England 278-8 in 4th test, trails Australia by 219 runs

MANCHESTER: England struggled in the morning as it sought to prevent any chance of having to follow on against Australia on Day 4 of the fourth Ashes test on Saturday.Englan

The hosts resumed their first innings on 200-5 and went to lunch on 278-8 — still 219 runs behind Australia's first innings of 497-8 declared — with Jos Buttler (26 not out) and Stuart Broad (2 not out) at the crease.

Jonny Bairstow (17) was bowled by pacer Mitchell Starc (2-66), who also claimed the key wicket of Ben Stokes (26), caught by Steve Smith in the slips.

Jofra Archer (1) was the last England wicket out before lunch in Manchester, caught behind off Pat Cummins (2-60). Josh Hazlewood has 4-57 from 25 overs.

England is within 20 runs of avoiding the follow-on although Australia may choose to rest its bowlers and bat again anyway.

The five-match series is level at 1-1 and Australia can retain the Ashes with a victory at Old Trafford.

The final test starts Sept. 12 at The Oval in London.