First Test, Day 4 (at Brisbane): England 260 (IR Bell 76, AN Cook 67; PM Siddle 6-54) & 309-1 (AN Cook 132no, AJ Strauss 110, IJL Trott 54no) v Australia 481 (MEK Hussey 195, BJ Haddin 136, SM Katich 50; ST Finn 6-125)
Hundreds from Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook and a half-century by Jonathan Trott put England on course to escape the Gabba with an unexpected draw against Australia.
Strauss (110) had last managed three figures 25 Test innings ago, against these same opponents at Lord's in July 2009 - while Cook (132 not out) began this tour worryingly short of runs.
By the time bad light brought a premature end England were 309 for one, for a lead off 88, with Warwickshire batsman Trott unbeaten on 54.
From a starting point many deemed verging on the hopeless last night, after Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin's monumental triple-century stand, England's openers returned fire with their own partnership of 188.
The tourists began day four needing realistically to bat for at least the next four sessions to somehow eke out a stalemate, on 19 without loss and facing a first-innings deficit of 221.
Midway through the evening session, after their highest first-wicket stand on this ground, they were back in front on 277 for one - having negotiated 11 overs of the second new ball, on a pitch wearing plenty of cracks but still favouring the batsmen.
Strauss refused to let Australia's bowlers dictate proceedings, running well between the wickets and hitting 15 boundaries from 224 balls.
Cook was a crucial anchor to England's rearguard, having reached his second 50 of the match just before lunch and duly 'converted' straight after tea when he cut Ben Hilfenhaus for only his ninth four from the 204th delivery he faced.
The first hour of a cloudy day was a mixture of plays and misses against good pace bowling, occasional edges safely wide of the slips and a clutch of resounding boundaries from England's left-handed openers.
Cook had a minor moment of fortune on 35 when he failed to control a slog-sweep at Xavier Doherty but collected two runs as the ball fell well out of reach of three converging fielders.
Mitchell Johnson was true to his word, having threatened last week that he had a barrage of head-high bouncers in store for Strauss. His target was adept at swaying out of the line, though.
After his third-ball duck on day one, Strauss had points to prove for himself and his team.
It was he who brought up England's first century stand of the series with a perfect extra-cover drive for four off Peter Siddle but he too who two balls later somehow chiselled an inside edge marginally past his leg-stump for a significantly less convincing boundary.
Strauss also needed a telling moment of fortune when on 69 he went up the wicket to hit Doherty over mid-off.
Johnson jumped and ought to have held on with two hands high above his head but spilled the clear-cut chance.
There was one more false shot from Strauss, just after lunch, when he miscued two more runs to go from 88 to 90 - high over gully and wide of point, trying to pull Hilfenhaus.
Otherwise, his performance was unblemished until he was drawn out of his ground by part-time off-spinner Marcus North and stumped after failing to cover the turn.
It therefore fell to Trott to help Cook push England into credit, and the number three did so in heartening fashion with an exemplary cover-driven four off Johnson.
The second-wicket pair went on to share an unbroken stand of 121 either side of tea, Cook having given his first chance - hooking Hilfenhaus on 103 but surviving when Peter Siddle could not hold a difficult, tumbling catch at deep fine-leg.
Michael Clarke also put down a half-chance, diving to his left at point but unable to keep hold of a Trott cut at Siddle on 34.
* England coach Andy Flower was back with his team at the Gabba, having had to miss days two and three after surgery to remove a melanoma from the top of his right cheek.