England set 227 to win

2013-08-25 17:42
Ian Bell (Getty Images)

London - Australia set England a target of 227 to win the fifth Ashes Test after declaring their second innings on 111 for six at tea on Sunday's final day at The Oval.

Australia, desperate for a first win in nine Tests, left England - who'd already retained the Ashes and won the series at 3-0 up - a minimum of 44 overs in which to score their runs.

Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, called a halt when he was 28 not out and Mitchell Starc 13 not out, both batsmen having scored at a run-a-ball as the tourists altered their order in search of quick runs.


Stuart Broad took four wickets for 43 runs in 10 overs, the paceman having previously stunned Australia during England's 74-run fourth Test win in Durham with a match-winning burst of six for 20 in 45 balls.

Australia sent Shane Watson, fresh from his Test-best 176 in the first innings, back up to open alongside left-hander David Warner instead of the more staid Chris Rogers.

Watson should have been out for nought when he chipped James Anderson to mid-off only for Broad to drop the seemingly simple catch.

Anderson showed Broad how it should be done, holding a one-handed catch off his own bowling to dismiss David Warner for 12.

And 34 for one became 44 for two when Watson (26) was caught at long-on by Kevin Pietersen as he tried to launch off-spinner Graeme Swann for six.

Meanwhile, Australia continued to mix-up their order.

Test debutant James Faulkner, who'd earlier taken four wickets for 51 runs, and Brad Haddin were at the crease.

Haddin, however, fell for a first-ball duck caught behind by opposing wicketkeeper Matt Prior off Broad.

It was now that star batsman Clarke came in.

Faulkner, reprieved on four when Prior missed a tough stumping chance off Swann, drove the spinner high over long-on for six.

But his run-a-ball 22 ended when he was caught behind trying to run Broad down to third man.

Steven Smith, who made 138 not out in the first innings - his maiden Test century - then holed out off Broad before the seamer bowled Ryan Harris for a spell of four for 17 in 22 balls.

Earlier, England avoided the follow-on as they made 377 in reply to Australia's first innings 492 for nine declared, a deficit of 115 runs.

Ian Bell made 45, Prior a series-best 47 and Swann a rapid 34, the trio all falling to left-arm quick Faulkner, whose burst of three wickets for two runs in 17 balls Sunday ended the innings.

Meanwhile Haddin's three catches in the innings saw him equal the world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test series of 28 set by Australia great Rodney Marsh, now a selector, against England in 1982/83.

After Saturday's fourth day had been washed out without a ball bowled, England resumed on 247 for four and needing 46 more to avoid the follow-on, with Bell 29 not out.

However, Bell's hopes of becoming only the fourth batsman after Australia's Don Bradman and England's Herbert Sutcliffe and Walter Hammond to score four hundreds in an Ashes series ended when he was caught one-handed low down the leg side by Haddin as Faulkner took his first Test wicket.

Nevertheless, Bell had taken his tally for the series to 545 runs at 68.12 including three centuries.

Read more on:    ashes  |  cricket

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