The Ashes stay in England
As expected, England has retained the Ashes. The manner of the victory was muted, though, as the Old Trafford game petered out into a rain and lightaffected draw.
England captain Alastair Cook will know that atmospheric conditions, rather than good cricket, extended his team’s tenure with the terracotta urn.
The Australians bossed every session of a game they had to win to keep the series alive. They failed, but will take more from this performance than their host.
Michael Clarke’s superb first innings 187 drove his side to a commanding total, and the cause was helped by solid contributions from Chris Rogers, Steve Smith and even paceman Mitchell Starc.
Clarke’s bowlers performed skilfully and with intent, none more so that the resurgent Ryan Harris. Peter Siddle and Starc really bent their backs and offspinner Nathan Lyon teased England’s batsmen, without looking too dangerous.