It did not look a pretty sight at the end of the fourth day’s play of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia. There were plenty of angry gestures exchanged by a miffed Michael Clarke after the umpires decided to call it off.
On Day 5, Australia declared on their overnight total of 172/7, setting the Poms a target of 332 for victory. However, 20.3 overs into the second innings, the rains made yet another appearance, and their prolonged stay eventually ensured that the game was washed out. England thus retained the urn, while Australia were left to nurse their wounds.
Here are the quick flicks for the day:
Alastair Cook-ed by Harris, Jonathan Trotts back to the pavilion
Seamer Ryan Harris looked in complete control of his line, length and pace as he dismissed two of England’s premier batsmen very early in the day. First up, he trapped captain Alastair Cook in front of the wicket with a full delivery around off-stump that moved back in to the left hander. England’s first review was wasted because the decision was spot-on, and Cook’s woes continued in this series.
Next, Harris dispatched Jonathan Trott back to the pavilion with a delivery that was going down the leg side, the resulting faint edge landing safely in Haddin’s gloves. England’s batsmen will do well to cut out the leg-side flick; they’re not very good at it.
Had rain not intervened, Harris might have knocked over a few more English heads. Superb bowling!
Joe stays Root-ed to the crease
In the midst of England’s mini-collapse, young Joe Root stayed put at the crease, leaving every wide delivery alone, and hitting the lone boundary of his unbeaten 13 run-innings off Nathan Lyon.
Root seems to have gone off the boil after his magnificent innings at Lord’s. Perhaps the presence of a certain David Warner may have unnerved him a bit?
DRS howler and Pietersen’s fury
While facing pacer Peter Siddle, first-innings centurion Kevin Pietersen attempted to drive a full delivery just outside off-stump, which was swinging away from him. Haddin took the catch and, certain that the batsman was dismissed, began celebrating without looking at the umpire.
A livid KP asked for the review – England’s last – and umpire Kumar Dharmasena once again went ahead with the noise that occurred after the ball passed the bat. He ruled in favour of the fielding side, despite Hot-Spot not detecting any visible edges; Snicko confirmed the noise though.
Needless to say, KP was absolutely furious. Dharmasena may as well become Public Enemy No. 1 for England now.
Upon KP’s dismissal, the rain gods had had enough. They poured out their frustration – literally- as the ground was soaked to its roots. Eventually, the downpour became too heavy for comfort, and the umpires finally called time on the game.
With the match drawn, England retained the Ashes. Australia did most things right in this game – they put the hosts on the back foot twice, and the batting, led by Clarke’s brilliant 187, finally clicked in unison. The visitors still have two more matches on hand, and the least they can do now is try to square the series.
Over to Chester-le-Street for the fourth Test.