Old Trafford's famously fickle weather helped shaky England retain the Ashes after rain ruined the last day of the drawn third test on Monday (August 5), destroying Australia's slim hopes of winning the series.

England, who have won the last two Ashes campaigns, lead the five-match encounter 2-0 and as holders will keep the urn in the event of a drawn series.

The hosts were looking for the draw but were in trouble at 37 for three when play was suspended after lunch and steady rain continued to fall until the end.

Australia would have fancied their chances of taking the remaining seven wickets in the final two sessions had the rain not intervened.

Play was eventually called off at 15:39 to the cheers of a smattering of hardy fans still left inside the Manchester ground, who later greeted the celebrating England players on the team balcony.

The teams next face each other at Chester-le-Street in Durham from Friday for the fourth test which will be a slight anti-climax after the literal damp-squib finish at Old Trafford.

England will still want to win the Ashes outright for the third straight time while Australia will at least look to make it 2-2 and head home with some confidence for the next series between the two starting in November.

Presented by Adam Justice