'What a spell': Aussie star punctures England's Ashes hopes

One of the most crucial spells of Josh Hazlewood's career has reduced England to 5-200 at Old Trafford, where Nathan Lyon will be key when Australia resume their push for an Ashes-retaining victory on day four of the fourth Test.

England require a further 98 runs to pass the follow-on mark, a target that opener Rory Burns highlighted as their main goal after top-scoring with 81 on Friday.

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Australia lead by 297 runs but it is unlikely they will enforce the follow on if the option is there, preferring to back Lyon to cause chaos in the final innings of the decisive clash.

Hazlewood, who claimed all four wickets to fall on day three to finish with 4-48 from 20 overs, praised Lyon for helping create the pressure he benefited from.

Josh Hazlewood's late flurry of wickets swung the contest back in Australia's favour. Pic: Getty

"The way Gaz bowled down that one end ... was fantastic," Hazlewood said.

"Keeping the runs quite dry and towards the end, as he kept bowling, he looked more in the game.

"You just felt like something was going to come. I was lucky enough to be the one bowling when it happened.

"Over the next two days I think it will start spinning a little bit more."

Burns suggested his team would draw on their record-breaking triumph at Headingley as inspiration in the coming days.

"The way that game went, I think anything is possible," Burns said.

"We are a couple of partnerships away from making them make a play again. It is about putting pressure back on them.

"We are not that far behind in this fixture ... there is a follow-on mark to get past."

Rory Burns led the way with the bat for England. Pic: Getty

Hazlewood needed three deliveries at Craig Overton on day three to dismiss the nightwatchman, reducing the hosts to 2-25, then snared 3-15 in 27 balls during the final session.

The wait between must have felt like an eternity.

Joe Root, criticised for his tactics during Steve Smith's double-ton that allowed Tim Paine to declare at 8-497 on day two, responded by weathering painful blows to the box and knee in a resolute captain's knock of 71.

Burns also dug in, sharing a 141-run stand with his captain to frustrate Paine with the help of some morning rain that washed out the day's opening session.

Hazlewood snapped the partnership in sublime style, removing both set batsmen in the space of 11 deliveries.

The brilliant spell of bowling left fans in awe of the Aussie quick on social media.


Burns was out edging to a ball on an awkward length, while Root was pinned deep in the crease and flashed a disconsolate look that confirmed he was plumb lbw even before the umpire's finger was up.

Hazlewood then knocked over the middle stump of Jason Roy, demoted to No.4 in a new-look order then down to No.5 because Overton was sent out on Thursday, with a sensational delivery that nipped in.

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow negotiated some tense moments until 6.47pm (local time), when the umpires stopped play because of bad light then pulled stumps soon after.

With AAP