Ashes fourth Test LIVE: Australia turn screw on England at Old Trafford

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England may need another heroic innings from Ben Stokes after falling into trouble in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford.

The hosts will resume on day four on 200 for five in their first innings, still trailing by 297, with Headingley match-winner Stokes unbeaten on seven. Jonny Bairstow, two not out overnight, will be alongside him.

Their immediate task will be scoring the 98 more runs required to avoid the follow on.

Josh Hazlewood, who swung momentum firmly back in Australia’s favour with three late wickets on Friday, will be looking for more scalps having already taken four for 48.

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England fighting to save the series

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England face a fight to keep their Ashes hopes alive after once again suffering at the hands of Steve Smith.

Smith hit an imperious double century on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford to put the tourists on course for a potential Ashes-clinching victory.

With the series level at 1-1, Australia will retain the urn with victory in Manchester, regardless of the result of next week’s final Test at the Oval.

Smith hit 211 – his third century of the series – as Australia declared on a formidable 497 for eight in their first innings. England made a poor start in reply, losing Joe Denly for just four, ending the day on 23 for one.

Rain meant day three would only get underway after lunch.

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Ashes fourth Test LIVE: England and Australia resume battle with Steve Smith leading the charge

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Steve Smith provided a familiar face of resistance as he returned from concussion to lead Australia to 170 for three on a rain-shortened first day at the fourth Ashes Test.

Forced to sit out at Headingley, where England levelled the series in dramatic fashion last time out, the world’s number one batsman was well and truly back in the groove at Old Trafford, defying the home attack with another unbeaten 60.

England’s day began promisingly, Stuart Broad seeing off both openers with the new ball, but Smith’s stand of 116 with his Leeds stand-in, Marnus Labuschagne (67), swung things in the tourists’ favour.

Into day two, Smith went on to score his 26th Test ton despite losing Travis Head and Mathew Wade at the other end.

How big of a first innings score can he lead the Aussies to?

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