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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Jonathan Agnew column
Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

Geraint Jones
Jones eclipsed his colleagues with some defiant hitting

Low scoring matches, in which the value of every run is crucial, usually produce the most exciting climaxes.

This was certainly the case at Lord's where a responsible and patient stand of 116 from 205 balls between Geraint Jones and Paul Collingwood transformed a certain England defeat into a tie.

They fell in consecutive overs with 36 runs still needed, but Ashley Giles and Darren Gough added 32 from 29 balls to complete a truly remarkable transformation.

That said, Michael Vaughan's team must have been left ruing the thoughtless and frenetic start to their innings that cost them outright victory.

True, the pitch did make batting a perilous occupation throughout the match, but it was the manner in which England slumped to 33-5 that made the alarm bells ring.

Rather than aiming to establish a match-winning platform in those early overs, England's top order came out with all guns blazing.

Glenn McGrath bowled with great control, while Brett Lee roared in, bristling with hostility - but surely that was to be expected?

Brett Lee dismisses Andrew Strauss
Lee has not been picked for a Test for 18 months but it seems inconceivable he'll be overlooked now having exposed a flaw in Strauss

Mind you, Lee's head-high beamer that nearly cleaned up Marcus Trescothick was a disgraceful incident.

This man has previous form, and it is all very well raising a hand and apologising to the batsman; the damage has already been done.

The only way Australia could win the game was by bowling England out, but why make it so easy for them?

McGrath accounted for Trescothick for the third time in this series - a 100% record - while Lee continued his domination over Andrew Strauss.

Lee has not been chosen for a Test match for 18 months, but it seems inconceivable that he will be overlooked for the first match at Lord's having now exposed a serious flaw in Strauss' technique.

Much has been made of Michael Vaughan's poor record in one-day cricket, and he produced a dreadful shot as he aimed to pull a ball that was not nearly short enough, and dragged the ball into his stumps for a seven-ball duck.

He urgently needs a score in the following NatWest Challenge, or there will soon be a justified argument for replacing him in order to get a settled World Cup team in place.

Collingwood, Jones and Giles managed to pull the game out of the fire to set up a dramatic finale but, at the same time, they also put the efforts of the early batsmen firmly into perspective.


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