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Rain scuppers England but denying Australia the Ashes win they came for will motivate hosts

Visit our live blog on day five of the Fourth Test. The question on everyone’s mind is “will the weather allow England enough time to knock out the rest of the Australians?” The Travelers go on to 214/5 and they lead 61, so obviously it all depends on whether England can beat them in the middle of what sounds like an inevitable rain delay, and then score any points in the fourth inning. If they do, we’ll go to The Oval 2-2 and it could be an excellent finale, which is in line with my view of a very interesting series.

Of course, the Australians will be hoping for rain and they will end this match in a draw. If that happens, they will keep The Ashes no matter what happens in Kennington next week.

News from the ground is moderately encouraging. The covers are coming out and they will have a yard inspection at 11am. However, the start will inevitably be delayed and the heavy rain overnight has left the patio soaking wet.

England batting coach Marcus Trescothick summed it up yesterday. “We played more than we expected. Saturday looks like a complete washout so that’s a bonus. We’re getting a little closer but it’s still annoying. We want to get two or three wicks today. We’ll play any game we can tomorrow.”

Marnus Labuschange, yesterday’s centurion, said: “No chance, zero,” when it was suggested to him that Australia could somehow be looking for a win. “I think we’ll let it happen, let’s bowl when we do. I don’t think we’re going to sniff England, that’s exactly what they want.”

We’ll get regular updates on the weather and of course the dreaded satellite-tracking doo-das. It doesn’t look very nice but the local sages seem to think there will be at least some Play into what could be a sensational, or depressing date.


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