continued a dominance that began with Stokes’ thwarted hunt for glory at Lord’s.

After Crawley cut a drive to slide for an excellent 73, Joe Root passed Stokes en route to a 90th Test score equaling the England record by over 50. Whoever tied it with Alastair Cook only occupying only 42 bullets.

When Stokes missed Murphy and Harry Brook was fired by a Josh Hazlewood beauty in back-to-back overs, some of the momentum was halted.

But England reappeared for the final session to make it 265-for-four at tea thanks to greater dominance from Root and Jonny Bairstow, who followed their unbeaten 99 at Old Trafford by rocketing to another half -century.

The only positive sign for England was the mishandling of Murphy’s delivery which turned and ran through Root’s defense nine points before a century.

Stokes and Co are hoping for a little more nastiness on the pitch for the rest of the contest – to boost the chances of making Broad’s last acts in cricket memorable.

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