Stuart Broad continued his dominance of David Warner as England took three wickets before lunch on day four at The Oval after Australia were set a mammoth 399 for a series victory.

England were bowled out for 329 early on a glorious Sunday in London, setting the tourists – already assured of retaining the urn – an unlikely target to secure a 3-1 triumph.

The wondrous Steve Smith was unbeaten 18 on at the end of the morning session, but Australia – seeking a first series win in England since 2001 – were up against it on 68-3 after losing Warner, Marcus Harris and Marnus Labuschagne.

Broad matched a Test record by dismissing Warner (11) for the seventh time in the series and also got rid of Harris (nine) before Jack Leach sent Labuschagne (14) on his way.

England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.

Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.

Australia's highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to the paceman.

Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.

The prolific Smith got off the mark with a glorious cover drive off Archer and was still there at lunch along with Matthew Wade (10no) after Labuschagne was smartly stumped by Jonny Bairstow when Leach got one to turn past his outside edge.

Marnus Labuschagne denied Australia have let their intensity levels slip after retaining the Ashes despite England dominating day two of the final Test.

After Rory Burns saw a poor lbw verdict from umpire Kumar Dharmasena overturned on review from the final ball of Friday's play at The Oval, England lead by 78 runs with all 10 wickets in hand in their second innings.

Labuschagne made 48 but was one of six wickets to fall to England paceman Jofra Archer as Australia were bowled out for 225, Steve Smith offering the main resistance with a typically doughty 80.

England are well placed to close out a victory that would draw them level at 2-2 despite failing to reclaim the urn, but Labuschagne insists Australia remain determined to win the series.

"We came here today looking for a really solid batting performance and obviously we didn't do that but we're still in the contest," Labuschagne told BBC Sport.

"The intensity definitely has not dropped. It's hard to say that when our play on the field maybe reflects that. But we came to win the Ashes and we really want to do that.

"We don't want to just retain the Ashes. We have to come out tomorrow 100 per cent on it and ready to take any chance."

Tim Paine never doubted Australia's ability to overcome their Headingley heartbreak after his side beat England at Old Trafford to retain the Ashes on Sunday.

After Ben Stokes' heroics completed a miraculous comeback for England in the third Test in Leeds, Paine's Australia claimed a 185-run victory in Manchester to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series, which concludes at The Oval.

Steve Smith's sensational displays with the bat in both innings had put Australia in command heading into day five of the fourth Test, with England having been reduced to 18-2 after Pat Cummins dismissed Rory Burns and Joe Root in a disastrous evening session for the hosts on Saturday.

Despite respectable efforts from Jason Roy, Joe Denly and Jos Buttler, England's batting order was whittled away through the day - Craig Overton and Jack Leach offering some late resistance before Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood struck.

Paine's captaincy was called into question following Australia's failure to retain the Ashes at Headingley, but the wicketkeeper insisted he always trusted his side to hold their nerve this time around.

"A few nervous moments no doubt, coming off Headingley, we didn't want to be in that position again," Paine told a news conference.

"I thought we learned from that, held our nerve, bowled really well against a team that fought really hard like we knew they would.

"From where we came from last week, that was a loss that could break a lot of teams but I was confident we weren't one of those teams.

"I could feel it and I thought we handled that week superbly, turned up here and did what we needed to like good cricket teams do.

"When you get a bunch of people together who have worked so hard for a common goal, to be able to carry it out over here with the pressure and the crowds and everything that's been thrown at us and I couldn't be more proud of the way the group have handled it."

While Smith has undoubtedly been the star of the series so far, Labuschagne - originally introduced as a concussion substitute for Australia's former captain - has settled in seamlessly after coming in at Lord's.

Though much of his work has been with the bat and in the field, Labuschagne made the breakthrough when he ended Leach's stubborn stand, and Paine lauded the 25-year-old's impact.

"Marnus has been working really hard on his leg-spin bowling. He's bowled a lot of overs for Glamorgan which has helped him, he's improving all the time," Paine said.

"He's just one of those cricketers, if you tell a youngish part-time spinner to warm up at that stage in a Test match, I don't think many of them would want to bowl. Marnus wanted to bowl and he wants to bat in the games when the best bowlers are on. 

"He's a really exciting cricketer for us and one we can build our team around in the future."

Marnus Labuschagne said it was "surreal" to bat with Steve Smith after the duo frustrated England in the wind on a grim first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Labuschagne (67) and the returning Smith (60 not out) made half-centuries as only 44 overs were possible due to rain on a grey, cold Wednesday in Manchester.

Stuart Broad (2-35) reduced the tourists to 28-2 by removing David Warner without scoring in the first over and Marcus Harris (13), but they were 170-3 when play was abandoned due to rain.

Labuschagne made a fourth consecutive half-century since coming in as a concussion replacement for Smith at Lord's, but Craig Overton ended a third-wicket stand of 116 by cleaning up the new number three.

Smith made up for lost time after missing England's dramatic series-levelling win at Headingley as a result of a blow inflicted by Jofra Archer and Labuschagne relished batting with the former captain for the first time in a Test.

"I did think it was a bit surreal I had Steve Smith alongside me. It was great, I love talking to him about the game and learning off him, with that experience of a great player." said Labuschagne.

He added: "Personally I think it's been a pretty good day for us. I think it was tough conditions for everything, to get momentum with bat and ball.

"I think three for 170 is a good day. We wanted to make sure we were disciplined and stayed in because it can turn very quickly out there, as we saw when Overton bowled a very nice spell."

It was not only batting with Smith for the first time in the longest format that Labuschagne experienced, as he guarded stumps without bails due as strong gusts wreaked havoc.

He said: "When they put the bails on you could see the stumps were shaking, it was just a matter of time before they came off. It was very windy out there, I've never played a game with no bails, so that was very different.

"All in all it was pretty tough conditions for bowling."

Craig Overton removed Marnus Labuschagne to end a century stand but Steve Smith was still there with Australia on top when stumps were called due to rain on a gloomy day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England paceman Stuart Broad dismissed David Warner without scoring - the fifth time he has snared the opener in a series which is level at 1-1 - before reducing the tourists to 28-2 by removing Marcus Harris.

Labuschagne (67) and Smith (60 not out) then showed why Tim Paine chose to bat on a flat pitch by putting on 116 for the third wicket on a cold, wet and windy day that saw only 44 overs bowled.

The composed Labuschagne made a fourth successive half-century since coming in as concussion replacement for Smith at Lord's, but Overton - picked ahead of Chris Woakes - dismissed him to leave Australia 170-3 when rain brought play to an early end.

Normal service was resumed by Smith after he missed England's dramatic win at Headingley due to the impact of a nasty blow from a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second Test in London as the former captain looked totally untroubled.

The out-of-sorts Warner fell in the first over, edging Broad to Jonny Bairstow when he failed to pull his bat away in time attempting a late leave.

Harris fell leg before for only 13 as the excellent Broad (2-35) built up a head of steam.

There was relief for Labuschagne when he was given not out after being done for pace by Headingley hero Ben Stokes, with England's review for leg before unsuccessful as the decision remained with the umpire's call.

Play continued without bails due to the wild conditions when the afternoon session finally got under way following a lengthy delay, with several stoppages as litter and beach balls blew across the pitch.

Labuschagne reached another superb half-century but was on his way when he was bowled by a beauty from Overton after Smith had gone to 50 with a drive that left him on his knees.

England lost a review when a ball from Stokes struck Travis Head outside leg stump and no further action was possible after the players went off for a late tea.

 

FRUSTRATION FOR BROAD, ARCHER IN ENGLAND ATTACK

It looked as though this might be a day to remember for Broad and England when the bowler began by again getting the better of Warner and then adding the scalp of Harris.

That brought in Smith to resume the battle everyone had been waiting for with Archer, yet the England star, who has enjoyed an outstanding start to his career in the longest format, could not find the same pace or length as in previous Tests as the batsmen swatted away his threat.

Broad had at least looked in good nick but the adverse weather conditions appeared to take their toll, with the wind hindering his deliveries and even blowing the bails across the pitch to his increasing frustration.

ACCIDENTAL AUSSIE PARTNERSHIP PROVES EFFECTIVE

Labuschagne may not have got his Ashes chance in 2019 had Smith not suffered a concussion in the second Test, but Australia appear to have tripped across a hugely effective partnership.

The decision to drop Usman Khawaja looks to have been justified already, with England continuing to enjoy themselves against the tourists' openers but finding a resolute duo at three and four.

Smith was going through his full repertoire of exaggerated leaves by the afternoon as Labuschagne dug in at the other end in another impressive outing until Overton's breakthrough.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Smith came out looking to make a statement and headed down the track in the direction of Archer after driving the quick through the off side for four.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Labuschagne and Smith were batting together for the first time in Test cricket as they put on 116 for the third wicket.
- Smith has managed eight consecutive scores of 50 or more against England in Test cricket.
- Broad is now outright third in the list of most Test wickets for England against Australia (Ian Botham 148, Bob Willis 128 and Broad 110).
- The England bowler (16) is now just one wicket behind series leader Pat Cummins (17). Five have come against Warner.
- Warner is averaging 11.3 in this series (seven innings); his lowest rate ever in a Test series.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith steadied the ship after Stuart Broad removed both Australia openers early on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England paceman Broad got rid of David Warner without scoring in the first over – the fifth time he has dismissed the opener in the series – and Marcus Harris (13) after the tourists won the toss.

Australia were in trouble on 28-2 when Harris departed before the in-form Labuschagne (49 not out) and Smith (28no) took Australia onto 98-2 at lunch on a cool, windy day with rain on the way in Manchester.

Smith, back in the side after recovering from concussion, survived when Joe Root reviewed after he was struck on the pad by Headingley hero Ben Stokes on 21, but umpire's call was the verdict.

The excellent Broad (2-24) saw the back of Warner yet again when the left-hander drew the bat away too late attempting to leave and edged his second ball to Jonny Bairstow.

Harris followed leg before as Broad built up a head of steam in a strong breeze, but Labuschagne and Smith played with great assurance on a good pitch.

Smith came down the track in a statement of intent after driving Jofra Archer for four and handled the short stuff with confidence after a nasty blow from the England quick ruled him out of Australia's dramatic loss in Leeds.

Labuschagne, moving up to number three with Smith fit again and Usman Khawaja dropped, played glorious drives and the former captain – who he replaced at Lord's and in Leeds – was also in ominous touch.

Smith breathed a sigh of relief when Stokes did him for pace with a delivery that came in sharply, but DRS showed the ball was clipping leg stump.

Craig Overton, in for Chris Woakes, bowled with good pace before lunch but Australia – with Mitchell Starc picked for the first time in the series – recovered well from their bad start thanks to Smith and Labuschagne.

Australia are still considering their options at the top of the order ahead of the fourth Ashes Test against England, says chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

The tourists were pegged back in the third match at Headingley as Ben Stokes' history-making innings levelled the series at 1-1 heading into the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Australia had already been forced into changes in their batting line-up due to Steve Smith's absence with concussion, while opener Cameron Bancroft was dropped in Leeds following a tough start to the series.

Smith will come back in for the next match but it appears unlikely he will be the only returning face, although Marnus Labuschagne will likely be retained after impressing in the former captain's absence.

A tour match victory over Derbyshire - secured on Saturday by an innings and 54 runs - increased Australia's options as Mitchell Marsh, batting at number three, made 74.

Hohns said: "This game has given us a lot more options. We'll get to Manchester, hopefully have a look at the pitch, and go through what options we do have - and they are plenty.

"There are a couple of headaches there, but nice headaches, of course, and the important thing is that we come up with a balanced team now to win this next Test match.

"The area up the top is not so much concerning but it's been difficult for both teams at the top of the order. That's an area we'll certainly be looking at.

"Mitchell Marsh has given us a good option today. All players are in contention."

Matthew Wade would appear to be at risk, having failed to build on his 110 in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with three single-figure dismissals since.

"He played very well that innings he made a hundred," Hohns said. "Unfortunately things have not quite gone his way since then. That will certainly be an area we are having a look at."

Labuschagne is also a "prime contender", Hohns acknowledged, having impressed since becoming Smith's concussion substitute and making history in the process.

The selector would not rule out bowling changes either, even if Nathan Lyon is "no doubt at all" after giving Australia a scare by twisting his ankle in a training game of touch rugby.

Mitchell Starc – who took 3-46 and 4-39 against Derbyshire - is an obvious candidate to come into the side having sat out the first three Tests, with Hohns adding: "He's certainly given us a good option there.

"We'll have a look at the pitch, of course, and we have heard that it is renowned for being possibly the quickest in the country. That will all be taken into account.

"Right from the start of the tour it was made very clear what was expected of our bowlers and where we wanted them to bowl.

"Mitchell has taken all that on board and he was worked very, very hard to improve his game in that area.

"We all know he is an aggressor, so we can't expect him to change the way he bowls too much. But he is doing everything he possibly can to bowl in the right areas and the right channels."

Derbyshire started Saturday's play on 53-3 and were skittled for 112, with Marsh (2-5) and Peter Siddle (2-21) joining Starc in the wickets.

Marnus Labaschagne joked he is "getting pretty good at answering the questions" in concussion tests after taking another Jofra Archer bouncer to the head in the third Ashes Test.

Labaschagne became the first concussion substitute in the second match at Lord's when star Australia batsman Steve Smith was unable to continue following a blow from England ace Archer.

The stand-in was himself then struck by Archer but battled on to prove his worth in a hard-fought draw, earning a place in the team for the third match as Smith failed to recover in time.

Labaschagne improbably took another whack from the fast bowler early on Saturday in Leeds and received his second concussion test of the series, later acknowledging an increasing familiarity with the process.

"I'm getting pretty good at answering the questions," he told reporters. "I remember the questions from two days ago.

"You don't like getting in the head but it wakes you up. To be fair, today was a bit stiff.

"It came back a long way, I kept trying to sway and sway and ran out of room - my back's not that flexible. You just want to make sure you're watching the ball.

"It's a bit of a laugh now. He comes on and I say, 'Doc, I'm fine'. He knows now. If I do get hit properly, there will be a clear difference. The last two have been glancing blows."

Asked how the concussion tests go, Labaschagne continued in good humour as he reeled off examples of questions.

"'Who's the bowler at the other end?' 'Who's the last wicket?' 'How was he out?' Who you're playing against," he said. "You don't want to get that one wrong.

"You're only playing one team; if you get that wrong, you're probably getting marched off!"

Marnus Labuschagne hopes Australia can make England melt in the Headingley pressure cooker on Sunday as the tourists seek to retain the Ashes urn.

A third successive half-century from Labuschagne (80) had helped Australia post 246 on Saturday, setting England a mammoth target of 359 - one that seemed all-the-more daunting given they were rolled for 67 first time around.

But the hosts - seeking their highest successful run chase in Test history - reached stumps on day three 156-3 with captain Joe Root unbeaten on 75 having shared a crucial third-wicket stand of 126 with Joe Denly (50).

It sets up a mouth-watering fourth day as England dream of an unlikely success, yet Labuschagne hopes Australia's bowlers can make them crumble under pressure, particularly with a new ball due after a further eight overs.

"You always find that there's big partnerships but then there's one, two, three wickets," Labuschagne said.

"It can happen very quickly, so that's why you've just got to make sure you shut that scoreboard down, make sure you keep the pressure on, because when you lose one or two wickets all of a sudden the scoreboard can look a lot different if you add two wickets to it.

"That'll be what we're trying to do tomorrow, trying to make sure we're shutting down the scoreboard and making sure we're bowling balls in good areas with that new ball."

One week ago Labuschagne was on the periphery of this series but, thrust into the line-up in the second innings at Lord's last Sunday as Steve Smith's concussion replacement, the 25-year-old has quickly become a key cog for a team still shorn of their leading batsman.

While the techniques of England's batsmen has been criticised following a heavy white-ball schedule, Labuschagne has thrived in the longest format thanks to a productive spell in the County Championship with Glamorgan, for whom he amassed 1,114 runs in 10 first-class games.

"Playing for Glamorgan helped a lot," he admitted.

"Obviously playing 10 first-class games in probably less than two months was very helpful. Playing against the swinging ball in different conditions - and just learning my game and learning to put big runs on the board - definitely helped me and built my confidence as well.

"Then transitioning to this - I think I didn't play many other formats leading up to this. My focus was really on red-ball cricket, so the lead up and preparation was really good."

Marnus Labuschagne helped pile the misery on England as Australia set their hosts an improbable target of 359 to save the series at Headingley.

Having started the third day already 283 ahead on 171-6 after England were rolled for 67 first time around, Labuschagne (80) was the chief tormentor as Australia extended their advantage on a pitch still offering plenty to the bowlers.

Labuschagne had already been dropped - for the third time in his innings - by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow when England finally made their first breakthrough of the day, Joe Root taking a low catch at first slip to remove James Pattinson (20).

Ben Stokes (3-56) then found Pat Cummins' edge, Rory Burns taking a sharp low catch to leave the tourists on 226-8.

Labuschagne, who twice needed to be assessed by Australia's medical staff after bouncers struck his helmet and grille, was run out attempting to get back on strike as he failed to beat Joe Denly's throw from the deep following an initial fumble by the fielder.

Nathan Lyon chopped on to Jofra Archer to end the innings, but England were still left requiring a huge target at a venue where there have only been three successful chases above 300.

Burns and Jason Roy were at least able to negotiate the four overs before lunch – reaching the break 11-0 - though the former required treatment after a delivery from Cummins left him with a bruised and bloodied thumb.

Jofra Archer's heavy workload appeared to take its toll on Friday when the England paceman hobbled with apparent cramp as Australia strengthened their grip on the third Test - and the Ashes series - at Headingley.

Archer took 6-45 in his 17.1 overs on Thursday as Australia were dismissed for 179 but he was back out with ball in hand on Friday as England were skittled for 67 inside 28 overs.

And, during his ninth over of Australia's second innings, Archer pulled up grimacing having bowled a dot ball to Marnus Labuschagne, with the England seamer hobbling off unable to complete the final two deliveries in his set of six.

He was smiling as he came off but it was another blow to England on a day that started with such promise but went the way of Australia.

The tourists were 245 runs ahead with six wickets in hand when Archer went off and will retain the urn if they win in Leeds.

After bowling 44 overs in his Test debut at Lord's last week, Archer tweeted a gif of an old man with a walking stick struggling to get off a sofa alongside the caption "Me getting out of bed tomorrow morning".

The 24-year-old enhanced his cult-hero status with the England supporters shortly before his injury, retrieving a giant inflatable watermelon for a member of security staff and returning it to a delighted Western Terrace.

Australia sought to hammer home their advantage in the third Test on Friday after England were skittled for 67 to leave their hopes of retaining the urn virtually extinguished.

England arrived at Headingley hoping to make hay in the sunshine but their latest batting collapse inside 28 overs left them with a 112-run first-innings deficit, with the tourists reaching tea at 82-3 and extending their lead to 194.

Joe Root's team had been 54-6 at lunch and lost their remaining four wickets within 23 balls of the second session in posting their lowest ever total at Headingley, and their lowest in the Ashes in 71 years, as Josh Hazlewood returned 5-30.

Wickets continued to fall during Australia's second innings but England's flagging attack were only able to do so much as Marnus Labuschagne (13 not out) and Travis Head (17 not out) came off with a insurmountable target firmly in their sights.

Having entered lunch in such a perilous position, England's tail was unable to wag and Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Jack Leach all departed for single figures to leave Joe Denly's 12 as the top score in a woeful total.

It was the fourth time since the start of 2018 that England were dismissed for 85 or less, though the mood briefly changed when Australia opener David Warner was struck on the pads by Stuart Broad to depart without score.

Marcus Harris (19) continued the head-scratching approach to batting when clean bowled attempting to drive Jack Leach's first delivery.

Usman Khawaja (23) had no control over a shot to Woakes that was caught by Jason Roy in the slips, but Labuschange and Head reached tea without too much trouble and Australia firmly on top.

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