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Australia A denied in thrilling draw

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Chris Durham and Mark Footitt survived the final 5.5 overs to ensure Derbyshire held on for a draw in their three-day tour game with Australia A.

The county side made good initial progress after being set 315 to win a match featuring three attacking declarations.

Usman Khawaja, who has six Test caps for Australia, struck 66 and Dan Redfern contributed 10 fewer, but a late collapse almost proved costly as Derbyshire closed on 270 for nine.

Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon, right, picked up four wickets on day three at Derby, but Australia A were unable to claim the final scalp they needed for victory

The tourists had earlier added 80 to their overnight score of 141 for six before declaring 15 overs into the morning session.

Mitchell Starc was the only batsman to fall, a third victim for David Wainwright after reaching 36, while skipper Ed Cowan compiled 32 not out from number seven to add to his century as an opener in the first innings.

Cowan’s opposite number, Wayne Madsen, fell cheaply at the start of Derbyshire’s chase when he edged Mitchell Johnson to Steven Smith at second slip, but Khawaja and Matt Lineker put on 82 for the second wicket.

That alliance ended when Lineker, on 34, offered a return catch to spinner Nathan Lyon and Johnson then had Khawaja caught in the slips, his fellow countryman having struck seven fours and two sixes.

Although Ross Whiteley departed cheaply, Redfern kept Derbyshire’s innings on track and cracked three fours in the space of five balls off Lyon to bring up a 54-ball half-century.

He was caught behind off Starc soon after, however, and David Wainwright then fell to Lyon before first-innings centurion Tony Palladino and Wes Durston departed in successive overs to leave Derbyshire eight down with seven overs remaining.

Lyon claimed his fourth scalp when Mark Turner was caught by Smith for one, but Durham and Footitt would not be shifted.

Australia A next take on Durham in a three-day fixture starting on Wednesday, before providing the opposition for England Lions in first-class fixtures at Old Trafford and Edgbaston.

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