England face the near-impossible task of scoring another 386 runs on the final day of the second Ashes Test to win the game.
What’s more possible but also extremely unlikely is England surviving another three sessions to salvage a draw in Adelaide, after limping to stumps on the fourth day at 4-82.
Australia added to the tourists’ pain when left-arm quick Mitchell Starc removed Joe Root on the final ball of the day, which followed an excruciating blow to the captain’s testicles.
Australia’s stand-in captain, Steve Smith, had declared at 9-230 just before tea, setting England a record fourth-innings chase of 468 to win.
The mammoth pursuit began in disastrous fashion when Haseeb Hameed was dismissed for a six-ball duck, before Rory Burns mustered only 34, Dawid Malan 20 and Root 24.
Root lost his wicket when he edged a Starc delivery through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
The world’s No.1-ranked men’s Test batter was dealt not one but two doses of horrible misfortune on the fourth day.
His blow to the testicles late in the final session, caused by a rapid Starc delivery, followed a hit to the abdomen just before the start of play. He had been struck in the abdomen while receiving throw-downs, before missing the first 80 minutes of play but being cleared of serious damage.
All-rounder Ben Stokes (three) and No.6 Ollie Pope (zero) will be in the middle for the beginning of the final day.
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