On the last day of the fourth and final Ashes Test match, which took place at The Oval on Monday, Ben Stokes offered Australia’s Steve Smith a reprieve that may possibly change the outcome of the contest. This came after early wickets restored England’s chances of winning the match and even the series.
At lunch, Australia’s score was 238-3, and they needed 146 more runs to accomplish their huge goal of 384 runs. Rain was a possibility at this point in the game.
In the last over before lunch, Smith, who was on 39 at the time, gloved an off-spinner by the name of Moeen Ali into his leg.
The ball came back around to England’s captain Stokes, who was fielding at leg gully. With one hand, he reached up and snatched it from the air. However, when his arm came down, his hand accidentally pinched his leg, causing him to lose the ball.
The prominent batsman Smith was first ruled not out, but an England review revealed that Stokes had made a mistake.
Smith, who has a career average of over 93 at The Oval, was not out for 40 and Travis Head was undefeated on 31 when lunch was served.
David Warner and Usman Khawaja, the openers for Australia, were both dismissed by Chris Woakes in a stunning burst of two wickets for one run in seven balls. This took place on a cloudy morning with a pitch that had been freshened by rain, which are typical English conditions for swing and seam bowling. Woakes’s performance was highlighted by the fact that he achieved this feat in only seven balls.
Quicken your pace After that, Mark Wood had Marnus Labuschagne caught in the slips for 13, bringing Australia’s score to 169-3 with a 2-1 lead in the Ashes series. Australia had already won the series.
Australia started their attempt to win the Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001 with a score of 135-0. Both Warner and Khawaja were still in the game with 58 not out.
Putting an end to broad assaults
Warner, who is 37 years old, was about to be dismissed for the 18th time in test matches when England speed great Stuart Broad, who on Saturday made the shocking revelation he will retire after the match, picked up the attack. Warner was looking to be dismissed.
But it was Woakes who gave England the breakthrough they so sorely needed when he bowled a ball of a decent length that was aimed over Warner. The ball nicked off the seam and caught the outside edge, which allowed wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow to take an easy catch.
Warner was dismissed for 60, and it didn’t take long until Khawaja, who was the top run-scorer in the series, joined him in the batting shed.
After being caught on the crease in front of the middle and leg stumps by a full-length ball from Woakes, Khawaja went out leg before wicket with a score of 72.
After that, Wood bowled a ball at Labuschagne at 86 miles per hour (139 kilometers per hour) that slanted in and swung away to take the edge. Zak Crawley, moving swiftly to his left, made a great low catch at second slip.
Smith blasted Woakes confidently over the covers for four, and then left-hander Head nipped Broad, who repeatedly beat the outside edge, for a well-timed boundary through the midwicket region.
If Australia are successful in reaching their objective, it would be the eighth-highest fourth-innings total to win any Test and the second-highest in England, behind only the 404-3 that Australia scored at Headingley in 1948.
It would also set a new record for the most successful fourth-innings chase in a test match at The Oval, which currently stands at England’s 263-9 against Australia in 1902 (a record that would be broken if this score was achieved).