London, Sep 16 (GCSports) Matthew Wade’s century (117 runs) went in vain as England beat Australia by 135 runs in the fifth and final Ashes test to draw the series 2-2 at the Oval.
Australia retained the urn as holder, however they missed an opportunity to have first outright series win in England in 18 years after being dismissed for 263 in its second innings in the evening session at Day 4 on Sunday.
It’s the first time an Ashes series has ended in a draw since 1972.
Chasing a stiff target of 399, Australia lost the wickets of Marcus Harris, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne in the morning after England had added 16 runs to their overnight score of 313 for eight.
Australia took lunch on 68 for three and their victory was very much dependent on Smith’s dismissal.
Steve Smith, who had a formidable presence at No 4 for Australia throughout the series, was caught by Ben Stokes at leg gully off pacer Stuart Broad for 23, by far his lowest score of the series.
Smith finished with 774 runs in the series in seven innings at an average of 110. The star batter received a standing ovation from England and Australia fans as he left the field on Sunday, finishing the series with an outstanding record after the ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal.
Wade was batting well from one end, however he didn’t get the support from his team-mates. He reached his fifty before Mitchell Marsh perished for 24, caught by Jos Buttler at short leg off the part-time spin of England captain Joe Root.
Australia captain Tim Paine on 21, was trapped lbw by Leach while Pat Cummins departed for nine, edging Broad to Bairstow, and Wade’s resistance was finally broken when he was deceived by Root and Bairstow completed his second stumping.
Nathan Lyon swept Leach low to Root at square leg and Josh Hazlewood chipped his first ball to mid-wicket where Root took a brilliant one-handed catch to spark wild celebrations among the England players.
For England, Stuart Broad (4/62) and Jack Leach (4/49) both took four wickets apiece, with Root (2/26) picking up two important scalps for himself.
Australia had won the first test at Edgbaston by 251 runs, the next test at Lord’s was drawn before England drew level with a one-wicket win in a thrilling third test at Headingley, which Smith missed.
Australia had won the fourth test at Old Trafford by 185 runs.