Reaction Weekend

On the lost art of playing for the draw

BY Allan Massie   /  6 September 2019

Writing before the start of the third day at Old Trafford, it is tempting to agree that England are now engaged merely in damage limitation, hoping to escape with a draw and arrive at the Oval with the series still to be won. Such hope may have withered by the time I finish writing, expired by the time you are reading this. But you never know.

Once upon a time – I choose the phrase because what follows may indeed seem like a fairy-tale to younger readers – facing a first innings score of just under 500 with three days to play would have been regarded as a difficult task, but not a daunting one.


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