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Ashes: England ready to fight for draw in Brisbane

First Ashes Test, Brisbane
Day four resumes:
2348 GMT Coverage: Listen live to Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK only). Watch live on Sky Sports 1, highlights on ITV 4


Andrew Strauss
Strauss will aim to bat for as long as possible on Sunday

England are determined to do whatever it takes to avoid defeat in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

A 307-run stand between Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin left Australia with a huge lead, and England start day four on 19-0, still a massive 202 runs behind.

Ashes newcomer Steven Finn said: "We have to take it session by session, ball by ball, and we need our batsmen to get in and get starts.

"A couple of hard days is not going to knock the confidence out of us."

Finn went through Australia's tail quickly in a Test-best 6-135 as the hosts were finally all out for 481. But he said there was much he had to get better at.

"I've got a lot to improve on, going at nearly four an over across the innings was disappointing and something I've got to work on. I think my body's adapting well [to long spells] and I'm enjoying it.

"We kept our nerve well. The guys bowled fantastically well in that first hour but they came back at us later in the day. We stuck to our task well, we fielded for more than 150 overs and all the bowlers got through 30-odd overs. That will serve us well over the next few weeks."

Despite the limitations of a four-man attack being exposed by Hussey and Haddin, Finn said: "We are all fit human beings at the moment, still bowling at good pace when we needed to.

"We have plans for each batsman and if that means using the short ball then so be it."

England's fielding was poor at times, with two catches going down and numerous errors allowing extra runs. Finn said: "As a fielding side through the summer everyone's seen we are a high-class fielding side so it's important we keep that up when the going's tough."

Haddin was delighted with his contribution of his 136 in the highest partnership ever at the Gabba, breaking the 276 set by Don Bradman and Lindsay Hasset in 1946.

TOM FORDYCE'S BLOG

"The first hour was probably the hardest Test bowling that I've ever had to face. It was as tough as Test cricket gets with Anderson and Broad bowling," he said.

"It was the highest quality Test bowling that you're going to get anywhere. It was a real battle. We couldn't get too far ahead of ourselves, we just had to keep it as simple as we could."

Hussey made 195 after surviving some very narrow escapes against James Anderson before getting to his century.

The Western Australia left-hander said: "It was about ball-by-ball focus. We appreciated Anderson and [Stuart] Broad were in the midst of very good spells at both ends early on, and just knew we had to get through the new ball and take the rewards later on.

"One thing [captain] Ricky [Ponting] has been talking about is that 50s and 60s don't win Test matches, that you've got to push on and make big centuries.

"As I was walking off, as much as I was disappointed [to fall short of a double ton], I thought, I have to soak this in and really enjoy it. There were emotions that went through my body that I'll never forget."

And on Australia's chances of wrapping up victory, he added: "The cracks are opening up in the wicket. There are a few good cracks in good areas for us to bowl at. We must bowl patiently for a long time but we've got a chance to win."



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
27 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Justin Langer's key moments
27 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Hussey and Haddin hammer England
27 Nov 10 |  Cricket
First Ashes Test in photos
27 Nov 10 |  England
Flower undergoes melanoma surgery
26 Nov 10 |  England
Defiant Hussey frustrates England
26 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Siddle hat-trick shocks England
25 Nov 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket


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