Player of the Match
Player of the Match
832dThe Report by David Hopps

Australia prosper on old-fashioned virtues

David Warner and Steven Smith both scored half-centuries as Australia rediscovered their patience to finish on 287 for 3 at the end of the first day

Match Centre


Best performances - Batsmen

SPD Smith
SPD Smith
143(252) 17x4 - 2x6
Control %85%
  • Productive Shot
  • flick
  • 30 runs
  • 1x4 - 0x6
12 12 24 20 24 18 6 27
DA Warner
DA Warner
85(131) 11x4 - 0x6
Control %80%
  • Productive Shot
  • cover drive
  • 24 runs
  • 3x4 - 0x6
9 4 5 13 21 0 8 25

Best performances - Bowlers

PM Siddle
PM Siddle
MG Johnson
MG Johnson

Match Details


England , elected to field first

Player Of The Match

Player Of The Series

Series result

England won the 5-match series 3-2

Match number


Hours of play (local time)

11am start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00

Match days

20,21,22,23 August 2015 (5-day match)

TV Umpires

Reserve Umpire

Match Referee

Scorer: Thilak Ram | Commentator: Alan Gardner

4.15pm: For the second time in his career as England captain, Alastair Cook lifts the little (replica) urn above his head, as the champagne corks go flying. Joe Root has got the crystal version and the players are going for a lap of the ground, someone is singing "Jerusalem" again... Well, it's had its bathetic moments but England can now enjoy the finale. I'm sure there'll be a few beers in the rooms with both sets of players now, too. Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers can toast Test careers that were nearly great and very good respectively and hopefully no one will require a toilet break in the middle. You can read about how Australia farewelled them with victory, despite the English weather, in David Hopps' report, then take a look at the statistics of what has been a head-scratching series, in which Australia finished with three of the top four run-scorers and four of the top five wicket-takers. There will be the usual video gems to look out for and, if you've had your Ashes fill, then perhaps you'd like to read about another retiring great over in Colombo. We've had the usual fun and games, ably assisted by your witty and insightful contributions - give it a week or so and we'll be back with the limited-overs stuff. For now, from Deiva and myself, as well as Gnasher, Karthik, Miller and the rest, it's goodbye. Ta ra!

3.45pm: The stage has been erected and it's time for the presentations. Clear skies above The Oval as England prepare to receive the cherry atop their Ashes cake... But first, the Player of the Match is Steven Smith: "Yeah, it was [tough batting], coming into this game there was a lot to play for for us, Michael in his last Test. Great to get some runs and the bowlers back it up as well. Always going to be tough, there were a couple of wickets that were a bit spicy and it was quite hard work. I like batting in London, it suits me good. It's been disappointing but credit to England they played some really good cricket throughout this series. Michael been a great captain to play under these last two years and I've certainly leaned a lot off os him. As Test [players we judge ourselves most on Ashes series, we've got a lot of cricket to play before then, a few new players to come in.

Chris Rogers is named as Australia's man of the Series: "Yeah, I've never been up here so it's pretty special. It's nice to win this last Test and be a part of Michael's last Test as well. Well, I think I've played most in England and Australia so I probably had that advantage. My first series back in 2013 was tough, the wickets have been tricky at times, so it's something to be proud of. I'm a proud Australian but it's fitting I get to finish up over here, England's been particularly good to me and I've had a lot of support, so thank you very much. Playing cricket for a living isn't the toughest life, I've always enjoyed it and getting this late opportunity, I've just tried to make the most of it. Thanks to the Aussie guys for making me feel so welcome.

Joe Root is England's Man of the Series and the winner of the Compton-Miller medal: "Yeah, credit to Australia, they outplayed us in this game, we've got to take that on the chin but we can celebrate now. I think the guys prepared well for this Test match, we had a poor couple of hours a couple of days ago, Australia being the good side they are didn't let us back in the game. [Importance of hundreds] Credit to the whole squad, it's been a team performance and it's been great to be part of. Tonight will be hard to beat, all of it's been great, I love spending time with the guys and hope for more good times going forward. [No1 batsman] I think I need to score more runs than I did in this match, that comes with playing for England and playing international cricket. I'll just keep doing what I've done and trying to improve."

Australia captain Michael Clarke: "After the last Test, couldn't have gone any better, the hard work the guys have put in. Credit to Alastair and his team, they've deserved the win but we're glad to have come out in this match and put in a performance. We're disappointed with how the series went but we came out and showed some of our best. [Crowd response] They used to boo me but I haven't been scoring any runs... The fans are such a great part of playing this game. Probably my favourite tour was in 2005, it introduced me to how tough it is. I've had a wonderful time touring here, hopefully I can now come back and have a holiday. I came into a great Australian team, my first 20 or 30 Test match, those guys mentored me and hopefully I've managed to pass some of that on. Enjoy every single moment, I'm blessed to have played for Australia as much as I have, it's an honour to captain your country. But this isn't my stage, congratulations to Alastair and the England team."

England captain Alastair Cook: "It's been an interesting Test match, probably both sides have been a little bit off in terms of intensity, credit to Australia and their character to bounce back. You see how strong Australia were here, so to have beaten them three times - we played some really good cricket at times, the crowds have been absolutely amazing, so thanks to everyone. I knew this was a talent group of players, I think being huge underdogs at the start helped us, it allowed us to go and play with freedom. It's an amazing achievement to beat this Australia side, so it has to rank right up there. It's been strange at times, two-day Test matches, but very pleasing. [Young team?] Learning the hard game of test cricket as young players, it's good for the future. It's exciting, there'll be tough times but look forward to grabbing those moments in the future."

3.30pm: Michael Clarke heads off, through another guard of honour, for the last time in international cricket. Australia had a whip round to provide a consolation victory - England chipped in too - as the captain prepares for retirement. Chris Rogers also leaves the pitch in his baggy green for the last time. The players shake hands on the stairs up to the Oval dressing rooms; England were roundly trounced here but take the series 3-2 and regain the Ashes. For the fifth Test running, the final day is superfluous (I've still got that ticket for sale, if anyone wants it).

Ian Ward has grabbed the two retirees, Pup and Buck: "Both Chris and I are sick of the attention, to be honest, every time we walked out on the field. This week wasn't about us, it was about showing our fight as a team, we're proud of the result. The result of the series was done, England deserve a lot of credit, but this was nice to win. Been an amazing journey, you cherish every single Test but, us two old boys, our time is up."

"I don't normally get emotional but it's a sad day," says Rogers. "It's been a fantastic journey and a privilege. I'm still angry with the skip about that [fielding at short leg], I've been hit in the head enough. I'll miss the moments like this, the few hours we have left today, I'll cherish every moment."

So, England failed to win four Tests in a home Ashes series for the first time (which is probably a fair reflection of their ability as a team), and Australia extended their run of failure in England that goes back to 2001. Clarke failed to score fifty, Alastair Cook failed to score a hundred (he still doesn't have an Ashes one at home). Both sides failed to compete, though still served up a weirdly enthralling series. At the end of it all, as Samuel Beckett might say, it was England that managed to fail better.

Siddle to Ali, OUT, bit of width, Moeen flashes - and there it is, a thin edge through to the keeper! Siddle finishes with a four-wicket bag (bringing that average back below 30) and Australia win by an innings and 46 runs, though it won't prevent a series defeat

MM Ali c †Nevill b Siddle 35 (77m 57b 6x4 0x6) SR: 61.40

Siddle to Ali, no run, good ball from Siddle, nipping away outside off as Moeen hangs his bat out in the wind
Siddle to Finn, 1 run, cheers for another run to Finn, another inside edge through backward square leg
Siddle to Ali, 1 run, length on the stumps, Moeen defends on the front foot, takes the inside edge and runs behind square

101 | 11 Runs | ENG: 284/9

  • Moeen Ali34 (54b)
  • Steven Finn8 (13b)
  • Mitchell Marsh16-4-56-2
  • Peter Siddle24-12-33-3
Marsh to Ali, 1 run, full on the stumps, tries to turn the ball to leg and gets a leading edge through mid-off
Marsh to Ali, FOUR runs, too full and again Moeen sends it skimming away through the covers, unfurling that languorous drive

A decade of Ashes


The series win-loss record for England in the last 7 Ashes campaigns, starting 2005. In terms of Test results, Australia lead 15-13

Where the fifth day?


Number of times, before Ashes 2015, that no Test of a five-Test series went into the fifth day. This is the first such instance

Five Tests in a jiffy


Instances of fewer balls bowled in a 5-Test series where each game has had a decisive result: Eng in WI 1985-86, and 2001 Ashes

15 runs short


Batsmen who've scored three hundreds in follow-ons: Martin Crowe and Michael Vaughan. Cook fell 15 short of becoming the third

Follow-on specialist


Cook's average when following on. In three such innings, his scores are 118 v Sri Lanka, 176 v India, and 85 today

Light on runs


Adam Lyth's series average. Among openers who've batted at least 8 times in an Ashes series, only Gooch (12.12 in 1981) has done worse

A first for Clarke


Number of times Australia have enforced the follow-on under Clarke's captaincy. He has had five opportunities to do so, but this is the first time

No runs from the keeper


Jos Buttler's series average. Only 5 England wicketkeepers have had poorer averages in an Ashes series (Min 7 inngs)

Meagre returns


England's highest opening partnership in the series so far. Their other opening stands have been 30, 19, 17, 12, 11, 7, 0.

1st-innings giant


Hundreds by Steven Smith in the first innings of a Test; he has one in the second, and none in the third or fourth

Mr Consistent


Batsmen who've made a 50-plus score in each Test of an Ashes series (min 5 Tests). Warner is the latest in this list