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Dogged England hang on for draw
Collingwood grinds out half ton before Panesar and Anderson see out last-wicket stand.
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2009 18:33 GMT

Anderson and Panesar were unlikely heroes for England at the bottom of the order [AFP]

Paul Collingwood's disciplined innings steered England's lower order through the last three sessions of the first Ashes Test to secure an unlikely draw against Australia.

A 16,000 capacity crowd hailed the heroics of tailenders James Anderson and Monty Panesar, whose stubborn last-wicket stand saved the hosts from a heavy defeat.

Victory seemed assured for the Australians when Collingwood was dismissed for 74 after five hours 43 minutes of dogged resistance with England still needing six to make Australia bat again and a minimum 11.3 overs remaining.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting put his faith in off-spinners Nathan Hauritz and Marcus North for the final overs after taking pace bowler Peter Siddle out of the attack.

Tail wags

Anderson, with 21 not out, and Panesar unbeaten on seven, playing resolutely straight, defied the bowling with the former negotiating the final over from Hauritz to tumultuous applause.

First Test scorecard

England first innings 435
Australia first innings 674-6 dec

England second innings (o/n 20-2)
A Strauss c Haddin b Hauritz 17
A Cook lbw b Johnson 6
R Bopara lbw b Hilfenhaus 1
K Pietersen b Hilfenhaus 8
P Collingwood c Hussey b Siddle 74
M Prior c Clarke b Hauritz 14
A Flintoff c Ponting b Johnson 26
S Broad lbw b Hauritz 14
G Swann lbw b Hilfenhaus 31
J Anderson not out 21
M Panesar not out 7
Extras 33

Total (9 wickets; 105 overs) 252
FoW: 1-13 2-17 3-31 4-46 5-70 6-127 7-159 8-221 9-233

Accepting the man-of-the-match trophy on Sunday, Ponting said: "I'd give this back straight away for another wicket and 20 less runs but we can take a lot out of this game.

"Give England credit for the way they fought through.

"I'm really proud of every one of my guys – we tried everything in our power to push for the win."

The day began brightly for Australia when Ben Hilfenhaus, bustling in from the River End, captured the wicket Australia prized most by knocking over Kevin Pietersen's off-stump in the fourth over of the day.

Pietersen, on eight, moved half forward and opted to leave alone a delivery he calculated would swing away.

Instead it went straight on.

Hauritz took over from Hilfenhaus and immediately troubled captain Andrew Strauss and Collingwood with four fielders clustered close around the bat.

Strauss square-cut the first boundary of the day but was out off the next ball caught behind by Brad Haddin for 17 attempting a similar shot from a delivery which bounced a little higher.

Hauritz show

Hauritz was gifted a second wicket when Matt Prior made the elementary error of trying to cut an off-spinner which turned appreciably and succeeded only in guiding the ball to Michael Clarke at first slip.

Andrew Flintoff and Collingwood added 57 in a fighting sixth-wicket partnership with the former playing a thumping drive to the cover boundary and a clip for four to long-on.

He was out edging Mitchell Johnson to second slip where Ponting took a smart, low catch.

Collingwood, taking no risks at all, reached 50 from 167 balls but lost Stuart Broad lbw for 17 to Hauritz 20 minutes before tea.

Graeme Swann rallied after the interval, playing one lovely drive to the extra-cover boundary off Hilfenhaus.

He reached 31 from 81 minutes when he was lbw playing across a full delivery from the same bowler.

Collingwood fought on, but when he was caught off Siddle at gully by Michael Hussey at the second attempt, England seemed doomed.

But Anderson, who batted for 72 minutes, and Panesar, who resisted for 40, held firm and England will go into the second Test at Lord's starting on Thursday with honours even.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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