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Cricket

Australia retain urn at Old Trafford

8th September 2019, 19:58 by Gareth Freeman

Australia have retained the Ashes thanks to a 185-run win at Old Trafford as they have a 2-1 series lead with one Test remaining.

Former Australia skipper Steve Smith set the tone with a double century in the first innings as they built up a 197-run lead.

The tourists then declared on 186-6 to set England an insurmountable 383 to win, and their second innings got off to a disastrous start as opener Rory Burns was dismissed for a duck and then captain Joe Root followed suit in the very next ball.

England began the final day on 18-2 but Jason Roy and Joe Denly provided some resistance as they put on a partnership of 66 before the former was dismissed for 33.

Ben Stokes, who guided England to victory at Headingley, was unable to replicate his third-Test heroics and scored just one run before he was caught behind by Tim Paine off Pat Cummins.

Jonny Bairstow (25) and Jos Buttler (34) batted bravely were unable to stick around for long enough to suggest England would be able to hold on for a draw and the hosts were eventually dismissed for 197, with Craig Overton the last man out for 21 after facing 105 balls.

Smith told Sky Sports: "It feels amazing to know the urn is coming home. I've been here a few times when things haven't gone our way. This was always one to tick off my bucket list. It's extremely satisfying.

"We thought we would get our eight chances. I thought Overton was exceptional but fortunately the boys got the job done.

"I am incredibly proud of how I have performed and what I have helped the team achieve."

England can still salvage some pride and secure a series draw, with the fifth Test set to begin at the Oval on September 12.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.

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