After England secured a 3-0 Ashes series win at The Oval last Sunday, it felt like a good time to reflect on the only day of Ashes cricket I have seen in person, which also happens to be the fourth day’s play at The Oval in 2009, when England won both the match and the series.
Aaron Finch broke the record for the highest score by a batsmen in a Twenty20 international as Australia beat England by 39 runs. Finch smashed 156 from 63 balls as the tourists made 248-6 in their 20 overs. England never looked like chasing it down but did make their second-highest T20 total, finishing in 209-6. Joe Root top scored with an unbeaten 90 from 49 balls.
Arsenal and Celtic have both been handed tough groups as they look to reach the lucrative knockout stages of the Champions League. The draw was more favourable for Manchester United and Chelsea, but Manchester City will have to face the current holders Bayern Munich.
The fifth Test at The Oval ended in farcical circumstances when the umpires took the players from the field because of bad light, with England requiring 21 more runs to win from four overs left. While the umpires correctly followed the law as it stands, I couldn’t help but wonder, why does cricket continues to shoot itself in the foot like this?
Lewis McGugan scored against his former side to help Watford to a 1-1 draw over Nottingham Forest. The result means that Forest are joined at the top of the table on 10 points by Blackpool, Leicester City and Queens Park Rangers. Meanwhile, there were big wins for Huddersfield Town, Blackburn Rovers and Derby County.
Now that the Ashes are over and England have emerged victorious, it’s time to look back at the series and reflect on the performances of each player.
The 2013 Ashes series is over, but you can relive the series by reading through my articles for the first three and the final Test (I was on holiday for the fourth) by clicking this link. I have articles on each day’s play, plus statistics, previews and one or two other posts. Over the next few days I post some articles looking back on the series and also looking ahead to the return series this winter, so keep an eye out for that!
Sebastian Vettel took a dominant fifth win of the season at Spa Francorchamps, leading from early in the first lap all the way through to the finish. Fernando Alonso recovered from a poor qualifying session to take an excellent second, while Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was off the pace on race day, and he had to settle for third. Kimi Raikkonen had brake issues from an early stage and retired midway through the race, his first non-finish since he returned to Formula 1.
At the end of a dramatic final day of this year’s Ashes, here are some stats from the day:
- A total of 447 runs were scored in the day, which is the most scored in the fifth day ever in an Ashes Test, and the third most on a fifth day’s play in all Tests. The most runs ever scored on a single day in Ashes cricket is 475 by England at The Oval in 1934.
- England have now won three Ashes series in a row, the last time they did this was when they won in 1977, 1978/79 and 1981. They have also won three consecutive home Ashes series, the first time since 1977, 1981 and 1985.
- England have won 31 Ashes series at home, the same number as Australia.
Close of play score: Australia 492-9 dec and 111-6 dec, England 377 and 206-5, match drawn
Ian Bell and Chris Woakes started and finished the day batting together at the crease, but no-one could have predicted the drama that would happen in between. 447 runs were scored in a thrilling day of Test cricket, something which was very much needed after the snorefest that was the third day. England batted aggressively to get past the follow-on mark and were all out not long after lunch for 377. Australia took the attack to England but lost wickets to regularly, declaring at tea on 111-6, setting England a generous target of 227 from 44 overs. Kevin Pietersen hit a sparkling 62 and England looked set to take a 4-0 series win when the umpires took the players from the field with 21 more needed to win from four overs. It was an unsatisfactory conclusion to a great day, but the umpires had their hand forced by the new ICC regulations on bad light, and it would have been unfair on Australia if they had been forced to continue playing,