To win the series 3-1 and claim their first Ashes campaign victory in England since 2001, Australia has to score 249 more runs.
While chasing a massive mark of 384 runs to win the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval, Australia’s openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja both hit unbeaten fifties on a rain-shortened Sunday. The tourists reached 135-0. After England fast-bowling great Stuart Broad made the unexpected revelation on Saturday that he was retiring after the match, they made him wait for a farewell wicket. Rain at 2:41 p.m. (1341 GMT) on the fourth day halted play with Warner and fellow left-hander Khawaja both unbeaten on 58. To win the series 3-1 and claim their first Ashes campaign victory in England since 2001, Australia has to score 249 more runs.
If Australia scores that many runs in the fourth innings and wins the Test, it will be the second-highest fourth-innings total to win a Test in England, behind only the 404-3 scored by Australia at Headingley in 1948, when batting great Don Bradman scored an unbeaten 173.
It would also set a new record for the most successful fourth-innings chase in a Test at The Oval, which was set in 1902 by England when they scored 263-9 against their bitter rivals.
medium-fast bowler Seventeen times in Tests, Warner has been dismissed by Broad.
However, neither he nor the rest of England’s pace attack was able to score before rain forced them to abandon the pitch. The constant rain made it impossible to resume the match later that day.
At lunch, Warner was 30 not out and hit a massive boundary by lofting the English veteran James Anderson, who turned 41 on Sunday, straight back over the pacer’s head.
Anderson, who was having trouble getting any swing on the ball, shook Warner up with a beamer two balls later and quickly apologized as the ball raced to the boundary for four.
When Khawaja edged express pace Mark Wood for his seventh four in 110 balls, he reached fifty and became the series’ leading run-scorer.
Warner, who had been stumbling for runs, followed him with fifty off 90 balls that included seven fours.
England’s quicks were easily dealt with by the openers, though off-spinner Moeen Ali turned a couple of deliveries sharply on the same ground from which he took a hat trick in the final over of a Test against South Africa in 2017.
England could take solace in the fact that infrequent spinner Joe Root also found some turn.
Australia, the current Ashes holders, came into London with a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
England only managed to add six runs to their overnight total of 389-9 despite a guard of honor for Broad as he walked to the wicket for the last time.
The 37-year-old seamer has taken 602 wickets in his career, making him the seventh most successful bowler in Test history.
His excitement at the prospect of bowling his final ball and facing his final ball against Australia was palpable: “I’ve had a love affair with the Ashes my whole life.”
Broad, whose highest Test score is 169, and Anderson, with whom he has bowled for many years, were batting together.
Broad pulled Mitchell Starc’s sixth delivery for a massive six in the first over he faced from the fellow pacer.
England were dismissed for 395 when Anderson was lbw to off-spinner Todd Murphy on the fifth delivery of the second over.