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Persistent rain delayed the start of day at the fourth Test at Old Trafford and abandoned Australia waiting in their own attempts to push an Ashes-retaining victory.
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England – who has to avoid defeat in order to maintain their hopes of regaining the urn living – shut day on 23-1, a mammoth 474 runs behind Australia’s Steve Smith-inspired 497-8 declared.
Joe Denly (4), having swapped places in the order by Jason Roy, has been blown off with a super short-leg catch from Matthew Wade off Pat Cummins, leaving Rory Burns (15no) and nightwatchman Craig Overton (3no) at the crease after the first 10 overs of both England’s innings.
The forecast is more expensive for Friday afternoon and the weekend, which means Australia will improve their chances of preserving their grip on the Ashes having been scuppered by Ben Stokes’s heroics at Headingley in the next Test as England chased down 359 to level the series at 1-1.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, though, has backed his side to dig in with the bat, just as they did in Leeds next time around having been steamrolled in their first innings to get 67.
“There is three innings nevertheless to move at the game, three times of cricket abandoned,” stated the 29-year-old, who’s due to bat at Number 6.
“If we could go out and employ , set out our stall to bat for a very long period of time like we did at Headingley, there’s no reason why [we all cannot get back into the Test].”
Smith Ashes century – along with next bunch in four innings in the series – underpinned the 30-year-old notching 211 within his first Test knock, Australia’s complete .
Smith has notched 589 runs in the show, at an average of all 147.25 and using a smallest score 92, together with his overall batting average in Test cricket currently standing at 64.64 following his 26th trillion at the format.
But the batsman says England frequently filming brief assisted in his most recent huge evaluation him.
“I’ve faced a lot of short-pitched bowling in my life and haven’t had too many issues with this,” explained Smith, who suffered his concussion when he was struck on the neck with a Jofra Archer bouncer at the next Test at Lord’s.
“I said it before the match – bowling there means that they can not hit me to the pad or nick me off. It softens their ball up well.
“It played with our hands, I think, and allowed the ball to find 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 even follow over-by-over comment and in-play clips onto our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports program.
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