The start of play is delayed due to rain on the crucial fifth day of the fourth Test between England and Australia and Ben Stokes’ side are fighting against time to prevent the Australians from retaining the Ashes
- The final day of the fourth test between England and Australia is well prepared
- England need to win at Old Trafford to prevent Australia from keeping the Ashes
- After heavy rain and bad weather forecast, they fight against the weather
The start of play was further delayed on day five of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford due to rain, dealing a serious blow to England’s hopes of winning the Ashes back.
A 12:15 inspection had given them the biggest boost so far, as the game was due to start as early as 1:00 p.m.
But shortly afterwards the sky opened up and the start time was postponed again.
Down 2-1 in the series, Ben Stokes’ side need to win both that game and next week’s final Test at the Oval or Australia retain the ballot box.
The Australians went 214-5 overnight, still 61 runs behind, after another wet day on Saturday.
The start of play on day five of the fourth Ashes test has been delayed due to rain
Due to heavy rain overnight it was not possible to start the game at the scheduled start time of 11am
Only 30 overs were possible on the fourth day as they went from 113-4 to 101 runs, losing just one wicket which fell to Joe Root, frustrating England.
The hosts are in a race against time on Sunday as it rains heavily during the night and morning with more rain forecasts throughout the day meaning we are unlikely to see much play.
An inspection was scheduled for 11am, provided there was no further rain, as a wet outfield was the biggest concern after heavy overnight rain at Old Trafford.
But shortly before the planned inspection, it started to rain again, which further delayed the game.
Should Australia walk away with a draw it would be a blow for Stokes and company after a superb performance in Manchester.
After beating Australia by 317 bowling shots, England went to 592 overall thanks to a sensational 189 for Zak Crawley and fifties for Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes.
They have put up a fierce resistance in Australia’s second inning so far but are still 61 runs behind England with just five wickets left.
Saturday’s game didn’t start until 2:45pm and England were thwarted by Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh.
Labuschagne – who has struggled so far in the series – produced an excellent hundred, while Marsh was more circumspect than usual and made it to 31 by the end of the game without retiring.
An inspection was scheduled for 11 a.m., but then it started to rain again, which further delayed the game
Ben Stokes’ side are in a race against time to win and prevent Australia from retaining the Ashes
England were also hampered by poor light, which meant at one point umpires told Stokes he needed to undress his sailors and could only throw spinners.
However, Root eventually made the crucial breakthrough when he sent Labuschagne off with a ricocheting shot and Bairstow made a good catch on the second try.
Should Australia walk away with a tie, provided they possess the ashes, they would keep the urn.
Still, Pat Cummins will be desperate to win the series at the Oval next week as Australia have not won in England since 2001.