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England Beat Australia By 49 Runs
London, July 31: The last Test match between England and Australia at The Oval swung like a pendulum from one end to another but the home side prevailed to level the 2023 Ashes series 2-2.
For England, Chris Woakes was excellent with the ball as he claimed seven wickets in the Oval Test. In the second innings, Woakes was unplayable at times with prodigious swing and seam movement. He made the ball talk and took 4/50 in 19 overs.
Australia needed an improbable 384 runs to win with almost two days to spare. The Aussie opening pair comprising David Warner and Usman Khawaja stitched a 135 run-partnership before the rain gods intervened on Day 4.
On Day 5, England staged a fantastic comeback by removing both Aussie openers in a trice. From 140/0, Australia were reduced to 140/1 and 141/2. Soon, Marnus Labuschagne too was out on a peach of a delivery bowled by Mark Wood.
Australia were reduced to 169/3. Afterwards, Smith and Head launched a counter offensive in bowling friendly conditions to forge a partnership of 95 runs before Head lost his wicket to the off-spinner Moeen Ali. Australia 264/4. After another 10 runs, Australia lost the big wicket of Steve Smith. Woakes did him. Australia 264/5. Mitchell Marsh was out due to brilliance of wicket keeper Bairstow. Moeen took another crucial wicket. Australia 274/6. Starc too couldnâ€™t stay on the wicket; Australia 275/7. Woakes again.
Skipper Pat Cummins was unlucky to get out on a nothing delivery by Moeen. Stokes took a ricochet off Cumminsâ€™ pads. Australia 294/8.
Alex Carey and Murphy forged another useful partnership of 35 runs to take Australiaâ€™s score to 329.
Broad bowled a wonderful away swinger to get Murphy and Carey out. A fitting farewell for Broad. Australia 334 all out.
Chris Woakes was adjudged Englandâ€™s player of the Ashes while Mitchell Starc Australiaâ€™s player of the series. Woakes also won the player of the Oval Test match.
Starc took 23 wickets and Woakes 19 in the series. Usman Khawaja was the top run-getter with 496 runs in the series followed by Englandâ€™s Zak Crawley who made 480.