WATCH: The only wicket (so far) of day four
James Anderson was trapped in front for eight by Todd Murphy, who finished with four wickets in the second innings and six for the match.
We’re back after lunch. There’s still no Mark Wood. Instead, it’s James Anderson and the part-time off-spin of Joe Root, who is being preferred to the injured frontline spinner Moeen Ali.
‘Perfect’ start for Australia
The view from The Oval
By Malcolm Conn
Malcolm Conn at lunch from The Oval: Australia began their long march to an unlikely victory with a sedate but successful first session, going to lunch at 0/75 with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 39 and David Warner 30.
It was their fourth half-century opening stand of the series but they will need to press on if Australia are to have any hope of chasing down the 384 necessary for victory.
There is only one greater run chase in the long history of Test cricket in England, 3/404 in 1948, and Australia had Don Bradman, who finished unbeaten on 173. The best successful run chase at the Oval was 9/263 by England against Australia in 1902.
At the start of play the Australians formed a guard of honour for Stuart Broad whe he resumed what was to be his last innings in Test cricket after announcing his retirement on Saturday evening.
Broad hammered his last ball for six, the only scoring shot England managed in the 10 minutes they batted, before Anderson was lbw to Todd Murphy, giving the young spinner his fourth wicket.
Australia could not have asked for a better start to their run chase than what Usman Khawaja and David Warnere have given their side.
Needing a venue-record 384 to win the game, Australia are 0/75 at lunch with Khawaja on 39 and Warner, possibly playing his final Test, on 30.
Both men have appeared untroubled against the new ball in the 24 overs to the interval. There has been minimal movement in the air and off the deck for England’s fast bowlers, though spinner Moeen Ali has extracted turn from several deliveries, though has lacked the consistency to place Australia under pressure for long enough.
England are yet to use the express pace of Mark Wood so the hosts still have an ace up their sleeve.
Have England found reverse-swing?
Thee good news for Australia, is they have made it to 72 without loss. The bad news is they haven’t seen Mark Wood yet. The even worse news is the ball could be starting to reverse-swing.
We are only 22 overs in but former England batter Mark Butcher has detected reverse-swing. So how have England got it going so early?
He reckons the ball is losing shine when Moeen Ali lands it in the rough. There is a double dip for England when Australia’s batters defend the ball back into the footmarks.
Wood’s express pace has not been utilised yet by Ben Stokes. It can’t be long before we see him. As you know, because you’ve read my colleague Greg Baum’s excellent piece on reverse swing four years ago, the theory is the faster you bowl, the more you can move the ball with reverse swing.
WATCH: More crowd trouble for Australia
Marnus Labuschagne had a terse exchange of words with a spectator who had taunted him on his slow batting.
Labuschagne, who made nine off 82 balls in the first innings on Friday, was heading up the stairs to the dressing room when the fan labelled his knock as “boring”.
“What’d you say, mate?” Labuschagne said after stopping to address the heckler.
He was supported by Usman Khawaja, walking behind Labuschagne, who told the fan to “calm down”.
The spectator apologised but it was not well received by Labuschagne. “You were just about to go at everyone else,” Labuschagne said, before Khawaja took him away to avoid the matter escalating.
The incident happened after play on Saturday.
WATCH: Warner punishes Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali, battling a groin injury, has been his usual inconsistent self this morning. He’s managed to get a couple to grip and turn – and also produced some rubbish. This to David Warner was on the trashier side.
Broad is back
After about half an hour off, Stuart Broad is back into the attack for another crack at David Warner and Usman Khawaja.
Though Moeen Ali is extracting turn from the day four track, there’s not much on offer for the faster bowlers. Broad, though, has a habit of making things happen in Ashes series in England. Warner and Khawaja need to be on guard here.
Why Australia have started well
By Daniel Brettig
A sound start for Usman Khawaja and David Warner to begin Australia’s pursuit of a distant 384 to win the Oval Test.
While there was plenty of crowd support for Stuart Broad taking the new ball for the last time, the ball did little early on and Australia’s openers were able to prosper off the front foot in particular.
Ben Stokes introduced Moeen Ali for the first time in the game after his groin strain on the first morning, and Warner nearly toe-ended a full toss to mid-on or midwicket. But the ball landed safely and Warner breathed again.
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