Rory Burns and Joe Root dug in as Australia could only dismiss nightwatchman Craig Overton in a long afternoon session on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
Josh Hazlewood removed Overton in the second over of the day after no play was possible before lunch due to rain, reducing England to 25-2 in reply to 497-8 declared.
Burns (62 not out) and Root (47no) prevented any further damage from being done, getting England through to 125-2 at tea with an unbroken stand of 100 in Manchester.
Mitchell Starc was expensive as Burns and Root frustrated the tourists on a slow, dry pitch, but England trail by 372 runs as they strive to avoid a defeat that would put Australia 2-1 up – and ensure they retain the urn.
— ICC (@ICC) September 6, 2019
Hazlewood wasted no time in dismissing Overton when play finally got under way, the nightwatchman edging to day-two double-centurion Steve Smith to become the paceman’s 50th Ashes victim.
Burns was rapped on the glove by Burns as the Australia fast bowlers peppered him with short stuff, which the disciplined opener coped with impressively.
Lyon generated turn as he engaged in a battle with Root, who was much more at ease facing the quicks with the floodlights on in fading light.
The runs flowed more freely after a drinks break and Burns reached 50 for the third time in the series with two boundaries in an over from a struggling Starc.
Root ticked along but almost chopped on to Lyon – who was cheered by the crowd every time he caught the ball after a costly spill at Headingley – before the captain’s box was cracked by a fast ball from Starc.
The skipper pulled Hazlewood for four and was closing in on a half-century at the end of an excellent session for England, who still have plenty of hard work to do.