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
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower