England frustrated by returning Smith
Steve Smith hit an unbeaten 60 as Australia closed on 170-3 as day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford was cut short by rain.
Smith missed the third Test at Headingley due to concussion as England levelled the series at 1-1 and his return appears to have handed the tourists a huge boost.
England had made a bright start as Stuart Broad claimed two early wickets to leave Australia on 28-2, with opener David Warner dismissed for a duck, while Marcus Harris managed just 13 before departing.
However, Smith and Marnus Labuschagne put on 116-run stand before the latter was bowled out by Craig Overton for 67.
Smith and Travis Head added 26 more runs to leave Australia on 170-3 before rain brought an early end to play.
A win for the tourists at Old Trafford would see them retain the Ashes with a Test to spare as England would only then be able to draw the series.
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.