Ponting fury as England pull off the great escape

Australia captain condemns time-wasting as home side hold out for dramatic draw

England's valiant draw in the opening Ashes Test was embroiled in controversy last night. After securing a highly unlikely result which leaves the series level with four to play, Andrew Strauss's side were virtually charged with abusing the spirit of the game by Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting.

With time running out and England's last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar at the crease and England barely ahead of Australia, the 12th man, Bilal Shafayat, and their temporary physiotherapist, Steve McCaig, were dispatched from the dressing room with drinks, spare gloves and towels in case the batsmen needed a rub down.

If it was understandable in the heat of the moment, it was also unsavoury, almost betraying the wonderfully gritty 74 from 245 balls by Paul Collingwood that had enable them to be in such a position. As it happened, Anderson turned his back on them and continued his vigil at the creased with Panesar.

But Ponting said afterwards: "I thought it was pretty ordinary to be honest. They can play whatever they want to play. We have come to play by the rules and the spirit of the game but it is up to them to play how they want to do."

The delaying tactics were not quite the difference between a sapping defeat and a draw for England, and indeed they might have disturbed the batsmen's concentration at a crucial moment. But that, as Ponting seemed to indicate, was not the point.

There will be many other moments in this series when the players are not enamoured of each other's approach and England will have to watch it. Having been outplayed for most of the five days in Cardiff they knew how lucky they were to escape with a draw. Australia needed only one wicket in the last 11.3 overs of the match to win.

Collingwood had finally been out, steering to gully, but then Anderson and Panesar, without undue alarm, resisted Australia's finest. By the close England were just 13 runs ahead on 252 for 9 but time had run out for Australia.

Collingwood, the gritty Durham player, whose place always seem to be under pressure, said: "We can take a ot of confidence out of this game. We showed great character and heart, there is a lot of passion in that dressing room so we can take a lot from this."

He seemed to be remonstrating with himself for getting out. "I knew what I had to do in that situation and that was to bat for three sessions," he said. "It is a difficult thing to do and in the end I probably gave my wicket away which was disappointing.

"In the end it was close, closer than we would have hoped for and at one point we looked dead, but the boys at the end did well. There are some happy people in that dressing room now. Realistically though we know we have to improve for Thursday."

He could have said the last sentence again but his captain Strauss said it for him. "It was pretty frantic in the dressing room, we were trying to work out the timings. We were lucky to get out of it. We need to play better."

Strauss paid due tribute to Collingwood. "All day we were not quite in the contest," he said. "We lost wickets early on but all credit must go to Paul Collingwood – he was outstanding. He does it time and time again for us in pressure situations. I can't say enough good things about him.

"But we also have to mention Jimmy and Monty. The batsmen shouldn't have let them get in that position, but they showed a lot of character. They kept their heads and in a pressure situation that is hard to do.

"We are proud of them and we are proud to get a draw but we are also aware that we have a lot of work to do between now and the second Test," Strauss added.

"Thankfully we got away with it and hopefully we can come out and do better at Lord's."

England announce their team today for the Lord's Test which begins on Thursday. They have tough decisions to make – and one of them will be to drop Panesar whose bowling was disappointing. They will never talk of dropping Collingwood again.

Continued from Page One

lot of confidence out of this game. We showed great character and heart, there is a lot of passion in that dressing room so we can take a lot from this."

He seemed to be remonstrating with himself for getting out. "I knew what I had to do in that situation and that was to bat for three sessions," he said. "It is a difficult thing to do and in the end I probably gave my wicket away which was disappointing.

"In the end it was close, closer than

we would have hoped for and at one point we looked dead, but the boys at the end did well. There are some happy people in that dressing room now. Realistically though we know we have to improve for Thursday."

He could have said the last sentence again but his captain Strauss said it for him. "It was pretty frantic in the dressing room, we were trying to work out the timings. We were lucky to get out of it. We need to play better."

Strauss paid due tribute to Collingwood. "All day we were not quite in the contest," he said. "We lost wickets early on but all credit must go to Paul Collingwood – he was outstanding. He does it time and time again for us in pressure situations. I can't say enough good things about him.

"But we also have to mention Jimmy and Monty. The batsmen shouldn't have let them get in that position, but they showed a lot of character. They kept their heads and in a pressure situation that is hard to do.

"We are proud of them and we are proud to get a draw but we are also aware that we have a lot of work to do between now and the second Test," Strauss added.

"Thankfully we got away with it and hopefully we can come out and do better at Lord's."

England announce their team today for the Lord's Test which begins on Thursday. They have tough decisions to make – and one of them will be to drop Panesar whose bowling was disappointing. They will never talk of dropping Collingwood again.

News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own