England Retains Ashes as Third Test Drawn, Now Seeks Series Win

England captain Alastair Cook is targeting a series win after his team retained the Ashes trophy as the third cricket Test against Australia was drawn on a rain-shortened final day.

Yesterday’s result at Old Trafford, Manchester, keeps England 2-0 ahead in the five-game contest so Australia cannot now win the series and regain the trophy. It’s the third straight time England has secured the Ashes.

“The feeling in the dressing room now is a very pleasant one,” Cook told Sky Sports. “We set out to retain the Ashes and we’ve done that. Now we want to go and win the series.”

England won the first two Tests, at Nottingham and Lord’s in London. The fourth game starts Aug. 9 at Chester-le-Street, and the fifth at the Oval in London from Aug. 21.

England is seeking a third straight series win against Australia for the first time since 1956.

England ended on 37-3 yesterday, with play washed out from just after lunch. The host made 368 in its first innings, Australia scoring 527-7 declared and 172-7 declared.

“It was an important toss to win but fair play to Australia. The way they played put us under a lot of pressure, getting 500 and plenty in that first innings, but we responded pretty well with the bat,” Cook said.

Australia captain Michael Clarke was named man of the match after scoring 187 in the first innings.

“It’s always nice to make runs, don’t get me wrong, and every hundred for Australia is something you’re very proud of but the result makes it irrelevant,” he said. “I’d rather make a duck and have won the Test match.”

Australia Declared

Rain also curtailed play on the fourth day, with Clarke frustrated by the umpires’ decision to halt play over safety concerns.

Needing a win to have any chance of regaining the Ashes, Clarke declared on the overnight score for a lead of 331 runs.

Even though rain delayed the start of play yesterday, Australia had England wobbling after taking three early wickets.

Cook was the first England batsman to fall, leg-before-wicket to Ryan Harris with no runs on the board. Harris then dismissed Jonathan Trott with the score on 15, and Kevin Pietersen was given out amid controversy after making eight runs, following his first-innings 113.

He was adjudged caught behind off Peter Siddle, and showed his anger when the video-review system failed to overturn the decision. That left the score at 27-3.

Only a few minutes play was possible after lunch before the rain came again. The game was finally abandoned at about 4:40 p.m. local time.

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