On this day in 2009: James Anderson and Monty Panesar defy Australia in Cardiff
England claimed a dramatic draw in the first Ashes Test against Australia on this day in 2009 after James Anderson and Monty Panesar staged a dogged last-wicket stand in Cardiff.
The tailenders survived the final 69 deliveries in a tense rearguard action at Sophia Gardens to deny the tourists first blood and spark wild celebrations in the stands.
England had resumed on day five at 20 for two, 219 runs behind after Australia had overhauled their first innings total of 435 and established a platform for victory with a mammoth 674 for six declared in which Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting, Marcus North and Brad Haddin had all reached three figures.
The hosts looked to be heading for an innings defeat as Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior went by the time the score had reached 70, although Paul Collingwood’s resolute 74 steadied the ship with support from spinner Graeme Swann, who made 31.
However, the Durham all-rounder’s stubborn resistance ended after a 245-ball, 344-minute stay at the crease when he edged Peter Siddle to Michael Hussey at gully.
England had been reduced to 233 for nine and the writing was on the wall.
As Panesar walked out to join Anderson in the middle with his side still six runs behind, a minimum of 11.3 overs remained and few gave two men hardly renowned for their expertise with the bat any real chance of resisting.
But to huge popular acclaim resist they did, at times uncertain over whether to take runs when they presented themselves, but growing in confidence once successive Anderson boundaries had ensured the Australians would have to bat again.
Anderson ended up finishing unbeaten on 21 while Panesar contributed seven runs to a total of 252 for nine to secure a draw, the significance of which only became apparent as the summer progressed.
England went on to win at Lord’s and the Oval either side of a draw at Edgbaston and an Australian victory at Headingley, taking the series 2-1 and in the process regaining the Ashes they had surrendered so tamely Down Under during the winter of 2006-07.