x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Day 4 of the third Ashes Test: How sessions unfolded at Old Trafford

Stuart Broad and Matt Prior scored the runs for England to avoid the follow on, but Michael Clarke was left fuming after umpires called an end to proceedings early for bad light.

Stuart Broad, centre, contributed with bat and ball on the fourth day of the Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Stuart Broad, centre, contributed with bat and ball on the fourth day of the Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

Morning session

Australia 24 for one England's first job in the morning had been to avoid the follow on, and it was achieved, thanks to a flurry of boundaries from Stuart Broad, below, and Matt Prior that saw England past the score of 328 they needed. But their hopes of batting long into the afternoon were curtailed by some dogged bowling from Peter Siddle, who dismissed Prior and Graeme Swann as England were all out for 368 – a deficit of 159. Australia promoted David Warner up the order in the search of quick runs. England's bowlers were given a reward before lunch as Chris Rogers was caught behind by Prior off Broad as Australia reached lunch 183 ahead.

Afternoon session

Australia 137 for five In a must-win scenario for the Australians it was not surprising their batsmen threw caution to the wind in their attempt to get to captain Michael Clarke's declaration target as quick as possible. Warner struck a quick-fire 41, while Steve Smith struck two sixes before he was run out following a misunderstanding with Clarke. Australia were 296 ahead at tea, not normally a big enough lead, but under the circumstances, a declaration seemed to be in the offing.

Evening session

Australia 172 for seven Surprisingly, Clarke chose for his team to bat on. He was still there unbeaten on 30 with the lead up to a sizeable 331 runs when he was left shocked by the umpires' decision to take the teams off for bad light. This move infuriated Clarke, ending his hopes of getting a chance to bowl at England in the evening and probably, in hindsight, regretting not backing his bowling attack to stop England chasing down a smaller than usual target by declaring at tea.

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