- Matt Skilton
The Ashes - England clinch a nail-biting draw at the SCG
Fourth Ashes Test Day Five Recap
Australia arrived at the SCG needing 10 wickets to take a 4-0 lead in the Ashes, while England needed 358 more runs or to survive the day to hang on for a draw. Crawley attacked early on, scoring 77 before he fell to Green LBW. Stokes batted through injury, putting up 60 in a courageous knock but fell to Lyon for the ninth time. Bairstow fought hard, soaking up 105 deliveries in the final session but couldn’t stay at the crease. Smith caused some late drama with the wicket of Leach in the third last overs, but Broad and Anderson were able to hang on in the final two overs to secure a nail-biting draw.
· Australia needed 10 wickets to win while England needed a target of 388 runs
· Crawley scored 77 in an attacking innings
· Stokes stood up again scoring 60 while battling an injury
· Bairstow fought hard soaking up 105 deliveries late on day five
· Smith caused some late drama with the wicket of Leach in the third last over
· Broad and Anderson blocked out the final two overs to secure a draw
Both sides headed onto the SCG for the final day of the fourth Ashes Test, with the goal being clear for both sides. Australia needed 10 wickets to win, while England needed to reach 388 runs or survive to clinch a draw. Australia came out attacking the stumps on a pitch that was producing variable bounce, eventually, the plan paid off with Boland sending Hameed on his way for nine. Lyon struck next, crashing into Dawid Malan’s off stump, leaving England at 2/74. Zak Crawley couldn’t miss the ball as he raced to 77 off 100 balls until a Cameron Green yorker trapped the English opener in front for LBW. The crucial partnership of Root and Stokes built upon Crawley’s positive stroke play, getting the visitors to 3/122 at the lunch break.
Stokes and Root built up a 60-run stand, producing positive strokes in the process, but eventually, Scott Boland struck again, removing the England skipper for the third straight innings. Stokes and Bairstow continued what they started in the first innings, steadying the ship for the English, and frustrating the Aussies at the same time. The tourists put on 19 runs after the loss of their captain up to the tea break as their tempo started to shift from attacking play to survival instincts. Ben Stokes led the survival and went into the tea break on 46, while his side sat at 4/174.
Australia came out in search of a wicket before the new ball, as they kept pounding a good line and length. But to their disappointment, Stokes and Bairstow withstood the onslaught and looked like they were never getting out. Stokes battling through injury put up another gutsy 50 when his country needed it, but the man who’s saved England so many times before wouldn’t last much longer, edging the ball to Steve Smith off Nathan Lyon, – the ninth time he’s been dismissed by the spinner in test cricket – this put Buttler at the crease with the tourists needing to survive another 28 overs to salvage a draw. The home side didn’t take long to strike with the new ball, Pat Cummins struck Buttler’s back pad after the keeper hit his boot with the bat, forcing him to miss the ball, but he was given not out. The skipper reviewed immediately, with the original decision being overturned. Two balls later, the captain produced a hooping sand show crusher to send Mark Wood back to the sheds and leaving England in trouble at 7/218.
With the new ball swinging around, Starc forced an edge out of Bairstow, but the difficult chance was put down by Steve Smith with just over 15 overs to play. Scott Boland took the big wicket of Jonny Bairstow after an inside edge onto his pad was caught by Marnus Labuschagne, setting up a thrilling finish with Australia needing two wickets with 10 overs remaining. Steve Smith gave Australia hope at the death with the wicket of Jack Leach, but Stuart Broad and James Anderson were able to hang on for a nail-biting draw with Australia leading the series 3-0 heading to the day/night test in Hobart.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.
England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!
Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16
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