England chase wickets, history
Australia coach Tim Nielsen insisted his side were not thinking about 'saving the game' after Michael Clarke's unbeaten century had given them hope of achieving a record run chase in London at Lord's. LIVE COVERAGE| SEE SCORECARD | FULL COVERAGEcricket Updated: Jul 20, 2009 17:47 IST
Australia coach Tim Nielsen insisted his side were not thinking about 'saving the game' after Michael Clarke's unbeaten century had given them hope of achieving a record run chase in London at Lord's.
Australia head into Monday's final day of the second Ashes Test on 313 for five, needing a further 209 runs to reach their victory target of 522.
If they achieve it, they will have set a new world record for the most runs scored in the fourth innings to win a Test, surpassing the 418 for seven made by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2002/03.
Australia had slumped to 128 for five on Sunday when Clarke was joined at the crease by wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
At that stage there was a chance England might have ended their 75-year wait for a Test win over Australia at Lord's with a day to spare.
But instead Clarke, who made 125 not out, and Haddin, 80 not out, kept England at bay with an unbroken stand so far worth 185.
"Those two played out of their skins. We are very pleased as a team to keep fighting in adversity," Nielsen told reporters after stumps.
"We know if we play as well again we have a chance of winning this Test.
"Michael and Brad both withstood everything England threw at them. Tomorrow morning is a huge hour of play."
The advent of one-day cricket and the knock-on effect of faster-scoring rates in the five-day game, have created an environment where once outlandish run-chases are now within the realms of possibility.
And Nielsen insisted saving the game, which would keep the five-match series level at 0-0 after England clung on for a draw in Cardiff last week, was not something that held much interest for Australia.
"We never talk about saving a Test match, it's not the way we play. We like to back ourselves, we are at our best when we are positive. We walk in tomorrow with a real chance. We never lost hope."
Turning to Clarke, Australia's vice-captain, who has now been at the crease for over four hours, Nielsen said he was particularly pleased by the way he'd made a big score after skipper Ricky Ponting fell for just 38.
"Michael Clarke has got better and better. Rick missed out but right from the outset he scored freely and took the initiative away from their bowlers.
"He's certainly standing up for us and today he showed his class as a Test-match batsman."
England off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took two wickets on Sunday, said an Australia recovery was something the hosts had expected at some stage.
"When you play Australia you never expect them to lay down and die. We were on cloud nine but Clarke played beautifully and Haddin supported him nicely.
"I think the balance of power is pretty even. For Australia to win this game they've still got to break a world record, there's still a mountain of runs for Australia to climb," Swann added.
"In the morning it can be a different game as we saw with Andrew Strauss (the England captain made 161 on Thursday and was out second ball on Friday).
"One more wicket and we are into the bowlers."
Several of England's early wickets on Sunday were mired in umpiring controversy. Simon Katich was given out caught off what replays showed was an Andrew Flintoff no-ball and later on Michael Hussey fell to a catch when it seemed as if his bat had made no contact with the ball.
But sandwiched in between those wickets was Strauss's low slip catch to dismiss Phillip Hughes off the bowling of Flintoff.
Hughes started to walk-off but the 20-year-old was told to stand his ground by Ponting who on Saturday saw England's Ravi Bopara reprieved after the umpires referred a low catch to TV umpire Nigel Llong.
But this time around South Africa's Rudi Koertzen, standing in his 100th Test, was content to asking West Indian on-field colleague Billy Doctrove if the ball had carried before giving Hughes out without calling for Llong's help.
Replays were not conclusive but Nielsen said: "I would have liked to have seen it go to the third umpire from a consistency point of view."