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Ashes: Finn fifer puts England on the brink of 2-1 series lead

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An excellent bowling effort from a rejuvenated Steve Finn and some fine attacking batting from the England lower order have put the hosts in pole position to seal a crucial win in the third test of the Ashes at Edgbaston, despite just two days of cricket having been played so far.

England looked to continue their dominance over Australia on Day 2 after knocking over the visitors for just 136 in their first innings, and though they didn't have quite the perfect morning, England did finish their first innings with a healthy 145 run lead.

An attacking 63 from 75 balls by Joe Root should have helped England cement their position in this test match, but the in-form batsman got little support from the other end as England slumped to 190-7 early in the day.

A battling 59 from Moeen Ali and his potentially match-winning 87 run partnership with Stuart Broad for the 8th wicket helped England recover and put the pressure firmly back on Australia.

Australia's second innings effort was hardly any better than their first as they crumpled to 168-7 at the close of play, despite a counter attacking 77 from just 62 balls from opener David Warner.

Steve Finn ran through the Australian top order, taking 5-45 on his return to Test cricket after two long years in the wilderness. Australia once again did themselves no favours, playing some rash shots, though Finn did bowl an exceptional length right through the Aussie innings.

Australia now find themselves holding a slender 23 run lead going into the third day, with their hopes resting in the hands of new wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill, who showed good temperament today to hang around for the better part of a session, whilst scoring just 37.

England meanwhile will be hoping for no late drama in this game and will look to seal a win early on Day 3, despite losing James Anderson to what looks like a side strain mid-way through his 9th over. The hosts will pray that the injury doesn't turn out to be too serious and rule him out for the rest of the summer.

Mini Scorecard:

Australia 1st Innings 136 all out (36.4 overs)

C Rogers 52 (89) J Anderson 6-47 (14.4)

A Voges 16 (34) S Finn 2-38 (10)

England 1st Innings 281 all out

I Bell 53 (56) N Lyon 3-36 (13)

J Root 63 (75) J Hazlewood 3-74 (15)

Australia 2nd Innings 168-7 (55.0 overs)

D Warner 77 (62) S Finn 5-45 (13)

P Nevill 37* (117)