Ashes 2013: Rain washes out fourth day's play at The Oval

Covers on the pitch at The Oval

Rain prevented any play on the fourth day of the final Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Oval.

There was heavy overnight rain, which remained persistent through the morning and afternoon, and play was eventually called off just after 16:00 BST.

England had reached 247-4 by the end of day threeexternal-link in reply to Australia's first innings total of 492-9 declared.

The hosts lead the series 3-0 and have already secured the Ashes, with the urn to be presented after play on Sunday.

With the entire square and the bowlers' run-ups completely covered, puddles had also appeared on the outfield by mid-afternoon.

Ian Bell (29) and Chris Woakes (15) were the not-out batsmen overnight after England struggled to score quickly on day three.

While the hosts still need 46 more runs to avoid the follow-on, the game looks overwhelmingly likely to finish as a draw.

BBC Weather's Nick Miller said: "It's not often it rains all day in London in August but after Saturday's washout prospects for Sunday are looking much better.

"It will keep on raining for much of the night into the first part of Sunday but the rain will fizzle out and it should be brightening up by the end of the morning.

"If the ground is dry enough to allow a scheduled start then there's a good chance of a full day's play, although a further shower popping up in the afternoon can't be ruled out."

Ashes forecast for day five at The Oval

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