England hung on for a gripping draw with just one wicket left to deny Australia a 4-0 series lead in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney on Sunday. Number 11 batsman James Anderson safely played out a tense final over from leg-spinner Steve Smith as England ended on 270 for nine in a heart-pumping finish. It all came down to the last over of the Test with eight fielders crowding around the bat as Anderson fended off Smith’s spin. Australia had looked set to claim a thrilling victory when they claimed the ninth wicket with Smith having Jack Leach caught in the slips by David Warner for 26.
But Anderson and fellow veteran paceman Stuart Broad played out the remaining two overs to give the beleaguered tourists a fighting draw after losing the Ashes series 3-0 inside 12 days.
Ben Stokes with a fighting 60, his second half-century of the match, and first-innings centurion Jonny Bairstow’s 41 held up the Australian victory charge.
But once both departed after tea, the Australians were relentless in taking the struggle down to the final over.
The draw means that Australia no longer have the chance of a 5-0 series clean sweep with the fifth and final Test to be played in Hobart as a day-night match getting under way on Friday.