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Anderson and Panesar hold out for dramatic Ashes draw

Saturday 11th July 2009

First Ashes Test, Cardiff
England 435 & 252-9 drew with Australia 674-6 declared

ENGLAND“S last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar (both pictured) frustrated Australia for close on 40 minutes as the first Ashes Test ended in a dramatic draw.

With the Australians turning the screw, and placing men all around the bat, the capacity crowd stuck by England and offered tremendous vocal encouragement with every passing dot ball. Skipper Ricky Ponting kept the spinners on and was hopeful of forcing a wicket but Anderson batted with great dedication and found an unlikely partner in Panesar.

Earlier, all-rounder Paul Collingwood hit a valiant 74 after England, 20-2 overnight, lost three quick wickets inside the opening hour-and-a-half.

Australia seemed odds on favourites for the win but somehow England clung on.

Collingwood’s innings lasted for close on six hours and showed the needed courage to turn what looked a likely defeat into a morale-boosting draw.

It was an exciting start to what promises to be a tremendous Ashes Test series between England and Australia. When Ponting shook hands with Anderson and Panesar, it signalled a famous result for England and the crowd rightly saluted the two tail-enders for their dogged resistance.

The second Test, at Lord“s, starts on Thursday and promises to be another cracker.

Picture: Getty Images