Ashes 2019, 5th Test, Day 3: Denly, Stokes put England on course for victory

Catch live score and updates from day three of the fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Oval.

Ben Stokes hit a fifty to pile further misery on Australia's bowlers.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Hello and welcome to live score and updates from day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Oval.



TOSS UPDATE: Australia win the toss and elect to bowl.

England (Playing XI): Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow(w), Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad

Australia (Playing XI): Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Here's how day one panned out.

Jos Buttler saved England's blushes on Thursday, counter-attacking against Australia to lift his side to 271-8 after it collapsed on the opening day of the fifth Ashes Test.

World Cup winner England, desperate to level the series at 2-2, has struggled to find consistency all series and contributed to its own downfall at the Oval, slipping from 170-3 to 226-8.

But Buttler, who did not look comfortable early on, dipped into his white-ball playbook, smashing paceman Josh Hazlewood for successive sixes as Jack Leach dug in at the other end.

Buttler ended the day 64 not out, while Leach was unbeaten on 10 but England will need to add runs on Friday on what looks like a good pitch for batting.

Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh claimed four wickets on his return to the side. Pat Cummins and Hazlewood were again impressive for the tourist.

Australia is seeking its first Ashes series win in England for 18 years.

Squandering starts

Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and put the home side in under grey skies. Joe Root then enjoyed astonishing good fortune as England reached 170-3.

The skipper was dropped three times but failed to make the most of his let offs, comprehensively bowled for 57 by Cummins shortly after tea.

Root has reached fifty 61 times in Tests but has gone on to reach three figures on just 16 occasions.

By contrast, Australia's former captain Steve Smith, who has dominated the Ashes with his bat, has reached fifty 52 times and made 26 hundreds -- a far better conversion rate.

Root dropped

Root was dropped on 24 by Peter Siddle on the boundary. Then wicketkeeper Paine failed to cling on to a one-handed chance in front of David Warner at first slip. Both drops were off Cummins.

Shortly after lunch, with the ground now bathed in sunshine, the skipper had yet another reprieve when a diving Smith failed to hold on to a sharp chance at second slip off Siddle.

Root drove Hazlewood square of the wicket to bring up 7,000 Test runs in his 158th innings -- only three England players have reached the mark faster. But he eventually ran out of lives.

Jonny Bairstow followed shortly afterwards, lbw to Mitchell Marsh for 22.

Bairstow's dismissal brought all-rounder Sam Curran to the wicket and he hooked Cummins for six.

Curran had a let-off when he was given out lbw to Cummins only for a replay to show the Australian had overstepped but he was out shortly afterwards, caught by Smith at second slip off a reckless drive.

- Australia comes into this game at The Oval having retained the Ashes for the first time since the 2002-03 series.

- The tourist is looking for a first away Test series success since February 2016.

- England will be striving to avoiits first Test series defeat on home soil since June 2014; that series loss coming against Sri Lanka (0-1).

- England has not suffered back-to-back home Test losses since South Africa won two in a row 11 years ago. It has only managed one victory in its last 10 Test contests with Australia.

- Australia has only claimed three wins in its last 18 attempts in Tests at The Oval, losing six and drawing nine. Its win at the London ground was in 2015.

- England has registered back-to-back Test victories at The Oval. It has not managed to record three on the bounce there since putting together a four-game winning run from 1966 to 1969.

- Stuart Broad has got David Warner out 11 times in Test cricket, the joint-most instances he's removed a batsman (level with Michael Clarke). He has dismissed Warner in six of his eight knocks in this series, at the price of only 32 runs.