Cricket: England battle to stay in match

Joe Root bats during day three of the Fifth Investec Ashes Test match at The Kia Ova. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
Joe Root bats during day three of the Fifth Investec Ashes Test match at The Kia Ova. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
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England stifled Australian ambition with a dour but effective batting performance on the third day of the fifth Investec Ashes Test today at the Oval.

With the series already won thanks to a 3-0 lead and Australia posting 492 in their first innings, the best realistic result available to England was the draw and they set about attaining it in functional fashion.

They reached stumps on 247 for four having eked out 215 runs in 98.3 overs, with each of the six batsmen who took to the crease getting started but none posting a significant score.

Sheffield’s Joe Root’s 68 Kevin Pietersen’s 50 were the best of the bunch, but the in-form Ian Bell closed on 29 not out and will fancy adding to his productive series if the weather holds off tomorrow.