Smith, Cummins hand Australia 185-run victory over England

Pace bowlers rattled English batting lineup for the second time in the match as Australia beat the home side by 185 runs in the fourth Test of the five-match series at Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester.

Since the start of the match, nothing went right for Joe Root’s men, who lost the toss on a placid pitch and had to bowl first in perfect batting condition. England made early inroads with the new-ball as Marcus Harris and David Warner perished for low scores to see Australia reduced to 28 for 2 after 7 overs.

Australian captain, who missed the previous match, made full use of the good batting conditions, as he along with Marnus Labuschagne scored 116 runs for the third wicket partnership, as hosts piled on the runs and declared at 497 for 8 in their first innings. Steven Smith scored an astonishing 211 off 319 balls, where he smashed 24 boundaries, whereas Labuschangne scored an excellent 67 off 128 balls, where he smashed ten boundaries. Captain Tim Paine and tail-ender Mitchell Starc scored half-centuries to see Australia post a competitive score on the board.

For England, Pace bowler Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets to his name.

Steven Smith and Pat Cummins produced splendid performances to see Australia beat England and retain the Ashes series in the fourth  match at Manchester.

In reply, the visitors were trouble early in the innings as Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood picked up wickets with the new-ball. But Rory Burns and Joe Root led the fightback and put on a 141-run partnership. Opener Rory Burns finished the innings as the highest scorer with 81 off 185 balls, whereas Root scored 71 off 168 balls with the help of 10 boundaries. Once Burns and Root were dismissed, Australia ran through home side’s batting lineup as they were bowled out for 301 runs in 107 overs.

Australia Captain Tim Paine decided to bat again and declared at 186 for 6 in their second innings, setting a mammoth target of 382 for England to win the match.Smith was once again the highest scorer for the visitors, as he smashed brilliant 82 off 92 with the help of eleven fours.

For England, the new-ball pair of Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer bowled exceedingly well and picked up five wickets between them.

In chase of such a huge target on deteriorating conditions, England got off to a worse possible start as Rory Burns and Joe Root perished for ducks. Joe Denly and Jason Roy fought hard and added 66 runs for the third wicket. Roy once again failed to capitalize on his good start and perished after scoring 31 off 67 balls with the help of four boundaries. Joe Denly could not last longer as Nathan Lyon dismissed him to see England slump to 93 for 5 after 39.2 overs.

Opener Joe Denly, who scored a hard fought 54 off 188 balls, where he struck four boundaries as well.On the last morning, Australia bowlers produced excellent spells right from the word go and picked up wickets at regular intervals.Joe Root’s men were soon dismissed for 197 runs in 91.3 to see Australia register a thumping win and take 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series.

For his outstanding batting performance for Australia, Steven Smith was awarded the man of the match award.

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