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.
My word…Test cricket #Ashes
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) January 9, 2022
1. Test cricket.
100. Every other form.#Ashes
— Greg Baum (@GregBaum) January 9, 2022
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 9, 2022
Jimmy Anderson to reverse sweep all six balls is the finish I dream of.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) January 9, 2022
If that is Broad & Anderson’s last act at the SCG together, they’ve played their part in a gripping drama… even if not in the way they would have preferred #ashes Test cricket, hey ❤️
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) January 9, 2022
It is quite nice that, having played so many Tests together, James Anderson and Stuart Broad now have a last-wicket, fourth innings, match-saving stand to add to the long list of achievements they have totted up as a partnership.
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) January 9, 2022
Broad & Anderson battling for England (with bat) … Smith trying to win it for Australia (with ball) … what is this twilight zone inception parallel universe sorcery?!!!! 😳😀#Ashes
— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) January 9, 2022
That’s a step in the right direction .. Huge courage shown by the England side this week .. A draw might not seem much when you are 3-0 down but to me it is .. well done @root66 & the team .. that’s what spirit is all about .. #Ashes
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 9, 2022
All I am saying is #Testcricket 👏🏿
— Alex Tudor (@alextudorcoach) January 9, 2022
Brilliant fight from @englandcricket. This squad has had everything thrown at them and to fight out a day like that with that bat shows huge character and resilience. Well done the golden oldies @StuartBroad8 and @jimmy9 at the end!! #Ashes https://t.co/QrJMp7VTEn
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) January 9, 2022
— Sarah Taylor (@Sarah_Taylor30) January 9, 2022