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Brook Misses Ton as Australia Rules Fifth Ashes Test

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Brook Misses Ton as Australia Rules Fifth Ashes Test

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Australian bowlers put on a sensational display, led by the fiery pacer Mitchell Starc, as they outclassed England and ruled the opening day of the fifth and final Ashes clash at The Oval. However, it was Harry Brook’s stylish half-ton that stole the spotlight amidst a flurry of missed opportunities by the Australian fielders.

Winning the toss, Australia’s captain Pat Cummins decided to exploit the overcast and bowler-friendly conditions by sending England to bat first. The decision proved fruitful as England found themselves struggling at 73-3 when Harry Brook stepped in to anchor the innings. Brook, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman, displayed immense composure and skill as he teamed up with Moeen Ali to steady the ship with a solid 111-run partnership.

Moeen’s aggressive strokeplay entertained the crowd, as he lofted Cummins for two big sixes. However, the paceman bowled better than his figures of 1-66 suggested and eventually dismissed Moeen, sparking a middle-order collapse. England, despite being 184-3 at one stage, lost four quick wickets for just 28 runs. Brook, determined to reach his maiden Test century against Australia, continued to showcase his class with an array of elegant strokes.

The Australian fielders, surprisingly uncharacteristic, spilled five catches throughout the day. Brook, benefiting from one of these drops when he was on just five, made the most of his opportunity. He went on to hook Mitchell Starc for a six but unfortunately couldn’t carry on to reach three figures. Starc, ever the relentless competitor, fought back and claimed four wickets for 82 runs to keep England in check.


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Brook’s knock eventually came to an end at 85, leaving him visibly frustrated as he fell short of a century. His 91-ball innings, laced with 11 fours and two sixes, was a testament to his potential as a future batting star for England. His dismissal was caught brilliantly by Steve Smith at second slip, a testament to the Australian skipper’s impeccable catching abilities.

After Brook’s departure, England’s lower order fought hard to push the total to 283 all out. Chris Woakes (36) and Mark Wood (28) contributed crucial runs, showcasing their prowess with the bat. However, Woakes had a couple of escapes as he was dropped twice by the Australian fielders, further exemplifying the unusual lapses in their performance on the day.

In response to England’s total, Australia started their innings cautiously, determined not to repeat the aggressive ‘Bazball’ batting seen earlier from the English side. David Warner fell for 24 when he edged Chris Woakes to Zak Crawley at second slip, who held onto a sharp catch moving to his right.

By the end of the day, Australia had lost only one wicket and were sitting comfortably at 61-1, trailing England by 222 runs. Usman Khawaja was unbeaten at 26, and Marnus Labuschagne, fresh from his century in the previous rain-marred Test, was holding steady at two not out.

With the Ashes already retained at 2-1 in their favor, Australia is eyeing a historic series win in England after 22 years. The visitors’ bowlers have set a solid platform, and their batting lineup will be eager to capitalize on the strong start provided by their bowlers.


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