The Ashes: Stuart Broad takes final two wickets as England draw series with thrilling 49-run win at The Oval

Stuart Broad claimed the final two wickets as England took seven in a thrilling final session of the Ashes summer to beat Australia by 49 runs in the fifth Test at The Kia Oval and draw the series 2-2.

Broad (2-62) – who announced his retirement from cricket on Saturday – first dismissed Todd Murphy (18) before getting Alex Carey (28) to nick off to Jonny Bairstow for the 604th and final Test wicket of his sensational career.

Chris Woakes (4-50) and Moeen Ali (3-76) had earlier done the bulk of the damage in the session, combining to take four wickets in an inspired four-over burst that saw Australia collapse from a strong position of 264-3, chasing 384 to win, to 275-7.

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England take four wickets to edge them closer to victory on the final day of the fifth Ashes Test.

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Wow! Take a bow Jonny Bairstow! Watch as the wicketkeeper takes a brilliant catch to send Mitchell Marsh back to the pavilion.

Bairstow, under intense criticism for much of this series, has well and truly found his form with the gloves (and bat) over the past two Tests and his stunning, one-handed reflex catch to dismiss Mitch Marsh (6) off Moeen was yet another highlight on a captivating final day of what has been a truly unforgettable series.

But it was Broad who then, fittingly, took centre stage one final time for England, first picking up Murphy immediately after repeating the ‘bail trick’ that helped dismiss Marnus Labuschagne in the first innings before then getting Carey to cue wild celebrations on the field and in the stands at The Oval.

Broad then led the team off alongside Moeen, who himself came out of retirement in Test cricket to play in the series, in emotional scenes in south London. England’s win ensures they remain unbeaten in Ashes series’ on home soil since 2001.

Rain had earlier taken the players off for over two hours after lunch as the weather again threatened to thwart England following the drawn fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford, which saw practically the final two days lost to the weather.

The difference at The Oval came in the fact that Australia stood a genuine chance of claiming victory for themselves as, when the whether intervened, Steve Smith and Travis Head were in the middle of a fine 95-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

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A moment Ben Stokes will want to forget after accidentally dropping a catch off Steve Smith during his celebration.

Making matters worse for England was the fact that, on the stroke of lunch, Ben Stokes missed the chance to dismiss Smith for 39 when dropping a catch at leg slip as he started his celebrations.

Upon the resumption at 4.20pm, Smith went through to fifty, but Head (43) departed to Moeen’s very next delivery, snaffled up by Joe Root at slip, prompting a spell of four wickets for 11 runs over the next four overs – each one greeted by a thunderous roar from the fervent home support in south London.

The impeccable Woakes claimed the key wicket of Smith (54), Zak Crawley taking a strong catch at second slip. The same fielder also pouched Mitchell Starc for a duck in Woakes’ next over after Bairstow’s divine intervention to dismiss Marsh.

Pat Cummins was next to depart, the Australia captain out to a rather ungainly hack across the line to Moeen that deflected up and into the hands of Stokes, who this time made a point not to celebrate prematurely.

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Ben Stokes made sure he held onto this catch as the ball flicks off Pat Cummins’ pads straight to the England captain.

Alex Carey and Todd Murphy briefly dug in to threaten another Australian run-chase similar to their two-wicket win at Edgbaston which kick-started the series. Broad intervened.

Earlier, with Australia 135-0 overnight, England spirits were lifted significantly as Woakes dismissed both Australia’s set openers in consecutive overs.

Usman Khawaja (72) and David Warner (60) had each brought up half centuries on the fourth afternoon but a ball change in what would be the penultimate over of the day proved decisive as England found prodigious swing throughout day five.

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England strike early on the fifth day at The Oval as Chris Woakes sees off both David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the opening half an hour of play.

Just five runs were added to Australia’s tally before Warner nicked off to Woakes. Khawaja – who was clanged on the helmet by Mark Wood to prompt the ball change – was then pinned lbw in Woakes’ next, using up a review in the process.

England too burned an early review on a Broad lbw shout against Labuschagne – struck outside the line – but Wood (1-34) ultimately accounted for the Australian batter in his second over of the day.

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Jumping out wide in his delivery stride, Wood got one to angle in and then shape away just enough from Labuschagne (13), who nicked off to Crawley at second slip.

The wicket reduced Australia to 169-3, but Smith and Head rebuilt well through to lunch, scoring at a quick rate too with their fifty partnership brought up in 61 balls.

Head, admittedly, benefitted from some good fortune on more than one occasion, playing and missing several times to an exasperated Broad, who deserved reward for an impressive spell of bowling to the Australian left-hander.

He and England would well and truly get their rewards after the intervention of the rain, however, as Australia subsided to a 49-run defeat.

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