Ashes in Manchester: When Steve Smith's 211 helped Australia retain the urn on last Old Trafford visit in 2019

After the highs of Headingley, England left themselves with it all to do again in Manchester

The LV= Insurance Men’s Ashes series stops at Old Trafford in Manchester this week. England head into the Fourth Test trailing 2-1, but buoyed by their 3 wicket win win Leeds last time out. 

England will be hoping for a better performance at Old Trafford this year than they put in back in 2019. A win this week would mean the series would be level at 2-2 with the deciding match at The Oval to come. 

Ahead of the Fourth Test, we take a look back at the last time the Men’s Ashes came to Manchester. It ended in a defeat for England- a loss which put to an end their chances of winning the urn back from Australia. 

Australia won the toss and put themselves into bat but got off to a shaky start. David Warner fell in the first over to Stuart Broad and when Broad also claimed the wicket of Harris- they were 28-2. Unfortunately for England, this paired up Marnus Labuscagne and Steve Smith who proceeded to take control of the match. They put on almost 120 runs for the third wicket and England were on the ropes. 

A double hundred from Steve Smith and 50s from Tim Paine and Mithcell Starc helped Australia to 497-8 declared.  England wobbled in their reply and when nightwatchman Craig Overton was out they were 25-2. Luckily Rory Burns and Joe Root rebuilt the innings, both getting scores of 70+ and a partnership of 140 kept their team fighting. 

Regular wickets saw England bundled out for 301- almost 200 runs behind Australia who went on to score runs hard and fast. Steve Smith scored 81 as the tourists declared again, this time on 186-6, setting England an unlikely 383 to win in Manchester. 

Pat Cummins wasted no time in getting stuck into the England top order, removing Rory Burns and Joe Root in the opening over. At 0-2 England were on for a humiliating loss. 

Joe Denly reached 50 and other middle order batters including Jason Roy and Jos Buttler made decent contributions, but Pat Cummins and then Josh Hazlewood went to town on some poor batting choices. England were bundled out for 197- a defeat by 185 runs. 

Australia went 2-1 up in the series and with just one match left, they could not lose and would ultimately take the urn back down under.

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