Stokes: “Weather forecast could dictate how we play in 4th Ashes Test”
England are building a first-innings lead on day two of the fourth men’s Ashes Test after Zak Crawley’s explosive knock helped eclipse Australia’s score of 317 all out.
Earlier, Chris Woakes sealed a maiden Ashes five-fer. James Anderson removed Pat Cummins with the first ball of the day at Old Trafford as the Australia captain tamely chipped to cover, and they were eventually all out for 317 as Hazlewood fenced to second slip, with Ben Duckett taking a head-high catch as Woakes finished with figures of five for 62.
Mitchell Starc picked off England opener Duckett for only one run, but Crawley then set about hitting all corners of the ground, first alongside Moeen Ali who scored 54, and then with Joe Root who also racked up a quick half-century to take the game away from Australia.
Follow all the live action from Old Trafford as England face Australia:
England 361/4 (64.2), Harry Brook 7, Ben Stokes 8, Cameron Green 1-40 (9.2) (lead by 44)
Mitchell Starc hits the deck and stays down! Starc had been stretching his hamstring out, ready for a return despite that existing ailment, but he appears to have done himself some mischief here, landing awkwardly on his left arm to jolt his shoulder after diving to cut off a Harry Brook drive.
Out comes the Australia physio to test his range of movement. And Starc is wandering off. That doesn’t look particularly promising for further participation this evening.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:59
England 361/4 (64), Harry Brook 7, Ben Stokes 8, Josh Hazlewood 1-62 (15) (lead by 44)
Ben Stokes almost runs himself out! A horrible call from the England captain, punching straight to Pat Cummins at mid-off but charging through regardless and out of the frame as Cummins hurls with sight of all three. His throw is awry.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:55
England 359/4 (63), Harry Brook 7, Ben Stokes 7, Cameron Green 1-40 (9) (lead by 42)
If we get significant amounts of play over the weekend, that up-and-down variation in the bounce will make batting in the fourth innings a challenge, you’d think – if they can winkle out a couple more tonight, Australia won’t feel entirely out of the game. It might also cause England to reconsider any declaration plans, batting for slightly longer to avoid having to do more as it deteriorates.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:53
England 357/4 (62), Harry Brook 6, Ben Stokes 6, Josh Hazlewood 1-61 (14) (lead by 40)
Hello! Ben Stokes is out of his crease and coming further forward but is caught off guard by a Josh Hazlewood bumper, getting up a double glove shield just in time to avoid dental surgery.
Stokes’s riposte is a powerful pan through the covers for his first boundary.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:47
OUT! Joe Root b Hazlewood 84 (95b 8×4 1×6), England 351/4 (61.1)
It tunnels through! Joe Root is excavated!
Root shrugs his shoulders – there’s nothing he can do about that, a length ball skidding at shin height and cleaning him up. A brilliant supporting hand from Root, who is replaced by his skipper.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:43
England 351/3 (61), Harry Brook 6, Joe Root 84, Cameron Green 1-38 (8) (lead by 34)
Those shooters are coming reasonably infrequently though, this surface still true more often than not – Joe Root clips beautifully through midwicket for three as England continue to grow their lead.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:42
England 347/3 (60), Harry Brook 5, Joe Root 81, Josh Hazlewood 0-55 (13) (lead by 30)
Another bit of variable bounce, Josh Hazlewood scuttling one under Joe Root’s attempted drive after the England batter had come skipping out of his crease. Root doesn’t appear overly alarmed, moving into the eighties with a scampered two through the legside.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:38
England 343/3 (59), Harry Brook 4, Joe Root 79, Cameron Green 1-34 (7) (lead by 26)
Five singles from Cameron Green’s over.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:34
England 338/3 (58), Harry Brook 1, Joe Root 77, Josh Hazlewood 0-51 (12) (lead by 21)
Two slips in for Harry Brook, but there’s been little movement off the straight to suggest they’ll be particularly busy. Brook is underway with a nurdle.
Joe Root is struck on the pad and Josh Hazlewood turns with a hopeful hoist of his hands, but a big stride outside off is the obvious limiting factor on a curtailed appeal.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:28
England 336/3 (57), Harry Brook 0, Joe Root 76, Cameron Green 1-29 (6) (lead by 19)
Out comes Harry Brook, Test average a cool 64.25 as he begins with the most pristine of platforms laid. A couple of Yorkshiremen together on enemy territory with an hour or so left tonight to have some fun.
Harry Latham-Coyle20 July 2023 17:24