Australia end on 172-7 as bad light stops play

Australia end on 172-7 as bad light stops play
© PA Photos
Australia close day four of the third Ashes Test on 172-7 with a lead of 331 runs, as bad light stops play at Old Trafford.

England showed resilience on day four of the third Ashes Test to take seven Australian wickets before bad light stopped play.

Australia closed day four on 172-7 as the umpires decided to abandon play due to the dark skies, after England were earlier dismissed for 368.

Matt Prior made 30 runs before a thick top edge took his shot straight into the hands of David Warner at point.

Trailing by 159 runs, England needed to strike early which is exactly what they did.

Prior took a low catch to his left to take the wicket of Chris Rogers off the bowling of Stuart Broad, before Warner and Usman Khawaja took Australia to 74-1.

However, Warner hooked the ball to his adversary Joe Root, whose diving catch saw the Aussie batsman depart the Old Trafford pitch.

Khawaja and Michael Clarke soon followed before a calamitous moment saw Steve Smith run out by Anderson.

The rain began to fall as the teams left the field at tea, but there was still time for two more Australian wickets.

First Brad Haddin smashed the ball skywards and into the hands of Broad and then Mitchell Starc edged the ball to Graeme Swann at cover to give James Anderson his first wickets of the Test.

Much to the disgruntlement of the tourists, the umpires took the teams off the pitch with Australia having amassed a lead of 331 runs, although England appear to have secured a draw with just one day remaining.

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Tim Bresnan
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