England managed to deny Australia victory on Day 5 of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney but Steve Smith picked up his first wicket for the first time since November 2016. With three overs remaining and England on 268 for eight, the visitors were forced to rely on luck, which was aided by dwindling light.
Due to the poor lighting, the umpires advised Australian skipper Pat Cummins to utilise spinners rather than pace bowlers after the 99th over. At the moment, Jack Leach and Stuart Broad had done an outstanding job of keeping the hosts at bay. But everything changed when Cummins unexpectedly decided to pass the ball to Steve Smith.
The first five balls were played out by Leach, but on the penultimate delivery of the 100th over, Smith flung a pitch just wide of the off-stump, which Leach edged to David Warner at first slip for a catch.
As Smith scored for the first time in Test cricket since 2016, the Australian players were in ecstasy.
Despite the enormous strain, James Anderson and Stuart Broad successfully navigated the final two overs to secure a memorable draw.
Here is the video of Smith’s dismissal of Leach:
Smith last dismissed South Africa’s Vernon Philander in November 2016, and he has 18 Test wickets to his name.
After being set a target of 388, England held their nerve for a dramatic draw with just one wicket remaining in the five-match Ashes series, as Australia failed to take a 4-0 lead.
In a nervous final over from Smith, James Anderson, who came in at no. 11, kept his cool and came out on top.
In the second innings, the visitors put up a strong fight, with Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, and Zak Crawley all putting in strong performances.
Bairstow hammered 41 runs off 105 balls, including three fours, in a tenacious innings. During the first innings, Bairstow had already scored a century.
Stokes, on the other hand, scored 60 runs off 123 balls. In addition, the swashbuckling all-rounder smashed ten fours and a maximum.
Crawley, the opener, also played a key role, scoring 77 runs off 100 balls, including 13 fours.
Australia has already clinched the series after winning the first three Tests.
On January 14, the fifth and final match of the Ashes series will begin.