WELL, Australia have retained the Ashes but not without a fight from England which took the game into the last hour of play.

When the lights were turned on just after tea I felt concern for the umpires who might have to make a decision whether or not it was fit to play.

It is their decision alone. The batsmen have no say, despite a commentator a few weeks back saying the umpires would have asked the batsmen if they wanted to carry on. That was the old law.

The way the fast bowlers were sending down short-pitched balls they would have to decide if it was dangerous to stay out there. Two things fell in their favour.

They already had a reading from a couple of days ago when they went off so no one could complain as they would be being consistent, no matter what the state of the game was, and the other thing was that the sun appeared again before the last two wickets fell.

One talking point from this latest Test was the strong wind constantly blowing the bails off during an earlier session.

You can play without bails and if the umpires decide that, then bails are removed from both ends, not just one end.

More pressure is put on the umpires playing without bails as they have to decide what has happened to the stumps. This means judging whether a stump or stumps have been touched, however slightly, by the ball, the striker’s bat or person or by personal equipment falling off, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball.

The umpires do not have to judge how hard the strike was; merely that it has happened is good enough.

 When playing without bails fielders will not need to pull a stump out of the ground to put the wicket down even if one or more of the stumps have already been removed.

 A question was asked how would playing without bails affect DRS.

Bails sit on top of the stumps and do not project more than one inch above them.

If they were not there would it affect the outcome of a review? I don’t know but it’s something to find out.

It is far easier for the umpires to play with bails and heavy bails are available.

However, if you watched the Test, you may have noticed the bails were not heavy enough to combat the wind so they had screws fitted into them to make them even heavier so that they would stay on and play was able to continue with bails.