The NatWest Series 2005

England v Australia, Edgbaston

ESPNcricinfo staff

At Birmingham, June 28 (day/night). No result. England 3 pts, Australia 3 pts. Toss: Australia.

A dress rehearsal for the final was washed out early in the second innings. But this theoretically pointless match contained plenty of pre-Ashes tension which boiled over in an incident between Simon Jones and Hayden. In the sixth over, just after Jones dismissed Gilchrist, Hayden played the ball defensively back to the bowler, who snatched it and threw at the striker's stumps. He missed the wicket but hit the shoulder of Hayden, who let fly with some angry words, although Jones had raised his hand in apology. Other players joined in, and the umpires had to cool everyone down. Soon afterwards, Jones hit Hayden on his pads instead, and he was lbw without adding to his score. A real storm halted play three overs into England's reply; they eventually resumed, with the target revised to 200 off 33 overs, but rain returned after three more overs, in which time England scored 29 and lost Strauss. The match was intriguingly poised after Symonds had helped Australia reach a competitive 261.

© Wisden Cricketers' Almanack