- Joe Root’s off-breaks got Labuschagne out for 111 runs.
- Rain returned at tea break, Australia 214-5, 61 runs from avoiding follow-on.
- England’s victory chances slim with more bad weather forecast.
England managed to take a crucial wicket of Marnus Labuschagne despite battling against rainy conditions on the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford. The rain had threatened to wash out the day entirely, but a brief period of dry weather allowed for 30 overs of play to take place from 14:45 BST.
England’s bowlers faced frustration for a considerable period as Labuschagne, who was in great form, reached his second overseas Test century and formed a stubborn partnership of 103 runs with Mitchell Marsh.
As the light began to fade, England had to turn to spin bowling, and surprisingly, it was Joe Root’s off-breaks that provided a much-needed breakthrough. Root managed to dismiss Labuschagne, caught behind by Jonny Bairstow after some juggling, for an impressive 111 runs. He also came close to dismissing Marsh, who was almost caught at short leg.
Unfortunately, the rain returned at the scheduled tea break at 17:00, bringing an end to any further play for the day. Australia’s score stood at 214-5, still 61 runs away from avoiding the follow-on. At that point, Marsh was on 31 runs, while Cameron Green had reached three.
Looking ahead, England’s chances of victory in the Test now appear slim, especially with more bad weather forecast for the final day. Their only hope is to secure enough playing time to push for a win and level the series at 2-2, setting up a thrilling decider in the fifth Test at The Oval. On the other hand, a draw in this match would be sufficient for Australia to retain the Ashes.
In summary, England managed to take a crucial wicket amidst rain-interrupted play, and while their chances of victory are slim, they are still holding on to the hope of leveling the series. Meanwhile, Australia’s priority is to avoid a loss, as a draw would be enough for them to retain the Ashes.