Losing a series at home could be daunting, especially when coming after winning your maiden World Cup. Thwarting any such possibility of embarrassment, England on Sunday overcame Australia to emerge victorious and end the Ashes series 2-2. A victory for the host means the Ashes ends in a draw for the first time since 1972, although the former champions retain the urn.
September Sunshine Ends Ashes Hope For Aussies
Taking a toll back, Aussies were asked by England to chase a target of 399 to win, which never seemed achievable. The game poised towards England when, Stuart Board in the wee overs, sent both openers back cheaply.
Now, the big hurdle for England was Steve Smith. Smith, coming after playing crucial knocks – 774 runs in just seven innings – earlier in the series couldn’t produce another awe-inspiring knock as he was sent back at 23, to a catch by Ben Stokes at leg slip. With the dismissal, any further hope of winning plunged for Australia.
Matthew Wade produced an innings of 117 before Jonny Bairstow whipped off the bails of Joe Root delivery, to end his lone battle under September sunshine.
A Day To Bowl
Certainly, it was a day to bowl for England as Broad and left-arm spinner Jack Leach both finished with four wickets each. Board, from the beginning of the innings, kept on adding to the woes of Australia invariably.
Root, after demolishing Harris’s off-stump in the fifth over, served a hand at ending Warner’s miserable series. Warner, who scored a mere 95 runs in 10 innings, produced a simple catch at slip inspiring selectors to rethink their decision.
The Aussie southpaw scored eight single-digit scores in the series 2, 8, 3, 5, 61, 0, 0, 0, 5, 8 and 11. He is the first batsman to do so.
Australia, who were seeking their first Ashes series win in England since 2001, will have to wait to achieve the same feat.
The tourists won the first Test at Edgbaston and the fourth at Old Trafford. The third Test at Headingley was claimed by England. The second match, at Lord’s, was drawn after Pat Cummins inspirational fiver, who ended the series with the highest wickets (29) with a fiver at the Oval.