Jonathan Trott hit 168 not out to lift England to a 415-run first-innings lead over Australia at lunch on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Trott batted through the morning session as England was dismissed for 513 after resuming at 444-5. Australia fast bowler Peter Siddle removed Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan and James Anderson to finish with 6-75, while Ben Hilfenhaus took the wickets of Graeme Swann and Chris Tremlett.
The lead of 415 runs is an Ashes record margin for a team batting second as England seeks to retain the trophy with a victory at the MCG. Australia, which was skittled for 98 on day one, faces the prospect of having to bat for eight sessions to avoid defeat and take the series into a deciding match in Sydney.
The best-of-five contest is tied at 1-1. As Ashes holder, England would keep the trophy by tying the series. The English last successfully retained the Ashes in 1986-87, when Mike Gatting’s team secured a 2-1 win in Australia.
England added 15 runs to its overnight score before Prior chipped a Siddle delivery to Ricky Pontingwhen on 85. Siddle then had Tim Bresnan caught behind for 4 and Hilfenhaus removed Swann in similar style for 22 before clean bowling Tremlett.
Siddle, who also took two catches off Mitchell Johnson’s bowling yesterday, wrapped up the innings by knocking over Anderson’s stumps.
Trott batted for 468 minutes, faced 345 balls and struck 14 boundaries in his unbeaten innings, his third highest score in elite Tests. England’s total was the third time it had amassed 500 runs or more in the current series.
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