England were left frustrated in the final session of the second Ashes Test as Australia batted out a draw at Lord’s.
In a tense final session, Australia lost four wickets but hung on to finish on 156-6 at stumps after England had set them a total of 267 for victory.
Ben Stokes was England’s hero with the bat, bringing up 115 before Joe Root declared on 258-5.
However, despite the heroics of Jofra Archer, England were unable to take the necessary wickets in the limited time remaining to square the series.
In an already truncated Test match, rain once again delayed the start to proceedings by an hour.
England’s pair of Stokes and Jos Buttler continued where they left off at the end of the previous day, putting in decent session with Stokes moving to 50 just before lunch.
Buttler’s wicket eventually fell for 31 after the interval as his hooked shot off the bowling of Pat Cummins went straight to the grateful hands of Josh Hazlewood.
That was to be that for the tourists’ bowling attack as Stokes continued to graft, bringing up his century as England increased their lead.
An impressive 30 from 37 balls from Jonny Bairstow was also welcome as Joe Root opted to declare on 258-5.
Set a target of 267 for the win, with a minimum of 48 overs to play, Australia set about their task knowing they would be with key man Steve Smith
Smith, who had been struck in the head by a Jofra Archer bouncer during his side’s first innings was ruled out of the remainder of the Test with concussion.
Archer would be the man at the centre of the action once again, quickly removing David Warner who continued his miserable series making just 5 runs.
England’s test debutant would soon strike again, Usman Khawaja dismissed for just two as Archer reduced Australia to 19-2.
Marnus Labuschagne was brought in to bat at number four in place of Smith and history almost repeated itself as another deadly Archer delivery smashed the grill of the sub’s helmet, sending him crashing to the turf.
However, Labuschagne was able to continue after brief treatment from the physio and a replacement helmet.
Bancroft was next to go for Australia, bowled lbw by Jack Leach at the start of the final session and all of a sudden, the game seemed to be slipping away from the tourists.
Labuschagne put up the Australian resistance but fell to Leach on an impressive 59.
Matthew Wade went next ball and all of a sudden, England were once again smelling the possibility of victory.
A sensational Joe Denly catch saw Australia captain Tim Paine walk for just 4 as Archer took his third wicket of the day.
England needed four wickets with just six overs remaining but were unable to find the breakthrough.
Australia go into the third test at Headingley, hanging on to their 1-0 series lead, however, with England’s much improved performance in London and the possible absence of Smith, momentum could be set to swing away from the tourists in Leeds.