Australia A came within one wicket of pulling off a victory over Derbyshire in their three-day tour match on Sunday, but were forced to settle for a draw.
Impressive efforts with the ball from Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Johnson left the tourists agonisingly close to claiming the win but - with Derbyshire chasing 315 in their second innings for victory - the hosts limped to 9-270 when stumps were called.
Ed Cowan's declaration of Australia's second innings at 7-221 early on the final day set the English county side an exciting run chase and while Usman Khawaja (66) and Dan Redfern (56) were at the crease, Derbyshire looked like half a chance of chasing the total.
But the efforts of Lyon (4-115 off 30 overs) and Johnson (3-47 off 17) had the hosts in all sorts of all trouble.
Resuming on day three at 6-141, Cowan (32 not out) and Mitchell Starc (36) impressed with the bat as they set about getting a lead of over 300 runs.
Starc's 56-ball stay at the crease – which included four fours and one six - was ended by spinner David Wainwright (3-29 off 10) with Lyon (eight not out) making a brief contribution before the Australia A skipper decided it was time to declare.
Jackson Bird (1-44 off 14) and Johnson took the new ball and it was the latter who made the early breakthrough, dismissing Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen (nine) in the sixth over.
Matt Lineker (34) joined forces with Khawaja – who played six Tests for Australia in 2011 – and the pair added 92 for the second wicket.
It was Lyon who broke the partnership after he caught Lineker off his own bowling, but the runs kept flowing for the hosts as Redfern came in and picked up the slack.
Khawaja, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his aggressive innings, became Johnson's second victim before Bird got in on the act and trapped Ross Whiteley (11) lbw.
Wickets were falling at regular intervals, with Redfern the next to go at 5-196.
A draw seemed inevitable with the score at 5-235 but it was Lyon's dismissal of Wainwright (18), who was stumped by Australia A wicketkeeper Tim Paine, that triggered a dramatic collapse.
Tony Palladino (three) failed to repeat his heroics from the first innings, in which he scored a century, as Johnson removed him caught behind before Lyon dismissed Wes Durston (40).
And when Mark Turner (one) fell to Lyon, Derbyshire had lost four wickets in as many overs.
Christopher Durham (12 not out) and Mark Footitt (one not out) then frustrated Cowan's side, seeing off 35 deliveries before stumps to force a draw.
Johnson's performance would be particularly encouraging for the Australian selectors while Lyon's ability to cause problems late in the day was pleasing.
Mitchell Starc (1-49 off 12) also acquitted himself well on the final day of the match.
Australia A's next assignment is a three-day clash against Durham at Chester-le-Street, beginning on Wednesday.
First Posted 30 July, 2012 9:30AM AEDT