First Ashes Test ends in tame draw

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Published: Monday, November 29, 2010, 12:00 [IST]
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First Ashes Test ends in tame draw

If England had dominated the Australian bowlers on the fourth day of the first Ashes test ata the Gabba, the tourists had absolutely demolished them on Day 5. Opener Alistair Cook who was not out on 132 and his one-down partner Jonathan Trott who was unbeaten on 54, extended the overnight lead of 88 to 296, notching up an unbeaten stand of 329 along the way, before eventually declaring at 517/1.

At the start of the final day, the Australian attack must have been demoralised looking at England's second innings score of 309/1. And it was still showing as proceedings began. Neither Peter Siddle, not Ben Hilfenhaus could get an early breakthrough while the batting pair easily kept the scoreboard ticking over.

In the 110th over, Trott got on top of Siddle, hammering him for two successive fours, one past gully and the other through point. In the 111th over, Cook moved to 150 by picking Hilfenhaus for three runs with a forceful cover drive. Then Trott laid into Johnson in the 116th over, when he slapped him for two consecutive boundaries. With those two shots, England had moved past the 350-run mark. But in the following over, Trott was in for a bit of luck when Michael Clark spilled a catch off Shane Watson at first slip.

Watson's luck again turned sour when he Cook smashed him for two back-to-back fours in the 120th over. In the very next over, Trott subjected left arm orthodox Xavier Doherty to the same sort of treatment, getting him away for two fours, one down to the third man and one past slip. Trott then took his side to over 400 when he edged Watson for four. Then, Marcus North was at the receiving end of the some belligerent hitting as Cook got him away for two boundaries in the 130th over. The batting duo took England into lunch with the score reading a phenomenal 436/1 with the lead at 215.

After the break, Cook and Trott continued the good work, completing their double century and century respectively and taking England over 450 in the 139th over. Overs 142 to 144 were quite dramatic as there was a flurry of five fours and one dropped catch when Aussie captain Ricky Ponting couldn't hold onto an edge from Cook off Watson, at slip. Within no time, England had crossed the 500-run landmark with the Aussie attack looking more beleaguered than ever. At the end of the 152nd over, England declared at 517/1 with the lead at 296.

In their second innings, Australia got off with a stutter as Broad accounted for the wicket of Simon Katich for just 4. Katich had edged a leg-cutter to Andrew Strauss at slip. Australia were 5/1 and England just then may have been entertaining hopes of effecting a quick collapse. But Ponting and Watson steadied the innings. However, even their performance was not devoid of luck for in the 11th over Watson was spilled by Paul Collingwood at first slip off off-spinner Graeme Swann. But Ponting soon turned the tables on Swann when he carted him for a huge six.

The batting demons supposedly present in the pitch had been all but tempered in the course of the match and the bowlers were just unable to make any more inroads. Australia moved past the 100-run mark in the 25th over. Watson and Ponting played out the last overs of the day without much fuss and at 107/1, their side had forced a draw in the first Ashes test.


Read more about: ashes 2010, gabba, first test, fifth day
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