Ashes 2023: Stuart Broad lead England to a thrilling victory, levels the series 2-2text_fields
London: In the finale to the Ashes series, veteran fast-bowler Stuart Broad scored a thrilling ending to his illustrious cricketing career as England secured a dramatic 49-run victory over Australia in the fifth and final Test at The Oval on Monday.
This led to a 2-2 draw for the series, leaving Australia as the retainers of the Ashes.
Resuming from 135 for no loss on the final day, Australia appeared to be in control with all ten wickets intact. However, a ball change in the 37th over shifted the momentum in England's favour as their top three batsmen fell in quick succession. The rain further disrupted play, but after the break, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali wreaked havoc on the Australian batting line-up, claiming four wickets for just 11 runs.
Despite a brief resistance from Todd Murphy and Alex Carey, who frustrated England for a while, Broad displayed his skills by claiming the last two wickets, wrapping up the Australian innings at 334. The win at The Oval allowed England to level the series, making an impressive comeback after trailing 2-0, though Australia had already retained the Ashes.
On the final day, Australia needed 249 runs for victory, with their top-order batsmen, Usman Khawaja, and David Warner, already past their half-centuries. However, the replacement ball brought movement, and England capitalised on the opportunity. Woakes removed Warner and Khawaja, and Marnus Labuschagne's wicket soon followed, setting the stage for a tense battle.
Steve Smith and Travis Head led Australia's recovery with a 95-run partnership. Yet, England persisted, and Ali dismissed Head, followed by Smith, who fell for 54. Woakes continued to excel, claiming more wickets, and Moeen also made crucial breakthroughs.
As the match approached its climax, Broad's brilliant delivery found Murphy's edge, and Broad sealed his remarkable farewell by dismissing Carey. With this, Broad achieved 604 Test wickets, solidifying his status as one of the greats of the game.
The victory was a testament to England's fighting spirit, even though they couldn't reclaim the Ashes.