Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day November 29, 2010

England break records in high-scoring draw


England 260 (Bell 76, Siddle 6-54) and 1 for 517 dec (Cook 235*, Trott 135*) drew with Australia 481 (Hussey 195, Haddin 136, Finn 6-125) and 1 for 107 (Ponting 51*)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was a day for burning up the record books at the Gabba as Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott produced a herculean unbroken stand of 329 to secure a comfortable draw for England. Cook scored his maiden double-century and Trott hit his second hundred against Australia, making it the first time England's top three had scored Ashes tons, before Andrew Strauss declared at a mind-boggling 1 for 517, which left Australia to face 41 overs.

There was never a realistic chance of a result with England 296 in front, but they wanted to try to secure further psychological points ahead of Adelaide. Stuart Broad, wicketless in the first innings, made an early breakthrough when Simon Katich edged to slip, however, Ricky Ponting put two days of fielding frustration behind him to notch a brisk half-century as he and Shane Watson batted out the remainder of the match and lifted Australia's spirits a little. It had been a sobering time in the field, as they claimed a single wicket in 26 overs.

While Cook and Trott extended a stand that was already worth 121 overnight, it was difficult to keep up with each new landmark. On a personal level, Cook's 200 came from 306 balls while Trott's elegant, composed hundred took 213 and his was an innings studded with wonderful driving. In 2005, Cook cracked a double-hundred against the touring Australians but that wasn't a first-class match and this innings left his previous Test-best of 173, made against Bangladesh at Chittagong, well behind.

In a mark of what Cook achieved, he also broke a record held by Don Bradman for the highest individual score at the Gabba, while his match aggregate bettered that of Matthew Hayden in the 2002-03 Ashes encounter. Trott, meanwhile, continued the prolific start to his Test career and made it two second-innings hundreds in two Tests against Australia following his debut ton at The Oval.

The partnership rattled through the records. It became the highest for England in Australia and banished the Michael Hussey-Brad Haddin alliance to second place for any stand at Brisbane less than two days after it was set. They finished with the highest-scoring innings for the loss of a single wicket. For the England fans, who far outnumbered the locals on the final day, it will have been the performance of Ashes dreams.

England began the day knowing they weren't out of danger despite yesterday's heroics and there were more than a few mentions of what happened in Adelaide four years ago. However, this time there was no Shane Warne to spin the batsmen into submission. Instead, Cook and Trott continued as they had done the previous evening by scoring at a rapid pace against unthreatening bowling and by lunch it was just a question of how many overs England wanted at demoralised opponents.

Ponting set fairly defensive fields and a number of edges flew through gaps in the slips, but Australia couldn't even take the one chance that came their when Michael Clarke dropped a sitter at slip when Trott, on 75, tried to guide Watson to third man. Ponting just continued to chew his gum and the home side were deflated.

Mitchell Johnson, meanwhile, went through a horrid spell to give his confidence another pounding. He tried over and round the wicket to both batsmen, but his match was summed up when he sprayed a terrible bouncer miles down the leg side against Trott which flew for five wides. Johnson ended wicketless in a Test for the first time and faced a nervous wait to see what his immediate future held.

England teams have been through years of pain in Australia, and especially at the Gabba, and the two batsmen were in no mood to let up. Both batsmen start to open their shoulders; Cook used his feet against the spinners while Trott continued to show his sweet straight driving. Even when Doherty found turn from the footmarks, two deliveries beat Brad Haddin for four byes.

Australia thought they'd finally broken through at 1 for 457 when Cook chipped Doherty to short midwicket, where Ponting dived forward for the catch, but the celebration was so low-key that Cook stood his ground and it went to the TV umpire. As so often, the cameras added doubt although it appeared Ponting had got his fingers under the ball and he was angered when the decision was ruled not out.

Just to add to Ponting's pain, he then spilled a tough late chance at slip and when England passed 500 courtesy of four more byes all he could offer was a gentle clap and strained smile. Ponting, though, has determination in bucket-loads and was desperate not to hand England his wicket during the final session.

The quick bowlers tried to pepper him with short balls, and Finn struck his helmet, but the pitch was too docile to cause major concerns. James Anderson, meanwhile, had plenty to say to both batsmen and had to be spoken to by Aleem Dar. Graeme Swann was denied a confidence-boosting scalp when Paul Collingwood spilled Watson at slip in what proved to be the last significant chance they created. Ponting sped to a 40-ball half-century to ease his tension a little.

At the start of the final hour Strauss approached his opposite number and the two captains shook on a draw but, once again, the final outcome doesn't reflect the drama of the five days. Battle will be resumed in Adelaide, on Friday, where it's unlikely to be any easier for the bowlers.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • syed on December 1, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    I so saddening to see ricky loosing his commanding and dynamic leadership skills. to make understand this, look at the first test. He waited till all they became allout. so by that time they(Emgland) had a huge deficit before them . so they certainly went out to draw the match from the beginning. if ricky was clever, he should have declared with just 100 or 150 lead. this would psychologically effect the english men thinking thedeficit can be got over and could take lead. so this mind set they would play attacking game which definitely result in wickets aussies would have won the game......isn't it a good strategy.

  • Andrew on December 1, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    The latest I heard with Adelaide - is like the Gabba, the weather is cool & unlikely to cause the break up of the Pitch - that usually happens Day 4 & Day5. This means twin spin won't happen, maybe not even worth having one spinner. @pie314 - not sure about 5 bowlers - but then again O'Keefe can't be any worse then North as a batsmen!!!!

  • Steve on November 30, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    @popcorn really is a comedian of the highest order. He comes along and rants away about Australia like they're still packing 11 world class superstars rather than rank average journeymen like Watson, North, Doherty, Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Johnson but I wouldn't waste your time directing comments at him because he knows he's wrong and he never replies. He's just trying to keep the old Aussie Glenn McGrath-esque '5-0' spirit going but obviously failing miserably. And, let's face it, the fact that Swann was hit for a couple of sixes now means he is complete rubbish!

  • hare on November 30, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Wonderful flat pitch made to boost the morale of this kind of 3rd class batting lineup. No comment about bowling attack as its not worth.

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Mr.Ramz_SL... pls dont degrade ur team when u comment abt australia ." SL s tour of down under and nd da 1 st test shows dat perfectly". Dont u think SL ve improved their performance.

  • Dave on November 30, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    johnson and north needs to be dropped and blacklisted by selectors, never to represent and embarrass australia again. both had countless chances to prove themselves and failed when aus needed them. test 2 XI: katich, watson, ponting, clarke, hussey, haddin, okeefe (he can bowl AND bat), bollinger, harris, siddle, stuart clark (for experience, consistency in line and length, record vs england). harris and watson can swing so hilfy not needed. 5 bowlers is risky but okeefe seems competent enough to bat at 7, haddin is definitely good enough to bat at 6. i dont rate smith who hasn't proved himself yet, hughes technique is ugly and filled with weaknesses easily exploited (ashes 09).

  • John on November 30, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    Okay. I have seen worse from Australia. That was during the Packer years. We got through that. Back then, however, the only media we listenned to was ours. The WWW gives fans from every other country the opportunity to post rude and smug remarks on the internet. It is quite depressing so I shouldn't read them - but I can't stop myself!

  • Dummy4 on November 30, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    In response to Popcorn's somewhat one eyed comments I would say that in the light of the match result, England's first innings total of 260 can be described as disappointing but not disasterous. On balance, I would suggest England can take more from this game than Australia. Whilst Swann failed to have the impact in this match that some expected, off-spinners have a poor record in Aus and I for one wasn't surprised. He bowled way too short throughout the match. In comparrison, however, to Austrailia's main strike bowler, he probably had a reasonable match. Johnson, on the other hand, had a shocker - at times struggling to hit the cut strip. A little more objectivity please!!

  • Dave on November 30, 2010, 9:43 GMT

    As popcorn's post shows, Australians will certainly be rattled by this. While Englishmen may be tempted to view 517/1 as a bit freakish and not necessarily a sign of things to come on sportier pitches, can you imagine the shock to the system of conceding that score when you are aggressively pushing for victory, from as position of strength, on home soil ? Remember that vulnerable batsmen are more likely to edge or miss straight balls when under pressure. The fact that England batted for that length of time (and were only really safe so early because they kept their wickets intact) has got to be a huge worry for the Aussies. That is why they will change their attack and come back refreshed for Adelaide, and why England, being the professional outfit they are, will know that they will have to raise their game too. I still fancy them to take the series - they are a settled side now brimming with confidence.

  • Michael on November 30, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Its time for the Adelaide curator to bite the bullet and produce a "result" wicket.Otherwise we will be heading to Perth still 0-0 but with England holding Ashes.The Poms did it at the Oval last Ashes so why cant we.

    By gee by gingo by crikey if Ryan Harris doesnt replace Johnson in Adelaide i will run around my local oval naked.And thats not a pretty sight.Not only is he an exceptional bowler who gives everything and more,the guy can bat.I can really see the Australian team feeding off his enthusiasm and aggression.He's one of those guys that can ignite those around him.

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