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Resilient England etch their name in history books after an epic draw

Last updated on 09 Jan 2022 | 01:15 PM
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Resilient England etch their name in history books after an epic draw

Here are some of the noteworthy stats from day five of the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Test cricket, you beauty!

Over the years, the Sydney Cricket Ground has produced some memorable Test matches; however, none have been as thrilling and exciting as the final day's play on Sunday. 

After the capacity crowd at the venue witnessed the Aussie domination across four days, it was time for the visitors to grab the limelight and pull off a famous draw.

While all the attention and focus across this series has been on the lack of runs and inexperience of the visitors' batting unit, the England outfit battled for 102 overs in the fourth innings to help the team avoid a whitewash and register a hard-fought draw. 

Even before the start of the day's play, not many people gave England a chance to survive through the day, given their performances in the series. However, twin half-centuries from Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley, helped England script a turnaround on the final day. 

In this innings, England faced 612 balls in the fourth innings to deny Australia a chance to record a win, making it the third-highest number of deliveries faced by them in the fourth innings to draw the game on Aussie soil. 

In 1947 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, England batted for 800 deliveries, which is their highest, followed by 664 balls at the Gabba in 1962. 

England defy odds to rewrite record books 

 After a horrendous 2021 in the red-ball format, the team bounced back in the first match of this year with a gritty performance to record their first draw in Australia in the fourth innings in this century. 

The last time England secured a draw by batting through the fourth innings in Australia was in November 1998 at the Gabba. 

Zak Crawley's blazing half-century 

The opening combination of England has been under pressure after their underwhelming performances in this series. However, Zak Crawley produced one of his most fluent innings in recent times to record a quick-fire half-century in the first session of play. 

The right-handed batter stitched a 46-run partnership for the first wicket along with Haseeb Hameed, their highest in the series, to lay a solid foundation.

While Hameed was undone by Scott Boland for nine, Crawley continued his attacking style of play to derail the Aussie bowling unit. 

The 23-year old smashed 77 runs off 100 deliveries studded with 13 boundaries at a strike rate of 77, which is the third-quickest by an England opener in this century with a minimum of 100 deliveries. 

Marcus Trescothick is on top of the list with a strike of 102.03 en route to his knock of 151 runs off 148 balls against Bangladesh in 2005. 

Lyon spins his magic 

Over the years, the SCG is known to assist the spinners and the onus of the side relied heavily on Nathan Lyon. 

After lukewarm performances against India at home last season, Lyon bounced back by scalping 16 wickets in seven innings, making him the leading wicket-taker in this series. 

 In the 22 overs he bowled in the last innings, the off-spinner picked up two vital wickets of Dawid Malan and Ben Stokes to help Australia inch closer to the win. 

The wicket of Malan also helped him record a special milestone as he became only the fifth Australian spinner to scalp 100 wickets in the Ashes. Shane Warne, with 195 wickets in 72 innings, has the most wickets for an Aussie spinner in the tournament. 

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