Solid solace for Australia
London: Australia sent captain Michael Clarke into international retirement with an innings and 46-run victory in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval here yesterday.
Pacer Peter Siddle celebrates the final wicket of England’s Moeen Ali as Australia beat England to win the fifth Test at the Oval yesterday
Even so England, who had already regained the Ashes, won the series 3-2 with Clarke the first Australian in more than a century to be on the losing side in four successive Ashes series in Britain.
Retired Australia skipper Michael Clarke receives a guard of honour from his teammates as he leaves the field after Australia’s victory. Pics/AFP
When impressive paceman Peter Siddle had Moeen Ali (35) caught behind, England, following-on, had been dismissed for 286 in their second innings on the fourth day. Siddle, only playing after Josh Hazlewood was injured, bowled with both pace and control on his way to innings figures of four for 35 in 24.4 overs — including 12 maidens. His return made the experienced 30-year-old seamer’s omission from the previous four Tests all the more surprising.
Australia’s victory yesterday meant none of the Tests in this Ashes had gone to a fifth day — a testament to the general lack of batting resilience in both sides. “This game sums up the series,” Clarke told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
‘A roller-coaster ride’
“Both teams have had a rollercoaster ride. The boys did as I asked, it was a test of our character and we came through it.”
The series equalled in length the shortest five-Test series of modern times of 18 days that took place when England played the West Indies in 2000.
Australia, after losing the toss, had piled up 481 in their first innings. This included captain-elect Steven Smith's 143 — an innings which saw the eventual man-of-the-match become the first Australian to score more than 500 runs in an Ashes series in England since Matthew Elliott in 1997. It was a far more resolute first-innings batting display than in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge where Australia collapsed to 60 all out, with Stuart Broad taking eight for 15, to set up England’s Ashes-clinching innings and 78-run victory.
But England captain Alastair Cook said the Oval result needed to be put into context. “Going into the series no-one gave us a chance, so we can’t let that take the gloss off a special summer,” said Cook.
Peter Siddle justified his selection, writes Subash Jayaraman on mid-day.com
Australia 481 beat England 149 & 286 (A Cook 85, J Buttler 42; P Siddle 4-35, N Lyon 2-53) by an innings and 46 runs