The Ashes 2019 finale started with a fascinating opening day clash between England and Australia at The Oval on Thursday with a fortunate Joe Root hitting a fifty before Jos Buttler played a brilliant counter-attacking knock even as Mitchell Marsh left a marker in his first match by taking four wickets at The Oval, London. Australia put England into bat then removed couple Pat Cummins removed Joe Denly early in the innings. But indifferent fielding from the Aussies saw England captain getting a half-century, after surviving a couple of dropped catches. Marsh, who is playing his first match of the series, took four wickets to peg back the hosts. But a late onslaught from Buttler meant that the teams shared the Day 1 honours in London. At stumps, England were 271/8 after 82 overs with Buttler and Jack Leach unbeaten on 64 and 10 runs respectively.
Here's how the first day of the Test was set up:
Winning the series then lifting the trophy, in this case -- the urn -- is the ideal way to celebrate an Ashes triumph. That's what Australia will hope to do when they meet England in the fifth and final Test at The Oval, London starting today. The visitors have retained the urn after taking a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, courtesy a thrilling win at Old Trafford, Manchester last week. A win in London will make it 3-1, their first series win in England since 2001. And Tim Paine believes they can do just that. And they seem to possess just the right ammunition -- Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins et al. Then, what about England? After lifting their maiden World Cup trophy months ago, winning the Ashes would have been a perfect summer for England. Despite failing to win the Ashes, they have etched some memorable moments in cricket's history, including that unbelievable Ben Stokes knock at Headingley to set up a one-wicket win for England and level the series 1-1. Skipper Joe Root, who became the first England captain in 18 years to have failed to win the Ashes at home, insisted that they can win the finale and end the series on a high. A 2-2 result is a draw -- no loser, no winner -- even though the urn will stay Down Under. Meanwhile, both the sides have made changes in their respective 12-man squads. Expect a high-octane clash over the course of five days. And, there's no rain forecast.