By Richard Evans
ADELAIDE – Jos Buttler remained unbeaten after a dogged 25 off 196 balls as England continue to frustrate Australia with just one session left on the final day of the day-night second test in Adelaide on Monday.
Buttler’s dour batting helped keep England in a match long after their other front-line batsmen departed with Chris Woakes also contributing an important late order 44 runs before being bowled by Jhye Richardson.
England are 180-8 at tea but Australia will be confident of getting the last two wickets in the final session and go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
Stuart Broad was yet to open his account after surviving 16 deliveries.
England earlier resumed on 82-4, needing 386 more runs for an improbable win or to at least bat out three sessions to force a draw after being outplayed from day one.
Losing Ben Stokes for 12 was a body blow but Woakes and Buttler resisted Australia for nearly 32 overs with a 61-run stand before being separated.
Australia began with their senior bowlers, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, who have thrived in this test in the absence of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Ollie Pope lasted seven balls, a boundary through midwicket his sole contribution, before he nicked Starc to Steve Smith in the slips.
Smacking his bat against his foot as he walked off, Pope has had a poor tour to date and will be worried about his place for the third test, which starts on Sunday.
Stokes was England’s last major hope of salvaging a draw and his batting was restrained, a sweep to the boundary off Lyon in the 55th over a highlight.
A few minutes later though, Lyon delivered a ball that replays showed to be hitting leg stump and Stokes was gone lbw for 12 runs in 110 minutes.
Buttler smacked Richardson through point for four runs off the quick’s second delivery but England highlights were otherwise sparse.