Australia retain Ashes with 4th Test draw after rain plays spoilsport on final day at Manchester

By India Today Sports Desk: The fourth Test match of the Ashes 2023 series between England and Australia, held at Emirates Old Trafford, ended in a draw due to persistent rain on the final day. The result meant that Australia retained the Ashes, having come into this game with a 2-1 lead. This is the third straight time that Australia will be retaining the Ashes having never lost a series since 2015. Australia have dominated the proceedings since their 2017/18 Ashes victory and only drew the series once in 2019 in England.

Ashes, 4th Test: Final Day Live

England on the other hand would feel hard done by the draw given they only needed 5 wickets in the final day to win the Test match and score whatever runs Australia could possibly have taken the lead of. Australia were on the backfoot and were vocal about hoping for rain given their disadvantageous position ahead of Day 5 of the Test match.

England who have grown into the series as the day’s progressed had started the match on a high note, bowling out Australia for a modest total of 317 runs in just over a day’s play.

In response, England put up a mammoth total of 592 runs in their first innings. Zak Crawley was the star of the show, scoring a magnificent 189. His innings was marked by aggressive stroke play, what has been touted as Bazball since the appointment of Brendon McCullum as the Test head coach in 2022. He was well supported by the rest of the English batting line-up – Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Joe Root who made valuable contributions to help England amass such a huge total. Jonny Bairstow starred on Day 3 of the Test match, hitting a rapid 99* silencing his critics over his poor form in the series.

As England took to the field for their second innings, they were buoyed by their commanding position in the match. The bowlers started off brilliantly, taking four early Australian wickets and putting the visitors on the back foot. However, Marnus Labuschagne stood tall amidst the ruins, scoring a gritty century to keep Australia in the game. His innings was marked by patience and resilience, as he weathered the English bowling attack and kept the scoreboard ticking.

However, the final day of the match was marred by incessant rain, which washed out any chances of a result. England, needing five wickets to win, were left frustrated as the weather played spoilsport. Despite the draw, there were several positives for England to take from the match, including their dominant batting performance and the effectiveness of their bowlers.

Australia, on the other hand, would be relieved to have escaped with a draw, thanks largely to Labuschagne’s century. They would also be pleased to have retained the Ashes, despite the challenging conditions and a spirited performance from England.

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