Anderson’s heroics denies Australia a clean sweep of the Ashes

Jimmy Anderson survived the final over of the match to secure a draw in the fourth Ashes Test at Sydney. England were clinging on for a draw when Anderson came to the crease, but the Lancashire paceman defied Australia in a thrilling finish.

At the start of the final day England required a further 358 runs to win, or more realistically a day to survive to save the match. The tourists were 13 balls from safety when Jack Leach edged Steve Smith behind. It was down to Stuart Broad and Smith to defy Australia.

Anderson and Broad survive

In fading light and with every Australian fielder around the bat, the pair blocked out Nathan Lyon and Smith to secure a hard fought draw.

Before the start of play on the opening day, England recalled Stuart Broad in for the injured Ollie Robinson. Australia won the toss and elected to bat. England drew first blood when Broad had David Warner(30) caught at second slip. On a rain affected day, England picked up two further wickets before close of play. Opener Marcus Harris(38) edged Anderson to slip and  Marnus Labuschagne(38) edged behind off Mark Wood to leave Australia 126 for 3 at stumps.

Superb century from Khawaja

Better weather greeted the players on the second morning with conditions suiting batting. Australia moved on to 416 for 8 before declaring towards the end of the day. Usman Khawaja- in for Travis Head- made a magnificent 137. Khawaja had a life when he was put down by Joe Root on 28, but received excellent support from Smith. The former captain went on to make 67 before becoming one of Broad’s five wickets in the innings.

A tricky end of the day period was safely negotiated by Zak Crawley and Haseeb Hameed, with England closing on 13 for 0.

Traditional slump from England

The opening session on the third day was dominated by Australia as England slumped to 36 for 4. Hameed(6), Crawley(18), Dawid Malan(3) and Joe Root(0) all departed quickly before the visitors were rescued by Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. The pair added 128 before Lyon trapped Stokes(66) lbw. A breezy 39 by Mark Wood helped England to close 258 for 7 with Bairstow 103 not out.

England’s first innings ended quickly on the fourth day when they were bowled out for 294. Bairstow made a superb 113 with Scott Boland picking up 4 for 36.

With a first innings lead of 122, Australia pushed on to 265 for 6 before the declaration. Khaw[pl1] aja brought up his second century of the match with Cameron Green(74) with Jack Leach having an extended bowl, finishing with 4 for 84 including two in two balls.

Testing target set by Australia

England were set a testing target of 388 with a day still to play. They had reached 30 for 0 on the penultimate day with a further 358 for an unlikely victory.

Hameed(9) went early, caught behind off Boland. Malan(4) followed shortly as Australia scented victory. However a fighting 77 from Crawley held up Australia before he was trapped lbw by Green.

A patient 60 from Stokes from 123 balls and 41 from Bairstow off 105 deliveries was seeing England to safety. However, Lyon removed Stokes with Boland nabbing the wicket of Bairstow. Jos Buttler(11) and Wood(0) fell to Pat Cummins as Australia closed in on victory.

It was down to a defiant 26 from Jack Leach to rescue England before the heroics of Anderson to seal a draw.

The sides now move on to Hobart on Friday for the final test in the Ashes, which will be a day/night affair.


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