Joe Root was perilously close to his double-ton overnight having blasted two sixes in the final over from Steve Smith.

There was speculation as to whether England would declare overnight, but captain Alastair Cook was prepared to give the Yorkshireman a chance to reach his double-ton.

Jonny Bairstow went early edging from Ryan Harris.

Australia did well to frustrate Root, keeping him off strike for much of the early play and it paid dividends as Root looked to ramp Harris over third man.

The cherry ballooned into the air and was caught by Steve Smith.

Australia were left a target of 588 to win although they won’t be aiming to reach it. The best the Baggy Greens can hope for is to bat out the remaining session for the draw.

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