Old Trafford Cricket Ground has a pitch that is ideal for batters. While a lot depends on conditions, it still manages to bring up an average of 332 runs in the first innings. This is imperative because Australia and England are playing the fourth test of Ashes 2023, it is the first day of the event, and visitors are already eight wickets down for 299 runs. If historical performances are anything to go by, the score is only estimated to slip down as the days pass by.
Simply put, Australia may face difficulty on the second day to possibly even not be able to cross the average mark. Ben Stokes chose to bowl first. Something that is unusual. Those who are first to bat at Old Trafford go on to clinch the victory since they have the advantage of a higher score and batting at a time when the pitch is favoring them.
The English side is well prepared to tackle the spin attack. Aussies were worrying over this aspect. Moeen Ali had an economical spell, also registering a single wicket to his name. Marnus Labuschange had to depart after completing his half-century on Moeen’s throw. The delivery was non-threatening, but he ended up misjudging the spin. Hence, the wicket.
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are on the field. Their goal would be to cross the average mark without losing any more wickets. Woakes has the momentum. England are looking to bat as early as possible. Odds on best cricket betting sites show equal chances for both, with a one-third possibility of landing a draw. This was followed by the fall of Steve Smith. The former Australian skipper was batting at an economy of 78.85, having scored 41 runs off 52 balls. Other wickets picked by Woakes were Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh.
Umpires were unmoved. Ben Stokes had to go upstairs for consultation. Third-Umpires reviewed and confirmed that the bat was not involved. Ultra-edge did not show any spike for the sound of the bat and ball meeting by an inch. Moeen got the breakthrough, and the Aussies lost one of their attacking options.
The one to shine the most was Chris Woakes. The right-handed fast-medium bowler has played 88 test innings, picking up 140 wickets in total. Ashes 2023 test 4 day 1 has only cemented his image as a striker. He picked up 4 wickets, including the ones which could have dented the scoreboard pretty hard.
David Warner’s presence is being reviewed by the management. It was the 15th over when Chris angled the throw away from his bat. The one to catch that slight edge was Jonny Bairstow. His trick was to either hit the pads or get the edge and let the keeper do what was left.
Action returns at Old Trafford on day 2. Hosts are looking to equalize Ashes 2023 so that it all comes down to the 5th test. Aussies, on the other hand, want to go home with a clear victory.