England’s bid to push for a series-levelling victory in the fourth Ashes Test was disrupted by the Manchester rain, which wiped out the first session at Emirates Old Trafford.

Only 30 overs were possible on Saturday, where Australia advanced from 113 for four to 214 for five and although they are still 61 runs in arrears, they could be bailed out by the elements.

After persistent overnight showers left a saturated outfield, a planned pitch inspection at the scheduled start time of 11am on the final day never materialised because of a brief band of rain.

Another examination of the playing field took place at 12.15pm and, with an early lunch being taken five minutes later, there was hope of getting on as a start time of 1pm was announced.

However, as England’s players began warming up, the heavens opened once more, forcing them back indoors as the covers were hastily brought back on – seemingly the beginning of another frustrating delay.

England have to make all of the running if there is any play, with Australia content to settle for a draw that would retain a 2-1 lead and the urn to boot, snatching away the possibility of a Kia Oval winner-takes-all decider next week.

England’s push for victory on the penultimate day of the fourth Ashes Test was delayed by the forecast rain at Emirates Old Trafford.

There are growing fears the inclement weather in the north-west this weekend may not relent to give England a window to claim the six wickets they need for a series-levelling victory.

England have seized total control of this Test, with Australia needing 162 just to make the hosts bat again, after closing on 113 for four thanks to Mark Wood’s three-wicket burst on Friday evening.

However, overnight rain continued into Saturday morning and shelving a scheduled 11am start time, with England tweeting: “We’re going to be heavily delayed.”

England will have their eyes on the skies as they attempt to dodge the rain and turn three dominant days into victory in the fourth Ashes Test.

The hosts need to win at Emirates Old Trafford to have any chance of reclaiming the urn and have done everything in their power to set up a winning position.

A thumping first-innings lead of 275, built around Zak Crawley’s 189 and an unbeaten 99 from the stranded Jonny Bairstow, gave them full control before Australia slipped to 113 for four.

With Mark Wood tearing in to claim three for 17 and a cushion of 162 runs, England would back themselves to get the game moving over the weekend but may find the weather forecast harder to defeat than the tourists. Long, heavy showers are expected on Saturday and Sunday and the pressure will be on to maximise any passages of play that are possible.

With six sessions on the table they will be hoping a fresh bowling attack has enough time, but Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood has already broken cover to admit he would be happy to watch the heavens open. Marnus Labuschagne remains in place on 44 not out, with in-form all-rounder Mitch Marsh at the start of his innings.

England pile into toiling Australia

Crawley laid the foundations for England, who added 208 to their overnight score which took them to a formidable 592, with fifties for Ben Stokes, Harry Brook and Bairstow. This was England’s highest total in a home Test since August 2011, their best score in the Ashes since January 2011 at Sydney and the first time they have gone past 500 on their own shores against Australia since August 1985.

Tweet of the day

All eyes will be on the skies this weekend – and the view of the BBC lead weather presenter does not augur well.

Quote of the dayJonny 99

Bairstow was left high and dry, one short of a 13th Test ton, after number 11 batter James Anderson was trapped leg-before by Cameron Green. The previous delivery, Bairstow had turned down a risky return run which would have taken him to three figures. This was Bairstow’s second 99 at this ground – although on that occasion against South Africa six years ago Anderson was blameless as the Yorkshireman was lbw missing a sweep off Keshav Maharaj.

Pat down

An analysis of 23-0-129-1 makes for grim reading for the Australia captain, who doubtless would not have been consoled by claiming the wicket of his opposite number Ben Stokes. Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting wondered aloud on Sky Sports whether Cummins was “starting to get a bit mentally and physically worn out”, having played in and captained the side in the World Test Championship final and four Ashes matches inside the last seven weeks. His partners in crime Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc hardly fared any better as the trio leaked a barely believable 392 between them from 75 overs.

Duck-ing the trend

Chris Woakes, whose priceless 32 not out got England over the line in the Headingley run-chase, nicked off from his first ball to collect England’s first duck of the series. In the last Ashes in 2021-22, there were 17 scoreless dismissals. Woakes’ fortunes improved with the ball in hand as he snared David Warner for the second time in the match courtesy of an inside edge on to his stumps.

Century Mark

Wood snaring the valuable wicket of Steve Smith for a second time in the match, after Australia’s vaunted number four was given the hurry up by a steeply rising bouncer, was Wood’s 100th Test wicket. It has taken Wood 30 matches and eight years to reach the milestone. Interestingly, the identity of his first Test wicket was a certain Brendon McCullum – now England head coach – at Lord’s in May 2015.

Jonny Bairstow took aim at his detractors, describing the criticism he has faced as “out of order” after lifting England into the boxseat in the fourth Ashes Test.

After bashing Australia’s tiring bowlers in his unbeaten 99 off 81 balls to help England to a mammoth 592 all out, an aggrieved Bairstow continued on the offensive at the end of the third day’s play.

While a golden summer with the bat last year meant he was destined to return after recovering from a horrific leg break he suffered last August, the decision for Bairstow to take on wicketkeeping duties against Australia has backfired as the Yorkshireman has dropped seven catches and missed a stumping.

England have resisted calls to restore gloveman Ben Foakes, dropped to facilitate the return of Bairstow, who believes his knockers have failed to take into account the severity of an injury in which he broke his left leg in three places and dislocated his ankle after slipping on a golf course.

“You’ve got to have a bit of perspective on it,” Bairstow told the BBC. “I’ve not played in months and I’ve not kept properly in three years.

“There’s obviously been a lot of talk and things like that, some of which I think has been a bit out of order to be honest but that’s part and parcel of people having an opinion.

“There are times when if people had a conversation with you individually and found out a bit more about the injury or the ankle and how everything’s going, they might have a slightly different view or perspective on it.”

He added on Sky Sports: “The leg break could have ended my career. There are times when you have aches and pains, and people say you’re limping – yeah I am at times! Because there’s a lot going on in my ankle.”

There is a perception that Bairstow tends to perform well when he feels he has a point to prove and Australia’s bowlers bore the brunt of any ill-feeling he had after flaying 10 fours and four sixes as he amassed his highest score since his injury.

However, Bairstow, who was left stranded one run short of three figures after last man James Anderson fell lbw to Cameron Green, insisted he does not need to be fired up to be at his best.

“Everyone thinks I play better when people have a go at me,” Bairstow said. “It gets a bit tiresome, to be honest.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket now. To keep being told you’re rubbish – if I was that rubbish I wouldn’t have played 94 Tests.

“To score 99 you’re pretty happy, aren’t you. I put on a really nice partnership at the end with Jimmy.”

Bairstow snaffled two catches as Mark Wood’s three-wicket haul helped reduce Australia to 113 for four, still trailing by 162, but unsettled weather over the weekend could dampen their victory push at Emirates Old Trafford.

“The weather is the weather, I’m not Michael Fish,” Bairstow said with a smile. “In the circumstances of the game to get 275 in front and then to take four wickets tonight for 100 is all we could have done.”

As well as his work behind the stumps coming under scrutiny, Bairstow was at the centre of the series’ biggest flash point as he was opportunistically stumped by Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey at Lord’s.

Bairstow stepped out of his crease believing the ball to be dead after ducking a Green bouncer but Carey gathered the ball and in one motion threw down the stumps earlier this month, prompting controversy to the extent that the Prime Ministers of both England and Australia had their say.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to be out down at Lord’s,” Bairstow added. “That is part and parcel of the game. We have seen it in other occasions. I have heard about it in club cricket.

“That’s not necessarily what you want to be hearing. The example for me when you are looking at young kids coming up. You want to be playing the game and play it how I have always played it, you play it tough, you play it fair.”

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood admitted he would be happier to watch it rain than try and wrestle the fourth Ashes Test from England’s grasp.

The tourists have been comprehensively outplayed over three days at Emirates Old Trafford, watching the hosts pile up a 275-run first-innings lead before being reduced to 113 for four in the evening session.

Their only realistic hope of avoiding defeat lies in the skies, with a dismal weekend weather forecast threatening to drown out the fixture.

A damp draw would be enough for Australia to retain the urn, albeit in the flattest of fashions, but Hazlewood welcomed the prospect.

“It would be great to lose a few overs here and there and make our job a bit easier hanging in there, that’s pretty obvious,” he said.

“I would be very pleased. It is forecast, but the forecast can change all the time. There’s rain around but rain and light plays a big part in cricket and has done forever.

“We’re a long way behind, as you can see on the scoreboard. We’re well behind and it’s easy to see that.”

Hazlewood, who took a five-wicket haul amid an attacking blitz from England, stood firm behind his skipper Pat Cummins after what has surely been the most difficult few days of his tenure.

Cummins has looked reactive and muddled in the field, returned the worst bowling figures of his career (one for 129), misread two catches and got out to the first ball of day two.

“It’s a good learning experience,” said Hazlewood.

“He hasn’t been captain for a long period of time and we’ve probably had the better rub of the green for the whole period he’s been captain. He’ll no doubt sit down with the coaches and go through a few things, but he’s a very quick learner.

“Hopefully it doesn’t happen again but in those positions he is still very calm… nothing flustered at any stage.”

Jonny Bairstow was stranded one short of a dazzling Ashes century and Mark Wood blew a hole in Australia’s top order as England continued their fourth Test domination of Australia.

Bairstow was left high and dry on 99 not out from just 81 balls as England blazed their way to 592 on day three at Emirates Old Trafford, building on Zak Crawley’s 189-run blitz on Thursday.

That gave them a commanding lead of 275 over their increasingly beleaguered rivals, who made an uncertain 113 for four in reply and now find themselves relying on a poor weekend weather forecast to escape with a draw.

Wood, once again hurdling the 90mph barrier to unsettle the Australians, claimed three for 17 as Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Travis Head all succumbed.

Bairstow has had an eventful series – falling victim to a deeply controversial stumping at Lord’s, making some costly wicketkeeping errors and even tussling with a Just Stop Oil protester – but put himself in the thick of things for all the right reasons with an outstanding innings.

England were 67 ahead overnight and 120 in front when he arrived at the crease, but his dominant strokeplay piled on the misery for the Australians.

Despite a ring of boundary riders trying to shut him down he hammered four sixes and 10 fours to carry his side to their highest Ashes total at home since 1985.

Bairstow’s controlled aggression was deserving of a hundred but, after expertly managing the strike for the majority of his time with the tail, he found himself stuck at the non-striker’s end after deciding against a risky second that could have got him there.

Last man James Anderson was trapped lbw by Cameron Green’s next ball, stopping Bairstow in his tracks and making him just the third English batter to finish undefeated on 99.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott (1979) and Alex Tudor (1999) are the only others to suffer that fate, but Bairstow was grinning broadly as he left the pitch.

He has been eyeing a measure of revenge ever since his divisive dismissal in the second Test at Lord’s and helped himself to a healthy portion.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were both on the receiving end of muscular sixes thrashed into the leg-side, but Bairstow would have taken most satisfaction from the pair of furious blows off Pat Cummins, the Australia captain who refused to withdraw the appeal at Lord’s.

Cummins, who has looked bereft of energy and inspiration this week, ended up with figures of one for 129, the worst analysis of his career.

Bairstow also took liberties against fellow wicketkeeper Alex Carey, the man who threw down his stumps to kick off the ‘spirit of cricket’ rumpus in the first place.

In a bid to shield Anderson from the strike, Bairstow charged through for a bye on several occasions despite the ball carrying cleanly through to Carey’s gloves.

To the audible delight of the crowd, Carey repeatedly failed to hit the target from exactly the same range he had done so two games ago.

England’s day started in typically lively fashion, with a morning session that added 122 runs and four wickets to the scoreboard in just 24 overs.

There were half-centuries for Ben Stokes (51) and Harry Brook (61), and some success for Hazlewood, who finished with five for 126 amid the carnage.

Bairstow was afforded a centurion’s ovation as he left the field, the Manchester crowd overlooking the small matter of a missing single, but did not linger over the moment. His mind was already trained on the next job, with 12 overs to bowl before tea.

Wood was brought on for the 10th and needed just two deliveries to have Usman Khawaja caught behind.

Australia began the evening session on 39 for one, and proceeded to cough up more top-order talent on a pitch that was playing true.

David Warner was first for 28, continuing a poor series by steering Woakes back into his stumps with an uncertain poke outside off.

Woakes thought he had Smith for a duck but saw the TV umpire rule in the batter’s favour when assessing an uncertain slip catch. It looked an extremely close call but the indifferent reaction of the catcher, Joe Root, might have settled it.

In the end it took Wood’s hostility to keep England on the front foot. After bowling just three overs out of the first 28, he returned for a final blast and took Smith and Head with him.

Smith gloved a catch down leg, clearly hurried by the speed, and Head got into an awful position as he fended a rapid bouncer away from his chest and straight to Ben Duckett at gully.

Jonny Bairstow was stranded one short of a dazzling Ashes century as England hammered home their advantage on day three of the fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford.

Building on Thursday’s 189-run blitz from centurion Zak Crawley, England piled up a huge score of 592 – their fifth highest home total against Australia and their biggest against their rivals since 2011 in Sydney.

That established a handsome 275-run lead, with Mark Wood removing Usman Khawaja just before tea to leave the tourists on 39 for one as they clung to the prospect of bad weather saving them over the weekend.

England were 67 in front overnight and 120 ahead when Bairstow arrived at the crease on 437 for five, but he piled on the agony with a fearsome knock of 99 not out in 81 balls.

He hit four violent sixes and 10 boundaries, doing some major damage to both the scoreboard and the ailing morale of the visiting attack.

A brilliant ton was at hand but, after expertly managing the tail for the majority of his innings, he left himself stuck one short at the non-striker’s end after deciding against taking a risky second.

Last man James Anderson was trapped lbw by Cameron Green’s next ball, stopping Bairstow in his tracks and making him just the third English batter to finish an innings undefeated on 99.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott (1979) and Alex Tudor (1999) are the only others to suffer that fate, but Bairstow was grinning broadly as he left the pitch having enjoyed his delayed retribution against Australia.

He has been eyeing a measure of revenge ever since his controversial stumping in the second Test at Lord’s and helped himself to a healthy portion here.

He showed off his mighty ball-striking ability in the afternoon session, flogging Pat Cummins for two muscular sixes and dealing out one apiece to Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, despite a ring of nine fielders nominally protecting the boundaries.

Bairstow also took some liberties against fellow wicketkeeper Alex Carey, the man who controversially threw down his stumps to kick off a rumpus about the spirit of cricket at Lord’s. In a bid to shield Anderson from the strike, Bairstow charged through for a bye on several occasions despite the ball carrying cleanly through to Carey’s gloves.

To the audible delight of the crowd, Carey repeatedly failed to hit the target from exactly the same range he had done so two games ago.

Anderson’s dismissal left England with 12 overs to begin making inroads and Wood got the job done with his second ball after replacing James Anderson.

Tempting Khawaja into an indiscretion outside off stump, he snared a thin edge which everyone on the field appeared to hear except the batter.

Khawaja called for DRS and watched as UltraEdge confirmed his fate.

England had earlier started the day in typically lively fashion, with Ben Stokes (51) and Harry Brook (61) banking half-centuries in a morning session that contained 122 runs and four wickets in 24 overs.

Hazlewood finished with five-for as he mopped up but conceded 126, while fellow seamers Starc and Cummins shelled 137 and 129 respectively.

Moeen Ali reached the Test all-rounder’s benchmark of 3,000 runs and 200 wickets as he batted against Australia at Old Trafford.

The England spinner, promoted to number three in the batting order for the fourth Ashes Test, flashed a Pat Cummins delivery wide of gully to reach 24 for his innings and exactly 3,000 runs in the format before immediately celebrating with a more authentic boundary through the covers.

He is the 16th player and the fourth Englishman to reach both landmarks and, here, the PA news agency looks at that select group.

Awesome foursome

Moeen brought up 200 wickets with the scalp of Steve Smith in Australia’s second innings of the third Test at Headingley.

With Ollie Pope out injured, he put his hand up to bat at three in England’s chase in Leeds and would have had hopes of making the 28 runs he needed to tick off both marks in one match.

Just five were forthcoming but he took his opportunity on the second morning in Manchester.

Moeen’s five centuries include a best of 155 not out against Sri Lanka in 2016 while he also has five five-wicket hauls, his best figures being six for 53 against South Africa in 2017.

He joins team-mate Stuart Broad and past greats Sir Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff, in the 3,000/200 club.

Broad had his own moment in the spotlight on day one of the fourth Test with his 600th wicket, just the fifth man ever to achieve that feat, which he paired with his 3,640 runs at 18.10 in his 165 Tests prior to this, with a best of 169 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010.

Botham amassed 5,200 runs at 33.54, with 14 centuries and a best of 208, adding 383 wickets at 28.40 to stake a firm claim as statistically England’s greatest all-rounder – he is also the only one of the quartet to have a higher average batting than bowling.

Flintoff reached 3,845 runs and 226 wickets, in only 79 Tests compared to Botham’s 102. Moeen has taken 67 games to reach 3,000 and 200.

Captain Ben Stokes has over 6,000 runs under his belt and could add his name to the list this series, if his troublesome knee allows him to add the three wickets he still needs.

Sweet 16

England have more representatives than any other nation in the group of elite all-rounders, after Moeen broke the previous tie with New Zealand.

The Black Caps have three names on the list in Sir Richard Hadlee, Chris Cairns and Daniel Vettori.

South Africa and India have two apiece – Shaun Pollock and Jacques Kallis for the former and Kapil Dev and Ravichandran Ashwin for the latter, with five other countries having one each.

West Indies great Sir Garry Sobers was the first to achieve the feat, with Imran Khan following as Pakistan’s only representative – Wasim Akram came up 102 runs short.

Australia spinner Shane Warne, Sri Lanka seamer Chaminda Vaas and Bangladesh’s former captain Shakib al Hasan complete the list.

Kallis has by far the most runs of the 16 players with 13,289, over 5,000 clear of Sobers (8,032) with Dev and Botham the only others over 5,000.

Warne, with 708, comfortably tops Broad as the leading wicket-taker with Ashwin next on 486.

England made an encouraging start with bat and ball as they attempted to take control of their must-win Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford.

The hosts snapped up Australia’s last two wickets as the tourists bowed out for 317, and recovered well from the early loss of Ben Duckett to reach 61 for one at lunch.

Moeen Ali’s experimental promotion to number three was beginning to pay off, with the all-rounder reeling off five boundaries on his way to 31 not out and Zak Crawley was unbeaten on 26.

The growing sense that the game was unfolding in England’s favour was strengthened when Cameron Green had Crawley lbw, only for ball-tracking to show the ball disappearing past the leg stump.

With plenty of rain forecast over the weekend, the home side know they must move fast to set the game up and land the victory they need to keep the series alive, but after four sessions the building blocks are in place.

They enjoyed the perfect start, hometown hero James Anderson striking with the first ball of the day following 17 wicketless overs on Wednesday.

It was far from his best delivery, served up a fraction full outside off stump, but it got the desired response as Pat Cummins lifted a gentle catch straight to Ben Stokes at point to make it 299 for nine.

Anderson, bowling from the end that bears his name, took the acclaim in what could yet be his last appearance at this ground.

England looked to have wrapped things up in the next over, number 11 Josh Hazlewood fencing Chris Woakes to slip, but the TV umpire called a marginal no-ball as the seamer nudged the line.

Australia cashed in another 17 runs but Woakes’ hopes of a first five-for against Australia were only on pause, Hazlewood clipping to third slip to end the innings.

The English reply began with four off the first delivery, Crawley brushing Starc fine off his hip to keep the cheers coming from the stands.

It was not long before they turned to groans though, Duckett lasting only six balls as he pressed forward and nicked Starc tamely into Alex Carey’s gloves.

That meant an early appearance for Moeen, who promptly threw his hands at the fourth delivery he faced and hit fresh air. Crawley was also bested when he edged Hazlewood just in front of the cordon, but the attacking instincts of the pair began to pay off.

Crawley whipped Hazlewood smartly through midwicket as his timing returned and Moeen hit the boundary ropes four times in eight deliveries as he unfurled a couple of picturesque drives and took his career tally beyond 3,000 Test runs.

Green thought he had Crawley when umpire Joel Wilson raised his finger, but a wise referral spared the opener and brought one of the biggest roars of the day.

Crawley signed off the session with a sweet cover drive off Cummins, leaving Australia with questions to answer in the afternoon.

Stuart Broad joined Test cricket’s exclusive 600 club as he and Chris Woakes kept England’s hopes of a rousing Ashes comeback alive on day one at Emirates Old Trafford.

Three years after taking his 500th wicket at the same ground, Broad completed another century of scalps to join a hall of fame that includes only four other names: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne, team-mate James Anderson and Anil Kumble. Among fast bowlers, Anderson and Broad stand alone in the pantheon.

The 37-year-old dismissed the series’ top run-scorer Usman Khawaja early on and returned after tea to bounce out Travis Head as his landmark victim, overtaking Sir Ian Botham’s record of 148 wickets Australian wickets in the process.

But with England in do-or-die territory at 2-1 down heading into the fourth Test, the collective mission in Manchester was even more important than any personal achievements, guaranteeing Woakes a healthy share of the spotlight.

He bowled superbly all day to claim four for 52, with Australia finishing up on 299 for eight after being sent in by Ben Stokes.

Woakes picked up exactly where he left off in an excellent comeback performance at Headingley, picking off David Warner in the morning session before removing Australia’s dangerous duelling all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green in one outstanding over in the evening.

The pair were initially thought to be fighting for one place in the side but Australia surprisingly ditched their spinner Todd Murphy to find room for both. That beefed up their middle order but Woakes swept them both aside at an important moment in the evening session, trapping Green lbw as he hunched forward in defence and then having Marsh brilliantly caught behind.

England kept faith with Bairstow behind the stumps despite a series of costly misses in the first three Tests and got a measure of payback as he held on to an ankle-high nick, sprawling almost horizontally as he scooped the chance in front of first slip.

And it was Woakes who provided a late sting in the tail, taking out Alex Carey with the new ball to squash a vexing stand with Mitchell Starc.

Australia will rue a slightly sloppy day, full of batters getting out just as they looked set. Four of their top six were out between 41 and 51, with Warner making 32, but their failure to kick on could also be read as a testament to England’s dogged determination.

Stokes showed no hesitation in sending the opposition in first, a decision that appeared to be based partially on overcast skies and partially due to the prospect of a weekend washout.

The first of those factors began to change almost as soon as he made the call, with the clouds disappearing and the sun coming out.

Broad ensured England got on the board early, missing out on his nemesis Warner but sending the in-form Khawaja back for three after nailing him on the front pad from round the wicket.

There was no flurry of chances to follow, though, with Australia getting the better of the morning’s play as they posted a lunch total of 107 for two.

Woakes was the pick of the bowlers and picked up Warner just as his confidence started to grow, caught behind as he drove with hard hands.

England might have considered themselves unlucky not to get Labuschagne or Steve Smith early, with both starting awkwardly. Smith uncharacteristically hooked his first ball from Woakes towards fine-leg, but Mark Wood was a few yards in from the rope and missed out on what would otherwise have been a banker of a catch.

Both batters began to look more comfortable but were unable to impose themselves fully.

Smith (41) was undone by Wood’s extra pace, just too late on a 92mph ball that struck him dead in front, while Labuschagne’s relief at making a first half-century of the series evaporated instantly. Nudging forward to a Moeen Ali teaser that gripped off the surface and snuck past the inside edge, he was on his way.

With a tangible hint of first day turn, Australia may well have been ruing their own decision to go with no specialist spinner for the first time in 120 Tests.

Broad’s magic moment came after tea when he followed the team plan to bowl short at Head, digging in a short ball that was flapped obligingly to Root in the deep. The cheers belonged to Broad, cementing his status as one of England’s most enduring Ashes combatants, but the hard work continued.

Marsh, fresh from a fluent century in the third Test, unloaded a 56-ball fifty before he became the second part of Woakes’ double in the 63rd over. Carey, welcomed by the now customary boos, guided Starc through a 39-run partnership in the closing stages before he perished to the fresh Dukes.

Attempting to offer no stroke, he grazed Woakes through to Bairstow as England moved within two wickets of completing the job.

Stuart Broad became just the fifth bowler to get to 600 Test wickets, reaching a prestigious milestone by dismissing Travis Head on the opening day of the fourth Ashes match.

Broad joined an exclusive club, with long-time opening bowling partner James Anderson the only other seamer to go past the landmark, alongside spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble.

All eyes were on Broad after he snared Australia opener Usman Khawaja lbw for his 599th dismissal at Emirates Old Trafford on Wednesday morning, with long-term rival David Warner firmly in his sights.

Broad has dismissed Warner on 17 occasions – the joint third highest for a bowler against an individual batter, including twice last time out at Headingley – but the opener instead fell to Chris Woakes.

But Broad claimed a momentous wicket shortly after tea as England’s bumper plan to Head was rewarded, with the left-hander injudiciously hooking and Joe Root running in from long leg to take a low catch.

It might not have been the manner Broad would have expected to get to 600 but the wicket was also significant as it moved him on to 149 dismissals against Australia – a new England record as he eclipsed Sir Ian Botham’s haul of 148 versus the old enemy.

Stuart Broad became the fifth man to take 600 Test wickets with the scalps of Usman Khawaja and Travis Head in the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Broad joined long-time new-ball partner James Anderson in the elite group and here, the PA news agency looks at how he measures up.


Broad’s wickets have come in 166 matches at an average of 27.57, with his Test debut coming back in 2007 against Sri Lanka.

Known for his game-wrecking bursts, Broad has 20 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket matches – a best of 11 for 121 against Australia at Chester-le-Street in 2013 and two against the West Indies, at Lord’s in 2012 and Old Trafford in 2020.

He produced a scintillating innings best of eight for 15 at Trent Bridge to help win the 2015 Ashes and has twice taken seven-wicket hauls at Lord’s, in the aforementioned West Indies clash and against New Zealand the following year.

Broad is also the only England bowler with two Test hat-tricks to his name. The first came against India in 2011 as part of figures of six for 46, with the second against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Australia opener David Warner is his favourite opponent with 17 dismissals across seven Ashes series dating back to 2013, including seven in 100 innings in 2019.

He has 11 dismissals each of Warner’s fellow Australians Steve Smith and Michael Clarke and has taken the wickets of New Zealand pair Ross Taylor and Tom Latham and South Africa’s AB de Villiers 10 times each.

Broad’s golden period between 2013 and 2016 also saw him take six for 25 against India at Old Trafford and six for 17 in Johannesburg to bowl South Africa out for 83. Those four years brought him 196 wickets at 25.56, including nine five-fors and four of his best five-innings figures.

He has shown little sign of slowing down with age, though, putting together a similarly impressive stretch dating back to 2019 – the year he turned 33. He has 165 wickets at 23.75 in that time and aside from a down year in 2021, with just 12 wickets in seven Tests, he has averaged 40 dismissals a year and is on course to maintain that with 34 this year.

Among the elite

Anderson and Broad sit third and fifth respectively on the list of all-time leading Test wicket-takers, which is headed by two of the world’s all-time great spin bowlers.

Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800 wickets – 795 for Sri Lanka and five for an ICC World XI – may never be matched, with the late Shane Warne currently the only man within 100 after taking 708 for Australia.

Anderson is closing on 700 with 688, while former India spinner Anil Kumble’s 619 wickets is the next mark in Broad’s sights.

Retired seamers Glenn McGrath and Courtney Walsh are the only other bowlers to take even 500 wickets – McGrath 563 for Australia and Walsh 519 for the West Indies.

Injury deprived Australia’s Nathan Lyon (496) of the chance to add his name to that list during the Ashes, while fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (486) also has it in his sights.

Only Kumble of the current 500 club has a higher average than Broad, the Indian taking his wickets at 29.65. McGrath’s 21.64 edges out Muralitharan (22.72) for the best average.

Broad surprisingly has the fewest five-wicket innings among the septet, though on 12 of those 20 occasions he has gone on to take at least six – including two sevens and that eight-wicket blitz.

Moeen Ali made an important breakthrough on the first afternoon as England battled to keep their Ashes prospects alive at Emirates Old Trafford.

After sending Australia in to bat in increasingly placid conditions, Ben Stokes saw the tourists reach 187 for four at tea on day one in Manchester.

With rain predicted to be a factor over the weekend, that just about keeps the home side in touch as they look to force the win they need to take the series to a decider at the Kia Oval next week but the margin for error is slim.

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes took care of Australia’s openers in the morning, the former moving to 599 career wickets, but Australia’s middle order threatened to drag the game away after lunch.

Mark Wood successfully removed Steve Smith to check that progress but a stand of 63 between Marnus Labuschagne (51) and Travis Head (47no) was beginning to become a major headache.

Then, 10 minutes before the interval, Moeen found enough spin to turn one past Labuschagne’s inside edge and win an lbw decision via DRS.

Labuschagne had just celebrated his first half-century of the series and was starting to show flickers of the form that, until recent weeks, saw him occupy top spot in the ICC’s world batting rankings.

The suggestion of early spin from Moeen also had the effect of casting question marks over Australia’s team selection, having dropped Todd Murphy and gone in without a specialist spinner for the first time in 120 Tests.

James Anderson has got the nod to return to England’s Ashes line-up on his home ground of Old Trafford, while Moeen Ali will bat at number three in an otherwise-unchanged side.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the statistical significance of both decisions.

“Bowling from the James Anderson End…”

Anderson took only three wickets in the first two Tests of this series before sitting out at Headingley but his return at his home for his 23-year county career, where he has even emulated fellow Lancashire and England seam bowling great Brian Statham by having an end named after him, was surely inevitable.

His Test record on the ground adds to his case, with 37 wickets at an average of 22.03 in his 10 previous appearances.

That does not include any five-wicket innings, though he took four for 38 – and seven for 54 in the match – against South Africa in 2017 and another four-wicket haul against New Zealand in 2008.

It will be only Anderson’s second Ashes Test at Old Trafford. The first, a decade ago, saw him toil at the hands of centurion Michael Clarke in the first innings before picking up two wickets in a frantic second innings of declaration batting as Australia tried in vain to beat the rain.

Ollie Robinson’s back spasms during the third Test made him the obvious fall guy, though he has a creditable 10 wickets at 28.40 in the current series and took four for 43 in last year’s Old Trafford win over South Africa.

Stuart Broad has an even better record than Anderson in Old Trafford Tests, with 44 wickets at 19.25 including two six-wicket hauls, and is the leading wicket-taker in this series with 16 at 24.93.

That is one wicket more than Australia captain Pat Cummins, while Mitchell Starc has 13. Nathan Lyon (nine) and Josh Hazlewood (eight) follow Robinson on that list, with the next places occupied by two England seamers who only came in at Headingley but quickly cemented their places.

Mark Wood produced astonishing pace to take five for 34 in the first innings and seven in the match, while he blazed 24 runs in England’s first innings and 16 in the second to see them over the line along with fellow series debutant Chris Woakes.

The Warwickshire all-rounder took three wickets in each innings and finished unbeaten on 32 as he struck the winning runs. Woakes also has 23 wickets at 18.48 in five Old Trafford Tests, with Wood set to play his first.

Promotion for Moeen

Moeen put his hand up to bat at number three in the second innings at Headingley and though he made just five, the experiment will be repeated.

It solves an England conundrum in Ollie Pope’s absence, with Harry Brook having made just three in the first innings, while Joe Root is most comfortable at number four, but has not been a productive spot for Moeen in Tests.

He has batted everywhere in the top nine in his 66 games, but mainly at six, seven or eight. That means some small statistical samples elsewhere but at number three he averages 13.14, consisting of 92 runs in seven innings. A strike rate of 32.39 is also hardly in keeping with England’s aggressive philosophy.

September 2018’s Test against India at the Oval accounts for 70 of his runs at number three, with scores of 50 and 20. He made nine against them in the previous Test and five in 2016, batting at three for the second innings only on each occasion, and a first-ball duck followed by three against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2018.

He averages 12.75 at number two but taking his six innings as an opener overall, that average of 14 leaves number three as his lowest anywhere in the order. His best is 51.20 at number four, while in his regular positions he averages 21.50 at number six, 33.48 at seven and 25.93 at eight, with an overall Test average of 27.82.

Lifelong Manchester United fan Usain Bolt couldn’t help but express his gratitude to Erik Ten Hag for making the Red Devils a competitive force in world football once more.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist was on hand at Old Trafford on Sunday when Manchester United rallied from a goal down to defeat Fulham 3-1 in their FA quarter-final match.

After the controversial match in which Fulham had Willian and Aleksander Mitrovic sent off in the 72nd minute, Bolt caught up for the former Ajax boss, who now has United competing on all fronts this season and defeating Newcastle 2-0 to win the EFL Cup in February.

“The first thing I said to him was ‘thank you’. That’s the first thing I said and he was like ‘thanks for what?’ I was like ‘for bringing the glory days back’,” Bolt revealed to media about his conversation with Ten Hag.

“It feels good to watch Manchester now. The team is together, they’re as one. They’re working together, they’re working hard and you can see the purpose now, you can see the determination in the way they play.

“I was very happy with his progress and I can tell that he’s going to do a lot more. We have a lot more trophies in our future so I’m excited.”

As for the future, Bolt wanted to know who the boss wanted to bring in during the summer to continue transforming the club.

“I actually asked him about who we’re going to bring in in the summer and he was like ‘do you have any ideas?’. It was a nice, simple but fun conversation,” the 100 and 200m world record holder said.


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