Rain allows England to retain Ashes

Written By Unknown on Senin, 05 Agustus 2013 | 23.40

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England retained the Ashes in fairly low-key fashion. Source:Getty Images

FOR England the Ashes. For Australia? Just the splashes.

3rd Test - Old Trafford

1 August 2013 - Day 5, Session 3

England 2nd Innings

J. Root 13 57 1 0 22.81
I. Bell 4 14 0 0 28.57
P. Siddle 3.3 0 8 1 2.29

With aching predictably, as Australia moved in on a famous victory in the third Test at Old Trafford, England played its trump card. The weather.

Kevin Pietersen's first innings century was not quite enough to ensure England retained their four year stranglehold on the fragile little trophy. But the showers and drizzle that washed out play at 4.39pm (local time) on the final day did the job.

Agonisingly for Australia, a quest for the Ashes which seemed likely to end in disaster after narrow defeat at Trent Bridge, and complete disaster at Lord's, instead provided a tantalising glimpse of redemption.

Having set England 332 to win on the last day, the Australian bowlers ripped through the top order. Alastair Cook (0), Jonathan Trott (11) and the dangerous Pietersen (8) were all back in the sheds before lunch, as England slumped to 3-35.

However, there would be only three more balls bowled. The half-over sent down by Peter Siddle - one ball of which caught the gloves of Ian Bell, and lobbed tantalisingly over the slips.

Follow the action in our Match Centre, featuring video of every wicket and boundary, and get all the best reaction and analysis in our live blog.

Then, heavy showers which were soon replaced by persistent drizzle. Just enough to keep the players off the field, and ensure the Ashes would remain, both literally and spiritually, at their permanent Lord's home.

Deservedly, England celebrated. If luck deserted Australia at Old Trafford, the English had made their own with their superior batting at Trent Bridge and Lord's.

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But, after a quest to return the urn bedevilled in the early stages by off-field strife and on-field incompetence, Australia's campaign ended - apart from the two now dead rubbers - with surprising respectability.

Indeed, dramatically, places had been traded after the Lord's humiliation. Hunted by the English bowlers in the first two Tests, the Australians were briefly the hunters.

The pressure told on England captain Alastair Cook, who wasted a referral when trapped plumb in front by Ryan Harris for a duck.

Harris then overcame the disappointment of his own failed review of an LBW should against Jonathan Trott - replays showed the ball hitting leg stump, but Harris was denied on the "umpire's call" - to have Trott caught down the leg-side in his next over.

Suddenly on a roll, the Australians removed the bogeyman Pietersen, caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin from Peter Siddle. Although not before yet another review, and some remonstration from Pietersen who felt, like Hot Spot, that he had not hit it.

And then ... just frustration, disappointment and, finally, the sound of England's celebrations ringing in their ears.

The consolation? Australia had proven itself here a seemingly more determined and united team than the one that meandered into the series on the back of four straight defeats in India.

And the knowledge that they will have to wait only a few months to get another chance to regain the Ashes, rather than the usual two years. This time on home turf.

A week ago, you might have said Australia could play the Ashes in Michael Clarke's backyard and not have a prayer. But, having forced England to rely on stalling tactics and bad weather just to get a draw here, perhaps they can make their own luck.

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