England Vs Australia, 5th Test: Stuart Broad Enjoys Fitting End By Leading England To Series-levelling Win

England beat Australia by 49 runs to win the fifth Test at The Oval on Monday and end the Ashes series all square at 2-2


Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes celebrate the dismissal of Australia's Todd Murphy at The Oval.

Wearing his familiar white headband, Stuart Broad roared in — knees pumping — to send down one last delivery in his brilliant cricket career. (More Cricket News)

Broad, one of England’s greatest-ever players, wasn’t going to let this moment pass him by. Not in the final Test of an Ashes series, the kind of match this 37-year-old pace-bowling warrior has lived for.

It’s 604 Test wickets and out for Broad after he took the match-clinching wicket to earn England a series-tying victory late in the last session of the fifth and final Test against Australia on Monday.  England bowled out Australia for 334 and claimed a 49-run win to secure a 2-2 draw in an Ashes series that had pretty much everything.

“You wonder what your last ball will be,” said Broad, who announced Saturday that he would be retiring after this match to end his 18-year career, “so to take a wicket to win an Ashes Test match is pretty cool.”


The Australians, who still haven’t won an Ashes series in England since 2001 but will return Down Under with the urn, lost their last seven wickets for 70 runs after looking good at 264-3, chasing 384 to win.

With two wickets still to get, England captain Ben Stokes turned to Broad one final time.

A number of balls slipped past the outside edge and Broad switched the bails at the non-striker’s end for good luck. The very next ball, he got an edge off Todd Murphy with an absolute beauty of an outswinger.

One wicket left and of course it was Broad who took it. When Alex Carey edged behind, again to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, Broad wheeled away in celebration and was soon engulfed by his teammates. His wife, holding their baby, looked on from the balcony as did his father, Chris, a former England international.


“It was written in the stars he was going to take the last two wickets,” Stokes said, “with two left-handers at the crease.”

Broad is fourth on the all-time list of wicket-takers in Tests, behind Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and his great friend, England pacer Jimmy Anderson, who — at 41 — says he will continue to play.

Anderson didn’t have a say on Day 5. Instead, it was Chris Woakes (4-50), Moeen Ali (3-76) and ultimately Broad (2-62) who bowled England to victory.

The English will rue the rain that denied them a likely victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford — and therefore a chance at completing a series win at The Oval — but the team’s recovery from 2-0 down in a six-week stretch of five Tests was another validation of its “Bazball” approach that is winning fans, if not quite the biggest series of them all.

The series got the denouement it deserved, even though a rain delay of nearly three hours — wiping out the entire middle session — threatened to ruin the final day.

Australia started the day on 135-0 but England finally found some seam movement and swing in cloudy conditions with a new ball, accounting for David Warner (60), Usman Khawaja (72) — both to Woakes — and Marnus Labuschagne (13) in an 11-over spell in which the tourists hit just 34 runs.

For Warner, it was a last innings in England ahead of what he hopes is the final innings of his career, in Sydney against Pakistan in January.


A 95-run stand between Steve Smith and Travis Head either side of the rain delay steadied the Australians, and even put them as the marginal favorite for a short time. In a dramatic incident, England’s players thought they had got Smith in the final over of the morning session but Stokes, who took a fine, leaping, one-handed catch off the batter’s glove, lost control of the ball as he brought his arm down and brushed his thigh. He was adjudged to have dropped the ball before having complete control.

Woakes and Ali turned the match around after the resumption, which came at 4.20 p.m. local time and gave England 47 overs to capture victory under what had quickly become a sunny sky in south London. They didn’t need them all.


Head sliced Ali on the drive to Joe Root at slip for for 43, Smith — having just reached his 25th fifty against England — edged Woakes to Zak Crawley at second slip for 54, and Mitch Marsh drew a stunning diving catch from Bairstow after an inside edge onto his pad off Ali.

England claimed a fourth wicket in 19 deliveries when Mitchell Starc edged Woakes to Crawley, again demonstrating safe hands, for a second-ball duck and Australia captain Pat Cummins (9) was the next to depart, top-edging Ali onto his pad and to Stokes coming round from leg-slip.


Stokes, mindful of his botched catch earlier in the day, held onto the ball with a broad grin on his face.

Then it was left to Broad, steaming in through the shadows in a scene familiar to many, to clean up the tail and he walked off the ground to a standing ovation and with a stump in his hand.

Australia was looking to complete the highest-ever chase at The Oval, where the team became World Test Champions by beating India in early June. It would have been the eighth highest chase in Test history and the second highest by Australia.


“Going one further would have been nice,” Cummins said, “but in saying that I think we can be really proud of retaining the Ashes and the way we have played.”

As it was, England recovered for the 2-2 draw — just like in 2019.

It was a series that just kept on giving, from the first ball of the first Test slapped for four by Crawley at Lord’s right through to Broad’s fitting finale.

“The ebbs and flows of this Ashes series have been incredible to be a part of and to watch,” Starc said, “and it didn’t disappoint.”