England vs Australia: Day four of fourth Ashes Test in a nutshell

England are staring down the barrel of an Ashes series loss after a second chastening day at Old Trafford that renders them on the brink of defeat heading into the fifth and last day…
Pat Cummins took two wickets in two balls to leave Australia requiring eight wickets to win the fourth Test and retain the Ashes following the following remarkable knock out of Steve Smith in Old Trafford, writes Sam Drury.
The world before holing out off Jack Leach because the visitors, Number 1 Test batsman created 82 announced on 186-6 to put a victory target of 383 to the side of Joe Root.
Cummins eliminated Root from the first and Rory Burns over as England’s chances of saving the game plummeted together with the hosts, from the final stages of an eventful afternoon in Manchester.
First ball bowled by Pat Cummins, to the complete delivery, angling in, projecting in lineup and nipping off to clip the top of off-stump.
England’s hopes of carrying out for a draw to save the Exam and take the series into a decider at The Oval next week surely rested with their skipper but, put in to face a tricky half-hour session before stumps, the hosts lost both top-scorers in the very first innings to successive deliveries.
Before cleaning Root up together with the following, Rory Burns ball was removed by cummins into a major edge. He is the world’s # 1 Exam bowler for a reason.
The one who has dominated the series so far: how can you buy out Steve Smith? After five innings, 671 runs, a 134.20 typical, five dozens of fifty, three of which countless, England are still very much not one the wiser.
After an excellent hour and a half with the ball at the back end of the afternoon session, one that saw the hosts temporarily battle their way back in the Exam – reducing Australia to 44-4 in their second innings – Smith nevertheless wasn’t able to be shifted.
Stuart Broad bowled another amazing opening attraction, while Jofra Archer was back to bowling in blistering pace but, bar the strange play and miss, Smith lived into tea after which rocketed through the gears in the day before dying for 82, holing out in the deep off Jack Leach, in helping put up Australia’s declaration.
David Gower on Root’s dismissal:“Oh, my word, what type of shipping which is! Pat Cummins and Australia certainly at their finest. We speak so often, players talk about it, doing it is talked about by coaches. It’s the perfect delivery; goal for the very top of off, hit the top of off, with just enough movement to beat the bat – that the absolute ideal for any bowler, and a body blow to the entire England team.“
Nasser Hussain on England’s day fightback:“You find the personality of a negative when they’re down, and that hour and a half [earlier tea], England revealed that. They had been done and dusted, out of this game, with 1 outcome possible and they fought their way back in. Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad, specifically, were Outstanding.“
Michael Holding on a legside strategy to Smith:“Six men onto the on-side bowling to Smith? You are only allowed nine fielders and in the event is top of off-stump, you would have to have a slide and a man, leaving you only one man to patrol the entire area to mid-off. He would better be Usain Bolt but also a marathon runner to get enough power to do so. That is why I say foolish.“
Watch day five of the fourth Ashes Test live from 10am on Sunday on Sky Sports Main Event along with Sky Sports The Ashes.
You could also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips onto our rolling blog on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports program.

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