Ashes 2019: The fifth and final Test at The Oval in Opta numbers

By Sports Desk September 11, 2019

Australia will attempt to rub salt in England's wounds by securing a first Ashes series away win since 2001 at The Oval.

The tourists retained the urn with an 185-run victory at Old Trafford last Sunday, which gave them a 2-1 lead with just one match to play.

You have to go back 18 years for Australia's last series triumph in England, but that wait will end if they avoid defeat in London.

We pick out a selection of Opta numbers ahead of the final Test of the series, which starts on Thursday.

 

- Australia come into this game at The Oval having retained the Ashes for the first time since the 2002-03 series.

- The tourists are looking first for a first away Test series success since February 2016.

- England will be striving to avoid their first Test series defeat on home soil since June 2014; that series loss coming against Sri Lanka (0-1).

- England have not suffered back-to-back home Test losses since South Africa won two in a row 11 years ago. They have only managed one victory in their last 10 Test contests with Australia.

- Australia have only claimed three wins in their last 18 attempts in Tests at The Oval, losing six and drawing nine.Their win at the London ground was in 2015.

- England have registered back-to-back Test victories at The Oval. They have not managed to record three on the bounce there since putting together a four-game winning run from 1966 to 1969.

- Stuart Broad has got David Warner out 11 times in Test cricket, the joint-most instances he's removed a batsman (level with Michael Clarke). He has dismissed Warner in six of his eight knocks in this series, at the price of only 32 runs.

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  • Hazlewood cites 'huge' Babar wicket as key for Australia Hazlewood cites 'huge' Babar wicket as key for Australia

    Josh Hazlewood hopes his dismissal of Babar Azam can set the tone for the series after Australia dismissed Pakistan for 240 on day one of the first Test.

    Babar is a man in form but survived just four deliveries before falling victim to a full and wide one from Hazlewood, edging into the hands of Joe Burns at first slip.

    It was an ill-judged shot that limited Babar's first-innings contribution at the Gabba to just one run, and Hazlewood wants to restrict his input across both matches.

    "It's huge to try to stay on top of him, for sure," Hazlewood said, having helped to check Pakistan's progress after they reached 75 without loss in Brisbane.  

    "He's probably coming off T20 cricket as well and we know he's a stroke-maker and he certainly likes to put the pressure back on you as a bowler. 

    "I feel if you can get him early, you can get a rash shot like that sometimes.

    "If he drives for four, he's sort of away as well in his game. So it can go both ways there, but we were lucky enough to get the nick and hopefully stay on top of him for the series."

    Hazlewood claimed figures of 2-46, while Mitchell Starc starred with the ball as he took 4-52.

    Among Starc's scalps was Naseem Shah, Pakistan's 16-year-old debutant who had earlier dug in to deny the bowler a hat-trick.

    Naseem, far more at home with the ball in hand, will now hope to stifle the hosts' reply on Friday. 

  • Wagner eyes scalp of 'freak' Stokes Wagner eyes scalp of 'freak' Stokes

    Ben Stokes is the scalp most prized by Neil Wagner after the England batsman finished day one of the first Test with New Zealand on 67 not out.

    The tourists overcame a slow start and recovered from 120-3 to reach 241-4 by the close at Bay Oval.

    Stokes – described by Wagner as "a bit of a freak" – was key to their revival, compiling his timely knock patiently as he faced 114 balls, sending nine to the boundary rope.

    The all-rounder has proven a thorn in the Black Caps' side before, most notably in a superlative display at the Cricket World Cup final in July.

    And left-arm seamer Wagner is determined not to give Stokes any more footage for his ever-expanding highlights reel.

    "Ben is that sort of a player," said Wagner. "He is a special talent and he is a bit of a freak at times.

    "For us, everyone wants to get him out because you know how important a wicket he is."

    At the top of the order, Rory Burns made a half century but could have been sent packing with only 10 runs to his name when he appeared to edge Trent Boult.

    However, the appeal was tame and dismissed, with no review taken, which proved a mistake – although an understandable one, according to Wagner.

    "It's quite a tough ground. There was another one that sounded like a nick and was nowhere near the bat," he explained.

    "When it's windy – and you don't always feel that from the grass banks – it's quite hard to hear those things.

    "There was a little bit of a noise [for the Burns chance] but it was a bob each way; [sometimes] you want to take that risk but also you want to keep hold of them for when you do need them."

  • Starc and Cummins strike to bowl Pakistan out for 240 Starc and Cummins strike to bowl Pakistan out for 240

    Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins starred as Australia knocked over Pakistan on the stroke of stumps on day one of the opening Test.

    Starc claimed four wickets – including the final dismissal of the innings – and Cummins finished with three as Pakistan were bowled out for 240 at the Gabba on Thursday.

    After losing five wickets in a middle-session collapse, Pakistan battled back via Mohammad Rizwan (37) and Yasir Shah (26) until losing 0-3 as Australia made the most of the second new ball in Brisbane.

    Pakistan batted first after winning the toss, and it looked to be a wise decision as the tourists frustrated Australia's attack.

    Despite a couple of early shouts, Pakistan impressed with captain Azhar Ali (39) and Shan Masood (27) at the crease – the pair making it to lunch unscathed on 57-0.

    Azhar and Shan became the first tourists to bat through the opening session of a Test at the Gabba without lunch.

    But Australia turned the screws on Pakistan after lunch as Josh Hazlewood (2-46), Cummins (3-60) and Starc (4-52) ripped through the top order.

    After Pakistan reached 75-0 shortly after the break, Australia took 4-3 in a stunning seven-over blitz – Cummins setting the tone.

    Cummins, the world's number one Test bowler, made the breakthrough with an angling delivery, which removed Shaan, who edged through to Steve Smith at slips.

    The floodgates opened from that point as Hazlewood struck to dismiss Azhar – his 100th Test wicket on Australian soil – and then Babar Azam (1).

    Starc sent Haris Sohail back to the pavilion caught behind for one, while Iftikhar Ahmed (7) was the last wicket to fall before lunch after inside-edging a Nathan Lyon (1-40) delivery to Marnus Labuschagne.

    Resuming on 125-5 following tea, Rizwan came out with intent – hitting Cummins for three boundaries in one over.

    Rizwan, however, was unfortunate after he was controversially caught behind on a Cummins delivery which appeared to be a no-ball.

    But Pakistan dug deep and looked set to see out the day with four wickets in hand, until Australia took the new ball and Starc claimed back-to-back scalps as the lights came on, with 16-year-old debutant Naseem Shah (7) preventing a hat-trick prior to being caught and bowled at the death.

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