Australia needs miracle to win Oval Test

Published: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 11:18 [IST]
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Australia needs miracle to win Oval Test

Oval: Jonathan Trott hit a brilliant century on his Test debut to help England to set Australia world record 546 runs to win the final Ashes Test at Oval.


Australia, at stumps on the third day, were 80 without loss - still needing a further 466 runs to reach what would be a new Test record fourth innings.

Trott's 119 was the highlight of England's second innings total of  373 for nine.

Trott's  hundred was only the second by an England batsman this series after captain Andrew Strauss's 161 in their 115-run second Test win at Lord's and was a vindication of the faith the selectors had shown in handing a debut to Trott, in superb form for Warwickshire this season, in such a high-stakes match.

He was eventually last man out, caught by North off Stuart Clark.

Swann, dropped on 47 by Ponting, made a dashing 63 off just 55 balls as he added 90 for the eighth wicket with Trott at better than a run-a-ball.

Ashes loss may leave Ricky Ponting with the unwanted record of becoming the first Australia captain in over a century, since Billy Murdoch, to be in charge of two losing Ashes tours of England following his side's 2005 reverse.

Openers Shane Watson (31 not out) and Simon Katich (42 not out) ensured Australia made a sound start to their tough chase.

Strauss declared to set Australia would be a new fourth innings victory total, surpassing the 418 for seven made by West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2002/03.

Trott, together with Strauss (75), shared a fourth-wicket stand of 118 and demonstrated an admirable temperament after coming to the crease when England were struggling at 39 for three.

The only downside for England fans here was that Andrew Flintoff's final innings before the all-rounder's Test retirement saw him make just 22 before he holed out off North.

Primarily a batsman, North bowled 30 overs after Australia decided against recalling lone specialist spinner Nathan Hauritz and stuck with the team that won the fourth Test at Headingley by an innings and 80 runs.

Pace bowler Stuart Broad put England in pole position with a superb haul of five for 37 on Friday as Australia were bowled out for just 160 in reply to England's first innings 332 on a pitch which, while not the ideal batting surface associated with the Oval, was far from a terror track.


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