England set the stage for an exciting series finale against Australia with a dominant score of 389-9 at The Oval, securing a 377-point advantage over Australia.
The top-order batters of England set the tone for their commanding lead. Zak Crawley got the innings started with a boundary off Mitchell Starc’s first ball, sparking a 79-run opening stand with Ben Duckett. Crawley’s controlled 73-run knock, combined with Duckett and skipper Ben Stokes’ 42-run contributions, laid the groundwork for England‘s commanding position.
Despite a small hiccup, they recovered with a stunning fifth-wicket stand of 110 runs between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. While Root almost missed out on a well-deserved century by nine runs, Bairstow’s tenacious 78 reinforced their dominance.
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Even when England lost quick wickets near the close of the day, their commanding advantage stayed intact, setting the ground for Australia’s historic chase. The visitors faced a difficult challenge in completing The Oval’s highest-ever successful chase in a Test match.
England’s swashbuckling style of cricket, marked by controlled aggressiveness, positive intent, and sharp shotmaking, was on display in the fifth Test. Their strategy paid dividends as they reversed the deficit in the first over, surprising the Australian bowlers and establishing an unassailable lead.
The late collapse, though, tarnished England’s otherwise outstanding day, with the team losing four wickets for just 19 runs. Despite this, their excellent position sets up a compelling series finale.