The final day of the first Ashes Test is DELAYED with lunch to be taken at 12:30 p.m. and no play until 1:10 p.m., after heavy rain leaves huge puddles on the Edgbaston outfield
- The last day of the first ash test is due to start this morning
- The game hangs in the balance, with all three outcomes still possible at Edgbaston
- The start of the game was delayed due to heavy rain in Birmingham
The final day of the first ash test was delayed after heavy rain this morning in Edgbaston.
The game is delicately evenly balanced, with England needing seven wickets for victory and Australia needing 174 more runs to go 1-0 up in the series.
But play won’t start at the scheduled 11 a.m. start as a heavy downpour left huge puddles on the outfield.
Following a morning inspection, the referees decided that an early lunch would be taken at 12:30 p.m., with no play possible before 1:10 p.m.
It’s a stark contrast to how the game started, with England batting in glorious Friday morning sunshine to kick off the much-anticipated series.
The Edgbaston outfield has huge puddles after a heavy downpour in the Birmingham area
It rained non-stop this morning, the covers remaining well in place
It was also very sunny on Saturday when Australia had the chance to strike for the first time, but rain disrupted Sunday’s game and most of the afternoon game was washed away.
A full day of play was possible yesterday, with England stepping on the gas with the bat in an attempt to force a result.
They then took three wickets in the evening session as Stuart Broad fired Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith to boost their chances going into day five.
But England may have to wait for another chance against the Aussie batters due to the weather in the Birmingham area.
The weather forecast called for rain today, but hopefully things will clear up this afternoon to allow the players to finish the game, with an exciting finale potentially in store.
Field staff were seen in the field trying to clean up the puddles but will have their work cut out for them today as the rain continues to fall.
It is expected that there will be 98 passes today due to the time lost on Sunday. It’s almost certain that we won’t get all of these results, but it might only take about half that number to force a result.
Ben Stokes’ side are hoping the weather clears up and they can play in cloudy conditions, which proved difficult for their own batters on Sunday as they lost the first two games in their second innings under a leaden sky.
Australia will be praying for the sun to come out, with the batting looking much easier throughout this Test match when there has been little cloud cover.
Ground staff tried to clean up puddles that accumulated on the outfield
There is still hope that the weather will clear up this afternoon to set up a thrilling finale