Leeds, Aug. 25 -- Captain Joe Root carried England's hopes of keeping the Ashes alive on Saturday, digging deep in pursuit of a record fourth-innings chase on Day 3 of the third test against Australia at Headingley.

Australia set a tough victory target of 359 - 27 runs more than any England side has managed - and reduced the hosts to 15-2, seemingly reopening the fault lines that saw the home team skittled out for a paltry 67 on Friday.

Root showed steel, determination and leadership that has been lacking in England's batsmen by sharing a third-wicket stand of 126 with Joe Denly (50) and reaching stumps unbeaten on 75.

England was 156-3, still needing 203 more runs to win.

Australia leads the five-match series 1-0 and will retain the ...