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.

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Sport
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Life and Style
beauty
Sport
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice