Ashes 2013: Australia’s Clake left frustrated after England retain urn

Ashes 2013: Australia's Michael Clarke admits his frustration after England retained the Ashes urn on day five of the third Test

Australia captain Michael Clarke expressed his frustration after England retained the Ashes amidst continuous Manchester rain on the final day of the third Test.

The tourists declared overnight to set England 332 to win and were very much on top with Alastair Cook’s side losing three top-order wickets before lunch until the rain took centre stage.

Clarke, 34, was keen to point out how his side had bounced back, putting in a much-improved performance after Lord’s, where Australia were thrashed.

“It’s obviously very disappointing. The Australian boys deserve credit for the way we played after Lord’s but you can’t take anything away from England,” Clarke said.

Many were surprised that play was delayed by just half an hour after an early morning deluge but the weather was always likely to have say in the outcome.

And Clarke admitted he knew the weather would influence the series at some point.

“When you play in the UK there’s always a chance the weather will play a part and unfortunately it did,” he added, speaking at news conference after play had been called off.

“The plan was to declare and have 25 overs last night and that would have given us the whole day today and if we’d bowled like we did today it would have been plenty of time.”

With the Ashes gone, all Australia can hope for is to level the series by winning the final two Tests in Durham and the Oval.

Clarke said: “The goal is to try to level the series and if we play like (in Manchester) there’s no reason why we can’t do that.”

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