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Snapshot of the fourth Ashes Test


Mitch Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne's partnership helped Australia hold on for a draw in the rain-affected fourth Ashes test at Old Trafford. Picture: Rui Vieira.

ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA, Fourth Ashes Test, Old Trafford.


SCORE: Australia (317 and 5-214) drew with England (592).


SUMMARY: Such is the nature of cricket that the only lopsided match of this series so far is the only one to end in a draw. And the team that was outplayed at Old Trafford is the one that retains the Ashes as a result of the draw. England were the dominant team in this fourth Test, bowling Australia out for 317 and hitting 592 in reply. They then had Australia in trouble at 4-113 at stumps on day three, but from there only 30 more overs were played in the match with Saturday shortened and Sunday washed out. England may regret opting not to declare earlier in their first innings and push for a win on day three. They will also regret not making inroads in the two hours of bowling on day four, as Mitch Marsh and Marnus Labuschagne held the fort for Australia. Regardless of all that, Australia have retained the Ashes as current holders of the urn, with a 2-1 series lead and one Test to play.


PLAYER OF THE MOMENT: Mitch Marsh. He only scored an unbeaten 31 for Australia on a rain-affected day four, but his effort to bat through 30 overs with Marnus Labuschagne ultimately ensured the match was a draw. Had Marsh been dismissed early, Australia could have lost the last six wickets quickly and the rain-soaked day five would have been completely irrelevant.


KEY MOMENT: For a brief moment on Sunday it appeared as if play would go ahead when the umpires scheduled a 1pm restart. But within minutes of that announcement, the rain returned and never left OId Trafford. And with that, Australia had retained the Ashes.

 

STAT OF THE DAY: Australia's four-series hold of the Ashes is the second longest of any team since the start of the 1970s. Only Australia's own stranglehold over the urn between 1989 and 2002-03 has been longer in the past 50 years.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: "In some regards, whatever happened today wouldn't really change how we look at next week. We want to win it to make sure we win it outright." - Pat Cummins, who has eyes only on winning the Ashes series rather than celebrating retaining the urn after the draw at Old Trafford.

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