An unforgettable summer of cricket finally draws to a close at the Oval this week, as the fifth test of an Ashes series that will live long in the memory gets underway.
Unfortunately, the final test won’t be the winner-take-all affair that many had hoped for, as Australia retained the Urn following a draw due to bad weather in the fourth test. But, both teams will be gearing up to land a final blow in the series, beginning on Thursday.
Ashes 5th Test Odds
England comes into the final test as the narrow favorites in the BetXchange betting, with the hosts available at 12/10. An Australian win to seal a famous series victory is priced up at 33/20, while the fated draw is also available at 26/10, with weather conditions once again likely to be a hot topic in London.
England have named the same squad for the fifth test as the one that came within a likely day of landing victory in the fourth test. However, a late decision will be made by Ben Stokes as to whether James Anderson keeps his place or Josh Tongue or Ollie Robinson are called in to start. Australia will still be without Nathan Lyon, but Pat Cummins will likely bring back spin bowler Todd Murphy.
How 4th Test Played Out
England were left frustrated at Old Trafford following the fourth test, as the hosts were on track to set up a thrilling winner-take-all showdown at the Oval. Ben Stokes once again won the toss and opted to bowl, despite favourable batting conditions. However, that decision appeared to be correct, with no player within the Australian ranks scoring more than the 51 managed by Mitch Marsh and Mamus Labuschagne.
In response, England were dominant with the bat, scoring a stunning 592 runs. Zak Crawley was later awarded the player of the match award after scoring an excellent 189 runs from 182 balls. Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow was in excellent form after doubts surrounding his form, scoring a sensational 99 off just 81 balls. Stokes was questioned about his decision not to declare, especially given that the weather issues ahead were visible for all to see.
England bowled well on Friday afternoon, removing Usman Khawaja, David Warne, and Travis Head. The wicket of Steve Smith allowed England to dream that the improbable could be achieved, but it wasn’t until late on Saturday that the hosts removed Labuschagne. By that time, the writing already appeared to be on the wall for England, as they were aware that grim weather conditions threatened to undo all their hard work on Sunday.
Despite play initially planned to get underway at 1 pm on Sunday, further disruption caused by the rain meant that we didn’t get any closer to a restart. The decision was made to call off the day, with Australia celebrating the draw, which meant that they were to retain the Ashes.
The Ashes 5th Test Prediction
There’s no doubt Australia were preying for rain over the weekend, as a victory was within reach for England. However, the draw has taken some of the sting out of this final test, with England needing a win to avoid a first defeat on home soil in the Ashes in 20 years. England don’t deserve to lose this series outright, and a repeat batting performance will once again lead them to victory.