England somehow maintained a tie with Australia in the fourth Ashes Test. But one thing is for sure, Test cricket was a winner.
Who said test cricket is dead?
The Ashes 4 test might be a dead rubber that ended in a tie, but that doesn’t tell the story of the last few frantic hours of SCG gameplay.
England started the fifth day with 10 wickets in hand you need to survive 98 times to secure a draw, and they I managed to hold out with only one small gate to spare.
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At various points in the day, it looked like England would draw, only for a wicket push from Pat Cummins and cult champ Scott Boland to change the momentum back down Australia’s road.
Jack Leach and Stewart Broad put together a sober 33-time partnership before the light faded, meaning the Australians could only spin the remaining bits.
Cummins abruptly turns to Steve Smith, who turns out to be a standout hit. Smith tore one of his pants in the ruff and Leach beat David Warner on his first slip.
That left Broad and James Anderson needing to survive the last two Test matches to save England with a difficult draw.
In scenes that would warm the snails in any tragic Test of cricket, the entire Australian team crowded around the pitch in a classic stadium environment.
Even Pat Cummins was getting close to putting it under a helmet, which he later admitted he had never done before.
But Australia couldn’t make the final breakthrough as Anderson blocked six balls from Smith’s last game to lead England to an unforgettable draw.
The result means England will avoid 5-0 series disaster but more importantly save some pride after they were humiliated in their first three matches.
Fans were on the edge of their seats in the dying stages and rejoiced at the dramatic result of the Test even though it did not provide a direct result.
“It was epic,” NFL star Patrick Dangerfield tweeted.
‘Test cricket is the greatest!!!!’ said Kurt Fernley, Paralympian.
“Experience cricket … where a bad light can see a batsman trying to push his team to victory against two bowlers trying to tie their team. Beautiful,” said Ali Martin, cricket writer for the Guardian.
ABC anchor Quentin Hull said: “There’s a romance for cricket fans in that. Fast bowlers save the game for England. #Ashes.”
Channel 9 reporter Chris O’Keefe said: “Test cricket is an old Wagyu ribeye, T20 is a roll of Devon. Great spectacle, and no one won.”
Former NRL player Ashton Sims added: “Pat Cummins playing at one point with a helmet on is all I love about Test Cricket.”
Comedian Titus O’Reilly joked: “Tie. Or as it’s also known as ‘English Triumph’. #Ashes”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan said his countrymen have regained some pride in their performances.
“I think this week we all saw how important testing cricket is for this group of players,” he said.
“The Australians at the moment are a better team but competition and showing some bite is all it is about. I loved the test.”
The Ashes will conclude with the fifth Test, which begins in Hobart on January 14.
Originally published as Cricket world reacts to the “epic” conclusion of the Ashes IV test