Hazlewood harms England bid for Ashes by quashing Root and Burns resistance
England face a fight to the keep their Ashes campaign afloat after Josh Hazlewood squashed a brave resistance from Rory Burns and Joe Root on day three of the fourth Test.
Responding to Australia’s formidable declaration mark of 497 for eight, England closed on 200 for five, still 98 short of the follow-on target at Old Trafford.
Their hopes of saving the game and the urn were aided by conditions in Manchester, with morning rain and bad light in the evening allowing just 64 overs possible out a planned 98, while for long periods Burns (81) and Root (71) appeared in control of matters.
In the end the pair shared a defiant stand of 141 in nearly 53 overs – their second-century partnership and England’s biggest of the series – only for Hazlewood to intervene with a late, decisive spell.
Having already seen off nightwatchman Craig Overton in his first over of the day the seamer returned in the final hour to wreck England’s good work.
First he had Burns caught in the slips, his only authentic chance in 185 balls at the crease, then roared in to trap Root lbw in his very next over.
He had one more trick up his sleeve before the umpires led the sides off, nipping one in off the pitch to tear out Jason Roy’s middle stump and complete a drastic turnaround.
For England the main source of solace is Ben Stokes’ presence at the crease but the hero of Headingley will need to turn in yet another brilliant performance to get his team out of jail here.