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England 368 & 35-3 (20 overs) v Australia 527-7 dec & 172-7 dec
The rain lifted at Old Trafford and England were caught in the headlights on day five as Australia made one last-ditch effort to win the Test.
Play began half an hour later than usual, the tourists declared overnight and gave England the task of surviving however many overs were left in the day.
And having prised out the key wickets of Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen in an impressive 20 overs of attacking bowling, they have taken the first steps towards saving the series.
The England team, it appears, were expecting the bad weather in Manchester to take care of play on day five, and only arrived to the ground around 20-30 minutes before the start of play.
Cook certainly played, and reviewed, like a man who wasn't switched on. Leg-before wicket for a duck, he opted to challenge the decision - Ryan Harris' delivery was destined to hit two-thirds of the way up middle and off stumps.
Trott also had survival on his mind, but perished in a leg-side strangle for another single-figure score.
Pietersen began in similar, dominating fashion to the first innings with a meaty pull for four. But he was given out to a catch in controversial fashion. Hot Spot did not show the edge - but there was enough of a noise for Umpire Tony Hill to uphold the original call. Snicko replays suggested that Pietersen, despite being unhappy with the verdict, did in fact hit the ball.
It left England in a hole, however, and it might have been still worse had Michael Clarke held on to a catchable chance against Joe Root at second slip.
Root survived, and he and Ian Bell are left with the task of getting England to safety. They may yet do so, and they may yet see the rain return, but for a side who are on the brink of retaining the urn it has been an inglorious performance.