Ashes 2017/18 - second Test

Day four (close)

Australia 442-8d & 138 v England 227 & 176-4

ENGLAND go into the final day of a tantalisingly poised Ashes Test requiring 178 more runs to win with six wickets remaining as the tourists continued their fightback in Adelaide.

Captain Joe Root ended the day unbeaten on 67 and holds the key to his side's prospects tomorrow, with night-watchman Chris Woakes (5*) the other not out batsman overnight.

England needed quick wickets to continue the momentum built up in last night's evening session, in which they reduced Australia to 53-4, and James Anderson made the most of conditions tailor-made for his bowling to dismiss Nathan Lyon and Peter Handscomb in quick succession.

Chris Woakes also got in on the act as Tim Paine skied to Craig Overton, who took a superb flying catch running in from deep square leg.

The Somerset man came into the attack to take the final wicket to fall in his only over of the day, removing Josh Hazlewood as the hosts were bowled out for 138 - the 23-year-old finished with 1-12 to go with his 3-105 in the first innings.

Requiring 354 to win - which would be a record-breaking fourth innings chase both for England and at the Adelaide Oval - the visitors began brightly, as Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman added 53 for the first wicket.

Both fell in quick succession, however, and when James Vince fell in typical fashion, flashing at one outside off stump, England were 91-3.

Dawid Malan joined Root and the pair battled hard, adding 78 for the fourth wicket before the Middlesex man was clean bowled by a peach from Pat Cummins.

Overton, who top scored with an unbeaten 41 in the first innings, could yet still have a key role to play with the bat as England look to make history and square the series in the process.