Following a 2-2 scoreline, Ashes 2019 becomes 1st edition to end in riveting draw since 1972
Following the 2019 World Cup, all eyes were glued on the Ashes 2019 series in England and Wales. Known for the intense rivalry, fight for the prestigious urn between two arch-rivals, competition throughout the five Tests, drama and action on and off the field (at times), Ashes 2019 lived up to its expectations before both sides settled for a 2-2 scoreline in the fifth and final Test, at Kennington Oval, London on Sunday (September 15).
The series opener was evenly poised till the penultimate day before Tim Paine-led Australia took the early honours with a 1-0 scoreline following a 251-run win at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The action then moved to the Home of Cricket, Lord's cricket ground, where Joe Root-led England staged a comeback but the visitors managed to escape with a draw. The third Test was the best of the lot which saw Ben Stokes' heroics lead England to a series-leveling win in Headingley, Leeds by one wicket in pursuit of 360.
Australia made a comeback in the fourth and penultimate encounter, at Old Trafford, Manchester, courtesy run-machine Steve Smith's 211 and 82 in the entire Test. As a result, the Baggy Greens not only won the match by a whopping 185-run margin but also retained the urn in the process. Thus, Paine became the first Australian skipper (after Steve Waugh) who was set to bring back the urn Down Under, from England, since 2001.
Nonetheless, the fifth and final Test had a lot at stake for both sides. While Australia had a chance to win an Ashes in England after long, hosts were desperate to end the series at 2-2. The latter happened as Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler led from the front and ensured England wrapped up proceedings in the fourth day's play by virtue of 135 runs after imposing a 399-run target for visitors.
Hence, the scoreline remained 2-2 and the Ashes 2019 became the first-ever drawn edition since 1972 (after a gap of 47 years). Interestingly, the last drawn series was also hosted by England. Since 2000, both Australia and England have won the Ashes on five occasions; depicting the competitiveness among the arch-rivals.
Archer won the Player-of-the-Match in the final Test whereas Smith and Stokes walked away with the Player-of-the-Series awards from both sides.