Josh Hazlewood halts England and put Australia in command in Fourth Ashes Test
Josh Hazlewood strengthened control of Australia in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford with a trio of wickets from England in the late day of Friday’s third day.
England was 200-5 when the bad light ended the game shortly before the scheduled close. Still, 297 behind Australia’s imposing 497-8 declared built over the double century star commander of star hitter Steve Smith.
Fast-bowling player Hazlewood had so far taken 4-48 in 20 overs, with England needing another 98 runs to avoid follow-up.
Ben Stokes, whose unbeaten century led England to an impressive victory of a wicket in the third Test at Headingley, was seven out and Jonny Bairstow two did not.
England was making steady progress during a 141 wicket partnership between Rory Burns (81) and Captain Joe Root (71). However, Hazlewood eliminated the two well-established hitters before playing for Jason Roy bowling.
Victory in this match would see Australian incumbents retain the ashes 2-1 up with one to play in a series of five tests.
The rain meant there was no game before lunch on Friday. England resumed 23-1, with left-handed starter Burns 15 not out and nightwatchman Craig Overton three was not after Cummins had fired the improvised Joe Denly on Thursday.
Overton had added only two to his score when he overtook a long, upward delivery of Hazlewood to the second slip, where Smith held a shot up to his waist.
Burns, who scored a century in the first Test Match, drove Mitchell Starc for four round-the-top ones.
Burns’ four-player boost against Starc, playing his first game of the series, and a targeted limit from the fast-winged bowler of the left arm led him to a hundred of 100 balls.
England was 125-2 in tea, with Burns 62 out, their third score of fifty or higher in this series, and Root undefeated at 47.
Root, who had broken the box for a Starc delivery and Cummins gave him a painful blow to the leg, should have come out on 54.
However, an advantage over Cummins was between Australian captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who should have gone for the catch, and David Warner on the first slip.
Tim Paine, whose poor use of the review system contributed to Australia’s defeat at Headingley, squandered another challenge after Root not given in response to a Cummins appeal.
Great joy provoked from a great crowd. They also took every opportunity to mock Nathan Lyon, who lost what would be a match-winning getaway at Headingley, whenever the spinner could not take the ball cleanly.
Burns, in light of what would have a second century after his 133rd in the first game of the series at Edgbaston, fell when it was undone by a thin Hazlewood ball that slid and took the edge, with Smith holding another capture of a large slip.
The burns batted for nearly five hours, facing 185 balls, including nine four.
Hazlewood, proving great control, then greet Root lbw with an excellent delivery of nip-back to finish a 168-ball inning, the captain didn’t even bother to review referee Kumar Dharmasena’s decision, so sure it was himself who fire him.
Roy, having fought as a test opener, had switched places with Denly, but England’s use of a night watchman meant he entered number five.
He came off the mark with a four from Hazlewood with coverage, but the pacemaker had the final say, cleaning the middle bun for 22 with an excellent delivery that moved late from the seam.