The Ashes: 3rd Test, England vs Australia - Day 4 as it happened: Rain ends play with Australia on top

Under the constant threat of rain, England frustrated Australia at the start, but with a lead of 331, any result is still possible if weather permits on Day 5.

Updated: August 04, 2013 22:24 IST
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Day 4 was a perfect blend of English doggedness and Aussie flamboyance. All the updates: (Scorecard | Commentary)

22:15 (IST): The umpires have decided that enough is enough and have abandoned play for the day. Australia will hope that the rain stays away on the fifth and final day of this Test match on Monday. With a lead of 331 runs, the Aussies might declare overnight and hope that they are able to skittle the English as quickly as possible. Remember, if the match ends in a draw, England will retain The Ashes.

21:35 (IST): It has started to rain at Old Trafford. Umpires have called for more covers. Australia have taken a 331-run lead.

20:57 (IST): Bad light stops play. But Michael Clarke looks unhappy. Australia have taken a 331-run lead.

20:53 (IST): WICKET! Mitchell Starc departs. It was a fuller and widish delivery by James Anderson and Starc stretched out to play, but ends up getting a to end of the bat to Graeme Swann at extra cover.

20:33 (IST): WICKET! Australia have lost their sixth wicket. Brad Haddin looks to go over the top but miscues to Stuart Broad at mid off. Australia have taken a lead of 311 runs.

20:17 (IST): As the rain eases up the covers are being removed. Play should resume soon.

20:00 (IST): Rain halts play! The umpires call for early tea as a slight drizzle comes around Old Trafford. Australia are in a healthy position at 137/5 with a lead of 296 runs. The visitors may however bat for a further 30 minutes after tea to ensure England have to chase at least 350 for victory.

19:57 (IST): WICKET - Steven Smith (19) is run out! Horrible mix up between Smith and his skipper Michael Clarke leaves the junior player stranded at the wrong end. He valiantly attempts to get back with a dive but is well short. Australia 133/5, lead by 292.

19:55 (IST): Steven Smith continues the assault by lifting Graeme Swann for a six.

19:45 (IST): What a shot by Steven Smith! Tim Bresnan pitches it up outside off stump and Smith effortlessly drives it over the bowlers head for a maximum.

19:31 (IST): WICKET - Shane Watson (18) top-edges to third man. Watson may have been demoted in the batting order but his bad run of form continues. Bresnan bowled it short and outside off to which Watson attempted an upper cut and the ball nestled into the arms of Kevin Pietersen at third man. Australia 105/4, lead by 264.

19:26 (IST): WICKET - Usman Khawaja (24) is bowled by Graeme Swann. The ball pitches outside-leg and Khawaja shuffles across as the ball goes around his pad to knock leg stump over. Australia 101/3, lead by 160.

19:15 (IST): The rain has held off for the time being and Australia are increasing their lead at a decent rate of 4.30. Shane Watson continues the aggressive intent by sweeping Swann for four.

19:00 (IST): WICKET - David Warner (41) pulls straight to deep square leg. And Joe Root takes the catch! Tim Bresnan with a short delivery and Warner pulls in the air on the leg side. Root takes a good running catch and pumps his fist to celebrate. Australia 74/2, lead by 233.

18:55 (IST): Usman Khawaja steps down the track and lofts Graeme Swann past long-off for four. Pietersen, at long-off, was a bit slow to get to the ball and Swann is not impressed. Australia 72/1, lead by 231.

18:48 (IST): Tim Bresnan replaces Broad in the attack and a delivery kicks up from the pitch to strike David Warner on the thumb and chest. Ouch! He's in a bit of pain and calls for the physio.

18:45 (IST): Stuart Broad has gone off the field for a bit of rest with substitute fielder Ben Foakes on in his place. Meanwhile, Graeme Swann pitches up to Usman Khawaja who flicks it for four, follows it up with a drive past point for three runs. Australia 64/1, lead by 223.

18:38 (IST): Stuart Broad is testing David Warner with short-pitched stuff but the opener responds by pulling one to the deep square leg boundary.

18:28 (IST): The English players were absolutely distraught that Warner survived the caught-behind appeal. He responds by cutting Graeme Swann past point for four in the next over. Australia 40/1, lead by 199.

18:22 (IST): Cracking shot by David Warner as he cuts Stuart Broad for four, attempts to pull the next delivery. England appeal for a caught behind but the umpire gives it as not out and Alastair Cook reviews. Not out is the verdict with neither a mark on hot stop nor a deviation as well.

18:17 (IST): For five balls in succession, David Warner drives pitched-up Graeme Swann deliveries to cover. Australia 29/1, lead by 188.

18:10 (IST): Players are back out on the field with a few clouds around Old Trafford. Australia with a lead of 183, will be looking to score at a brisk pace.

Gary Neville with the bat! now that is a sight. Gary and his brother Phil were both amateur cricketers in their younger days. Both, famously, choose a career in football however and we all know how that turned out.

17:30 (IST): Last over before lunch, Graeme Swann to bowl. David Warner races through for a single and Australia head in to the break at 24/1, a lead of 183 runs.

17:26 (IST): WICKET - Chris Rogers (12) edges to Matt Prior. Rogers was looking to steer Stuart Broad down to third man, but he is cramped up a bit and only manages an edge to the wicket keeper. Australia 23/1, lead by 182.

17:25 (IST): Gary Neville adds that his cricketing heroes when growing up were Mike Gatting, David Gower and Allan Lamb.

17:20 (IST): Manchester United and England legend Gary Neville is in the commentary booth. "The mental toughness is unique to cricket," he says. He also adds that despite rumours, Luiz Suarez will not be moving from Liverpool to Arsenal.

17:18 (IST): Chris Rogers gets hold of a short Stuart Broad delivery and pulls it uppishly towards deep midwicket for four. Australia 11/0, lead by 170.

17:10 (IST): Dean Jones is not too impressed with Australia's decision not to open with Shane Watson.

17:05 (IST): Chris Rogers flicks James Anderson off his pads to take a couple, Australia 3/0.

17:00 (IST): Shane Watson is the man to be demoted to make room for David Warner - who opens with Chris Rogers, who played splendidly in the first innings. Australia lead by 159, Jimmy Anderson with the ball...

16:58 (IST): Michael Clarke has opted for the heavy roller, possibly to break it up a bit more when England bat in the fourth innings.

16:57 (IST): David Warner was seen rushing to the pavilion. With rain predicted today and tomorrow, Australia will need to score quickly and set a formidable target for the hosts at Old Trafford. With Warner to open for the Asssies, we are going to have an exciting day on our hands.

16:51 (IST): England are bowled out for 368, giving Australia a lead of 159. Matt Prior is caught by David Warner, giving Peter Siddle his 4th wicket of the innings. There are 68 overs left in the day today and possibly 90 tomorrow.

16:48 (IST): Frustration for Australia as James Anderson is hanging in there, resolutely. England 368/9, trail by 159 runs.

16:40 (IST): James Anderson gets his first runs, to a loud cheer from the Old Trafford crowd, as he drives Ryan Harris towards deep midwicket for three.

16:32 (IST): Risky by Matt Prior. He attempts a late cut, which gets a thick outside-edge and flies past Michael Clarke at second slip. Hands-on-head time for Peter Siddle. England 361/9, trail by 166.

16:25 (IST): While his lower order teammates have been swinging at almost everything, Matt Prior has found it tough to get going, batting on 22 in 72 deliveries. England 355/9, trail by 172.

16:13 (IST): WICKET - Now Graeme Swann walks! Swann is cut in half by a Peter Siddle in-swinger, takes the inside edge and nestles into the gloves of Brad Haddin. England 353/9, trailing by 174.

16:10 (IST): Graeme Swann is not hanging around. A powerful pull off Ryan Harris gets him a boundary and he follows it up with a six off Nathan Lyon. A couple of deliveries later Matt Prior is dropped by Steven Smith at midwicket, tough chance as the ball was hit hard.

16:01(IST): Stuart Broad walks! Nathan Lyon's delivery turned just a tad bit and took a faint edge. Boom, boom and gone. Broad scored 32 and added 58 with Matt Prior. England 338/8 in 129 overs, trail by 189.

England avoid follow-on! Stuart Broad dismissing Ryan Harris all over the park. 3 boundaries in that over off the bat and one four off a leg-bye. 17 runs in total as Broad-Prior also bring up 50-run partnership. Broad on 32, Prior on 16. England 337/7 in 128 overs.

15:47(IST): Great start to the day by Stuart Broad and Matt Prior. First over by Nathan Lyon was a maiden but since then England have scored 23 runs in 5 overs. While Lyon bowled another maiden Ryan Harris was hit for fours in all three of his overs. Lyon's third over went for 10 runs, including 4 leg-byes. England 318/7 in 126 overs. Need just 10 to avoid follow-on.

14:53(IST): And this is today's forecast, Tweeted by ECB.

14:45(IST): Meanwhile, have a look at the current conditions at Old Trafford, which seem nice.

14:38(IST): Some bad news for Australian fans, good news for England fans and neutrals can take their pick. For more, read Tweet below:

Live cricket score, England vs Australia - 3rd Test, Day 4 - Manchester13:11(IST): And despite loads of Kevin Pietersen stuff everywhere, Australia still have the advantage going into Day 4 of the 3rd Ashes Test. Pietersen's first century of this Ashes series helped see England to within sight of avoiding the follow-on in the third Test against Australia at Old Trafford on Saturday.

At the close of the third day, England were 294 for seven -- still 233 runs behind -- after Pietersen had made 113. (Read Day 3 report)

13:10(IST): During his innings of 113 off 206 balls, Kevin Pietersen has become the top run-getter for England in international cricket - 13224 (ave.45.28) in 264 matches. He has overtaken Graham Gooch's tally of 13190 (ave.40.58) in 243 matches. (More stats from Day 3)

Pietersen has overtaken Colin Cowdrey's tally of 7624 (ave.44.06) in 114 Tests and Alastair Cook's tally of 7669 (ave.48.53) in 95 Tests. He has now moved up to number six for England in Tests - 7697 (ave.48.71) in 97 Tests.

Live cricket score, England vs Australia - 3rd Test, Day 4 - Manchester13:07(IST): Kevin Pietersen had this to say after his superb innings.

"Safety if not winning the Test match - we've seen today that the wicket's still pretty good," he explained. "It's a good enough wicket to still try and get something out of this game if our engine room, as we like to call it, apply themselves tomorrow, and we get us as close as we can to their score. There's no reason why we can't, because we've put a lot of work into their big fast bowlers today."

Australia's attack caused Pietersen plenty of discomfort, particularly at the start of his innings, which he attributed to the movement they were able to extract with the old ball. "It was reverse swinging. It's always tricky to start against reverse swing," he said. "Conventional (swing) is a little bit easier".(Read full quotes copy)

Live cricket score, England vs Australia - 3rd Test, Day 4 - Kevin Pietersen13:04(IST): Australia's cricket writers on Sunday hailed old nemesis Kevin Pietersen's fighting century in the third Test, saying the knock had tempered the tourist's hopes of a dramatic Ashes comeback.

Pietersen's first hundred of this Ashes series and his 23rd overall in Tests helped put England within sight of avoiding the follow-on at Manchester's Old Trafford on Saturday.

"Painful memories of 2005 resurfaced at Old Trafford as Kevin Pietersen yet again interposed himself between Australia and a desperate Ashes revival," The Australian's Wayne Smith wrote. (Read full story)

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