Rain delayed the beginning of day three and left Australia waiting in their own efforts to push an Ashes-retaining success.
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England – that has to avoid defeat so as to maintain their hopes of regaining the urn living – shut day on 23-1, a mammoth 474 runs behind Australia’s Steve Smith-inspired 497-8 announced.
Joe Denly (4), having swapped places in the order with Jason Roy, has been dismissed using a super short-leg grab from Matthew Wade away Pat Cummins, leaving Rory Burns (15no) and nightwatchman Craig Overton (3no) at the crease following the first 10 overs of both England’s innings.
The forecast is more intelligent for Friday afternoon and the weekend, meaning Australia will improve their odds of maintaining their grip on the Ashes having been scuppered by Ben Stokes’s heroics in Headingley in the third Test as England chased down 359 to level the series at 1-1.
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has backed his side to dig in with the piano, just as they did in Leeds time around having been steamrolled for 67 in their first innings.
“There is three innings nevertheless to move at the match, three times of cricket abandoned,” stated the 29-year-old, who’s due to bat at Number 6.
“If we could go out and apply ourselves, set out our stall to bat for a long period of time just like we did at Headingley, there is no reason why [we all can’t get back into the Exam ].”
Smith Ashes century – and next bunch in four innings in the show – underpinned the complete, the notching 211 in his first Test knock of Australia since returning from concussion.
Smith has notched 589 runs in the show, in an average of 147.25 and using a lowest score 92, with his entire batting average in Test cricket currently standing at 64.64 following his 26th trillion at the format.
However, the batsman says that he was assisted in his most recent score by England frequently filming brief.
“I’ve faced a great deal of short-pitched bowling in my life and haven’t had a lot of issues with it,” explained Smith, who suffered his concussion when he had been struck on the neck with a Jofra Archer bouncer at the next Test at Lord’s.
“I mentioned it before the game – bowling there means that they can’t hit me about the pad or nick off me. Their ball softens up as well.
“It played with our hands, I think, and enabled the ball to receive soft fairly fast and for us to score enormous first-innings runs.”
Watch every day three of the fourth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports The Ashes. You could even follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips onto our rolling site on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports program.