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Aussie bowlers rip through England batting to leave hosts in tatters, staring
Having secured the urn with a game to spare in Nottingham, England are desperate for the win that would make it 4-1 – a margin they have never before managed on home soil. But when faced with what was increasingly looking like a flat wicket in south London, the newly-crowned Ashes winners capitulated in another collapse during his fluctuating series.
Michael Clarke was out for just 15 against England on the first day of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Thursday in what was set to be the Australia captain’s penultimate innings in global cricket.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes said his side had been unlucky, telling BBC Radio: “We thought the pitch might have had more pace, but as a whole we bowled pretty well and might have had them five or six down on another day”. And, as Finn said, he would have to have been “stupid” to say that either he or his team-mates felt that way.
Warner, closing in on his first century of the series, pushed forward to spinner Moeen Ali and nicked the ball to Adam Lyth at slip, swishing his bat in frustration before trudging off.
“We have to try to take early wickets tomorrow to stay in this game and try to win it”.
Bairstow took Mitchell Johnson’s bait as he pulled a short ball to deep square leg, and after Jos Buttler had been bowled through the gate by Lyon, Stokes thrashed at a Marsh lifter and gifted a simple catch to a backtracking Peter Nevill. He responded by upper-cutting his first ball, from Siddle, over the slips for four.
But a heavy defeat in the final Test would both dampen their spirits and give Australia a huge lift at the end of a hard series. Cook (19) was outstandingly bowled by Lyon but the subsequent dismissals of his teammates left little to be desired.
Given the weather forecast is poor for Sunday and Monday and Australia’s bowlers have bowled only 40 overs in the series-ending Test it could tempt Clarke to send an opponent back in for the first time. Averaging 13.12 in eight innings, the Yorkshire player’s future global career looks bleak ahead of the winter series against Pakistan and South Africa. Had the wicket stood it would have dragged Australia from 3-332 to 5-332, with two new batsmen at the crease.
Adam Lyth’s struggles with the bat continued, top-edging a pull shot off the returning Peter Siddle (2-18) to mid-on, before Ian Bell and Joe Root hung around for a brief spell together.
Fast bowler Steven Finn admitted England had not played well enough. Stuart Broad’s resistance then lasted three balls as he edged to Voges.
Asked about his own motivation for the Test, Wood added: “I’ve got a point to prove to stay in the team as has everyone”. “Australia played better than at Trent Bridge but there were a lot of positive things from us”.