By BV Swagath
Australian bowlers toiled extremely hard to take just the four wickets in 98.3 overs bowled on Day three of the Fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. The Test match looks to be heading towards a stalemate with just two days left that too with weather expected to play a part in killing some time. England are quite secured at 247 for 4 in what is only their first innings.
The Aussies still need 16 more wickets to force a win on what is a slow surface at The Oval. England was painfully slow scoring the 247 runs in as many as 116 overs at a crawling run rate of 2.12. Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen were the batting heroes of the day scoring patient half centuries. At Stumps on Day 3, England has got the in-form Ian Bell at the crease along with debutant all-rounder Chris Woakes.
Update at Lunch on Day 3: England are well placed at 97 for 1 having weathered the storm for 44 overs. The bowling from the Aussies has looked really good but the luck has been with the English batsmen. Young Joe Root is batting nicely with a 3rd fifty, on 52* from 149 balls with 8 fours. Jonathan Trott is new at the crease batting on 9 from 29 balls.
Alastair Cook was the only batsman to be dismissed in the morning session when he poked at an away swinger from Ryan Harris to get caught behind by the diving Haddin. Cook scored just 25 having faced 88 balls. At lunch, the hosts are trailing behind by 395 runs with 9 wickets in hand.