Fourth Specsavers Ashes Test, Emirates Old Trafford (day four of five)
Australia 497-8 dec & 186-4 dec: Smith 82; Archer 3-45
England 301 & 18-2: Cummins 2-8
England trail by 365 runs
Two late wickets for Pat Cummins on the penultimate day of the fourth Specsavers Ashes Test have all but ended England’s hope of winning the urn back.
England’s opening batsmen had half an hour to survive at the end of the day having been set a target of 383 to win the match at Emirates Old Trafford.
It took Cummins three balls to make a breakthrough as Rory Burns found Marcus Harris at mid-on. It wasn’t the start that England would have wanted.
Joe Root didn’t opt to send a night-watchman in and instead decided to face the music himself. That plan backfired as he fell one ball later.
Jason Roy was the next man in and safely negated the hat-trick ball, much to the delight of the 23,500 fans inside the ground.
He and Joe Denly saw England through to stumps as they closed on 18-2.
Earlier in the day, England narrowly saved the follow-on having started the day 98 runs behind the target.
Australia’s second innings didn’t start too well as David Warner fell to Stuart Broad for the sixth time in the series.
Australia slumped to 44-4, but Steven Smith scored 82 off 92 balls and shared a fifth wicket stand of 105 with Matthew Wade. Smith’s 82 runs now means that he has now scored 671 runs in the series at an average of 134.20.
Smith got out to Jack Leach and Wade followed shortly after. Tim Paine and Mitchell Starc added 28 before Australia declared with the score reading 186-6.
Eight wickets now stand between Australia and the Ashes. England must survive the 98 overs that remain in the match if they are to keep the series alive.