The Ashes: England clings to the draw of a thrilling last day in Sydney

Fourth Ashes Test, Sydney (day five of five)
Australia 416-8 pros & 265-6 pros (Khawaja 101 *, Green 74; Leachate 4-84)
England 294 & 270-9 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30)
Match drawn; Australia leads the series 3: 0
Scorecard

England held on to tense draws on the last day of the fourth test in Sydney to put an end to Australia’s hopes of clearing the ashes.

Tourists were 13 balls from safety when Jack Leach pushed Steve Smith behind them, leaving it to Stuart Broad and James Anderson to take England home.

With the light waning and all the Australian players in the field around Broad and Anderson bats, they blocked Smith and Nathan Lyon to secure a hard-fought draw.

Zak Crawley previously played fluent 77 and Ben Stokes hit 60, although he still struggled with a side injury as England crept to safety.

Boland continued his extraordinary start in Test cricket with 3-30, while captain Pat Cummins scored two goals in three balls to shake England.

It was a thrilling end to a fun match, with England players barely able to watch Anderson finish the final in the locker room.

Australia may regret their late statement on the fourth day because the rain means they lost seven overs as they tried to force themselves to win on Sunday.

The last test of the series – the match of day and night in Hobart – begins on January 14.

Battle of England over a captivating last hour

England may have already lost the Ashes, but here they showed real fighting and character throughout the match.

Jonny Bairstow showed toughness in his first inning, and that energy and determination returned to the locker room as tourists struggled to repel Australia on a consuming last day.

The small crowd at Sydney Cricket Ground was the loudest in the last hour when Australia tore with a new ball.

Cummins, who was humiliated with the ball all day, imprisoned lbw in Jose Buttler’s control before doing the same to Mark Wood two balls later with a pass that knocked the pitcher off his feet.

It was up to Bairstow to treat his thumb injury, which could put him out of the next test, and Leach, one of the heroes of Headingley 2019, make 15 overs.

Australia felt pressure, Smith ousted Bairstow from Mitchell Starco, but they felt victory was within their reach when the same batsman struck a short-legged trap.

Leach and Broad endured short, fast, hostile bowling, all accompanied by players chirping around the bat before the disappointed Leach made Smith slip.

It was left to Broad and Anderson, the veterans, to see England at home and give them something to smile at the bruises.

Next to follow.

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