5th Test: Warner, Khawaja lead Australia’s resilient charge in pursuit of Ashes triumph | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Australian openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja showcased remarkable resilience, propelling their team to an unbeaten partnership of 135 runs on a rain-shortened fourth day of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. With a daunting target of 384 to win, the tourists’ spirited performance has rekindled hopes of claiming a historic series win on English soil.

Despite England‘s fast-bowling great Stuart Broad’s emotional announcement of retirement after the match, Warner and Khawaja thwarted his quest for a farewell wicket, leaving the cricketing world captivated by their steadfastness at the crease.
As it happened: 5th Ashes Test, Day 4

Warner, notching an impressive 58 not out, and Khawaja, standing unbeaten on 69, combined forces to keep Australia‘s Ashes dream alive. The target of 249 more runs looms ahead, presenting them with an opportunity to clinch a 3-1 series win and achieve their first Ashes campaign triumph in England since 2001.
The duo’s pursuit of this historic feat could secure the eighth-highest fourth-innings total to win any Test match and the second-highest in England, only trailing Australia’s iconic 404/3 at Headingley in 1948, featuring Arthur Morris’ 182 and the unparalleled brilliance of Don Bradman’s unbeaten 173.

Moreover, their exceptional performance could establish a new ground record at The Oval, surpassing England’s current highest successful fourth-innings chase of 263/9 against their arch-rivals in 1902.
Despite the profound impact Broad has had on Australian cricket, having dismissed Warner 17 times in Test matches, he, along with England’s entire pace attack, failed to break the resilience of the Australian openers before rain interrupted play at 2:41 pm (1341 GMT). Persistent downpour subsequently dashed any hopes of a resumption later on Sunday.
Warner, showing his class, lofted England veteran James Anderson for a resounding boundary, while Khawaja, the leading run-scorer in the series, reached his fifty with a well-timed edge off express quick Mark Wood.

Amidst the battle with England’s pace bowlers, occasional turns from off-spinner Moeen Ali and spinner Joe Root offered little consolation for the home side.
The Ashes series holds a significant place for Australia, who arrived in London with a 2-1 lead, having already retained the coveted urn as the holders.
Earlier, as Broad stepped onto the field for the final time in his illustrious career, he received a touching guard of honour. England added six runs to their overnight total of 389/9 before being dismissed for 395.

cricket match

Reflecting on his retirement, the fifth most successful bowler in Test history with 602 wickets, Broad expressed his joy at the opportunity to conclude his journey in the Ashes, a tournament that holds a special place in his heart.
“I’ve had a love affair with the Ashes my whole life and the thought of being able to bowl my last ball and face my last ball against Australia fills me with joy,” he said.
(With inputs from AFP)


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