Ashes 2017-18 Rain Plays Spoilsport Day Four, Australia Closer Urn Perth
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Ashes 2017-18: Australia on the brink of claiming Urn in Perth; rain stopped play

Ashes 2017-18, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson,
On day four, of the third Test of Ashes 2017-18, Australia dominated England. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

At the stumps on day four, mighty Australia is six wickets away to confirm their Ashes Urn in Perth as the fruitful day for hosts ended earlier than the actual time after the rain stopped play at WACA.

With hapless England trailing by 127 in their second innings, the visiting side led by Joe Root failed to impress as they finished the day on 132 for four in 38.2 overs.

When Dawid Malan was batting on 28 off 62 alongside wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow 14 off 25 balls, the rain poured down the second time which forced the groundsmen to put on the covers before the game was called off due to the heavy rain.

Ashes 2017-18, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson,
Jonny Bairstow watches over as the rain stopped day four play of the Ashes 2017-18 Perth Test. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Coming to the bat in second-half, England batsmen were clueless against Australian pace bowling which further saw the hosts’ bowlers making most out of the widened cracks on the 22-yard surface.

At the score of four, England lost the first wicket in the form of impressive Mark Stoneman.

The opening batsman Stoneman managed to score just three off eight balls when he was caught by gloveman Tim Paine on the bowling of Josh Hazlewood.

Having a poor run with the bat, the experienced left-handed batsman Alastair Cook was the second to go when the Three Lions score was 29 in 7.3 overs.

Struggling Cook faced 20-balls to score 14 when Hazlewood claimed a spectacular one-handed caught and bowled chance.

On the other side, English skipper Joe Root registered the 31-run partnership with James Vince, before the former was caught by Steven Smith on the bowling of off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

The right-handed batsman Root scored 14 off 20 balls.

Ashes 2017-18, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson,
Mitchell Starc’s delivery was sensational as he claimed so far 19 wickets in the ongoing Ashes 2017-18 season. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read Also: Ashes 2017/18: Michael Vaughan Blasts English Bowlers Over Lack of Variation)

Vince was again impressive with the bat as he scored 55 off 95 balls. The right-handed top-order batsman got a peach of a delivery from the left-arm speedster Mitchell Starc which rattled the stumps after hitting one of the cracks.

Earlier, Australia resumed their first innings with the overnight score of 549 for four which saw them adding 113 runs before Kangaroos skipper Steven Smith announced the declaration on 662 for nine in 179.3 overs.

Pertinently, Australia took the first innings all-important lead of 259 which put the pressure on the visiting batting line-up that struggled against pace and the bounce apart from some individual performances.

For England, the bowling spearhead was the pick of the bowlers, who bagged four wickets after giving away 116 runs in 37.3 overs.

Smith was the top-scorer with 239 off 399 balls, as his innings included 30 boundaries and a maximum.

Ashes 2017-18, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson,
James Anderson claimed four in first Australian innings of the 3rd Ashes 2017-18. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

(Read Also: Ashes 2017-18: Mitchell Johnson expects more from lethal Mitchell Starc)

However, on the very second ball of the day, Mitchell Marshall was trapped in front of the stumps by Anderson on 181 after facing 236 deliveries.

Moreover, the interesting pick of wicketkeeper Tim Paine proved to be vital for Australia as the batsman remained unbeaten on 49 off 85 deliveries.

Ashes 2017-18, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Anderson,
Pat Cummins’ important 41 helped Australia to extend the first innings lead of 259. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Impressive with the bat, Pat Cummins was again among runs. He scored 63-ball 41 before Anderson got him lbw.

In his patient knock, the 33-year-old Paine struck six boundaries in his innings.

Interestingly, following the Nathan Lyon’s wicket when Paine was a-run away to register his fourth Test fifty, but Smith called his players back while seemingly taking the weather prediction into consideration.

Tahir Ibn Manzoor

Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Cricket Addictor, who follows cricket like food and he has a great affection for the long-form journalism. He Tweets @TahirIbnManzoor