Final day of first Ashes Test under way after morning rain at Edgbaston

Final day of first Ashes Test under way after morning rain at Edgbaston

The decisive final day of the first Ashes Test belatedly got under way at 2.15pm after rain washed out the morning session at Edgbaston.

Both sides have clear routes to victory with 67 overs possible, England needing another seven wickets and Australia 174 runs.

The fifth day in Birmingham 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 in an inspired spell.

The tourists resumed on 107 for three, with first-innings centurion Usman Khawaja in position on 34 not out and nightwatch Scott Boland holding up the other end.

England set their opponents a target of 281 to win, with Ollie Robinson ending a dangerous opening partnership at 61 before Broad got the ground rocking late on by taking out Labuschagne and Smith, the top two players in the ICC rankings.

Moeen Ali will be hoping he can play a role in knocking over Australia, with a painful open blister on his index finger causing him problems.

He reversed his international retirement to answer England’s call when Jack Leach was injured, but two years away from red-ball cricket have already taken their toll on the 36-year-old who has struggled to grip the ball properly since the injury emerged.