Published on: Aug 01, 2023
Chris Woakes claimed 4/50 while Moeen Ali picked up 3/76 as England beat Australia by 49 runs in the fifth and final Test of Ashes 2023 to draw the series 1-1. Although Australia retained the urn, England will be delighted with their fightback after losing the first two Tests.
On Monday, July 31, Australia resumed their innings on 135/0, with Usman Khawaja batting on 69 and David Warner on 58. Set to chase 384, they needed a further 249 runs with all 10 wickets in hand. England’s bowlers, however, had the last laugh as Australia were bowled out for 334 in 94.4 overs. In a fairytale finish, retiring Stuart Broad claimed the last two wickets to fall.
Australia began their day in disappointing fashion, losing both their overnight openers quickly. Warner (60) was caught behind off Woakes, while the England pacer also trapped Khawaja (72) leg before with a full length ball. Marnus Labuschagne’s (13) forgettable series ended when he edged one from Mark Wood to slip.
Steve Smith and Travis Head kept the fight alive for Australia, adding 95 runs for the fourth wicket. Smith could have been dismissed before lunch had Ben Stokes held on to a catch off Moeen’s bowling. He jumped at leg gully after Smith gloved one. However, as he tried to celebrate, his hand hit his knee and the ball went to ground.
After the second session was washed out due to rain, England were brilliant in the last session, claiming the remaining seven wickets needed. Moeen got one to spin from the rough and had Head (43) caught at slip. The turning point in the match came when Smith (54) was forced to edge a superb delivery from Woakes to slip.
Mitchell Marsh (6) inside-edged another turning delivery from Moeen onto his pads and was superbly caught by Jonny Bairstow, one-handed. Mitchell Starc (0) played a bad shot to gift his wicket to Woakes. Australian captain Pat Cummins was out for 9, caught at slip as he tried to slog Moeen.
Alex Carey and Todd Murphy added 35 for the ninth wicket to give Australia hope. But Broad ensured he had the final say in the Test match. After changing bails at the non-striker’s end, he got Murphy (18) to edge a jaffa to the keeper. Carey (28) also perished in similar mode as England won the Test and Broad signed off in memorable fashion.
–By A Cricket Correspondent