England were hit by a 1-2 punch from Australia in a devastating 21-minute spell before rain ruined the 3rd day of the first Ashes Test.

Only 22 balls were possible after 2:15 at Edgbaston, but in that time Australia were rampant under slate skies and floodlights to claim two wickets for 2 runs.

Ben Duckett poked Pat Cummins to gully, where Cameron Green took a trademark catch, and a shuffling Zak Crawley edged Scott Boland behind.

Joe Root was also the subject of a review off Cummins before the second and final heavy shower of the day allowed England to escape on 28-2, 35 ahead.

All this came after England had much the better of the dry morning, running through the Australia lower order to claim a 1st-innings lead of 7 runs.

After Usman Khawaja was out-thought by another ingenious plan from Ben Stokes and bowled by Ollie Robinson for 141, Australia lost their last 4 wickets for 14 runs to be dismissed for 386.

Robinson and Stuart Broad bounced out the tail, each ending with 3 wickets.

Overall, 47.3 overs were lost to rain, with more forecast for day five on Tuesday.

The wet weather, wearing pitch and clash of styles add fuel to what could be a thrilling conclusion to an enthralling series opener.