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England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, Durham, 4th day

August 12, 2013

Ryan Harris or Ryan Gosling? #youprefer

Nitin Sundar

Day 4 dawned with a sense of déjà vu.

News trickled in before the start of play that Shane Watson wouldn't bowl for the rest of the match.

The in-form Ian Bell held the key for England as they looked to push the lead past 250. But he was closing in on an inauspicious score.

Bell got past 109, but not much further. Tim Bresnan watched from the non-striker's end as Ryan Harris plucked Bell out with one that kept a touch low, and then Matt Prior with the very next ball. This one leapt up from a similar length.

Elsewhere Shikhar Dhawan smashed his way to the second-highest score in List A history in an A game against South Africa.

Stuart Broad was looking to play his shots, but Harris was back to bounce him out with a brute. Cue a sprightly counter-attack from Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann. Bresnan kicked it off by going after Jackson Bird.

And just like that, shoulders began to slump.

After a nagging 42-run stand, Australia broke through thanks to Harris once again. He finished with 7 for 117, and Australia were set 299 to win.

Chris Rogers and David Warner began the fourth innings steadily. England unsuccessfully reviewed an lbw shout against Rogers.

Australia went to lunch without loss. All set then for a crackling second session. However, the rain came down to delay the start of the second session. Dampener? Think again.

Post lunch, Hill ruled Rogers out caught behind off the trouser. Rogers reviewed and stayed in.

The chalk-and-cheese partnership put paid to England's hopes of striking with the new ball.

But despite the weighty opening stand, England were always in the game.

England were fast running out of options.

Time to go the walkabout way?

England tried everything to break the momentum. Broad went down down to remove his boot and put it back on.

Wrong era.

Wrong team.

Things were beginning to look exceedingly desperate when Swann found a way. Rogers fell for 49 soon after Warner had reached his 50.

But it wasn't Mission Difficult; it was Mission Impossible for Khawaja. He departed after getting a start.

That was the opening England needed. Broad charged in and delivered a hostile spell, while Bresnan - who didn't have too many backers at the start of the day - provided good support.

Twenty seconds later, Warner was out caught behind off Bresnan's bowling.

Then Broad conjured up a magic 92 mph legcutter to crash Michael Clarke's castle.

Suddenly Australia were shaky, with Shane Watson once again looking vulnerable to the full and straight one.

Steve Smith went next, fisting a pull shot onto his stumps.

And then came the inevitable Watson lbw which was upheld on review.

When Haddin exited in similar fashion. Australia had gone from 168 for 2 to 181 for 7.

Broad continued the demolition, slipping one past Harris' defences.

Broad completed his 10-for as the light began to worsen.

The sun came out eventually, and so did Broad to finish the game. England 3 - Australia 0. Series decided.

Nitin Sundar is social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Nitin Sundar

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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