Stuart Broad Gets Fairy Tale Finish As England Win Thrilling Fifth Test

Broad took the final two wickets as England beat Australia by 49 runs
18:41, 31 Jul 2023

Stuart Broad got his perfect finish as he took the final two wickets on his final appearance to secure an epic 49-run win for England, as they took ten wickets on the final day to level the series. 

A rain interruption in the afternoon looked to have ended their chances, but an astonishing run of wickets, including four in four overs tore the Aussies apart - and Broad got his perfect finish. It had to be. With Alex Carey trying to drag the visitors to victory, he struck with a wonderful delivery that nicked his outside edge. 

It was the perfect ending for England, and a fitting one for Broad. At the end of a thrilling five match series, it ended all square at 2-2, with only Manchester’s rain denying England an epic comeback. Still the revival from 2-0 down was impressive and Brendon McCullum can be proud of his team’s performance. 

It’s a day that makes you treasure Test cricket, as we’ve seen just how good it can be over the past two months. But how on earth will we cope without Broad, arguably our greatest ever seam bowler? He goes out at the very top, just as he always wanted, but it was a special day all round for England. 

Ten wickets came and went, and even a two hour delay due to rain couldn’t stop them. 

Chris Woakes started the day beautifully as David Warner edged one to Jonny Bairstow, who has improved massively over the final two Test matches. He has been the target of some intense criticism over the past two months and yet he delivered one of his best displays with the gloves at the Oval. 

England’s bright start continued when Woakes struck again with a plum delivery that got Khawaja out LBW. With both openers dismissed, England went after Marnus Labuschagne and it was Mark Wood who produced the goods, teasing him into a shot that he edged to Zak Crawley. 

The hosts were left delighted with the opening hour of play, which gave them a genuine chance of victory when their hopes looked slim at the start of the day. Things could have got even better before lunch as Ben Stokes looked as though he had got Steve Smith out. The Aussie legend gloved a delivery to the captain, but as Stokes went to throw the ball in the air in celebration it struck his knee and he lost control.


Lunch came and went, as Smith moved through the gears to 50, and he was supported by Travis Head as the Aussies fought back. Then the rain came and seemingly ended any hope of England taking seven wickets before the end of the day. But this is Bazball, and it is anything but predictable. 

England came out strong. Moeen Ali got Travis Head out as he clipped one to Joe Root who once again proved his safe hands. Then Steve Smith was dismissed by Woakes, as Crawley proved his worth once again in that second slip spot. 

Jonny Bairstow pulled off a spectacular catch as Mitch Marsh deflected one behind and though it looked to have wrong-footed the wicket keeper, he pulled off a great leap to collect the ball in his right glove. 

England were now on top with six wickets down, the Aussies needed 110 runs. Mitchell Starc came in. Mitchell Starc departed on 0 after the duo of Woakes and Crawley struck again. Four wickets in four overs. 

Pat Cummins and Alex Carey tried to put on a mini-partnership but the Aussie captain hit the ball onto his own leg, and it spun up into the air, into the grateful hands of Ben Stokes. This time he kept hold of it until the catch was complete. 

It was a remarkable run for England as they scythed through the Aussie batting line-up, but they did meet more resistance in the unlikely form of Todd Murphy and Carey. Murphy began to take shots on as the lead diminished. 

But finally, England got him out. And it had to be Stuart Broad. He came flying in and having missed the edge with the previous delivery, caught it perfectly as Bairstow mopped up the catch. I’ve never seen such an emotional reaction to a wicket, especially one when England couldn’t even win the series outright. 

But Australia were just 50 away. Then Broad struck again. The fairy tale finish. The emotional ending to one of the greatest careers we have ever seen. 

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