Australia's cricket team has reached 264 - 7 in its first innings as rain washed out most of the third day of the third Ashes test against England in Manchester.

Only 14 overs of play was possible because of persistent rain, but the Aussies avoided having to follow on, thanks in part of Shane Warne's 78 not out.

England had scored 444 runs in its first innings and the Australians needed to pass 245 to avoid batting again. The Aussies made the target easily and also got four runs added to Friday's total because of an officiating error.

The five-match series is tied at 1-1 after Australia won the first test at Lord's and England took the second match at Edgbaston. The Australians have won every Ashes test series dating back to 1989.  

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.