England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 5th day August 25, 2013

Bad light denies England as Ashes ignite

253

England 377 (Root 68, Pietersen 50, Faulkner 4-51) and 206 for 5 (Pietersen 62, Trott 59) drew with Australia 492 for 9 dec (Watson 176, Smith 138, Anderson 4-95) and 111 for 6 dec (Broad 4-43)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Let's have a game of cricket, said Michael Clarke. And so, as the Ashes series moved to an enthralling climax that few imagined possible, England and Australia did just that. Then, with England needing 21 runs from four overs with six wickets in hand, a capacity crowd in a state of high excitement and Clarke no longer fancying a game of cricket quite as much anymore, the umpires took out their light meters and they all walked off.

Others can debate the whys and wherefores of ICC regulations. After the torpor of Friday and the washout of Saturday, the final day of the fifth Investec Test threw up a memorable day's cricket. The umpires had no choice but to walk off under those regulations and Clarke, having manufactured a wonderful day's cricket, had a right to expect that the regulations were respected. They were booed all the same.

Jonathan Trott gave the immediate reaction to Clarke's attempts to get off the field. "We'd be doing the same thing," he said. "Australia declared to set up a game and all credit to them."

Kevin Pietersen, registering England's fastest Ashes fifty along the way to 62 from 55 balls, will rightly gain the plaudits as England took on a chase of 227 in 44 overs on what for a fifth day remained a decent-enough surface. He swept them to within 64 runs of victory, with eight wickets and 10 overs remaining: a match to be won. In the end, England only faced six of them, but judging by the jubilation of England's players at completing a victorious series they did not seem to care.

Pietersen received a miniature silver bat on the third day to mark his achievement of becoming England's highest run-scorer in all formats. But this was the sort of cricket he lives for. His shots were falling into gaps and the crowd was rapt with attention on a beautiful sunlit evening. Then he swung Ryan Harris to David Warner at long-on, perhaps his first, fatal slog.

Trott fell in the next over but England's chase continued in composed fashion in the hands of the Warwickshire pair Ian Bell and Chris Woakes. But it was not to be.

With the series already decided, Clarke, an Australia captain who doubtless had his coach egging him on in the background, deserved immense credit for fashioning such an engrossing climax. No Australia captain had ever lost an Ashes series 4-0. Clarke risked just that. Statisticians be damned, was Clarke's response: 3-0 or 4-0, who cares? Australia, who now have no victory in nine, need to learn how to win again.

Only two captains had ever declared twice in a game and lost a Test - Garry Sobers for West Indies and Graeme Smith for South Africa. Hansie Cronje once declared and forfeited to lose against England but that one was corrupt.

There were deeper reasons, of course, for Clarke's declaration. Australia's sense of feelgood after a 3-0 Ashes defeat is based upon their conviction that they are playing a more enterprising brand of cricket that will fully explore their potential and ultimately turn the tide in their favour, preferably in the return Ashes series this winter.

Presented with a first-innings lead of 115 in early afternoon, and only 67 overs left in the game, they had only one option: attack. By tea, they had declared with a lead of 226. They made 111 at nearly five an over with six batsmen perishing. Clarke delivered news of the declaration to the England dressing room at a jaunty trot.

Alastair Cook, his opposite number, approached the run chase as dutifully as he approach a trip to a maiden aunt. It was an obligation he knew he must fulfil, whether deep down he wanted to or not, and he did so uncomfortably until he edged across his crease to James Faulkner and was lbw.

It was a timely departure. Pietersen came out to throaty cheers - the One Who Could. England still needed less than run a ball. Pietersen imposed himself against Faulkner. Recognising that the mood had changed, Australia switched into one-day mode.

Trott also progressed nonchalantly, keeping the target within range. On 41, he survived the most idiotic review of the series - it was quite a feat, so credit where it is due - when Nathan Lyon turned one out of the footholds and Steve Smith held a short leg catch off the thigh. He fell for 59, lbw to Faulkner, the sort of player who makes a match attacking by his very presence.

Those arriving at The Oval ahead of time on the final day had discovered groundstaff staring morbidly at covers and suggesting the match would not start much ahead of lunchtime. Read the experts and the emphasis was on England's unremittingly conservative approach and a debate, in the context of a seemingly dead Test, about how they had won respect rather than admiration.

What happened was a remarkable transformation. Faulkner's jibe that refunds had been in order after England's defensive approach on an interminable Friday had been well aimed, judging by the outcry it caused among England supporters on social media sites. The final throes of the Ashes series were suddenly so full of jollity that even Faulkner would not have demanded his money back. He took four of the last five wickets to fall to finish with slightly flattering figures of 4 for 51.

Haddin, Australia's wicketkeeper, also broke the world record for dismissals in a Test series when he claimed three more victims on the final day, the best of them a sparkling leg-side catch to dismiss Bell, England's man of the series. Harris picked up the Australia award.

Haddin's 29 dismissals took him past Rod Marsh, who set the standard against England in 1982-83 and was on hand at The Oval to watch in his guise as an Australia selector.

England passed the follow-on figure, and must have assumed in the process that they had removed Australia's last, faint chance of victory, in the process, within 12 overs. Then Graeme Swann took 18 off an over of offspin from Lyon and the crowd began to sense that Sunday might turn out to be rather different from the two days that had passed before.

Australia batted for 23 overs to reach 111 for 6. Their batting order - likened to a snow globe on ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball service - was shaken once more: Warner and Shane Watson opening, the debutant Faulkner at No. 3, Chris Rogers held in reserve.

Warner was brilliantly caught in his follow-through by James Anderson; Watson, who briefly laid into Anderson, succumbed at long-on and there was a first-baller for Haddin, courtesy of a waft at Stuart Broad.

It all seemed an Ashes fantasy, as if we had died of boredom on Friday and gone to Ashes heaven. Still Australia drove forward. Faulkner produced a brief one-day melody until Matt Prior caught him down the leg side at full stretch off Broad; Smith toe-ended one to long-on and Broad, loving every minute of the challenge, spread-eagled Harris' stumps for his fourth wicket.

Of Simon Kerrigan, protected after his stage fright on the opening day, there was no sighting. But just to be there must have been something.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaushik.S. on August 26, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    It was great to see Ian Bell receiving the Man of the Series award. The unsung hero of English cricket has proved his mettle on the greatest stage once more.He keeps such a low profile that people tend to overlook his talent more often than not.Nevertheless, I am happy to see that he has proved once again that hard work pays finally.I was impressed when an Australian bowler (don't remember who it was) was hurling abuses at him in one of the earlier tests this series and he just passed a smile in response.Way to go.. Bell, keep it up.

  • landl47 on August 26, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    I wasn't unhappy to see the game end in a draw. Taking the game as a whole, Aus didn't deserve to lose. However, although Clarke made a sporting declaration, the fact is that today Eng won all 3 phases of the game.

    First, the tail made a sprightly 130 off 28 overs. Then, in Aus's 2nd innings, Eng held them to 111-6 off 23 overs, nowhere hear the size and speed of score they'd have hoped for. Then Eng scored almost twice as many runs for less wickets at a higher run rate in the chase. By the end Eng was winning easily; in these days of T20 run chases, 21 off 25 balls with 5 wickets in hand is a doddle.

    Still, Aus played the more enterprising cricket in the early part of the game and it would have been a pity to see that go for nothing. 3-0 was a good series win and it didn't need to be 4-0.

    Today was a great day's cricket, and gave the lie to those who thought Eng could only play cautiously. They matched Aus for aggression and were on the way to beating them at their own game.

  • CustomKid on August 26, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Some classic posts here, people looking for something that isn't there. Take todays result for what it is. A sporting declaration by a team who are desperate for a win. I tip my hat to Clarke for leaving the door ajar.

    As for Cooks comments we controlled the run chase well, you should have won. 6 of your top 7 average 40-50 in tests, batting on a pitch that could have been the M4.

    In the wash up its 3-0, talk of momentum and form count for nothing now. It's a 3 month break the only form that matters is when ENG step of the plane and suit up for the tour matches before the 1st test.

    I do love those complaining about light and delaying tactics. I'd say the Karma bus has hit, stopped, and reversed back over the victim just to make sure it did the job. Knowing there was a 98% chance of a deluge on day 4, Cook and Flower should have played for a win rather than rain. Ultimately they may have been robbed but in fairness they didn't deserve to be given even a sniff.

    Bring on the gabba!

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    @Gavin Bruhn "If you think Cook (or any other English Captain in their history) would ever risk losing in order to win your kidding yourself."

    And England chasing the runs today was what, risk-free? Surely if Cook didn't want even the slightest risk of losing, the right approach would have been to bat the day out at a decent 3 an over?

    England scored 206-5 at 5.15 RPO. Australia scored 111-6 at 4.82.

    "Have England ever won a series 5-0..?"

    Yes. Several times. If we're to take your question literally, the last time was India in 1959. Of the three Ashes whitewashes in history, two were Australian, one was English. But if we broaden your question out, we won the 1978/79 Ashes 5-1. And we beat the West Indies 4-0 in a 4 match series in 2004

  • ricardowill on August 25, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Clarke is a traitor. He almost threw away the match. He should be fired from the captaincy. Test cricket is on life support. Results should never be left up to the weather. There is enough technology to arrive at a result. Use the D/L laws to force results. Let players know the rules upfront so that these stupid games can be decided.

  • Notasgoodastheythink on August 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Congrats to Eng. However, I they're so underwhelming - for all the hype Eng should have demolished Aus. The problem for Eng is if they can't even dominate when Aus is at rock bottom, the only way for Aus is up from here. Aus could easily have won this 3-1, if Haddin had batted another 10 minutes in the 1st test, it hadn't rained in the 3rd, they hadn't lost their heads in the chase in the 4th etc. Eng won the key moments, that's about the difference between the teams. Eng is 5% better than Aus, and that's what counts - but not for long. Consider this: Aus led on the 1st innings in 4 tests out of 5, Aus had 3 of the 6 leading wicket-takers, and 4 of the 6 leading run-scorers, Aus declared 4 times to Eng's 1, scored at a much higher run rate across the series (3.37 to 2.99). Eng never scored 400, Aus scored around 500 twice. Eng averaged just 12 runs more per completed innings, and took only 4 more wickets. HaHardly dominance, though it should have been - they won't get a better chance.

  • aus_trad on August 25, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Strange series. Aus were never going to win - I predicted Eng 3-1...so, considering the "moral" Aus win in the 3rd, I wasn't too far off. I also predicted Aus would seldom pass 300, and Eng seldom pass 400. Eng never passed 400, and Aus passed 300 only twice - both in a rain-ruined draw. Aus simply didn't score the runs they needed, when they needed. If a few things beyond the control of the players had happened differently - had the last session of day 4 in the 4th test been rained out instead of the last 2 sessions of day 5 in the 3rd; had Broad been given out in the 1st test, for instance - Aus might have won 3-1! Overall, though, Eng were the better team: they scored more consistently, had easily the best batsman, probably the best bowler. Above all, they won the crucial passages of play and the big moments. Still, plenty of encouragement for Aus for the return series: translate all the Eng home advantages in this series to Aus, and an Aus win is a definite possibility.

  • Stumay on August 25, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It's somewhat sadly fitting of modern-day test cricket to have an anti-climactic end. If the ICC are serious about the primacy of test cricket, then endings like today must be eradicated. People just won't pay the high prices to go to matches any more if play finishes early because it's supposedly too dark, even with floodlights on. Now is the time to say that unless it's pitch black, we're playing on. That or bring out the pink ball when it gets murky. Whilst Clarke should be applauded for setting up the game, if he had told the umpires that he was prepared to keep his team on for the good of the game,I think he would have won great respect and praise. Something does need to change with the light rules, not just offering it back to the batsmen, but ensuring that play continues under lights.Perhaps introducing a minimum standard for flood lighting at all test grounds would ensure that the lights are of good quality and sufficient enough to get sessions or games completed.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Very sad to see Ryan Harris off the field at the end of the game with ice on his leg. If anyone deserved to finish the series on their feet it was him. Hopefully it's nothing serious and it will be well healed by November. I doubt Australia would be risking him for the upcoming T20Is and ODIs so he can probably head home for some well-earned rest.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    @Shaggy076 on (August 27, 2013, 0:17 GMT) PS

    Jayzuz on (August 25, 2013, 23.45/23:51 GMT) Kind of implies that the target was fairly modest

  • Kaushik.S. on August 26, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    It was great to see Ian Bell receiving the Man of the Series award. The unsung hero of English cricket has proved his mettle on the greatest stage once more.He keeps such a low profile that people tend to overlook his talent more often than not.Nevertheless, I am happy to see that he has proved once again that hard work pays finally.I was impressed when an Australian bowler (don't remember who it was) was hurling abuses at him in one of the earlier tests this series and he just passed a smile in response.Way to go.. Bell, keep it up.

  • landl47 on August 26, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    I wasn't unhappy to see the game end in a draw. Taking the game as a whole, Aus didn't deserve to lose. However, although Clarke made a sporting declaration, the fact is that today Eng won all 3 phases of the game.

    First, the tail made a sprightly 130 off 28 overs. Then, in Aus's 2nd innings, Eng held them to 111-6 off 23 overs, nowhere hear the size and speed of score they'd have hoped for. Then Eng scored almost twice as many runs for less wickets at a higher run rate in the chase. By the end Eng was winning easily; in these days of T20 run chases, 21 off 25 balls with 5 wickets in hand is a doddle.

    Still, Aus played the more enterprising cricket in the early part of the game and it would have been a pity to see that go for nothing. 3-0 was a good series win and it didn't need to be 4-0.

    Today was a great day's cricket, and gave the lie to those who thought Eng could only play cautiously. They matched Aus for aggression and were on the way to beating them at their own game.

  • CustomKid on August 26, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Some classic posts here, people looking for something that isn't there. Take todays result for what it is. A sporting declaration by a team who are desperate for a win. I tip my hat to Clarke for leaving the door ajar.

    As for Cooks comments we controlled the run chase well, you should have won. 6 of your top 7 average 40-50 in tests, batting on a pitch that could have been the M4.

    In the wash up its 3-0, talk of momentum and form count for nothing now. It's a 3 month break the only form that matters is when ENG step of the plane and suit up for the tour matches before the 1st test.

    I do love those complaining about light and delaying tactics. I'd say the Karma bus has hit, stopped, and reversed back over the victim just to make sure it did the job. Knowing there was a 98% chance of a deluge on day 4, Cook and Flower should have played for a win rather than rain. Ultimately they may have been robbed but in fairness they didn't deserve to be given even a sniff.

    Bring on the gabba!

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    @Gavin Bruhn "If you think Cook (or any other English Captain in their history) would ever risk losing in order to win your kidding yourself."

    And England chasing the runs today was what, risk-free? Surely if Cook didn't want even the slightest risk of losing, the right approach would have been to bat the day out at a decent 3 an over?

    England scored 206-5 at 5.15 RPO. Australia scored 111-6 at 4.82.

    "Have England ever won a series 5-0..?"

    Yes. Several times. If we're to take your question literally, the last time was India in 1959. Of the three Ashes whitewashes in history, two were Australian, one was English. But if we broaden your question out, we won the 1978/79 Ashes 5-1. And we beat the West Indies 4-0 in a 4 match series in 2004

  • ricardowill on August 25, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Clarke is a traitor. He almost threw away the match. He should be fired from the captaincy. Test cricket is on life support. Results should never be left up to the weather. There is enough technology to arrive at a result. Use the D/L laws to force results. Let players know the rules upfront so that these stupid games can be decided.

  • Notasgoodastheythink on August 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Congrats to Eng. However, I they're so underwhelming - for all the hype Eng should have demolished Aus. The problem for Eng is if they can't even dominate when Aus is at rock bottom, the only way for Aus is up from here. Aus could easily have won this 3-1, if Haddin had batted another 10 minutes in the 1st test, it hadn't rained in the 3rd, they hadn't lost their heads in the chase in the 4th etc. Eng won the key moments, that's about the difference between the teams. Eng is 5% better than Aus, and that's what counts - but not for long. Consider this: Aus led on the 1st innings in 4 tests out of 5, Aus had 3 of the 6 leading wicket-takers, and 4 of the 6 leading run-scorers, Aus declared 4 times to Eng's 1, scored at a much higher run rate across the series (3.37 to 2.99). Eng never scored 400, Aus scored around 500 twice. Eng averaged just 12 runs more per completed innings, and took only 4 more wickets. HaHardly dominance, though it should have been - they won't get a better chance.

  • aus_trad on August 25, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Strange series. Aus were never going to win - I predicted Eng 3-1...so, considering the "moral" Aus win in the 3rd, I wasn't too far off. I also predicted Aus would seldom pass 300, and Eng seldom pass 400. Eng never passed 400, and Aus passed 300 only twice - both in a rain-ruined draw. Aus simply didn't score the runs they needed, when they needed. If a few things beyond the control of the players had happened differently - had the last session of day 4 in the 4th test been rained out instead of the last 2 sessions of day 5 in the 3rd; had Broad been given out in the 1st test, for instance - Aus might have won 3-1! Overall, though, Eng were the better team: they scored more consistently, had easily the best batsman, probably the best bowler. Above all, they won the crucial passages of play and the big moments. Still, plenty of encouragement for Aus for the return series: translate all the Eng home advantages in this series to Aus, and an Aus win is a definite possibility.

  • Stumay on August 25, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    It's somewhat sadly fitting of modern-day test cricket to have an anti-climactic end. If the ICC are serious about the primacy of test cricket, then endings like today must be eradicated. People just won't pay the high prices to go to matches any more if play finishes early because it's supposedly too dark, even with floodlights on. Now is the time to say that unless it's pitch black, we're playing on. That or bring out the pink ball when it gets murky. Whilst Clarke should be applauded for setting up the game, if he had told the umpires that he was prepared to keep his team on for the good of the game,I think he would have won great respect and praise. Something does need to change with the light rules, not just offering it back to the batsmen, but ensuring that play continues under lights.Perhaps introducing a minimum standard for flood lighting at all test grounds would ensure that the lights are of good quality and sufficient enough to get sessions or games completed.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Very sad to see Ryan Harris off the field at the end of the game with ice on his leg. If anyone deserved to finish the series on their feet it was him. Hopefully it's nothing serious and it will be well healed by November. I doubt Australia would be risking him for the upcoming T20Is and ODIs so he can probably head home for some well-earned rest.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    @Shaggy076 on (August 27, 2013, 0:17 GMT) PS

    Jayzuz on (August 25, 2013, 23.45/23:51 GMT) Kind of implies that the target was fairly modest

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (August 27, 2013, 13:00 GMT) You don't have to explain anything to me. There's nothing in the your posts on this thread (and little in general) I disagree with you on

  • AKS286 on August 27, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Special thanks to Jimmy, Bell & Swann. I really miss Tremlett, Taylor & Hales in 5th test. My suggestion to Poms that don't argue on the excuses given by Australian fans.

  • AKS286 on August 27, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    CONGRATES POMS !, This result don't surprise anyone because it is expected or going to happen. We celebrate Ashes victory before July 10. Except of 3rd test nothing to discuss more about Australia's fight- Except Harris played a series without injury.Thanks to Lehmann that old guns retaining confidence. Rogers proved that Hodge can also bat in middle order, Australia is ruining its present for future. Johnson, Marsh, Klinger, Cosgrove Voges, Hauritz are great compare to young guns. Haddin- who was the replacement of Wade (earlier) proves that he is better than others. Some fans will now understand that khawja is not the carbon copy of Bradman. The class of Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Agar, Lyon, Starc are of club or school cricket. Clarke still don't know how to use DRS, when to declare, how much total is good to defend. The ethics says that Clarke must give up his captaincy and concentrate on his batting.

  • H_Z_O on August 27, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    @JG2704 Hope I wasn't one who came across as one-eyed! I try my best to be fair, although like any "fan", I'm bound to be biased despite my best efforts. We see the game through "lenses" of bias, even when we try to be even-handed.

    I don't think Clarke was wrong to get defensive when things went against him, why would he do anything else? He declared to try and set up a win, when it didn't look like happening, he tried his best to make sure he didn't lose (because 4-0 would've been a very unfair scoreline, I think, given how close they came at Old Trafford).

    Nor do I feel "cheated" out of a win. We didn't deserve to win that game, Australia made all the running, and while I do think our slow batting forced Clarke's hand (if he wanted a win, he had to gamble), I don't think that was our intention.

    I just think those who were quick to criticise Cook's defensive tactics might want to see that even an attacking captain will use negative tactics when they're struggling to control a game.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (August 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT) Not at all bud. I get that you're just trying to unmask the one eyedness in others and we all know it'll fall on deaf ears

  • alarky on August 27, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Kaushik.S., You've made an excellent point. Ian Bell is a much better player than the world gives him credit for. I see on various occasions, certain selectors allowing their guys to play out of form for a consecutive number of years, with averages all in the 20s, not ever thinking about droping them, yet they are still being accorded the mantle of 'greatness'! But, Ian Bell who is just as talented, in every way, just as any of them, but who operates in a different system, where players are dropped every time they play a bad match, is not seen in the same light! Example, I think if the English selectors had a similar selection policy to India's, where certain players are allowed to play for consecutive years, out of form, until they return to form, Bell's stature as a batsman could also have been a name touted with greatness, because based on pure talent, he's 'right up there' with them! So, some who're not nevessarily better than Bell got 3 times his OPPORTUNITY to be called great!

  • on August 27, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    landl47 you reckon that England 'held' Australia?? I would say that 5 runs an over (and 6 per over towards the end) is hardly being held. Especially considering that Australia declared and could have batted England out of the match. If they had been bowled out or kept to 3 or 4 an over I'd agree. Test matches conditions aren't the same as in limited overs matches, however the situation begged a comparison. Watson, Faulkner and Starc have very low ODI bowling averages - I was relishing the last four overs. It could have been very interesting - certainly not a foregone conclusion in England's favour, but they definitely had their noses in front.

  • JG2704 on August 27, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @Shaggy076 on (August 27, 2013, 0:17 GMT) I can't be bothered to trawl through all the posts again but I'm pretty sure I saw someone imply it was a gimme and there have been loads of one eyed posts re what would have happened

    And no you weren't one I was accusing of being one eyed , even if I've disagreed with certain posts

  • Wallaroo on August 27, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Any Aussie declaring the Cook is negative or Clarke is a better captain than Cook needs their head read. The best thing we can do for Australia is to accept our failures and weaknesses so we can turn them around, quick smart.

    While I admire Clarkes gutsy declarations in the final test, albeit these needed to be backed up by playing with the same attitude however his tactics in the later part of the English 2nd innings demonstrated pure negativity. Bottom-line Clarke is not the right man to captain Australia and even more so lead us out of a slump.

    Don't know about other Aussies on here but I want to see Australia return to winning ways which will only be achieved if we elect a leader who can inspire and demonstrate faith in their team. We may face some of our biggest loses on the way but I'm convinced we will also see some of our greatest wins in the end.

  • Shaggy076 on August 27, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    JG2704; I cant find any comments where Australian fans are saying the chase was a gimme. I personally used the words an offer they couldn't refuse. Simply because if England lost a couple of early wickets then all they had to do was hang on for 40 overs for a draw. It wasn't a risk for England. I'm not sure if you are calling me a one eyed fan but all I did is state what happened, England played for a draw from the start of day 2 and once they reach a position they could not lose they tried to sneak a victory on the hope Clarke would let them in the game. Where is my conclusion wrong.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Re One eyed fans ctd. Personally I think 3-1 would have been a fair reflection on the series. But how many fans have said Eng were pretty much worse in every department and if it wasn't for Bell? How many fans also said that - if it wasn't for that dismissal , DRS etc? Re the 1st point - This would have happened if .... 1st test example - I suppose these folk knew that when Aus were 9 down for 117 (nearly 100 behind) they'd actually end up being 65 ahead and I suppose they knew they'd get so close in the 2nd inns when they were 9 down for 231? Re point 2 - re batting besides Bell Australia's batsmen have averaged by and large better but re the bowling. If you look at the specialist bowlers who played the majority of tests. Harris is head and shoulders in front but Eng have the 1st,3rd,4th and 5th best averages and have the 1st,3rd and 4th highest wicket takers in the series. PS re the bowlers I'm only using specialist bowlers who have played more than 1 test

  • on August 26, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    "Our pace bowlers are superior to England's but that is no surprise"

    So why did Siddle, Pattinson, Bird, Starc, all average more per wicket in this series than England's frontline bowlers Anderson, Broad, Bresnan this series (who all averaged less than 30, as did Swann)? The only frontline Australian bowler who played most of this series to have a respectable average was Ryan Harris, and he is very injury-prone.

    If all these bowlers you big up perform very well in the next series in Aus and all survive long careers with good figures, then we can talk about your pace attack being better. Until then though, your conclusion is meaningless.

  • IPSY on August 26, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Although I agree with Clarke's declaration, whereby he made the last day relevant, I think as a captain, he has learnt one thing from this match: That is, when there are certain batsmen in the opposition, a captain can't be too charitable with his 4th innings declaration! These guys would make you pay! The best at this were the 3 best pure batsmen of All Time; who have all retired: the Gt Sir Don Bradman who scored over 300 runs in a day; Gt Vivian Richards who scored a 100 in 56 balls and Gt Brian Lara who scored 28 in one over - these are all awesome performances in the purest format of the game, that no one has bettered to date. In modern times, Viru Sehwag of India, though not in the same class has done enough to be regarded as being too fearsome a batsman to risk, when declarations are to be made! And the other who is close to the big three is Kevin KP Pietersen! In fact, I think that he can be as good as any, but he now lacks the consistency of the big three! But a good last day!

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 26, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    I am so glad that England ended the series on a high,with a bang, not a whimper. It gave credibility to their actual wins,to have played so attackingly at the end, rather than defensively.

  • Charlie101 on August 26, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    For those Aussies who are clutching at straws posting about what might have been subject to the weather at OT , hitting more runs at Trent Bridge and the negative tactis of England , the truth is that the series has been won 3- 0 and your top 6 is still open to debate . The England side are completely ruthless and know when to go for victory and when to shut up shop which makes them hard to beat. Australia had zero pressure in this series because of the way they had been playing but down under , the home fans / CA and the media will all be expecting the team to regain the Ashes and the pressure will be immense on the team.

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    It's good to know that in their position the two captains made a game of it. I did not see it but the reports look great and hats off to both. Friday had been grim and Tremlett really should have played. Anyway though it could have been 4-0, 3-0 will have to do. Well done England! There is no getting away from the fact that Ashes victories are monumental and have to be cherished.It was great seeing Ian Bell with his awards-so deserved, Obviously everyone played a part on wickets which were not easy,and I loved that the spinner took most wickets. After years of watching negative spinners Swann is totally refreshing. One or two of our spinners have downright cynical with their craft- firing balls in defensively and ignoring turn.( I do not mean 'Deadly' either-a true great.) It says it all that we won comprehensively when not playing to potential a lot of the time. The Aussies for their part gave us contest and more and deserve applause too.

  • MikeSA on August 26, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Michael Clarke you beauty! That was a fantastic declaration and brave as they come. Pity about the rules around bad light, but hopefully this will prompt a revision. I have never been a fan of Australian cricket, largely because of the characters involved. But I am a huge fan of Clarke after seeing this.

  • santoshjohnsamuel on August 26, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    A strange series, and 3-1 would have been a much fairer account of things. Despite the loss, the Aussies can go home with their heads held high. They batting was a collective failure, but by all indications, things were starting to look better, especially in the last Test. What was also clear is that Australia will not go down the West Indian way, and things can only get better when they play on their home soil. England might just win it down under, but they will have to scrap it out very dear. And a 3-0 result just cannot be fathomed.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge. on August 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: I'm not sure who you have been arguing with but I've never remarked anything about Cook's 766 run series, therefore your entire argument is, fittingly and typically, invalid.

    As a proud Englishman I'm scared for the future: Swann was mediocre in this series after a grand start, really showing his age, and Anderson's heroics extended as far as the first test.

    Without Bell we'd have been dead. As for our depth - Finn & Kerrigan were embarrassing and Woakes looked pedestrian with the ball, though handy with the bat.

    I think with the removal of Kolpak players, the reduction in the international players available to play, and the incentives to play youth, county cricket, after a wonderful decade from 2000-10, is weakening again.

    Australia had their chances but we were good enough to stave them off, though fair play to them they are a weak side atm due to a mass exodus of great players.

    Cook's horrid captaincy worries me too.

    We'll win 2-1 in Aus.

  • siddhartha87 on August 26, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    There is only difference in the series between two teams .And that was Ian Bell.Bell ,who looked terrible for past one year or so did the job.The Ashes down under will be much more interesting as Australia now have a team. I predict a 3-0 win Aussies in next Aussies.

  • H_Z_O on August 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    For the record, I'd like to reiterate; I do not think Clarke is a negative captain, or a more negative captain than Cook (is there one?) or any such nonsense. But after Cook's delaying tactics were met by Aussie fans saying they'd "never" do that sort of thing, I think it needs to be pointed out that Clarke (and I think he was right to do so) did. I don't have an issue with it, I couldn't after I defended Cook for doing the same thing, but those who did have an issue with Cook need to look at Clarke too (albeit to a much lesser degree).

    @JG2704 I hope I haven't come off as one-eyed. I don't blame Clarke one iota for his tactics when it looked like he couldn't win. And I didn't like the booing; Clarke didn't have to declare, and while I don't think his motivation was to "entertain" but to try and force an unlikely win (as it should be), any entertainment we got yesterday was because Clarke declared (and Cook went after it). Credit to both sides, as you say, for making a game of it.

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    England team outplayed the Australian team, in all departments. But, in dynamic Captaincy, Cook is no match to Clarke (from an Intense non-fan of Micahel Clarke).

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 26, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Australian test team full of short-format specialists like Warner, and they still failed against an England test team in what was effectively an ODI. It's not looking good for Aus. in the upcoming short format either now, is it?

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Well done Michael Clarke for trying to get a result. As for the umpires, if you don't get the light meter out the game goes on. This is what test cricket is all about - 2 sides playing to win but being dragged backwards by the ICC's inflexibility. The rules will kill test cricket not the players

  • H_Z_O on August 26, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @Moppa "How can you say that Clarke did everything to avoid a loss - if his priority was to avoid a loss, he would have batted out day 5"

    I didn't say that his priority was to avoid a loss. I said that when faced with certain defeat, he used negative tactics to avoid it, just as Cook has done. And I'm not just talking about the light. The bowling of deliberate leg-side wides, which was picked up by the umpires who warned them about it, is a negative tactic.

    "Cook's approach on day 3 was fundamentally negative, Clarke's on day 5 was positive."

    I agree that Cook's approach on day 3 was more negative, and that at least Clarke began with positive intent, for which I gave him credit. But he did resort to tactics that Cook was pilloried for.

    As for Adelaide, I'm aware the situation was very different, my point was that the run-rate Clarke set England was "safety first". He never thought we'd get close, so when we did, he resorted to the same negative tactics Cook did.

  • on August 26, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Such a shame that shoddy English weather stopped Australia from nabbing those last few wickets. Extra 6th day should be scheduled for test matches in England that can be called upon if necessary.

  • hhillbumper on August 26, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    It was a good run chase.The crowd booing Clarke was more to do with his behaviour towards the umpires.England won 3-0 because they have learnt to not lose.Aussie lost because they have forgotten how to win.The faster pitches in Australia should suit our batsman more and you would think that we also have the bowlers to exploit out there.I expect the media campaign to continue much like it did before this series. Australia play mind games and England win test matches.Maybe if they paid more attention to what happens in the game instead of in the papers they might move forward quicker.Aus don't travel well so lets see how they do at home.5-0 to Aus by the noises in the media

  • brusselslion on August 26, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    It's always good to beat the Aussies but, in truth, this was a pretty poor quality series played between two fairly ordinary teams. Only Bell, Harris, Haddin and, possibly, Smith, Swann & Watson have enhanced their reputations. (Playing-wise, Broad did well, but his gamesmanship and playing to the letter of the law makes it difficult to say he enhanced his reputation). It certainly didn't have the feel of a 3-0 and, the Aussies might, justifably be quietly confident about the outcome of the return series.

  • S.Jagernath on August 26, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    A truly high class end to an amzing series.Noone can ever accuse England of being boring again now.

  • gt_doss on August 26, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    What a sporting declaration by Clarke! Test cricket never dies...quite fascinating chase...but in the end playing conditions of ICC prevented pommies taking 4-0 lead...anyway nice cricket on the last day after the dreadful 3rd and 4th day....

  • Int.Curator on August 26, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Observation Allistair Cook's captaincy is totally reactive. I can't remember him once getting his team into a position and dictating to the Australian team based on his him making a team decision. An example of his impotence is the Oval, a dead rubber match and England playing for a draw he still showed little courage in bowling test debut Kerrigan or Woakes, neither in the second Aus innings. Instead he got caught up in Clarke's mission to be aggressive and reacted to that. Cook has done really well for England despite the obvious short comings.

  • on August 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @RandyOz- a negative captain that nearly won an ashes series 4-0? Hmmm what does that say for the opposition then?

  • on August 26, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Just like to make note that any fans from any country that are laying into James Faulkner, especially English commentators, figures of 27.4/4/98/6 are pretty decent for a debut. With the wickets of Cook and Trott, he should take a lot of confidence from the match.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Re One eyed fans ctd. Personally I think 3-1 would have been a fair reflection on the series. But how many fans have said Eng were pretty much worse in every department and if it wasn't for Bell? How many fans also said that - if it wasn't for that dismissal , DRS etc? Re the 1st point - This would have happened if .... 1st test example - I suppose these folk knew that when Aus were 9 down for 117 (nearly 100 behind) they'd actually end up being 65 ahead and I suppose they knew they'd get so close in the 2nd inns when they were 9 down for 231? Re point 2 - re batting besides Bell Australia's batsmen have averaged by and large better but re the bowling. If you look at the specialist bowlers who played the majority of tests. Harris is head and shoulders in front but Eng have the 1st,3rd,4th and 5th best averages and have the 1st,3rd and 4th highest wicket takers in the series.

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Love (not really) all these one eyed comments from the same old suspects. Re yesterday's play - which was phenomenal - the day would not have happened had it not been for BOTH sides. Swann and co upped the tempo with the bat to begin with , Clarke then did likewise and then declared and then England almost chased. Those who say/imply that the chase was a gimme - I think Smith gave Eng a similar sort of chase last year and that ended in a draw so NO it was not a gimme. Those who are still harping on like a broken record about Eng's negative tactics , should remember that this test lost nearly 2 days of cricket due to the weather and this test was only likely to produce a result (after day 1) had Eng got bowled out cheaply or (in this case) the 2 teams tried to manufacture a result. And those who are going on at Clarke re neg tactics - he tried to instigate a result and sure he wanted to come off but what captain wouldn't in his shoes?

  • JG2704 on August 26, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    @SherjilIslam on (August 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT) Thankyou. It was cringeworthy to watch. I mean after the rest of the test , did the fans expect even half as good a conclusion as this?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 26, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So we can see: 2009, 2010/11 and now this time it's 3-0. Fact is last time you were saying Cook was a great batsman after his 766, now Clarke, who is surely on the edge after 4-0 and now 3-0 thrashings, is somehow better. Congratulations on winning the prize for the most illogical comment of the day. But I agree with you on your last point, England will win again in Aus.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Clarke did what he had to do in setting up the declaration and run chase: there was no other way he was going to come out of this tour with a win. From that point-of-view, good captaincy. The worst aspect of this, though - and why he (or rather the Aus team) deserved a few boos - was the amount they had had to say for themselves in the media about England's negative cricket. They may have ensured a day's entertainment for the crowd, but when England clicked into gear and looked like winning the game, Clarke started whining to the umpires about the light. True, they had had the wrong end of the stick on that earlier in the series. But it makes all the stuff about positive cricket sound a bit hollow.

    Generally, Australia have been a bit too loud in the media. They'd have been better off shutting up and letting the cricket do the talking.

  • on August 26, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    This series is definitely a success, as it has overruled the expectations of every cricket lover. There is something to cheer and something to take forward for both teams. Because on paper England won the series, but are they really happy with their own performance ? i don't think so. Except Bell, all their batsman were exposed by Aussie attack. Australia might think that except in 2nd test they exceeded England in first 4 days of each other test. But the important thing here is capturing those key sessions. That mentality is what lacking in Australians.

    Few people predicting that return series will won by Oz, to do that they must improve that winning mentality. If England had to win Cook, Trott, Prior all shall re discover their best form. That series gonna be really closer than this one.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 26, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Clarke is 3-0 down, gives England 230 to chase on day 5 from 40 overs & when England surprise him by keeping the required rate to no more than 6 per over, he complains about the light. Remind me again, how is that being not afraid to lose?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge. on August 26, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    As an English supporter I am qutie ashamed of my sides lack of intent, both in this game and also throughout the series.

    But for Ian Bell, who was magical, we played utterly defensive, even cowardly, cricket even when well on top, be that within a game or in relation to the overall series.

    Cook is a good test batsman, not great, a great team man, not good, but a poor captain. It was unfortunate to watch Clarke outshine him in all facets of the captaincy despite having a much weaker team (aside from the Aussie pace contingent, which was and is better than ours, both statistically and in ratings).

    Be it the inspired decision to bring Watson on to dismiss Cook early in an innings to declaring twice in the final match to make something out of the poor weather and my team's somewhat spineless approach it was inspiring to see. Only ignorant, biased or downright sore winners on these forums won't acknowledge that.

    I think we'll win again in Aus, close, but hope our team shows more flair.

  • thelapal on August 26, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Clarke behavior appeared very cheap on the television ..he appeared as a hero for sometime by declaring and posing a challenge to england for chasing it but when england looked as if they are in driving seat clarke showed his true colors with his disgusting behavior with umpires.He should feel very lucky to get away with such behavior without having scissors on his match fees.

    Question comes does clarke should have behaved same way when england need 21 runs and only 1 wicket is remaining ?

  • mansel on August 26, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Where is the story about England players urinating on the pitch that is making it's way around the media? Cricinfo has been very very quick to publish articles about the smallest of issues to do with Australian players, such as "Warner altercation overshadows tame draw". I would expect a fair and level element reporting.

  • leo27 on August 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    A fascinating series in so many ways. Although a die hard England fan I admire some of the more imaginative captaincy of Clarke, particularly his field settings; but looking back only a few years ago, a certain Mr Warne set some fantastic fields when he filled in as skipper. Cook seemed more defensive in tone, something which I hope he will seek to address as he grows into the role. I have read many posts about the relative merits of the teams, but (with the advantage of getting old), the one thing that struck me about both teams (in batting terms) was the relatively poor technique at times against the moving / turning ball - front foot lunges, cross bats etc. Watson, Warner, Hughes against the likes of Ponting, Border etc. England too - heads falling over, playing round the front pad. Anderson, Broad, Harris, Siddle bowled well, but what would Steyn, Philander have done? The Saffers are easily the strongest side at the moment. I love test cricket and can't wait for the winter series!

  • ramli on August 26, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    The would-have-been-boring test match had to be transformed into a truncated-ODI (of course without ODI rules) to bring some interest into the game ... means what ... ODIs or T20s are there and would ever be more interesting than test-cricket per se ... so to the test-lovers-and-ODI-haters ... review your opinion and support limited over cricket to the hilt

  • ste13 on August 26, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Something has to be done to let the games like that to be completed. Play should be contuinued undere lights. It was only a matter of 20 minutes. Day 5 was a sharp contrast to day 3, when England did not show a sport attitude. For this day 3 I really wish Aus to come back strongly in 3 months. For killing the beauty of the game. For Broad, who is not a sportsman, but 19-century guy with colonial mentality. Anyway, I think this was a swan song of England - as barring inept Aussie batting trigerring collapses, the series was more even than the last one in Australia.

  • Int.Curator on August 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    The Oval supporters booing Clarke at the end of the days play confirms beyond any doubt the English mindset, lack of understanding of cricket or appreciation of an Australian cricket team trying to win against a team happy for a draw. Apparently England didn't have enough overs to get the runs.

  • Sandt on August 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Clarke - the best captain. Only hardcore clarke supporters will say that. What he has done in this series as a captain. What he has done yesterday is not bravery, it is just a desperate attempt to win atleast one test. But he didn't expect England to bat like yesterday considering the way they had batted the whole series. He was sure that Eng will not go after the chase. But KP changed the picture and Clarke was really afraid in the end.Anyone seeing the match can understand how desperately he was trying to waste time by unnecessarly going to bowlers between overs and trying to talk to umpires during over break etc.Is it called positive captaincy.yesterday he don't had any answer when KP and Trott was going at 5plus in over.If AUS need to improve their status in intl cricket he should be sacked from captaincy.Other wise they should be like Zimbabwe team.

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Clarke showed a sound character and he deserves to be praised rather than being scathed for leaving the field. It was him who made something out of dead rubber

  • on August 26, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    hats off to you pup. u r the best for australia after steve waugh. u r the one who keep the contest alive & u had all the rights to kill it.

  • SaadRocx on August 26, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    Clarke is the Best Captain right now..Australia are actually Lucky to have a guy like Clarke otherwise they would have been playing worse than Zimbabwe at the moment..Aussies will bounce back they have a Brave captain in Clarke....#Respect..

  • Int.Curator on August 26, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    During this series England lifted whenever Australia forced their hand. The Oval was no different, a typical English effort. Australia dangled the juiciest carrot in the history of cricket for England to chase and England squandered it. Australia forced England into the game and if the english team wanted it bad enough they could have won it. Left to their own devices they didn't even have the inclination, intuition or hunger to see that the game was going to end due to bad light. The finest result for the greatest England cricket team that never was.

  • smudgeon on August 26, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    Bless you, FFL - every day, you continue to prove why it is you're my favourite commentor on this site.

  • milepost on August 26, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    @Eight8, nice one. It's good to see someone put a few facts into @FFL's delusions. 3-0, series over, start again in Brisbane. I'm optimistic Australia will win the Ashes. On performances they look more promising, forget about paper and potential. This was supposed to be a walkover yet was pretty tightly contested. Congratulations Clarke for giving the paying spectators some value for their tickets and thank you to the umpires for not playing at night so the England fans can have a jolly!

  • 200ondebut on August 26, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Its easy to go all in when all you have is a dollar to your name. This wasn't a case of Australia risking a loss - but the only way they could manufacture a victory and avoid a shut out. Would they have done the same if 3-0 up - No.

    All those whittling on about light, over rates etc just don't get it. Thats the game. You won't hear any moans from the England camp cos they do the same.

    3-0 is an accurate reflection of the strength of the two sides. Expect the same in Oz (although Oz will prob win in Perth)

  • Red_Stripe on August 26, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Congratulations to England on another well deserved ashes triumph. With regards to the final days play I think the boos for the Australian team are a reflection of an irritation over the rubbish that has started coming out of the Aussie camp over the past week. First we have the Lehman comments on Broad, then we have Faulkaner (a complete rookie) having a go over the way England play and finally the somewhat embarrassing criticism that Warne has labelled at a team 3-0 up. What we have had is a lot of whining Aussies and when England called their bluff by going for it they couldn't get off the field fast enough. The England fans I know have not been impressed with Clarke or this Aussie team. It's tactically naive, crumbles in pressure situations and not as talented as a lot of their supporters think. England will win again in the winter as they are a better side in every way.

  • Gupta.Ankur on August 26, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    I don't think england deserved to win. simply because of the deliberate slow 1st innings batting they did to stall the game into a boring draw.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 26, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    It's understandable that a bit of bitterness is left over after the end of an Australian Ashes defeat, and this time it is no different. That 3-0 scoreline isn't just ugly to look at for Aus fans, it's downright accurate too. Aus were lucky it wasn't 4. Bring on the next series, because as supporters from both sides know - England's batsmen love playing in Oz.

  • on August 26, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Clarke had the opportunity to lead Australia to victory in the 1st Test, starve off defeat in the 2nd Test (should have been stumped early when he wrecklessly charged down the pitch) and, again, had the opportunity to lead Australia to victory 4th Test.

    The man has had plenty of opportunities to show how great a captain he is throughout the series and fell short nearly every time ..... his only vindication was his exceptional effort in the 3rd Test. Other than that he has been a no show.

    It was just dumb. With another Ashes Series in a few months, and Australia's batsmen needing the practice against the English bowlers a simple opportunity has been lost to build confidence with the opening pairing and top order.

    This is a hillarious notion of captaincy .... almost giving away a Test Match.

    Of course Warner's 12 off 28 balls (five scoring shots) ..... another failure ...... has been overlooked by the media.

  • niazbhi on August 26, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    I dont think Clark is a better captain than Cook. He takes off his wicket taking bowler too early. He has too many weapons in Harris, Siddle, Stark, Lyon, Watson. Cook is patient with his bowlers. He supports his team mates. Clark's declaration was gutsy, but in all possibility Aus should have lost this test. Clark is a great batsman. But he cannot measure his opponents or his own bowlers, Cook got more out of a weaker bowling attack. Once Tremlett or Onion hits form, England would do better Make no mistake Aussies have three or four bowlers who can outshine Anderson (specially Harris).

  • Shaggy076 on August 26, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    ksjinoz ; I'm not going to apologise to England. The fact your bemoaning Australia time wasting whilst managing 13 overs an hour (equivalent to the best England did all series) is not justified. England produced a pitiful 11 overs in an hour with Swann bowling 3 - so what Australia were up with the overrate had every right to slow down. As for the light - all the Australians wanted is some consistency from umpires. I would have thought that was a given for every country. The way the series had been played Australia had every right to adopt English tactics, even playing conditions is essential. Pity the Aussies didn't drop back to 11 overs an hour as the English would certainly have.

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    If this Eng side will be the same in ODIs then they should have achieved the target. I Guess KP and Trott played according to situation. Some more push from Cook was required,, he should have changed batting order to send Prior ahead of Bell,,,Still I guess Trott was confused as to go after bowling of stay on pitch,,,, result would have been different. But yes,, full marks to Clarke for declaration,,,

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    This reminded me of 3rd Test Aust v SAF 2006 when Smith declared and gave Aust a chance to run down 288 in just a few session which Ponting and Hayden did comfortably. SAF problem was the same as Aust today in that, because of rain, it wasnt a fifth day wicket, more like a placid 3rd or 4th day wicket. Nonetheless I couldn't believe the rubbish Smith copped for taking that chance. I held him in much higher esteem because of that declaration, even if it lost him the game and ultimately the series.

  • SherjilIslam on August 26, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    @JG2704 on (August 25, 2013, 22:00 GMT): Very well said mate. Being an English fan and accepting the sportsmanship showed by the opposition captain needed to be hailed. I strongly believe, English fans could have shown a bit more maturity, booing umpires, officials and particularly Clarke, was totally uncalled for.BTW congrats England for a very well deserved Ashes triumph, though Australia played well in patches, they could have given the run of their money to Eng if they had shown a bit more consistency throughout.

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    captain clarke should be appreciated for the courageous decision to dec..I think no other captain will take such decisions ,already 3-0 down.no other Aussies captain lost a Ashes series 4-0, Clarke could have been the first Australian captain to lead his team to four defeats in an Ashes series without a win. Ashes 13-14 Eng in Aus.,Ashes is definitely for Aussies.....!

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    finally conditions in england helped australia from a unusual defeat.........really very very bad captaincy and a huge lack of estimating opponent.

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    One of the worst English crowd seen at the oval yesterday, its because of clarke decision the game was having that much excitement. if not it would have been a boring end to the ashes. Booing the umpires for their decision If with regards to light is very bad. For example, if england were 9 wickets and if that time umpires took that decision means england supporters would have clapped for umpires.

    Hats of to IAN BELL for the way he played throughout this series, even after playing so well in all the matches he never showed over emotions on field. Thats great about him.

    Thanks to Star cricket for showing the off field shows, Shane warne setting up Nasser Hussain was the highlight of that show..

    Wating for the Brisbane game.

    For all england supporters, i am not an aussie, i am an cricket supporter from India

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    I think all the punters at The Oval should write Clarke a heartfelt letter of sincere thanks for making a very good tactical decision and forcing the pace of the game. Finally they got to see some runscoring and a set up for a good finish! Can't help but laugh over how it all ended, with England needing just a few more overs to win but coming up short! It was karma for every other match with the incessant slow over rates, timewasting, Trott going out digging after every single ball, player rotation after every over, and all the other negative traits that England displayed during the course of this series, exemplified by booing the opposition captain at the conclusion!

  • on August 26, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I am feeling sorry with England. However, I believe they should have kept in mind the probability of Bad Light Issue. They should have in mind the overs as 80% of total available overs i.e. 36 (216 balls vs. 227 runs)...

  • yuvi_gladiator on August 26, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    @Stephen Westmoreland ruthless is not the word for England buddy.. unless you are trying to be sarcastic offcourse :)

  • Shan156 on August 26, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    @Notasgoodastheythink, Steyn and Harris/Morkel in the same class. Now, that is tripe. Morkel averages 30, not much better than Jimmy and Broad while playing fewer tests and Harris has but played just 17 tests. Let him play more tests all around the world and then we will see what his average is.

    cricinfo, please publish.

  • 5wombats on August 26, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    @Notasgoodastheythink (August 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT) - considering that yours is a Featured comment - it's bilge. 3-0 says England DID demolish Australia. And it was nearly 4-0! You and people like @TheBigBoodha can boo and whinge all you like - read the scoreboard bud. I think the problem for this Australian team and some of their fans is that they are not as good as they think. England were the better team in this series. End of story.

  • on August 26, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I'm surprised by the number of folks who keep saying if x had happened y had happened Aus would have won the series. Unfortunately it didn't. Reality is tough - England were always the better team. They did not play to potential but when it counted Ian bell made the cut. His form was good and he made every innings count. He was every bit as important as Broad or Anderson in the series.

    Australia though can't seem to find that player to score a hundred when it mattered. They bowled their hearts out but except for Ryan Harris and Siddle somewhat others at the moment do not have what it takes to run through top sides provided they stay without injury for more than 2 consecutive matches.

    Top 4 needs to settle and fast - too much shuffling . I'm still not sure what Steve smith's role in the side is. If he wants to be there as a stable no 5 he should drop his leggie act and work more on his batting. Haddin is aging and it is time to look beyond him. Watto needs to get his act together.

  • 5wombats on August 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    @Chris_P. Hiya mate. I got very irritated with Trott today. I know a lot of England fans will not agree with me - but his innings really got on my wick. The game was there to be won and he just didn't raise the ante. A bi-polar attitude shown by Clarke; on one hand he says it's about the spirit of the game - but then with England racing easily to the target and his plan to embarrass England backfiring he slows the game down, has his bowlers bowl wides down the leg side and then remonstrates with the Umpires re light. Despite what he says he clearly didn't want to come home with 4-0 stamped on his passport. Anyone who still thinks England are negative and play for draws will have to eat their words after today. But that's not important - what is is that it was a very entertaining day of sport. Only Test cricket can produce this kind of day. @Chris_P. Thanks, should be, tweet. Will definitely be @SCG as I have tickets. cricinfo please publish this time - nothing of offence in this post.

  • Shan156 on August 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    @Dave Lyon, perhaps you should ponder who poked out your right eye? Siddle went amiss after test 3. Jimmy bowled more overs, took more wickets at a better average and strike rate than Siddle. Had he not been over-bowled in the first test, his numbers would have been even better. Let Siddle play as many tests as Jimmy and still return better numbers than Jimmy and then we can talk. Siddle was belted all around the park in India while even Dhoni admitted that Jimmy was the difference between the sides in our last series there. England were deserving winners, 3-0 is not flattering. It only means that Aus. played out of their skin to draw two tests while Eng. (except Bell) were never at their best all series.

  • Rohit... on August 26, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    @ M.Usman-Sharif : What if Cook and Trot find form???? 517-1 ??? With just Watson finding form, there was a lead of 100+. What if the entire Australian batting line-up find form???

  • Liquefierrrr on August 26, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    @TropicPleasure - wow, seriously? Interesting how minds can work.

    England batted 98 overs the previous cricketing day to score 215. The only reason there was a hurry was that they wanted to defensively secure the game first.

    Clarke didn't have to declare one, let alone twice, in this match.

    Regardless of how biased English supporters are, they just look ignorant if they imply Cook is anything less than an incredibly defensive, ball-chasing, reactive captain who has a side that is good enough to win, not because of, but in spite of his style.

    Why would you set a target that guaranteed a loss? That's the difference between risk/daring and idiocy. We had total control of this game and, but for the weather once again, would have won it if the full 5 days went ahead.

    Instead we tried, vainly, to fashion a victory despite no real need to do so. But the intention is there, bleedingly obvious, and it is this intention that Cook has none of. A good batsman, a good team man, a bad captain

  • himanshu.team on August 26, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    A great series, even though the scoreline says 3-0. Baring just one match, all others were closely contested, even the draw in the third test was a hard fought one. Final day of the final test was as engrossing as any match could get. I even enjoyed the first three days despite the slow scoring rate. I could see that England wanted to grind the Aussie bowling as much as they could and it very nearly paid off in the end. However, the final talking point would be about the rules involving test cricket. If ICC wants to revive test cricket, they must make all efforts to get as many win-results as possible. No one wants to watch a drawn test, no matter how competitive the two sides are. Better side must win. Rules regarding rain delays, bad light etc. must be re-considered. There can even be a reserve day, if more than a certain number of overs are lost in the first 5 days. Whatever it is, ICC must focus on having maximum win-loss results and minimal draws. How they do it is up to them.

  • ColinFunkyMiller on August 26, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    England have their tactics sorted. While everyone is crying foul at their apparently 'boring' batting, in reality, they know exactly what they're doing. England get as close to Australia's 1st innings total as possible, either declare or get all out, they know Australia will set a sporting target to force a result, England's confidence in their batting depth means that they'll either win or draw. The loss has more or less been taken out of the equation for them due to the time remaining and their reliable batting throws up the real possibility of an unlikely win (which very nearly happened...). Makes sense to me!

  • on August 26, 2013, 4:14 GMT

    Front-Foot-Spo: 111 / 6 from 23 overs versus 206 / 5 from 40 overs is far from dominance. Did you watch a different series to everyone else?

  • on August 26, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    well done Mr Clarke.Guys like you and KP keep test cricket alive

  • harshthakor on August 26, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Kudos,to the great spirit of Michael Clarke in declaring so sportingly and to England for making such a fantastic chase of the victory target.It was a perfect illustration that the survival of test cricket depends on the spirit and attitude of the players and both teams demonstrated this in the most ample manner yesterday.Morally,England should have won before bad light intervened but also give credit to the Aussies for their exemplary fighting spirit.A 4-0 result would have hardly been a fair reflection of the series and 3-1 would margin would have been the most appropriate.(maybe 2-1)Above all the spirit of Ashes cricket was ressurected in a game which had literally lost any life.A day which was a victory for test cricket on the whole.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (August 25, 2013, 14:22 GMT), yep, Australia threw away 6 wickets to score 111 at 4.8 an over while those lucky English lost 5 to score over 200 at over 5 an over. Kinda speaks for itself really.

  • on August 26, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Credit to Clarke for making it a game with that declaration, somewhere between brave and foolhardy. Bad light is just not an acceptable reason to go off the pitch in this era of floodlights and day night cricket, its possible to argue that its unfair on one team or the other to bat under floodlights but the greater interest of the game in keeping the crowds coming has to be more important. The sooner the ICC recognize this the better.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    As a point of interest, of the nine left-handers who played in this game, only Mitchell Starc both bats and throws left-handed. For England, Cook, Broad and Anderson all bat left and throw right while Kerrigan bats right and throws left. For Australia, Rogers and Warner bat left and throw right while Clarke and Faulkner bat right and throw left. Australia also have Khawaja and Wade who bat left and throw right and, if memory serves, Hughes bats left and throws right too. Test cricket is full of halfties!

  • on August 26, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Aussies have come a long way under new coach Lehman. hey are just starting to believe in themselves and with an ounce of luck and a little more belief could have actually won this series. The toss proved vital-look out poms you will meet a different side and crowd in Australia.

  • ksjinoz on August 26, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Whilst Clarke should be commended and admired for having the guts to make a game of it the Australians and there supporters now owe ENGLAND AN APOLOGY! All the comments about England shutting up shop and slowing things down in the face of adversity is EXACTLY what Australia did. Once it became clear that England were in with a chance to actually win the game out came the sportsmanship! Five or Six men on the boundary. Lyon removed from the attack to slow the over rate. Bowling wide down the leg side to make it hard to score. Bowlers missing their runups, Accidentally of course! Yes the were guilty of all the time wasting tactics that they had shamelessly accused England of. Even to the point where they repeatedly asked the umpires to check the light. The same light they had complained about being taken off when it was good enough to bat in had suddenly become hard on the fielders as they couldn't pick up the ball. Oh what goes around comes around. C'mon Aussie apologise!

  • JustIPL on August 26, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    First and foremost, test cricket is not just winning or losing, a drawn game can be as exciting as the last one while T20 lovers want to see sixes and a result of some sort. Weather has its own say and we can avoid it somewhat using technology. Clarke was largely clueless and was lucky to get some wickets otherwise aussies would have lost this test match and they are already denied consolation win despite setting England 300 as follow-on target.

  • JustIPL on August 26, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Entertaining cricket by England courtesy Petersen, Trott, Bell, the openers, tail and Broad. Broad too often rubs salt in the wounds of opponents as he did by taking 4 wickets in 2nd inngs. In the wake of 300 follow-on target English faced some of the best Aussie bowling. Then, Broad dented the aussie desire to fly to setting a total by regularly taking wickets. Aussies inspired by Broad spell declared to try taking 10 english wickets may be also inspired by their first innings bowling against poms but this time was no follow-on threat and then Petersen was unavoidable. If anyone who deserves applause is Petersen who some say is south African but came so good to English in both innings first grinding out and then hitting out. He is the Viv Richards of modern era and not like timid batsmen who destroy their records to keep stats.

  • Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on August 26, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    Well done Clarke the English fans shouldn't of booed you since you were the only reason this game was still going, maybe they should have been booing there own captain for moving the game along so slowly for 4 days.

  • Liquefierrrr on August 26, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Anderson bowled at 41 after the first test, reinforcing that a 30 average really suits him and also that he'll be forgotten soon after retiring, Swann did quite poorly also, averaging just a tick under 30 after a huge start, his age really showing now, Cook was laughable throughout (27 average, 36 s/r, ridiculously defensive captain who was outshone by Clarke in all facets be that with bat or (c), just had a better armament of players at his disposal, riskless, spineless and tactic-less), Trott looked uneven but is class, Pietersen is always dangerous, Bell fantastic, Prior horrible with gloves, DRS and bat, Broad 1 good test as usual, Woakes was ineffective as a bowler, Kerrigan was an outright joke (and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt Cook's defensive ways as he did not bowl at all in the 2nd innings).

    Without Bell England would have lost, easy.

    Our pace bowlers are superior to England's but that is no surprise, no real sign of depth either for Eng. Replacements = horrible.

  • skilebow on August 26, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    @ Gavin Bruhn - lets have a bit of reality please. Clarke would have never of done it if the eries had been 1-1.

  • Liquefierrrr on August 26, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    Very fitting that England were denied certain victory here - if they didn't score at snail's pace (under the obvious and direct instruction of Cook, the most defensive and reactive captain in world cricket at the moment) from the moment Australia once more revealed that Eng's pace attack is inconsistent at best on Day 1, then they'd have won. Very fitting.

    England take the series 3-0, probably the most undeserved scoreline in Test cricket history. Broad's cheating ways won them Test #1, they won Test #2 nicely, were outclassed in Test #3, hopped in Ian Bell's backpack (again) for the 4th Test and, but for sporting and aggressive captaincy from Clarke, gave up on this test after they got hammered by Watson on Day 1.

    Cook is to blame - he instructs fielders to follow almost every boundary scored, has no interest in taking any risks to win (even with the ashes safe and the series secure).

    Anderson horrible but for Test #1, Swann outdone by Lyon in last Test. Average side beats bad side

  • skilebow on August 26, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    "Then, with England needing 21 runs from four overs with six wickets in hand, a capacity crowd in a state of high excitement and Clarke no longer fancying a game of cricket quite as much anymore " Priceless!

  • Optic on August 26, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    @ Steve Back No it's not the fact that the Aussies did those things it's the fact that there have been numerous articles and statements made by the Aus team, condemning England doing similar. It was nothing but hypocrisy in full effect, Lets be right anyone that had watched Aus play the last few years know exactly how they play their cricket, which is very close to the wind, they will use any way they can to win or draw. but because England had gone 3-0 up the knives were out when England didn't push the games when Aus were ahead. the Aussies must have short memories because they'd forgotten what they did at Lords, which was time wasting and bowling at 11 overs per hour. Clarke had everyone on the boundary when Root got that big ton but yet players like Faulkner come out and try to take digs at England, who's laughing now mate.

  • anarchitect on August 26, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    an interesting washup to the series, really. both teams played for the win in the final session. good to see and good for the game. however, Al Cook must be fuming with himself for basically costing himself a place in history with his tactics on day 3 robbing him of being England's first 4-0 captain. Clarke well and truly rolled the dice when he declared and bad light was a more than fitting way to end the game, considering the events of day 3. if England cannot go for the kill and keep the overall result in mind, they're not a "great" team. they're just a "good" one. Bell has been found to have a chink in his armour too - keep an eye out for him getting out cheap early at short-midwicket during the Australian summer. the Australians found the weakness yesterday and almost got him first ball off Harris. very hard hands. a plan that I'm sure will be exploited during the summer. Kerrigan is the man to feel sorry for. no faith from the captain means he'll probably never play another test.

  • Optic on August 26, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    @Gavin Bruhn You're wrong it was how England batted in that morning session that made the final day what it was. It's also a fairy tale that you think Clarke would be the only Captain that would set that target on the final day. The fact is he's 3-0 down and had absolutely nothing to lose at all. It was England that could have lost the test match going for the run chase but they had the guts & went for it and would have easily reached the target but for the stupid rules. You're comments are bitter and deluded to be frank, did England play for a draw today, so you're comments don't even make sense, total dribble. Soon as Clarke knew he was going to lose the test he was whinging and crying to the umpiring, who actually had to man handle him away so they could do the light meter. You Aussies talk a good game and have tried to put what England have achieved down and talked about spirit of the game etc but the hypocrisy of it all was there for everyone to see. dish it but can't take it.

  • wkp. on August 26, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, you must be kidding yourself if you seriously think cook out-captained clarke...... lets start with leading by example, cook scored an average of less than 30 in the whole series. Never really looked to win with his field settings (defensive as usual) and had no real impact with the bat (as a specialist batsmen), stats dont lie, he was 1 in 5 captains that has won the ashes with an average of less than 30. I'd say his team carried him with bell/KP batting, and swan/board bowling. Even though the end score 3-0 seemed one sided, Australia would have won the Manchester test if it didnt rain.. end of the day, i think it was a good contest but clarke deserves some credit for making day 5 entertaining cos no other captain (cook) would have declared and risk losing to win.

  • on August 26, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Australian team has lived to their name. They have shown good character even though they lost the game. Hope they will come back strong again. All the best Aus.

  • quogequox on August 26, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Perhaps we've reached the point much like football, or indeed other professional sports, at which winning or rather the fear of losing is so great, the price of success and failure so large that, that the joy of the sport is secondary. Maybe we passed that point years ago. Time wasting, allegedly doctored pitches, manipulation of technology, substitute fielders, are easier ways to prevail than playing better cricket. This applies to both, indeed, all teams by the way. I love Test cricket but its killing itself.

  • on August 26, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    I think the correct Ashes scoreline is 4 - 1 England, with Manchester going to Australia and England winning this test without Clarke's early departure. Have to say well done to Clarke though for such captaincy, at least giving the chance of a result. The return series in Australia will be closer than this though, now that Australia have found a sensible line up of their best 11 players. BUT even with the current Australian 11, England will still pull though to win by a nose in 3 months time based on their experience of WINNING in big moments. Still can't believe Harris & Lyon weren't featured in Nottingham.

  • cricket_ahan on August 26, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    This light rule is getting out of hand. We are tending to see it all too often these days. There has to be some solution for this - maybe even starting games earlier in the day if there are still concerns about pink balls and flood-lights? With Test attendances dropping around the world, the ICC is not helping the cause by failing to address what I believe to be archiac standards in terms of light. Talk of a solution has been in the works for ages now - where are the fruits of this research ?? I've asked for it before - can Cricinfo do some sort of special feature on this to at least educate the cricket public on the specifics of the light rule and the progress of any initiatives to overcome it.

  • RDLikesCricket on August 26, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Thanks Australia and England for providing an entertaining last day of the Ashes Test match with some enterprising cricket. Showed how different cricket can be if teams & players are willing to go the extra mile to conjure a result. Pity the weather had to play spoil sport. Both teams did not play the safe, dull cricket. Waiting for the Australian leg of the Ashes to start. As a neutral follower of Ashes, it is good to see England gain the upper hand, while Australia are showing signs of their fight back. Good luck to both the teams.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (August 25, 2013, 14:22 GMT), I think we can safely say that you would say Aus would have won this game by a massive margin without the rain because that's all your one eye can see. The fact that England scored more runs at a higher strike rate and lost fewer wickets doing it in the second innings says that your assumption is far from valid.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (August 25, 2013, 12:44 GMT), "When Clarke sets them a target they will shut up shop, 100% guaranteed". Well, you were spot on there, weren't you? I guess England were just lucky that bad light saved them, huh? I think that we can safely file that one along with everything else you've posted this entire series.

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @Stumay on (August 25, 2013, 19:55 GMT), it wouldn't have mattered whether Clarke was eager to get off or told the umpires he was prepared to stay on. They would still make what they considered to be the right decision based on the rules. There's no use complaining because the ICC has already been experimenting with ways be able to play Test cricket under lights. It's a problem that has already been identified and is in the process of being addressed. I would think that getting the pink ball to behave as much like the red ball as possible is critical, because that's one of the things that gives Test cricket its character. We already know that the white ball wears and behaves differently to the red so it's not necessarily a trivial matter.

  • markatnotts on August 26, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Quite a bit of "winging" about the end. Let's not forget Michael Clarke set it up with a gamble. So to hear him being booed by the crowd was down right embarrassing. England also showed good intent in the morning. Overall 3-0 flaters us slightly as Oz probably would have won in Manchester. But all England wins were deserved.

  • nickymartini on August 26, 2013, 1:36 GMT

    eng have deserved to win the ashes. congratulations go to them, but not for the way they have played this test. its typical that they choose to go for the win when it suits them best. cook says he wants to win 4-0 but he is nothing but a gutless wonder. credit goes to clarke for making this test worth watching in the end, because it was never going to come from cook.

    to england fans actually defending their team in this test, i would say wake up to yourselves, but thats impossible. its in your nature to be conservative and defensive. and to make sure you dont lose as the number one priority. so keep defending your team for the way you played, its all you will ever know.

  • Moppa on August 26, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    @H_Z_O, I appreciate that you're trying to be balanced, but your comments just don't make sense. How can you say that Clarke did everything to avoid a loss - if his priority was to avoid a loss, he would have batted out day 5 at 2 runs per over. Sure, given a choice between a likely loss and abiding by a correct and consistent application of the ICC's bad light rules, he did exactly what Cook did on the second day. But that does not somehow make the two approaches equal. Cook's approach on day 3 was fundamentally negative, Clarke's on day 5 was positive. Re Adelaide 2006, that is irrelevant as England were effectively playing for the draw in the 3rd innings and were bowled out.

  • Chris_Howard on August 26, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Oh for goodness sake! Clarke did not set up this final day. He had no other choice. The Poms forced his hand on the back of Faulkner's sook.

    What if the Aussies batted for a draw? They couldn't after what Faulkner said.

    England knew it, and knew that Australia would have to set them a sporting target.

    England totally controlled the last day, even Clarke's declaration. They have totally won the mind games.

    England cashed in big time on Faulkner's rant and it nearly paid big off for them.

    Australia is in serious trouble because we can't seem to win the tactical and mind games at the moment. If we win down here, it will be because of brawn not brain.

  • Mervo on August 26, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    A very close series and not much between these sides. Australia delayed twice in this game to make England respond. England was saved by rain earlier and the first test wa so close. It coild so easily have been 3-2. Australia will take great heart from this series and confident in Australia. England will need to be at their very best. Something they have struggled to do in this series

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    A good series win to England but not the result I expected from a side fill with superstars against a side with no confidence coming in, off field dramas and a side full of rookies and under achievers. If ever there was a chance for England to smash us 5 zip, this was their chance. They failed to show how good they really can be. But for some weather and 50/50 calls, could have been 3-2 to England.Well played to the Poms but I expected more....

  • Patchmaster on August 26, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    So, pretty much 4-0 to England. Wow, all the negative comments from the Aussie fans and we had the Aussie team wasting time all day and Clarke looking like a rabbit in the headlights as England approached victory. Faulkener now looks like a complete idiot, as all his bad mouthing England about time wasting, came back to haunt him..........

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    "Pietersen received a miniature silver bat on the third day to mark his achievement of becoming England's highest run-scorer in all formats"...

    One used to say, the USA is the land of opportunities for migrants / erstwhile slaves / mercenaries / bounty hunters/ 'gold rush' chasers et al ..., at different point in history. This event indicates, England is not far behind to provide opportunities for 'outsiders'. Living example, at the moment, at least in cricket, are Flower & KP. Great!

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    Looking back on this series in retrospect, bearing in mind the excitement of 2005 and the battling in 2009, even the onslaught of runs in 2010-11, this series has actually lived up to the hype of a hard-fought Ashes contest. If you take, out of context, the ranking positions of the two teams and the expectations of each side in dominating, or should I say the higher ranked team (much like the statistics of 2009) then England's win is deserved as they have fought harder to win. Wins do not come solely from putting runs on the board or bowling sides out for lesser totals, they come from fighting hard to win, something in which England have surpassed Australia in this series. It's not been easy. With the exception of bad light (and who would've guessed it), what a fitting finale to the Ashes 2013 today has been. In my humble opinion, job well done judging the results and they are, after all, the only statistic that counts! On the first morning at the Gabba, slates will be clean...

  • on August 26, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    No way Cook would have done what Clarke did. He doesn't have the stones. Full credit to Australia for giving us a contest. England certainly didn't.....

  • jmcilhinney on August 26, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    @Gavin Bruhn on (August 25, 2013, 20:43 GMT), the English fans could be dirty on Clarke because, by his own actions, they had been whipped into a frenzy that he then seemed eager to snuff out despite Cook and England having been criticised for doing the same thing earlier. When the players were taken off the field on a previous occasion with England bowling, England were criticised for looking so keen to get off and yet Clarke was almost climbing over the umpires to get a look at their light meter. I have no issue with Clarke wanting to get off the field at that point because Australia couldn't win. What I have issue with is England having been criticised for doing what, obviously, even the most attacking of captains and teams would do in the same circumstances.

  • Eight8 on August 26, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    @front-foot-lunge. Think you topped yourself for a post with so many wrong and illogical comments.

    Denied a certain victory by weather light? I think it was weather and light that denied Australia a pretty certain victory after their first innings.

    Cook out-captained Clarke? What planet do you live on? Possibly the most conservative, play by numbers captain up against easily the most ambitious, canny captain recognised the world over.

    Momentum in England's favour. Australia easily outplayed England over the balance of the last 3 tests with weather saving you twice and admittedly a horrendous collapse the other.

    Swann outbowled Lyon? In the 3 matches they both played: Swann 11-383 @ 34.82. Lyon 9-303 @ 33.67. Hardly outbowled I'd say.

    Harris easily the bowler of the series. England only had 1 batsman average over 40 and couldn't manage 1 innings over 400. Yes, England the slightly better team over the 5 matches, but I wouldn't be feeling too good about the state of your team...

  • JanooGerman on August 26, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    If the game was supposed to be decided with the light meters then why ICC forced ECB to spend hundreds and thousands of pounds on illuminating all those light towers. If those lights aren't good enough then the day/night ODI game basically can be called off from the first ball bowled in the floodlit.

    With all due respect to Clarke, but his bravery and boldness all disappeared in the last ten overs. Delay tactics were put in place once he sensed the defeat. What would his reaction be if England were 8 or 9 down and umpires had offered lights? This entire test match was dependent on the 5th day and we must admire Cook (more than Clarke) who convinced Clarke and Oz team that they could win the match.

    I know not many people will agree with me but I think Clarke should not lead the side. He is Bell+Trott for his team and his failure at the batting crease means his team is deprived of at least 30% runs from a respectable scoreline.

    Mr. Faulkner more comments about English batting?

  • IronBottom on August 26, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    @Gavin Bruhn "The fans should have been given a refund after having to watch England bat on Day 3." You have a point, the Australian bowling attack is not what it used to be. Maybe a little harsh to give refunds though just because they can't take wickets.

    "That's why this current English team will never be a great one." I'd say beating India in India, plus back to back Ashes wins puts them way up there. By January 2014 it will probably be three Ashes series in a row, two away from home. Looks pretty great to me.

  • Jayzuz on August 25, 2013, 23:51 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, it wasn't exactly that demanding a chase for England. They were never going to lose ten wickets in a (prolonged) session, certainly not on a track that had had one and a half days of rest. Of course England could increase their run rate, as can any team. The question has always been that they generally refuse to take risks and shut up shop as soon as their is any genuine danger of losing. When batting they prefer to wait for their opponents to make mistakes, rather than being proactive. In this game they were completely at the mercy of Clarke in the end, and he was rather generous in granting them a chance to win the game. The flip side of Clarke's decision was the genuine possibility that AUS could lose - and they almost did. Courage isn't always rewarded, nor timidity punished.

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Credit to both teams - Eng in the morning, Oz in the mid session and Eng in the evening. Hope Harris is OK Clarke pressing the umpires for bad light??? Ironic how these things come to bite you in the bum :) Still with the number 3 woes sorted it will be all champagne for Watto now... won't it?

  • SaracensBob on August 25, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Bravo Michael Clarke! He did everything right in order to set up a contest even with the risk of losing the match. The Aussies batted with abandon in order to set up a sporting declaration - win or bust was the order of the day. Bravo England for having a go at reaching the winning total. They might rue the fact that they were not quite urgent enough running between the wickets when Cook and Trott had got established - a few too many quick single chances and ones into twos were left unconverted. Hiss and Boo to the ICC directives on bad light! 21 to win, four overs to go, 2 decent batsmen at the crease (one, Woakes, a bit of a limited overs specialist) - England are in the box seat. What a shame it has to end because of the light. However - a great day's cricket. It augurs well for the return series this winter. I fancy it's going to be a close contest.

  • Jayzuz on August 25, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    At least people got good value for their money, thanks to Clarke's repeated generosity. Not sure what the booing of Clarke was about. Did I miss something besides his giving ENG a chance to win in a game AUS dominated from the first session? Maybe those fans felt diminished that ENG had to rely on the opposing skipper to have any chance. And let's not forget that ENG had been trying to kill the game since the end of the 1st day. An ENG win here would have been an injustice of cosmic proportions.

    I was impressed with the way Clarke backed his young debutante bowler, Faulkner, who bowled really well. Faulkner will gain a lot of confidence from that. The experience will be invaluable. Compare that to Cook's handling of poor Kerrigan. I have to agree with Warne that Cook's captaincy has been v. conservative. For the good of his younger players, and for the good of test cricket, I hope he lightens up a bit. Fortunate circumstances have flattered him, e.g. rain & toss wins.

  • JAH123 on August 25, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Very disappointing from some English fans who are calling Clarke's willingness to leave the ground a "disgrace" (low even by your laughable standards, FFL). After all of the time wasting this series with boots, mid-over conferences and complaining about the light, this is just a tiny dose of Karma for England. Don't get me wrong, they throroughly deserved the series win and will start favourites in Australia. But any English fan thinking Cook wouldn't have acted the same way Clarke did in that situation is delusional. In all probablity, England would have been 5 overs behind and would have been complaining about the light 30 minutes earlier. In fact, the game would have been called off at tea because the Poms would never have contemplated a sporting declaration in the first place. And I have no problem with that, but some English supporters need a bit of a reality check.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    @naamprik "It is difficult to understand how England could bat so slowly on Day 3, yet bat in such an attacking manner today."

    No it isn't. It's pretty easy to understand. Few sides win when they're 500 behind on first innings. Throwing wickets away just to score faster (note that today's run-fest came at a combined cost of 17 wickets) would have meant certain defeat.

    When Clarke was faced with certain defeat, he resorted to the same time-wasting, negative tactics (leg-side wides) that Cook was criticised for. As much as captains want to win (and yes, Cook wanted to win too, or else England would not have had a go at the target) they have a professional responsibility not to just "give up" and accept defeat. If you can't win, you claw yourself to a draw.

    @Arvind Hickman I agree, England were guilty of time-wasting. So were Australia. Let's try and call things evenly. Yes, Clarke's declaration gave us a contest. But like Cook, when he knew a win was unlikely, he shut up shop.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 25, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    England were 3-0 up, and made 210 runs in 98 overs. Soft. No Aussie side in history (barring the 1950's) would have played like that for an entire day. 2-1 is a more fitting scoreline but who cares, Australia didn't turn up for the first two tests and deserve to lose the series.

    Looking forward to the return series.

  • TheScorchers on August 25, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    In this match Australia declared twice, trying to win the game. Changed their order the most I have ever seen to get quick runs, trying to win the game. On the other hand England batted at 2 runs an over for the best part of 2 days, trying to draw the game from the second day. Did not change their order and send in Pietersen early, the person most likely and actually did give them a chance of winning the game. Natural justice stepped in at the end, they had no right to win this game. Cook stated he would have loved to win 4-0 but actions speak louder than words.

  • on August 25, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Full credit to England, without doubt the better team during the series and deserved the win. But the fact is that Englands snail paced batting and slow over rates on day 2 & 3 were steering this test to the result Alistair Cook and co. clearly craved. A draw. If not for Clarkes aggressive batting instructions and sporting declaration then this Test would have been a non event. Of course once it became clear that the bowlers couldn't take the quick wickets required he would play for time, what Captain wouldn't? The fact Clarke was Booed was very ordinary, the reason this ended in a draw was the fault of one side only..... and it wasn't Australia.

  • Shaggy076 on August 25, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    Really cant understand how some people have evaluated this game. England started playing for the draw come the start of Day 2. Gets to day 5 - with very little chance of a loss, the tail in who can only slog knock up a few lucky quick runs and eventually fall 120 short of Australia's target. Clarke knowing how defensive England can be in trying to win them a game gave them an offer they couldn't refuse so England chased it. Australia made all the running in this game and were unlucky to lose the day through rain as a lead of 120 is hard to come back from.

  • TropicPleasure on August 25, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    To those of you who praise Clarke's brilliance as a captain, please explain. This is the captain who lost 7 of the last 9 test matches, overseen his team drop to 5 in the world, while England under Cook hasn't lost since the first Test in India and is back up to 2 in the world. Yet Clarke is the brilliant captain. Go figure!

  • on August 25, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Last day belonged to England but also to another man.... James Faulkner took 6 important wickets for his team, hard to justify him being left out in Brisbane

  • on August 25, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    Well done Clarke for declaring. Shame the ICC rules made the Umps take the players off the field, despite floodlights, with a few overs to spare. Lets see how England's ruthless machine take on the Aussies in Oz. If the England batters come out of their shell and take a Ballance, Taylor or Rashid with them; it will be interesting indeed.

  • on August 25, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    England only have themselves to blame... Clarkey tried to force a result and the English fans had the nerve to to boo him after Cooks antics? If England had of batter properly to days ago they would have.won, don't blame the light, it saved you once

  • on August 25, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    @jempster they jab taken 20 wickets

  • Notasgoodastheythink on August 25, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    As for Broad and Anderson being 'world-class bowlers', what tripe. They both average above 30 in tests for their bowling: as far as I can tell, this puts them in the rather 'mediocre' category looking back over cricket's recent decades. Even in this series, with the whole English press singing their praises, they both averaged around 30 again. I'd hate to see a 'poor' series… They're around Danny Morrison / Michael Kasprowicz class, great when the conditions are perfect for them, awful otherwise. Not a shadow of the leading bowlers like Steyn, Harris and Morkel. Note that Anderson took 12 wickets in the last 4 tests in ideal conditions. World class bowlers don't allow 160 run last wicket partnerships, 50-odd runs in the next innings again, and several others embarrassing lower order partnerships. They get nos. 10 and 11 out, quick smart.

  • RJHB on August 25, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Incredible that Clarke should be booed at the end! What really are the English on about? It takes the Aussie captain to push a game out of a tame draw, cos it sure as hell was never coming from captain courageous Cook, and yet he's the one castigated for a bad light ruling, one I might add the English were very happy with at other times in the series! You lot are the most ungracious of winners, serial knobs.

  • Blokker on August 25, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Two rain affected games where Australia was in charge, but would England have played so conservatively if they hadn't been up in the series? Unlikely. Interesting to see booing of the opposing captain coming into English crowds. If it happens to Cook in Australia, no-one in England wll complain, I take it.

  • on August 25, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    I wonder if Alistair Cook had done what Michael Clarke did and get the umpires to call for bad light (as he is entitled to do) whether they would be booing him and the umpires. The ruling is an ICC ruling and the umpires have to apply it. The captains and the players are no fools and they will make sure they will use the rules to their advantage. The rules need to be changed but please do not boo the players and umpires for enforcing the rules and using the rules for their respective teams. I thought England crowds were more respecting of opposition than that. Sorry guys, not on. If the aussie crowds do that too, then that is not good enough either

  • Westmorlandia on August 25, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Clarke shouldn't have been booed by the crowd, because no captain should be for doing his job. But he made the declaration decision entirely to suit Australia, not for the crowd, and he harrangued the umpires for the same reason, not for the general good of the match. And his harranguing was pretty OTT.

    P.S. The article is a bit harsh on Cook's batting today - 34 off 53 is solid in a run chase like this, and he showed plenty of intent to score. He didn't bat like KP did - but nor did anyone else.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    Given that Australia were 140+ in front with ten wickets in hand before throwing the bat, an English win would have been an abomination. Clarke was very generous indeed. As it was really only a third day wicket, and there was no way Aus were going to take ten wickets in a session. AUS would have set a lead of 400+ if not for the weather, and Eng would have had to bat on a day 5 track. So Aus would have won by s huge margin. I have to say the booing of Clarke at the end was appalling ignorance. Eng had been trying to kill the game since early day 2. Only Clarke's courage turned it into a game.

  • willsrustynuts on August 25, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    Sporting or naive, Clarke has a lot to learn about captaining in Test Cricket. Too many declarations and too few results.

    The Aussies started this tour bemoaning the lack of Test players - too many 'limited over' types etc etc - and then they end it in a one day hackathon, that they nearly lose. Priceless!

  • andre_marek on August 25, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    I think Faulkner was caught on the off-side when he tried to steer one to third man while backing away to the on-side.

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    One more thing - I was sad to see Clarke booed at the end. 4-0 would have been unjust and Clarke did what any other captain would have done towards the end. The umpires possibly accidentally forgot to review the light before they did and Clarke had no influence on the decision to come off. Without Clarke , this day would not have been half as interesting as it was.

  • Bang_La on August 25, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Now, why the English are calling fowl? What goes up, it comes down! Bravo Clarke and the umpires.

  • Inducker on August 25, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    Actually rather a dumb declaration by Clarke. If he really wanted to move the game along why didn't he declare earlier in the first innings. Just would love to hear what Atherton said to Warne after the match. Clarke wasn't frightened to lose in order to win (which Warne told the Athers and the world a hundred times accompanied by a lot of "when we huffing). That is , Clarke wasn't frightened until he was about lose 4 - nil and rushed for the light meter. By the way I have no recollection of Oz in Warne's era building their reputation on risky declarations. Those teams certainly had a lot of self-belief but what team with those players wouldn't particularly after they'd already won so much.

  • liz1558 on August 25, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    In the end Clarke was lucky to get away with it. He set a superior side a gettable target, which he seriously began to regret; not so long ago the umpires would've told him that he'd made his bed as they did to Pakistan when England won in the dark in Karachi. Once that target had been set, the umpires should be given the leeway to decide for themselves. It was bad for the game that it ended this way. The public deserved a proper conclusion.

  • OnePercentGenius on August 25, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Surely, floodlights can be filtered for test cricket to enable proper sighting of the red ball.

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    Disappointing but I could barely see my tv screen.

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    its expected of a leader to take risks and make things happen for one's team but this declaration by clarke showed more that he is a reckless leader rather than an astute leader. there was no business for australia to even reach close to losing this match, u take liberties like what he took when u are leading in the series ,not when u are 3-0 down. its all fine for warne to say that it was aggressive captaincy , but there is a line between aggressive in the real world(wherein u have factored ur odds )and reckless leader which costs the team their jobs and morale.did clarke really believe that his team was so good that they could prevent a team from scoring 227 in 44 overs. would he have wanted a score like that if this was a one day match. this only shows that clarke's captaincy is overrated, he should built up more match awareness. take some leadership classes, dont sink ur team based on ur recklessness.

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    Re this series , no one knew how much weather would affect the 2 drawn tests - had he had that knowledge I'm sure he'd have adjusted his declarations accordingly Wow , what a day of cricket which I loosely followed on R5. Sure we could say the ending was anticlimactic but to even get to an anticlimax from the position we were in at the start of the day is quite amazing and a credit to 1stly the Eng lower order for upping the tempo and then (mostly) Clarke for upping the tempo and offering Eng a gettable target and then for England (esp KP) for nearly getting there. I think it was fairly just that England didn't get there. 3-1 would probably have been the fairest result but we can't change the weather. 4-0 would have been way too flattering

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    @Neil1489 on (August 25, 2013, 19:19 GMT) That's rubbish. One example of his ambitious declarations coming off was in WI when he declared when behind in the 1st inns and went on to win the match. And he has played plenty of inns when under pressure. He twice single handedly turned the 1st 2 tests vs SA around only for weather to truncate the 1st test and a tremendous rear guard by Faf.

  • Dr.murdoch on August 25, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Front_foot lunge, your ignorance is quite bliss, you complain about the fact that game was abandoned, in some way indirectly attacking the Australians tactics. Yet you fail to acknowledge Australia set up the game, where as your own captain if he were Australian, wouldve batted for time not the win. So specifically how did cook out captain clarke? England were a better team, and deservedly won, but only being able to outline faults in your opposition rather than your own team shows ignorance at its peak

  • TropicPleasure on August 25, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    "... Clarke, having manufactured a wonderful day's cricket..." Absolute rubbish. Doesn't Hopps know that England were the ones batting at the start of the day at 247/4? They could have played for a dull draw. Instead they scored over 100 in the 90 minutes before lunch, the batsmen risking their wickets in the process. As for Clarke, if he were so daring, why didn't he declare earlier, setting England a target of 200 in 50 overs as opposed to nearly 230 in 44? Why, did he do all he could to waste time towards, the end, having all sorts of conversations with bowlers? Why was he pleading with umpires for light? Clarke is no more daring or less defensive than Cook. And guess who is the Ashes winning captain?

  • the_mertman on August 25, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    The England team shouldn't be surprised that play was suspended for bad light, it was after all 19:30 at the time. If they were serious about winning they might have thought of uping the run rate to make sure of victory, especially since they had wickets in hand. You can't rely on seeing a red ball that is 40 overs old at 730pm, I don't care how bright the lights are.

    You can't blame the umps, the light was fading fast after 19:00 and they were probably within their rights to call time about 20 minutes earlier.

    Australia 2-1 down under.

  • slowleftarmer on August 25, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Well done to both sides for creating an exciting last day when the match looked all but dead. Criticising Clarke for coming off when the light was bad would be a bit rich as a moment's reflection would show that England would have surely done the same. Losing 4-0 after setting a sporting declaration would have been harsh. Even so, the 3-0 scoreline flatters England. They have not dominated the Aussies at all, except in strategic sessions - and perhaps that is enough, the sign of a class team - but I doubt it. The first Test could have gone either way and it would have been a very different series had England gone 1-0 down. The top three have been consistently fragile and Bell has thrice been in at 'not much' for three to make his velvety centuries. He is the batting bright light but if I were Andy Flower I would be worried about England's ability to post big totals Down Under. The number 6 slot and third seamer are far from certain and the second spinner? Let's not go there.

  • M.Usman-Sharif on August 25, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Let Aus fans remain in IFs and BUTs... Its 3-0... how can they take aus win for granted in 3rd test? could have been a draw easily with 70 overs left and 7 wickets in hand... eng middle order is always doing such wonders... and what if there was no rain in 5th test, Eng could have won even if Clarke had not declared... Whatever u say, its 3-0. better team won. Go home and prepare for the return ashes. Dont temper the scoreline.... And just plan for what can happen if cook and trott find form??? 517-1, anyone remember???

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    Michael Clarke took the only option open to him if he wanted to try and win the Test, but did he give his bowlers enough overs to do so? Good measured effort by England, and the stage was just ready for Pietersen to try to secure the win. Such a pity the Test finished in the way it did, the ICC will have to have a re-think of the guidelines issued. Just three months before it starts all over again......

  • liz1558 on August 25, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Australia have fallen victim to their own propaganda - the score line doesn't matter, it is the way the game is played that counts, and in that regard we are the true champs. And we will prove it when we meet again. They have deflected attention away from their own problems - a mediocre talent pool - and claimed that the bigger issue is the spirit of the game!

    The final series bowling stats were a truer reflection of the qualities of the attacks - only Harris measured up to England's bowlers. Although not even he produced a match winning spell, as Broad, Anderson and Swann did.

  • Big_Chikka on August 25, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    well done england, good victory. look forward to the next leg down under. not knowing micheal clarke hard to say good or bad about him, but i will say given this guy's grief over he last 12 months i think he's done a bloody good job. this looks like a combative aussie unit now, will need england at their best to beat them.

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    really makes me laugh everyone commending Clarke for his declaration. aus had nothing to lose, theyd already lost the series. declaring to try and force a result was the last throw of the dice for a skipper who has seen his team well and truly beaten in this series.

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    @FFL : Earth misses you, mate. Try and make your way back. You want to be angry at Michael Clarke for pointing out the bad light (which has ended virtually every second day of play for the whole series) then you need to resent him bringing England into the game in the first place. If this was a timeless test then England were on toast and you know it. Australia easily could have batted out the day and denied England anything. I have a feeling that's what Alistair Cook would have done, in fact.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on August 25, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    More domination from Australia as entertainers and sportsman. Put into context, Australia could have completely rubbed England's noses in it again but instead decided to show the kind of courage that England never will in throwing the bat and declaring. Scoreline 3-0 but it's 5-0 to Australia for their superiority in respect for cricket fans. Momentum of a steamroller? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    It was a shame that the teams came off when they did - esp from Eng's perspective - but the umpires would have been showing inconsistency - and dare I say bias - if they kept the sides on. To be fair to the umpires their hands seem to be tied. It's time that the ICC revisited their own rules as cricket - in so many ways - is shooting itself in the foot. Just go back to the common sense methods that used to happen so that spectators get better VFM. Having said that , they are accountable for letting the slow over rate go. Have no issue with Clarke surrounding the umpires re the LM reading. I'm sure most captains would do similar

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Re this series , no one knew how much weather would affect the 2 drawn tests - had he had that knowledge I'm sure he'd have adjusted his declarations accordingly Wow , what a day of cricket which I loosely followed on R5. Sure we could say the ending was anticlimactic but to even get to an anticlimax from the position we were in at the start of the day is quite amazing and a credit to 1stly the Eng lower order for upping the tempo and then (mostly) Clarke for upping the tempo and offering Eng a gettable target and then for England (esp KP) for nearly getting there. I think it was fairly just that England didn't get there. 3-1 would probably have been the fairest result but we can't change the weather. 4-0 would have been way too flattering

  • JG2704 on August 25, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    @Neil1489 on (August 25, 2013, 19:19 GMT) That's rubbish. One example of his ambitious declarations coming off was in WI when he declared when behind in the 1st inns and went on to win the match. And he has played plenty of inns when under pressure. He twice single handedly turned the 1st 2 tests vs SA around only for weather to truncate the 1st test and a tremendous rear guard by Faf.

  • Chris_P on August 25, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    Really, only one team deserved to win, but Clarke's declaration meant the result only had 2 options, an English win or a draw. Sorry to disagree with my English friends out there, but you didn't deserve to win this one, but then again, like it or not, the intent of the 3rd day meant you probably deserved the draw you were seeking. Rain had the final say so it's time to move on the phase 2 down under. @Wombats, you still going to be at the Gabba?

  • warnerbasher on August 25, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    I think England were secure in the knowledge that they could shut up shop if they were in trouble on the chase so they went for it. They are so conservative that they would have blocked out a 300 in 90 overs chase. They seem to be a team that fear losing rather than enjoying chasing a win. In regards to the light the umpires came off in Manchester with conditions far brighter than they were at the Oval. All in all hats off to South Africa B for their series win and looking forward to tighter contest here in OZ .

  • milepost on August 25, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    @front-foot-lunge, how will we will miss your insight, your mystical summary of the game. Cook out captained Clarke? No comment. Clarke gave us entertainment today and he tried to win. The light was awful, of course they'd go off. Flat Aussie wickets? Oh boy, fire up another litre of Pimms would you! There is a lot of rubbish talked here, how bout we give some credit, today was exciting because Clarke made it sporting and England gave it a go. I'm still laughing, Cook out captaining Clarke? Hahaha!

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Well done Michael Clarke for opening up the game. Bet that was a nervous last hour or so though...

  • SJCYorkshire on August 25, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    Good from England to get up to 377; even better to thwart Australia's plans by taking 6 wickets in their 2nd innings; and better still to have almost chased down the total set. They have been a class apart in the pressure moments and deserve 3-0 despite being well below their best.

    Good from Clarke to set up a relatively sporting declaration - but that was undone by the negative delaying tactics at the end. Might stop Australia trying to claim any sort of sporting moral high ground - we live in hope!!

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Wow Front-Foot-Lun, who poked out your left eye? Cause your one eyed view ain't right! 3-0 is the most flattering series score in ashes history. Australia threw away four first innings leads and the only difference between the teams was Ian Bell. Jimmy went walkabout in tests three and four. Siddle's lion heart makes jimmy's look like chopped liver. Bring on the aus series. Cook and Trott have lost it before leaving home

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Credit to Clarke for setting up the thrilling finale, but it was an overconfident declaration. For all that Australia have tried to get into their opponents' heads with the media barrage about their "brand" of cricket, they nearly paid the price for believing their own press.

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    aussies have really set the tone for how the test cricket should be played in general. they were aggressive when they were thumping every side and they play to win even now when they are not that strong a side. but i have no doubt they will come back as they have shown a few glympse of that during the series. if it was england today, i bet they would have wasted a lot of time and bowl like 15 - 16 hours in last couple hours to take a draw. idk why english fans are complaining

  • on August 25, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    James Faulkner should've been included much earlier in the series. While his slower length yorkers are a joy to watch to watch at times, he's a good hitter of the ball as well.

  • on August 25, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    A draw!!! The Test players killing Test Cricket.

  • richardror on August 25, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    So Faulkner accuses England of negative tactics. And which team was bowling deliberately about a meter down the leg side to stop the other team scoring? Hmm. As I said before the series, England would win 5-0 unless weather got in the way. Unfortunately, it did.

  • on August 25, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    As someone has pointed out, it was the aggressive intent that ENGLAND showed in the morning session that set up the day. At least England have regained some momentum to take into the reverse series.

  • jemapter on August 25, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Yes it was very sporting of Clarke to make a declaration, but they were terrified at the end and desperate to get of the pitch. Aussie bravado shown up again. They are not capable of getting twenty wickets in a match.

    If England are as bad as the Aussies claim then why have they won the series?

  • on August 25, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    How could the English fans be dirty on Michael Clarke. ?? He should have been given a standing ovation rather than be booed. He was the only reason they were provided with some entertainment on day 5. The fans should have been given a refund after having to watch England bat on Day 3. If you think Cook (or any other English Captain in their history) would ever risk losing in order to win your kidding yourself. That's why this current English team will never be a great one. The great teams try to win every game, not play out boring draws when the series has been decided. Have England ever won a series 5-0..?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 25, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    This Ashes England have walked away with it all. It finished in a notorious, downright disgraceful fashion with them being denied a certain victory under the lights, but this only served to underline England's superiority throughout the series, and with them they take the momentum of a steamroller into the next series. And what a series it's been for players like Anderson who bowled the ball of the series, Swann and Broad who all finish with 20+ wickets and at an average of 20+. Indefatigable batsmen like Ian Bell, who is surely the most aesthetically superlative player in the world. In keeping with tradition, Cook out-captained Clarke, Swann out-bowled any Aus pie-chucker that he came up against, and an all-round team effort through magnificent individual performances by a champion side ensured victory was absolute and unquestionable. So now the world looks ahead to the next series in three months, where on those flat Aussie wickets Cook and co are going to have another field day.

  • SirViv1973 on August 25, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    @lynden mcpaul, I don't think u should be getting 2 carried away with Faulkner. To date in his career he has been seen as a bit of a short format specialist & the way the game went 2day suited him. If he continues in the side at 7 then I don't think the balance of the side is right as I think aus will b a batsman short. If he is to have a successful test career it will b batting at 8 & filling the 3rd seamer role which he has a chance of doing seeing that none of starc, bird or pattinson were able 2 live up to the billing they had been given pre series by so many of their fans.

  • WoundedSplinter on August 25, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    All credit to Pup for making it a superb fifth day's Test cricket. And I don't mean just the declaration: the timing of the declaration was just about perfect. KP had his chance to shine; Cook and Trott reverted to the way they play one-day cricket (and they're both capable of that), and all of the Aussie bowlers gave it their best.

    Can we have more of this in the next five Tests, please? Five matches that are real, honest-to-Grace/Bradman, cricket matches?

    My faith is partially restored.

  • zzby on August 25, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    England winning the series 3-0 does not refelect the fight and courage shown by Aussies, the plus point for England was the big 3(jimmy,broad & swanny) firing. They are excellent bowlers in English conditions no one else is near to them at the moment.Other then them and Bell/KP england dsn't looks threating. Will they fire on Aussies pitches is a real question. Aussies has some positive from the series specially Bucky at the top and watson/smith firing. But there bowling looks superb apart from Siddles last 2 matches, they looks promising and on thier home grounds they should be more threatning.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 25, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Very sporting of Clarke, but I think this last day of the game and indeed the series puts to rest any doubts/moaning that England are incapable of upping the ante when circumstances allow. It was the correct call by the umpires in the end because it looked duller than in the previous occasions when the players were shooed away, usually at Clarke's disgust. 3-0 is the correct scoreline for me, and it was very nearly 4-0. Can't wait until the next Ashes series now.

  • on August 25, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    All credit to Clarke for making a game of it but if he seriously thought Oz could bowl England out in 44 overs on a wicket that hadn't deteriorated at all he must be deluded. Of his bowlers Harris is class, Siddle is a hard working trier but the rest are average or poor. They had no chance of bowling England out but he risked another loss.

  • SirViv1973 on August 25, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    I hope that the aus fans who have been slating eng tactics throughout this series will now get off their high horses. Aus were using every trick in the book 2 get off wen it was evident they had no chance of victory.

  • on August 25, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    Whilst as an England fan and a fan of cricket, i'm gutted this match didn't go right down to the wire, I accept that Englands time wasting earlier in the match when a draw was looking like their best option has come back to bite them. The officials have to be consistant as far as taking the players off for bad light. That said I do think the regulations regarding bad light do need to be looked at in terms of what constitudes "Danger". However that's a whole other debate. Well done to both teams for striving for a result on the final day.

  • shahidmahmood on August 25, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Excellent match to finish the series! The match was a draw, and England won The Ashes 3-0, but in this match, Cricket was the winner! All credit to MJ Clarke for setting up such a fifth-day contest. He was willing to lose 4-0 to have a chance of 3-1, and should be credited for it. Sad to see the light cutting the game 4 overs short, but if Clarke hadn't been so aggressive, the match was a certain draw anyways. All in all, match drawn, England won The Ashes 3-0, but Cricket was certainly the winner for Day 5 of this match.

  • naamprik on August 25, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Really folks, the only reason we had a game today was due to Michael Clarke, so give the guy a break. It is difficult to understand how England could bat so slowly on Day 3, yet bat in such an attacking manner today. England won the series 3-0, that is not in dispute, but the "Great"teams do not rely on the opposition to set the agenda. England are a good team, but will never be a great one, like the West Indies or Australia.

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    This wouldn't have been a contest if it were not for Clarke making a sporting declaration. Alistair Cook would never have made a game of it. To all those English fans moaning, look at all the time Cook and England's bowlers wasted, and the slow rate England's batter's scored at early in their first innings. Only one team came here to win. England deserve the series but 3-0 is not reflective of how close the two teams have been. England are psychologically stronger in key moments at present, but I can see the tide turning in Australian conditions.

  • Rastus on August 25, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    As it was Clarke who gave everyone the chance of a result he should have had the backbone to see that decision through to the end. England should have realised from Friday evening that the light was never going to last and promoted Swan and Prior up the order to get quick runs instead of having Trott poking singles and taking two minutes to take his guard every time he got back on strike.

  • Blade-Runner on August 25, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    It was very unsporting by the English crowd to boo match officials. They even booed the match referee for no good reason. In addition Watson brought a lot of negativity to the game by bowling down the leg side. I thought that was a pretty cheap thing to do. It seems he just can't help it being you know who.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    @Steve Back on (August 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT) although I've been critical, it hasn't been of Clarke's tactics. As you say, England did precisely the same thing, so we're in no position to have a go at Clarke. And as others have said, there wouldn't have even been a chase had it not been for Clarke.

    My point wasn't to criticise Clarke's captaincy. My point was to defend Cook's. There has been a lot of talk about England's negativity, not just from fans, but yesterday's comment from Faulkner. What I think Clarke showed today is that any captain does whatever he can to avoid defeat, so long as it's allowed by the laws of the game. If the umpires are happy with it, then everything's fair game.

    I just think it's wrong to have double standards. I defended Cook's tactics, so I'd be a hypocrite to criticise Clarke for his. But likewise those who criticised Cook's ought to criticise Clarke's as well.

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    The bad light thing is a ridiculous playing condition. It's about danger to the players, and none of the batsmen or fielders are ever in any danger these days. To play 86 overs of cricket and then come off the field with 4 overs left is torture to the paying public. Thanks, cricket, for once again applying stupid rules over common sense.

  • sonicattack on August 25, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Whilst Clarke will receive plaudits for his declaration, I thought that England were excellent today. They knew that Australia had to make the running if they were to achieve a consolation victory but never let the Australian batsmen get away at all, (after scoring quickly themselves this morning) bowled well, took wickets at the right moments and I would think that Clarke felt about 30 runs short when he declared, and then England batted brilliantly. Clarke, I'm sure knew that the light would have faded about 19h30 and even though he was looking worried at one point probably knew that he would be 'saved' by the umpires. Even if Pietersen hadn't got out when he did I think they may well have been a few runs short when the light meters came out. I thought that it was a fair ending even tho' I wanted England to win! Oh, and all those who criticised England on Friday - they had to make the game safe, it was up to Clarke to do all the running. I'll take 3-0!!

  • Inaam300 on August 25, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Negitive cricket by Aussies in last ten overs. Did't expect it.

  • Neil1489 on August 25, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    Michael Clark - The great tactical captain... who never wins a test; the great sportsman... except when about to lose because of his mad declarations; the great batsman...except when under pressure & in series where it really matters & above all the prime example of a typical whinging aussie (although it is true that there has been a lot of competition in this series). The myths that have built up around this guy are unbelievable. Loving all the talk about the series down under - reminds me so much of India after we beat them 4:0.

  • Robster1 on August 25, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    Hello ICC - if anyone's listening or really cares about test cricket, try applying a little common sense. And do remember you are in the entertainment industry.

  • whatawicket on August 25, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    i just hope the people who have given England stick with going off in other earlier tests just for once give them a bit of credit. England were 3 up so the Aussies had to dangle a carrot for the run chase and if we had gone off with the light issue, we would never have heard the last of it. i can guess what would have been written if we had not gone for it and the happy chorus if we had been beaten. just like to say great result but if we had played as we know we can play we would have been out of site with the winning margins. well played England it will be harder next time we play so celebrate now and we can beat them in oz

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (August 25, 2013, 18:56 GMT), I think that's a bit harsh because, by the time the light became an issue, any chance of Australia winning had evaporated by then. Warne is rather full of it and it was ridiculous the way he kept on at Atherton there for a while but I think that both captains showed that, when they believe that there's a chance to win, they will risk a loss. Clarke is obviously a bigger gambler than Cook but the way England went about that run chase shows that they're prepared to be positive but still play sensibly, where Australia probably went a little bit crazy in their second innings.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on August 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Well. I would say that some justice has been done in the end, as England themselves wasted time on lots of occasions, rain was not in Australia's favor also. Had there been England in Australia's place they would have been happy with umpire's decision like Trot said in the end.

    It was a historical match for sure and great move by Clarke he was ready to risk it for 4-0 to go 3-1 up. Good cricket all round, great batting by KP and Cook himself as well. I really enjoyed this historical match.

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    Before people criticize Australia (I'm English, before you start) for taking time out changing fields, gaps between overs, dead balls and all that, remember that England have done the same before, as have all teams in a variety of situations. It's universal throughout cricket. Yes, Australia probably would have lost (5 an over with at least 3 capable batsmen left is heavily in favour of England at that point), but Australia did all they could to get their fields right. Nothing wrong with that. Also, they didn't bowl down the leg side that much. However, Australia's batting remains a heavy concern and will need plenty of improvement against possible collapses in the future if they are to at least tie the next series.

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Entertaining stuff, it wouldn't have been a game if Clarke didn't want it to be so credit to him. Our fans shouldn't boo the umpires, that's just not cricket. 3-0 boomshakalaka

  • WAKE_UP_CALL on August 25, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Congratulations England for winning the Ashes 3-0.But Australian captain has Won an admirer in me among many fans.Clarke may had issues going around off the field however when he is on the field he pulls crowds on the ground either because of his brilliant batting or superb captainship.He brought this match alive with the way he took decisions and his team played.Its sad though that the way match ended but one cant deny the atmosphere which was electric at oval and credit has to be given to clarke's men.Test cricket needs leaders like Clarke who have always been positive which importantly is coz he belonged to the great Australian era.No matter whatever the opposition he has always accepted the challenge in regards to bring out a contest.He is one of the best innovative, tactical and fearless captains in the game one has seen.He led a side for whom rub on the green didn't went their way this series.Cricket World needs Australia back on their feet and probably they are on the right path

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    The England batsmen didn't seem to have any issues seeing the ball.

  • on August 25, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    yeah England would have won this game because they are the better team. people can say what an amazing captain Clarke is all they like but what has he got to lose? they are three nil down. if they lose four nil who cares. England are comfortably better than aussies they'll beat em down under as well

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    I don't actually blame Clarke, by the way, I just think it's hypocritical for the Aussies to give Cook stick for defensive tactics, and yet as soon as it looked like they'd lose, Clarke did exactly what Cook was crucified for. After Faulkner's comments yesterday, he should look at his own captain today. There's no moral high ground to be claimed here.

    Warne said on commentary that Clarke was willing to risk losing in order to win. I think Clarke showed this evening that that's nonsense. He wasn't prepared to lose, and who can blame him? Losing can become a habit, and a draw is better than a defeat.

  • Cricket316 on August 25, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Michael Clarke didn't do himself any favours tonight. Never seen a captain so in fear of losing. Can't see Australia beating Eng down under.

    To see Michael Clarke embarrass himself over getting a glimpse of the light reading shows just how far Aussie cricket has fallen..

  • lemonstealer on August 25, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    for about half an hour they played in light as bad as it was when they eventually came off with just four overs to go,20 runs to get and the biggest stakeholder in they game which is the public finally getting their money's worth only to be robbed of it.im sorry you need smarter people officiating.all this rubbish in the name of professionalism

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    There have been many comments about the relative levels of positivity in the two teams batting this series and particularly this match but it's worth noting that, when quick runs were needed, Australia lost 6 wickets in making 111 at a run rate of 4.82 in their second innings while England lost 5 wickets in making 206 at 5.15. Anyone who assumes that England won't be able to handle the return series because they're too negative just got their wakeup call. One of the downsides of Clarke having declared is that now Trott and KP at least look to have played themselves into some form, so they will carry more confidence into the series in Australia as a result. That ODI-style run chase will also give England some confidence for the upcoming limited-overs series. That and the fact that they beat Australia 4-0 at their last meeting must give England the psychological edge.

  • on August 25, 2013, 18:50 GMT

    Well Clarke sheepishly had to waste time after his stratagem very obviously backfired on him badly. How the Aus management thought they could bowl out England in 45 overs when they couldnt in thrice as many on several occassions is beyond most. Anyway Aus go back totally confused, do they drop Watson and Smith..not sure...what about the bowlers, again confusion about the top 3 seamers, is Faulkner the all rounder they need....hmmmm...only Rogers and Clarke are at the core....so the core has eroded even further. There is though gonna be the ethereal belief that they were in winning positions and that the gap is not so wide, well enter Act 2 Scene 1 : Brisbane Australia... and we shall find out...

  • on August 25, 2013, 18:47 GMT

    Excellent effort at that run chase by England. Kudos to Clarke, too, for trying to make a game out of the draw. The umpires did nothing wrong - according to law they had no choice. Shame Ian Bell's average took a bit of a dive though!!!

  • on August 25, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    So Australia drag out the overs, deliberately bowl wides and get the advantage courtesy of the ICC that consistently muck around with the laws of cricket and manage to end a dramatic game on a downer after a great day's play. One must wonder if members of this elite body are bright enough for the job. Still, on the bright side Australia still can't win a test match.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    It's a real shame that it ended that way but, with England looking likely to get home, it might be considered justice, given that the elements had aided England to some degree previously. Given the criticism of England for something similar earlier in the series, I do wonder whether Clarke and Australia wanted to get off for bad light. It doesn't really matter though, because any team would be justified in wanting to get off under those circumstances. They'd be even more justified given that, without their declaration, England would never have even had the chance of victory. Mind you, England had earned that position by being up 3-0. Also, it was also important that they batted well in their first innings and put Australia in a position where there only chance of victory carried a big risk of defeat. Regardless, that was a most entertaining day's cricket from both teams. I just hope the umpires aren't vilified because they had no real option under the circumstances.

  • johnnycash on August 25, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    I'd call that karma after England started playing for a draw from day 2 of this test match. Well done to Micharl Clarke and the Australians for making a game of it. Bring on the Gabba!

  • RambunctuousRex on August 25, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Other things aside, we must commend Australia for the sporting declaration and England for taking the challenge after all the flak they have taken (undeservedly so, in my opinion) for playing negatively. Australia's decision may look foolhardy to some given their paucity of talent but then you don't get yourself out of such a rut without backing yourself, even to the extent of naivete, before you are adequate enough in terms of talent riches.

  • Wallruss on August 25, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    Surely the attacking Aussies will try to pack in more than 15 overs this last hour - or maybe not

  • humdrum on August 25, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    And after a manly,trend setting inns,cook departs for a series aggregate of 280(approx) in 10 (that's right) in a winning series even as the fans expect him to score a 200(at least) in every inns. Still, age gets to us all,sooner or later, and hpoe is perennial.

  • FourToNil on August 25, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    For those applauding Clarke for his aggressive captaincy , you're not watching the same game everyone else is. Setting a target of more than 5 an over for 44 overs on a 5th day pitch - is basically putting England out of the game.

    I don't see how any captain would have been more defensive than that. You are not even giving your 2 fork attack a chance to get 10 wickets.

    An aggressive captain would have given a FAIR chance to the opposition and had faith in his bowlers to win the match. Clarke has done neither.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    For the record, Australia's magnificent run chase in Adelaide in 2006 was when the required rate was 4.67. They ended up going at 5.11 (which is still lower than what Clarke's asking England to score at to win this), but if you think Clarke's declaration was bold, think again. A required run rate of 5.16 isn't attacking, it's "safety first".

  • on August 25, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    Clarke the best & aggresive captain i had ever seen in the cricket history.today again declared to get result what ever the result may be.he had taken many aggresive decisions after becoming captain.hope australia would win the match or draw

  • loke_cricfan on August 25, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Hats of Clarke, for declaring. U r the real captain. I dont care whether u win this match or not. I have seen time and time again u doing this, making game out of dead. No other captain can match ur guts. U r playing for the win, but ur team not up to the standards. I am hopeful all other captains will follow your way. U gain respect all over the world...... Thank you so much for making this match entertaining from no where.... From Indian....

  • Englishmanabroad on August 25, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I think England will at least, begin with a shot at it. If the make it to >45-1 after 10, they with continue. If they lose more than 5 wickets for 120 then they will stop. I really dont see that England has anything to lose. They have the series. I think Australia has nothing to lose either. A win in this test on a dead pitch, which makes no difference to the overall result, why not. Lets be honest, this could be the tying game, if Australia hadn't thrown away the 4th test match. Should say however, if England DO win this test, then you could argue that they manipulated Australia into a position of having to risk the loss, to get the win.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Hand up all who think England will try to win this game? They gave up three days ago, and its not going to change now. Entertaining stuff though, thanks to the one team which is actually trying to make something of the game.

  • on August 25, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Slot in James Faulkner at 7 and keep him there. I've seen enough to be sold on him already. He is a man with enough skills to adapt his batting or bowling to any situation and will improve Australia's overall depth in both departments. Both batting innings offered exactly what was required and the way he cleaned up an aggressive English tail in benign conditions enabled Australia to keep open a window of opportunity in this game. He is the stuff test cricket is made of!

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 25, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    After all the whinging about day 3 endangering the future of test cricket, shouldn't the "dynamic" clarke have declared well before reaching the 200 lead with roughly 45 overs maximum to bowl?

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Going on this display, Australia are not much good at one at cricket either.

  • AnthonyMD on August 25, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    A well compiled duck by Haddin, and a nicely dropped sitter earlier, thank God he's such a better option than Wade.

  • EnglishCricket on August 25, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    World record because of 5 match test series. Feel bad for other wicket keepers of other countries who play 2/3 match test series therefore no chance.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    How many times has Australia thrown away wickets trying to score quick runs this series?I suppose by the end of this game, England will get somewhere within 100 runs of what Aus set, but this will disguise the fact that Aus were 149 runs in front with ten wickets in hand, and England batting last. I think we can safely say Aus would have won this game by a massive margin without the rain, as they would have in the third test.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 25, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    Pathetic from Clarke not going in to bat. Where is he?

  • RandyOZ on August 25, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Cook again very strauss like with his negative tactics. Will never be a great captain with poor tactics like this.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Clarke must be a fan of Howzat. Rolling dice to decide the batting order.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I think your point about England's top order being out of form is one that few people acknowledged when England were batting so slowly. They'll point to Watson, but a) being aggressive is his "natural game", and it isn't for Cook and Trott and b) Woakes and Kerrigan didn't half help him get going. Australia bowled really well, gave nothing away, as they have most of the series, and it can be hard to get going when you're out of form and the bowlers give nothing away. The lack of pressure today was a big factor in how we played.

    @2MikeGattings At Swann's expense, no less. Still find it baffling that they left out Lyon for Agar. The whole "left armers against right handers" bit is overplayed; you pick your best players. A very good off-spinner is more likely to get a right-hander out than an inexperienced, but promising left-armer. Heck, Root got Clarke out at Lord's and he's probably the best player of spin in the world. Swann's gotten Smith out a few times, Haddin too.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha yeah, you're right, we should have batted like this yesterday. Since we lost 6-130, we'd have been bowled out for somewhere around 280-300, and the best case scenario, Australia would have had to bat again, but with a big lead.

    We'd have been in the exact same boat as Old Trafford, where Australia were most likely well on their way to winning until the rain intervened. If Australia's only hope of winning a Test match is for England to gift wrap a win for them, things really are bad for Australian cricket. I remember when you used to pummel us even when we played at our best.

    The funny thing is we keep hearing "if only a few decisions had gone our way" or "if only it hadn't rained". How about this: if New Zealand hadn't played so well against us, Cook and Trott most likely would have carried on where they left off against the Australians. Australian cricket reliant on New Zealand being better than them? My, how things have changed.

  • GiantScrub on August 25, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    jmcilhenny: I don't agree with the idea that England stood a decent chance of following on if they batted faster. All the batsmen got starts and faced a lot of balls, and it included not punishing some pretty bad deliveries from Steve Smith in particular; if they'd had the mindset to hit the bad stuff, they might have passed the follow-on target on day 3. If I was the English dressing room and looking for a draw, I'd have been happier waiting around during the rain at say 330/7 rather than 247/4, as it would have meant definitely not following on.

  • Wallruss on August 25, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Plenty of time for an Aussie collapse

  • PACERONE on August 25, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Australia should declare and have England go after 116 to win.Let us see what England would do.

  • whofriggincares on August 25, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @2mikegattings, the only 98 Kerrigan will be seeing in his career will be 0 for 98.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I reckon if Kerrigan scores 98 they might keep him in for the next test.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    The pitch may have been freshened up a bit by the rain but England's batting today indicates that the pitch wasn't as slow as they made it seem on day 3. That said, they did score some runs this morning but their batting still wasn't exactly fluent. Having lost 3 for about 100, with most of their top order rather out of form, you'd say that there's a reasonable chance that they would have had to follow on if they'd played that way from the outset. England won't lose this game now and that's the most important thing. Some may say that they are scared of losing but that's really an exaggeration. It's more that they're determined not to lose if they can avoid it. Maybe that will cost them a win every now and again but it will also save them more losses. If that's wrong then so be it. I'm OK with it.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Amazing how the Poms can score quickly and take risks - when the game is over. Kind of sad really. Expecting an English batsman to take a risk is like expecting a cow to lay an egg. When Clarke sets them a target they will shut up shop, 100% guaranteed.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Amazing how the Poms can score quickly and take risks - when the game is over. Kind of sad really. Expecting an English batsman to take a risk is like expecting a cow to lay an egg. When Clarke sets them a target they will shut up shop, 100% guaranteed.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    The pitch may have been freshened up a bit by the rain but England's batting today indicates that the pitch wasn't as slow as they made it seem on day 3. That said, they did score some runs this morning but their batting still wasn't exactly fluent. Having lost 3 for about 100, with most of their top order rather out of form, you'd say that there's a reasonable chance that they would have had to follow on if they'd played that way from the outset. England won't lose this game now and that's the most important thing. Some may say that they are scared of losing but that's really an exaggeration. It's more that they're determined not to lose if they can avoid it. Maybe that will cost them a win every now and again but it will also save them more losses. If that's wrong then so be it. I'm OK with it.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    I reckon if Kerrigan scores 98 they might keep him in for the next test.

  • whofriggincares on August 25, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @2mikegattings, the only 98 Kerrigan will be seeing in his career will be 0 for 98.

  • PACERONE on August 25, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Australia should declare and have England go after 116 to win.Let us see what England would do.

  • Wallruss on August 25, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Plenty of time for an Aussie collapse

  • GiantScrub on August 25, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    jmcilhenny: I don't agree with the idea that England stood a decent chance of following on if they batted faster. All the batsmen got starts and faced a lot of balls, and it included not punishing some pretty bad deliveries from Steve Smith in particular; if they'd had the mindset to hit the bad stuff, they might have passed the follow-on target on day 3. If I was the English dressing room and looking for a draw, I'd have been happier waiting around during the rain at say 330/7 rather than 247/4, as it would have meant definitely not following on.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha yeah, you're right, we should have batted like this yesterday. Since we lost 6-130, we'd have been bowled out for somewhere around 280-300, and the best case scenario, Australia would have had to bat again, but with a big lead.

    We'd have been in the exact same boat as Old Trafford, where Australia were most likely well on their way to winning until the rain intervened. If Australia's only hope of winning a Test match is for England to gift wrap a win for them, things really are bad for Australian cricket. I remember when you used to pummel us even when we played at our best.

    The funny thing is we keep hearing "if only a few decisions had gone our way" or "if only it hadn't rained". How about this: if New Zealand hadn't played so well against us, Cook and Trott most likely would have carried on where they left off against the Australians. Australian cricket reliant on New Zealand being better than them? My, how things have changed.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I think your point about England's top order being out of form is one that few people acknowledged when England were batting so slowly. They'll point to Watson, but a) being aggressive is his "natural game", and it isn't for Cook and Trott and b) Woakes and Kerrigan didn't half help him get going. Australia bowled really well, gave nothing away, as they have most of the series, and it can be hard to get going when you're out of form and the bowlers give nothing away. The lack of pressure today was a big factor in how we played.

    @2MikeGattings At Swann's expense, no less. Still find it baffling that they left out Lyon for Agar. The whole "left armers against right handers" bit is overplayed; you pick your best players. A very good off-spinner is more likely to get a right-hander out than an inexperienced, but promising left-armer. Heck, Root got Clarke out at Lord's and he's probably the best player of spin in the world. Swann's gotten Smith out a few times, Haddin too.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Clarke must be a fan of Howzat. Rolling dice to decide the batting order.