2023 saw The Kia Oval host twelve incredible days of international cricket in an remarkable summer of victories, farewells and records broken.
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ICC WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
The international summer at The Kia Oval began with a bang as two titans of Test cricket made their way to south London to battle it out for the World Test Championship crown!
Steve Smith and Travis Head put on a batting clinic and scored memorable centuries, before the Australian attack, led by Pat Cummins and Scott Boland, ran through India’s formidable top order.
Ajinkya Rahane’s classy 89 and a lower-order counter punch from Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur got the Indian fans in the stands singing, but the Aussies reasserted their superiority and claimed a lead of 173 runs.
India tried to claw their way back in the second innings, reducing their opponents to 167 for 6 at one point, but crucial runs from Alex Carey and Mitchell Starc meant that the Indians needed to chase a record 444 to lift the mace.
An elegant partnership between Virat Kohli and Rahane placed their side 280 runs away from the target at the close of day four, giving a glimmer of hope to the Indian support, only for it to be crushed by Boland, Nathan Lyon, and company on the next morning as Australia claimed a famous 209-run win.
For five engrossing days of cricket, with the sun shining, the ground packed, and the crowd buzzing, The Kia Oval was the place to be as Cummins raised the mace and Australia became the first men’s team to lay their hands on every ICC trophy.
Up next was the arrival of the Ashes – with all its passion and energy – to The Kia Oval.
Trailing by six points in the series, Heather Knight’s England came looking for their first victory over Australia in any format since February 2020 in what was a must-win IT20 if the Ashes were to be kept alive.
On a balmy July evening in Kennington, with 20,328 fans packed into The Kia Oval – a record attendance – the Three Lions showed clear heads on their way to a thrilling three-run triumph, with Danni Wyatt and Sophie Ecclestone the stars of the show.
A blistering start and an equally explosive end to the innings guaranteed that England set a tough target of 187 for the visitors. Wyatt’s knock of 76 off 46, full of clean hitting and precise placement, played a key role in England setting what would prove to be a winning score.
Alyssa Healy and Australia also got off to a flyer but after the powerplay, led by Sarah Glenn and Ecclestone, England pulled back the run rate and claimed crucial wickets. Ellyse Perry was on a one-woman mission to keep her side in the game, and when Georgia Wareham joined her to smash two back-to-back sixes off Charlie Dean, Australia required 31 runs from 12 balls.
With 20 runs to defend against a fired-up Perry, Ecclestone kept her nerve in the final over and secured England’s first victory in the series.
That evening at The Kia Oval, rallied by the supporters, Heather Knight’s Three Lions ignited a fire that stayed alight throughout the series as England roared back to level the Ashes 8-all, clinching both the IT20 and ODI series in the process.
The stage was set and The Kia Oval was ready to host the climax of one of the great men’s Ashes as England hoped to entertain the fans and square the series in south London.
Harry Brook’s first-innings 85 demonstrated why he’s so highly regarded, while Mitchell Starc made the ball hoop around and collected four wickets for his efforts. When the Aussies came out to bat, Steve Smith’s 71 guided them into the lead as he also overtook the great Don Bradman in being the highest overseas run-scorer at The Kia Oval.
After an innings apiece, the game was in the balance as Australia claimed a narrow 12 run lead.
Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett stepped out to set a target for their rivals and continued their commitment to Bazball, showing intent from the off. Fast and fabulous half-centuries from Crawley, Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow put the Three Lions in the driving seat as Australia were asked to chase 384.
When Stuart Broad announced his retirement from international cricket mid-game, with Moeen Ali also hanging up his Test boots, the emotions and the stakes got even higher.
An incredible 140-run partnership between Usman Khawaja and David Warner reverted the pressure onto the hosts but an inspired Chris Woakes (4/50) as well as Moeen Ali (3/76), who bowled with lovely rhythm, put England back in charge on day five before it was Broad’s turn to end Australia’s resistance and live out his fairy tale ending.
Having already hooked the last ball he faced in Test cricket for a smashing six, Broad switched the bails and got his knees pumping to produce his final moment of magic on a cricket field as he claimed the last two Australian wickets, roared on by a passionate crowd.
England won by 49 runs and another unforgettable chapter in the book of legendary farewells at The Kia Oval was written!
ENGLAND VS NEW ZEALAND ODI
England men hosted New Zealand in a record-breaking ODI to bring the international summer at The Kia Oval to a close.
Ben Stokes joined Dawid Malan at the crease with England in trouble at 13/2. What happened next was something only Ben Stokes could do…
The New Zealand-born England international smashed 182 from 124 balls, breaking the highest ever ODI score by an English player – surpassing Surrey’s Jason Roy, whilst also breaking the highest individual ODI score by any batter at our famous old ground. Stokes’ incredible innings surpassed West Indian batter Evin Lewis’ 176 not out in 2017.
Bowlers were deposited to all parts of the south London before Stokes eventually departed to a standing ovation.
Stokes and Malan put on 199 runs for the third wicket, with the left-handed opener scoring a stylish 96.
A flurry of late wickets meant England were bowled out for 368.
The Black Caps chase was thwarted before it had begun with Chris Woakes and Surrey’s Reece Topley taking early wickets to reduce the visitors to 37/4.
Glenn Phillips scored 72 but New Zealand struggled in their chase, eventually being bowled out for 187. Chris Woakes finished with figures of 3/31, with Topley impressing with 2/31.
Surrey’s Sam Curran, Gus Atkinson and Reece Topley walked off together at their home ground with victory by 181 runs in a dominant display by the World Cup holders.
England play three internationals at The Kia Oval in 2024. First, England Men host Pakistan on Thursday 30 May.
England Women return to The Kia Oval on Saturday 13 July as they face New Zealand in a Vitality IT20. The men’s Test team round off the summer with an LV= Insurance Test match against Sri Lanka from 6 – 10 September.