The Ashes, 2023 |5th Test |7/27/2023 Kennington Oval, London
Right then, that's all from the 73rd edition of the Ashes. Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes get together and pose with the Ashes Series Trophy. After the photographs are done, Cummins calls over his teammates to lift the coveted Ashes urn. This year's Ashes has ended with a 2-2 scoreline and it is Australia who will take the urn back home having won the last series. Both teams will take a month's break before they shift attention to the T20I format. England's next assignment sees them host New Zealand for a four-match T20I series while Australia travel to South Africa for a three-match T20I series. In the meantime, there's plenty of cricketing action happening across the globe. On Tuesday, 1st of August, West Indies and India will square off in the deciding game of their three-match ODI series. The first ball will be bowled at 7.00 pm IST (1.30 pm GMT). From here, it is goodbye and cheers!
Pat Cummins, the captain of Australia says that two high-quality teams participated in this series and most of the sessions were shared so he agrees that a drawn series is a fair result. Claims that right from the start they wanted to win the Ashes so from the word go in this run chase, they were looking to win. Mentions that they can be proud of retaining the Ashes against a quality side. Adds that it is the same side as the one that toured in 2019 so they are proud of the effort that they put in this time around. Informs that the Ashes is a difficult series not only out on the field but also with the fans and the media getting to you but he does not want to change anything about it. Reckons that there is no point looking at what they could change so 2-2 it is. Ends by paying tribute to Stuart Broad by saying that he is a great competitor who saves his best against Australia. Adds that he has played only one-third of the games that Broad has played and he cannot even think of playing that many matches so congratulations to him.
Ben Stokes, the skipper of England says that it is a really good feeling. Mentions that 2-2 is a fair reflection of two teams going toe-to-toe. Reckons that not many teams would have been able to respond after being 0-2 down. Feels pretty content with what they have achieved. Credits David Warner and Usman Khawaja for the way they batted in the fourth innings. Adds that it was always going to be tough chasing in the final inning with the scoreboard pressure. On Chris Woakes, he says that he says come good with the ball as well as with the bat in the lower order. On Mark Wood, he says that he could hardly walk but kept running in regardless. On Stuart Broad, he says that he has been an unbelievable performer for England and adds that it was written in the stars. On Moeen Ali, he says that he performed when it mattered the most for England and adds that he changed the game for them. Reckons that this series was what Test cricket needed.
Chris Woakes gets three awards as he is adjudged England’s Player of the Series, Man of the Match for this game as well as the Player of the Series for claiming 19 wickets in 6 innings. He says that it has been an amazing feeling to get into the side and win games. Claims that they still believed that they could come back despite being 2-0 down and 2-2 is a fair result. Informs that he was out of contention before so he just wanted to come into the side and contribute in order to help the team win a Ashes Test. Reckons that he felt like the opportunity would come, didn’t know when it will be but he needed to be prepared. Mentions that taking an early wicket when he was picked helped settle a few nerves. Adds that he got his rhythm going and some luck also went his way so he is grateful. About Stuart Broad, he says that the way he is going out is amazing and they will be hearing for a long time how he got a six on the last ball while batting and a wicket on his last delivery. Goes on to say that Australia are a pretty good team and it is not easy to take the wickets of big players so it was amazing to be able to do so. Admits that they were happy with the ball change and you have to have to some luck for it to work in your favour. Ends by saying that he does not know if he will continue playing Test cricket as he leaves that decision to Ben Stokes and the management but he would love to contribute and be a part of the toughest format of cricket.
Mitchell Starc is Australia's Player of the Series. He says that all five Test matches were incredible. Adds that it was exciting with the ebbs and flows throughout the series. On this loss, he says that it happened quickly and reckons that it was the nature of the series. Congratulates Stuart Broad on his retirement and says that he could not have written any better. Mentions that it was a fantastic tour to express himself. States that he got backing from Pat Cummins and Andrew McDonald. Feels that it was a pretty successful tour with a resilient group and a fantastic support staff.
Joe Root picks up the MVP award and the match officials collect their tokens. Now for some of the main awards and interviews...
The man of the moment, Stuart Broad is in for a chat. He starts by saying that it was absolutely wonderful. Adds that Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali set the tone after the rain interruption. Shares that once they got a couple of wickets, they started to believe. Mentions that the crowd was loud and says that they jumped on the back of it. States that it feels special to take the two wickets and contribute to the team's win. On his six off his last ball, he jokingly says that it was the only ball he middled all year. On Moeen Ali, he says that he has not officially announced his retirement yet and says that to be able to put in this performance will be special for him. Mentions that he did a lot of research into bowling against David Warner. Reckons that knowing about weaknesses is as important as knowing strengths. On switching the bails, he says that had he learnt it 10 years ago, he would have been away. Shares that new ball skidded onto the bat and run-scoring became easier. States that it was great to see the crowd wearing headbands and adds that it made him smile.
Joe Root played remarkably well the second time around to score 91 in 106 balls and stitched together a 110-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow who notched up a half-century as well. The tail could not contribute heavily but James Anderson and Stuart Broad managed to play through to Stumps on Day 3. It was after that day's play that Broad announced that he was hanging his boots in international cricket and the crowd saw him hit his last delivery in Test cricket for a maximum the following morning. England were bowled out for 395 setting the visitors a target of 384 and Australia were off to a great start scoring 135 runs without losing a wicket on Day 4 before the game was called off due to rain. They lost three wickets early on the final day as both the openers departed after getting to their half centuries and Marnus Labuchagne could not make much of an impact.
In their first effort, David Warner got into his 20s and gave away his wicket but Usman Khawaja held up one end scoring 47 runs in 157 deliveries. Steven Smith looked good enroute his 71 but a flurry of wickets had them 98 runs behind the England total with three wickets in hand. The tail wagged as Pat Cummins and Todd Murphy made 30-plus scores and helped the Aussies take a first-inning lead of 12 runs. Chris Woakes was really good once again taking three crucial wickets with Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, and Joe Root adding a couple each to their kitty. England came out to bat for the second time with only aggression on their mind. Zak Crawley scored 73 runs in 76 deliveries to get the hosts off to a flier and Ben Duckett along with his skipper Ben Stokes, who promoted himself to number 3, were dismissed 8 runs short of a half-century but they were consistently scoring at over 5 runs per over.
Pat Cummins won his first toss of the series and elected to bowl first under overcast conditions and it seemed like a masterstroke as the visitors were able to bowl out their opponents in a little more than two sessions. England had however managed to score at a brisk rate and were bowled out for 283 runs in 54.4 overs. Harry Brook top scored for his side with 85 in 91 deliveries and the top three batters Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, and Moeen Ali all got off to decent starts but could not make the most of it. Cameos from Chris Woakes and Mark Wood helped them reach a decent total in the first inning. Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers claiming 4 wickets and was well supported by Josh Hazlewood and Todd Murphy who chipped in with two wickets each. While we witnessed an exhibition of ‘Bazball’ from England, Australia adopted a completely different approach as they decided to be defensive and play for time.
SESSION SUMMARY - 96 runs and 7 wickets in 28.4 overs. There were a total of 47 overs scheduled to be played in the final session of this Test series after a long stoppage in play and with 146 runs needed to win, Australia were firm favourites with two set batters at the crease along with seven wickets in hand. Steven Smith got to his fifty as he looked to be playing another valuable knock in his team’s cause. Moeen Ali got his first wicket of the game to break the 95-run fourth-wicket partnership on the very next ball as he dismissed Travis Head 7 runs short of his half-century. Things turned quickly thereafter as Chris Woakes dismissed Steven Smith on 54 in the next over and Moeen Ali came back to send Mitchell Marsh back to the shed. Both the bowlers claimed one more wicket each dismissing Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins as Australia were reduced from 264 for 3 to 294 for 8. Alex Carey and Todd Murphy did try to fight back but the script was already written and they had to stumble under the euphoria surrounding the man of the hour Stuart Broad.
ENGLAND WIN THE FIFTH AND FINAL ASHES TEST MATCH! They have managed to level the series in dramatic fashion! Let us not forget the extraordinary story of a cricketing legend Stuart Broad who claimed the last two wickets to end his illustrious career with an Ashes Test win! The emotions around the stadium are pretty high at the moment as the great fast bowler walks off the cricket ground as a player for the last time. It was not too long back when we had a resumption after the rain interval and at that time there were talks about how Australia are well on course to clinch this game to win the series 3-1. It did not take long for England to flip the odds and condemn the Aussies to a devastating loss by 49 runs. Australia did manage to retain the Ashes but they will be thanking the rain gods for washing out the game at Old Trafford as they conceded an early 2-0 lead to finish the series on level terms.
Stuart Broad to Alex Carey, OUT! EDGED AND GONE! There it is, a fairytale ending to Stuart Broad's career! Broad nips out Carey and makes him the final victim of his career! Serves it on a good length, in the channel on off, angling in this time, from 'round the wicket, Alex Carey looks to get on the front foot and gets his bat out in front to defend. The ball nibbles away after pitching and does the trick for Broad. Catches the outside edge and Jonny Bairstow behind the wickets does the rest. Stuart Broad is delighted and so are his teammates. The Oval crowd is up on their feet to applaud what has been a magnificent career. England win by 49 runs!
Stuart Broad to Alex Carey, Bumper this time, on middle, Alex Carey ducks underneath quickly and lets the ball go through to the keeper.
Stuart Broad to Alex Carey, Nagging length, angling in, on leg, Alex Carey tucks it in the vacant square leg region and stays put.
Stuart Broad to Alex Carey, Lands it on a good length, just outside off, Alex Carey takes a stride forward and punches it towards point. Wants to run but in the end, refuses the single.
END OF OVER 94 | 4 Runs & 0 Wkt | AUS 334/9
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, Floated up, on off, Josh Hazlewood blocks it out off the front foot.
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, Tosses this full and at the stumps. Josh Hazlewood smothers the ball into the pitch.
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, FOUR! That is a good-looking shot from Australia's number 11! This is bowled a tad bit short as well and outside off. Josh Hazlewood goes deep in the crease and punches this towards deep cover-point for four runs.
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, Loops this one full and on and off-stump line. Josh Hazlewood dabs this back down the pitch towards the bowler.
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, Onto the pads, Josh Hazlewood blocks it out off the front foot.
Moeen Ali to Josh Hazlewood, Short this time and outside the off pole. Josh Hazlewood makes room and swings his blade. Gets an under edge onto the pads on the keeper.
END OF OVER 93 | 0 Runs & 0 Wkt | AUS 330/9
Stuart Broad to Alex Carey, Beaten again! In the channel again, on a good length, on off, Alex Carey has a feel for the delivery. The ball moves away late and zips past his outside edge.