Cook to lift the urn as fifth Ashes test heads for a draw

With the rain affected fifth test at the Oval heading for a draw, captain Alistair Cook will lift the Ashes following what little play is left.

England captain Alastair Cook will lift the Ashes urn today regardless of the result in the rain-affected final Test.

With no play possible on Saturday due to continuous rainfall, the game was almost certain to finish as a draw, meaning that England would win the series 3-0.

The result was all but confirmed just moments ago, as England avoided the follow-on meaning that the visitors would have to both bat again and bowl England out for any sort of result at the Oval.

The covers came off in the morning and umpires were due to inspect at 11am with play resuming at 11.30, when England began the day they were 245 runs behind Australia's first-innings total of 429-9, with six wickets in hand.

Warwickshire duo Chris Woakes and Ian Bell both departed in a shortened morning session but a composed knock from wicketkeeper, Matt Prior saw them reach their target and avoid a potential follow on, although it never really looked in doubt.

England have already retained with wins in the first two tests before a draw at Old Trafford meant they would be kept by the home side, a further win at Durham, thanks to a magnificent spell of bowling by Stuart Broad meant that that Cook's men won outright.

The lifting of the Ashes will be a huge psychological blow to the Australians who must regroup before the return series which start this December.

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