England crumble as Australia chase 170 for victory


A contentious stumping decision highlighted a difficult afternoon session for England, who crumbled after they were bowled out for 195 on the fourth day of the first Ashes Test.

England set Australia a target of 170 to win in Brisbane after the Ashes holders lost their final four wickets for just 10 runs at the Gabba on Sunday.

They say sport is a game of millimetres and that could not have been truer after all-rounder Moeen Ali departed in tight circumstances.

A red-hot Mitchell Starc (3-51) also struck in quick succession to dismiss Chris Woakes (17), Jonny Bairstow (42) and Stuart Broad (2), while Pat Cummins (1-23) got the wicket of Jake Ball (1) as England lost their way.

Closing in on a priceless half-century, which would have been the 13th of his Test career, Moeen (40) - who had looked comfortable in the middle alongside Bairstow post-lunch - reluctantly walked back to the pavilion after a close call went in favour of wicketkeeper Tim Paine and the Australians.

Some quick thinking and outstanding glove work from Paine - a shock selection for his first Test since 2010 - resulted in a stumping as the umpire immediately referred it upstairs, though Moeen appeared unperturbed having lunged forward to a Nathan Lyon (3-67) delivery.

But after numerous replays, the third umpire felt Moeen's foot was not behind the line in a decision of inches, much to the dismay of former Australia captain Michael Clarke in the Channel 9 commentary box.

Woakes was given a life two overs later when his shot flicked into Cameron Bancroft's midriff and out again at short leg, thought it was a difficult chance.

Steve Smith did not let the next opportunity go, claiming his third catch of the day when Starc directed a short ball and Woakes could not keep his shot down as it flew low to the Aussie captain at second slip.

A pair of wickets in the 71st over from Starc cleaned up Bairstow and Broad, who left the ground in surprise after Snicko showed the slightest of nicks through to Paine, before Cummins wrapped up Ball after tea was pushed back.