Ryan Harris provided Australia early breakthroughs on day five of the third Test. (AP Photo)
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So the proceedings at the Old Trafford ended with the remaining play on day five getting abandoned due to rain. The drawn Test also meant that England would retain the Ashes after winning the first two Tests.
End of 20 overs: Kevin Pietersen was the latest victim of some top-class Australian bowling when he got a faint edge back to the wicketkeeper. Though Pietersen was convinced that he didn't hit the ball, the third umpire went with the original on-field decision, which was out, after the batsman decided to challenge the decision. England reached 35 for 3 at lunch in 20 overs. Rain stopped play after just three balls post lunch.
End of over 13: Jonathan Trott (11) having earlier survived a leg before appeal couldn't make use of the reprieve as he nicked one from Ryan Harris to Brad Haddin behind the stumps. The ball was going down the leg and Trott shuffled to the off to tuck it to the onside but got a thick edge.
End of over 3: England are 1 for 1 - Skipper Alastair Cook was dismissed early on Day 5 for a duck with pacer Ryan Harris trapping him leg-before in the third over. Jonathan Trott came out to join opener Joe Root in the middle for England.
England moved to the cusp of a third straight series win over Ashes rivals Australia - and it has the inclement Manchester weather to thank.
Australia built a lead of 331 runs on Sunday and were weighing up when to declare their second innings when bad light stopped play 37 minutes into the final session on day four.
Rain arrived around half an hour later and no more play was possible, with the unlucky tourists stranded on 172 for 7. Australia eventually declared with the runs they had on the board on the morning of the fifth day.