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Aussies defy England to earn draw

Oliver Brett BBC Sport 03.08.2009 15:47
Clarke won the man-of-the-match award after scoring the only century

Clarke won the man-of-the-match award after scoring the only century

England were forced to settle for a draw at the rain-hit Edgbaston Test and will move on to Headingley on Friday with a 1-0 lead.

Michael Clarke (103 not out) and Marcus North (96) came together before lunch with Australia in a precarious position, four wickets down in their second innings and only 48 runs ahead.

But after Shane Watson (53) and Michael Hussey (64) had been dismissed in the morning session, Clarke and North put on 185 for the fifth wicket in 50 overs to shut the door firmly on England's victory bid.

The match ended with Australia, who resisted the temptation to have a crack at England's batsmen, leading by 262 on 375-5 when the captains agreed on an early draw at 1750 BST, with 13.4 overs remaining in the day.

Clarke, with his second century of the series, again proved the biggest obstacle for England to shift - and whereas at Lord's he was finally dismissed, here he was undefeated for 192 balls and 283 minutes, in which he hit 14 fours.

He had two massive bits of luck in the 90s as he tortuously moved towards his century, Stuart Broad shaving his stumps with a ball that failed to dislodge the bails and Ravi Bopara having him caught at gully on 96, but off a no-ball.

With Australia 88-2 overnight, still trailing by 25 runs, the fans came expectantly in their thousands - and made it the first ever sell-out for the final day of a Test match in Birmingham.

After most of Thursday and the whole of Saturday had been lost to rain, there were no interruptions on Monday - but England's bowlers were not at their very best.


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