Ashes: England lose openers as Australia edge forward on rain-hit day

England 393 for 8 declared and 26 for 2 lead Australia 386 (Khawaja 141, Carey 66, Robinson 3-55, Broad 3-68) by 35 runs


England were hit by a one-two punch from Australia in a devastating 21-minute spell before rain ruined the third day of the first Ashes Test.

Only 22 balls were possible after 14:15 BST at Edgbaston, but in that time Australia were rampant under slate skies and floodlights to claim two wickets for two runs.

Ben Duckett poked Pat Cummins to gully, where Cameron Green took a trademark catch, and a shuffling Zak Crawley edged Scott Boland behind.

Joe Root was also the subject of a review off Cummins before the second and final heavy shower of the day allowed England to escape on 28-2, 35 ahead.

The covers were not quite enough on wet evening at Edgbaston•Jun 18, 2023•PA Photos/Getty Images

All this came after England had much the better of the dry morning, running through the Australia lower order to claim a first-innings lead of seven runs.

After Usman Khawaja was out-thought by another ingenious plan from Ben Stokes and bowled by Ollie Robinson for 141, Australia lost their last four wickets for 14 runs to be dismissed for 386.

Robinson and Stuart Broad bounced out the tail, each ending with three wickets.

Overall, 47.3 overs were lost to rain, with more forecast for day five on Tuesday. The wet weather, wearing pitch and clash of styles add fuel to what could be a thrilling conclusion to an enthralling series opener. (BBC)

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