Result: England retain Ashes as third Test is abandoned

Result: England retain Ashes
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The third Ashes Test at Old Trafford is abandoned because of rain, meaning that England retain the urn.

England have retained the Ashes by drawing the third Test of the series against Australia at Old Trafford.

In an underwhelming end to the match, play was abandoned because of persistent rain this afternoon in Manchester, which means that England will head into the final two Tests with a 2-0 lead. Even if Australia win both of them, a 2-2 draw will still see England retain the little urn.

At the start of today's play Australia declared their second innings total, setting England a victory target of 332 runs.

It was clear from the outset, however, that the hosts were trying to bat out for a draw.

Despite their cautious approach, England lost the key wickets of Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen before lunch.

If the rain had steered clear of Old Trafford, then the Aussies may have been able to claim the remaining seven wickets, but only three balls were managed after lunch before the heavens opened.

It didn't subside and the decision was made to abandon the Test in a draw, securing the Ashes for England in the process.

Tim Bresnan
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