The fourth LV= Insurance Ashes Test is underway at Emirates Old Trafford (Day three out of five). Australia finished with 317 (Labuschagne 51, Marsh 51; Woakes 5-62) & 113-4 (Labuschagne 44*; Wood 3-17), while England managed a significant 592 (Crawley 189, Bairstow 99; Hazlewood 5-126). Australia remains 162 runs behind.
Mark Wood was pivotal in England’s fight against Australia and the Manchester weather on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford. With his aggressive fast bowling, Wood bagged 3-17, bringing Australia to 113-4, trailing by a massive 162 runs.
England, under normal conditions, would be favorites. However, the weekend forecast predicts substantial rain, especially on the fourth day, Saturday.
England’s robust position comes from a huge first-inning score of 592, the highest in a home Ashes Test since 1985, leading by 275 runs. Notable contributions included Harry Brook with 61 and Ben Stokes with 51. Still, the star of the show was Jonny Bairstow, whose thrilling 99 not out drew crowds.
Bairstow, along with James Anderson, added a boisterous 66 in the final wicket partnership. Bairstow was denied a well-deserved century when Anderson was declared lbw by Cameron Green.
With a 2-1 lead in the series and knowing a draw is sufficient to retain the Ashes, Australia is playing for time and hoping for rain. They lost openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner to Wood and Chris Woakes, respectively.
The determined duo, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, managed to calm the crowd before Wood had Smith caught, and bounced out Travis Head. Labuschagne remains on 44 not out, a substantial hurdle, as the weather in England’s efforts to mount an unprecedented comeback from 2-0 down in an Ashes series.
Usually, England would be well on their way to equalizing the series. Still, they may have a time crunch to claim their first Ashes Test win on this ground since 1981. The weather forecast suggests a washout on Saturday and a shortened game on Sunday.
This scenario undoubtedly impacted England’s batting strategy on Friday. Their aim was to score as much as possible in the first innings, believing it to be the quickest route to victory and easier than chasing in the second innings.
Whether England prolonged their batting will be determined in the next two days. Their innings ended around 15:00 BST, much later than anticipated.
Australia seems to be disoriented by England’s aggressive approach. England, now 2-1 down due to early mistakes, have shown exceptional performance at Old Trafford to create a chance for victory.
Despite the impending weather, England can draw inspiration from a pitch that increasingly showcases uneven bounce. Australia had moments of stability but Wood and Woakes’ entry since the third Test has been a game-changer.
Bairstow’s performance stood out, providing England with the necessary momentum on Friday morning. Although they only added 122 runs in the morning session, Bairstow’s spirited performance kept the Australians on their toes.
Bairstow missed his century by just one run, a feat not seen in English Test cricket since Alex Tudor 24 years ago. With the weather and a strong Australian side to deal with, the following days will be crucial for England.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes 2023
What is the state of the game after the third day of the fourth LV= Insurance Ashes Test 2023 at Emirates Old Trafford?
After the third day, Australia completed their innings at 317 and 113-4, while England scored a significant 592 runs. Australia remains 162 runs behind.
Who were the notable players for England on the third day?
Mark Wood, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow were notable performers. Wood took three important wickets, Brook and Stokes contributed with half-centuries, and Bairstow scored an impressive 99 not out.
What is the weather forecast and how might it affect the match?
Heavy rain is forecasted for the weekend, especially on the fourth day, Saturday. This could disrupt the game and possibly prevent England from securing a victory, despite their advantageous position.
What record did England break during this Test?
England scored 592 in their first innings, which is their highest total in a home Ashes Test since 1985.
Why did Bairstow miss out on a century?
Bairstow was denied a well-deserved century when his last-wicket partner, James Anderson, was declared lbw by Cameron Green, leaving Bairstow stranded on 99.
How did Wood and Woakes impact the game?
Wood and Woakes significantly impacted the match. Wood took three important wickets, putting Australia on the back foot. Woakes also contributed with a wicket and created uncertainty in the Australian batting line-up.
What is the significance of this match in the Ashes 2023 series?
With Australia leading the series 2-1, this match is crucial. A win for England could equalize the series, while Australia can retain the Ashes with a draw. The weather and the remaining days’ play will decide the outcome.