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England chasing target of 359 for surprise third Ashes Test victory

England chasing target of 359 for surprise third Ashes Test victory
© Reuters
The visitors were bowled out for 246 after just under 90 minutes of play at Headingley, England claiming the last four wickets for 75.

England were left chasing a towering 359 to keep their Ashes hopes alive on day three of the third Test against Australia.

The visitors were bowled out for 246 after just under 90 minutes of play at Headingley, England claiming the last four wickets for 75 runs.

Jofra Archer, having recovered from an attack of cramp, dismissed tailenders James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon to take his match tally to eight for 85 in just his second Test appearance, while Ben Stokes dismissed Pat Cummins and top-scorer Marnus Labuschagne was finally run-out for 80.

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 24, 2019

Joe Root's side would need to make the second-highest chase on English soil to square the series 1-1 and stand a chance of reclaiming the urn in the final two matches, but given their shambolic 67 all out on Friday, that seemed an enormous ask.

Should any optimists be looking for good omens, then Leeds has played home to some memorable chases – not least the highest chase on these shores, 404 for three by Sir Don Bradman's class of 1948.

Two summers ago Shai Hope inspired the West Indies to 322 for five to claim a famous West Indian win and England have a famous victory of their own to call back, Mark Butcher's 173 not out seeing the hosts to 315 for seven in the 2001 Ashes.

Jonny Bairstow (left) and Joe Root
Jonny Bairstow (left) reacts alongside Joe Root after dropping a catch from Marnus Labuschagne (Tim Goode/PA)

England's chase might have been a little lower were it not for some errors in the field, four overthrows from Rory Burns, four runs when Chris Woakes mis-read the bounce at fine leg and a dropped catch from Jonny Bairstow to reprieve Labuschagne on 60.

That was the fourth reprieve of his fortune-filled innings – two more drops and one authentic dismissal from a no-ball – and he was also forced to undergo two concussion tests on Saturday after being hit by a pair of bouncers.

But he kept on fighting, scrapping his way to the top score of the match.

He was the penultimate wicket to fall, Joe Denly fumbling his pick but then shuttling in a fine throw to Bairstow to leave him short of his ground.

Archer earlier had Pattinson caught at slip, Root's 100th take in Tests, and clean bowled last man Lyon.

Earlier Stokes had earned one final reward for his 24.2 over stint at the Football Stand End – interrupted only by four Archer deliveries the previous evening – with Pat Cummins caught off the shoulder of the bat.

England's openers were presented with a tricky 20-minute period before lunch and reached 11 without loss from four overs.

Burns was not quite unscathed, suffering a nasty blow to the thumb with the second ball of the innings.

The ball fell in front of short leg but – as he removed his glove – blood started to spill and Burns required treatment before continuing.

He scored five before the break, with Jason Roy making six as he looked to improve on his woeful record 54 runs in six innings at opener.

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Josh Hazlewood pictured on August 23, 2019
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