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  • England v Australia, 3rd Test, Old Trafford

Rain set to frustrate Australia

ESPN staff
August 5, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
A grim sight for Australia on the fifth morning © PA Photos
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Australia 527 for 7 dec and 172 for 7 (Clarke 30*, Harris 0*) lead England 368 by 331 runs
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The rain which left Australia frustrated on the fourth evening at Old Trafford continued overnight and is forecast to linger for much of the fifth day as well. With England only needing a draw to retain the Ashes, it seems the weather as much as the batsmen will thwart Australia's hopes of victory.

Although the rain should ease a little around lunchtime it is likely that, at best, Australia will have two sessions to bowl England out and few would bank on this side being able to do that.

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Glorious Goodwood? © PA Photos

And as far as England are concerned, any which way they can secure the Ashes is alright with them.

"We'd be more than happy, if it did rain all day," said Matt Prior. "If it did then great but it was meant to start at one today and it didn't. Forecasts in England are pretty good at being wrong and it would be very dangerous for us to rely on forecasts going into tomorrow.

"We have to steel ourselves and prepare as though we are going into a full day's cricket and we know what is at the end of the line for us but it goes back to one ball at a time and keeping it simple."

  • If this Test is drawn it will be the only time other than 1928-29 that England will have won the Ashes by the end of the third Test (in more than a three-Test series)

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