With most ups and downs in the five days that was seen in the first Ashes test between England and Australia, the match was finally declared a draw. Both England and Australia equally dominated the play during their batting. And in addition to that, the performance of both the teams was pretty decent like a tug of war. But, all this could only deceive the fans who would have bet on either team and ended up getting nothing. It was nice to watch 10 out of the 11 English batsmen post double digit figures if not for the number 11 batsman Monty Panesar who got out at the score of 4.
Finally, at the end of the first innings, England ended by losing all their 10 wickets at 425. This was and should have been a respectable total which actually was not the case whatsoever. One would have thought the Australian batsmen to flutter owing to them being on tour and not the host and the other fact that they are not the same world dominating team that they were a couple of years back. But to one's surprise, even the Australian batsmen fought fire with fire. The Australian batsmen put up a score of 674 reminding the English players the way they whitewashed England on their earlier Ashes tour.
After this feat by the Australian batsmen, the fans would have changed their minds which until then had favoured England now turned towards Australia. The Australian score would have well crossed 674 had they not gone in for a declare. Anyway that is a different issue altogether. This should have been a match winning one with some decent bowlers in the Aussie ranks like Mitchell Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Nathan Hauritz. And the Australian bowlers did just that. They found England reeling at 70-5 which became 126-7. It was the 7th wicket partnership that proved too tough for the Australian bowlers that stood for as long as 17 overs somewhere approximately 2 hrs or a session.
This was more than enough to fetch a draw and escape from the jaws of defeat for England. Weather to win or lose or take home a draw was in the hands of the Australian bowlers. For, even had England not succumbed in their second innings, they would have batted on may be until the fourth day leaving little or no time for the Australian batsmen to chase down the total imposed by them, thus ending the match in a draw. If at all there could have been a result, it should have been an Australian triumph or a draw. The only was a result would have been possible was Australia bowling the English batsmen out for a score less that 239 which didn't happen. It shows a rather dismal performance from Australians not only in their bowling but also as a team.
It was not a great task by the Aussie batsmen to have posted 674 on a pitch that favoured batsmen. But, courage meant in bowling England in a track that was deteriorating and difficult to bat. Had Australia batted first, things would have surely been difficult for Australia. All that Australia could boast was the man of the match given to Ponting.