Day three of the fourth Test at Old Trafford, England ended 5-200 and 297 runs behind Australia first inning totals. Australian Seamer Josh Hazlewood delivered a forceful final blow to keep England at a distance.
English opener Rory Burns and Captain Joe Root batted together for more than four hours after the first session had ended. The pair had a brave defense, and Australian felt like they would quickly draw. Hazlewood made three quick wickets in a bad light and that meant they had won day three. Australian still has a golden chance of claiming the Test.
The day had started with Craig Overton and Rory Burns at English Crease. Overton left as Hazlewood had him held by Smith who seemed to stand the Test. At the time, he made his 100th catch in Test cricket.
Later, Root and Burns combined their effort at Old Trafford wicket and offered nothing to the visiting bowlers. For 53 overs, they guarded with great surety and picked up the bad balls delivered to them. They added 141 for the third wicket, and when the Australian began to get frustrated, Josh Hazlewood had something to give them hope.
Jason Roy combination with Ben Stokes came to the wicket, against Nathan Lyon and Hazlewood. This combination caused immediately issues.
Roy specifically looked shaky while facing the Australian. They played quickly and lost several occasions in his initial 10 deliveries.
Roy then moved to 22 with a few quick boundaries, but Hazlewood again played destroyer. He cast the English number four with another ball that jagged back through Roy’s defenses and knocked at the middle stump out of the ground.
At that moment, the hosts had lost 3-30, and they slipped from a position of safety. They were now almost edged once more to 5-196.
But, from there on, the light went dim, then umpires Marais Erasmus, and Kumar Dharamasena told Australian captain Tim Paine that the match would end at that moment.
So, an enthralling day three when all was said and done. After the first session ended, Rory Burns and Joe Root wanted to bat the Test into draw. But Josh Hazlewood swung the victory back to Australia.
With two days to play, England still has 97 runs to target and with the final day approaching, things may change, but the Australian seems keen to retain the Ashes.