Day five of the Ashes – England fight for rare draw after Smith’s double

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England will attempt to negate a turning pitch and a buoyant Australian side as they look to mount a 90-over rearguard on the final day of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

There has not been a drawn Test on these shores for over three years and the last time England batted out a full day to save the game was a decade ago when last-wicket pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar survived in another Ashes opener at Cardiff.

The tourists held all the cards on day four, piling up a 397-run lead as Steve Smith followed his first-innings 144 with another brilliant 142 – the fifth Australian to make twin tons against the old enemy – and Matthew Wade made 110.

A slightly belated declaration left England facing just seven overs before stumps and, although spinner Nathan Lyon extracted plenty of spin in that time, Rory Burns and Jason Roy saw things through.

Burns will have batted on all five days of the match when he crosses the boundary on Monday and the Surrey man does so having repelled Australia for over seven hours in his previous knock of 133.

Tweet of the day

Key Quote

England’s batting coach ponders a reprise a decade on from James Anderson’s stoic performance at Sophia Gardens.

Snap shot

Australia’s Steve Smith celebrates reaching his second century of the match (Nick Potts/PA)
Australia’s Steve Smith celebrates reaching his second century of the match (Nick Potts/PA)

England’s attempts to escape with a draw are unlikely to be aided by the weather. According to the Met Office, any early morning showers should clear up before the start of the first session while there is only a 10 per cent chance of rain during the hours of play. Those in attendance for day five will bask in afternoon sunshine with temperatures set to peak at 21 degrees.

Stat attack

Smith may have seemed ubiquitous during both of Australia’s innings but Rory Burns has the distinction of batting on all five days in Birmingham. Only three other Englishmen have done it before: Geoffrey Boycott, against Australia in 1977, Allan Lamb, against the West Indies in 1984, and Andrew Flintoff, against India in 2006.

Smith joins exclusive club

  • Warren Bardsley: 136, 130 (Oval, 1909)
  • Arthur Morris: 122, 124* (Adelaide, 1947)
  • Steve Waugh: 108, 116 (Old Trafford, 1997)
  • Matthew Hayden: 197, 103 (Brisbane, 2002)
  • Steve Smith: 144, 142 (Edgbaston, 2019)

Ball in a pint pot

James Pattinson hits out against England
James Pattinson’s big hitting led to an unusual delay (Mike Egerton/PA)

Bowled over

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali endured a difficult day (Mike Egerton/PA)

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