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From Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport at Old Trafford
Rory Burns says England can still save the fourth Test against Australia and with it the Ashes.
The home side missing three wickets to become 200-5 at Old Trafford, tracking Australia’s.
“We have got a while, but it’s clear exactly what we will need to do,” opener Burns explained.
“We have obtained some batters left at the hutch and we are only a few good partnerships from asking them to make a play”
He added:”We must check out the positive aspect and also determine where we can get to.”
Ashes holders ensured of taking the urn back down under and Australia will be 2-1 up to play if England are beaten in Manchester.
Burns, who made 81 thinks England will draw on inspiration.
73 was still needed by the home side if Ben Stokes was united by number 11 guy Jack Leach at Headingley, just for Stokes’ 135 out not to lead them to their highest ever run-chase of all 358.
“The manner that match went, anything is possible,” said Burns. “We’re not so far behind. It is about putting pressure back on them playing well [Saturday].”
A stand of 141 involving Burns and ruler Joe Root had helped England for paceman Josh Hazlewood, just to 166-2 to shoot wickets for Australia.
“We are pretty happy with where we are at,” said Hazlewood. “There’s a lot of cricket left, but we’re first focusing on taking the last five wickets in the first innings.”
Hazlewood’s fellow quick bowler Pat Cummins included:”We’re pretty happy being 300 ahead. It was a tough day of Test cricket. To find those three wickets overdue, we believe really at the game.”
England are 98 runs apart from preventing the follow-on but, even if they do make Australia bat again, are very likely to face having to endure a lot of the final day to secure a lure.
The weather also has played a role on each of the 3 days, but the prediction is improved for your weekend.
“England must bat beyond lunch and bat to the day session on Saturday,” former captain Michael Vaughan told Test Match Special. “When they can get to 350, they’re taking overs out of this sport they’ll need to bat on Sunday. It’ll be the wonderful escape.
“That really is Australia’s game to lose.”
Eccentric, Australian Steve Smith and curious is a special cricketer, states BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew.
England shouldn’t be written off but Steve Smith made day two of the fourth Test feel like torture, writes Stephan Shemilt.
Was Ben Stokes’ Test at Headingley the exciting England triumph of all time?
Analysis and opinion from the cricket correspondent of the BBC.