Australia triumphed over England in the chaotic fourth Test held at Old Trafford, Manchester. The team won by considerable 185 runs when the hosts were out at 197 as they struggled to chase the 383-target during the last innings.
Though the visitors won, it was not an easy victory against England’s fierce resistance throughout the game.
Taking over from the overnight score, England’s batsmen stayed on edge to meet the bowling deliveries of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. The duo charged impeccable lengths and lines for a disarming challenge to the opponents.
With the unsuspecting batsmen at the pitch, Cummins charged the ball near the outside edge several times before striking Jason Roy’s wicket at 31 with a charming nip-backer. Australia’s speedster went on to eliminate Ben Stokes early on; England’s last Test hero directed his strike right into the keeper’s hands.
Joe Denly was armed for Test combat, with his third half-century in the bag. The right-handed batsman, failing with the regulation off-break, allowed Australia’s Nathan Lyon to short-leg at 53. Denly had undoubtedly contributed well to the team with his 66-run partnership alongside Roy.
Jos Buttler, the birthday boy, next to Jonny Bairstow duelled with Australia’s lethal trio. Starc dismissed Bairstow at 31 in front of the wicket. The hosts, standing at 166 runs for 6, took a tea break as they anticipated the next move to surpass the massive 217 climb to win during the remaining 36 overs.
The overzealous and hopeful Old Trafford crowd wished for a miracle when Craig Overton batted next. Overton offered an unrelenting challenge that tested the Australian team’s patience. Buttler geared up to face Hazlewood’s inswinger, trying and failing miserably.
Lyon continued to bowl with an ever-increasing control. He dismissed Jofra Archer who received the delivery straight at the pads.
Overton and Jack Leach collaborated their ninth-wicket partnership, only to have it cut short at the expertise of Marnus Labuschagne, the leg-spinner.
Trusted by Tim Paine, the captain, to take over the team’s bowling, he blazed a terrific breakthrough by charging the ball to scrape against Leach’s glove as it dove right into Matthew Wade’s hands in the short-leg side.
Hazlewood tied up all the loose ends for the team as he trapped Overton in front for an instant dismissal, steering the Australian team towards a resounding victory and making sure that Australia managed to retain the Ashes this time.