Ashes 2019: Rain delays start of day three of fourth Test at Old Trafford
Rain delayed the beginning of day three and left Australia waiting to push an Ashes-retaining success.
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England – that must avoid defeat so as to keep their hopes of regaining the urn living – closed day two on 23-1, a colossal 474 runs behind Australia’s Steve Smith-inspired 497-8 announced.
Joe Denly (4), with swapped places at the arrangement with Jason Roy, has been dismissed via a superb short-leg grab from Matthew Wade off Pat Cummins, leaving Rory Burns (15no) and nightwatchman Craig Overton (3no) at the crease after the first 10 overs of England’s innings.
The forecast is more expensive for Friday afternoon and the weekend, which means Australia will enhance their odds of maintaining their grip on the Ashes was scuppered by Ben Stokes’s heroics in Headingley in the third Test as England chased down 359 to level the series at 1-1.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has backed his side to dig in with the piano, as they did in Leeds time around with been steamrolled in their first innings.
“There’s three innings nevertheless to go in the match, three days of cricket abandoned,” said the 29-year-old, who is due to bat at No 6.
“When we can go out and apply ourselves, set out our stall to bat for a very long period of time just like we’d at Headingley, there is no reason why [we cannot get back in the Evaluation ].”
Smith Ashes century along with third bunch in four innings in the show – underpinned the total of Australia since returning from concussion.
Smith has notched 589 runs at the show, at a mean of all 147.25 and using a lowest score 92, with his overall batting average in Test cricket now standing at 64.64 following his 26th trillion at the arrangement.
However, the batsman says he was aided in his most recent major score by England frequently bowling short.
“I’ve faced a lot of short-pitched bowling in my life and haven’t had too many problems with this,” said Smith, who suffered his concussion when he had been struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer at the second Test at Lord’s.
“I said it before the match – off there means that they can not hit me onto the mat or nick off me. It softens their ball .
“It played in our hands, I believe, and allowed the ball to get soft pretty fast and also for us to score enormous first-innings runs.”
Watch day three of the fourth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes. You can also follow over-by-over comment and in-play clips on our rolling site on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.