Cricket: Cook praise for fighting qualities of England

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England captain Alastair Cook praised his team after rain intervened to help England retain the Ashes with a draw in the third Test at Old Trafford.

“We showed a lot of fighting character to get through this game,” said Cook. “We might not have played our best cricket, but we’re proving we’re quite a hard side to beat.”

Australia reduced England to 37 for three in 20.3 overs. But the expected rain eventually settled in before umpires abandoned the match at 4.39pm to secure England, 2-0 ahead in the five-Test series, a third successive Ashes success for the first time since 1981.

n Rain prevented a finish on the final day of Yorkshire’s match with Warwickshire at Headingley and the hosts were no doubt the happier of the two that it came.

Having let slip a strong position on the third morning, Yorkshire resumed yesterday despite rain on 148-7, a lead of 141.

However, amidst the showers they were dismissed for 180 which left Warwickshire requiring 174 to win from mid-afternoon but when they had reached 3-0, the rain returned leading to the game being declared a draw.

Yorkshire - who were guaranteed to stay top regardless after Derbyshire beat Sussex at Hove for their first win of the season on Sunday - have a 10 point lead over Sussex from a game less. Middlesex are 14 points behind from the same games.