Josh Hazlewood gets the last wicket to end Craig Overton’s and England’s undying resistance on the fifth and final day of the fourth Ashes Test at the Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. Courtesy their magnificent performance in the match, Australia successfully managed to retain the prestigious Ashes Urn in England for the first time in 18 years. The visitors blanked England by a comprehensive margin of 185 runs on to lead the five-match Ashes series 2-1. Chasing a target of 383, England folded for 197 as Pat Cummins took four wickets to pierce through its top and middle order, and Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc wiped out the rest.
Led by Steve Smith’s double hundred and a disciplined effort by the faster bowlers – Australia maintained their complete stranglehold on the match on all five days. The result of the fifth and final Test in Oval becomes null and void as Tim Paine and Co. will now head home with the Ashes Urn, considering they had won the Ashes 2017-18 4-1 at home. Cummins started day 5 by adding two more wickets to his tally in the first session. The first was that of Jason Roy who put up 66 runs for the third wicket with Joe Denly. The pair managed to fend off 145 balls before Cummins got Roy. He then got the wicket of England’s Headingley hero Ben Stokes while the latter was on 1 off 17 balls.
Opener Denly, who had scored a half-century was finally dismissed by Lyon in the 40th over of the innings after and after Jonny Bairstow, it was down to Jos Buttler to resist the Australians with the tail. Buttler and Overton saw England through to tea and the former did well to fend off for 111 balls. He left a delivery from Josh Hazlewood that swung in and took off his off stump and thus had to depart having made 34 runs.
However, Leach and Overton then combined to grind out the bowlers for most of the third session. The pair looked comfortable against Hazlewood, Starc, Cummins and Lyon and it took Marnus Labuschagne to make the difference. Labuschagne pitched on the rough on a length outside off and it got big on Leach. He fended it off only for the ball to fall into the hands of short leg. Leach had faced 51 balls and his ninth-wicket stand with Overton lasted 85 deliveries and much of the third session.
Overton was the last man to fall with Hazlewood getting an LBW decision in his favour. The batsman reviewed the decision and unsurprisingly the decision was upheld.
Earlier, Australia were under tremendous pressure after squandering an easy chance to take the lead in the third Test at Leeds. The tourists were decimated by a Ben Stokes’ special to keep the contest alive. Joe Root’s men levelled the series at 1-1 with the confidence-boosting win that came after Stokes single-handedly helped the hosts chase a record-breaking target of 359 at Headingley Oval in August.