Ashes 2019, England vs Australia Highlights, 4th Test Day 2 at Manchester: Steve Smith double ton puts Australia in control

Catch scores and latest updates from Day 2 of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester

FirstCricket Staff, Sep 06, 2019 00:41:15 IST

Australia beat England by 185 runs


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Day 1 report: Steve Smith continued his outstanding Ashes form, striking an unbeaten 60 as Australia recovered from a bad start to reach 170/3 at the close of the rain-affected first day of the fourth test against England at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Rain caused a frustrating delay of over two hours after lunch but plans to extend play were abandoned after rain came in again during the break for tea and only 44 overs were bowled on the opening day.

Ashes 2019, England vs Australia Highlights, 4th Test Day 2 at Manchester: Steve Smith double ton puts Australia in control

File images of Joe Root and Tim Paine. AFP

Gusty winds throughout, with the bails even taken off by the umpires at one stage, made it hard work for England’s seamers while the batsmen had the distraction of stray food wrappers and even a beach ball fluttering over the square,

The stoppages and conditions, though, did little to disrupt Smith, who returning from missing the last test due to concussion looked like he had never been away as he made his eighth straight Ashes half-century.

The series is tied a 1-1 with two tests remaining and victory for the Australians would ensure they retain the urn.

Smith and Marnus Labuschagne put on 116 for the third wicket before the latter was bowled by a beautiful delivery from Craig Overton for 67.

It was a much-needed stand after England, on a high after their remarkable comeback win at Headingley, made a great start, bringing their supporters to their feet with just the fourth ball of the day, after Australia won the toss and opted to bat.

Stuart Broad claimed the wicket of David Warner for the fifth time in this series with the left-hander caught behind as he made a belated decision to leave the ball but gave a thin outside edge to Jonny Bairstow.

Australia slipped to 28-2 when Broad rapped the pads of Marcus Harris and, after some consideration, umpire Kumar Dharmasena raised his finger and his verdict was upheld by video review.

Australia’s openers have averaged 15.14 – not since 1888 have their top two contributed less during an Ashes series.

The departure of Harris brought the returning Smith to the crease after 38 minutes of play, the world’s number one-ranked test batsman having missed the previous test due to concussion as a result of being hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

To the delight of the crowd, Archer had the ball in hand and it took him three deliveries to attempt another bouncer.

But with England sensing a chance to eat into the Aussie middle order before lunch, Smith and Labuschagne quickly settled and set about upping the run-rate as Archer found it hard to generate his customary pace.

Labuschagne, retained in the side after replacing Smith as a substitute for the second innings at Lord’s and at Headingley, went on to make his fourth straight half century.

“It was tough to get used to (the weather) and get consistent with your movements because it was so windy and there were so many distractions around the ground,” Labuschagne told reporters.

“It doesn’t really matter how you get the runs, it’s just about the score. It was important for us to dig in and get a first-innings score because there’s some spin out there and it’s really good for us,” he added.

Ominously for England, Smith, who has two centuries and a 92 to his name in the series, looked unruffled as he calmly dealt with Joe Root’s attack.

He brought up his fifty, lavishly driving Ben Stokes for four through cover but the Manchester weather ensured the prospect of a third ton in the series will have to wait.

Travis Head was unbeaten on 18 at the close and England will need to make another positive start on Thursday, if they are to restrict the touring side.

“Obviously, it was a frustrating day for us, conditions didn’t really suit running into bowl but we stuck at it pretty well,” said Overton, who was making his home test debut after being drafted in ahead of Chris Woakes.

“We’re probably slightly behind...but we come back tomorrow, get a couple of early ones and we’ll be right back in the game.”

Squad for 4th Test:

AustraliaDavid WarnerMarcus HarrisMarnus LabuschagneSteven SmithTravis HeadMatthew WadeTim Paine(w/c), Pat CumminsPeter SiddleMitchell StarcNathan LyonJosh Hazlewood

EnglandRory BurnsJason RoyJoe Root(c), Joe DenlyBen StokesJonny Bairstow(w),   Jos ButtlerChris WoakesJofra ArcherStuart BroadJack LeachSam CurranCraig Overton

With inputs from Reuters

Updated Date: Sep 06, 2019 00:41:15 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252