LEEDS, England, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Captain Joe Root’s defiance gave England hope of saving the Ashes series as his unbeaten 75 helped the hosts to 156-3 in their second innings on day three of the third test at Headingley.
Australia sensed victory was in sight inside three days having set England a daunting 359 runs to win after they — 1-0 up in the five-match series and needing only one win to retain the urn — were all out for 246 in their second innings.
That meant England were set a target that, if reached, would be the second-highest run chase in test cricket at Headingley, and two quick wickets put the hosts in trouble at 15-2.
Out to avoid a third successive duck, however, Root dug in, putting on a vital 126 for the third wicket with Joe Denly (50), and the skipper was unbeaten alongside Ben Stokes (two not out) at the close with England needing 203 more runs for victory.
Australia would retain the Ashes with a win as England could only draw the series. (Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond)