|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 23rd August 2015
Australia end Ashes series with win in final Test
London – Australia have inexorably marched to victory in the final Investec Test, bringing an end to the Ashes series which saw England regain the ‘little urn’ with a 3-2 series win. After the stoppage for rain which lasted just over two hours on the fourth day, the tourists prised out the two remaining wickets in mid-afternoon to wrap up the match with an innings and 46-run win.
This was only the second win for Australia in their last 12 Tests at the Oval, their previous success on this ground, also by the margin of an innings (and 25 runs) was in August 2001. Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, who retires now with the end of the series said: “The way the boys came out and played in this Test match is a great reward for the hard work put in throughout the tour. No doubt Alastair (Cook) and the England team deserve the credit to have won the Ashes. They have outplayed us in this series.”
Resuming their second innings on 203 for six, England added 20 from seven overs, six of them were with the second new ball which was taken as soon as it was due and lost two wickets. Jos Buttler, 33 overnight had taken his score to 40 and Mark Wood had picked up 6 runs when Australia struck with the first wicket of the day. The umpire had turned down Peter Siddle’s appeal for lbw against Wood but Australia’s request for a review was successful.
Three overs later England lost the second wicket with Buttler, on 42, held low at extra cover from a firm drive off Mitchell Marsh. He had played a patient innings lasting two-and-a-half hours, precisely what his side had required under the circumstance as England were still trailing by 109 runs.
Moeen Ali, who with 30 runs was the top scorer in the low-scoring first innings, along with Stuart Broad, took the total to 258 for eight when rain brought a lengthy stoppage 45 minutes before lunch. The resumption was at 3pm local time and Australia wasted no time to strike.
After Ali had driven Marsh beautifully to the cover boundary in the first over after the break,Peter Siddle had Stuart Broad play inside the line of a ball which uprooted the off stump to bring an end to the 40-run ninth wicket stand on 263.
Steve Finn stayed long enough to see Ali get to 35 with some beautiful, wristy stroke-play which brought him six boundaries, the last two of which were in the penultimate over off Marsh. Finally, Siddle, who finished with four for 35 and playing for the first time in the series, had him held behind as he flashed at a ball well outside off stump.
A delighted Cook, the England captain, said: “It’s been an interesting Test match, both sides have been a little off in terms of intensity but credit to Australia for the character they showed after losing the Ashes and play as well as they have done in this Test match. We didn’t play well at all but credit to them for having bounced back.”
He went on to say: “You see how strong Australia are from this game and to have beaten them three times is a huge credit to the guys. We played some really good cricket at crucial moments and it’s been a great series to be a part of. The crowd (supporters) have been absolutely fantastic on every one of the five venues.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)