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Ashes 2021/22

‘My word… Test cricket’ – The best reactions to SCG’s dramatic last-ball draw

Ashes SCG Test
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

England’s last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad clung on to a battling draw on the final evening of the SCG Ashes Test, helping England avoid a whitewash after three back-to-back losses, and keeping the series scoreline at 3-0.

After Bangladesh’s historic win over New Zealand, and South Africa’s come-from-behind victory against India, the first month of 2022 featured another memorable Test, with the result unclear until the final ball had been bowled.

When No.11 Anderson deftly defended Steve Smith off the Test’s last ball, a tensed-up dressing room – including a particularly anxious Ben Stokes – finally breathed a sigh of relief, finishing on 270-9 after 103 overs in the fourth innings.

England had early slipped to 156-4 when skipper Joe Root walked back, but a brave rearguard effort from the Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow – both injured – raised hopes of a draw with a crucial fifth-wicket stand. Stokes’ departure kickstarted a lower-order collapse, with Pat Cummins snaring two wickets in a single over, at which point it looked like England would stumble to their fourth loss on the tour.

However, Jack Leach’s doughty 26, along with Broad’s 35-ball 8*, carried England to the brink of a draw, with James Anderson calmly negotiating the last six balls from Smith to keep victory out of Australia’s reach.

As expected, Twitter was buzzing with reactions to the incredible finish.


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