Australians given scare in drawn Test
AUSTRALIA drew the third Ashes Test with England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham thanks to a battling seventh-wicket stand between Steve Waugh and Brendon Julian.
They added an unbroken 87, with Waugh scoring 47 and Julian a Test-best 56, to steer the tourists to 202 for six after being set 371 for victory in 77 overs.
England could console themselves with the fact that they had finally ended a run of seven consecutive Test defeats, one short of their record.
Australia lead the six-Test series 2-0.
At tea, England were optimistic of a shock victory.
Andy Caddick finally found his feet in international cricket to mastermind an unexpected charge towards possible victory. The New Zealand-born paceman, with just two wickets for 318 runs in the series before yesterday, grabbed three more for only 16 as Australia collapsed to 115 for six.
Caddick was well supported by off-spinner Peter Such, who picked up two wickets to give England a glimpse of their first win over their arch rivals in 16 Tests.
England had batted on for 40 minutes in the morning session before declaring at 422 for six, allowing Graham Thorpe time to become the first Englishman for 20 years to make a Test debut hundred.
The left-hander finished 114 not out after batting for five hours and 40 minutes, facing 280 balls and hitting 11 fours.
He and Nasser Hussain (47 not out) plundered a further 60 runs from just 10 overs at the start of the final day, taking their unbroken seventh wicket stand to 113.
Graham Gooch's declaration set Australia a technical target of 371, but, more realistically, it gave England 77 overs in which to dismiss the Aussies.
Such provided the breakthrough 10 minutes before lunch by bowling Michael Slater through the gate for 26 as the dashing opener came down the pitch to drive.
In his third over after lunch Such struck again, turning another delivery significantly to have left-hander Mark Taylor caught by Mike Atherton in the gully for 28 as he pushed forward defensively.
Caddick then bowled Mark Waugh for one and had Allan Border taken by Thorpe at slip for two as the Aussies stumbled to 81 for four.
Steve Waugh joined Boon with England's tails up and for 10 overs the pair kept out Caddick and Such.
However, shortly before tea Caddick struck again, having Boon caught at the wicket for 18 as the Australian number three tried to slash square a ball which bounced steeply.
A shrewd bowling change by Gooch brought England a sixth Australian wicket, with the last ball before tea, when Mark Ilott trapped Ian Healy leg before for five.
But then came the Australians' stubbord seventh-wicket stand.