Mitchell Starc Shines with the Ball, Taking 82/4
London, July 28: In response to England’s 283-run total, Australia scored 61/1 in 25 overs at Stumps on Day 1 at The Oval in the fifth and final Test match of the Ashes Series.
Stylish southpaw Usman Khawaja was unbeaten on 26* while one drop batter Marnus Labuschagne unbeaten on 2*. Another Aussies opener David Warner’s batting woes continued as he was caught by Zak Crawley in the slips. Chris Woakes too the lone Aussie wicket.
Earlier, Australia invited England to bat first after winning the crucial toss. Australia skipper Pat Cummins wouldn’t regret his decision at the end of Day 1 as England were bundled out for 283 runs in 54.4 overs.
England openers Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley started their innings rather aggressively but were also a bit lucky as the Australian fielders dropped two catches in the slips. Mitchel Marsh finally broke the opening stand by claiming the wicket of Duckett who nicked it behind the stumps where Alex Carey made no error. Skipper Cummins struck soon to get the prized wicket of Crawley who edged it to the slips where Steve Smith grabbed a sharp chance. England’s best batter Joe Root didn’t stay for long as Hazlewood bowled him. From 62/0, England were suddenly 73/3 in the 16th over.
Harry Brook and Moeen Ali stitched an important partnership of 111 runs before Ali was clean bowler by spinner Murphy. Immediately, England captain Ben Stokes fell cheaply as Starc again got better off him. England were reduced to 193/5.
Wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow also fell cheaply as he made only four runs. Hazlewood clean bowled the English batter. England 208/6.
Brook played a superb knock of 85 runs in 91 balls before being bowled by Starc. England 212/7.
But then, all-rounder Chris Woakes (36) and Mark Wood (28) had other ideas. They launched a counter offensive. Murphy took the wicket of Wood to reduce England to 261/8. Afterwards, Starc took care of Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes as well.
For Australia, apart from Starc’s 4-fer, Hazlewood and Murphy took two wickets apiece while Cummins and Marsh took one wicket, each.