Oval: It was the perfect ending for Stuart Broad’s glorious career, as England beat Australia by 49 runs at The Oval, as a magnificent Ashes series came to an end with a 2-2 scoreline.
Starting the day at 135/0, with another 249 runs required for a win, Australia hoped to build upon the solid platform laid out by Usman Khawaja and David Warner. England though, stuck early with Chris Woakes getting the crucial wicket of Warner for 60, with a good length ball that angled across.
His opener partner, Khawaja, soon followed him back to the pavilion for 72, with Woakes doing the damage again by trapping him lbw with a fuller-length delivery. This gave England the perfect start in the morning session as both the set openers were back in the hutch.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were then tasked with steadying the ship for Australia, but Labuschagne could not last long as he edged a Mark Wood delivery straight into the hands of Zak Crawley.
But Smith joined by Travis Head then fought fire with fire, looking composed at the crease and embarked on a much-needed partnership for the visitors. The pair played some brilliant strokes against the English pacers and Head even survived a short-ball barrage, with Australia heading to lunch at 238/3, needing a further 146 runs.
Smith though survived a close call on the stroke on lunch though, as he gloved a delivery to Ben Stokes at leg gully but replays showed that the catch was not clean.
Just as the players walked out after lunch to resume proceedings, rain would play spoilsport, causing a delay. There would be no further play possible in the session, with early tea being taken and the clock ticking away.
Play would finally resume at 4.20 pm local time, with a marathon session ahead. The Australian pair though would continue in the same vein, seeing off a tricky spell from Woakes.
Smith brought up his fifty but the 95-run stand finally came to an end when Moeen Ali got one to spin sharply from round the wicket, inciting an edge from Head. The left-handed batter would perish for 43, with Australia still needing another 120 runs to win.
This would reignite the English hopes, as Woakes would then dismiss Smith for 54, with a back-of-the-length delivery. Ali also struck again, dismissing Marsh for 6, as the crowd erupted in support of the home side. The carnage continued as Woakes struck again to send Mitchell Starc packing for a duck. Moeen would scalp his third, as a big heave from skipper Pat Cummins brought about his downfall for 9.
Stuart Broad then got into the act, with a brilliant delivery to get an edge off Todd Murphy, who was gone for 18. Broad would have the perfect ending, dismissing Carey for 28, as England won by 49 runs to level the Ashes 2-2.