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Cricket: England Retain the Ashes in Manchester Rain

Despite an Old Trafford performance from Australia which hinted at an Investec Ashes comeback, England’s cricket team have retained The Ashes after rain in Manchester meant there was barely any play on the fifth and final day.

The resulting draw meant England – who led 2-0 going into this the third Ashes 2013 test match – can not be topped and, as holders of the urn, are now certain to retain the trophy.

England had successfully retained The Ashes on Monday 5th August once the draw was announced.

Australia’s mettle, particularly the tough attitude shown by their captain Michael Clarke with the bat in both innings – which included a Man of the Match 187 in the first innings – was pleasing to see after their batting lineup had appeared to be somewhat brittle in the opening two tests. This, along with some so-so bowling from England, led to a match which, in truth, England were looking like they may not save before the rain came.

The series is not going to be the whitewash many had predicted and, following this impressive performance from Australia, it will be interesting to see what happens when battle resumes in the fourth test – in just two days time – at Durham’s Riverside home in Chester-le-Street.

The North East is likely to be a more lively pitch for the seamers, where England will likely excel, though it will be interesting to see which four bowlers the hosts take to the Riverside, with local man Graham Onions having just bagged a 7 wicket haul in a County match at the ground. Broad and Bresnan look like the men most likely to miss out, though the huge amount of cricket played by James Anderson this summer, the retention of the urn, and a lack of any first innings headway for the quick mean it is not impossible to imagine that it may be he who steps aside, should anyone need to make way for Onions.

Australia, for their part, appear to have selected their best XI at the third attempt, and will be hoping that the impressive Harris is able to play back-to-back tests – something which he has often failed to achieve throughout a career somewhat dogged by niggles.

The visitors will be targeting 2-2 now that regaining the urn is off the table, though with their first visit to a proper bowlers’ track, their rediscovered batting abilities must remain if they are to pick up a win at Chester-le-Street.

The Ashes 2013 – Third Test Scorecards

Australia won the toss and decided to bat

Australia 1st Innings 527 for 7 declared (146.0 overs)

   RunsMinutesBalls4s6s
Watson c Cook b Bresnan 19804920
Rogers lbw b Swann 84172114140
Khawaja c Prior b Swann 1271900
Clarke  b Broad 187439314230
Smith c Bairstow b Swann 8928619680
Warner c Trott b Swann 5151010
Haddin not out  651669960
Siddle  b Swann 14600
Starc not out  66857190
Extras 2nb 2w 0b 6lb 10 
Total for 7 527(146.0 ovs)

England Bowlers

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
Anderson 3361160
Broad 3361081
Bresnan 3261141
Swann 4321595
Root 40180
Trott 1060

England 1st Innings – 368 all out (139.3 overs)

   RunsMinutesBalls4s6s
Cook c Haddin b Starc 6223217770
Root c Haddin b Siddle 8965710
Bresnan c Haddin b Siddle 1161500
Trott c Clarke b Harris 5473200
Pietersen lbw b Starc 113312206122
Bell  b Harris 60150112101
Bairstow c Watson b Starc 22705130
Prior c Warner b Siddle 301389840
Broad c Haddin b Lyon 32646670
Swann c Haddin b Siddle 11121111
Anderson not out  3341300
Extras 1nb 0w 3b 17lb 21 
Total all out 368(139.3 ovs)

Australia Bowlers

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
Harris 319822
Starc 275763
Lyon 3512951
Watson 157260
Siddle 29.37634
Smith 2060

Australia 2nd Innings 172 for 7 declared (36.0 overs)

   RunsMinutesBalls4s6s
Rogers c Prior b Broad 12252310
Warner c Root b Bresnan 41795750
Khawaja  b Swann 24773820
Watson c Pietersen b Bresnan 18302410
Clarke not out  3011833210
Smith run out (Prior)  19251902
Haddin c Broad b Anderson 811910
Starc c Swann b Anderson 11171110
Harris not out  01119400
Extras 0nb 3w 4b 2lb 9 
Total for 7 172(36.0 ovs)

England Bowlers

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
Anderson 80372
Broad 72301
Swann 150741
Bresnan 60252

England 2nd Innings 37 for 3 (20.3 overs)

   RunsMinutesBalls4s6s
Cook lbw b Harris 010900
Root not out  13935710
Trott c Haddin b Harris 11452710
Pietersen c Haddin b Siddle 8171610
Bell not out  4141400
Extras 0nb 1w 0b 0lb 1 
Total for 3 37(20.3 ovs)

Australia Bowlers

BowlerOversMaidensRunsWickets
Harris 73132
Starc 4260
Watson 2200
Lyon 3080
Siddle 3.3081
Clarke 1020

Lineups

EnglandAustralia
Alastair Cook (C) Shane Watson
Joe Root Chris Rogers
Jonathan Trott Usman Khawaja
Kevin Pietersen Michael Clarke (C)
Ian Bell Steven Smith
Jonathan Bairstow David Warner
Matt Prior (W) Brad Haddin (W)
Tim Bresnan Peter Siddle
Stuart Broad Mitchell Starc
Graeme Swann Ryan Harris
James Anderson Nathan Lyon

Umpires: M Erasmus, A L Hill, R S Madugalle, H D P K Dharmasena

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