Ashes Day Three: Persistent Rain Halts Play As England Start Well But End Badly

England end Day Three on 28/2
18:24, 18 Jun 2023

The rain both halted England’s progress and saved them from complete capitulation at Edgbaston on day three of the Ashes. After a stormy night, the skies held off for the morning session, during which Ben Stokes aggressively targeted the tail-end to give England a narrow lead of seven runs heading into the second innings. 

They were able to get on the front foot after Jimmy Anderson bowled Alex Carey and when they finally got Usman Khawaja out for 141 thanks to Ollie Robinson - the floodgates opened. England went all out attack to tie up the tail-end before lunch, and they succeeded as Australia went from 371-6 to 386 all out. 

It wasn’t quite the early declaration that England shocked everyone with on day one, but there was little point in Australia’s bowlers coming out with the bat in hand - so perhaps Stokes was still right to save time with the declaration. Time is something that England didn’t have too much of for the remainder of the day. 


Openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett started reasonably well while the sun was out, getting to 27-0, but once the clouds gathered and the rain fell, everything changed. The players went off after lunch and when they returned, briefly, the mood had swung. Grey clouds were still looming overhead and it was only a matter of time before the players would head back into the pavilion. 

But Australia made hay while the weather swirled around Edgbaston. The ball began to swing, and England’s openers couldn’t cope. They began to try and waste time, almost pleading the umpire to take them off - but to no avail. First Duckett was caught magnificently by Cameron Green before Crawley was out two balls later - caught behind. 

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Joe Root escaped by the skin of his teeth until finally the rain came down and England were saved. It wasn’t a day to remember for either side, but Australia will fancy their chances on day four having removed both of England’s openers in such devastating fashion. 

But England will see tomorrow as a new day. It’s expected to be dry and sunny again, with more rain to come on Tuesday so tomorrow will be pivotal if either side is to achieve victory. In a swirling wind of unpredictables, Joe Root is so reliable. He’s 11/4 to get 75 or more runs which has to be the pick as we move onto day three, while the draw is now 10/3.

Even with the aggression of Stokes, Tuesday looks like it could be a complete washout. You are essentially getting 10/3 on the game not to finish tomorrow, even though they are aiming for 98 overs. If you fancy that, the value is there, but if Root can find his composure, expect him to score big again. 

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