SYDNEY, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- England, 4-0 down to Australia, fought desperately to avoid an Ashes series sweep on the opening day of the fifth cricket test.
After a rain-delayed start Tuesday in Sydney, the English opener Andrew Strauss fell to Brett Lee for 29 runs. Then Alistair Cook departed for only 20, when he was caught behind off Stuart Clark, with the visitors at a perilous 2 for 58.
Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell came together to restore order before Glenn McGrath, playing in his final test match for Australia, dismissed both of them in the space of four balls and the visitors were 4 for 167.
Then Paul Collingwood (25 not out) and skipper Andrew Flintoff, with a dashing 42 not out, carried the England score to 4/234 before bad light ended play for the day.
McGrath's figures were 2/57 off 21 overs while Clark's wicket came at a cost of 54 runs and Lee was 1/50.
Spinner Shane Warne, also playing in his last test match after becoming the first cricketer to take more than 700 test wickets, had no luck Tuesday and failed to take a scalp in his 19 overs, which cost 59 runs.