Unassailable lead for Aussies as the Ashes is very nearly taken

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Despite a tooth-and-nail resilience and fight from the English tail-enders, the Aussies put forth some of their best equations to bring the Ashes urn back to the island nation, winning the 4th test at Old Trafford, England by 185 runs. This gives them an unassailable 2-1 lead in the 5-match series, which would mean that the hosts England only have a chance of sharing the splits in the tournament if they put their best foot forward.

 

Having lost half of their team in under 93 runs, it was virtually all over for England who had a mountain to climb, for the chase. But Jos Buttler had other plans. He tried his utmost to defy the Aussies pace battery with a classic 34 (111) and in the process stitched up a 14 over, 45 run partnership with Jonathan Bairstow. He extended it further with Craig Overton when the duo raked in 34 runs on the scoreboard facing 127 balls.

 

The introduction of Starc back into the attack, however, ended Buttler’s stay in the crisis, who was shortly joined by Jofra Archer in the pavilion. However, Craig Overton, 21 (105) and Jack Leach 12 (51) led one final act of resistance before part-time leggie Marnus Labuschagne picked up the wicket of Jack Leach.

 

England ended their final fight ticking 197 runs on the scoreboard after 91.3 overs of defiance. Tim Paine’s frequent bowling changes worked to a great measure, as part-timers Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne were experimented to complement Nathan Lyon, who wasn’t looking at his best, despite clipping the wicket of Jofra Archer. Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with 4/43, with neat reinforcements and support from the others.

 

Earlier Australia had declared their second innings at 186/6 in 42.5 overs on the back of a “Smithsonian-special” from Steve Smith 82 (92), after amassing a whopping 196 runs lead in the first innings. Steve Smith was adjudged the man of the match for his innings’ of 211 (319) in the first and 82 (92) in the second innings. The final test is scheduled to commence from the 12th of September at the Oval.

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