Three Lions edge closer to being able to hold the trophy aloft.
England have blasted past the follow-on mark to reach 350-7 at lunch at The Oval on the fifth and final day of the current Ashes series.
In stark contrast to the go-slow tactics of the English batsmen on day three and the wash out on day four, the Three Lions’ middle-order were happy to throw the bat.
After a half-an-hour delay due to more overnight rain, England resumed their innings with Ian Bell and Chris Woakes at the crease, and the pair helped kick-start the mini session to see the home side score 103 runs in just 21 overs.
The bulk of the runs came just before the break as Matt Prior and Graeme Swann went after the Australian attack, with off-spinner Nathan Lyon going for 18 off an over.
However, the Australian’s also had a measure of success in claiming three wickets with Ryan Harris the first to strike.
Woakes became Harris’ 22nd victim for the series when he drove at a fullish ball but only managed to edge it through to Michael Clarke at second slip who caught it above his waist.
The England debutant departed for 25 as the score moved to 259-5.
Brad Haddin continued his excellent series behind the stumps for Australia to help give James Faulkner his first Test wicket after Bell edged a ball from the left-armer down the leg-side.
Bell was unable to add another half-century to his stellar runs tally this series as he was dismissed for 45 as the total for the home side became 299-6.
Stuart Broad (nine) came and went quickly after his castle was unsettled by Mitchell Starc, who managed to get a hint of reverse swing which deceived the England bowler.
Prior (35 not out) and Swann’s (24 not out) late session cameos injected some life into the clash which is still headed for a draw with the home side still needing 142 to make Australia bat again, unless captain Alastair Cook offers up a very aggressive draw, which is highly unlikely.