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SYDNEY: England all-rounder Ben Stokes had a miraculous reprieve on day three of the fourth Ashes test after Australia's Cameron Green hit his off-stump but could not dislodge the bail at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

Replying to Australia's 416-8 declared, England were reeling on 57-4 with the spectre of follow-on looming large when Australia skipper Pat Cummins brought back Green for another spell.

Stokes left the first ball from Green which deviated as it crossed the batsman and umpire Paul Reiffel upheld Australia's vociferous appeal for an lbw.

While the home side celebrated the dismissal, Stokes immediately reviewed it and replays confirmed the ball was nowhere near the pad and had hit the top of the off-stump though the impact was not enough to dislodge the bail.

The lbw decision was overturned and Stokes, then on 16, could not suppress his glee at the reprieve before he resumed batting.

Stokes had been rewarded with another "life" when Cummins spilled a sharp return catch when the batsman was on nine.

Australia have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-test series.

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