SPORT

Ashes 2013: Australia Tactics Deny England Fifth Test Win At Oval (PICTURES)

25/08/2013 19:47 BST | Updated 25/08/2013 20:26 BST
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England ended the 2013 Ashes Test series as 3-0 victors over Australia as play finished on an underwhelming note on the fifth and final day at the Oval due to bad light.

Umpires Aleem Dar and Kumar Dharmasena took the players off with England needing 21 runs off four overs with five wickets in hand to howls of booing from England supporters.

After England were bowled out for 377 - their highest this summer - in their first innings on the fifth day, Australia declared on 111 for six at 16:20 in a bid to win one Ashes Test. Their hosts were left with 44 overs to score 227 runs for an unprecedented 4-0 victory.

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Alastair Cook hoists the urn on the final day

Joe Root lasted 22 runs of England's second innings before Kevin Pietersen strode out to the crease.

On his home turf, the Surrey batsman was rampant. Mitchell Starc, continuing the Australian trend for expensive Mitchells, was hammered to all corners of the ground as Pietersen hit the fastest half-century for an Englishman in a home Ashes Test. He was ably supported by Jonathan Trott for a 77 partnership to give England a tangible chance of triumphing.

Ryan Harris, the outstanding player for the tourists this summer, eventually dismissed Pietersen for 61 off 57 and Trott ended on 59 after James Faulkner trapped him lbw, leaving it to Ian Bell and debutant Chris Woakes to continue the run chase.

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Pietersen hit a maverick 50

Captain Michael Clarke and Australia's vocal barbs lobbed at England earlier this week backfired as the economical but unthreatening Shane Watson was brought on in a bid to stymie England's momentum. Watson deliberately bowled two wides to augment the hypocrisy and was warned by Dar, while Clarke conferred regularly. The skipper declined to use the Trevor Chappell tactic, however.

Final Ashes Test, Oval

Starc, so inept at bowling, opted for time-wasting, and was heckled more mercilessly by beery Englishmen. He momentarily silenced them with the brilliant run out of Ian Bell in what proved to be the final act. Australia's stalling had worked.