Ashes 2013: Australia set England 227-run target to win 5th Test at The Oval

Michael Clarke declared Australia’s second innings at 111 for six at The Oval © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

Aug 25, 2013

England require 227 runs to win the fifth and final Ashes 2013 Test at The Oval as Australia declared their second innings at 111 for six at tea. Michael Clarke was unbeaten on 28 and Mitchell Starc was on 13 as tea was taken. Stuart Broad took four wickets in the innings.

England began the post-lunch session at 350 for seven. Graeme Swann continued his quick scoring with two back-to-back fours off Peter Siddle. The first one took the inside edge and went to the fine-leg boundary. He pulled the next ball towards the square-leg fence. Debutant Simon Kerrigan then got his first runs on the board as he fended off a bouncer from James Faulkner on the leg side.

England were then all out as Faulkner bowled Swann for 34. That Faulkner’s fourth wicket of the innings. At the time, England trailed Australia by 115 runs. Australia sent out David Warner and Shane Watson to open their second innings. After an initial slow phase, the duo began scoring quickly.

Warner played a square-cuts to a short and wide delivery from Broad to get a four. Watson then launched James Anderson for a big six over long-on. He then hit a full delivery towards the wide long-on boundary for another four. Then off the last ball of Anderson’s over, Watson got another four as the ball took a thick edge and went to the third-man region.

Anderson provides the first breakthrough of the innings. His length ball stops slightly on Warner (12) and he took a brilliant diving return catch to his right. England captain Alastair Cook then brought Swann into the attack. The off-spinner immediately got the ball to spin. Not wanting to get bogged down by the spin, Watson (26) stepped out and hit Swann’s length delivery in the air. But he could only go as far as Kevin Pietersen at long-on, who took the catch.

Brad Haddin then got out first ball as he edged a Broad delivery to Matt Prior behind the wickets. There was an appeal for leg-before against Clarke off Swann’s bowling. The umpire turned down the appeal, but Cook asked for the review. Replays showed that the ball hit the pads outside the line of the off-stump. Clarke then swept one front of square to get a four. Faulkner also got amongst the boundaries as he hit lofted on-drive off Broad for a six.

But Broad hit back as he found the edge of Faulkner’s (22) bat and wicketkeeper Prior took a very good catch to his right. The fall of wickets did not stop there. Centurion from the first innings Steven Smith (7) also joined his teammates in the dressing room while trying to up the ante. He hit a Broad length delivery across the line and got caught by Swann at long-on. In the same over, Ryan Harris (1) got bowled to give Broad his fourth wicket.

Starc also got amongst the runs as he hit two fours before tea was taken. Clarke declared Australia’s second innings at 111 for six, leaving England 227 runs to win the match in the final session of the match.

Brief scores:

Australia 492 for 9 decl. (Shane Watson 176, Steven Smith 138*, Ryan Harris 33; James Anderson 4 for 95, Graeme Swann 2 for 95) and 111 for 6 decl. (Shane Watson 26, Michael Clarke 28*; Stuart Broad 4 for 43) lead England 377 (Joe Root 68, Kevin Pietersen 50, Ian Bell 45, Matt Prior 47; James Faulkner 4 for 51, Mitchell Starc 3 for 92, Ryan Harris 2 for 64) by 226 runs.

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(Shrikant Shankar previously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)