The Ashes, 2019
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Date: 04 September-08 September, 2019
RR: 2.15 | Australia beat England by 185 runs
That ends the fourth Test coverage at Old Trafford. It is Australia who are 2-1 up. Ashes is theirs, will the series be as well? England will want to say something about that in 4 days' time. Join us on Thursday, 12th September, 2019 at 11 am local (1000 GMT) for all the action from the 5th Test at The Oval. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
STEVEN SMITH HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH (Is anyone surprised?) 10 days ago, he was sitting in the dressing room, watching the agony of his side not being able to clinch a win. But here, come Old Trafford, a new dawn has been set.
Ohhh... with the Ashes over (even though the series is not over yet), the interviews keep coming, don't they? Josh Hazlewood trots up now. Hazlewood says it is a fantastic feeling and feels all the bowlers bowled really well. Further adds Cummins is a huge engine and Lyon was good too. States you need to be ready when the skipper calls you on and feels Marnus Labuschagne too contributed with an important wicket of Jack Leach. Tells he is still feeling pretty good now but might be a little sore tomorrow. Mentions another great Test match was visible. Informs his heart was definitely beating fast towards the end but he is pleased they got over the line. Ends by saying they would still be eager to win the series here and would go all out in the last game.
Marnus Labuschagne now comes up for a chat. Labuschagne says it means a lot to bring the urn back to Australia. States it is one of the best series he has played and it is even better since it is won in England. Further adds Test cricket was at its best as wickets came quickly but England's lower order played really well. Says the Brits will always come hard which was visible here. On him being given the ball by Paine and then getting the breakthrough, Marnus states he wanted to trust himself with the ball. Cheekily says that he dragged the previous ball before the wicket one down but then kept telling himself to believe in himself. Adds he is lost for words at the moment. Ends by saying it was a privilege to play for Australia, the opportunity that came to him, wasn't how he expected it to but he is delighted he did well then.
Time for some interviews. Steven Smith first up. Smith says it feels amazing that the Ashes is coming home now. Further adds he has come here a few times but things never went their way. States winning the Ashes here is one thing which he wanted to tick off his bucket list. Informs the boys were getting a little bit tired out there towards the end. Tells England fought really hard especially Overton, who was really good but fortunately the boys got the job done. Says he feels absolutely delighted with how he has performed in this series especially after what he has gone through.
England then. Playing with one bowler and 10 batsmen. But probably, there is some lack of application and lack of patience as well. They have batted better than Australia but the Aussies have been able to eke out mistakes from the hosts' batsmen. But they have done well in tiring out the Aussie bowlers, the effect of which could be seen in the final Test with not much of a gap. The Ashes cannot be regained but the series is there to be drawn.
Australian bowling. Was Mitchell Starc missed? Did he prove to be the difference? Probably not so much in the second innings. But he was a handful in that first innings with the bat and ball, scoring a half century and taking a 3-fer. Hazlewood and Cummins bowled well tirelessly but they did miss Nathan Lyon. That finger of his is hurting him and he is definitely not the offie we have been used to seeing. Had he been even half of his best, Australia might have even won this with a day to spare.
Where did the game and the urn go away from England then? Probably that second Test where Joe Root overbowled Jofra Archer. The third and fourth Tests have seen him whimper away without much pace and the effect has been seen on the Australian batting and the English bowling. Only Stuart Broad was the most consistent one, picking up wickets without anyone to support him. Steven Smith's 211 got Australia to a position from where they could not lose and England found it too tough to face a rampaging Australia.
There were very few doubts at the start of the final day as to what could happen. Australia were predicted to win and they won. But they had to huff and puff. Roy and Denly hung around for a while but then things started to happen. Wickets started to fall and at one stage, when Bairstow was dismissed in the 54th over, it seemed like the game would be over before Tea, with 51 overs left in the game and 4 wickets pending. But we were destined to be a part of another humdinger.
Take a bow, both Australia and England. The Aussies obviously, for winning it but England, wow. Hanging in there. Fighting it out. Keeping Australia at bay. The last 4 wickets added just 59 runs but FACED 230 BALLS. 127 between Buttler and Overton. 84 between Leach and Overton. Given the numbers, Craig might have almost seen his side over the line.
Phew. How do these two teams manage to do it? Nerve-wracker after nerve-wracker after nerve-wracker. First at Lord's. Then at Leeds. Now here at Manchester. Enough to give three heart attacks!
Is that the game? Overton has been adjudged LBW. He has taken the review immediately. Hit on the knee roll. Is it a bit too high? Nothing on the Ultra Edge as the ball goes past the bat. Three reds on Ball Tracker. THE ASHES STAY WITH AUSTRALIA!
Bowling change, again! Just one over for Marnus Labuschagne to break the stand. Hazlewood is on now. His numbers so far, 17-5-31-1.
Nathan Lyon into the attack! 28-12-50-2, his figures so far.
Stuart Broad is the last man in. Memories of Cardiff, 2009. Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson had to play out 11 overs to stave off a draw against Australia then. Broad and Overton have 15.1 overs. Are we in for an encore?
Sanchit Shetty - 'I have a funny feeling that this will go all the way down to the last over and both wickets will fall in that one!' @SS - Well, credit to these two and the England lower order for hanging in there. Australia haven't bowled badly but haven't been able to finish the job either.
A bit of leg spin now! Marnus Labuschagne is on. Trying everything here is Tim Paine. A surprising change to a lot of people.
Starc comes running in! Overton though is not ready. Starc has to reload.
Mitchell Starc is back on now! His figures 15-1-46-1.
The physio wants to come in again! Overton has been hit on the right hand by a bumper from Cummins. He removes his gloves and takes his time. The physio walks closer to the boundary rope and waits for a signal from Overton. However, Overton tells the physio not to come and gets ready to face the next ball.
Paine goes to Nathan Lyon now. Australia getting into desperation mode again. 20 overs left. 2 wickets still needed. Lyon with a hurting finger. 26-10-50-2 so far.
Well, the physio is out in the middle. It is definitely not for concussion. Leach is just cleaning up his glasses. The 12th man comes out now, with some drinks for Leach. Nasser Hussain on air reminds us about Cardiff, 2009 where England managed to stave off an innings defeat against Australia. The camera pans onto the then captain, Ricky Ponting, who was definitely not happy with the 12th man coming out and stalling the game. Tea pots were boiling and we might see some or more of the same as the game goes down to the wire here.
Josh Hazlewood is back on! 16-5-25-1 are his numbers so far.
23 overs left but the time is ticking away. It is getting darker. The shadows of the fielders can be seen. We might come down to the situation when Tim Paine is asked by the umpires to stop the seamers.
Ha ha ha... the crowd is having some fun now. A couple of spectators open up an umbrella in the stands, suggesting that is raining. Well, it isn't. Conditions are bright and sunny.
The second new ball has been taken! So one loosener with the old ball and then the new cherry is taken.
Pat Cummins is back! The second new ball is now available so with Cummins coming on, Australia will be thinking of taking it. Also, Pat is one wicket away from a fifer.
Nathan Lyon is back! His figures 25-9-50-2.
Santra The Orange - 'England should change the profile of Jack Leach. Left-arm spinner who can bat? Naah.... proper left-handed batsman who can bowl part-timers!' @STO - Wow. That is a bit harsh, isn't it mate?
Mitchell Starc is back into the attack. Can he finish it off for the visitors? His numbers so far, 12-1-36-1.
Review time! An appeal for an LBW has been turned down. Labuschagne is adamant it is off the pad and not the bat. He feels it is out and Paine reviews. Marnus is right, there is no bat. Looks to be slipping down leg.
175 balls left. 2 wickets needed. Jack Leach comes in now.
Australia on the attack here! One more man comes in as a close-in catcher. No square leg now. Will this tempt Archer to play the slog sweep?
Jofra Archer is the new man in. Can he resist along with Overton to help England draw this one.
Josh Hazlewood to start from the other end. 14-5-22-0 so far.
The Australian players walk out to the middle one final time for this Test. Can they dislodge the remaining four wickets? Jos Buttler and Craig Overton follow them as well. 11 overs for the second new ball. Paine would be desperate to get that. How will he operate the bowlers then? Well, Lyon to start the proceedings for them.
... Day 5, Session 3 ...
Post Tea, England would hope that these two continue the fight and take the game as deep as possible. They have Stuart Broad, who has a century to his name and Jack Leach, the man who helped them win the last game waiting in the pavilion and they can battle too, IF needed. The visitors, on the other hand, they would be desperate to break this partnership and then take the remaining wickets to retain the urn. Looks like we are gonna go right down to the wire, as at Lord's. Join us back at 4.30 pm local (1530 GMT). 36 overs left.
Australia got rid of Joe Denly quickly after Lunch but Bairstow along with Buttler added 45 between them to frustrate the visitors. Starc broke that stand but none of the bowlers have managed to breach the Buttler-Overton one. There were a couple of close calls, especially Overton being adjudged LBW, only to be overturned on review. Nothing much is happening with this soft ball and when happening, the batsmen have been able to survive.
95 balls. That is the number of balls faced by Buttler and Overton for the 7th wicket so far. Many would have been imagining all the Aussies in the dressing room, putting their feet up and drinking champagne, to celebrate their retention of the urn. But no. It has been England's session. They would believe that they can draw this one now.
Marnus Labuschagne is back on.
Nathan Lyon is back into the attack. 19-4-49-1 so far. Australia need him to step up.
Mitchell Starc is back! 10-0-32-1 so far. The ball is reversing but Starc needs to land it in the right areas. If he does, this could be over pretty soon. If he doesn't, Australia could be in for a long, long haul. Because all their seamers are tiring.
Overton is a goner! He reviews. He also indicates there is some bat. So it might just be overturned. Judging by the first replay, there seems to be an inside edge. The third umpire is taking a lot of time. Has the ball hit the bat? Or has the bat hit the pad alone? Looks very close. To the naked eye, it looks like the ball has hit the pad. But when Ultra Edge is shown, it is not conclusive. The third umpire is not sure and proceeds to Ball Tracker. Impact outside off and Overton survives!
Josh Hazlewood is back into the attack. His numbers so far, 10-4-12-0.
The ball is being checked and it does not pass through the 8-ball gauge which means time for it be changed. Out come the boxes. One is chosen and on we go. Also, Nathan Lyon is brought back on. Change of ends for him.
Pat Cummins is back on now! He has four till now and been their best bowler in this innings. He would look to add to his wicket-tally.
Interesting thoughts from Michael Atherton on air. He observes that Starc has been more successful when he has hit the length, rather than going for the yorker. Examples can be seen from the Bairstow dismissals in both innings.
Buttler pulls out as Starc was steaming in. The bowler needs to reload.
Nathan Lyon is back into the attack! His figures so far 16-2-45-1.
Craig Overton walks in now, at number 8, replacing Bairstow, as Australia get into the bowlers. Or bowling all-rounders. Overton was the night watchman in the first innings.
Starc takes out Bairstow again! LBW this time! Or is it? Review time... hit on the knee roll... here comes Ball Tracker. Umpire's call!
DRINKS! Australia got the wicket of Joe Denly early in the first hour of the second session but since then Jonny Bairstow along with Jos Buttler have done well to add 45 runs between them. Apart from that one wicket, the Australian bowling has not been good as they have been either too short or too straight. What's in the store for the next hour in this extended session? Change of ends for Starc after Drinks.
Change of ends for Marnus Labuschagne.
Travis Head is on now! Just the one over for Labuschagne.
Looking at Marnus Labuschagne, David Gower just remembers the era of the 70s and the 80s, while discussing with Michael Atherton. He recounts that while touring the country Down Under, almost every state had a leg spinner. As a batsman, you needed to adjust pretty quickly. Talk about that around 40 years later, there is hardly any leggie to talk about...
Marnus Labuschagne is on now!
Mitchell Starc is back on now! The other pacers did get the ball to reverse. Can he do so? If he can, he can be handy.
Halt in play as Paine needs to go to the washroom! He is done and he rushes onto the field now.
Josh Hazlewood into the attack now!
Amit The Mastermind - 'Dear Garry, please keep your lengths a bit fuller. With these short stuff, you are taking LBW out of contention totally.'
Birthday boy, Jos Buttler is the next man in for England.
Nathan Lyon to share the attack with Cummins post Lunch. He is still in search of his first wicket of the match.
The Aussie players are out in the middle for the second session. Joe Denly and Jonny Bairstow walk out to the middle as well with a daunting task in front of them. Pat Cummins to start proceedings for the visitors post Lunch.
... Day 5, Session 2 ...
Coming to the second session, England would want to continue battling out in the middle while the visitors would want to finish this off as soon as possible to make sure that the Urn stays with them. Join us back for the second session to catch all the action.
For the visitors, it is all about one man at the moment, Pat Cummins. He took two yesterday and has two today. However, Hazlewood too is bowling well but not having the luck. Lyon is getting purchase but is not being able to hit the right lines and lengths. Starc hasn't had a lot to do as of now but he would surely have a part to play.
Australia's session in the end but it was hard work for them. England's overnight batters, Joe Denly and Jason Roy did well to negotiate the first hour of the session but Australia's bowling spearhead Pat Cummins returned for his second spell and castled Roy to end his resistance. Then came the massive moment. Stokes edged one behind and walked. We don't get to see that very often these days. He walked and with him, England's chances of staying in the game has taken a massive dive. However, Denly continues to battle out in the middle. He is nearing his half ton but he needs to make it big here and get able support from the batters coming in too.
Josh Hazlewood is back!
Jonny Bairstow is the next man in for England.
Ben Stokes is the new man in. He played an innings of his life in the last game coming in with his team being in similar situation. Can he bail them out, again.
Starc was ready to but last minute change of thought brings Cummins back into the attack. 6-2-13-2, his numbers so far.
DRINKS! Joe Denly and Jason Roy have negotiated the first hour of the first session well. They weathered the initial storm from Hazlewood and Cummins but they are looking solid now. Australia would want to break this stand as early as they could. They had a couple of chances but the rub of the green seems to be with England at the moment. Interesting hour of play awaits.
Goa Rocks - 'Me thinks that England are going for the win. Otherwise, why would they play shots like these?' @GR - Ummm... too early to say anything right now. One would feel that looking at the target is not the right way to approach the day. Go for it hour by hour and then session by session and then see post Tea where you stand. Regarding the strokes, it could be to try and put Nathan Lyon off. Remember, he has been struggling in the last 4 innings with the ball. So A. Play strokes to get Lyon off. B. By playing strokes, ensure that one does not get into a defensive mode as happened in the first Test.
Spin time as Nathan Lyon is on now. He hasn't had a great game and he would love to change that in this innings.
Mitchell Starc is on now! He seemed to find his rhythm towards the end of the second innings. If he can bowl well here, he could win Australia the game.
Well, Cummins to continue!
Mitchell Starc is warming up. Does that mean shorter spells for the bowlers?
Pat Cummins to bowl from the other end.
The Australian players are out in the middle. Joe Denly and Jason Roy are out as well for the hosts to battle out the day. Josh Hazlewood to start the proceedings for the visitors. Here we go...
The equation could not have been any easier to understand, England need to bat out the day if they want to keep their hopes alive of regaining the Ashes. Australia, need 8 wickets if before Stumps if they are to retain the Ashes. There is also a third scenario where the English can score the remaining 365 runs and take a 2-1 lead but that seems improbable. We can surely expect an excellent day of Test cricket. The first session is a very crucial one so stay tuned for it. Welcome to the coverage.
... Day 5, Session 1 ...
England have a lot to ponder once again! Just like most of the times in this Ashes, they have their backs to the wall. Another excellent effort will be needed from them if they are to save this Test. Save is what I write as chasing this down looks improbable. They were in a similar position in the first Test too where they had one day to bat out to save the game and they could not do so. They went down without a fight there, will the same thing happen? We will have to find out. Join us for Day 5 at 1100 local (1000 GMT). Till then, take care goodbye!
Michael Holding is down with Pat Cummins for an interview. He congratulates him for his bowling effort. Cummins says that the ball was coming out of the hand nicely. Further adds he tried to bowl nice and full. He praises Smith's effort and says that he was unbelievable in the middle. On asked about what made them throw the second new ball to him, he says that they wanted to bowl at the stumps and that was their plan. Holding asks Cummins about his workload as Cummins has played all the four Tests. Cummins replies that first he will give the final push for the win on Day 5 and hopes that he will be all right for the final Test as well.
It has been a picture-perfect day for them! They started off by taking the remaining five English wickets quickly and then courtesy of Smith and Wade, Australia scored another 186 runs to add to the 196-run lead they got. They were eager to get at least a wicket in the final passage of play and they have got two, that too of Root and Burns who were excellent in the first innings. The Aussies could not have asked for anything better.
What a day for Australia! Looking at how things stand at the moment, you would probably say the Aussies will retain the Ashes on Day 5! They have 98 overs on Sunday and all they need to bowl is 8 wicket-taking deliveries and you can bet that their bowlers can do so.
Starc into the attack. This could be the final over of the day.
Well, we have our answer! Nathan Lyon it is as he comes onto bowl now.
Ha ha ha.... Interesting. 8 minutes left. Will Paine go to Starc or Lyon? Starc is warming up but looks like Paine is more interested in Lyon's direction!
Ricky Ponting and Nasser Hussain dissect Australia's plan to Joe Root. Normally, Aussies target the opposition skipper and once again, they have been bang on. The key here is the length. Somewhere between full and good, just outside off. In this match, first innings, outside off, nipping back in, LBW. Second innings, slight nip away, hit the top of off. 3 ducks in the last 5 innings for the skipper.
Wonder what is the reason behind Joe Root coming in at number 3. With 20 minutes to the close, surely a night watchman should have been sent? Craig Overton is seen in his whites in the dressing room, padded up. Ponting asks Nasser Hussain on air whether there is any specific rule in the England dressing room regarding the time to send a night watchman. Nasser replies saying that he is unsure about THIS English team but in general, England sends their night watchman if the time left for the close is 25 minutes or less.
Josh Hazlewood to start the proceedings from the other end. He will be trying to pile on the pressure after the fantastic start provided by Cummins.
Jason Roy is the next man in who will be facing the hat-trick ball.
Skipper Joe Root arrives early in the middle.