Skip to main content

'Anti-climax' as weather helps England retain cricket Ashes

updated 1:28 PM EDT, Mon August 5, 2013
Australian captain Michael Clarke looks skyward as his side's hopes of winning the third Test at Old Trafford disappear due to bad weather.
Australian captain Michael Clarke looks skyward as his side's hopes of winning the third Test at Old Trafford disappear due to bad weather.
  • England have retained cricket's Ashes
  • Drawn match at Old Trafford in third Test
  • England lead best of five series 2-0
  • Australian captain Michael Clarke man of the match in Manchester

(CNN) -- England retained cricket's fabled Ashes Monday but their captain Alastair Cook admitted what should have been a day of triumph turned out to be an "anti-climax" after the infamous Manchester weather intervened.

Cook's side were facing defeat in the third Test at Old Trafford, reduced to 37 for three wickets chasing an improbable 332 for victory, when rain brought play to a premature end just after lunch on the final day.

With the holders already leading the best of five series 2-0, it meant Australia can, at best, level it up even if they win the remaining two Test matches at Durham and The Oval in London.

In the event of a tied series, the team that last won the Ashes retains them and England won 3-1 in Australia in the 2010/11 season.

Frustrated by the bad light call by the umpires which brought Sunday's fourth day of five to a premature end, Australia skipper Michael Clarke declared on their overnight second innings score of 172 for seven wickets.

Ashes cricket: Australia vs. England
Graham Swann: Ashes mean everything
Cricket star critically hurt in attack

But as the rain came in, only 20.3 overs were possible Monday, enough time for Australia's pace attack to take three of the ten wickets needed for victory.

Ryan Harris dismissed Cook and Jonathan Trott in quick succession before Peter Siddle claimed Kevin Pietersen, who scored a century in his side's first innings.

Of minor consolation to the Australians is that the drawn Test ended a run of six straight defeats at this level, their worst for 29 years and Clarke was full of praise for his team after earlier setbacks.

"I don't want to take anything away from England. They deserved to be 2-0 up," he said.

"That's the chance you take when you are 2-0 down in the UK, there can be a bit of rain about. The guys have worked their backsides off here."

Clarke, who scored a magnificent century as Australia piled up the runs in their first innings, was named man of the match but it was a minor consolation.

"It's nice to make runs but the result is more important, he added

His English counterpart was also left feeling flat as he is team achieved their objective while sitting in the pavilion watching the steady drizzle.

"It's a great feeling, a strange feeling; it was a bit of an anti-climax today," Cook admitted..

"We've retained the Ashes and now we want to go and win them. If you'd said that after three Tests I'd have snapped your hand off to be in this position."

England will look to increase their advantage in the fourth and fifth Tests, while for Australia there is an early opportunity to win back the famous urn in a home series against their arch rivals which starts in Brisbane in November.

For now, Clarke wants his team to restore pride by building on their fine performance at Old Trafford.

"It's important we concentrate on the two Tests here.

"It would be a great achievement if we leave England 2-2 -- our goal is to try to level the series."

Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:37 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Photography can really pack a punch. Catch up with all the best shots from around the world with our weekly sports gallery.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 11:13 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
San Francisco 49ers owner and co-chairman John York speaks to CNN about Michael Sam and the upcoming NFL Draft.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
updated 9:45 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
updated 10:07 AM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
updated 5:20 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka is running to be president of the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Wed August 7, 2013
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
A competitor crosses the erg Znaigui during the second stage of the 26rd edition of the 'Marathon des Sables', on April 4, 2011, some 300 Kilometers, South of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The marathon is considered one of the hardest in the world, with 900 participants having to walk 250 kms (150 miles) for seven days in the Moroccan Sahara.
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.