Recalled Australia opener Marcus Harris lasted only a dozen balls as Jofra Archer struck early in the third Test, but the rain returned at Headingley and forced the players off after four overs.
Showers initially postponed the toss and came back shortly after Joe Root had inserted Australia under gloomy skies in Leeds, meaning play did not start until 12:10 local time (11:10 GMT), a delay of 80 minutes.
Root’s decision to try to take advantage of the day-one conditions looked wise when an out-of-sorts David Warner played and missed at a series of deliveries from his recent nemesis Stuart Broad, but it was Archer who claimed the first wicket, Harris nicking behind when on eight with the final ball of the fourth over.
Both Warner and the England players followed Harris back in, though, as the rain fell and the covers were brought on with Australia 12-1 as lunch was taken at 12:45 local time.
Harris had been restored to the XI for Cameron Bancroft in one of three changes made by Australia, with Steve Smith – missing following a bout of concussion – and Peter Siddle also replaced by Marnus Labuschagne and James Pattinson.
England, 1-0 down in the five-match series after Australia’s win at Edgbaston was followed by a drawn Test at Lord’s, were unchanged as opener Jason Roy was passed fit after suffering a blow to the helmet in the nets on Tuesday.
And the rain has returned which means the covers are coming back on. Timing… #Ashes
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 22, 2019