England cling on for dramatic Ashes draw

CARDIFF: England's last wicket-pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar batted together for 40 minutes to salvage a dramatic draw in the first Ashes Test against Australia here on Sunday.

England, needing to make 239 to avoid an innings defeat at Sophia Gardens, were in desperate trouble when Paul Collingwood was out for a valiant 74, having batted for nearly six hours on the fifth and final day.

That left them on 233 for nine, still six runs short of making Australia bat again.

But a stand of 19 in 69 balls between Anderson (21 not out) and Panesar (seven not out) saw England to a draw as they finished on 252 for nine.

Australia put themselves in prime position with a first innings total of 674 for six declared - their highest Test score against England for 75 years.

For the first time four Australia batsmen - captain Ricky Ponting (150), Marcus North (125 not out), Simon Katich (122) and Brad Haddin (121) - all scored hundreds against England in the same Test innings.

The second Test of this five-match series starts at Lord's - where Ashes-holders Australia have not lost a Test since 1934 - on Thursday.