Alastair Cook registered a Test-best score of 235 not out as England racked up 517 for one before the opening Ashes Test against Australia was drawn in Brisbane.
England declared with Cook and Jonathan Trott, on 135, both unbeaten and having added 329 for the second wicket and Australia closed on 107 for one having been set 296 to win the match.
Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook scored timely centuries as England dominated day four of the first Ashes Test against Australia, closing on 309 for one in their second innings and with an overall lead of 88.
Under severe pressure when play resumed, replying to Australia's 481 and having been dismissed for 260 in their first innings, England responded in the best possible manner as the left-handed pair put on 188 for the first wicket.
England face an uphill task to get anything out of the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane after big centuries from Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin handed Australia a first-innings lead of 221.
Replying to England's 260, Australia powered their way to 481 with Hussey and Haddin sharing a stand worth 307 for the sixth wicket before England closed the day on 19 without loss in their second innings.
Rain ended play early on day two of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane with Australia on 220 for five and within 40 runs of England's first-innings score.
Although England bowled well during another enthralling day's play, Australia were able to build partnerships and half-centuries from Simon Katich (50) and Michael Hussey (81 not out) ensured they closed in a strong position.
Five years ago, when England shocked Australia at home and also the entire cricket watching world, excitement returned to Ashes cricket.
It is a bit of a paradox yes, for Ashes cricket is the oldest contest alive and there has to be a reasonable thrill associated for it to survive for so long. Yet the truth is...
Australia have released leg-spinner Steve Smith from their Ashes squad, leaving the way open for left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty to make his debut in Brisbane.
"Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel today confirmed New South Wales leg spinner Steven Smith has been released from the Australian Test match squad," a statement confirmed.