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Ashes 4th Test drawn: Manchester rain washes away England and Stokes' dream

Australia retained the Ashes after rain prevented any play on the final day of the fourth test against England at Old Trafford on Sunday

England skipper Ben Stokes watches on as rain washes away the fifth day of the fourth Ashes Test at Manchester. Photo: England Cricket

England skipper Ben Stokes watches on as rain washes away the fifth day of the fourth Ashes Test at Manchester. Photo: England Cricket

BS Web Team Manchester (England)

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After the loss in the second Ashes Test at Lord's, England skipper Ben Stokes. had pronounced that there is no doubt why England cannot make a comeback and win the series 3-2. "All we are thinking about is winning the series 3-2," were Stokes' words after his magical 155 was not enough to win the game for the English side which fell short again having lost the first Test at Edgbaston. 

English Dreams washed away

Those dreams of Stokes and his English side were literally washed away by rain as Australia retained the Ashes after rain prevented any play on the final day of the fourth test against the hosts at Old Trafford on Sunday.

As the Manchester Test ends in a draw, Australia have an insurmountable 2-1 lead with one test left. England needed to win the five-match series to take the urn off holder Australia. England were favourites to win the fourth test with Australia 214-5 and 61 runs behind the hosts at the end of Day 4, where Only 30 overs were possible. 

 

Earlier, after winning the toss and deciding to field first, Chris Wokes led the English bowling attack to get eight Aussie wickets on the first day. England wrapped up the Aussie innings on the morning of the second for 317. 

The Crawley-Bairstow show

It was for the first time in the Ashes that Bazaball was at display to its full potential as all the English batters expressed themselves brilliantly. While Duckett was the only one to miss out, scoring in single digits, his opening partner Zak Crawley scored a brilliant 189 off just 182 balls to take England to 384 at the end of Day 2. 

On Day 3, Jonny Bairstow carried forward the baton from Crawley and scored a brilliant 99* hitting sixes on demand to finally take the English total to 592 in just 107.4 overs. Stokes' men led by 275 and had all the resources and reasons to attack with the ball in the remaining one-and-a-half sessions of play. 

Rain became the villain

Rain interruptions became frequent with the second session on Day 3 and as a result, England could bowl only 41 overs on the third day. Wood was fantastic even during the limited time in which he could bowl and England managed to eke out four Aussie wickets for 113. On the fourth day, only 30 overs were possible. Marnus Labushcagne, who hit his first century of this series was the only wicket to fall. He was caught behind off the bowling of Root. 

Crawley was named Player of the Match for his brilliant efforts with the bat. 
*With inputs from AP

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First Published: Jul 23 2023 | 11:17 PM IST

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