Fifth Test ends in draw after thrilling day

Australia

The fifth and final Ashes Test ended in a draw thanks to bad light's arrival, as England fell just 21 runs short of a historic four nil series win, after Australia's declaration ensured a thrilling final session.

The fifth and final Ashes Test ended in a draw thanks to bad light's arrival, as England fell just 21 runs short of a historic four nil series win, after Australia's declaration ensured a thrilling final session.

England were all out for 377 early in the afternoon session, with James Faulkner taking four wickets on debut and leaving Australia with a lead of 115 runs. The visitors then went on a T20-like mission till tea, adding 111 runs but losing six wickets before they declared.

England needed 227 runs in the evening session, the hosts with 44 overs to see out. They came out attacking from ball one, and while they lost Joe Root and Alastair Cook early on, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott played superb half century cameos to push the game to the death.

Once the set batsmen had been dismissed, it was up to Ian Bell, the batsman of the series, and debutant Chris Woakes to get the required runs. With six overs to go, England needed 37 runs with no ODI field restrictions.

Matters got very tense as Bell was run out by Mitchell Starc, and Michael Clarke was clearly asking the umpires about the light situation. But there were only 21 runs to go in four overs and the fans were furious as the players trooped off the field, never to return.

The start of the day was delayed by half an hour as ground staff rushed to clear the outfield, after overnight rains again disrupted proceedings. After day four was a complete wash out, play was scheduled for 98 overs.

England started on 247 for four, with Bell and night watchman Woakes in the middle, on 29 and 15 respectively. Woakes, on debut, went to 25 off 70 balls before being dismissed by Ryan Harris, caught in the slips by Michael Clarke.

England's batting was far quicker than on day three, which resulted in much criticism, and Bell was soon approaching his sixth half century-or-more score of the series.

But his run came to an end on 45, when Faulkner strangled him down the leg side and Brad Haddin took a great catch. It was debutant Faulkner's first Test wicket.

This left Matt Prior and Stuart Broad to continue the chase, and Broad became the first batsman of the innings to fall in single figures. He made just nine runs before Starc's reverse swing removed the middle stump.

Prior and Graeme Swann pushed the pace as lunch approached, adding 35 runs in less than three overs, going at a rapid clip. Prior was on 35 at the first interval, while Swann was on 24 off just 11 balls.

Faulkner's impressive day continued after the break, as he removed Prior for 47. The wicketkeeper remained without a half century in the series as Starc took a diving catch at mid-on.

James Anderson became Haddin's 28th catch of the series, putting the keeper level with Rod Marsh's record for most catches in a Test series. Anderson edged Faulkner behind, having faced 10 balls for his four runs.

Swann was the final wicket to fall for England, having made 34, as he was bowled by Faulkner with the score on 377. This left Simon Kerrigan unbeaten on one at the other end, thus without an average with either bat or ball.

Australia sent David Warner and Shane Watson in to open the batting, leaving the more sedate Chris Rogers on the sidelines. Warner was only able to make 12 runs before falling to an Anderson caught-and-bowled, while Watson added 26 runs.

Watto was sent packing by Swann, caught on the ropes by Kevin Pietersen, before Stuart Broad began his run of four wickets. The Nottinghamshire paceman removed Haddin, Faulkner, Smith and Harris, while Clarke was unbeaten on 28 at tea.

The evening session, extended due to day four's loss, was a raucous affair as the crowd made the venue feel like a football ground. Once Root and Cook departed, Pietersen raced to the fastest Ashes 50 by an England player, scoring it in 36 balls.

He eventually made 62 off 55 balls before being caught in the deep by Warner off Harris. Trott followed soon after for 59, trapped LBW by Faulkner, who took six wickets on the day.

Bell was the final wicket to fall in the series, having scored over 500 runs for England. He hit the ball back to bowler Starc, who stopped it with his foot and quickly fired at the stumps, effectively ending the series.

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