Manchester rain wipes out final day as Australia retain Ashes
July 24, 2023
The Ashes urn will remain in Australia after poor weather hampered much of Day 4 and completely wiped out Day 5 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford with England firmly in the driver’s seat.
With the match drawn, Australia’s 2-1 series lead remained intact with their five-plus-year hold of the urn poised to be extended.
Zak Crawley earnt Player of the Match honours for his match-defining 189 off 182 balls in the first innings.
After being sent in, Australia put up a first-innings total of just 317 with Marnus Labuschagne (51), Steve Smith (41), Travis Head (48) and Mitchell Marsh (51) all being dismissed just shy of or just after reaching their half centuries.
Chris Woakes took 5-for-62 whilst Stuart Broad joined teammate Jimmy Anderson as the only quicks ever to reach 600 career Test wickets.
England exploded with a booming 592 at 5.49 runs per over led by Crawley’s massive 189 and flanked by the likes of Jonny Bairstow (99*), Joe Root (84), and Harry Brook (61).
The Australian bowlers toiled long and hard to little avail despite Josh Hazlewood’s 5-for-126.
Australia’s second innings got off to a poor start with the side slumping to 4-for-108 after Head’s (1) dismissal.
Labuschagne and Marsh steadied things with the former reaching the 11th Test century of his career before losing his wicket late on Day 4 as Australia finished 5-for-214.
Trailing by 61 with just five wickets in hand, Australia were hanging on by the skin of their teeth with the Manchester weather proving crucial.
The scene of the series shifts to The Oval for the fifth and final Test on Thursday with Australia still looking to win an Ashes series on England soil for the first time in over a decade and England aiming to draw the series.