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World Test Championship

England draw Ashes despite impressive Wade century

Eng v Aus, 5th Test, day four, report

A brilliant century from Australia's Matthew Wade was not enough to keep England from levelling the Ashes series with a win in the fifth Test at The Oval.

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The home side prevailed by 135 runs after another gripping day of cricket during which Wade took centre stage for large parts, the Australian batter eventually falling to England captain Joe Root for 117.

Stuart Broad (4/62) and Jack Leach (4/49) both took four wickets apiece, with Root (2/26) picking up two important scalps.

England's bowlers made early inroads into the Australian line-up, even dislodging Steve Smith for a modest score, but the tourists fought hard to put themselves in with a chance of recording a spectacular and unlikely victory. Ultimately it wasn't to be though, as England provided the goods when it mattered.    

Leach and Jofra Archer were initially tasked with building their side's lead in the morning session, with England having reached stumps on day three on 313/8 with a healthy lead of 382.

Archer (3) departed early on, gloving Pat Cummins (2/67) behind to Tim Paine, but an entertaining unbeaten cameo from Broad of 12*, all of his runs coming in sixes, helped propel the home team to 329 all out, leaving Australia with a lofty target of 399.

Video cwc19 15 Sep 19
Ashes 2019: 5th Test, day 4 - highlights

As has been typical of the tourists' efforts from the top of the order this series, both opening batsmen were dislodged having provided minimal contributions, with Broad accounting for the wickets of Marcus Harris and David Warner to leave Paine's men flailing once again on 29/2.

England had squandered such strong positions on numerous occasions during this tour, but day four at The Oval saw a relatively swift end to knocks from both Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith. Labuschagne (14) was stumped via some excellent glove-work from Jonny Bairstow, gifting Leach his first scalp right before the tea break.

Smith's dismissal prompted jubilant celebration amongst the England players
Smith's dismissal prompted jubilant celebration amongst the England players

Smith then recorded his first sub-50 score of the tour, providing England with a huge boost towards drawing parity in the series, flicking Broad down the leg-side for Ben Stokes to take a cracking catch at leg-slip and dismiss him for 23.

What ensued for England was far from light work, and Australia's middle-order rallied in the absence of their premier batsman. Mitchell Marsh battled hard for his 24 before falling to Joe Root, and Matthew Wade raced to his half-century with an impressive, counter-attacking approach. 

Paine (21) then fell short of a significant offering once again, trapped lbw by Leach for 21, and Wade, now joined by Cummins, was left with a further 199 to get and just three batsmen left in the hut.

Wade's dominant 117 gave England plenty to be anxious about on day four
Wade's dominant 117 gave England plenty to be anxious about on day four

Wade brought up his ton in the final hour of the day and England began to flounder a touch, Bairstow missing a stumping to dismiss the Australian batter off Root's bowling before the following ball was put down by Stokes in the slips. 

Broad eventually picked up his fourth wicket, dismissing Cummins for a 41-ball nine, and with the deficit shortening Wade finally met his match. England skipper Root proved his comeuppance, the part-time spinner enticing Wade out of his crease and Bairstow whipping off the bails to all but secure the Test for England. 

The match was then wrapped up in the next over, Leach seeing the back of Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood with consecutive deliveries, prompting celebrations amongs the home fans and marking the conclusion of a competitive and entertaining Ashes Test series in which honours finished even.

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