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Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 19:00 UK

Escape will spur us on - Strauss


It was horrible to watch - Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss believes their dramatic draw against Australia in the first Ashes Test has given them a huge lift for the rest of the series.

England batted throughout the final day with Paul Collingwood scoring 74 and last-wicket pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar surviving for 40 minutes.

Strauss said: "Momentum is a massive thing and what happened today will give us a big lift for rest of the Ashes.

"We got away with it, we know that, and we must come back and play better."

England started the final day in Cardiff on 20-2 in their second innings, still needing 220 to make Australia bat again.

They lost early wickets when Kevin Pietersen and Strauss fell but Collingwood played a superb rearguard knock, batting for nearly six hours and facing 245 balls.

We were outplayed in the match by Australia, we know that

Andrew Strauss

Anderson and Panesar then defied Australia for 40 minutes as they held on to ensure the series is 0-0 going in to the second Test, which begins at Lord's on Thursday.

"We looked all day long like we weren't quite in the contest," added Strauss. "It seemed like we kept losing wickets too regularly.

"But all credit to Collingwood, what a knock that was - outstanding. He does it time and again under serious pressure and I cannot say enough good things about him.

"I have to praise the two at the end as well. I feel bad that the batsmen put them in that position, but they showed lots of character and lots of fight.

"They kept their heads and in those pressure situations that is not easy to do. We're really proud of them right now."

Strauss admitted that his team had been second best to Australia throughout the Test match, but says there is more to come from England.

"We were outplayed in this match, we know that," said Strauss.

"We had our chances, especially on the first day, but we didn't take them. We must play better than we did this week, but thankfully it's still 0-0 in the series.

Tom rates England's players

"We must sit down with the selectors, get away from the emotion and pick a team for the second Test."

Batting hero Collingwood expressed his delight at helping England earn a famous draw.

"Everyone knows I like to get stuck in when times are hard and I knew what I had to do, I needed to bat for three sessions," said Collingwood.

"I gave my wicket away near the end and that was disappointing, but there are a lot of happy people in that dressing-room.

"You have to play the situation and we did that. It got a bit closer than we had hoped for, but the boys at the end did a fantastic job."

Anderson, who faced 53 balls in a superb show of tail-end defiance, revealed his delight at keeping the series all-square.

"It's huge that we're still level in the series, with Lord's in a few days," said Anderson, who has still not been out for a duck in his 50 Test innings, a record.

"It is a massive boost for us. It was a tricky last couple of hours but we are so happy to come out with a draw."

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see also
Defiant England cling on for draw
12 Jul 09 |  England
England tactics frustrate Ponting
12 Jul 09 |  England
England v Australia photos day five
12 Jul 09 |  England
Australia charge thwarted by rain
11 Jul 09 |  England
Clarke & North make England toil
10 Jul 09 |  England
Aussie batsmen dominate England
09 Jul 09 |  England
England make solid start to Ashes
08 Jul 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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