Australia collapse as England draw Ashes
August 1, 2023
A fourth-innings collapse at The Oval saw Australia slump to a 49-run loss to England in the final Test of the 2023 Ashes with the series finishing a 2-2 draw.
Chris Woakes was awarded the Compton-Miller Medal for Player of the Series whilst Stuart Broad took the match’s final wicket in his swansong Test match.
Australian captain Pat Cummins won his first toss of the series and sent England in to bat which proved initially fruitful with the hosts rolled for 283 on Day 1.
Harry Brook (85) top-scored for England and was a part of an influential 111-run stand with Moeen Ali (34) whilst Chris Woakes (36) and Mark Wood (28) again added demoralising, end-of-innings cameos to improve the England total.
Mitchell Starc took 4-for-82 whilst Todd Murphy and Josh Hazlewood each snared a pair of wickets.
At 1-for-91, Australia were in a comfortable position before a disappointing collapse saw them finish all-out for just 295.
Steve Smith (71) put together a classy innings whilst Usman Khawaja (47) also contributed along with surprise cameos from Cummins (36) and Murphy (34).
Woakes took three wickets whilst Broad, Wood, and Joe Root also managed multiple scalps.
England boosted themselves into the driver’s seat with a strong second innings headed by Root (91), Jonny Bairstow (78), and Zak Crawley (73).
Australia took the final four wickets for just 35 to curtail the England innings ever so slightly and set a winning target of 384.
Starc again finished with innings-best figures of 4-for-100 whilst Murphy claimed four of his own as well.
Australia got off to a dream start with Khawaja (72) and David Warner (60) going along swimmingly at 0-for-140 before England took a trio of wickets in the space of eight overs to wrestle back momentum.
Smith (54) and Travis Head (43) steadied things with a 95-run stand before the final seven wickets fell for just 70 runs with another batting collapse spoiling Australia’s shot at their first series win on English soil in over two decades.
Woakes took 4-for-50 whilst Moeen took three and Broad two in their final spells as Test cricketers.
Khawaja (496) finished the series’ highest run-scorer whilst Starc (23) took the most wickets.
Winning their maiden World Test Championship title and retaining the urn were a pair of impressive achievements for Cummins’ group but there remains a feeling that they left a little to be desired after going up 2-0 in The Ashes just a few weeks ago.