In the 67th competition of the Ashes, the weather really did help out the home team of England as they managed to retain the Ashes Urn for a third consecutive time, the first time the English have managed to do so since 1981. There were talks beforehand of their being a whitewash in the competition, but instead it was the third test which was washed away by the torrential rain securing England with a draw and keeping the title. Nevertheless, this is not the end of the Ashes for England as Captain Alastair Cook has revealed that he will not settle for a draw, he’s going for the win.
Currently, Australia are in the lead of the overall wins being one Ashes victory ahead of England with 31 triumphs in the series. So far, England have won 30 series as they look to level up the scores this year as they only need one more test victory, with two tests remaining. So far, there have been 5 draws overall in the competitions history, yet that could easily turn to six draws if Australia find their form and win the next two tests, the first of which is later this week.
The third test was very much a one sided contest which was saved for England by the rain as Australia were in the driving seat. Australia’s captain, Michael Clarke was on fine form who nearly hit the 200 run mark in Australia’s first innings on the first day. Clarke partnered extremely well with Chris Rogers and Steve Smith who both scored 84 and 89 runs respectively and helped Clarke reach 187 runs himself. After 146 overs, Australia declared on their first innings with an impressive score of 527-7.
On the other hand, whilst Clarke was being Australia’s big hitter, Kevin Pietersen saved England in their first innings. After Alastair Cook, who was the opening batter, 3 players all scored under 10 runs putting England well behind where they wanted to be, and then stepped in Kevin Pietersen. Returning from injury, the Englishman scored 113 runs saving England from embarrassment as they were all out for 368.
The second innings did not last long as Australia declared 172-7 going into the final day leaving England with a target of 332 in order to win the test. However, that target looked highly unlikely when none of England opening 5 batters managed to score more than 15 runs before lunch on the final day. Yet, the English weather finally came into favour for the home side as the match was abandoned due to the rain, handing England with a draw, therefore retaining the Ashes Urn.
Furthermore, England’s director Andy Flower revealed that England won’t settle for a draw and they will try to win the fourth test at Durham on Friday. “There are no extravagant celebrations, we want to win the series. We are only three matches into a five-match series and are two-nil up, so we want to win at Durham.” Captain Cook agreed with Flower, “The first objective was to retain the Ashes, now we want to go on and win them. We need to up our levels a little bit at Durham.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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