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The Ashes: Broad five-for the root of England hope

Having piled up 416-8 declared in their first innings, Australia have put themselves in a decent position to push for victory during the final three days of the fourth Test against England in Sydney.

With more rain delays forecast for the remainder of the match the draw is 4/6, while England, who closed on 13-0 in reply and who already trail 3-0 in the five-match series, are out to 50/1 to get a win on the board.

Khawaja demonstrates strength in depth

Despite their speedy Ashes series victory, things have not always gone smoothly for Australia, but their squad players have risen to the occasion when called upon.

Bowlers Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson were solid understudies for the absent Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in the second Test in Adelaide and debutant Scott Boland sealed the Aussies' win in Melbourne with amazing figures of 6-7 in the second innings.

With Travis Head sidelined for the fourth match of the series in Sydney, Australia had the luxury of calling upon the experienced Usman Khawaja, who anchored their innings with an excellent 137.

That was Khawaja's ninth Test century, seven of which have come in Australia, and the left-hander - who made his debut at the SCG during the 2010-11 Ashes series - now averages more than 55 in home Tests.

Broad proves his point with five-wicket haul

Century-maker Khawaja was given a life on 28 when he was dropped at slip by Joe Root and the left-hander was eventually bowled by Stuart Broad shortly before the declaration.

That was Broad's fifth wicket of the innings, following his dismissals of Aussie opener David Warner (for the 13th time in Test cricket), Steve Smith, Cameron Green and Pat Cummins.

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The veteran England bowler had made no secret of his disappointment at being left out of the XI for the first Test in Brisbane, as well as the Boxing Day match in Melbourne.

However, Broad seems able to channel his frustration positively and he is certainly a player to back in the wicket-taker markets when he is recalled after missing a game or two.

He was left out for the first home Test against the West Indies in 2020, roaring back to take 29 wickets in the next five matches against the Windies and Pakistan, and his day-two performance in Sydney shows that the veteran still has some fire in his belly.

Openers set for tough examination

England openers Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed had the unenviable task of facing five overs at the end of a long day in the field but they made it through to stumps - just about.

Crawley, on nought, edged a catch to first slip off Mitchell Starc but the cameras picked up a no-ball, so the Kent youngster will resume with England trailing by 403 runs on the third morning.

Starc and Pat Cummins gained some genuine pace and bounce with the new ball just before stumps and Australia will be confident of claiming early wickets on day three.

England are 10/11 to score over 253.5 runs in their second innings while it is 13/8 that the tourists - who have failed to reach 300 in their first six innings of the series - score over 303.5.

England are 5/2 to better Australia's first-innings opening partnership of 51, but that will require significant improvement from their top two.

Hameed, who is 11/1 to be his side's top runscorer, averages 11.16 in this series and Crawley scored just 173 runs in 16 Test innings in 2021.

They will be aiming to nullify the threat of Starc, Cummins and the rest of the home attack on the third day and you can follow the action on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

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