Steven Smith stands tall again
In-form Aussie star hits 82 before England lose two wickets in 383-run chase
England once again had no answer for a rampaging Steven Smith as Australia set a daunting target of 383 runs for England to win the fourth Test here at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Smith's quickfire 92-ball 82 revived Australia from a precarious position of 44-4 in the second innings. Australia declared their innings at 186-6 with skipper Tim Paine unbeaten on 23 and Mitchell Starc on three.
At the time of going to press, England were tottering at 0 for two with Pat Cummins claiming Rory Burns and skipper Joe Root.
Earlier, England were bowled out for 301 with Josh Hazlewood claiming four wickets. Starc and Cummins took three wickets apiece.
Smith and Matthew Wade (34) added 105 runs for the fifth wicket to bring the visitors back in the game after Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer had revived England's flagging hopes with early wickets on Saturday.
The sixth ball of Australia's second innings saw left-handed opener David Warner out for his third straight Test duck when Broad, the successful bowler on each occasion, had him lbw.
It was the sixth time Warner, like Smith appearing in his first Test series since completing a 12-month ball-tampering ban, had fallen to Broad this Ashes.
The now familiar mixture of cheers and jeers greeted Warner's exit, with the rueful batsman not even bothering with a review. Fellow left-handed opener Marcus Harris (six) was also lbw to Broad, even though he decided to challenge Marais Erasmus' decision.
World Cup-winner Archer, in only his third Test, had been down on pace during Australia's first innings total of 497-8 declared.
But the express quick was back over the 90 mph mark on Saturday and it made a huge difference to his fortunes.
Marnus Labuschagne failed to reach fifty for the first time in four Test innings since coming in as a substitute for Smith at Lord's when he was bowled lbw for 11 by Archer. Labuschagne appeared to take exception to being given a 'send-off' by Broad as he left the field. Travis Head then exchanged words with Archer after being hit by a rising delivery on the left bicep.
The next delivery saw Head drive Archer through the covers for four, but the ball afterwards saw Head clean bowled middle stump for 12 by a 91.7 mph Archer delivery that beat his forward defensive stroke.
Smith's super run
144 & 142: 1st Test at Edgbaston
92: 2nd Test at Lord's
211 & 82: 4th Test at Manchester
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England v Australia, Day 5: Sony Six, 15:30
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