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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

England retain Ashes after rain washes out Australia's victory thrust: T3 D5

Australia 7/527d & 7/172d drew with England 368 & 3/37 (20.3ov, Harris 2/13): T3/5 D5/5 at  Old Trafford Manchester. England lead series 2-0 with 2 Tests to play.
Player of the Match: Michael Clarke.

Had rain not intervened Australia would almost certainly have won. As it is England by virtue of wins in the first two Tests have retained the Ashes. But the series is still alive and Australia are on the up, despite continuing uncertainty about the batting order and, perhaps, with the fourth Test four days away, the fitness of some key bowlers eg Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, both of whom went off the ground during the short period of play on D5.

England too are not problem-free. Alistair Cook's failure in the England second innings  confirms him as a passenger in his own team. Will he survive tip lead England in Australia or will he be tolerated as a latter day Mike Brearley?

But can Australia maintain their improvement? That is the question

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