England v Australia 4th Test report and scorecard: Tim Paine's side retain the Ashes with victory at Old Trafford

Australia celebrate
Australia celebrate

Australia have retained the Ashes with victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Scorecard

Australia 497-8/d (Smith 211, Labuschagne 67; Broad 3-97)

England 301 (Burns 81, Root 71; Hazlewood 4-57)

Australia 186-6/d (Smith 82; Archer 3-45)

England 18-2 (Denly 53; Cummins 4-43)

Australia won by 185 runs


Overview

Australia have retained the Ashes with a commanding 185-run victory over England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

England began the final day on 18-2 following Pat Cummins' double burst late on Saturday evening and he picked up both wickets to fall in Sunday's morning session, castling Jason Roy after the latter had battled his way to 31 before picking up the crucial scalp of Ben Stokes.

Roy and Joe Denly had given England hope of leaving Manchester with a draw, batting watchfully and with skill to negotiate the first hour of the morning before the outstanding Cummins opened the door for Australia.

Having made his second consecutive Ashes half-century, Denly was then undone by an extra bit of bounce from Nathan Lyon before Jonny Bairstow (25) was wrapped on the pads by Mitchell Starc to leave England tottering on 138-6.

Jos Buttler and Craig Overton ensured there would be no early finish, though, Buttler (34) passing 100 balls faced when he was outfoxed by a wonderful piece of bowling from Josh Hazlewood, shouldering arms to a hooping inswinger that rattled the top of off stump.

Overton continued to battle manfully, surviving a close lbw shout against Hazlewood, and although Jack Leach fought hard alongside him over an hour, Australian captain Tim Paine produced a masterstroke when calling upon the part-time leg spin of Marnus Labuschagne with only 16 overs of the match remaining.

It proved to be an inspired move, Labuschagne ripping one into the rough and forcing Leach to fend to short leg before Hazlewood (2-31) returned to trap Overton lbw and leave the Australian players celebrating in their huddle as DRS confirmed the dismissal and ended England's hopes of regaining the urn.

Report

England's hopes of reclaiming the Ashes finally disappeared after a brave 11th-hour resistance against Australia came up short on a nerve-racking final evening at Old Trafford.

Charged with the improbable prospect of nullifying the touring attack for 98 overs on the fifth day, the home side bristled with determination only for it to end in disappointment in front of a 23,500 sell-out in Manchester.

Australia finally dismissed them for 197 at 6.15pm, with a 185-run win giving them an unassailable 2-1 lead that means they will retain the urn regardless of events at The Oval next week.

That makes Joe Root the first England captain not to see off the old enemy on home soil since Nasser Hussain in 2001, and means outgoing head coach Trevor Bayliss will end his World Cup-winning reign on a sour note in the longer format.

Australia celebrated joyously on the outfield when Josh Hazlewood claimed the decisive lbw against Craig Overton, but they had been made to wait for their party by a gutsy batting performance.

Overton was one of three batsmen to face 100 or more deliveries on the day, joining Joe Denly (53) and Jos Buttler (34), but their collective efforts were not enough to conjure a sequel to Ben Stokes' miracle of Headingley last time out.

England looked down and out when their last specialist batsman, Buttler, departed at 4.50pm but Overton and Jack Leach, reprising his unlikely role from Leeds, delayed Australia for more than an hour as memories of past rearguards came vividly to life.

It was not be, Leach unpicked by part-time leg-spinner Marnus Labuschagne in a bold gambit and Overton trapped in front by Hazlewood in the 92nd over.

The hosts started the day on 18 for two, with nine players ready to take up the fight while Rory Burns and Root were reduced to watching briefs following their ducks on Saturday evening.

The pair had shared England's biggest stand of the series in the first innings but in their stead it fell to Jason Roy and Denly to set the tone.

Denly rode a couple of lbw shouts early on and Roy drew the first raucous cheer of the day when he turned the ball off his hip for four.

But, in reality, runs were a side issue. Denly might have needed a gentle reminder of that when he chased a wide one from Mitchell Starc and saw a wild edge soar over second slip, and again when he slog-swept Nathan Lyon just short of the man at deep mid-wicket.

He learned those lessons well, topping up his score as he went, and by the time Roy stroked the ball calmly to the extra-cover boundary an hour had passed.

Another 20 minutes ticked by before Australia finally made their first breakthrough, Pat Cummins calling on his world number one credentials with one that snaked between Roy's bat and pad to smash the stumps.

As he departed, for a battling 31, Stokes took his place to a predictable hero's welcome. The all-rounder was all out of magic this time, lingering just 17 balls before Cummins slanted one across, nipped it back in and grazed the inside edge.

Umpire Marais Erasmus was unsure but Stokes walked and at lunch the score was 87 for four, with England's patron saint of lost causes back in the pavilion for just one.

Denly restarted on 48 and, though the team total was an irrelevance, a half-century was an important personal milestone. A punch-down the ground off Cummins got him there, for the third time in seven Tests, but his race was almost run.

Lyon had bowled 47 wicketless overs in the match when he got one to turn and bounce, forcing Denly back and nudging the glove on its way to short-leg. Jonny Bairstow was next up, joining Buttler for little more than an hour before Starc returned after a restorative drinks break. His first ball was fast, angling in from round the wicket and destined for Bairstow's leg stump.

Number eight Overton proved a doughty foil for Buttler but, when Australia persuaded the umpires to replace a mis-shapen ball, its replacement started swinging prodigiously.

The difficulty level ramped up a notch and Buttler eventually succumbed, offering no stroke as Hazlewood got one to hoop through the air and peg back off stump.

Jofra Archer came and went, lbw to a Lyon shooter, bringing Leach to the crease with almost 30 overs left. It looked to be over but there was still time for drama as the Somerset duo bravely fended their way through as the ball zipped intermittently past their edges or into their bodies.

Time was ticking when, after seeing his senior men come up short, Tim Paine brought on Labuschagne with just 16 overs remaining - a hunch, a gamble or both. Either way, it struck gold as his fifth delivery turned and bounced at Leach, who fended to Matthew Wade at short leg.

It had taken 66 minutes and 51 balls, but Leach was finally gone. Ten balls later, the matter was settled, Hazlewood getting the better of Overton after just under three hours and 21 runs.

England's hopes of getting their hands on the urn had evaporated but not without a scrap worthy of the contest, leaving pride and a drawn series still to play for in south London.

Reaction

Joe Root at the presentation: "I thought we showed great character today, great fight, and I couldn't be more proud of the effort we put in today. A really resilient performance but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough.

"It's bitterly disappointing but we've got to make sure we pick ourselves up and turn up for what is still quite a big game for us at The Oval. We want to level the series and there's a Test Championship to play for."

"It's bitterly disappointing but we've got to make sure we pick ourselves up and turn up for what is still quite a big game for us at The Oval. We want to level the series and there's a Test Championship to play for."

Tim Paine: "I'm pretty pumped. This team has been through a lot in the last 12 to 18 months, some individuals more than others, but the character we've shown to bounce back as a group from where we've come from, and even from Headingley, shows a lot about the quality of people and cricketers in our side.

"It's been an unbelievable series. It's been intense, every game has gone down to the wire and I was really proud of the way our bowlers kept sticking at it today and in the series as a whole.

"I was trying to stay calm. It's not always that easy when you're playing for something that means so much to everyone and everyone is so invested in."

Man of the Match Steve Smith: "I didn't enjoy watching last week, but what a feeling today. Been here in '13 and '15 and we weren't able to get it done so it's a special feeling and I'm really proud to be part of this group of boys.

"Incredibly pleasing to get rewards for the hard work. It's been a good series, I've really enjoyed my time in the middle. I love batting, don't really like watching cricket.

"[Tim] has done a terrific job, he's got a group together doing a terrific job. Bowling Marnus showed a bit of courage, Tim's been exceptional."

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