Persistent rain left Australia waiting to push an Ashes-retaining victory and delayed the start of day three in the first Test at Old Trafford.
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England – who must avoid defeat so as to maintain his hopes of regaining the urn living – closed day two on 23-1, a mammoth 474 runs behind Australia’s Steve Smith-inspired 497-8 declared.
Joe Denly (4), with swapped places at the arrangement with Jason Roy, was blown off via a super short-leg catch from Matthew Wade away Pat Cummins, leaving Rory Burns (15no) and nightwatchman Craig Overton (3no) at the crease following the first 10 overs of England’s innings.
The forecast is brighter for Friday afternoon and the weekend, which means Australia will enhance their chances of maintaining their grip on the Ashes was scuppered by Ben Stokes’s heroics in Headingley in the next Test as England chased down 359 to level the series at 1-1.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has backed his side as they did in Leeds time around having been steamrolled in their first innings for 67.
“There is three innings to move at the game, three times of cricket abandoned,” said the 29-year-old, who is due to bat at No 6.
“When we could go out and employ , set our stall out for a very lengthy time period like we’d at Headingley, there is no reason why [we all can’t get back in the Evaluation ].”
Smith Ashes double century – along with third ton in four innings in the show – underpinned the complete of Australia because coming from concussion.
Smith has notched 589 runs from the series, in an average of all 147.25 and with a cheapest score 92, with his overall batting average in Test cricket currently standing at 64.64 after his 26th trillion at the format.
But the batsman says that he was assisted in his most recent big score by England perilously brief.
“I’ve faced a great deal of short-pitched bowling in my life and have not had too many issues with it,” said Smith, who suffered his concussion when he had been struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the next Test at Lord’s.
“I mentioned before the game – bowling there means that they can not hit me about the pad or nick me off. Their ball softens up as well.
“It played into our hands, I believe, and enabled that ball to find soft pretty fast and for us to score massive first-innings runs.”
See every day three of the fourth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes. You could also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling blog on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports app.
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