THIRD TEST - MATCH SUMMARY
(Old Trafford, Day 5):
England 444 & 280-6dec; Australia 302 & 371-9. Match drawn
Australia's last-wicket pair secured a draw in a desperately tense finish to the third Test at Old Trafford to keep the Ashes series level at 1-1.
Captain Ricky Ponting batted for six hours for 156 but was dismissed with 17 balls left, leaving Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath to see Australia to safety.
Ponting shared stands of 81 with Michael Clarke (39) and 76 with Shane Warne, who made 34.
Andrew Flintoff took 4-71 but could not claim the vital last wicket.
LATEST ACTION (all times BST):
1846: Lee clips away a full toss from Harmison to save the game for Australia. A pulsating Test ends in a draw.
1846: Lee leaves Harmison's penultimate ball.
1845: Harmison sends another delivery down the leg-side. Two balls remain.
1845: McGrath clips the third ball away for a single on the leg side, bringing Lee back on strike.
1844: McGrath plays and misses at the second ball.
1843: The first ball of Harmison's over drifts down the leg side.
1842: Australian 12th man Stuart MacGill comes onto the field to pass on a message to McGrath.
1841: Lee flicks the last ball of the over away on the leg-side, and it trickles to the boundary to leave McGrath facing the last over.
1840: Lee fends off the next two deliveries from Flintoff.
1839: Umpire Steve Bucknor turns down an lbw appeal against Lee from Flintoff's third ball, which is just outside off-stump.
1838: Lee blocks the first ball of Flintoff's final over, and produces a solid forward-defensive to the second.
1835: Glenn McGrath takes strike to Harmison with three overs left. He fends off several attempted yorkers, clipping one away for four, as England's victory bid goes down to the final 12 balls.
1832: Lee plays and misses at a Flintoff off-cutter with his first ball, but survives the rest of the over.
1829: Glenn McGrath comes out to join Brett Lee with four overs remaining. Andrew Flintoff is about to start a new over.
1828: WICKET Australia 354-9 (Ponting 156) Harmison strikes! Ponting's epic innings is finally ended on 156 as he gloves Harmison down the leg side to Geraint Jones. Old Trafford goes wild.
1825: Lee gets a single off a Harmison yorker, and Ponting clips a leg-side delivery away for four. Another vigorous lbw appeal against Ponting is turned down by umpire Billy Bowden.
"Who's writing the scripts for these matches?" emails Ian Robinson from Australia. "I'm a wreck!"
1822: Ponting fends off the entire Flintoff over, leaving Lee to face Harmison again. England have 30 balls left to get two wickets.
1819: Ponting goes for a quick single and substitute fielder Stephen Peters narrowly misses running out Lee, where a direct hit would have removed him. With every England fielder in a catching position, Lee deflects a Harmison yorker for four.
1815: Harmison immediately sends in a vicious lifter which cracks Lee on his arm. He then has a strong lbw appeal turned down off his second ball, Lee just getting forward enough.
1813: Jones cramps up as he runs in to bowl the first ball of his over, and is forced to go off the field for treatment. Stephen Harmison is summoned to take over.
1811: Ponting, now 151no, is now refusing singles in order to keep the strike. Flintoff beats him with a good outswinger, but the Australian captain survives.
1807: Ponting takes a quick single and Lee is forced to dive full length with his bat to make his ground at the other end. Lee edges the last ball of the over just short of Giles at slip.
1802: The crowd are in raptures now as Brett Lee comes to the crease, and plays and misses twice to Flintoff.
1800: WICKET Australia 340-8 (Warne 34) Breakthrough! Flintoff breaks up the partnership as Warne edges him to Andrew Strauss at second slip, but the ball bounces off his thigh and Geraint Jones dives to his right to plunder a spectacular catch.
1758: A clever slower ball from Jones confuses Ponting, but he survives to leave Australia needing 83 runs from the final 10 overs.
"I think Australia have a chance to win," emails Daniel from the USA. "If they do, Ponting will be next to Bradman."
1756: Ponting and Warne have put on 74 as Jones begins another over. Ponting clips him away for two to bring up his 150, before Jones beats him with an away swinger.
1752: A huge roar goes around Old Trafford as Michael Vaughan summons Andrew Flintoff back into the attack. He beats Warne with one outside the off-stump, who then plays and misses a wide one.
1746: Jones starts to show signs of getting reverse swing, but Ponting carves him away for a four, and then takes a two and a single to leave Australia needing 86 off the last 12 overs.
1743: The crowd cheer on Hoggard as he charges in for his 13th over. Warne clips him away for four to move to 34, where Kevin Pietersen risks injury with an unsuccessful dive.
1739: Jones resumes but Ponting flicks him away for two fours from the over, to move to 137.
1731: Matthew Hoggard replaces Giles in the attack and Warne wafts at the last ball of his over before a drinks break is called. England have another 15 overs to force victory.
1726: DROP A chance goes begging for England as a diving Kevin Pietersen, at full stretch at mid-wicket, puts down his Hampshire team-mate Warne.
1729: Simon Jones returns to the attack, replacing Flintoff. Ian Bells dives full-length at cover to cut off a single, but Warne plays a sumptuous on-drive for four.
1725: Warne unleashes a square cut for four off Giles, who then switches to round the wicket. Warne then sweeps him away for three, Jones cutting off the boundary, to move to 26.
1721: Warne jabs an attempted drive off Flintoff over point for two, to take Australia past 300. Ponting then misses an attempted pull, but the partnership is still intact.
1717: Ashley Giles returns to the attack in an attempt to break up a partnership now worth 34. The spinner appeals for an lbw against Warne, but the ball bounced just before flicking him on the toe.
1713: Warne fends a lifting Flintoff delivery in the air, but it falls agonisingly short of the bowler. Warne then has to duck to avoid another snorter.
1709: Ponting moves onto 128 with a single off Harmison, while Warne is on 15.
1703: Flintoff still appears concerned about the foot-holds as he runs into bowl. But he has a close lbw appeal against Ponting, now on 127, with the ball deemed just too high.
1701: Harmison bowls a solid maiden, but England's bowlers are not getting the same movement as they did with the old ball.
1657: Flintoff appears to catch his ankle in a deep foot-hold, and moves wider with his next delivery, an attempted yorker that Warne clips to the boundary.
1653: It's Freddie time again. Flintoff, whose figures so far read 15-3-50-3, is summoned into action with 25 overs remaining. Can he be England's hero once again?
1650: Stephen Harmison takes over from Hoggard with the new ball still fresh. Warne flashes a drive in the air but it is wide of Kevin Pietersen in the gully and zips to the boundary.
1646: Jones continues with the new ball, but a full toss is swiftly dispatched down the ground by Ponting for four.
1644: Hoggard is handed the new ball after two balls of his over. Warne sneaks a single to move onto three.
1640: Jones produces an absolute jaffa that moves away from Warne, who plays and misses.
1636: England have another 29 overs to weasel out the three wickets they need for a famous victory. Ponting is on 119, with Warne yet to get off the mark, as Jones resumes.
1632: Hoggard is straining every sinew as he narrowly fails to get an edge from Warne's bat with two superb deliveries. The drama is temporarily suspended for a drinks break.
"This is not the England of old," e-mails Justin. They have not, and do not, roll over and die at the first sign of defeat - they fight!"
1627: Ponting shows his timing is still good despite the pressure as he whips Jones away for four.
1623: Shane Warne, who scored 90 in the first innings, comes to the crease to join his captain. He keeps out two balls from Hoggard, who is cheered raucously as he returns to the boundary.
1620: WICKET Australia 264-7 (Gillespie 0) Pandemonium at Old Trafford as Hoggard traps Gillespie lbw in front of his stumps with a terrific inswinger. England are now three wickets away from victory.
1618: It is edge-of-your-seat stuff now as Ponting loops a miscued drive over Hoggard's head for a single, taking him to 112.
1615: A watchful Gillespie fends off a fired-up Jones, who receives an official warning for running onto the pitch. The Old Trafford bugler sounds up with 'Men of Harlech' in tribute to the Welshman.
1613: The mood inside Old Trafford is transformed as England supporters find their voice again. Jason Gillespie comes in ahead of Shane Warne to face the music.
1611: WICKET Australia 263-6 (Clarke 39) Jones strikes! England get the wicket they desperately need as Clarke loses his off-stump to a superb inswinger, without playing a shot.
1608: The crowd are roaring Hoggard in with every delivery, and he gets one off-cutter past Ponting, who is now on 111.
"Congrats to Ponting," e-mails David Thomas. "The way they are going for it, we could be in for another nail biter - great shame as my nails still haven't grown back after the last one!"
1603: Simon Jones, who has only bowled seven overs, returns to the attack, replacing Harmison. He almost produces a wicket when Clarke edges him between first and second slip for four, then narrowly fails to get a touch as he slashes wildly at another delivery.
1559: Matthew Hoggard replaces Giles. Bookmakers have lowered odds on an Australian victory from 25-1 at tea, to 13-2. With Ponting and Clarke well set, they require another 168 to win.
1556: Clarke gets a leg bye off Harmison to bring up 250 for Australia. There are the first signs of tension among the England supporters in the crowd. Could Australia steal victory from their grasp?
1549: Australia appear to have changed their tactics with 174 now needed to win, Clarke counter-attacking by coming down the wicket to hit Giles for four over mid-on. His partnership with Ponting is now worth 67.
1546: Ponting drives Harmison for four to bring up his 23rd Test century, a superbly defiant knock in the circumstances. He has hit 10 fours and one six, reaching his ton off 169 balls.
1540: Clarke attempts to sweep Giles but the ball bounces up off his body and over his head for a bye. He then survives an lbw appeal when a turning ball from outside leg stump flicks his pads on the way through to Geraint Jones. But he hammers a four from the last ball of the over.
1537: Stephen Harmison starts at the other end. Ponting pushes his first ball away on the leg side for three, to move to within six runs of his 23rd Test century.
1535: Ashley Giles bowls the first over after tea, and almost gets to what would have been a remarkable return catch off Clarke. The batsman then completely misses another delivery with some extra bounce.
1531: The players return to the field for the final session of a cracking Test match. England have 42 overs left to bowl Australia out.
1513: TEA Australia 216-5, needing another 207 for victory.
1512: Harmison comes in to bowl the last over before tea. His second ball hits Ponting in his mid-riff, and the Australia captain survives an lbw appeal next ball, which is just too high. But he is still there on 91, with Clarke on 20, as the players head to the pavilion.
1508: Hoggard's spell lasted only a over as Ashley Giles returns to the attack. He beats Clarke with one superb turning delivery, before the batsman edges another one just short of slip.
1505: Clarke tucks away Harmison for a single on the leg side off the last ball of his over.
1501: England are odds-on to win with bookmakers as Stephen Harmison returns to the attack with tea approaching. Flintoff's spell after lunch was 8-2-20-2.
1458: Matthew Hoggard comes back into the attack, but Clarke flicks his first ball imperiously away for four on the leg side, moving swiftly to 17.
1456: Ponting flicks away a fuller Flintoff delivery for two on the leg side. It could be the last over of a superb spell from the England all-rounder.
1451: Ponting moves his feet swiftly to clout Vaughan down the pitch for four, moving onto 87. The boundary brings up 200 for Australia.
1448: Clarke fends off a short Flintoff delivery just wide of Ian Bell at short leg.
1443: Michael Vaughan brings himself on to bowl in place of Giles, but Clarke bludgeons the England captain for two fours to get off the mark.
1440: Michael Clarke, batting down the order due to a back problem, does well to keep out a Flintoff yorker first ball. The crowd stands to applaud the end of the all-rounder's over.
1437: WICKET Australia 182-5 (Gilchrist 4) Flintoff takes his third wicket of the day as Gilchrist edges another delivery outside his off-stump straight to Ian Bell at gully. Old Trafford is delirious as the crowd scent an England victory.
1433: Gilchrist takes a single off Giles to deep mid-wicket where Simon Jones fields after returning to the fray.
1430: Flintoff gets one to move away from Ponting, who plays and misses, as the England spearhead continues his assault. Gilchrist takes a single off the last ball of the over.
1425: Giles continues but Australia take three comfortable singles from his over.
1421: The crowd are roaring Flintoff on as he charges in from the Stretford End to bowl to Gilchrist. The local hero produces a maiden over.
1416: Ponting pulls another short ball from Giles away for four, to move onto 76.
1413: Flintoff goes over the wicket to change the angle of attack to Gilchrist. The end of the over brings a drinks break.
1411: Flintoff doubles up Ponting with his first delivery, but it is a no-ball. Substitute fielder, Worcestershire's Stephen Peters, who is on for Simon Jones, dives full-length to his right to cut off a Gilchrist drive.
1408: Gilchrist gets off the mark with a single off Giles as the anticipation grows ahead of Flintoff's next over.
1404: Flintoff immediately finds a probing line to Gilchrist, who plays and misses at one outside his off-stump.
1402: Old Trafford is buzzing again as Adam Gilchrist strides to the crease. Play is briefly delayed as a beach ball drifts onto the pitch.
1400: WICKET Australia 165-4 (Katich 12) Freddie strikes! Flintoff induces Katich into another drive that he edges to third slip, where Giles moves smartly to his right to take an excellent catch at shoulder height.
1359: Flintoff goes over the wicket to Katich and immediately tempts the left-hander into a drive that he misses.
1355: Giles continues from the Warwick Road end, but Ponting hammers his first, short delivery away for four.
1353: The Old Trafford bugler greets Andrew Flintoff's return to the attack. Katich confidently drives his first ball for three, but then plays and misses successive wider deliveries.
1348: Ponting pulls Giles through mid-wicket twice in succession to move onto 63 as Australia try to counter-attack.
1345: Katich glances Jones away to fine leg for four.
1342: Ponting drives Jones square of the wicket for three to move onto 53.
1339: Katich whips a leg-side ball from Harmison away for four to get off the mark.
1337: Ponting drives through backward point for three to bring up a belligerent half-century. His 50 comes off 103 balls, with four fours and a six.
1335: Katich underlines the pressure piling up on Australia as he almost gets an edge to a wide delivery with a woeful shot.
1333: The crowd are urging England on now as Jones charges in to bowl. He gets one past Ponting's bat as new batsman Simon Katich joins the fray.
1329: WICKET Australia 129-3 (Martyn 19) England enjoy a huge slice of fortune when umpire Steve Bucknor gives Martyn out lbw to Harmison, even though replays show he got an inside edge.
1326: A spectator gives a rallying call with a bugle, and Jones almost answers it when Ponting edges him for a streaky four through the gully. Jones finishes his over with two lbw appeals against Martyn.
1322: The sun has broken through at Old Trafford as Harmison begins his sixth over of the day. After a no-ball, he hurries Ponting with a lifting delivery, and has an lbw appeal against Martyn turned down off his last ball.
1317: Simon Jones resumes from the other end and finds some reverse swing in a second straight maiden, but Martyn's defence is solid.
1314: Harmison follows an outswinger with one that cuts back sharply, clipping Ponting - who offers no stroke - on the back leg. But umpire Steve Bucknor decides it was outside the line of off-stump.
1310: Play is about to resume as England resume their quest to take the remaining eight Australian wickets. Stephen Harmison will bowl the first over after lunch.
Ray George from Brunei emails TMS to say: "My beer is cold, my work is done and England are dominating the Aussies at cricket. Is this heaven?"
And George in Azerbaijan says: "Following it on the net thanks to the BBC live updates every over, it must be a cracking atmosphere at the ground."
LUNCH: Australia 121-2, chasing 423 for victory.
1230: Ponting moves onto 41 with a single off the last ball before lunch. The game remains evenly poised with England needing another eight wickets in the final two sessions.
1228: Harmison saves a four with a full-length dive in the field, restricting Ponting to two off Jones.
1226: Stephen Harmison returns to the attack as captain Michael Vaughan seeks another wicket before lunch. Ricky Ponting sneaks a single to move onto 38, before a vicious delivery hits Martyn on the side of his helmet.
1222: Television replays show that Martyn got a nick to the first ball of Jones' previous over, but no England player appealed. Jones bowls a maiden to keep the pressure on.
1218: Giles continues from the other end but Martyn pulls the spinner away for four.
1215: Jones appeals for an lbw decision against Ponting after an inswinger into his front pad, but the Australian captain has got his foot outside the off stump.
1212: Andrew Flintoff finishes his superb seven over spell as Simon Jones, who took 6-53 in the first innings, is summoned into the attack. Martyn drives his first ball uppishly through cover for four.
1209: Martyn pushes Giles away for a four on the leg side to move onto seven.
1203: Martyn survives a run-out attempt as Ian Bell, at short leg, swoops on an on-side push and throws at the stumps, but narrowly misses the target. A direct hit would have seen the end of Martyn.
1200: New batsman Damien Martyn survives a yorker from Flintoff, who receives a huge ovation as he finishes his over.
1156: WICKET Australia 96-2 (Hayden 36) Flintoff finally gets his man! The England all-rounder produces a perfectly-pitched delivery that bowls Hayden, hitting his leg stump.
1155: Hayden plays and misses at another Flintoff outswinger.
1152: Ponting drives Giles for four to move onto 34.
1150: Flintoff, coming round the wicket again, produces an in-swinger that Hayden leaves, wrapping him on the top of his pads. But he survives an lbw appeal.
1148: Ponting takes a single off the first ball of Flintoff's over to move to 30. Hayden, on 36, wafts at another wide one.
1144: Hayden is trying to get foward to Giles, and comes perilously close to sweeping the ball onto his own stumps, missing by inches.
1139: Ponting survives an lbw appeal from Flintoff, the ball swinging in from outside the line of the off stump.
1134: Play resumes with Hayden on 29 and Ponting on 27. Hayden decides to attack Giles, pulling him for six.
1130: More frustration for England as Hayden edges another Flintoff delivery through the slip cordon for four. Umpire Billy Bowden calls for a first drinks break.
1127: Hayden survives another let-off as Flintoff finds the edge again, but the ball flies between second and third slip for another boundary.
1125: Ponting takes off after pushing Giles away on the on-side, and has to hurry back to avoid being run out as the spinner narrowly misses the stumps with his throw. Ponting then dispatches a full toss for four.
1122: Hayden wafts at an outswinger from the last ball of Flintoff's over, which is a maiden.
1118: Giles produces a quicker delivery that bounces off Ponting's top hand to safety.
1115: Flintoff, coming round the wicket, induces an edge from Hayden, but the ball flies past Andrew Strauss at second slip for four. Hayden and Ponting are both 21 not out.
1112: Lancashire hero Andrew Flintoff is called into the attack, Hoggard having taken 1-15 from his first four overs. Ponting promptly pulls Flintoff for six to move on to 20.
1110: Giles appeals vigorously after turning another one past the outside of Ponting's bat, but umpire Billy Bowden rules he did not get an edge.
1107: Ponting does well to dig out an accurate Hoggard yorker. He collects two from the final ball of the over to bring the 50 up for Australia.
1102: Ponting miscues a drive which flashes wide of Marcus Trescothick at slip. Giles keeps up the pressure with three testing balls to Hayden.
1058: Ashley Giles is called into the attack to replace Harmison. The spinner gets his second ball to turn and beat Ponting's bat, and Geraint Jones takes off the bails. After consultation with the television umpire, the Australian captain is ruled not out, having just kept his back foot on his crease.
1056: Hayden plays a less than convincing pull shot off Hoggard into the air, but it is called a no-ball.
1052: Hayden pulls a short ball from Harmison through mid-wicket for four. He repeats the shot for a single, before Ponting takes two with a push through the on-side.
1048: Ponting fends off an awkward, bouncing delivery from Hoggard with his gloves, narrowly missing Ian Bell at short leg, and survives an lbw appeal from the last ball of the over.
1045: After a quieter over from Harmison, Ponting clips the first ball of Hoggard's second over through the on-side for four, the first boundary of the day.
1040: Ricky Ponting comes into bat and gets off the mark with a single, but Hoggard tests him with the last ball of the over, and receives a standing ovation.
1035: WICKET Australia 25-1 (Langer 14) Hoggard strikes! A wonderful start for England, and a major blow for Australia. Hoggard gets his first ball to move away from Langer, who gets a faint edge to Geraint Jones. Old Trafford erupts.
1033: Hayden plays and misses at Harmison's fifth ball, before a no-ball gets Australia off the mark for the day.
1030: Harmison bowls the first ball of the day, which Hayden leaves outside his off stump.
1029: Hayden takes strike as Steve Harmison prepares to bowl the first over of the day.
1028: Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer walk onto the field to some friendly boos amid an otherwise warm reception.
1026: The whole ground stands and roars as the rest of the England team take the field.
1025: The crowd on one side of the 21,000-capacity ground are all standing watching Matthew Hoggard practise bowling to England bowling coach Troy Cooley off three paces.
1010: England bowler Simon Jones sums up the task today: "Australia are number one in the world and they are there for a reason. We are number two and the only way we are going to be number one is if we beat them. It is going to be a tough task. Hopefully the ball will start reverse-swinging early."
1000: Thousands of disappointed fans are being turned away from the ground, which is bursting with anticipation with play due to start in half an hour.
0950: Old Trafford officials announce that the ground is sold out for today's play, and the gates are now closed.
0930: There are huge queues around Old Trafford as fans take advantage of the £10 entry to what is set to be a thrilling climax to the third Ashes Test.