In a thrilling conclusion to the Ashes series, England’s Stuart Broad showcased his brilliance as he claimed the final two wickets to secure a dramatic 49-run victory for his team in the final Test match against Australia at The Oval. With this nail-biting win, the series ended in a captivating 2-2 draw, leaving fans on the edge of their seats after five gripping matches.
Broad, playing in his last Test, displayed his mastery on the field and added yet another feather to his cap, taking his tally of Test wickets to an impressive 604. Only four legendary players – Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), James Anderson (690), and Anil Kumble (619) – have achieved more wickets than the illustrious English pacer.
The final day at The Oval saw Australia chasing a target of 384 runs to win. The visitors appeared to be on a steady path towards victory at 238/3, with hopes of their first Ashes win in England since 2001. However, a two-hour rain delay disrupted their progress, and it proved to be a turning point in the match.
England capitalized on the weather conditions, and in just over two hours, they took the last seven wickets to snatch a famous victory. Chris Woakes, with a stellar performance of 4/50, and Moeen Ali, taking three wickets, set the stage for the thrilling climax.
The 37-year-old Stuart Broad, with nerves of steel, delivered a perfect swansong performance, dismissing Todd Murphy and Alex Carey, both caught by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. His remarkable efforts restricted Australia to 334, denying them the historic win they sought.
Reflecting on his final Test and the sensational last over, Broad said, “When you make that decision (to retire), you wonder what your last ball will be, so to take a wicket to win an Ashes Test match is pretty cool.”
The ecstatic crowd at The Oval played a significant role in inspiring the English team. Broad acknowledged the support, stating, “The crowd were unbelievable. It was so loud, and we just jumped on the back of that. To contribute to the team with two wickets is very special.”
The match witnessed a strong start from Australia’s Usman Khawaja and David Warner, who had an unbroken opening partnership of 135 on the previous day. However, under overcast skies, the English bowlers managed to capitalize on the conditions, causing disruptions for the Australian batting lineup.
With this thrilling conclusion to the Ashes series, fans were treated to a showcase of skill, determination, and passion from both sides. England’s triumph in the final Test adds to the legacy of the iconic series and leaves cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipating future contests between these fierce rivals.
- England: 283 and 395
- Australia: 295 and 334 in 94.4 overs (Khawaja 72, Warner 60, Smith 54; Woakes 4/50, Ali 3/76)