Australia successfully retained the Ashes despite a disappointing outcome on the final day of the fourth Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford, where rain prevented any play. The series stood at 2-1 in favor of Australia as they arrived in Manchester, leaving England with the urgent need for a victory to keep the Ashes hopes alive and push for a deciding Test at the Kia Oval.
However, the weather played spoilsport, and on day five, not a single ball was bowled, leading to a drawn match. England came very close to a win, finishing with a 61-run lead, while Australia stood at 214-5 in their second innings.
The first three days of the fourth Ashes Test had been dominated by England, with outstanding performances from Zak Crawley, who scored 189 runs, Jonny Bairstow, who contributed 99 runs, and Chris Woakes, who took an impressive 5-62 with the ball. This had allowed England to secure a lead of 275 runs going into the second innings.
Despite their commanding position, the unfortunate rain interruptions deprived England of a chance to claim victory and left them watching as the opportunity to regain the Ashes slipped away. Now, England will shift their focus to the fifth Test at The Kia Oval, where their primary objective will be to prevent Australia from securing an outright Ashes win and aim to level the series at 2-2.
First Draw Under the Reign of Stokes & McCullum
On the final day of the match, England’s captain Joe Root expressed his team’s determination to give their all in pursuit of the five wickets needed for victory. However, the unpredictable Manchester weather played spoilsport, denying them any opportunity to do so.
The covers were frequently taken off and put back on as the rain came and went, leaving the optimistic England fans waiting in anticipation for a chance to witness their team’s efforts to secure a hard-fought win they had battled for over the first three days of the fourth Ashes test.
Undoubtedly, England displayed their most skillful performance in the Ashes so far, leading many to consider Australia as the underdogs, especially as their key players like Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc struggled against England’s controlled yet aggressive batting display.
Despite England’s impressive showing, they couldn’t clinch the victory they seemingly deserved, resulting in Australia retaining the Ashes and now aiming for an outright win in the fifth Test.
The match’s abandonment marks the first draw during the reign of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as the team’s leaders. They didn’t play for draws so it never happened, this time around, it was only because of rain, that England had to swallow the tough pill.
Cruel for England to Not Win, Says Michael Atherton
England’s cricket team demonstrated sheer dominance in the latest Ashes Test against Australia. Their performance showcased controlled aggression and unyielding determination, putting them in a position to secure a decisive victory. However, Mother Nature had different plans as two days of relentless rain during the match cruelly dashed England’s hopes of clinching the win.
The team’s former captain, Michael Atherton, hailed England’s brilliant display on the field, noting that they had “absolutely hammered” Australia up until that point. This commendation comes as no surprise, given the exceptional batting performances and the impressive display of bowling prowess.
The match was a true testament to England’s potential and highlighted the strides they had made since the opening Test at Edgbaston. In that match, they allowed opportunities to slip through their fingers, leading to a missed chance for victory. However, the current game showed a more determined and focused side of England, leaving Australia struggling to keep up.
According to Atherton, the cruel twist of fate in the form of rain prevented England from reaping the rewards of their hard work and determination. It was a reminder that despite all the skills and efforts on display, external factors can disrupt the course of the game.
“We were utterly dominant”, Stokes reflects on the fourth test
England captain Ben Stokes expressed his frustration and disappointment as rain dashed their hopes of regaining the Ashes after an “utterly dominant” performance at Emirates Old Trafford. He lamented the fact that the weather dictated the outcome of the game and prevented his side from securing a well-deserved victory.
Despite their commanding display throughout the match, with an impressive performance in both batting and bowling, the rain-induced draw left a bitter taste for the team. Stokes praised his team’s fearless approach and expressed pride in their efforts as they didn’t shy away from taking risks to push for a win.
The captain acknowledged that a potential fifth-Test decider would have added further excitement to the gripping Ashes series. However, he remains determined to end their red-ball summer on a high note. Stokes recognized the positive impact of England’s performances, saying, “We always put our front foot forward and as captain I am proud.”
While the missed opportunity for a series decider is disheartening, Stokes remains optimistic about their future prospects and the impact their performances have had on the sport in England.
Despite the disappointment, the England team’s relentless spirit and fearless approach have left a lasting impression on the cricketing world. Their determination and dominance throughout the match have set the stage for a memorable series, even though external factors such as rain prevented them from achieving a decisive result.