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England hopes of victory in first Ashes Test frustrated by rain at Edgbaston

England’s hopes of pressing for a fifth-day victory in their Ashes opener against Australia suffered a frustrating start as the morning session was washed out at Edgbaston.

The finale was confirmed as a 25,000 sell-out shortly after Stuart Broad produced an exhilarating double strike on the fourth evening, removing key men Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith.

Australia ended on 107 for three, needing 174 more runs to chase down 281, with England buoyant after Broad’s rabble-rousing efforts.

But overnight rain and heavy downpours on Tuesday morning meant no play was possible before an early lunch was called at 12.30pm.

The forecast is more optimistic as the day progresses, but the scheduled 98 overs are already being chipped away, leaving a potentially thrilling finish on the cards.

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