Ashes PIX: England vs Australia, 5th Test, Day 1

Images from Day 1 of the fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia at The Oval in London on Thursday.

  • Scorecard

Australia took three early wickets in the opening session of the fifth and final Ashes test but Harry Brook led an England riposte as the hosts reached lunch on 131/3 on Thursday.

Brook walked in with England wobbling on 73/3 but smashed 48 off 41 balls, including two sixes, during another breathless session in a series that just keeps giving.

With the Ashes already retained by Australia following the wash-out at Old Trafford last week, the visitors, who lead 2-1, are seeking a first series win in England since 2001.

England, on the other hand, have a score to settle after being denied victory in Manchester when only 30 overs were possible on the last two days with Australia in deep trouble.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins finally won a toss, having lost the previous four, and not surprisingly opted to put England into bat on a grey and humid morning.

Also unsurprising was the way in which England’s openers, Ben Duckett in particular, went about their business, scoring at virtually a run a ball in the opening hour.

Duckett struck Mitchell Stark for two boundaries in the fifth over, then flat-batted an 85mph Josh Hazelwood delivery to the ropes in the next over, almost cutting fellow opener Zak Crawley in half at the non-striker’s end.

He had a huge let-off in Cummins’ first ball of the day when he slashed at a wide delivery, edging high to first slip where David Warner spilled the catch.

Crawley was also put down in Mitchell Marsh’s first over, although this time there was no blame to Steve Smith who did well just to get fingers on the ball.

The missed opportunities were not too costly for Australia though as Duckett fell to the last ball of the 12th over having made 41 from 41 balls, gloving a leg-side Marsh delivery to Alex Carey, the decision being given after a DRS review.

Crawley departed in the next over for 22, getting a thick leading edge to a full-length delivery from Cummins that veered back in, Smith this time pouching a simple catch.

When Joe Root chopped on to Hazlewood in the 16th over having made only five, England were reeling at 73-/ and it could have been worse for the hosts had Carey held a low catch when Brook edged a drive off Cummins in the next over.

But Brook set about repairing the damage with a flurry of attacking strokes and a little good fortune.

His fifth boundary brought up England’s 100 and with lunch looming he cut loose, thumping Mitchell Starc for successive fours and then cleared the ropes with a six over fine leg.

Moeen Ali was 10 not out.

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