A rainy Monday afternoon at Old Trafford ensured England retained the Ashes, as play was abandoned to confirm that the third Investec Test ended as a draw.
Australia declared at the start of the day, knowing they needed ten wickets to keep the series alive. England meanwhile, needed an unlikely 332 runs to ensure a series win, or to bat the day out to retain the urn.
Things didn't start well for the hosts either as captain Alastair Cook was out plumb lbw by Ryan Harris for a duck. Harris continued to cause the England batsmen problems and Jonathan Trott was next to fall for just 11, caught behind by Brad Haddin.
Kevin Pietersen was the next man in, and showed early intent, possibly in a bid to try and win the test. While at the other end, Joe Root edged a Peter Siddle delivery, which was dropped by Aussie captain Michael Clarke at slip.
It wasn't long before the DRS system was at the centre of controversy again. A Siddle delivery brushed past the bat of Pietersen and was caught by Haddin. The umpire’s finger rose and Pietersen immediately reviewed it; with the Surrey star adamant he hadn't made contact. Hotspot didn't show an edge but the decision stayed and England found themselves 27-3 - Australia only needing more seven wickets for an unlikely victory.
Ten more runs were added before lunch, which was extended due to rain. When the players eventually returned to the field, only three deliveries were bowled before the showers came again.
And, come 4:40pm, play was abandoned and the match declared a draw. The retention of the Ashes was complete.
Although this won't be seen as the ideal way of securing the urn for the third successive series, England will look back at the first two tests that were both won.
A 14 run victory at Trent Bridge set them on their way before a crushing win at Lord’s. Cook and his team will now look to the final two tests in a bid to equal their biggest series victory, while the visitors will play for pride and momentum ahead of the return series that starts in November.
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