England grinded their way through the third day of the final Test at The Oval, but it was a day that was low on entertainment and life, as the series threatened to end on a whimper.
Australia collected just four wickets, but England were unable to score at much beyond two runs an over on a day that had been expected to be good for batting.
Here are the session-by-session highlights from the Test.
Morning session - England 97-1
Alastair Cook fell for 25, chasing a wide delivery from Ryan Harris, but otherwise England made serene progress to the lunch interval, courtesy of Joe Root's half-century.
The opener made his second noteworthy score of the series with a stout defence and the occasional sumptuous drive.
Having eked out just 32 runs in the 17.3 overs of the previous evening, the hosts fashioned just 65 more in the two hours until lunch.
Afternoon session - England 181-3
The crawl continued in an extended afternoon session, as Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott compiled what Opta confirmed was their equal-slowest 50 partnership together in Test cricket.
They had been brought together in surprising circumstances when the well-set Root top-edged Nathan Lyon to the man on the 45, and looked like negotiating their way unspectacularly to the interval.
It was not to be, however—Trott looked well-set on 40 when he was beaten by the first delivery with the second new ball, with Mitchell Starc bowling a sweet outswinger that trapped him on the pads.
Evening session - England 247-4
In fading light under grey London skies, England trudged toward the follow-on mark. Should they pass it tomorrow, it will probably ensure them a draw.
Pietersen departed almost as soon as he had reached his 32nd Test half-century, edging a full delivery from Starc to slip.
That brought Chris Woakes to the middle, who steered his first delivery in Test cricket away for four through square. It was an elegant stroke on an attritional day, and together with England's batsman of the series Ian Bell, he saw England through to the close without further loss.
Here is the scorecard, as compiled by the BBC:
England 1st Innings247 for 4 (116.0 overs)
|Cook||c Haddin||b Harris||25||138||88||3||0|
|Root||c Watson||b Lyon||68||237||184||11||0|
|Pietersen||c Watson||b Starc||50||189||133||4||0|
|Extras||2nb 4w 9b 5lb||20|
|Total||for 4||247||(116.0 ovs)|
|Fall of Wicket|
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