London, The Oval: A brilliant display of fast bowling by Mitchell Starc propelled Australia into a position of advantage on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against England at The Oval. Starc’s four-wicket haul overshadowed a stylish half-century by England’s Harry Brook as Australia took control of the match.
At the end of the day’s play, Australia found themselves in a comfortable position at 61/1, with Usman Khawaja (26*) and Marnus Labuschangne (2*) at the crease.
The day began with England batting at 250/7, with Mark Wood (23*) and Chirs Woakes (15*) on the crease. However, Mitchell Starc struck early in the final session to dismiss Mark Wood, followed by Stuart Broad, for just seven runs. Starc completed his four-wicket haul by claiming the crucial wicket of Chris Woakes for 36. England’s innings came to an end at 283 runs.
Starc was the standout bowler for Australia, finishing with figures of 4/82, while Josh Hazlewood and Todd Murphy claimed two wickets each. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh chipped in with one wicket each.
In reply, Australia’s openers, David Warner and Chris Woakes, provided a solid start to their innings. However, Woakes dismissed Warner for 24 runs, bringing Marnus Labuschagne to the crease. Labuschagne, along with Usman Khawaja, guided Australia to a steady position by the end of the day’s play.
Earlier in the day, England’s Harry Brook and Moeen Ali showcased resistance against the Australian attack. Brook brought up his half-century in just 44 balls, and he, along with Moeen Ali, launched a counterattack against Pat Cummins, scoring 19 runs in an over. However, Mitchell Starc’s devastating spell of bowling saw him remove both Brook (85) and skipper Ben Stokes (3).
England’s first session began positively, with openers Ben Duckett (41) and Zak Crawley (22) showing promise. But Australia’s Mitchell Marsh ended Duckett’s innings, and Hazlewood dismissed Crawley and Joe Root (5).
Brook and Ali then mounted a steady partnership, but England’s innings concluded at 283 runs.