Follow live updates of day four of the final Ashes test.

England has stamped its authority on the fifth and final Ashes Test, dominating day three to put itself in prime position for a series-levelling win at The Oval.

Reigning holder Australia may have retained the urn with victory in Manchester but the home team can still deny the tourists a first overall series win since 2001 by maintaining the rage across the final two days in south London in a desperate bid to square the ledger at 2-2.

England's batsmen have struggled all summer but profited against a tiring attack on a hot day in the English capital, piling on the runs to go to stumps at 8/313, giving it a lead of 382. No team has ever chased more than 263 in the fourth innings to win at The Oval so the Aussies will need to make history to finish the Ashes on a high note.


It was a tough day for the Aussies but they finished on a high. Twenty minutes before stumps, Chris Woakes' edge off Mitch Marsh looked destined to shoot wide of Steve Smith at second slip but the former captain pulled off a miracle catch.

He flew full stretch to his right, diving horizontal to the ground and plucking the ball out of the air one-handed when it was almost behind him.

It was an amazing piece of fielding and Marnus Labuschagne followed that up next ball with some magic of his own, running in from deep square leg and diving forward to take another sensational catch to send Jos Buttler back to the pavilion for a quickfire 47.

In commentary for Sky Sports, Australian legend Ricky Ponting called Smith's grab an "absolute screamer" while former England captain Michael Atherton said both catches were "absolutely stunning".

At the start of the day, Rory Burns and Joe Denly put on the first 50-run opening partnership of the series by either side before their stand ended on 54 when Burns was caught behind trying to cut Nathan Lyon. The off-spinner struck again when Joe Root edged a straight ball to slip for 21 before Denly and Ben Stokes combined to bat Australia out of the game.

Australia went wicketless in the second session as they knuckled down to ensure England kept its foot on the throat. Denly failed to pass 30 in the first two Tests but has bounced back since then, scoring half centuries in Leeds and Manchester before registering his highest score of the series in his final visit to the crease.

Promoted from No. 4 to opener, Denly stroked 14 fours and one six on his way to a career-high 94 but unfortunately for him he was unable to make his maiden Test century when he edged Peter Siddle to first slip.