Third Test ends in draw

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke marked his 50th Test appearance with a hundred to secure an Ashes draw at Edgbaston.

Clarke's 12th century at the top level eased the tourists to a stalemate after England began the fifth day sensing the chance to open up a 2-0 npower series lead.

Persistent defiance from Australia's batsmen meant the home attack laboured for long periods without success and the sides agreed to shake hands on a draw as soon as Clarke reached his landmark, which took the second-innings team total to 375 for five.

Not a single wicket went down in a two-and-a-half-hour session between lunch and tea as Clarke and Marcus North combined in a 185-run stand.

Left-hander North was only denied his own piece of cricket history when he was brilliantly caught for 96 by James Anderson, diving to hold high above his head with his right hand, off Stuart Broad.

Had the ball continued on its way to the third-man boundary, North would have become only the fourth Australian, following Arthur Morris, Don Bradman and Michael Hussey, to make three hundreds in his first five Tests.

His ill fortune in being held in such a spectacular manner contrasted to that of Clarke, who survived when his off stump was clipped by Broad without the bail dislodging on 92 and again four runs later when he sliced to wide slip off a Ravi Bopara no-ball.

Resuming this morning 25 runs adrift on 88 for two, Australia's hard work before lunch seemed to have been undermined by the loss of Hussey for a determined 64, just four overs before lunch.