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2013 Ashes

England's Ashes triumph

England's Ashes triumph

England retained the Ashes on a rain-curtailed day at Emirates Old Trafford.

And skipper Alastair Cook admits they will have to play better than they did in the third Test after Australia dominated the match.

“To be 2-0 up with two games to play is a pretty good place to be,” said Cook. “But we want to go and win the Ashes now having retained them.

“We need to up our levels at Durham. We didn’t play our best game here, but we were put under pressure by Australia and they should take some credit.”

England were under pressure throughout the match, and were rocking on 37-3 when the rain came to their rescue today.

And Aussie skipper Michael Clarke believes his side have hope of levelling the series after their display at Emirates Old Trafford.

“Our goal is to level the series and that will give us a lot of confidence going to Australia and if we repeat what we did here we will give it a good go,” said Clarke.

“I think we outplayed England in this Test and England outplayed us in the first two, so there isn’t much of a gap at all between the two sides.

“We are frustrated we didn’t get the whole match in. It would have been a fantastic Test match if we had. It was going to be a tough day for us and it would have been hard to win it. But we are frustrated we didn’t have the chance.

“We have come back well from Lord’s and have shown we are here for the fight and for the challenge.”

And although Cook and his team-mates were unable to celebrate out on the field, the feeling of elation at securing the urn was just as strong for the team.

“It was a strange day,” said Cook. “But if you had said 14 days ago it would rain here on the final day but that meant we would retain the Ashes, I would have snapped your hand off.”

Cook also praised the Old Trafford pitch, saying: “It was a fantastic cricket wicket for a Test, a very good one. It started flat and then deteriorated and looked like producing a really good Test match.”

Only 20.3 overs of play were possible following a delayed start at 11.30am, but it was Australia who quickly established a grip on the proceedings.

Cook was trapped lbw by Ryan Harris without a run on the board, and Harris then claimed the wicket of Jonathan Trott to a leg side catch by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 11.

When first innings hero Kevin Pietersen edged behind, following a lengthy DRS review, to Peter Siddle Australia sensed a real opportunity.

The weather however had the final say, with play ending shortly after lunch with England on 37 for 3.

The England players emerged once play had been called off at 5.00pm to sign autographs and pose for photographs with the spectators that had waited patiently throughout the afternoon.

It was a frustrating end to what had been an absorbing game over the previous four days, and England now head to Durham 2-0 up in the series with their first target, the retention of the Ashes, acheived.

On behalf of everyone connected with Lancashire County Cricket Club, we would like to thank everyone for their outstanding support over the five days of this match, and look forward to seeing you at Emirates Old Trafford again.

Ken Grime, LCCC Website Editor
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh


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