Read back over Sports Mole's live coverage of the final day of the 2013 Ashes series between England and Australia.
By Darren Plant, Reporter Filed: Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 10:30 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 19:50 UK
England have drawn the fifth and final Ashes Test match with Australia after bad light brought an end to a thrilling run chase at The Oval.
After being set a target of 227 from 44 overs, Kevin Pietersen produced a thrilling 62 to put his side in control.
England looked on course to wrap up victory after leaving themselves needing 21 off the final four overs, before the umpires intervened after deeming the light to be too dark for play to continue.
Read below to see how the action unfolded at The Oval.
10.31amHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's coverage of the final day of the fifth Ashes Test match between England and Australia.
10.34amFirst things first - what is the weather doing? Well things are looking much more promising than yesterday, but I don't think they could get much worse? An inspection is due to take place at 11am to assess how the clean-up operation is going after all the rain that we had yesterday.
10.37amThe ECB have just revealed on their official Twitter account that the sun is out at The Oval. Keep your finger crossed...
10.42amAfter the dismal yesterday, you could have been forgiven for forgetting the state of this Test match. After winning the toss, Australia declared on 492-9, while England have coasted to 247-4 in their reply.
10.45amWith this being the final day of the Test, and the series, it doesn't appear as though we are going to get the exciting end that everyone deserves, but I think the majority will just be grateful to get some cricket played. It will be interesting to see whether England declare or have a bit of a slog. Either way, it's going to end in a draw.
10.48amA wet outfield does seem to be the solitary problem at The Oval. We will obviously know more in 15 minutes time, but I've seen estimates of play getting underway anytime between 11.30am and 1pm. I know that's not exactly specific.
10.53amGetting some cricket under their belt could be vital for the likes of Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan making a claim for a place on the plane to Australia in the winter. Click here to read what Sports Mole had to say over their selection for this Test.
10.57amThe umpires are about to head onto the outfield. We will bring you their verdict as soon as we have it.
11.02amThere has been no announcement just yet, but the outfield does appear to have dried very quickly. It's maybe not perfect, but it looks good...
11.04amThe umpires have decided that play will begin at 11.30am. That was probably the best that we could hope for.
11.07amMore information coming from The Oval is that lunch will be taken at 1pm, with tea at 4.10pm. 98 overs will be played, but I very much doubt that we will get anywhere near that total. Still, we have some cricket to watch, so I am going to remain positive!
11.11amSomething that might have to be considered later in the day is when will the two captains convene to bring an end to the Test. Barring some remarkable turn of events, it is already certain to be a draw, so I can't see us playing past 6pm.
11.15amI'm hearing nothing about an England declaration, so I would presume that confirms that Ian Bell and Chris Woakes are going to head out into the middle in 10 minutes time. I hope they opt to give the crowd some entertainment rather than bat at the rate their side did on Friday.
11.21amThe player of the series will be announced at the end of this game. Who do you feel is the most deserving? There are a few contenders, but I feel that Ian Bell will be handed the award. His three centuries have been vital in this series, and they have gone a long way to proving his doubters wrong.
11.25amThere looks to be a healthy crowd building at The Oval. I wouldn't be surprised if many are using their full refund from yesterday to watch today's action. I don't blame them having had to sit through six hours yesterday.
11.29amThe two teams are heading out into the middle to the sound of Jerusalem hounding out for the last time this Ashes series.
ENG 251-4Mitchell Starc opens up with a wide, but legal, delivery, but he finds a rhythm with his line and length for the remainder of the over. Woakes does manage to edge away the final ball for the first boundary of the morning.
ENG 251-4Bell is lucky to survive his first ball of the day after flicking it straight to Faulkner, but it landed agonisingly short of the fielder. Ryan Harris completes a maiden with a very consistent over, with the penultimate delivery flying past the edge of Bell's bat.
ENG 256-4Batting conditions don't appear to be easy this morning, and Woakes nearly succumbs for the second over running off Starc, edging the ball past the slip cordon for another boundary. The bowler throws up a no ball to hand England five runs from the over.
ENG 263-4Harris strays down the leg side, and Bell picks up two, before the batsman produces a fine drive down the ground for four. He attempts a shot through the covers, but he can only pick up a single. Harris ends the over in better fashion, sending the ball flashing past Woakes.
ENG 267-4Bell looks in the zone this morning. Starc serves up a wide one and he carves the ball through the covers for four. However, a bit of indifferent bounce is keeping the Warwickshire man on his toes, and one nearly sneaks through.
ENG 269-5Woakes only has a couple of streaky fours to show for his early efforts, but he picks up another two off the edge to move to 25. He has looked convincing in defence, but he doesn't look comfortable on the attack, and off the final ball, he is dismissed after tamely edging to Michael Clarke at slip.
ENG 273-5Matt Prior is the new batsman at the crease for England, and he is soon on strike after Bell picks up a single. Starc drops the ball short and the wicket-keeper gratefully obliges in nudging the ball away for three. Bell nearly plays-on from the ball of the over, but he survives.
ENG 277-5Harris is alternating his attack to Prior, firstly peppering his stumps, before having the batsman in trouble with a bouncer, which Prior nearly sends to the fielder, while almost stepping back onto his stumps. However, Prior manages to get the ball away for four through the slip cordon.
ENG 279-5Starc looks to be having his best over of the morning, but he hands Bell an easy two off his pads. He ends the over with a 91mph delivery, which almost sees Bell play the ball too late.
ENG 289-5Prior is very much in need of a few runs, and he picks up two boundaries in successive balls to move to 17. The first shot is a pull for four, but the second is less convincing, with the ball going past third slip. The wicket-keeper is maintaining his aggressive approach, but he is lucky to survive after attempting to flick the ball over Brad Haddin's head.
ENG 291-5First bowling change of the morning, and James Faulkner replaces Starc. He begins well, before Bell crashes him through the covers for two to move to 45. Faulkner responds with a shorter delivery that Bell can only inside-edge onto his pads. This is irrelevant now, but England are two away from avoiding the follow-on.
ENG 298-5Siddle comes on for Harris, but he can't prevent Prior flicking the ball away for two to ensure that England avoid the follow-on. Prior certainly isn't hanging back this morning, and he gains another boundary via an edge. A single off the final delivery takes him to 24 off 20 balls.
ENG 299-6What a stunning catch from Brad Haddin. Faulkner begins the over by coming around the wicket, and despite sending the ball down the leg side, he catches the edge of Bell's bat and Haddin claims a one-handed catch low down to his left, giving Faulkner his first Test wicket.
ENG 303-6Stuart Broad is the new man at the crease, but it is Prior who is on strike. Siddle looks to be on his way to a maiden, but Prior cuts him away for four to bring up England's 300.
ENG 308-6Faulkner reverts back to over the wicket to bowl to Broad, but the all-rounder plays a fine shot off the back foot to get off the mark with a boundary. He adds a single to his total before the over it out. England have scored quickly during the opening hour, picking up 61 runs.
ENG 311-6Broad pulls Siddle away for a single, before England pick up two extras when the ball flies down the leg side. Haddin looks to have taken a painful blow to his wrist in the process, but he's back on his feet.
ENG 314-6Three runs from the overs, all by the way of singles. The atmosphere has quietened down somewhat now. Maybe everyone is anticipating their sandwiches at lunch?
ENG 315-6Clarke opts for spin for the first time this morning by bringing Nathan Lyon into the attack. He spins the ball past Broad's outside edge, before the left-hander clips the ball away for one. Prior shows plenty of intent by coming down the ground, but he mis-cues the ball straight back to the bowler.
ENG 329-7Starc comes back into the attack, and he makes an instant impact by clean-bowling Broad. Swann comes to the crease and enjoys a very productive over, picking up two boundaries on his way to 10 runs from five deliveries.
ENG 347-7Lyon continues,and after conceding two singles, Prior advances down the ground to flick the ball over the in-field for three. Swann then produces a fine slog-sweep to advance to 14. England are making a late-spurt before lunch and Swann records the first six of the day with a huge shot down the ground.
ENG 350-7This will be the last over before lunch. Swann looks a little more reserved as he looks to survive until lunch, but he still gets the ball away for a single. Starc sends down a wide to add an extra to the total, before the 350 is brought up off the final ball before lunch.
1.07pmWe may have only had a 90-minute session, but that was a fine effort from England to score over 100 runs before lunch. They have nothing to lose with the match petering out to a draw, but they can take encouragement from their display. Prior, inparticular, will be delighted to have made 35.
1.08pmWe will return in 30 minutes for the start of the afternoon session.
1.39pmWelcome back for the afternoon session at The Oval.
1.41pmI imagine that England will look to get on with their innings pretty rapidly once we get underway. England will get more out of seeing Woakes and Kerrigan in action with the ball, rather than needlessly batting out time.
1.43pmWe have bright sunshine at The Oval. Hopefully that will continue for the remainder of the day. Siddle is about to run in to bowl at Prior.
ENG 354-7Prior immediately gets back into the swing of things with a drive down the ground for four. Siddle keeps him honest for the remainder of the over. It's worth noting that prior's previous highest score in this series was 31 before today's knock, so these are vital runs for his confidence ahead of the trip down under.
ENG 363-8It's Faulkner at the other end, but after Swann picks up a single, Prior flicks the ball for four off his pads. Wowzers, he struck that next delivery hard, and almost taking Swann's head off in the process. However, as he attempts to bring up his fifty in style, he gets too much loft on his shot to enable Starc to take a tremendous diving catch.
ENG 367-8James Anderson comes in at number 10, and he directs the ball past the slips for four off his first delivery, for his 100th boundary in Test cricket. DROP, from Haddin of all people, who could have equaled the record of most catches taken during an Ashes series.
ENG 368-9Haddin makes up for that drop in the previous over by clinging onto a simple chance offered by Anderson. That's his 28th catch of the series. One more, and he breaks the world record. Simon Kerrigan is in...but he survives the first ball.
ENG 376-9Haddin thinks he has the record, but his appeal comes to nothing. Swann is going for everything, but he is stopped in his tracks by a fine yorker from Siddle. How has that next delivery missed the stumps? Swann swipes at a full ball, but it flies away off the inside edge for four, and he progresses onto 34 off 18 balls with a marvelous pull shot that beats two fielders.
ENG 377-9Kerrigan gets behind the ball well off the first two balls, before two attempted cover-drives fail to get him off the mark. He records his first run in Test cricket off the penultimate to a appreciative roar from The Oval crowd, who are aware that he hasn't enjoyed the best of debuts.
ENG 377-9Kerrigan knows that he has a job to do in assisting Swann to a potential half-century, and he plays out the over with superb composure to ensure that Swann is back on strike for the next over.
2.18pmThat, as they say, is that. Faulkner finishes up with figures of 4-51 on his Test debut after he clean-bowls Swann.
2.19pmIt's slightly disappointing that the top score from an England batsman was 68, but they have moved to within 115 of Australia's 492.
2.23pmI hope Australia bat aggressively in an attempt to set England a target off 40 or 50 overs. It would at least make the next few hours more interesting!
2.27pmAustralia have made their intent pretty clear by sending out Watson and Warner. Anderson to bowl first. Here we go.
AUS 4-0Warner plays a stunning cover drive off the opening delivery for four, before Anderson goes extremely close to nicking the outside edge off his next two balls. There's plenty of movement out there for the seamer.
AUS 4-0Broad will bowl from the other end, and he immediately serves up two full deliveries to Watson, presumably with the intent of tempting him into a attacking shot. Prior thinks that he has heard a noise off the final ball, but it was the bat striking the ground.
AUS 4-0Well I was quite encouraged when Warner recorded that boundary off the first ball, but there hasn't been a run scored in the next 17 deliveries! Surely things will change shortly...
AUS 5-0Australia pick up a leg bye off Watson's pads, but that's the lot for the over. It should be noted that there are 63 overs left in the day, potentially two less should Australia declare at any point.
AUS 7-0DROP! That's a shocking drop from Broad. Watson drives the ball straight to him, and although it swerved a little, he should be taking that. Anderson doesn't look a happy chappy. Watson then gets off the mark with a shot to the leg side that brings up two.
AUS 15-0That's better from Australia, as Warner hammers Broad away for four, and a second aggressive shot brings up another two. A single apiece for the two openers make it eight runs from the over.
AUS 31-0After picking up two, Watson drills the ball with ease for a maximum down the ground, before advancing down the pitch to strike his first four. It appears as though he has gone into T20 mode. However, he is fortunate to earn another boundary, with the ball hitting the back of the bat and flying over the slips.
AUS 34-0Warner isn't playing with much fluidity, but he manages to get the ball away for one to bring Watson back on strike, who miscues the ball through the leg side for two.
AUS 36-1England have the breakthrough, and James Anderson has pulled off a blinding catch off his own bowling. Warner attempted the drive, but he goes too much air on it, and Anderson threw out an hand to claim a super catch midway down the pitch. James Faulkner is in at number three, which is a clear sign that Australia intend on making England bat again later.
AUS 40-1Here comes the first bowling change for England, with Swann being introduced to the action. Faulkner and Watson immediately set about attacking the spinner, but they can only register four more runs.
AUS 44-1The boundaries have dried up for Australia, but they are stil ensuring that the score is ticking over by adding four more runs.
AUS 49-2Watson looks to put his foot on the accelerator, but he can only send the ball straight to Pietersen, who takes a good catch on the boundary. Brad Haddin is in, but his partner Faulkner gets lucky when he misses the ball after advancing down the pitch, but Prior couldn't prevent it from going between his legs.
AUS 52-3Broad replaces Anderson, and it works a treat as the tall all-rounder hands Haddin a golden duck after he edges an attempted cut to Prior. Michael Clarke is in at number five, and he gets off the mark with a single.
AUS 59-3England use up an appeal after the ball strikes Clarke on the pads, but it hit him outside the line. The Australian skipper responds by sweeping the next delivery for four. Still no sign of Woakes or Kerrigan...
AUS 68-4Take that. Faulkner absolutely smashes the ball for a flat six down the ground off Broad. The all-rounder follows that up with a quickly-run two, but he is out next ball after Prior takes an excellent one-handed catch behind the stumps. Australia lead by 183.
AUS 74-4Steven Smith is now at the crease, but it's Clarke who is attempting to increase the run-rate, sweeping the ball for four to progress to 10 off as many balls.
AUS 78-4Four more runs for Australia, and they are beginning to get into declaration territory. I imagine they will bat until tea, but there's a squeak of a chance they could opt to have a quick bowl at England before the end of the afternoon session.
AUS 83-4The boundaries aren't coming for Australia, but they continue to nudge the score along with a flurry of singles. They are now 198 runs ahead with 49 overs remaining.
AUS 83-5Another wicket falls, and this time it's Smith who is on his way after holing out to Swann. Ryan Harris is in at number seven, which means that usual opening batsman Chris Rogers won't be in until at least number eight, which is a bit odd.
AUS 85-6Broad is on fire now, and he picks up his fourth wicket by uprooting Harris's leg stump. This has been a poor effort from Australia, but England have been terrific.
AUS 89-6In all this madness, we have only had 20 overs. It feels a lot more! Mitchell Starc nicks a single while Clarke continues to push forward , progressing to 17,
AUS 91-6Australia add just two more to their total, but they should be seven down. The two batsmen have a mix-up, but substitute fielder Jason Roy missed with his shy at the stumps.
AUS 100-6Australia bring up their hundred when Starc thumps the ball straight back at Swann, who has to take evasive action or else he would have no right ankle. One over to go before tea.
AUS 111-6Broad is really pushing for a possible five-for, but the ball isn't falling for him. He comes close to taking the wicket of Clarke, but the ball just missed the fielder's dive. Starc plays a wonderful pull-shot off the final ball of the session.
4.15pmWhat an entertaining session of cricket that was. Despite the state of the game, both sides have attempted to force a result, and we could still have some drama left in the final session of the series. Australia lead by 226 runs. We will be back in 15 minutes.
4.30pmWelcome back everyone. The news coming out of the Australia dressing room is that they have declared, and England will chase a target of 227 with 44 overs still remaining in the game.
ENG 8-0That leaves England needing around five per over. It's definitely achievable. Harris opens up for Australia, but he strays down the leg side to allow Cook two easy boundaries.
ENG 14-0Starc is on at the other end, but he too goes down the leg side and Root nicks him away for two. Starc responds with a superb swinging delivery, but it nicks the inside-edge of Root's bat before striking his pads. Root records his first boundary off the fourth ball of the over, and although it is early, England are above the run-rate.
ENG 16-0Harris begins with a no-ball, while conceding a leg bye in the process. However, the pace bowler does well for the remainder of the over, striking Root's pads on a couple of occasions.
ENG 18-0Just a couple from England off that over, but the two openers look composed at the crease. They appear to be treating it as a usual Test match innings so far.
ENG 22-1Root gets fortunate when an inside edge rolls to the boundary, marginally ahead of a despairing dive from Starc. However, he gets out after edging a wider delivery from Harris, and Brad Haddin breaks the world record for the amount of catches taken in a Test series.
ENG 27-1It's Cook's turn to benefit from an inside edge, but he only picks up the one run. Jonathan Trott came in after the dismissal of Root, and he plays a lovely shot for four to get off the mark.
ENG 31-1That's a bonus for Trott, who adds three to his total, with two coming after a rather aggressive throw gave him two over-throws. Four came from the over, and England are going along nicely at the moment.
ENG 37-1I questioned Trott's inclusion at number three with England chasing a total, but he looks in fine nick, cutting the ball for three to move into double figures. Peter Siddle, who has been brought into the attack, then bowls the ball leg side to Cook, who flicks the ball for a second treble.
ENG 39-1Nathan Lyon is on, and he immediately finds plenty of spin. Cook adds a single off his outside edge, before Trott adds to his total. Impressive start from Lyon, though.
ENG 43-1Trott isn't usually the most comfortable when playing a pull shot, but he does brilliantly to get the ball away to the boundary. Trott has 15 off 22, while Cook has 16 off the same amount of deliveries.
ENG 47-1Cook cuts the ball away for four after Lyon dropped the ball short, but the spinner responds with a couple of fuller deliveries that keeps Cook on his toes. The required rate is now 5.45 per over.
ENG 53-1Another short ball from Siddle gets the treatment from Trott to bring up the fifty for England off 68 balls. A delicate nudge through point brings up a further two to his side's total.
ENG 56-1Lyon has decided that he is going to have greater success with the full delivery, and it works well in restricting Cook to just a single off five balls. However, his last ball is a tad too straight, and Trott plays a nice shot through the leg side field.
ENG 58-1Interesting move from Clarke, who decides to bring himself into the attack. He finds some turn, but Cook and Trott treat themselves to a single apiece off the opening three balls, but that's the lot. Impressive from the Australian skipper. England need 169 off 180 balls.
ENG 61-1The ball is spinning more by the over, and that is ensuring that England are struggling to get the ball away. They do pick up a couple of bonus runs off the last delivery, with an edge flying past the slips. How many times have I said that today?
ENG 63-1When Clarke bowls this tightly, it makes you wonder why he doesn't bowl a bit more often. He restricts England to two runs, and the required rate is heading towards six per over.
ENG 73-1England have recorded a couple of threes already during the innings, and Cook and Trott add another two here. Cook then benefits from a short Lyon delivery by cutting it positively through point. 10 runs from the over.
ENG 85-1Just as I begin to praise Clarke, he brings himself off. Strange decision. Faulkner is on, but Trott seems to have his number with seven runs in two deliveries. Cook adds a single, before Trott returns to the strike to send another shot to the boundary. Things are getting exciting.
ENG 86-1Lyon returns after drinks to give away just a single to stem the flow of runs. However, Faulkner needs to pull his weight at the other end.
ENG 86-2What was I saying about Faulkner pulling his weight? The all-rounder strikes to remove England's captain, who was trapped plumb in front of his stumps. Kevin Pietersen comes to the crease to a huge ovation.
ENG 88-2This match could very much hinge on the performance of Pietersen. The run-rate is pretty much six per over now, but the right-hander could change in a few overs. Trott and Pietersen add a single apiece.
ENG 96-2Huge shouts of "catch it!", but Pietersen avoids the fielder in recording his first boundary. His second boundary is more convincing, flashing the ball through the covers. 131 needed off 22.
ENG 100-2Australia's reviews have been bad at best this series, but this one was an absolute shocker. Trott was a long way off from connecting with the ball, after it struck his pads and looped into the air. Pietersen plays a controlled shot in the air over the field for two, and the hundred is up with a prod down the ground. The required run-rate currently stands at 6.05.
ENG 105-2Starc is back into the attack, but Pietersen welcomes him with a crashing shot down the ground. He gets off strike with a quickly-run single, but Trott can't add to the total.
ENG 112-2Pietersen has got England motoring here, and he is doing exactly what he needs to. He plays a great shot off the back foot for four, before getting off strike with a single. He and Trott then add two more to make it seven runs from the over.
ENG 116-2Starc mixes it up fantastically, and Pietersen can't get him away for the first five deliveries. However, he spoils an otherwise fine over when he strays on the leg side and Pietersen rockets the ball away.
ENG 124-2Trott picks up three from the first four balls of the over, before Pietersen returns to thunder the ball through the off side. He chips the ball over the leg side fielders off the last delivery to make it eight from the over.
ENG 139-2Pietersen moves to 37 off 27 balls with his seventh boundary, before sharing a single apiece with Trott. He gets back on strike to time a super shot through the covers for another four. Starc has suffered this over, and he sends his final ball way...way down the legside and Pietersen eases the ball to the rope. Pietersen has 46 from 30.
ENG 142-2Clarke throws the ball to Shane Watson to see if he can stem the flow of runs. He does so to an extent, restricting England to three singles.
ENG 145-2FIFTY! Faulkner is back into the attack, and he serves up a full toss for Pietersen to hit away for two, and move to 49. He wastes no time in bringing up his fifty from 36 balls, for the fastest Ashes half-century by an England batsman. England only manage three from the over.
ENG 148-2The required run-rate is beginning to increase again, with England not recording a boundary for 20 balls. They need to change that, and regain the momentum. 79 needed from 13.
ENG 150-2Pietersen moves to 52 with two runs from the first ball, but Faulkner is relishing this battle and five dot balls keep Pietersen on the defensive. England need a big over in the next 15 minutes.
ENG 159-2FIFTY! Trott reaches his 18th Test fifty with a chip to the boundary for three. Watson bowls a terrible ball to Pietersen, and the full toss is smashed to the rope. Pietersen comes down the ground to record two more and leave England requiring 68 to win off 11.
ENG 163-2Pietersen and Trott contribute another four to the total to leave them requiring 6.4 runs per over from the last 60 balls of the series. If either of these two are at the crease at the end, you would imagine that England would win.
ENG 166-3Well that wasn't in the script. Harris returns to the attack, and he strikes straightaway, with Pietersen holing out to Warner on the boundary. Ian Bell is the new batsman, and he and Trott pick up three from the rest of the over.
ENG 174-4This game is slowly slipping away from England. After picking up his sixth four, Faulkner traps Trott in front of his stumps. Trott reviews the decision, but it is to no avail. Woakes come to the crease, and immediately gets a single. Bell chips in with three to leave England needing 53 from eight.
ENG 180-4This match has broken the world record for the amount of runs scored on the final day of a Test match. We are well over 400. England add another six to the total, mainly through Woakes who is moving the ball around well. 47 runs needed from seven.
ENG 191-4Woakes looks focused. He has a real opportunity to make a name for himself here, and he moves to nine runs off seven with a couple of neat shots. Bell then takes advantage of some poor fielding from Siddle to pick up another two. This is turning into a huge over from England, as Bell drives the ball just out of reach of the mid-off fielder. The pair pick up another two for 11 runs off the over. A run-a-ball is now needed. The crowd are loving this!
ENG 194-4It's not pretty from Watson but he keeps it down to two runs off the first four balls. Another single for Woakes, but Australia will be delighted with that. 33 needed from 30 balls. The light is fading...
7.36pmThe players are going off...game over. The umpires are only applying the rules, but that's a ridiculous decision.
7.38pmEngland had scored 12 runs off that previous over, before Starc, after a little bit of gamesmanship before the delivery, runs out Bell. So it matters not one bit now.
7.39pmThe two sides are shaking hands. The game is officially a draw. What a day.
7.41pmWe began the day not expecting any drama. Only one result was seemingly possible, but both teams changed that with a terrific mentality today. It has been a memorable day, but it's just a shame that the umpires couldn't see sense to allow the match 10 more minutes.
7.42pmRemarkably, there has been 445 runs scored throughout today, for the loss of 17 wickets. You can't really ask for any more than that.
7.43pmThat will be all from this Ashes series. Thank you for joining Sports Mole throughout the five Test matches, and be sure to head back for the limited-overs games that are coming up. Goodbye for now.