Relive the 2019 Ashes Test at The Kia Oval - Kia Oval Skip to main content

There have been many an occasion at The Kia Oval when both England and Australia have been desperate to share a series even if hopes of grabbing back the urn have gone. One such time was when Tim Paine’s Australia arrived in south London four years ago to see their dreams dashed by the hosts, recalls Richard Spiller.

Australia’s climb back from the chaos of ‘Sandpaper Gate’ in Newlands in 2018 – when they were caught tampering with the ball – was swift enough to retain the Ashes just over a year later.

With Steve Smith and David Warner back after being rehabilitated, they won the opening Test at Edgbaston by an overwhelming 251 runs and held on for a draw at Lord’s. It took Ben Stokes’s extraordinary century at Headingley, aided by last man Jack Leach, to deprive them of another win but the Ashes were sealed soon after, winning by 185 runs.

What Tim Paine craved was to become the first Australian skipper to win a series in England since 2001. England had set out at the start of the season with twin ambitions – winning the World Cup and reclaiming the Ashes. Achieving the first target, they been deprived of the second but were keen to share the series.

Looking for an early kill, Paine sent in the hosts but met resistance from Surrey’s Rory Burns (47) and Joe Root’s obstinate 57, although Jos Buttler’s 70 proved the highest score in 294 all out. Pat Cummins’s 3-84 were overshadowed by Mitchell Marsh claiming a career-best 5-46.

Jofra Archer, whose pace had become a key component in England’s attack, speedily dispensed of openers David Warner and Marcus Harris but Root’s men stumbled on the familiar obstacle of Smith as he made 80. Archer swept through the lower order for 6-62, aided by Sam Curran’s 3-46, to establish a lead of 69. England built on that through Joe Denly (94), Stokes (57) and Buttler (47), Nathan Lyon’s 4-69 holding them up before a final total of 329 meant Australia needed 399 to wrap up the series.

This time it was Stuart Broad (4-62) who removed the openers – including Warner for the seventh time in the summer – and had Smith caught at leg gully for 23, his tally a formidable 774 runs in four matches. Matthew Wade instead proved the main block to progress, fighting fiercely for 117 before Root lured him down the pitch and Jonny Bairstow made the stumping. Jack Leach (4-49) did the clearing up, finishing off Australia for 263 to secure victory by 135 runs and the first shared series since 1972.