Stuart Broad helped England avoid the follow-on with some belligerent hitting and then dismissed Chris Rogers as Australia’s hopes of a series-saving victory in the third Ashes test plummeted by lunch on day four Sunday.
Resuming on 294-7, Broad (32) and Matt Prior (30) took just 45 balls to get the 34 runs required to pass the follow-on mark. England was eventually bowled out for 368, leaving the team 159 runs behind after the first innings.
Broad returned to his day job to entice a nick off Rogers, with wicketkeeper Prior taking the catch as Australia ended the session on 24-1 with a lead of 183.
With rain forecast for Sunday afternoon and much of Monday, the odds are stacked against the Australians claiming the win they need to keep the Ashes alive. They are 2-0 down in the five-match series and fighting the weather as much as England in overcast Manchester. As current holders of the Ashes, England only needs to draw the series.
Broad started out as a batsman at school and it showed as he drove Nathan Lyon through extra cover for his first four of the morning before hitting three boundaries in four balls off Ryan Harris. That ensured England wouldn’t be following on and the crowd gave out a huge roar.
The critical Prior-Broad partnership moved to 58 before Broad walked a telling decision after his antics at Trent Bridge when he memorably remained at the crease despite clearly edging a ball to slip after giving wicketkeeper Brad Haddin his fourth catch of the innings off the bowling of Lyon.
The highlight of Graeme Swann’s cameo was a straight drive for six off Lyon before he edged Peter Siddle to Haddin in his first over. Prior hung around with No. 11 James Anderson before skying an attempted pull off Siddle, with Warner taking the catch.
Anderson was left stranded on 3 not out.
The aggressive David Warner was promoted up the order and opened with Rogers as the tourists sought quick runs in the second innings.
Warner was not out on 12 and Usman Khawaja was yet to score.