Australia needs 4 more England wickets to retain Ashes
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Australia needs four more England wickets to retain the Ashes as the fourth test at Old Trafford heads for a thrilling final session on Day 5.
England is 166-6 in its second innings at tea on Sunday — 217 runs behind its victory target — with Jos Buttler 30 not out. Craig Overton (12 not out) is the other man at the crease.
The home team is focused, rather, on trying to bat out for the draw.
England has lost two wickets in each session so far after resuming the day on 18-2 and going to lunch on 87-4.
Spinner Nathan Lyon (1-49) claimed Joe Denly in the afternoon after the opener had hit 53, and Mitchell Starc (1-36) trapped Jonny Bairstow (25) leg before wicket to leave England 138-6.
Quick bowler Pat Cummins has 4-41 off 20 overs. Cummins bowled Jason Roy for 31 in the morning after Roy and Denly had seen England through the first hour. Cummins forced Ben Stokes out for 1 soon after, caught behind by wicketkeeper Tim Paine, in a key breakthrough for Australia.
Australia is seeking to hold on to the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years but the hosts are starting to dream of a repeat of the remarkable fourth-innings heroics that saw them win the third test to level the series 1-1.
The fifth and final test starts Sept. 12 at The Oval.