Australia have retained the Ashes as they have a 2-1 series lead with one Test remaining after a 185-run win at Old Trafford. Former Australia skipper Steve Smith set the tone with a double century in the first innings as they built up a 197-run lead.
The tourists then declared on 186-6 to set England an insurmountable 383 to win, and their second innings got off to a disastrous start as opener Rory Burns was dismissed for a duck and then captain Joe Root followed suit in the very next ball.
England began the final day on 18-2 but Jason Roy and Joe Denly provided some resistance as they put on a partnership of 66 before the former was dismissed for 33. Ben Stokes, who guided England to victory at Headingley, was unable to replicate his third-Test heroics and scored just one run before he was caught behind by Tim Paine off Pat Cummins.
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Jonny Bairstow (25), Jos Buttler (34) and Craig Overton (21) batted bravely were unable to stick around for long enough to suggest England would be able to hold on for a draw and the hosts were eventually dismissed for 197. Smith told Sky Sports: “It feels amazing to know the urn is coming home. I’ve been here a few times when things haven’t gone our way.
This was always one to tick off my bucket list. It’s extremely satisfying. “We thought we would get our eight chances. I thought Overton was exceptional but fortunately the boys got the job done. “I am incredibly proud of how I have performed and what I have helped the team achieve.” England can still salvage some pride and secure a series draw, with the fifth Test set to begin at the Oval on September 12.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.