Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2013 Contents A71
Monday, August 26, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---England came close to pulling
off a surprise victory over Australia in the
fifth and final test yesterday but had to settle
for a draw when umpires stopped play
because of bad light.
Play came to a halt in the gloom of a London
evening at The Oval with England agonisingly
close to victory, needing just 21 runs from four
Set 227 in 44 overs, England s Kevin
Pietersen and Jonathan Trott almost pulled
off the victory with a 77-run partnership.
England was 206-5 when play was stopped.
The 447 runs scored yesterday are comfortably
the most ever scored on the last day of a test
match. Pietersen set The Oval alight with a
fiery 50 in 36 balls.
A day that started half an hour late and
which was heading toward a dull draw ended
in a 3-0 Ashes series victory for the home
team. England was presented with the tiny
pottery urn---said to contain the Ashes of Eng-
lish cricket---awarded to the winners of cricket s
Australia scored 492-9 declared in its first
innings before the game was shortened by
rain that prevented any play on Saturday s
fourth day at The Oval.
"Fair play to Australia for pushing the game
on," said captain Alastair Cook. "It made for
a really good spectacle. I m very proud of the
way the lads have done it," he said before
accepting the urn.
Yesterday s final day began in muted fashion,
delayed by half an hour as the game limped
toward a draw.
England resumed on 247-5 and added quick
runs through Matt Prior, with 47, and Ian Bell
with 45 to reach 377 all out.
Clarke decided on a risky strategy of trying
to tempt Cook into accepting a run rate chal-
lenge by thrashing 111-6 in 23 overs and declar-
ing at tea, setting England 227.
Clarke may have been hoping for some more
runs but Stuart Broad snatched four wickets
to slow the Australian run rate as Clark threw
caution to the wind.
Root fell for just 11 with the score on 22 but
Cook and Trott batted aggressively in a part-
nership of 64 before Cook fell leg before to
a delivery from James Faulkner as he tried to
clip a ball to midwicket. It was Faulkner s fifth
wicket of the day after he took his first four
wickets earlier in England s first innings.
The two teams now face a gruelling series
of one-day internationals and T20 games
against each other at English venues before
Australia fly home in mid-September after
three and a half months in England.
Competition resumes in Australia at the
end of November---a gap of just over two
months---with another five-test Ashes series.
It s difficult to say which team will be more
optimistic in Australia. The English have been
the clear victors during the Ashes, but the
Australians have run them closer than the 3-
0 series defeat indicates.
At Old Trafford, rain played a big part in
foiling an Australian victory. The first test win
for England was by just 14 runs. The second
match at Lord s was a thumping 347-run win
as Joe Root hit an impressive 180 and Ian Bell
scored some of the more than 500 runs he
posted during the Ashes.
With those two wins, and the draw at Old
Trafford, the Ashes were lost to Australia. Ian
Bell was the difference in a low-scoring fourth
match in Durham, showing that it was the
batsmen who made the difference.
While Australia s bowlers, led by Peter Siddell
and a Ryan Harris who managed to stay fit,
were consistently dangerous and challenging,
the batsmen were a major disappointment.
Clarke managed a big innings of 187, but very
few others impressed.
Usman Khawaja only managed 114 in six
innings before he was dropped. Ed Cowan
lasted just one game. Shane Watson scored
418 in ten innings, but the Australians could
not score runs when they really needed them.
The batting lineup became stronger as the
tour wore on. David Warner had an astonishing
tour. He punched Root in a bar at the start,
was banished to a tour in Zimbabwe but
returned quickly as Australian form collapsed
on England s seaming wickets, where reverse
swing is commonplace. Warner introduced
solidity to the batting, as did Chris Rogers.
English bowlers like James Anderson and
Stuart Broad have mastered the art of reverse
swing, but will not find conditions as friendly
on the hard, dry wickets in places like Mel-
bourne, Perth and Adelaide.
Broad is likely to face hostility on and off
the field in Australia, whose coach Darren
Lehman described his refusal to walk after
clearly edging a ball to slip as "blatant cheat-
ing." Lehman was fined by the International
Cricket Council for calling on Australians to
give him a hostile reception. (AP)
James Faulkner has learnt the Aus-
tralian art of sledging the English. Even
after only four days of his Test career.
Even when he hasn t taken a Test wicket.
Even at 3-0 down in an Ashes series.
Not surprisingly, Faulkner is a favourite
of Shane Warne, the man who captained
him at the Melbourne Stars, promoted him
as a Test cricketer and presented him with
his baggy green on the first morning at
"The way they batted yesterday, they
chose to bat that way. If you re 3-0 up
there s no reason why you shouldn t push
and try to be 4-0 up," Faulkner said after
the washed-out fourth day at The Oval,
and following a third day on which England
had scored 215 in 98 overs. "That s their
choice ... I know the fans get a refund for
their ticket today but maybe they should ve
There is no question that Faulkner was
selected in part to see what he could bring
to Test cricket and to assess him ahead of
the home Ashes, and because it was
believed that he would add some toughness
to a side that had perhaps been lacking it.
In the Sheffield Shield, Faulkner is a
wicket-taker---he has picked up 111 in his
past three seasons---but he found it tough
going on day three against England, who
took only 29 runs from his 12 overs but
offered no real chances.
"It didn t surprise me. Any time they
feel threatened they sort of go in their shell
and play pretty defensive cricket. That
didn t really surprise me at all," Faulkner
said of England s approach. "I think when
they come to Australia it s going to be
played on our terms and I think they ll be
in for a hell of a challenge back home."
Whether Faulkner is part of that home
series remains to be seen.
Graham Gooch, as England s batting
coach, will have a major role in preparing
his batsmen for the different challenges of
an Ashes series in Australia, where the
pitches are expected to have more bounce
and carry. He said it was understandable
Australia would be frustrated at the match
situation but that England were comfortable
with their position.
"The Australian fast bowlers have bowled
exceptionally in the last two or three Tests
and they ve really put our top order under
pressure," Gooch said.
"Credit to them. Ryan Harris and Peter
Siddle in particular have been exceptional.
We d have liked to be in a slightly different
position, a more advanced position, but it
didn t happen.
"It s not the end of the world. We re not
frustrated, because we re the ones with
three Test wins, they re the ones with nil
"I don t think any team goes out there
to bat slowly. Sometimes you find the con-
ditions a little bit easier to score than others.
We certainly would ve liked to have scored
quicker. But we want to compete every ball
and play tight, and we didn t move the
score along as we d have liked.
"Sometimes that happens in Test cricket.
Sometimes you score 300 in a day, some-
times it s a bit harder work."
AUSTRALIA 1st Inns: 492-9 declared
ENGLAND 1st Inns (o/n: 32-0)
AlastairCookcHaddinbHarris . . . . . . .25
Kevin Pietersen c Watson b Starc . . . .50
IanBellcHaddinbFaulkner. . . . . . . . . . .45
ChrisWoakescClarkebHarris . . . . . . .25
MattPriorcStarcbFaulkner . . . . . . . . .47
James Anderson c Haddin b Faulkner . .4
Extras:(11b,10lb,5w,3nb) . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Fall of wickets: 1-68, 2-118, 3-176, 4-217,
5-269, 6-299, 7-315, 8-363, 9-368.
Bowling: Starc 33-5-92-3 (2nb, 2w),
Harris 28-10-64-2 (1nb), Faulkner 19.4-3-
51-4, Siddle 28-6-74-0 (1w for 3 runs),
Lyon 28-8-59-1, Smith 8-3-16-0.
AUSTRALIA 2nd Inns
DavidWarnerc&bAnderson . . . . . . . . .12
Shane Watson c Pietersen b Swann . .26
JamesFaulknercPriorbBroad. . . . . . .22
BradHaddincPriorbBroad. . . . . . . . . . . .0
SteveSmithcSwannbBroad . . . . . . . . . .7
TOTAL:(for6wickets,decl). . . . . . . .111
Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-44, 3-50, 4-67, 5-
Bowling: Anderson 6-1-27-1, Broad 10-2-
43-4, Swann 7-0-39-1.
ENGLAND 2nd Inns
AlastairCooklbwbFaulkner . . . . . . . . .34
JonathanTrottlbwbFaulkner . . . . . . . .59
Kevin Pietersen c Warner b Harris . . . .62
Fall of wickets: 1-22, 2-86, 3-163, 4-170, 5-
Bowling: Harris 5-0-21-2 (nb1),Starc 7-0-
48-0 (nb1), Siddell 3-0-16-0, Lyon 10-0-
44-0, Clark 2-0-4-0, Faulkner 8-1-47-2,
Did not bat: Matt Prior, Stuart Broad,
Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Simon
Toss: won by Australia.
Series: England wins 3-0.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Pakistan, and Kumar
Dharmasena, Sri Lanka.
Third Umpire: Tony Hill, New Zealand.
Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri
England's batsman Alastair Cook looks round as
Australia's Shane Watson, right, attempts to catch the ball
during play on the fifth day of the fifth Ashes cricket Test
at the Oval cricket ground in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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