England are staring down the barrel of an Ashes series loss following another chastening afternoon in Old Trafford that leaves them on the verge of defeat heading into the fifth and final day…
Pat Cummins took two wickets in two balls to depart Australia needing eight wickets to win the fourth Test and keep the Ashes following a second knock from Steve Smith at Old Trafford, writes Sam Drury.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
The world # 1 Test batsman created 82 before holing out off Jack Leach since the traffic announced on 186-6 to put Joe Root side a victory target of 383.
Cummins then eliminated Spread in the first and Rory Burns over as England’s chances of saving the match plummeted in the final stages of the eventful afternoon in Manchester, together using all the hosts closing on 18-2.
Joe Root bowled first ball to the complete delivery, by Pat Cummins, nipping away to only clip on the surface of off-stump, pitching in line and angling in.
England’s hopes of carrying out for a draw to conserve the Test and choose the string into a decider at The Oval next week surely rested with their skipper but, put in to confront a tricky half-hour session prior to stumps, the hosts dropped both top-scorers from the first innings to successive deliveries.
Prior to cleaning Root up together with the following Rory Burns third chunk was eliminated by cummins to a top edge. He’s the world’s # 1 Test bowler for a motive.
The same one that has mastered the show so far do you get Steve Smith out? After five innings, 671 runs, a 134.20 average, five dozens of fiftyfive, three of which hundreds, England are still very much none the wiser.
After a terrific hour and a half of the ball in the rear end of the day session, one that saw the hosts temporarily battle their way back in the Exam – decreasing Australia to 44-4 in their second innings – Smith nevertheless wouldn’t be able to be changed.
Stuart Broad bowled another amazing opening attraction, while Jofra Archer was back into bowling at blistering pace but, bar the odd play and miss, Smith lived into tea after which rocketed through the gears in the evening before dying for 82, holing out in the deep off Jack Leach, in helping set up Australia’s declaration.
David Gower on Root’s dismissal:”Oh, my word, what a shipping which is! Pat Cummins and Australia certainly in their very best. We speak about it players talk about it, coaches talk about doing it. It is the perfect delivery; goal for the top off, hit the top off, with just enough motion to beat the bat – that absolute ideal for any bowler, and a body blow to the whole England team.”
Nasser Hussain about England’s afternoon fightback:”You find the character of a side when they are down, and that hour and a half [earlier java ], England showed that. They have been done and dustedout of this game, with just 1 result possible and they fought their way in. Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad, specifically, were Great.”
Michael Holding to a legside plan to Smith:”Six men onto the on-side bowling to Smith? You’re just allowed nine fielders and should the line you would be bowling is the top of off-stump, you would have to have a slip and a third person, leaving you 1 person to patrol the whole area to mid-off. He would better be Usain Bolt but also a marathon runner to get sufficient energy to do so. That’s why I say ridiculous.”
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