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Australia bat out for draw to frustrate England

  • Story Highlights
  • Australia battle to draw in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston
  • Michael Clarke and Marcus North put on stand of 185 to rescue Aussies
  • England lead the best-of-five match series 1-0 after victory at Lord's
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(CNN) -- Michael Clarke scored his 12th Test century and shared a record stand of 185 for the fifth wicket with Marcus North as Australia easily batted out for a draw in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

Ponting (left) shakes hands with century maker Clarke as the match is declared a draw.

Ponting (left) shakes hands with century maker Clarke as the match is declared a draw.

England went into the final day with realistic hopes of victory with Australia two wickets down and still 25 runs behind on second innings, but a disciplined batting display by the tourists kept alive their own hopes in the series.

Australian vice-captain Clarke, playing his 50th Test, reached his landmark before the two teams agreed to shake hands on a draw, with Australia 375 for five.

He was named man of the match and is in a rich vein of form after his century in a losing cause at Lord's as England took a 1-0 series lead.

Australia lost two wickets in the morning session to leave England with an outside chance of forcing victory.

Shane Watson was caught behind by Matt Prior off James Anderson for his second half century of the match after being drafted in as an opener.

The key wicket of Michael Hussey for an excellent 64, again caught by Prior off Stuard Broad, left Australia 161 for four and only 48 runs ahead.

But in the afternoon session Clarke and North took the game away with an impeccable stand, the best for the fifth wicket for Australia at Edgbaston.

Left-hander North again impressed and looked headed for his third Test ton in just his fifth Test until he edged Broad to Anderson for 96 to bring his stand with Clarke to an end after tea.

Clarke had a slice of fortune when a delivery from Broad clipped his stumps without dislodging the bails while he was on 92 and four runs later he sliced to slip off Ravi Bopara.

But his century was not long coming and was the signal for a match which had promised much to peter out to a draw.

"I think the wicket slowed down a a little bit, but all credit to Marcus north and Michael Clarke who batted exceptionally well to get Australia out of a hole," England captain Andrew Strauss told Sky Sports.

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The fourth Test of the five-match series starts at Headingley on Thursday with attention turning to the composition of both sides.

Brett Lee is pressing for a recall to the Australian side and another 2005 series hero, Steve Harmison, is hoping to get back into the England line up.

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