- July 31, 2023 23:16Moment of the Day
- July 31, 2023 23:14Broad on the Bail Switch
“If I’d learnt that ten years ago I’d have been away. The Marnus one really made me smile. I had a couple of play and misses, was get frustrating, so thought I’d change them, not the batter’s ones, and it worked. Probably wouldn’t have taken the second new ball at Edgbaston. Hard to bowl with all series. Once we took it, the ball skidded on and made it easier for them to find the boundary. When you lose to a great team like Australia, you hold your head up high. [Headbands] When I looked around I saw them in the crowd, it’s a nice gesture. It ended up being a superstition, I wore it in Covid and then took it off, then didn’t take a wicket. So stuck with it to the end, made me smile to see people wearing them.”
- July 31, 2023 23:13Broad praises Moeen Ali
“Enjoyed bowling to left-handers, so for my last spell to be moving it away, the ball zipped through for us after rain. A word for Moeen as well, he’s not officially announced he’s moving on but to put in that performance and help England win will be a dream come true for him. I like data and facts, when I decided to come around the wicket in 2015, it was because my stats weren’t very good. I did a lot of research into bowling to David Warner. When you get to the top level it’s about knowing your weaknesses but also knowing your strengths and sticking to them.”
- July 31, 2023 23:11Absolutely wonderful, says Broad
“It was absolutely wonderful. Moeen and Woakes set the tone unbelievably… The crowd was just wonderful, it was so loud – we jumped on the back of the energy of the crowd. You wonder what your last ball will be, so to take a wicket to win an Ashes Test is pretty special.”
- July 31, 2023 23:02England beats Australia by 49 runs
What a magical ending this has been for Stuart Broad and that’s a dream Ashes script as Broad removes Carey and sprints off in celebration as the Oval erupts in joy. England beats Australia by 49 runs to level the series 2-2 and Broad signs off his Test career with a win. Great scenes at The Oval as Broad walks away with Moeen Ali, who had come out of retirement.
- July 31, 2023 22:52Crawley drops Carey
It was almost a dream end to Stuart Broad’s career as he induced an outside edge but Crawley who caught so well today misjudges the catch and hands Carey a life as the ball hits his wrists. It could have been a fairytale ending for Broad but he still has the energy and the adrenaline to keep steaming in with Moeen Ali operating at the other end. Can Broad finish things for England? We need to wait and watch in what has been a humdinger of a Test match.
- July 31, 2023 22:45Broad strikes, England needs one wicket
Stuart Broad finally has a wicket in his final Test match as England needs just one wicket to win a spectacular Test match. Broad flipped the bails at the non-striker’s end, a good omen that has produced a wicket each time he did that act and this time he gets Murphy with an absolute peach of a delivery. Full delivery, that just shaped away a bit after pitching, squared up Murphy and the ball takes the edge as Bairstow took an excellent diving catch. This is sensational from England and The Oval is up on its feet.
- July 31, 2023 22:34Murphy, Carey resist attack
Todd Murphy and Alex Carey have resisted the attack with Broad into his 18th over without any success in his final Test match. The veteran has bowled some fantastic deliveries but the ball has evaded the outside edge of the batsmen. Australia needs 69 runs, England is two wickets away from a win and there are still 24 overs to go. Broad will hope to pick at least one wicket as Moeen Ali continues to test the batsmen’s defence.
- July 31, 2023 22:03Moeen Ali takes three
Another one bites the dust and this time it’s the Australian skipper who has to depart with Stokes taking a controlled catch as Moeen Ali picks his third wicket. The Australian captain went for a big shot but the ball hit his pad, got deflected and ballooned in the air as Stokes took a clean running catch. It’s a matter of time before England levels the series as it’s just two wickets away from a sensational victory.
- July 31, 2023 21:51England on top
England has wreaked havoc in the last 20 minutes and is now absolutely on top of the game as it needs just three wickets to win the Test match and level the series. There are still 34 overs left and it will be a humongous task for Cummins and Carey to survive given that there isn’t much batting left after this. Australia needs 100 runs, England three wickets and guess what it’s bright and sunny at The Oval.
- July 31, 2023 21:41Woakes takes four, England on top
It’s a procession now as Woakes picks his fourth wicket by removing Mitchell Starc with a full delivery as Starc went for a hard drive only to get a thick outside edge and the ball nestles safely in the hands of Zak Crawley who has been absolutely brilliant with his catching. This is England’s game from now on as skipper Pat Cummins walks out to join Alex Carey. England is pumped up and it has the backing of the crowd.
- July 31, 2023 21:38Moeen gets Marsh
Unbelievable scenes at The Oval as Moeen Ali gets Mitchell March courtesy of an incredible catch by Jonny Bairstow to leave Australia six down. Moeen pitches one on the rough as the ball spins away, takes the inside edge as Bairstow flew to his right and takes a blinder behind the stumps. The Oval has erupted, the sun is out and England sniffing a sensational victory as it required four more wickets to draw level. Australia has lost three wickets in 15 balls!
- July 31, 2023 21:33Smith falls as Woakes strikes
Wow! What a moment in the game and the momentum has once again shifted in England’s favour with Chris Woakes removing Steve Smith. Woakes picks his third wicket and he induces an outside edge with a back-of-length delivery that jagged away as Smith tried to defend it but the ball kissed the outside edge and flew straight to Crawley at slips. England is on the charge after the rain break as Smith departs for a 94-ball 54.
- July 31, 2023 21:25Smith hits 39th Test fifty, Head falls
Woakes offered width and Smith blasted the fast bowler through the covers for an exquisite boundary and then got to his half-century with a single to the long-on region off Moeen Ali - his 39th Test half-century that has come in 89 balls. However, Moeen strikes the very next ball by removing Head as the batsman went for an expansive drive only to get an outside edge as Root took a sharp catch at first slip. Head departs for a well-made 43 off just 70 balls as Moeen breaks the 95-run stand, a ball after Smith reached his half-century. A crucial one from England’s point of view as Head with a counter-attacking innings was looking dangerous. Mitchell Marsh is the new man in.
- July 31, 2023 21:14Stokes persists with Moeen’s spin
The second new ball will be available in 9 overs and it will be interesting to see if Stokes takes it straight away. The England skipper has employed Moeen Ali from one end and the spinner has disturbed the surface by purchasing turn with Woakes operating from the other end. There was a discussion between the umpires and Stokes regarding the number of overs left and there are 47 overs left not 52 that was reported earlier. A miscalculation that’s finally corrected as we move on with the game.
- July 31, 2023 20:59Smith, Head drive Australia
Woakes extracts some late swing and bounce as Smith gets beaten on one occasion as the ball beats the batsman’s outside edge. Moeen Ali who purchased a bit of bite from the surface will look to recreate the magic where he almost dismissed Smith but Stokes failed to control the catch. Smith puts on his dancing shoes to reach to the pitch of the ball and smother the spin as both batsmen get going after a long break. England needs wickets.
- July 31, 2023 20:52Evening session begins
Right then we are all set for action to begin with Steve Smith on strike and it will be Chris Woakes who will start the evening session. Australia needs 146 runs and England is seven wickets away from a series-levelling win.
- July 31, 2023 20:47Overs left for the day
Around 18 overs have been lost during the rain interruption but we have got 52 overs left for the day. But it remains to be seen how many would be sent down in the final session as light will be an issue going forward although the sun is out at the moment.
- July 31, 2023 20:37Play to start soon
As per reports coming in, play is set to resume in 20 minutes provided there is no further rain.
- July 31, 2023 20:14Pitch Inspection shortly
There will be a pitch inspection at 4:00 PM local time, which means 20 minutes from now, provided there is no further rain. The covers are being removed.
- July 31, 2023 19:59Early Tea to be taken
According to reports, early Tea will be taken and with the weather easing a bit, we might have a marathon session. Fingers crossed.
- July 31, 2023 19:44Rain stops at The Oval
Good news! Reports are coming in that the rain has stopped and the groundsmen are out for the mopping-up job.. We should have a resumption soon after an inspection.
- July 31, 2023 19:37Broad and his celebration!
- July 31, 2023 19:32No signs of resumption
It is 3:00 PM local time and I am afraid that we are about to start losing overs as time passes by. No signs of resumption as of now as it is still raining at The Oval and we are in for a lengthy delay.
- July 31, 2023 19:11The Morning Session
- July 31, 2023 19:04Stuart Broad retires: A mid-Test announcement, a quirky baton passing, Anderson left alone
- July 31, 2023 19:02Steady rain at The Oval
The rain has picked up, according to reports and it’s steady. It will take some time for resumption as the main square is fully covered. An estimated time of one hour of rain is predicted. Sit tight folks!
- July 31, 2023 18:42Rain arrives at The Oval
There comes the rain! Just before the session was about to start, the players walked back into the sheds due to the brief spell. This is frustrating as the players and the umpires were all in readiness for the second session to get underway. There is a bit of breeze and the rain isn’t pelting down so we should have a resumption soon. The covers are on the field and we have a rain delay.
- July 31, 2023 18:36Ashes 2023: Steve Smith adjudged not out as Ben Stokes fails to ‘control’ catch
- July 31, 2023 18:03Australia, England share opening session
Right then just when one thought England was all over Australia, Steve Smith applied brakes on England’s charge and along with Travis Head resurrected Australia’s innings. Chris Woakes started brilliantly by removing Warner and Khawaja within the first hour of play and then Wood with a peach of a delivery dismissed Labuschagne to swing the momentum in England’s favour. However, Smith and Head with a fifty-run stand have got Australia’s run chase back on track. Both teams share the opening session as England needs another seven wickets to level the series. However, they are up against a determined Smith who is batting with surgical precision with Head playing a counter-attacking innings. Moeen Ali did create an opportunity to dismiss Smith but Stokes failed to complete the catch and lost control of the ball as the third umpire withheld the on-field umpire’s decision. Smith survives as the players head for Lunch. Will be back for the post Lunch session in about 45 minutes...
- July 31, 2023 18:00Stokes drops Smith!
What a huge moment in the game as Ben Stokes took a catch at leg slip to dismiss Steve Smith but the England skipper wasn’t in control of the catch and threw the ball into the ground to join the celebration. This is a massive moment in the game as England took the review and the replays showed Smith gloved Moeen Ali, Stokes timed his jump, and caught the ball but just couldn’t control his landing.
- July 31, 2023 17:34Smith, Head raise 50-run stand
Smith gets his elegant hands and wrists into play by driving Moeen Ali through the covers for a boundary to raise the fifty-run stand with Travis Head and this partnership has come in rather quick time. The run rate hasn’t been an issue as Australia is going at nearly 5 rpo (4.85) to be precise. England needs to break this stand, and in other news, Naseer Hussain informs rain is heading towards The Oval.
- July 31, 2023 17:25Head, Smith motor on
Australia needs 173 runs to win and both Smith and Head are batting at ease with the latter taking the aggressive route and finding the boundaries. Smith is batting with immense concentration as the experienced pair of Broad and Anderson have got the ball beat the outside edge but haven’t succeeded in snapping the outside edge. Crucial 30 minutes before Lunch.
- July 31, 2023 17:13Head brings 200 up for Australia
Travis Head gets a move on and he brings the 200 up for Australia by driving Anderson through the mid-on for a boundary and then nails a full delivery through the square carpet to pocket back-to-back boundaries. Anderson not getting his rhythm right and has been too straight and Broad in his 12 overs is yet to pick a wicket.
- July 31, 2023 17:00England aims to make further inroads
Steve Smith gets going after the Drinks break with a gorgeous on-drive as the ball races to the boundary. Anderson is back into the attack and so does Stuart Broad. Doesn’t seem like Broad is playing his last Test as he gets one to move away sharply from Travis Head with the ball beating the outside edge. Michael Atherton pointed out that there was ‘absolutely no movement yesterday’ but today there is a lot of movement and the bowlers are relishing bowling in these conditions.
- July 31, 2023 16:46England pockets opening hour
Travis Head joins Steve Smith with the latter showing no signs of nerves with a solid cover drive off Woakes. Within the first hour of play, Australia has lost three wickets with England extracting bounce and plenty of movement. Woakes got the breakthrough by removing the Australian openers and then Wood packed off the dangerous Labuschagne. England needs seven wickets and Australia a touch above 200 with two and a half sessions more to go. A couple of more wickets and England will believe they can draw the series.
- July 31, 2023 16:40Wood strikes to remove Labuschagne
Mark Wood strikes and the late movement caught Labuschagne in two minds as the batsman was squared up and got a healthy outside edge with Crawley completing the formalities at second slip. England seven wickets away and this is a huge wicket as Labuschagne was looking in good touch. Wood steamed in a touch wide of the crease, creating the perfect angle and getting the ball to shape away from the batsman kissing just near the shoulder of the bat en route to Crawley. Top bowling from Wood and this has been England’s session.
- July 31, 2023 16:17Smith joins Labuschagne
Labuschagne takes a long stride to play an exquisite cover drive that earned even the appreciation of Stuart Broad as the 150 comes up for Australia. Labuschagne is joined by Steve Smith after the fall of Khawaja and Warner and this partnership will be the key for Australia. Broad still searching for his first wicket in the innings on the final day of the Test and his career.
- July 31, 2023 16:12Woakes traps Khawaja
Woakes strikes again and this is a wonderful bowling exhibition as the pacer has packed off the Australian openers within the first hour of play to leave Australia in a bit of wobble. Woakes bowls full as Khawaja was caught at the crease as the ball crashed into the pads, hitting the middle stump. It looked plumb but Khawaja went for a review only to lose a crucial one as it was three reds. England dictating terms and The Oval just exploded!
- July 31, 2023 16:07England lose review
England burn a review as Broad and Stokes thought they had Marnus Labuschagne trapped and their loud appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire, they went upstairs only to be left disappointed as the ball was pitching well outside the off and so as the impact.
- July 31, 2023 16:00Woakes removes Warner
Woakes with the breakthrough as Warner falls early on the final day with the batsman falling for a well-made 60 off 106 deliveries. It was brilliant from Broad and Woakes as they purchased movement off the pitch and this time Woakes with a beauty induced an outside edge to pack off Warner. The previous delivery was an in-dipper that hit Warner high on his thigh and then Woakes got one to leave the batsman by bowling an out-swinger with Warner playing a defensive shot. But the ball found the outside edge en route to Bairstow who swallows it delightfully. England strikes early and needs nine more sticks to draw level.
- July 31, 2023 15:49Khawaja survives LBW appeal
Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes begin England’s proceedings with Warner getting off the mark with the first single of the day, courtesy of an inside edge. Woakes went up for a huge lbw appeal but Khawaja survived as the umpire was unmoved with the ball pitching just outside the leg stump. The southpaw did get off the mark to keep strike with a single to the mid-wicket.
- July 31, 2023 15:41Here we Go!
It’s Broad to Warner as the final day begins after a brief spell of rain. England will be looking to make an early breakthrough while Australian openers will look to capitalise on the fine start. Should be a cracking session.
- July 31, 2023 15:37Broad warms-up
- July 31, 2023 15:34Rain delays start
The match has been delayed by 10 minutes due to rain. This should be a brief shower.
- July 31, 2023 15:30Covers come off
The covers have been taken off and we should start on time as the umpires make their way to the middle.
- July 31, 2023 15:28Nearing match time
The countdown has begun and the first ball of the final day should be hitting the deck soon. Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja does the talking in the Australian huddle. It’s spicing up at The Oval in what promises to be a fascinating day of Test match cricket.
- July 31, 2023 15:01The Scenarios
The final Test stands at an interesting juncture as we come to the final day of the Ashes with Pat Cummins and his men requiring another 249 runs to win to make it 3-1 after Warner and Khawaja wiped off 135 runs on the penultimate day. England, meanwhile, has failed to make a breakthrough and will be eyeing to pick early wickets. It’s dark at The Oval covered with clouds but there is a prediction that the rain will stay away as the day progresses. All three scenarios are possible: An Australian triumph, which will be incredible, an England win which will help Ben Stokes’ side to level the series 2-2 and a draw if it pours like how it did in Manchester on the final day of the fourth Test. Stay tuned!
- July 31, 2023 14:49England’s man of action hangs up his ‘big boots’, leaves Broad-sized void
- July 31, 2023 14:40Marcus Trescothick, England’s assistant coach
“I think the game’s in a great position and we’re still pretty positive about the job we’ve got to do. They’ve had a good start, but a couple of early ones in the morning and suddenly we’re right back in the mix again.”
- July 31, 2023 14:22Australia eyes Ashes 2023 glory with Broad looking for wicket on farewell
- July 31, 2023 14:19The Final Act
Hello and welcome to Day five of the final Test and all eyes will be on England superstar Stuart Broad who will be playing for the final time in England whites. It’s overcast with a cloud cover but the day promises to get better and we should have a cracker of a contest.
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