sport

Lyon: Match still in balance

Nathan Lyon says Australia still have plenty of work to do if they are to stay on track for an Ashes whitewash after the fourth Test at the MCG.

England collapsed from 86-1 to 179 all out on day three in Melbourne, with off-spinner Lyon their chief tormentor as he returned figures of 5-50.

That left the hosts with a target of 231 for victory and they made a perfect start to the chase before stumps as openers Chris Rogers and David Warner took them to 30-0.

But Lyon expects scoring opportunities to be hard to come by on day four and says Australia's batsmen will have to work hard to bring home a win which would give them a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.

"It was a great effort today, it was a great day of Test match cricket," Lyon told Sky Sports.

"But we've got a lot of hard work to do, we know the trend of the game - with the new ball it's been easier to score and then it's been pretty hard to score after about 30 overs.

Patient

"So we've got a big job to do, hopefully we can put a couple of big partnerships together, be patient and see how we go."

England held a lead of 51 after the first innings and looked to be in a great position on 65-0 in their second with Alastair Cook passing his fifty, but Lyon did not feel the game was getting away from Australia at that point.

"We weren't worried, it was a good challenge," the 26-year-old added.

"Cook's a fantastic batsman, we know that. We just had to be patient and we knew if we could hang in there and bowl in partnerships, hopefully we could crack the game open."

A landmark day for Lyon also saw him claim his 100th Test wicket, something he was delighted to achieve in the cauldron of the MCG.

Lyon said: "I'm not sure if it's sunk in just yet, but it's something pretty special and something I'm very proud of. I've been lucky enough to do it at a pretty great venue here at the MCG."