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Sports Australia retains Ashes after beating England in fourth Test

Australia retained the Ashes after beating England by 185 runs in the final session of the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Josh Hazlewood claimed the winning wicket, trapping Craig Overton leg before wicket, as Australia dismissed England’s second innings for 197 deep into the evening session to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

As the holder, Australia only needs to draw the series to keep cricket’s famous urn.

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“We’ve retained it, we haven’t won it,” Australia captain Tim Paine told the BBC. He added: “We’ll have a bloody good night together.”

The fifth and final Test in cricket’s oldest regular international series starts on Thursday at the Oval.

Australia star batter Steve Smith was player of the match – and the major difference between the two teams – with scores of 211 and 82.

England resumed Day 5 on 18-2, went to lunch on 87-4 and tea on 166-6.

Jack Leach, who scored a 51-ball 12, was promoted to No. 10 and batted for an hour, with England fans hoping for a repeat of his third Test heroics, or even bad light.

Australia held onto the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years. It thrashed England by 251 runs in the opening Test at Edgbaston, the second Test at Lord’s was drawn before England won at Headingley by one wicket to level the series 1-1.

“Bitterly disappointed,” England captain Joe Root said, “to come so close to taking it to the Oval is quite hard to take.”

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