England win the fifth Ashes Test to square series at 2-2
London: England has won the fifth Test at The Oval as the Ashes ended in a 2-2 draw. Australia will still bring the urn back home because it’s the reigning holder of the prestigious trophy following a series win in 2017/18, but the tourists narrowly missed out on becoming the first Aussie side since 2001 to leave English shores as an outright victor.
It’s a slightly sour note to end what’s been a successful tour for Tim Paine and his teammates. Having lost the past four Ashes series in enemy territory, they travelled to the Old Dart with the goal of retaining the urn and that’s exactly what they did, even if the ledger was square at the end of a long summer, reports news.com.au
England wrapped up a comprehensive 135-run win late on day four, dismissing the Aussies well short of the 399 they needed for victory.
England was bowled out in its second innings a few overs into the day for 329, setting Australia a daunting target, and the tourists were unable to make history as they tried to haul in what would have been a record run chase at The Oval, dismissed 20 minutes before stumps for 263.
Matthew Wade starred for Australia, scoring his second century of the series but his heroics were in vain. His fiery duel with Jofra Archer in the evening session provided the highlight of the day as the former Hobart Hurricanes teammates went toe-to-toe.
As Wade closed in on his century, a fired-up Archer cranked up his pace beyond the 150km/h mark and sent down a volley of short stuff that Wade was happy to either hook or duck. Wade has sledged Archer all series and the fast bowler was out for revenge.
The pair exchanged plenty of words and there were more than a few death stares as the England star steamed in and gave it absolutely everything in the most engrossing spell of the day. Wade looked like he might drag the contest into a fifth day but he was stumped for 117 and the end soon followed.
Nathan Lyon was caught at square leg for one and Joe Root took an exceptional catch at mid-wicket to get rid of Josh Hazlewood for a golden duck as The Oval erupted as one.
Earlier, Archer gloved Pat Cummins down the leg side in the second over of the day and while Stuart Broad launched a couple of lusty blows over the rope, Jack Leach was caught slogging to bring an end to the home team’s last effort with the willow this summer.
Australia needed a miracle but hopes of that were quickly dashed when the top order failed again. Although Marcus Harris and David Warner put on the baggy green brigade’s best opening partnership of the series when they reached 0/14, they were only able to add four more runs together before Broad spoiled the party.
The in-form seamer, who’s been England’s best bowler this series, knocked Harris’s off stump out of the ground for nine and he had his bunny soon after.
When Warner nicked Broad to Rory Burns at slip for 11 – just the second time he’s made double figures this series – it represented the seventh time in 10 innings Broad has dismissed the struggling Aussie star.
Marnus Labuschagne (14) became the first stumping victim of the series, dragging his back foot out of the crease when Leach beat his outside edge and Australia was 3/56.
Everyone expected Steve Smith to do Steve Smith things and for a short period he looked like he was going to deliver again. Australia’s best player flayed an extraordinary shot off Broad through wide mid-on for four after lunch, shuffling across and hitting a ball well outside off stump to a place in the field nobody else on the planet could manage.
By James Matthey