Lee and McGrath hold out

Australian tail-enders Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath survived the last four overs of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford overnight to see their team secure a tense draw in another thrilling match.

Beginning the final day at 24 without loss, Australia needed another 399 to pull off a miraculous victory and England required 10 wickets.

After the early loss of Justin Langer, it was Australian captain Ricky Ponting who held his team's innings together for most of the day. His 156 was scored off 275 balls and included 16 boundaries and one six.

While the Australian captain was at the crease, a draw looked to be the most likely outcome. But when he became the ninth victim with 24 deliveries remaining, an English victory looked quite possible.

McGrath joined Lee and the pair proceeded to guide their team to safety. Another ruthless bowling performance by Andrew Flintoff (four for 71) was not enough to see his team win the match and go 2-1 up in the series.

Australia finished at 371 for nine. The fourth Test begins at Trent Bridge next Thursday.

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