England and Australia begin the final day of this rain affected third Ashes 2009 test cricket match at Edgbaston knowing that a break in Saturday’s weather could have put a very different complexion on this match, but with England still hopeful for a positive result.
Australia have 8 wickets left to knock off the remaining 25 runs by which they trail and to put on enough runs to prevent England from pegging them back this evening to take an insurmountable 2-0 series lead.
Confidence must be high in the England camp after the first four days, which have seen a continuation of the trends set at Lords: England – and James Anderson in particular – seem to have the key to skittling the Australian middle order.
More than that, English batsmen on Sunday appeared almost confident – almost every player got a start, with many adding a significant score to the total, including the outgoing Andrew Flintoff (74) and the newly returned Ian Bell (53) as well as an important innings from Broad (55) – all the more vital as his performances with ball in hand have been hit or miss to date.
England, unlike Australia in the first innings, showed they can bat right down the order.
Australia must show some of that famed resilience and save this game. However, as has oft been said of this Australian team, they are vicious in grabbing a victory when they sense it, but can crumble when placed under pressure.
Either Australia bat well beyond tea-time, and we’ll be looking at a draw; or England repeat their past few innings’ with the ball and remove the Australian middle order for few runs – and follow with a quick-fire 150 or so to take this match. On the fifth day of a test match, with movement in the air and the pitch, the second scenario seems a very real possibility.
Come around seven o’clock this evening, we’ll know.