An entertaining final day of the Ashes ended bitterly as bad light stopped play with only 4 overs left. What’s worse is that England only needed 21 runs to win the series 4-0.
England began the day on 247-4, and looked more positive after the washout on day 4. Ryan Harris carried on his impressive form with the ball as he got Chris Woakes for 25, as Clarke caught him. Ian Bell fell next for 45, with Haddin catching him behind for James Faulkner’s first wicket of the game. Stuart Broad fell for 9, with Prior getting some much needed runs before falling to Faulkner for 47, caught on the boundary by Mitchell Starc. James Anderson threw his wicket away for 4 as his poor form with the bat continued, however Graeme Swann added and impressive 34, including five 4s and one 6. Faulkner bowled Swann, meaning England finished on 377, still 115 runs behind but managing to avoid the follow on.
In an attempt to win the match, Michael Clarke shook up his batting order to extend the Australian lead whilst still giving them enough time to bowl England out. It was a bold decision, and it looked to backfire as Australia found themselves 67-4. Much to the crowd’s delight, David Warner fell first for 12, with Anderson diving to his right to take a one-handed catch off of his own bowling. Shane Watson fell next, with Pieterson catching him for 26 from Swann’s bowling. Shortly after, Stuart Broad got Brad Haddin for a duck, with Matt Prior catching him behind. Matt Prior caught James Faulkner, as he edged Broad behind for 22. Steve Smith was next to fall, chipping Stuart Broad to Graeme Swann on the boundary for 7. The Aussies fell to 85-6 after Broad knocked out Harris’ leg stump for just 1. At tea, Clarke declared on 101-6, giving England a chase of 227 runs from 44 overs.
England started positively; however they suffered a setback as Root was caught behind 11 for from Harris. Cook and Trott built a 64 partnership before the captain fell for 34, lbw to Faulkner. Trott’s good innings was bettered by Kevin Pieterson, who hit 10 fours on his way to 62. David Warner caught Pieterson on the boundary, with Harris’ bowling again undoing the English batsmen. Trott was next to go, falling lbw for 59 despite a review to Faulkner. Ian Bell was next to fall, as he tried to hit the ball back through Starc, only for the bowler to run him out. This was the last action of the series, as the umpires led the players off with England needing 21 off of 4 overs. The match was drawn; however England will be content with a 3-0 series victory.
Man of the match was Shane Watson for his 176 in the first innings, and the Man of the Series was Ian Bell for his 3 important centuries.