Stuart Broad and England were denied an early breakthrough as Australia reached 75-0 at lunch on Sunday in their pursuit of a mammoth target of 384 runs to win the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. The fast-bowling great, who made a shock announcement on Saturday that he would retire after the match, has dismissed Australia opener David Warner 17 times in Test cricket.
But Warner was 30 not out as the rain started to fall at the lunch interval, with fellow left-hander Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 39.
Australia still need a further 309 runs to complete a 3-1 series win and a first Ashes campaign triumph in England since 2001. The holders have already retained the Ashes after arriving in London 2-1 up in the five-match series.
The openers played England’s quicks comfortably enough, although off-spinner Moeen Ali did turn a couple of deliveries sharply on a ground where he ended a 2017 Test against South Africa with a hat-trick.
Earlier, Broad was given a guard of honour as he made his way to the wicket for the final time, but England added just six runs to their overnight total of 389-9.
The 37-year-old seamer is the fifth most successful bowler in Test history, with 602 wickets, so far. I’ve had a love affair with the Ashes my whole life and the thought of being able to bowl my last ball and face my last ball against Australia fills me with joy,” he said.
Broad emerged to a standing ovation in the south London sunshine on Sunday, applauded by the tourists as he stepped onto the ground in search of more runs for England on the fourth day of a game they must win to pull level at 2-2.
Broad, whose highest Test score is 169, was batting with his long-time bowling partner James Anderson.
Broad faced the first over delivered by fellow paceman Mitchell Starc, pulling the sixth delivery for a towering six. But Anderson was out lbw to off-spinner Todd Murphy off the fifth ball of the second over as England were dismissed for 395.
Australia need a new ground record score to win the match. The highest successful fourth-innings chase in 143 years of Test cricket at The Oval remains England’s 263-9 against their arch-rivals way back in 1902.
In other news – Max Verstappen makes light of Spa penalty to secure eighth straight win
Max Verstappen reeled off his eighth successive win of the season at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in second. Verstappen also won Saturday’s sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps to maintain his relentless charge to a third Formula One world title.
“I knew we had a great car, it was just about surviving turn one,” said Verstappen, who started in sixth on the grid despite topping qualifying after a penalty for a new gearbox. It is a new spot P6 (to win from). We made all the right moves,” added Verstappen. Read more