A dominant show by Australian bowlers, particularly pacer Mitchell Starc outshined an elegant half-century by Harry Brook as the visitors found themselves in a position of comfort while batting against England in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on Thursday.
At the end of the first day of play, Australia was 61/1, with Usman Khawaja (26*) and Marnus Labuschagne (2*) unbeaten. England started the final session at 250/7, with Mark Wood (23*) and Chris Woakes (15*) unbeaten.
At the start of the final session, Murphy struck early to remove Mark Wood for 28 off 29 balls. This ended the 49-run partnership between Wood and Woakes. England was 261/8.
Broad was quickly dismissed by Starc for seven, reducing England to 270/9.
Starc completed a four-wicket haul by dismissing Woakes for 36, after the batter mistimed a pull caught by Travis Head at deep square leg.
England was bundled out for 283 runs. Starc (4/82) was the pick of the bowlers for Australia. Murphy and Hazlewood also got a couple of wickets. Cummins and Marsh got one wicket each.
Australia came to bat in their first innings.
Openers David Warner and Chris Woakes gave Aussies a solid start, seeing of the new ball well.
Woakes delivered the first breakthrough to the Aussies, dismissing Warner for 24 after he was caught by Zak Crawley. Australia was 49/1.
Marnus Labuschagne was next up on the crease and took Australia through the remainder of the session without any loss of wicket.
Earlier, England started the second session at 131/3, with Harry Brook and Moeen Ali unbeaten on the crease with scores of 48 and 10 respectively.
Brook brought up his half-century in just 44 balls.
In the 31st of the innings, Brook and Moeen brutally attacked Aussie skipper Pat Cummins’ pace. Brook smashed two fours while Moeen smashed a four and six each to take 19 runs from this over.
England reached the 150-run mark in 30.2 overs.
Moeen Ali continued to punish Australian bowlers until spinner Todd Murphy dismissed him for 34 off 37 balls, consisting of three fours and two sixes. England was 184/4 and this also ended a quickfire century stand between Brook and Moeen.
England endured a big blow when skipper Ben Stokes was bowled by Mitchell Starc for just three. England was 193/5.
England touched the 200-run mark in 40.4 overs.
Just a few overs later, Josh Hazlewood also clean-bowled Jonny Bairstow for four. England was 208/6.
In the very next over following Bairstow’s dismissal, Starc got his second wicket as Steve Smith caught Harry Brook in the slips for 85 off 91 balls, consisting of 11 fours and two sixes. England was 212/7.
The pair of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes gave some respite to England, displaying a wide array of attacking shots.
England reached the 250-run mark in 50 overs.
The duo helped England end the second session at 250/7, with Wood (23*) and Woakes (15*) unbeaten.
In the first session, Australia’s pacers dominated England’s opening order to end the first session of the first day of the final Ashes Test on a positive note on Thursday at the Oval.
At the end of Lunch, England managed to put up a score of 131/3, with Harry Brook and Moeen Ali unbeaten on the crease with scores of 48(41)* and 10(28)* respectively.
England kicked off the session with their usual ‘Bazball’ style. They cruised through the first 10 overs scoring at a run rate of nearly five an over. At the end of 10 overs, England is 49/0, with Ben Duckett (37*) and Zak Crawley (11*).
Australia managed to bring a halt to the English duo’s scoring rate with Mitchell Marsh bringing an end to Duckett’s bright innings for a score of 41.
A half-hearted appeal following a faint edge from the gloves ended Duckett’s stay on the pitch. Cummins saw the opening and introduced himself into the attack to further inflict damage to England’s batting set-up.
The Australian skipper removed Crawley from the other end for 22 to further increase Australia’s dominance in the session. Hazlewood added the icing on the cake by chopping off Joe Root for 5.
Australia could have enjoyed control if Alex Carey managed to hold onto the ball following an edge from Brook. The young English batter made the most of the opportunity and took the fight against the Australian bowlers.
A few edges flew past the third slip as he continued to keep the scoreboard ticking for the hosts.
Moeen Ali held onto the other end taking his time with each passing ball. Brook played the majority of the balls as they built an unbeaten partnership of 58.
England ended the session on 131 despite losing three wickets.
Brief Scores: England: 283 (Harry Brook 85, Ben Duckett 41, Mitchell Starc 4/82) vs Australia: 61/1 (Usman Khawaja 26*, David Warner 24, Chris Woakes 1/8).
Support Our Journalism
Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.
Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.