Ashes Paper Talk: A look at what the media made of the fifth day at Old Trafford
We look at what the English and Australian press had to say about England retaining the Ashes.
Last Updated: 06/08/13 7:52am
Australia were on top and chasing victory when the Manchester weather had the final say but that, as they say, is cricket... particularly in England in August.
There were few gripes in the Australian media, with England generally acknowledged to have outplayed the tourists over the three Tests to date.
But there is aso a feeling in both hemispheres that the momentum of the series may have changed.
Here's what the pick of the British and Australian newspapers had to say...
Richard Hinds - Herald Sun
Deservedly, England celebrated a mission accomplished. If luck deserted Australia at Old Trafford, the English had made their own with their superior batting at Trent Bridge and Lord's.
But, after a quest to return the urn bedevilled in the early stages by off-field strife and on-field incompetence, Australia's campaign ended - apart from the two now dead rubbers - with surprising respectability.
Indeed, dramatically, places had been traded after the Lord's humiliation. Hunted by the English bowlers in the first two Tests, the Australians were briefly the hunters....
And then ... just frustration, disappointment and, finally, the sound of England's celebrations ringing in their ears.
The consolation? Australia had proven itself here a seemingly more determined and united team than the one that meandered into the series on the back of four straight defeats in India.
And the knowledge that they will have to wait only a few months to get another chance to regain the Ashes, rather than the usual two years. This time on home turf.
A week ago, you might have said Australia could play the Ashes in Michael Clarke's backyard and not have a prayer. But, having forced England to rely on stalling tactics and bad weather just to get a draw here, perhaps they can make their own luck.
Chris Barrett - Sydney Morning Herald
Manchester has made a not-inconsiderable contribution to the world. The Smiths, New Order, Oasis, a couple of the biggest football clubs on the planet, and whole floors in department stores
Australia were not particularly enamoured with a couple of the city's other attributes - its reputation for rain and ability to produce a drawn cricket match.
There was a Test match to be won, a series to be resurrected, and with England folding on the final day, a feeling of genuine hope. The weather spoiled all that, the third Test was abandoned in the afternoon and England, for the third time running, retained the Ashes.
Mike Selvey - Guardian
After 14 of the scheduled 25 days that constitute this series, England have achieved their primary objective of retaining the Ashes that they won back here four years ago and retained in Australia in 2010-11. The last time they secured the Ashes at an earlier date at home was on 29 July, 1972 but if England felt at all that this warranted exuberant celebration in Manchester, then they might have needed a rethink: a quiet reflective beer maybe rather than champagne and nightclub Jäger Bombs.
Before the rain returned shortly after lunch to put paid to the match, Ryan Harris - the pick of the pacemen on display in these past two matches - and the indefatigably competitive Peter Siddle had England on the rack, struggling for survival at 37 for three from almost 21 overs. From an England viewpoint it was not pretty.
Paul Hayward - Daily Telegraph
Parts of this England side are not functioning. Trott, out for five and 11, is no longer the pillar at No 3. Jonny Bairstow has so far fallen short of Ashes class. And Cook's own batting displays a vulnerability absent on the last tour of Australia, where he piled up 766 runs and became the second youngest after Sachin Tendulkar to pass 5,000 in Tests.
In this series Cook's bat has flashed away for 13, 50, 12, 8, 62 and 0. The two half-centuries in there are hardly negligible, but Ian Bell and Pietersen have been England's saviours.
At 28, and with 25 Test centuries and 7,669 runs, Cook remains comfortably in credit. To say he was slightly embarrassed by England's escape here would be pushing it, but he did acknowledge the swing in Australia's favour.
He praised his team for "playing some really good cricket at Lord's, fighting very hard at Trent Bridge and getting the result in this Test when we've been behind the eight ball".
The essence of it is that England's fans have perpetually high hopes for him. He has all the classic attributes of the English icon and the individual talent to go with them. But the urn now becomes incidental.
For England to make Lord's the true measure of these sides they have to win in Durham and at the Oval (weather permitting).