England made strong strides to retaining the Ashes on day four of the third Test against Australia at Old Trafford.
The hosts, 2-0 up in the series, firstly avoided the follow-on in the morning session and then were given a helping hand by the local weather which saw just 7.3 overs bowled after tea.
Michael Clarke's tourists go into the fifth and final day with a lead of 331 and are expected to declare immediately, leaving them with the task of taking 10 wickets to reduce the series deficit to 2-1.
Morning Session: Australia 527-7 dec & 24-1 (7 overs) v England 368
England resumed on 294/7 and needed 34 runs to prevent the follow-on. Matt Prior and Stuart Broad took them to 328 with some fluent strokeplay.
An eighth wicket partnership of 58 was ended when Broad edged Nathan Lyon behind to Brad Haddin.
Peter Siddle then got one to nip back, and an inside edge from Graeme Swann was taken by Haddin before Matt Prior, who had made a patient 30, became Siddle's fourth victim as a thick edge was taken by David Warner at point.
Australia had a first innings lead of 159, but Chris Rogers departed early in their second innings as he tried to run Broad down to third-man and the catch was well held by Prior.
Afternoon Session: Australia 527-7 dec & 137-5 (29.3 overs) v England 368
Australia scored rapidly in the afternoon session to take a lead of 296.
Warner, promoted to the top of the order, slapped Tim Bresnan to deep square leg where Joe Root took a fine diving catch after the opener had made 41.
Usman Khawaja was bowled around his legs by Swann for 24, and Shane Watson had made 18 when he attempted an upper cut off Tim Bresnan only to pick out Kevin Pietersen at third man.
The tourists then lost Steve Smith for 19 when he was run out after Clarke turned down a second run to leave him stranded.
Evening Session: Australia 527-7 dec & 172-7 (36 overs) v England 368
Australia added a further 35 runs before the weather intervened, and Monday's forecast will be a real concern for the tourists.
England will know that if they can bat out the final day, they will retain the series, although they are expected to take a cautious approach in their run chase.
England will know if they can bat out the final day they will retain the series although they are expected to take a cautious approach in their run chase