Ashes Test Five Review (SCG)
The fifth ashes test was set to be an enthralling contest if the third test was anything to go by. England showed a lot of fight, despite the end result being a draw. England won the toss and made the correct decision; to bat first, because traditionally the SCG wicket is good for spinners in the second innings. Root’s psyche must have been that England would utilize debutant Crane and fellow spinner Ali to spin their way to victory on day four and five.
Cummings did well to take a much needed wicket early on in the test match. Stoneman was looking dangerous reaching twenty-four runs, scoring at a run a ball. After that wicket England gained the ascendancy and momentum on the first day, controlling much of the balance of play. Captain Root led the way with a clinical eighty-three; unfortunately he didn’t go on and make a hundred. England were cruising at three for two hundred and twenty-eight. Then they lost Root and Bairstow in quick succession. Many people questioned why England didn’t send out a night watchman instead of Bairstow. As it stood the game was in the balance thanks to some economical bowling from the Aussies leaving the English at five for two hundred and thirty-three.
England batted reasonably well on day two; Ali, Curran and Broad made the tail wag with all of them reaching at least thirty runs, however, they lost their last three wickets for just eleven runs. For the Aussies Cummings was a stand out with four first innings wickets. In Australia’s first innings, Bancroft failed yet again with a duck! Warner and Khawaja added eighty-five for the second wicket, with Warner dismissed for fifty-six runs. At stumps on day three Khawaja and Smith had added an unbeaten one hundred and seven runs, leaving Australia in control of the final test of the series.
Australia dominated the fourth day of the final Ashes test. Khawaja stole the show with a big hundred. Every batsman made at least a half century, apart from Bancroft; his spot in the team is now in a precarious position. The Marsh brothers rubbed salt into the wound for the English and a quick fire unbeaten century stand. Once again England had lost their way and Australia had dented English pride. At stumps, the Aussies led by one hundred and thirty-three runs.
Both Marsh brothers reached a century to demoralize England even more. Australia declared with the score at six hundred and forty-nine runs. It was always going to be difficult for the English from there on in. They lost four wickets for only sixty-eight runs. Bairstow and Root added some respectability to the score board adding an unbeaten twenty-five runs. It was always going to be tough for the English to salvage a draw from there on in.
The fifth day was an anti climax. It was a forgone conclusion that the Aussies would take the remaining English wickets. Lyon and Cummings took seven wickets between them. The Aussies won the fifth test winning by an innings and one hundred and twenty-three runs. Hopefully England play with more passion in the upcoming one day internationals and T20 internationals.
Also published on Medium.