Weather gods smile down on England

Well, the whitewash talk was premature but the way the 3rd test was going, England will be delighted they have escaped Old Trafford with a draw to retain the ashes.

Michael Clarke's top scored with 187. Photo: nicer (via Flickr)
Michael Clarke top scored with 187. Photo: nic_r (via Flickr)

The victories at Trent Bridge and Lords and the draw at Old Trafford have guaranteed England keep the Ashes until the series in Australia but if it wasn’t for rain on the 4th and 5th day, it could have been oh so different.

The Aussies batted first on the Old Trafford wicket and made a solid start making 76 before Watson fell to Bresnan. The Aussies then found themselves on 129 for 3 and were starting to show signs of why they are 2 nil down in the series.

But captain Michael Clarke more than steadied the ship and scored an enormous 187 to breath new life into the series.

The Aussies continued to make runs with Smith, Haddin and Starc all making half centuries.

Australia eventually declared on 527 and set about England’s top order and to good effect too.

At 110-4 England were glaring the follow-on straight in the face until Pietersen made a magnificent century.

Bell also contributed with a fine 60 with the tail-enders also chipping in with vital runs to help England avoid the follow-on.

Despite that, England scored 368, a good way off the Aussies score.

Australia however were unable to really capitalise on their cracking 1st innings and only made 172 in the 2nd innings with no player capable of scoring above 41.

The bad light and even poorer weather forced an early end to day 4 and rain on the morning of day 5 meant a late start.

The Aussies declared on 172, leaving England 332 to win but more importantly, a day to bat out.

At 27-3 England were floundering but thankfully the heavens opened and the rain poured all day giving the umpires no choice but to abandon the match.

The Aussies would have felt given the time, they could have taken those other seven wickets to give themselves a chance of winning the series but it wasn’t to be and England have retained the Ashes.

Superb consistent Aussie batting meant victory was impossible for England but we still haven’t seen England firing on all cylinders. A better batting performance from England could see them secure a series win at Durham in the next test.

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