Rain washes out day 5 of fourth Ashes Test; Australia retain series

Following consistent rain on Sunday, the fourth Test at Old Trafford between Australia and England ended in a draw. With this, Australia retained the Ashes with one match to go. England, captained by Ben Stokes, needed five wickets for a win, while Australia required 61 runs to make England bat again. Despite England’s dominant position for most part of the match, rain prevented play on the fifth day. This is also the first time England has a draw under Stokes’ leadership.

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On the backfoot in the Manchester Test, Australia will now eye a series win in England for the first time since 2001. England’s hopes rest on winning the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval, commencing on June 27, to achieve a 2-2 draw and finish the series on a positive note. Rain had already washed out two sessions of day four’s play on Saturday.

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On the fifth day, with grim weather forecasts and a heavy downpour, the outfield was waterlogged. Lunch was taken early with the match delayed. There was a brief glimmer of hope for play to resume, but the rains returned, thwarting any chances of that happening. Eventually, the teams shook hands, as the match was declared a draw.

England name unchanged squad for fifth and final Test

England have announced an unchanged 14-member squad for the fifth Ashes Test against Australia, scheduled to take place at The Oval starting from Thursday (July 27).

England will now aim to win the fifth and final Test at The Oval and end the series 2-2. On the other hand, Australia, have looked somewhat shaky in the last two Tests. The home side appeared to dominate in almost every aspect. Moreover, the likes of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood looked somewhat fatigued in the fourth match, which could worry the visitors.

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In the event that England decides to make changes to their playing eleven, fast bowlers Ollie Robinson and Josh Tongue may be considered. Additionally, the Test at The Oval might mark the final Ashes Test for veterans James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Moeen Ali at home, as the next series is scheduled to be played in Australia during 2025-26.

England squad

Ben Stokes (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood

 

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