Jul 27, 2023, 20:09 IST

Watch! Ben Duckett’s fierce shot leaves Zak Crawley hanging on for dear life

Australia and England started the final test of the 2023 Ashes series. The English seemed strong favorites to win the Manchester test until rain played havoc. The draw in the 4th test meant that Australia not only retained the 2-1 series lead, but also the Ashes. The focus turned to Oval as Australia and England met for the final test. The visitors would need a win or a draw in the game to win their 1st series in England for 22 years. Oval, bought back good memories for Australia as they won the World Test Championships 2023 at the same ground against India a month ago.

The story so far –

Australia won the toss and chose to bowl first to make use of the overhead conditions. The visitors made just one change as Cameron Green made way for Todd Murphy. England on the other hand went in with the same team that played the Manchester test. James Anderson retained his place despite his poor returns with the ball.

Duckett nearly takes out Zak Crawley –

English openers Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley have been one of the biggest positives for the home side this series. The left hander Duckett charged down the track to Hazlewood and hit a ferocious shot down the ground for four. The shot was so ferocious that it nearly flattened Zak Crawley who fell to the ground to avoid the blow.

England race off to a quick start –

Duckett and Crawley added 62 runs for the opening wicket and the runs came off just 12 overs. Duckett was out for 41 off 41 balls with 3 fours when he edged behind to Carey off Mitchell Marsh. The centurion from the last game, Crawley was out 4 runs later when  he hell to Cummins caught by Smith for 21. Hazlewood then went past the defenses of Joe Root for 4.

England stutter post lunch –

Moeen Ali and Harry Brook then combined for a 111 run stand for the 4th wicket, with Brook being the aggressor. The stand was broken by Murphy when he went past the gates and bowled Moeen Ali for 34. The runs for Ali came off 47 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes. Starc then got rid of Stokes for 3. Harry Brook then fell for 85 off 91 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes as he was caught by Smith off Starc before Hazlewood castled Bairstow for 4 to leave England reeling at 212/7.