Jonny Bairstow stuns cricket world again

Welcome to’s live coverage of day one of the Fourth Ashes Test.

England won its fourth toss of the series and asked Australia to bat as it seeks to stay alive in the series.

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The visitors edged the first session, losing both openers but adding more than 100 runs. But the scoring dried up in the second session and England removed key men Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to enter tea the happier of the teams before continuing to take regular wickets in the third.

2.05am – Jonny Bairstow takes a ‘worldie’

Even a broken clock is right twice a day – and Jonny Bairstow has finally done something special with the gloves.

The English keeper took what Nasser Hussain described as a “worldie” to dismiss Mitch Marsh for 51.

Chris Woakes has turned the match with the first over of his final spell, removing Cameron Green LBW with his first ball before claiming Marsh with the fifth.

He found the edge of the Aussie’s bat but left so much work for Bairstow to do.

The under-fire glovesman half-dove half-fell to his right and clutched the catch just above the ground before celebrating wildly.

“My word, when you’re a man under pressure that is one way to silence your critics,” Isa Guha said on the BBC.

“Jonny Bairstow is happy – a bit surprised maybe, but happy,” Kumar Sangakkara added on Sky Sports.

2am – Enter the Bison

Just when you thought England was a chance of knocking Australia over on day one, Mitch Marsh is turning back the tide.

The reborn all-rounder is attempting to repeat his Headingley heroics as he begins belting the Poms all over the park.

Marsh raced to a half century from 56 balls, taking a heavy toll on Moeen Ali in particular.

The West Aussie hit Moeen down the ground for six early in his innings and the spinner did not react well, bowling too full, including several full tosses that were dispatched to the boundary.

Cameron Green had a much more difficult time at the other end as the contrasting form of Australia’s two all-rounders stood out starkly.

Green turned the strike over well to combine with Marsh for a 65-run partnership but missed a straight one from Chris Woakes and was out LBW for 16.

Australia is 6/255 and has now failed to convert partnerships of 46, 59, 63 and 65 in this innings into really damaging stands.

1.05am – Head can’t resist becoming Broad’s 600th

Australia is in trouble for the first time in the innings after Travis Head fell in the first over after tea.

Head was on 48 and in position to kick on in the third session like he’s done with regularity in the past 18 months but fell to England’s short ball plan.

Stuart Broad began bouncing the Aussie from the first ball and Head hooked the fifth delivery of the over to Joe Root at fine leg.

It was Broad’s 600th Test wicket. He’s the fifth bowler to reach the mark and just the second quick, after his longtime teammate Jimmy Anderson (688).

Almost a quarter (149) have come against Australia and Broad now has more Ashes scalps than any of his countrymen, moving ahead of Ian Botham (148). Australia is 5/189.

12.40am – ‘Unexpected’ scene spells danger for Australia

Moeen Ali was reintroduced into the England attack late in the second session and actually got the ball to spin and bounce in worrying signs for the visitors.

The England spinner struck in the second over of his spell, getting enough turn to beat Marnus Labuschagne’s bat and remove him for 51. Australia is 4/183.

“He has to be so cross with himself, Marnus Labuschagne. Gets to 50 and misses a ball he should never miss,” Mike Atherton said in commentary. “He is trying to work it square to leg. And that is a soft dismissal.”

Ricky Ponting described the dismissal – which was two LBWs in a row England had to review after the on-field umpire missed it – as “lazy”. “There was no way in the world that ball should get you out,” he said.

Moeen’s early impact spells danger for Australia’s decision to enter the match without a frontline spinner.

“I was surprised they didn’t go in with one. Your preference is to always go in with a spinner,” Ricky Ponting said in commentary.

“Unless you are brilliant at reading weather forecasts and cricket pitches … if you haven’t got one you can be found out very easily. And I think from what we have seen so far, the fact that Moeen Ali got one to turn, I wouldn’t have expected that by looking at the pitch this morning. It was very, very hard and thick-ish long grass on the surface.”

Moeen was handed the ball after Labuschagne and Travis Head saw off testing spells from Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Back in the team after missing the Third Test, Anderson has gone wicketless in his first 13 overs as he struggles to impact this series.

11.45pm – Aussies begin to build again

England has the clamps on Marnus Labuschagne but Travis Head has managed to find the boundary a few times as Australia begins a new partnership.

Head was 16 not out off 22 balls at drinks in the second session as the visitors reached 3/146.

Labuschagne’s scoring has dried up since lunch, he’s added just 10 runs to be 39 not out.

11.10pm – Wood traps Smith LBW, clocks Head

Steve Smith is out for 41 from 52 balls, removed LBW by Mark Wood.

Smith moved a long way across his stumps in an attempt to play an angled ball to the leg side but missed it.

He was initially given not out but England reviewed and it wasn’t really close as Australia was reduced to 3/120.

It was the perfect pay-off for a post-lunch plan that saw the Poms drag Smith across his stumps with a steady diet of balls outside of off-stump before Wood sprung the surprise straight one.

In a neat piece of broadcasting, Mike Atherton showed how the extra pace had beaten Smith, who averages about 60 against bowling that’s under 90 miles per hour but less than 30 when it’s above.

“I suspect that’s the same for all batsman, but it’s also true for Steve Smith,” Atherton said.

The Third Test star was fired up after his first wicket of this match and hit new batsman Travis Head on the side of the dome in scary scenes.

Head shook off the blow quickly with a smile, but he was in an awful position.

10.30pm – Ponting: Aussies will be pleased at lunch

England’s decision to bowl looked promising as Usman Khawaja fell cheaply and David Warner failed to convert a start.

But Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith combined for a near 50-run stand before lunch to leave the visitors the happier of the sides.

Labuschagne started well as he looks to put a subpar start to the series behind him, while Smith looked like reliving some of his great memories at Old Trafford by charging out of the blocks.

“The Aussies will be happy,” former captain Ricky Ponting said. “They’ve showed great intent.”

10pm – Smith goes after Moeen Ali

The England spinner was brought into the attack just before the lunch break and Steve Smith gave him a brutal welcome to the crease.

Smith walked down the crease with a few short steps and launched Ali over mid-on with the ball sailing into the stands.

In total Smith and Labuschagne took 12 runs from his first over with the red ball.

Australia was 2/107 at lunch.

9.15pm – Warner gone after the drinks break

A fuller delivery just outside of off stump from Chris Woakes has brought David Warner undone.

A half-hearted drive caught the edge of the willow and sailed into the gloves of Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps.

Warner’s innings comes to an end after 32 runs from 38 deliveries. The first innings score makes Warner the top touring run scorer in England without notching a century, a truly unwanted record.

“It was there to drive if he really committed to it,” Callum Ferguson said on the coverage.

“It looked like he sort of half-heartedly pushed at it rather than really committing which he had done previously in the innings. He will be really disappointed to have let a good start to his innings slip.”

The wicket brought Steve Smith to the crease alongside Marnus Labuschagne.

Smith had hearts in mouths as he pulled his first delivery that narrowly went over the outstretched hand of Mark Wood at deep backward square.

The ball landed just inside the rope and bounced over for four runs.

9pm – Jonny Bairstow having an absolute stinker

The English keeper is completely shot in the confidence department.

His struggles during the third Test have carried over with multiple drops already in the opening hour of play along with multiple deliveries getting past him to the boundary.

8.20pm – Khawaja torched after ‘brain dead’ review

Stuart Broad has done it again – but this time it’s Usman Khawaja who is the first man to depart.

A perfect delivery beat the bat of Khawaja before slamming into his back pad. Broad took off not even looking back at the umpire as the England cordon went up as one.

The Aussie opener elected to send the decision upstairs but it was a waste of a review and DRS showed three red lights with the ball thumping into the stumps.

Former English Test cricketer Derek Pringle tweeted: “Talk about delusions of grandeur … Khawaja must think he’s 6ft 4in tall to review that lbw off Broad …. crashing into middle stump.”

8.05pm – Aggressive start from Warner

David Warner went on the attack from the outset against his nemesis Stuart Broad, cutting the first ball of the Test through the cover region for four runs.

7.30pm – England win the toss and elect to bowl

Ben Stokes claimed the first minor victory by winning the coin toss and electing to bowl first.

His decision however puts England firmly behind the record books as no Test captain has ever won at Old Trafford after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.

England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood.

7pm – England set to unleash ‘Bazball’ explosion

Bad weather is set to potentially play a major factor throughout the fourth Test and with England needing to win to keep their Ashes hopes alive, Ben Stokes says they may need to put the foot hard on the accelerator.

“You never want to look too much into the weather but in the position we find ourselves in, we find we might have to,” Stokes told an Old Trafford news conference on Tuesday.

“We know we have to win this game to take it to the last game for us to have a chance of getting the urn back.

“Going into the last game 2-0 down, we knew we had to win that so I think that helped us a little bit.

“Maybe again with the weather that’s predicted, it might bring more out of us again knowing that we might have to push the game on even more than we normally do.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. If the weather is what it’s predicted to be, we might have to.”

England can achieve a 86-year first by winning the Ashes from 2-0 down. The feat was first achieved by Australia who were led by Donald Bradman.

7pm – Warner’s defiant Stuart Broad stance

David Warner says the English quick isn’t in his head despite falling to him twice during the third Test.

Broad has dismissed Warner 17 times in Test cricket, two away from the all-time record.

Despite the one-sided dominance of the relationship, the Australian opener says he isn’t giving the record any second thoughts.

“I don’t really think about the match-up,” Warner said on the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.

“You think about the ball that’s coming at you, how you are going to score. He bowls in a great area all the time.

“I always love facing Broady. We have two left-handed opening batters and he is one of, if not the best bowler to left-handers in today’s game. He is so good at it.

“Jimmy (Anderson) is there as well. These are guys we have watched and played against for a long time.

“I feel like I am in great touch.

“I have felt good in the nets, leading in I had good sessions against our quicks at Beckenham (before the series).

“Lord’s was probably the best I’ve batted in the last two years. Just holding my line.

“We have batted in probably the toughest conditions so far. In Leeds, I got two good balls.

“You can’t do too much about that … You just have to take it on the chin, can’t do anything about it.”


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