BELL BASHES HALF TON AS ENGLAND SET AUSSIES HEFTY TARGET AFTER DAY THREE

Ian Bell struck 60 off 89 balls as England were bowled out for 289 setting Australia a mammoth 412 runs to win the first Ashes test in Wales.

Joe Root backed up an impressive first innings century with his 12th Test half ton as he continued to consistently score runs for England.

Nathan Lyon picked up four for 75 and Mitchell Johnson claimed his first two wickets of the series as England were bowled out in less than a day’s game time, with 15 wickets falling in total.

The Aussies began the day on 265-5 but were bowled out in just over an hour’s play for 308 with James Anderson finishing with three for 43.

England had a poor start as Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance both fell cheaply leaving the hosts on 22-2 as they looked to set the visitors a target.

Bell and Adam Lyth put on a fifty run partnership before the latter was caught by Michael Clarke off the bowling of Nathan Lyon for 37.

A 97 run stand by Bell and Root restored some parity for the hosts, but both were dismissed for 60 as England reached 207-5.

Momentum swung slightly after a mad spell saw the hosts lose three wickets in the space of three overs for just nine runs with the home side slumping to 245-8.

England added 44 more runs thanks to a quick fire 32 off 18 balls from Mark Wood as the lead was stretched to 411.

Australia will need to score the highest ever Ashes run chase ever if they are to take a 1-0 lead in the series, with 10 wickets in hand and two full days of play remaining.

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By Matthew Tilbury, Image Credit to Sky Sports Cricket