Cricket: Wade ton in vain as England force Ashes draw

LONDON (REUTERS) – Matthew Wade’s defiant century proved in vain as England bowled Australia out for 263 to win the final test at The Oval by 135 runs on Sunday (Sept 15) and ensure the first drawn Ashes series since 1972.

Wade had looked set to take the match into the final day but he was dismissed for 117 and England grabbed the last two wickets in quick succession to level the series at 2-2.

England had appeared to be on course for a comfortable triumph when they dismissed Steve Smith for 23 just after lunch but Wade dug in to post his fourth test century and Australia, who have retained the Ashes, fell short in their bid for a first test series win in England since 2001.

Australia, chasing a stiff target of 399, lost the wickets of Marcus Harris, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne in the morning after England had added 16 runs to their overnight score of 313 for eight.

Harris was bowled by Stuart Broad for nine and Warner’s miserable series was completed when he edged Broad to Rory Burns at third slip for 11.

The in-form Labuschagne, on 14, was drawn forward by a flighted delivery from spinner Jack Leach and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow whipped off the bails with the right-hander narrowly out of his crease.

Australia took lunch on 68 for three and their victory chances plummeted further with Smith’s dismissal.

The prolific right-hander was caught by Ben Stokes at leg slip off Broad, the first time in 11 test innings against England that he had failed to pass fifty.

Smith left the field to a standing ovation from the crowd in recognition of an extraordinary run of form which brought him 774 runs in the series including a double century and two hundreds in seven innings.

The 30-year-old missed the third test because he was suffering from concussion symptoms after being struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second match at Lord’s.

Wade reached his fifty before Mitchell Marsh perished for 24, caught by Jos Buttler at short leg off the part-time spin of England captain Joe Root.

Australia captain Tim Paine, on 21, was trapped lbw by Leach but Wade, shaken up by a fiery spell from Archer, maintained his concentration and punched the air with delight after reaching his second century of the series.

Pat Cummins departed for nine, edging Broad to Bairstow, and Wade’s resistance was finally broken when he was deceived by Root and Bairstow completed his second stumping.

Nathan Lyon swept Leach low to Root at square leg and Josh Hazlewood chipped his first ball to mid-wicket where Root took a brilliant one-handed catch to spark wild celebrations among the England players.

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Jason Roy: We are determined to level Ashes series and I know where I need to improve in Test cricket

In his latest Sky Sports column, Jason Roy discusses England’s Ashes disappointment, striving to improve and the team’s determination to level the series at The Oval…

I’m gutted, to be honest. I went to bed the night before day five in Manchester knowing that I had a lot to prove and wanting to do just that. I batted for an hour and a half, was feeling good and starting to think we would draw the Test so it was incredibly disappointing to get out.

  • Bayliss defends England’s Ashes selections
  • Anderson ‘hungry’ to keep playing

Then for us to hold on as long as we did was incredible. We have lost the chance to regain the Ashes but we showed so much fight on the last day at Old Trafford and we still have a chance to draw the series. If Australia leave having drawn the series, rather than won it, that would be a plus for us given the position we’re in now.

We spoke after the game and there was a lot of emotion, people were very down, we’ve worked so hard all summer and so to be in this situation, of course we’re down.

The initial response was that we have to turn it around at The Oval and make sure they only leave with a draw, that is all that is on our minds, it is certainly what is on my mind. We want to draw the series. If we can do that, against a good Australia side, on the back of winning the World Cup, it might not be exactly what we wanted but it is still a pretty good summer.

Batting in the middle-order I had more of an understanding of how I had to go about my innings. Opening I didn’t quite know the right mindset to have, I’d not done it before in red-ball cricket.

At No 4 I could be a bit more open-minded and just play, even though in the second innings the plan was to bat all day and the amount of runs scored wasn’t important, it was just balls faced. Even then, I was still in in the first over.

I’m the first to criticise myself and I know that I’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s an optional training session today but I’m going in because I know what I need to do to improve as a Test cricketer and I have to work on those things.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re opening the batting or batting lower down the order, you have to be a lot tighter.

I still think I got out to good balls at Old Trafford, especially the one I got in second innings from Pat Cummins. There has been a lot of talk about my bat being a long way away from my pad but if the ball hadn’t have seamed as much as it did it probably would have hit my bat so it is irrelevant where my front foot is.

I’m just getting my head around exactly what I need to work on, not being too hard on myself while also being honest with myself. I’ve got a great relationship with Graham Thorpe as a coach, and off the field as a friend.

He’s able to be honest with me and I’m able to be honest with him so I’ll put some good work in today and see where I end up. Although I was a bit more comfortable at No 4, I’ve still got a lot of work to do.

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In a series like the Ashes you’re playing under the highest pressure you’ll probably ever play under in the Test arena. In Manchester, it was the third time I’ve had to go in at the end of the day and face seven or so overs.

I’m proud of how I’ve dealt with that situation and now it is a case of getting some big runs on the board. I can clearly handle that environment and that pressure, but I’ve got to put some big scores on the board because without that it counts for nothing.

No one is shying away from the fact that the Australian team are incredible, players like Steve Smith and Cummins are at the top of the rankings for a reason. People might say ‘Jason Roy is useless’ but what about the bowlers I am facing? I don’t want to get too downhearted because I know that the bowlers we’re facing at the moment are as good as any you’ll face in Test cricket.

But if you’re a batsman for England, mediocre is not good enough, you have to be the best you can be, the best around, that is what we all want. That is why we have been so successful as a one-day unit because everyone wants to better themselves and be the best in the world, no one wants to settle and be happy with just an OK series.

Rory Burns has been a great example of that in the Test side. He has worked extremely hard and he has stayed level for the whole time throughout his Test career so far, nothing seems to faze him. For him to come into a series like this and play as well as he has, when a few of us aren’t doing as well as we should be doing, is very pleasing to see, especially as he is someone I have known for so many years.

Rory will want to go big in this final game and really prove a point. He deserves it and I know he’ll be working hard for that.

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Trevor Bayliss defends England’s Ashes selections despite failure to regain the urn

Head coach Trevor Bayliss has defended England’s selections during the Ashes series and insists captain Joe Root is “under no pressure at all” despite the side’s failure to regain the urn.

Defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday gave Australia a 2-1 lead in the series and ensured they retain the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.

With England’s top-order struggling, there has been criticism of the selectors’ decision to persevere with the same batting personnel throughout the series but Bayliss argued the teams picked could have been 3-0 up after the first three Tests.

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“I’ve been quite happy with the selections,” he said. “The first thing you’ve got to say is ‘who else is going to come in?’ That’s one point.

“After three Tests in this series, either team could have been up 3-0 I thought. We had our chances when they were 120-8 in the first Test, second Test we finished on top and the game was a draw and the third Test, Australia could have won that and the first two so, as I said, it could have been 3-0 either way.

“If you think about it that way, we can’t have got the selections too wrong.”

England have again kept faith with the same group of players for the fifth Test at The Oval although Bayliss says changes were considered.

“Yes, it was certainly discussed but over the last three or four years, one of the things we’ve spoken about is that we really want to give everyone an opportunity to prove themselves,” he added.

“I think I’ve said before, give them one too many games rather than not enough. You might see some changes through the winter but a few of the guys looked like they were trying to do the right things and really gutsed it out on that last day [at Old Trafford] so we’ve decided to give them another opportunity.”

However, Bayliss does not expect a change of captain following the Ashes despite calls for Root to step down to allow him to focus on his batting.

“He hasn’t come under any questions from anyone making any decisions so he is under no pressure at all,” Bayliss said.

“Everyone goes through periods where they might not score quite as many runs as they would like. I think the Australian team have bowled pretty well to him.

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Ashes: Stuart Broad takes two early wickets at Old Trafford; Jofra Archer-Steve Smith rivalry resumes

Stuart Broad struck twice and Jofra Archer and Steve Smith resumed their rivalry as Australia reached 98-2 at lunch on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford after electing to bat.


England – tied with Australia at 1-1 in the series following Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingley 10 days ago – picked up a wicket from the fourth ball of the match, when Broad dismissed David Warner (0).

Warner snicked behind attempting to leave as he fell to Broad for the fifth time in seven innings this series; the batsman also recording his sixth single-figure score of the Ashes and his second duck in a row.

Broad later made Warner’s opening partner, Marcus Harris (13), his second victim of the morning after pinning the left-hander lbw – umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s on-field decision maintained when Harris’ review showed the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps.

Harris’ exit brought Smith to the crease, with the batsman having sat out the Headingley Test with a concussion he suffered when he was struck on the neck by an Archer delivery at Lord’s in the second game of the series.

Archer relished his duel with Smith (28no) continuing, cranking up his pace to the 30-year-old after operating in the low eighties earlier in his spell.

Stokes, though, came closest to forcing the next breakthrough, only for Marnus Labuschagne (49no) to survive a review with a hooping in-swinger only set to brush his leg stump.

Labuschagne, promoted to No 3 with Usman Khawaja dropped, also edged spinner Jack Leach just wide of Stokes at slip, before Leach’s Somerset team-mate, Craig Overton, got his first bowl for England in a home Test.

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WATCH: The Ashes: ‘The Greatest Hour’

Re-live the drama from Headingley on Sunday afternoon with a one-hour programme showing every ball from the moment Jack Leach made his way to the crease through to that glorious cut shot for four.

Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 135 drove the hosts to a remarkable one-wicket victory as England posted their highest-ever Test match run chase to deny Australia and level the Ashes series with two games left.

  • ‘You cannot do that Ben Stokes!’
  • ‘Stokes the best England has produced’

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Mark Wood revealed he missed the dramatic Headingley finale as he was attending a baby class with his wife at the time.

“I was learning to put on nappies and stuff, and then the text messages just kept coming through asking if I’d seen Stokesy,” he told Sky Sports. “I rushed home to watch the highlights, and I can’t believe I missed it.”

When can I watch the climax to the third Test?

Wednesday: 9.30pm, Sky Sports The Ashes and Sky Sports Mix

Thursday: 10.15pm, Sky Sports The Ashes

Sunday: 11pm, Sky Sports The Ashes and Sky Sports Main Event

Tuesday: 11pm, Sky Sports The Ashes and Sky Sports Main Event

But the Durham and England bowler – and you – now have the chance to watch the finale in full.

Fresh from his Headingley triumph, Stokes heads to Old Trafford with England to continue the pursuit of the Ashes in the fourth Test, live on Sky Sports from September 4.

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Sri Lanka to play ODIs and T20Is in Pakistan; Test series also planned

Pakistan will host Sri Lanka in three one-day internationals and the same number of Twenty20 internationals in September, with two Tests also scheduled for December.

No Test matches have been held in Pakistan since a 2009 attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore injured six players and left six security personnel and two civilians dead.

However, Pakistan have since welcomed Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, West Indies and a World XI for white-ball games, while Pakistan Super League matches have also been held in the country.

“The PCB is pleased with the outcome of its discussions with SLC, which has supported Pakistan in its efforts and endeavours for the complete revival of international cricket,” said Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani.

“The tour for limited-overs matches will also provide Sri Lanka with an even better understanding of the ground situation before discussing the schedule of the Tests.”

The ODIs will be held in Karachi, with Lahore hosting the T20Is.

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Ashes 2019: Steve Smith torments England with another fifty at Lord’s

Steve Smith was England’s tormentor once again as he reached his 25th Test fifty on the fourth morning at Lord’s as Australia battled to 155-5 at lunch in the second Ashes Test.


The tourists added 75 runs in the session for the loss of just a solitary wicket as Smith batted patiently throughout the morning and walked off unbeaten on 53 at the interval.

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Stuart Broad took the first wicket of the day, tempting Matthew Wade into a drive and finding a thick outside edge to Rory Burns, who took a good low catch at gully.

Smith and Tim Paine shared an unbroken stand of 53 to take Australia to within 103 runs of England’s first innings total and leave the hosts needing to take quick wickets in the afternoon session to avoid the prospect of the match meandering towards a draw.

After a bright and sunny start to the morning, the skies clouded over just as play began to assist the England bowlers and in the eighth over of the day, having beaten the bat on a number of occasion, they got their reward as Broad (3-44) removed Wade (6).

Jofra Archer challenged Smith as he went through his full arsenal of deliveries in one entertaining over, finding the edge with a knuckle-ball only for it to drop short of second slip.

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Cricket: Virat Kohli hits unbeaten 114 as India defeats West Indies to take series 2-0

PORT OF SPAIN (Trinidad) (AP) – Captain Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer poured on the runs again for India to beat the West Indies comfortably in the third one-day international and take the series 2-0 on Wednesday (Aug 14).

Kohli hit an unbeaten 114 and Iyer 65 as they made a challenging chase of 255 from 35 overs look easy. Kohli hit the winning runs from his 14th boundary for India to reach 256-4 with 15 balls to spare.

The West Indies posted 240-7 around a three-hour rain delay which cut 15 overs from its innings. Before the rain, Chris Gayle smashed a crowd-pleasing 71 from 41 balls in possibly his last ODI, and Evin Lewis added 43 from 29. Their opening stand of 115 came at a run rate of nearly 11.

But they were out to catches in consecutive overs, and only Nicholas Pooran, with 30 from 16, lashed out like they did. Medium-pacer Khaleel Ahmed took an expensive three wickets.

Just like in the second ODI on Sunday on the same ground, Iyer joined his captain with India wobbling at three wickets down. And just like on Sunday when they combined for 120 runs, they hit a match-deciding 125 together.

Iyer relieved India nerves by swatting 65 from 41 balls, including five sixes. After his second straight fifty, he was caught at long off with India on 211-4 and cruising.

Three days after knocking 120, Kohli played the anchor and brought up his 43rd ODI century, only six from Sachin Tendulkar’s world record.

Kohli finished on 114 not out from 99 balls, receiving man of the match again and man of the series. He was dropped early behind the wickets by Shai Hope, and batted in pain after a lifter from Kemar Roach hit his hand. Afterward, Kohli said he suffered a split nail and didn’t believe his thumb was broken.

Kohli joined his teammates in giving Gayle an informal guard of honor after catching out the cricket great with a dive at mid-off.

Gayle wore jersey number 301 to mark his 301st and possibly last ODI, and entertained a sparse crowd by toying with the West Indies attack for 12 overs. He hit five sixes, including one one-handed over long leg off Ahmed.

He and Lewis shared 114 in the first 10 overs, the highest 10-over score by a team batting first in ODI history. If this was his last ODI, Gayle finished in style.

Gayle hasn’t been picked for the two-test series, which starts on Thursday next week in North Sound, Antigua.

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Cricket: Rain washes out first two sessions of second Ashes Test

LONDON (AFP) – Rain has prevented play before tea on the first day of Wednesday’s (Aug 14) second Ashes Test between England and Australia at a soaking wet Lord’s.

When the match should have been getting underway at 11am (5pm Singapore time), the square and pitch remained fully covered.

Further rain then meant hopes of any play before lunch soon disappeared, with the prospect of the players taking the field at all on Wednesday increasingly slim.

The umpires had hoped to hold the toss at 3pm local time but a fresh downpour put paid to that plan.

Ashes-holders Australia lead the five-match series 1-0 after their 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.

It is 18 years since Australia last won an Ashes series in England.

In 17 of the last 19 Ashes campaigns, the team that has led 1-0 has won the series.

The exceptions were in 1997 when Australia lost at Edgbaston, but won the six-match series 3-2 and 2005 when England lost at Lord’s but won the five-Test series 2-1.

England were set to give a debut to fast bowler Jofra Archer after James Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with a calf injury that meant he bowled just four overs at Edgbaston.

Neither England nor Australia have yet named their teams. They are not required to do so until the toss takes place.

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Ashes 2019: Jofra Archer motivated by pressure, says Joe Root

England captain Joe Root thinks the pressure of Ashes cricket will motivate Jofra Archer against Australia at Lord’s on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old paceman is expected to come in for the second Test, live on Sky Sports The Ashes, after England lost the first Test at Edgbaston.

Jack Leach is also set to play having replaced Moeen Ali in the 12-man squad, while Sam Curran is in contention for a recall.

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The prospect of getting a first glimpse of Archer at Test level has excited England fans and Root feels much the same about seeing the World Cup star in action.

Root said: “Yeah, I am [excited] especially after seeing his press conference yesterday! He’s certainly very confident and that’s great to see in a young guy – as he should be off the back of a brilliant World Cup.

“As he’s made it very clear, red-ball cricket is his preferred format, so again it’s very exciting to see him at the start of a journey.

“He’s a very confident young guy and things like [only having played one red-ball match in 11 months] don’t seem to faze him.

“I think he’s proven that throughout the World Cup, coming in and dealing with being a part of that squad right at the last minute and all the pressures that that held.

“He doesn’t want to shy away from stuff like that, if anything it will motivate him and when he gets his chance, he’ll be desperate to prove to everyone that he is as good as he says he is.”

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Despite a strong start from the hosts in Birmingham in the first Test, Australia won handsomely thanks to twin hundreds from Steve Smith and can go a long way to retaining the urn with victory at the home of cricket.

However, Root is confident England can level the series with an improved showing despite going seven Tests without a win against the old enemy, a run that includes six defeats.

“I think that is the wrong way to look at it,” he said. “That Ashes series in Australia is a long time ago now, it’s a very different squad of players.

“We’re in English conditions, we really back ourselves to perform and to come back strong after last week. We’ve proven that we do that time and time again after we’ve been defeated, especially at home, and I’m expecting a big response from the boys.

“Last week will have hurt everyone and everyone will be absolutely desperate to win this one and I expect nothing less.”

Finding a way to dismiss Smith will be key to England’s chances and Root thinks it is important his bowlers persevere with their plans to the former Australia skipper after admitting they were guilty of changing approach too quickly in the first Test.

“Steve has got to start again this week, as does everyone else,” he added. “He obviously played very well at Edgbaston but I feel like we created a lot of close chances last time around, especially in the first innings when the ball was moving around.

“We’ve got to make sure that, if anything, we stick to our plans a little bit longer, trust that they’re going to work and be nice and patient.

“I think later on in the game, in the second innings, maybe we were slightly too aggressive early on to him, let him get in, which is the natural thing to do when you’re a bowler down and you’ve taken two early wickets and you’re trying to make the most of a lead.

“Then we never really managed to build any pressure throughout the rest of that innings. We’ll go about things slightly differently.

“I think we had some really good plans and we put him under pressure, especially in the first innings, his first 25 runs took him a long time to get and he really made a big impact when he tried to farm the strike and (Peter) Siddle came out there.

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