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Kent Cricket opener Zak Crawley strikes half-century as England cling on for draw in fourth Ashes Test in Sydney


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Kent’s Zak Crawley top-scored in England's second innings as they clung on to draw the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney on Sunday.

Left to bat out the final day, which England started on 30-0, Crawley made a fluent 77 in the morning session.

Kent's Zak Crawley. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley. Picture: Ady Kerry

The 23-year-old opener’s innings included 13 fours, many of which were sweetly timed through the leg side, and was his fifth Test half-century.

His performance impressed former England captain Michael Vaughan, who said on Twitter: "Zak Crawley can seriously play.

"Not many positives from this tour, but he is certainly one who needs to be given a long run in this Test team."

But by the time Crawley was trapped lbw by a Cameron Green yorker, fellow opener Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan had been dismissed, with Joe Root’s side 122-3 at lunch. Such was Crawley's fluency, he dominated England's scoring.

Root (24) was caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey off the bowling of the impressive Scott Boland. But all-rounder Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow - both batting with injuries - showed grit and determination to score 60 and 41, respectively.

The tourists were 13 balls from safety when Jack Leach edged Steve Smith behind, leaving it to Stuart Broad and last man James Anderson to guide England home.

With the light fading and every Australian fielder around the bat, Broad and Anderson blocked out Smith and Nathan Lyon to secure a hard-fought draw, closing on 270-9 to end Australian hopes of a series whitewash.

Injury-hit England will be without wicketkeeper Jos Buttler for the final Ashes Test after he suffered a finger injury in the fourth Test. Kent skipper Sam Billings has been added to the squad and is expected to come in for his Test debut.

Stokes (side) and Bairstow (thumb) are also carrying knocks but will travel to Hobart for the day-night Test, which starts on Friday, where they will be assessed before the team is named.

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