July 24th 2023.
England have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the upcoming fifth and final Ashes Test at the Kennington Oval, starting on Thursday. The hosts will be looking to square the series after rain at Old Trafford in Manchester robbed them of a decider.
The contest started with England reducing Australia to 299-8 after winning the toss. Ben Stokes and co. returned the next day to bowl the tourists out for 317 before launching a stunning assault with the bat. Zak Crawley smashed his second hundred at home as England scored over 5 and a half runs per over. The day ended with England leading by 67 runs as Ben Stokes and Harry Brook were still in the crease.
Australia, however, took a massive stride to retain the urn on day 4, thanks to a 103-run stand between Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh. Labuschagne scored his first Test hundred on English soil, but regretted not batting his side through to Tea, after which the players did not return.
Unfortunately, England were denied a near-certain victory due to persistent rain on the fifth day. With the hosts needing five wickets to win and Australia trailing by 61 more runs, no play could be possible.
Should Australia win the rubber 3-1, star pacer Pat Cummins will become the first Aussie captain since Steve Waugh in 2001 to win an away Ashes series.
England's squad for the 5th Ashes Test is as follows: Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
The players will be hoping to give their best performance in the final Test and secure a draw in the series. Regardless of the result, the team can take pride in their efforts and performances throughout the series.
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