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World Test Championship

Hazlewood bites back for Australia after Burns, Root resilience

Eng v Aus, 4th Test, day three, report

Australia solidified their position of strength on day three in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford, dislodging both Rory Burns and Joe Root after a stoic 141-run stand.


Burns (81) and Root (71) fought valiantly to prevail unscathed through a rain-affected morning and full afternoon session, before an inspired spell from Josh Hazlewood saw three wickets fall for 30 runs in the latter stages.

England began day three on 23/1, having lost Joe Denly deep into the evening session on day two, and it was initially up to Burns and nightwatchman Craig Overton to quell the threat of the Aussie pacers following a lengthy rain delay in the morning at Old Trafford. Overton fell to Hazlewood for 5, making way for a patient and effective partnership between Burns and his captain.

Burns and Root soaked up 318 balls for their stand of 141
Burns and Root soaked up 318 balls for their stand of 141

Both batsmen passed half-centuries as the Australian bowlers toiled away through the afternoon, Pat Cummins coming close on a few occasions in an enthralling battle with Root and Nathan Lyon getting some serious spin out of the foot-holes. 

The home supporters enjoyed the spectacle until tea, where England went into the interval still 372 runs behind, but buoyed by the aptitude of their batsmen on an increasingly bright day in Manchester.

What ensued following the break was all in Australia's favour, as Hazlewood entered a higher gear and began to make the ball move off the seam. Burns departed first, nicking off for 81 to Steve Smith who caught easily in the slip cordon, and Root falling just two overs later, pinned back onto his pads for a plumb lbw having been duped by a testing length.

Hazlewood finished day three with figures of 4/48
Hazlewood finished day three with figures of 4/48

Jason Roy then played positively in his accumulation of 22 runs before Hazlewood took his fourth wicket of the innings, seeing one nip in on a full length, sneaking between Roy's bat and pad and taking out middle stump.

England's Headingley hero Ben Stokes was still there at the close, when poor light brought an end to proceedings, and he was joined by Jonny Bairstow, who was only made to play two deliveries before the conclusion of the day's play. 

The hosts go into day four needing 98 runs to avoid the follow-on. Anything other than a draw or a home victory would see Australia retain the Ashes. 

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