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21 Sep 2019 6:08
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Cricket

    The Ashes: Australia huge favourites to win fourth Test against England at Old Trafford in Manchester

    Australia sets England a daunting target of 383 to win the fourth Test, before the hosts lose both Rory Burns and Joe Root for ducks late on day four in Manchester.

    Some lethal bowling from Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc and a supremely entertaining Steve Smith innings has put Australia in with a massive chance of clinching a first Ashes series win in England since 2001.

    At stumps on day four of the fourth Test, England was reeling at 2-18 after Australia declared at 6-186 thanks to Smith's quickfire 82 in another peach of an innings this series, setting England a target of 383 to win.

    Cummins put Australia into outright favouritism when he removed both Rory Burns and Joe Root for ducks in consecutive deliveries in the first over of England's second innings.

    Chance of victory and an unassailable 2-1 series lead was set up when Starc (3-80) found his mojo again to help dismiss England in their first innings for 301 at the start of the day, 196 runs short of Australia's first innings total.

    Only Jos Buttler (41) offered real resistance for England's batsmen at the start of day four as Australia began a second innings after just a session at Old Trafford, only for familiar foibles to reappear.

    Again, Stuart Broad proved David Warner's nemesis as he dismissed the Australian opener LBW for a six-ball duck, continuing Warner's putrid form this Ashes series.

    Marcus Harris did not trouble the scorers too much either, also getting trapped LBW by Broad for 6, before Marnus Labuschagne was dismissed leg-before by Jofra Archer for 11.

    But Matthew Wade (34) joined Smith (82) in the middle to forge a 105-run partnership for the fifth wicket, with Smith in particular playing ridiculous shots at will, no matter where the ball was bowled or where Joe Root set his field.

    Smith hit 11 boundaries in his 92-ball knock before holing out to Ben Stokes in the deep off Jack Leach.

    Looking to get as close to a 400-run lead as possible, Australia's lower order went on the slog, with Tim Paine lashing out for 23 off 18 balls before declaring the innings with the evening light beginning to dim.

    England's second dig in the same day then got off to an atrocious start as both Burns and Root fell in the first over, meaning Australia needs eight wickets on the final day to win the fourth Test, and in the process retain the Ashes with an unassailable 2-1 series lead on enemy territory.

    Look back at how the action unfolded in our live blog.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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