England crushed Australia by 135 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test on Sunday to level the series at 2-2, ending their historic World Cup-winning season on a high. Victory for the home side means the Ashes ends in a draw for the first time since 1972, although holders Australia retain the urn.
The tourists, chasing an unlikely 399 to win in a shade under two days, were in trouble early in their second innings when England paceman Stuart Broad removed openers Marcus Harris and David Warner cheaply. While former captain Steve Smith was at the crease, Australia retained a faint hope sealing their first Ashes series win in England since 2001.
But when Ben Stokes dived to his left at leg slip to catch Smith for 23, giving Broad his third wicket of the innings, England knew they had removed the biggest obstacle in their victory charge. Smith, who scored an astonishing 774 runs in just seven innings, was out for a score of less than fifty for the first time in the series.
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. The tourists won the first Test at Edgbaston and the fourth at Old Trafford while Ben Stokes inspired England to victory in the third Test at Headingley.
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