Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live, over-by-over, bitten-nail-by-bitten-nail coverage of the final day at Edgbaston. First, the bad news: Bazball can’t control the weather. It’s pelting down in Birmingham, as it has been for most of the morning, and there is almost no chance of play starting on time.
The better news is that the forecast is much better this afternoon, so there should be plenty of play. Whether there will be enough for a result either way we don’t know, but it could lead to a thrilling race against time for England, Australia or both. It’s still Squeaky Bum Time; they’ve just pushed it back by a few hours.
Australia will resume on 107 for three, needing another 174 runs. It’s been a brilliant Test match, full of subtle and occasionally spectacular momentum shifts. England’s batters could be forgiven for quoting Michael Corleone: every time they thought were getting away, Australia’s bowlers pulled them back in.
The same was true for Australia’s top order last night. They started their runchase with ominous serenity, but Stuart Broad changed the mood with a blistering spell that included the cheap wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith.
Broad feels like England’s key man today, such is his addiction to Ashes victories. If you could bottle his competitive juices, you’d be a billionaire within weeks.
The rain means that, when the players do get on, batting is likely to be pretty tough for the first hour or so. That will be England’s time to strike.
All four results are possible, including a tie. Okay, at least three results are possible, including a tie. Since he took over as captain, Ben Stokes has had the air of a man who would rather lose than draw. The weather may foil him today, but one thing’s for sure: he won’t die wondering.