Pat Cummins has set Australia the blueprint for how to bowl England out and retain the Ashes, according to Steve Smith.

The ex-captain's 82 helped the tourists set England 383 to win at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the weather forecast clear for the final day of the Test.

Victory would ensure Australia cannot lose the series, though they will be wary of England's stunning comeback in the last match at Headingley, where Ben Stokes and Jack Leach completed an improbable one-wicket win to level the series.

England's task is even taller this time, however, with Cummins having brilliantly removed both Rory Burns and Joe Root in a superb opening over - the captain castled first ball - leaving Australia needing eight wickets on Sunday to secure the urn.

"I found when I first went out to the middle, when you bowl a good length there's enough up and down and sideways movement," Smith told reporters. "My first 20 or 30 balls I felt vulnerable when they were bowling a good length.

"Patty [Cummins] hit it beautifully tonight and I think that ball to Root is probably a blueprint for what we need to do tomorrow, first thing in the morning. The quicks, keep hitting that top of the stumps length and let the pitch do its thing, mixed with a good bouncer.

"There's no doubt in my mind the seaming ball is the hardest to play in the game. You have no time to react, you have to play the line and if it goes in it has a chance of hitting the stumps or getting an lbw, or if it goes away there's a chance of nicking it.

"A couple of our guys have exploited that well on this wicket and if they do it again, hitting the top of off stump with the same length as the Root ball, we could see a lot of lbws and caught behind the wickets.

"That's the length we've been trying to hit to Root, particularly early on in his innings and it's worked a few times. He's got out first ball a few times or early a few times with very similar balls.

"That's the length we're trying to hit and Patty did it first ball. I've no idea if it moved or what but I think it's the length that's the most important thing - and that's a good length."

David Warner's miserable series continued as Stuart Broad removed him for a duck for the second time in the Test but Smith defended the under-fire opener, who has been unable to repeat his stunning Cricket World Cup form.

"It's been tough with the new ball for both sides," Smith said. "The ball has done the most when it's new and when it gets a little softer it doesn't do as much so it gets a little easier.

"They've bowled pretty well with the new ball and I think they have bowlers who are particularly good at bowling to left-handers - Broad and [Jofra] Archer.

"It's not been easy for Davey and Marcus [Harris] but they're trying their hardest to counteract it. Their opening bowlers have been too good for the boys early on at the moment but hopefully things can turn around in the next Test match.

"He [Warner] has admitted Broad has had the wood on him this series and he's been talking to me, Justin [Langer, coach] and Hicky [Graeme, batting coach] about ways he can play. He's tried a couple of ways and they haven't worked.

"But Davey is a quality player. He hasn't had a lot of luck this series and hopefully he can turn it around and get a big one for us at The Oval."

Of his own performance, extending his faultless run of reaching at least a half-century in the series, Smith added: "When it is tough you want your experienced players to step up. I've played quite a lot of cricket now. I like to get in those situations and be the one to take the team through."

Trevor Bayliss says England are confident they can keep their Ashes hopes alive at Old Trafford by avoiding defeat on the final day against Australia as "anything is possible."

Australia had England on the ropes on 18-2 at stumps on day four in Manchester after Pat Cummins dismissed Rory Burns without scoring and Joe Root from the next ball in a brilliant first over.

First-innings double-centurion Steve Smith starred again with 82 after Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer reduced the tourists to 44-4 with two wickets apiece, Australia declaring on 186-6 late in the day.

England - all out for 301 in their first innings after lunch - need a highly unlikely 365 more runs to take a 2-1 lead or bat all day on Sunday for a draw that would set up a decider at The Oval.

Head coach Bayliss says they can inflict pain on Tim Paine's side once again, a fortnight after they pulled off a record run chase at Headingley courtesy of Ben Stokes' heroics.

"It's a big challenge but we've got two guys out there who are very good players and we've certainly got some guys in the sheds who can make hundreds," said England head coach Bayliss.

"It'll take I think a couple of our guys to make big hundreds but as we saw in the last Test, anything is possible.

"I'm always positive, I think we can do it. We've already had a chat and we're certainly not going out there thinking it's all over, if we do there's no use playing at this level.

"They believe they can go out and bat for 98 overs, put in a good performance and save the game."

Bayliss added that Stokes' incredible knock has given his team-mates belief that they can get themselves out of trouble again.

"It gives the guys a lift that if one guy can do it then somebody else can," the Australian said.

"We've already spoken about who is going to go out there and be the hero, we know it will take some hard work, but they'll be going out there with the aim to do that."

Australia closed in on a victory in the fourth Ashes Test that would ensure they retain the urn as Steve Smith again punished England, who were quickly reduced to 18-2 having been set 383 on day four.

Mitchell Starc, Smith and Pat Cummins each enjoyed their time in the spotlight on Saturday, with Australia reclaiming command of proceedings each time their hosts appeared to have been granted a glimmer of hope at Old Trafford.

Starc took 3-80 and excelled with the new ball as England, who resumed on 200-5, were dismissed for 301 in their first innings to concede a lead of 196.

The talismanic Smith - a double-centurion in Australia's first dig - then shone once more with the bat to stretch his side's advantage.

England reduced their opponents to 44-4 before Smith hit 82 off 92 balls - another wonderful innings yet incredibly his lowest score of the series to date - and Tim Paine declared on 186-6 in a bid to make swift progress against the fragile home top order.

Paine got what he wanted almost immediately as Cummins started with a double-wicket-maiden, dismissing Rory Burns and Joe Root. England duly stumbled through to stumps, three long sessions away from a draw that would keep the series alive - or, more unlikely still, requiring 365 to follow up their Headingley triumph with another stunning comeback victory.

In the morning session, England never truly recovered from the break up of the Burns-Root partnership on day three, with Starc getting movement out of the new ball to bowl Jonny Bairstow (17) before swiftly adding the big wicket of Ben Stokes (26).

Jos Buttler (41) was almost solely responsible for at least lifting England past the follow-on target of 298 before he fell to Cummins.

Australia then wobbled when batting again, with Stuart Broad continuing his domination of David Warner, trapping the opener for a third consecutive duck.

Broad kept the pressure on and got Marcus Harris (6) too, before Jofra Archer accounted for Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head in a pacy spell.

However, Smith initially dug in and then came out firing after tea, surviving brief scares as he came close to dragging on and then almost fell to a stunning attempted catch from Stokes.

While other batsmen struggled for fluency, Smith was able to score freely with some increasingly expansive strokeplay. His attempts to lift the run-rate eventually gifted a wicket to Leach as Stokes was picked out at long-off.

Matthew Wade departed to a rejuvenated Archer, before Paine smashed a quick unbeaten 23 off 18 and then declared mid-over, teeing up Cummins to dish out some early damage.

Burns fell victim to the third ball when a leading edge looped to a sprawling Head at cover, while Root's defences were breached immediately by a gorgeous delivery that took off stump.

Jason Roy saw off the hat-trick ball and survived the remaining 6.2 overs alongside Joe Denly, but England's hopes of regaining the urn appear slim with a day to play.

 

STARC CONTRAST TO DAY THREE

Starc, recalled for this Test, is not always the most consistent of bowlers and struggled a little on Friday, ending the third day on figures of 0-41.

He proved his worth on day four with two huge early wickets in a new-ball spell. After bowling Bairstow through the gate with an inswinger, he tempted an edge from Stokes, who had scored 161 runs since his previous dismissal in the first innings at Headingley.

ARCHER BACK AT IT BUT SMITH SUPREME

Archer endured the first really tough innings of his international career earlier in this match, his figures of 0-97 including a gruelling spell bowling to Smith. The wicket of Labuschagne here came as a huge relief.

But that battle with Smith still provided Archer with little reward. Until his dismissal at the hands of Leach, the Australia star, a little like Stokes in Leeds, appeared to be in one-day mode as he blasted the ball around Old Trafford.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

England were already in big trouble after losing Burns in the first over of their second innings. Their hopes of salvaging a draw receded sharply when the next ball from Cummins beat Root all ends up to leave the hosts 0-2.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Broad has got Warner six times in this series.
- Warner has had three ducks in a row. Prior to this run, he had never failed to score in successive Test innings.
- Broad has nine wickets from openers this series. Cummins has the next most on six.
- Smith has five successive Test half-centuries - his best such run.
- The Australia star has scored 293 runs in this Test match; his highest tally in a match.
- Having completed their highest successful run chase (359) at Headingley, England need to achieve the feat again to win this contest.
- Burns' duck was his first in Test cricket.

It was a familiar story at Old Trafford on day four as Australia's incredible talisman Steve Smith tormented England by once again piling on the runs.

Smith crafted a magnificent 211 in Manchester on Thursday and took the wind out of England's sails with 82 on day four after the tourists had been reduced to 44-4 in a pulsating afternoon session.

Australia's lead was up to 345 when the former captain, who missed the third Test at Headingley due to concussion, was dismissed by Jack Leach 18 short of reaching three figures for the fourth time in the series.

Smith 293 runs in the match are the most he has ever amassed in a Test and, with one game to come, he is only 17 short of bettering the 687 he registered in the last Ashes series, despite not playing in Leeds.

With the help of Opta, we look at some of the incredible numbers the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket has racked up in the Ashes.

- Smith's has scored 239, 76, 102 not out, 83, 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82 in his last nine Ashes knocks.

- By passing 50 in each of his last five Test innings, he has registered his best run of half-centuries in the longest format.

- He has passed 600 runs in a Test series for only the third time - previously managing it in 2014-15 against India and in the 2017-18 Ashes.

- Smith has 671 runs in the series and looks set to better his personal record of 687 from the last Ashes. Only three players have ever passed 800 runs in an Ashes series: Don Bradman (974 in 1930 and 810 in 1936-37), Wally Hammond (905 in 1928-29) and Mark Taylor (839 in 1989).

Defending FIBA World Cup champions the United States advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating Greece, while Canada made history against Jordan.

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo was unable to lead Greece to a shock victory over Team USA in Shenzhen, leaving them requiring a big win over the Czech Republic in their final second-round match if they are to have a chance of reaching the last eight.

Australia overcame the Dominican Republic 82-76 and France beat Lithuania 78-75 in a dramatic finale, meaning the two victors secured their progression and will battle it out for top spot in Group L on Monday.

The Czech Republic kept their hopes of reaching the last eight alive by defeating Brazil 93-71 – Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky producing a sensational all-round display with 20 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

In the classification round, there were victories for Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Turkey.

 

GIANNIS FAILS TO GET GREECE FIRING

Antetokounmpo was expected to be key to Greece's hopes of pulling off an upset against the United States and he had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

However, he was -17 in his 27 minutes on the floor – the worst +/- rating of anyone on his team – and it was while he was on the bench that Greece closed the gap to 11 points with four minutes remaining.

Kemba Walker led USA with 15 points, while Donovan Mitchell contributed 10.

 

BOOMERS STILL BOOMING

Patty Mills posted 19 points and nine assists as Australia held off the Dominican Republic for their fourth straight win.

Jock Londale impressed with 13 points on five-of-six shooting, while Chris Goulding added 15 and Aron Baynes put up 10.

Baynes fouled out with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, but replacement Andrew Bogut stepped up and provided eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

FRANCE THROUGH

Nando De Colo sunk a fadeaway jump shot with 15 seconds of the match remaining to put France three points clear of Lithuania, who saw Jonas Maciulis fail to make a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the arc.

De Colo had 21 points off the bench, while Evan Fournier scored 24 in a commanding display.

Rudy Gobert said: "It was like a final for us. We knew we had to win this game in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. We know that Australia is a tough team too, but we are taking it one game at a time. We are going to get some rest and get ready for Australia."

 

HISTORY FOR CANADA

Nick Nurse's side sank 24 three-pointers in their 126-71 triumph over Jordan, the most in a single FIBA World Cup game.

Canada shot at 58.7 per cent from the floor and combined for 37 assists, equalling the record set by Serbia in their victory over the Philippines in the first round.

Two wickets apiece from Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer gave England a glimmer of hope but Steve Smith was unbeaten at tea with Australia building a substantial lead on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia bowled England out for 301 after lunch to take a first-innings lead of 196, Mitchell Starc (3-80) and Pat Cummins (3-60) doing the damage on Saturday.

The magnificent Broad and Archer gave England a chance with brilliant new-ball spells, reducing the tourists to 44-4.

Broad removed David Warner for a third consecutive duck - the sixth time he has dismissed the opener in the series - with the sun out at a raucous Old Trafford. 

First-innings double-centurion Smith was still there at the end of a captivating afternoon session, though, with Australia 63-4, leading by 259 runs and firmly on course for a win that would enable them to keep the urn.

In the morning, Starc cleaned up Jonny Bairstow with the second new ball before claiming the big scalp of Ben Stokes, who edged to Smith at second slip.

Archer and Broad departed either side of lunch and England would have been all out if Australia had any reviews left when Starc trapped Jack Leach in front, only for Marais Erasmus to keep his finger down.

Jos Buttler saved the follow-on by driving Starc for his seventh boundary but Cummins bowled him for 41 - his highest score of the series - to end the innings. 

A fired-up Broad then came steaming in to get the crowd rocking, dismissing Warner yet again lbw and getting Harris in the same fashion - the latter wasting a review.

Archer cranked up the pace to get in on the act, first removing the in-form Marnus Labuschagne - courtesy of another lbw verdict - and then castling Travis Head's middle stump.

Smith was troubled by Broad, but he hung in there once again and was unbeaten along with Matthew Wade at the end of the afternoon session, with Stokes not bowling after hurting his shoulder on day two.

It was only a matter of time before Australia paceman Mitchell Starc left his mark on the Ashes series.

Starc played no part in the tourists' win at Edgbaston, a draw at Lord's or England's astonishing triumph at Headingley.

The left-arm quick was unleashed for the pivotal fourth Test at Old Trafford, but was expensive with his radar off on day three as Australia looked to strengthen their grip on the match.

Starc's time came when he was tossed the second new ball under grey skies in Manchester on the penultimate day.

England were in desperate need of something special when they resumed on 200-5 in reply to 497-8 declared, knowing a defeat would put them 2-1 down and unable to regain the urn.

Much rested on the shoulders on Ben Stokes, match-winner at Headingley with an astonishing unbeaten century, and Jonny Bairstow when they marched out at the start of the day.

Starc ensured neither man remained at the crease for long, roaring in from the Brian Statham End like a man on a mission with a point to prove.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were outstanding on the third day as Starc sprayed it around.

It was a different story when the 29-year-old steamed in from the same end with a new missile in hand, generating late swing to clean Bairstow up with a sharp delivery.

He then claimed the huge scalp of Stokes, who nicked one that nipped away off the seam into the safe hands of Steve Smith.

Starc sent Stuart Broad's off stump cartwheeling from the other end after lunch before Cummins bowled Jos Buttler to dismiss England for 301.

The lethal Starc finished with figures of 3-80 as he demonstrated Australia's embarrassment of riches in the bowling department.

A first-innings lead of 196 has Tim Paine's side scenting victory and Starc is surely not finished yet as they strive to keep the urn.

Mitchell Starc's brilliant new-ball burst in the morning session strengthened Australia's grip on the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England resumed under grey skies in trouble on 200-5 in reply to the tourists' 497-8 declared, after Josh Hazlewood did late damage on the third day.

Joe Root's side were 278-8 at lunch on Saturday, with Jonny Bairstow (17) and Headingley hero Ben Stokes (26) dismissed by the excellent Starc (2-66) before Pat Cummins saw the back of Jofra Archer.

Jos Buttler was unbeaten on 26, but England trailed by a mammoth 219 and needed another 20 runs to avoid the follow-on as Australia scented a victory that would give them a 2-1 lead - and ensure they retain the urn.

Starc struggled on day three of his first match of the series, but showed his class with the second new ball by generating late swing to bowl Bairstow, who was punished for attempting an extravagant drive. 

Stokes rode his luck, almost chopping on before the dangerous Starc spilled him off his own bowling when he was on 19.

The all-rounder did not last much longer, though, and was furious with himself after edging Starc into the safe hands of Steve Smith, who took his third catch of the innings at second slip.

Archer was fortunate not to be run out casually going through for a single and it was no surprise when he was caught behind off Cummins with an ugly waft, reducing England to 256-8.

Buttler struck five boundaries as he took a positive approach and Stuart Broad was still there at the break after receiving treatment on his elbow, but Australia remained in complete control. 

Australia got through their final Rugby World Cup warm-up game with no major injury scares, as they survived a Samoa rally to emerge 34-15 victors on Saturday in Sekope Kepu's final Wallabies match on home soil.

Kepu, getting his 106th Test cap, departed to a rapturous ovation in Parramatta in the 50th minute for his last international in Australia, and Samoa soon began to claw their way back into the contest despite losing halfback Scott Malolua to a potentially serious shoulder injury just before the break.

But Dane Haylett-Petty and Matt To'omua got late tries to halt any potential comeback by the visitors, wrapping up a win that ultimately flattered Australia.

The Wallabies looked to be running away with the contest in the first half, getting their first try after just seven minutes when Samoa lost possession with an overthrown line-out in their own 22, the ball eventually worked to Adam Coleman, who went over.

Marika Koroibete followed suit eight minutes later, receiving possession just inside the Samoa half, flattening Alapati Leiua before touching down by the left corner.

Adam Ashley-Cooper got in on the act just before the half-hour mark, jumping on to a bobbling ball after Haylett-Petty's incisive kick.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto's converted score just prior to the interval gave the Wallabies a commanding 22-3 lead, but Samoa were fired up early in the second half, getting their first try of the contest when Dwayne Polataivao crossed after Afaesetiti Amosa broke away from a scrum.

Polataivao got a second soon after following a fine move. Leiua broke the line thanks to Ed Fidow blocking off Jack Dempsey and squared to Ahsee Tuala, who made the decisive final pass.

But the Wallabies upped their intensity again in the final 10 minutes to deny a Samoa comeback, Haylett-Petty spotting a gap and squeezing through, with Bernard Foley adding the extras.

To'omua wrapped things up in the final minute, with Australia heading to Japan in winning fashion.

Jason Roy has not changed despite his struggles so far in Test cricket, according to England team-mate Rory Burns.

Surrey batsman Roy - such a key cog in the England side that won the Cricket World Cup on home soil earlier this year - has found runs hard to come by during the Ashes series against Australia.

The right-hander managed just 57 runs in six innings at the top of the order and, due to his issues against the new ball, was moved into the middle order for the fourth Test at Old Trafford, swapping positions with Joe Denly.

However, the switch failed to yield immediate results on Friday, with Roy bowled by Josh Hazlewood for 22 as the hosts finished day three on 200-5, still some way shy of Australia's first-innings total of 497-8 declared.

Burns, who battled hard to make 81 on an attritional day, was quick to back his county colleague after play, insisting Roy can build on his latest knock after failing to get into double figures in the previous two Tests.

"I think he's alright. He's still the same old Jason, which is what you like to see," Burns told the media.

"He hasn't changed too much in terms of how he is off the park, so I think that's a good thing.

"Obviously he'd have liked to score today, he got a good start but it's one to build on."

Josh Hazlewood hailed "machine" Pat Cummins after Australia's pacemen summoned up a final-session burst to put England in trouble on day three of the fourth Ashes Test.

Rory Burns and Joe Root frustrated the tourists with a third-wicket stand of 141 at Old Trafford after Hazlewood removed nightwatchman Craig Overton in the second over of the day.

Australia were eager to make up for lost time, with no play possible before lunch due to rain in Manchester, but Burns and Root dug in on a slow, dry pitch.

Hazlewood (4-48) did the damage after tea, removing Burns (81), Root (71) and Jason Roy (22) to leave England with work to do on 200-5 in reply to 497-8 declared.

Cummins was outstanding, particularly in a relentless, hostile 10-over spell at the Brian Statham End.

At stumps, Hazlewood was full of praise for the top-ranked Test bowler in the world.

Hazlewood said: "Patty rarely bowls a bad spell to be honest. He was fantastic in the evening session.

"He's always at the batsman, just keeps getting better each time he bowls. It is good to have him in the team.

"He's a machine really. He had all that bad luck with injury during his late teens and early 20s.

"He has always been a great athlete so it was always a matter of time until his body hardened up. He is the all-round package. Hopefully, it continues for him."

Josh Hazlewood did the damage but a magnificent spell from Pat Cummins set up Australia's final-session momentum swing at Old Trafford on day three.

Rory Burns and Joe Root frustrated the tourists after no play was possible before lunch on Friday due to rain.

Hazlewood removed nightwatchman Craig Overton in the second over when play finally got under way, but Burns and Root dug in to prevent any further damage from being done before tea.

Steve Smith's double-century on Thursday enabled Australia to post a mammoth 497-8, making them strong favourites to take a 2-1 lead - and retain the urn.

Burns and Root were in no mood to roll over a fortnight after England were humiliatingly dismissed for only 67 in their first innings at Headingley, before going on to pull off a stunning victory.

Try as they might, the elusive breakthrough simply would not come for the Australia bowlers, but persistence paid off after tea on a gloomy evening.

Hazlewood removed Burns (81), Root (71) and the vulnerable Jason Roy (22) as England lost three wickets for 30 runs before closing on 200-5.

Yet it was Cummins who was the standout bowler in batting friendly-conditions and a 10-over spell either side of tea in particular showed why he is the top-ranked Test bowler in the world.

The paceman was relentless as he pounded in time and again without reward on a cold day in Manchester, where the recalled Mitchell Starc failed to make an impact.

He rapped Burns on the gloves and peppered the left-hander with rapid short deliveries, beating the bat and drawing edges on a slow, dry pitch.

Cummins, blighted by injuries earlier in his career, continued to steam in with an exhibition of control, hostility and skill, leaving Root writhing in agony after hitting him on the knee.

A brilliant 10 consecutive overs from the Brian Statham End kept Burns and Root on their toes before he was finally replaced by Hazlewood.

Hazlewood's burst left England in the mire, but it was Cummins who softened them up.

Josh Hazlewood picked up three late wickets to scupper England's fightback with the bat on day three as Australia maintained their grip on the fourth Ashes Test.

Rory Burns and Joe Root made 81 and 71 respectively as they shared in a 141-run stand in England's reply to Australia's mammoth first-innings total of 497-8 declared.

Yet both well-set batsmen departed before the close – while Jason Roy's Test match troubles continued despite dropping down the order – as the hosts slipped to 200-5, still 98 shy of the follow-on target.

Hazlewood claimed all four wickets to fall during Friday's shortened play after the first session was lost to rain, including picking up his 50th Ashes scalp when he tempted nightwatchman Craig Overton (5) into an edge that was comfortably pouched by double centurion Steve Smith at second slip.

However, that proved to be the tourists' only success in an extended afternoon session, Burns and Root combining to deliver England's highest partnership in the series so far.

That is not to say the batsmen had it easy, though. Burns was peppered with short balls, the opener managing to weather the storm through a mixture of skill and determination, as well as the occasional slice of good fortune.

Still, it was Root who was seemingly in the firing line. The England captain was grateful to his protective box after being struck in a particularly sensitive area, the protective piece of equipment splitting with the force of the blow.

He also took a delivery flush on the knee during an excellent Pat Cummins spell that ended without reward, the bowler's cause not aided by an edge off Root's bat going between wicketkeeper Tim Paine and first slip David Warner, neither moving as the ball flew away to the boundary.

But, after replacing his luckless team-mate, Hazlewood (4-48) produced an impressive late burst to change the complexion of proceedings.

Burns was the first to go when he fended a rising delivery to Smith, leaving the score at 166-3, while Root fell just nine runs later when a full delivery nipped back to trap him lbw.

Roy's switch from the top to the middle order failed to result in an immediate upturn in form, the right-hander bowled emphatically by Hazlewood for 22.

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow made sure there were no further losses before stumps, meaning the duo will resume on seven and two not out respectively on Saturday.

Rory Burns and Joe Root dug in as Australia could only dismiss nightwatchman Craig Overton in a long afternoon session on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Josh Hazlewood removed Overton in the second over of the day after no play was possible before lunch due to rain, reducing England to 25-2 in reply to 497-8 declared.  

Burns (62 not out) and Root (47no) prevented any further damage from being done, getting England through to 125-2 at tea with an unbroken stand of 100 in Manchester.

Mitchell Starc was expensive as Burns and Root frustrated the tourists on a slow, dry pitch, but England trail by 372 runs as they strive to avoid a defeat that would put Australia 2-1 up - and ensure they retain the urn.

Hazlewood wasted no time in dismissing Overton when play finally got under way, the nightwatchman edging to day-two double-centurion Steve Smith to become the paceman's 50th Ashes victim.

Burns was rapped on the glove by Burns as the Australia fast bowlers peppered him with short stuff, which the disciplined opener coped with impressively.

Lyon generated turn as he engaged in a battle with Root, who was much more at ease facing the quicks with the floodlights on in fading light.

The runs flowed more freely after a drinks break and Burns reached 50 for the third time in the series with two boundaries in an over from a struggling Starc.

Root ticked along but almost chopped on to Lyon - who was cheered by the crowd every time he caught the ball after a costly spill at Headingley - before the captain's box was cracked by a fast ball from Starc.

The skipper pulled Hazlewood for four and was closing in on a half-century at the end of an excellent session for England, who still have plenty of hard work to do.

No play was possible in the morning session on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford due to rain.

Lunch was brought forward to 12:30 local time, with a pitch inspection due at 13:00pm provided there is no further wet weather.

Australia racked up 497-8 declared on day two, Steve Smith the star of the show with a magnificent 211 as the tourists eye a 2-1 lead that would ensure they retain the urn.

England were 23-1 in reply at stumps after losing Joe Denly in the evening session on Thursday.

A wet outfield due to dismal weather on Friday morning kept the players of the pitch, but the sun was out when it was announced lunch would be taken early.

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