Australia earned a consolation victory in the fifth and final Ashes Test by an innings and 46 runs on Sunday.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke was given a standing ovation by The Oval crowd as he led out his team-mates on the rain-disrupted fourth day. The visitors needed just four wickets to wrap up a comeback victory as England resumed 203 for 6 on the fourth morning. Fast bowler Peter Siddle produced the breakthrough when he trapped Mark Wood leg before wicket (lbw) for six runs.
Despite of three-hour rain delay, the home side lower order failed to survive against the quality bowling attack. When play resumed in mid-afternoon Siddle dismissed Stuart Broad for 11 and had Moeen Ali caught by wicketkeeper Peter Nevill for 35 to clinch victory. Peter Siddle finished with figures of 4-35 as England was bowled out for 286.
The Australian players gave out-going captain Clarke a guard of honour as he led them off the field for the final time. Earlier the hosts were forced follow on in reply to Australia’s 481 in the first innings of the final game. The result did not affect the destination of the Ashes series as England captain Alastair Cook lifted the iconic urn after his team won the series 3-2.
Michael Clarke announced his retirement after the Ashes were surrendered in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge and will hand over the captaincy to top-order batsman Steve Smith. Clarke has represented Australia in 115 Tests and captained his side in 47 of them.
“I am proud of the way we played here, showing grit and determination and playing cricket the Australian way,” said Clarke. “Congratulations to England, they thoroughly deserved to win the series. Today was not about me but about the team and I am incredibly proud to have been their captain,” he added. IMAGE/AFP