Smith out as England close on Ashes-levelling win
LONDON, Sept 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Steve Smith was dismissed for just 23
as England closed in on a series-levelling victory against Australia in the
fifth Test at the Oval on Sunday.
While the former captain was at the crease, Australia retained a faint
hope of chasing down a daunting target of 399 to seal their first Ashes
series win in England since 2001.
But when Ben Stokes dived to his left at leg slip to catch Smith off
paceman Stuart Broad, England knew they had removed the last serious obstacle
in their victory charge.
It was the first time that Smith, who has scored an astonishing 774 runs
in seven innings, had been out for a score of less than fifty during this
The Oval crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked back to the
dressing room in the September sunshine, with Australia in deep trouble at
85-4 in the post-lunch session.
Earlier, England added 16 runs to their overnight tally, with Jofra
Archer and Jack Leach the last men out.
Broad then pounded in, roared on by a packed crowd, who raised the roof
when he demolished Marcus Harris’s off-stump in the fifth over of the
In his following over, Broad ended David Warner’s miserable series, with
the opener edging him to Rory Burns in the slips and departing for 11.
Warner, who returned to international cricket in June after a 12-month
ban for ball-tampering, had a good World Cup but has endured a torrid time in
The attacking batsman scored just 95 runs in 10 innings and was
dismissed by Broad seven times.
Warner’s dismissal brought Smith to the crease and he opened his account
with a sweet drive through the covers for four off Archer.
Smith and Marcus Labuschagne took the score to 56 before off-spinner
Jack Leach beat the outside edge of Labuschagne’s bat and Jonny Bairstow
whipped off the bails to complete a sharp stumping.
Smith’s demise brought all-rounder Mitchell Marsh to the crease.
He was caught in the slips by Rory Burns off a Chris Woakes delivery but
was reprieved when replays showed a no-ball.
England, who became world champions in the one-day game for the first
time in July, are desperate to end a long summer by levelling the five-match
series at 2-2.
If they complete the win, as expected, it would be the first drawn Ashes
series since 1972.