Stuart Broad’s Dismissal of Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith Sets Up Thrilling Final Day at Edgbaston

The opening Test of the Ashes is poised for an exhilarating final day as the Australians, with the assistance of a nightwatchman, fought their way to stumps on day four in pursuit of 281 runs for victory. Usman Khawaja and Scott Boland, who Australia employed as a nightwatchman at Edgbaston, will start day five with 174 runs needed. Australia currently stands at 3-107 after losing David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith in the final session of day four.

The chase got off to a promising start with Khawaja and Warner forming a solid partnership of 61 runs for the first wicket, frustrating the English attack for 17 overs. However, Warner was eventually dismissed by Ollie Robinson, and Labuschagne and Smith fell victim to Stuart Broad’s bowling. Broad displayed immense determination, repeatedly rushing back to his mark in order to fit in as many overs as possible before stumps. Khawaja, who scored a magnificent 141 in Australia’s first innings, will resume on 34, while Boland will continue on 13.

Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain, expressed his uncertainty about predicting a winner, leaning towards England. He stated that the game had swung in England’s favor, although the presence of Australian batsmen Travis Head, Cameron Green, and Alex Carey could potentially turn the tide. Ponting acknowledged that scoring runs in the fourth innings of a Test match is challenging, particularly on this pitch, which seems to become harder to score on as the ball ages.

The current match is reminiscent of the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test, where Ponting’s Australian team fell just short of the 282-run target set by England, getting bowled out for 279. Ponting admitted that he had no idea who would emerge as the winner but believed that the ongoing Test had already provided fans with an exceptional day of cricket and anticipated an unforgettable Ashes finish.

Prior to Australia’s run chase, England was dismissed for 273. The host team showcased an aggressive style of play, with former captain Joe Root attempting an audacious ramp shot against Pat Cummins on the first ball of the day. Ben Stokes, the current captain, also displayed flamboyant shots after lunch. Cummins and Nathan Lyon both claimed four wickets in England’s second innings.

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