Defiant Smith drives Australia to draw in Boxing Day Test
Australia 327 & 263-4 (Smith 102no) v
England 491 (Cook 244no)
Fourth Test, Melbourne, day five
A determined unbeaten century from Steven Smith played a decisive part as Australia managed to resist England attack on the final day to end the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne in a draw.
Australia resumed the final day's play with a score of 103 for two, trailing England by another 61 runs.
The play resumed 30 minutes earlier to make up for the loss of play and in the sixth over, David Warner (86) completed his half-century with a boundary and soon also brought the 50-run stand with Smith (102 not out).
Both the Aussie skipper and his deputy brought calmness to the dressing room as they battled out the England bowlers without much discomfort and just as they went past the 150-run mark, rain arrived by 11:37 local time and delayed the proceedings for about 10 minutes.
On resumption, Smith scored his first boundary of the day and Australia went on to claim the lead. With not many options available, Joe Root (1-1) brought himself on and in his second delivery, he received his birthday present when Warner mistimed a slog to James Vince in the covers.
England smelt an opportunity when Stuart Broad (1-44) had Shaun Marsh (4) caught behind in the final delivery before lunch during which Australia were placed 178 for four.
Any chance of an England comeback was put to rest as Smith along with Mitchell Marsh (29 not out) negated 48.2 overs and scored 85 runs in it.
Mitchell alone batted 166 deliveries himself and Smith went past another triple figure score - 23rd in Tests. In the process he also levelled Steve Waugh and Allan Border in the list of centuries made by a captain (15).
Both the captains eventually accepted to end the game in a draw - the first time in 42 years for an Ashes Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Alastair Cook was awarded the player of the match for his double century in the only innings England batted but the series continues to be 3-0 in favour of Australia.
© Cricket World 2017