Ashes 2013: Australia Close in on Series Win after Taking Massive Lead

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By Arunava Ray | December 15, 2013 9:19 PM EST

Australia are closing in on their third successive win over England in the Ashes and taking an unassailable 3-0 lead over the visitors. A win here will confirm the Ashes' return to Australia after a dispirited performance in the reverse series a few months back.

Australia ended the day on 235/3 and have taken a lead of 369 runs with seven wickets still in hand. Michael Clarke is likely to keep batting for a few more overs before asking Alastair Cook to bat.

The hosts took full advantage of England's poor form and came out in the second innings with David Warner blasting away the England bowlers with little mercy. He scored a quickfire 112 before falling to Graeme Swann while trying to pull off a slog sweep over midwicket. Chris Rogers gave him able support with 54 runs while Michael Clarke was the only other batsman to depart on 23 runs. Among the bowlers, Tim Bresnan, Ben Stoke and Graeme Swann took a wicket each to put the brakes on the Australian scoring while Stuart Broad was unavailable to bowl due to an injury.

Earlier in the day, England, who started on 180/4, succumbed to 251 at lunch. Alastair Cook remains the highest scorer for England in the Test with 72 runs while the other batsmen failed to get going. Bresnan and Swann tried to steady the ship near the end of the innings, but failed. The visitors are likely to have an even tougher day in office on the fourth day when they are likely to be put back into bat with an imposing target on the board.

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