7 Aug 2013

England retain Ashes thanks to rain

5:34 am on 7 August 2013

The England cricketers have retained the Ashes for a third consecutive series, thanks to rain which ruined Australia's chances of a memorable third test win at Old Trafford.

Australia had declared at their overnight total leaving England 332 to win on the final day, and the tourists' pace bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle had the home side reeling at 37 for three, with Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen back in the pavilion.

But the clear Manchester skies didn't last long. Only three balls were bowled after the lunch break and England were spared a day of survival that was looking incredibly ominous.

Australia can still draw the series, but they've now surrendered the Urn on three successive occasions for the first time since the 1950s, when England won three on the trot.

The fourth test starts in Durham on Friday night.