July 30, 2023

Ashes 2023 LIVE updates: Australia’s openers make assertive start chasing record target in Broad’s swan song

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Good night

That’s all from me for the night. It was not the finish we were hoping for – but what a final day of play we have coming up if the weather in London clears on Monday.

Usman Khawaja and David Warner both made unbeaten half-centuries to power Australia to 0/135 at stumps on the fourth day as the visitors eye their first series victory in England since 2001.

David Warner avoided a beamer from James Anderson.Credit: Getty

Weather permitting, there are to be 98 overs to be bowled on the final day. The forecast for London on Monday is for overcast conditions, which should suit bowling.

Pat Cummins’ men need another 249 runs to overhaul England’s target of 384 and secure a 3-1 series victory, while the hosts need 10 wickets to square the series 2-2. A draw is also on the cards if Australia can bat out the day, though you would think if they do that they will score the runs needed.

Thanks for joining me tonight. We’ll be back at 7:30pm (AEST) on Monday for what we hope to be a thrilling finish to an already memorable Ashes series.



Rain has won the day at the Oval. Play was officially abandoned at 4:47pm local time.

We’re in for 98 overs tomorrow, weather permitting.

So, that’s 98 overs for Australia to run down the remaining 249 runs for an improbable victory in the fifth Test to secure a 3-1 series victory, or 98 overs for England to take all 10 wickets to square it 2-2 and deny Australia their first overseas Ashes triumph since 2001.


WATCH: The outlook from the Oval

This was posted at 4:08 pm London time, so you can assume the footage was taken not long before that. Sunset in London today is 8:52 pm, though you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s already nighttime over there.

Oh, and it’s also bucketing down.


Has Warner done enough? Taylor’s left-field pick for his successor

While we wait for the rain to stop, it’s worth having a quick discussion about David Warner.

Has David Warner done enough in the second innings to save his place in the Test side for the upcoming summer? His unbeaten 58 has taken his series tally to 283 at 31.44.

The veteran has said he wants to retire at the Sydney Test in the New Year, which would mean he plays through the three-Test series against Pakistan at the start of the Australian summer.

David Warner was unbeaten on 58 when rain stopped play.Credit: AP

Selectors, though, may want to use the home Test season to give the next opener invaluable experience before taking on India in the 2024/25 season and the Ashes a year later.

Former Test captain Mark Taylor would not say what he would do if he was a selector but said players were not entitled to pick when they retired. Ultimately, it would come down to runs and form, he said.

As to whom he believed should take over from Warner, whenever his time was up, Taylor mounted a case for forgotten opener Cameron Bancroft, who topped the Sheffield Shield runs list last season with 945 at 59.

But he is down the pecking order behind Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris, who are both part of Australia’s touring party in England.

Taylor believes Bancroft’s ability in the field counted in his favour.

“They’ll lose their first slipper which I think is vital in Test match cricket,” Taylor, one of Australia’s greatest slips catchers, told Channel Nine. “They need to find a top-order player who is reasonably aggressive but also someone who can catch well.”

David Warner avoided a beamer from James Anderson.Credit: Getty


Behind the scenes: Broad’s last press conference

This is worth a watch during the rain delay. The walk from the dressing room to Stuart Broad’s (probable) final press conference as an England player.

If you’re wondering what life is like as a touring cricket writer, there’s a lot of waiting around.


Update: Still raining

By Malcolm Conn

As rain continues to fall on a well covered surface at the Oval, David Warner (58) and Usman Khawaja (69) sit comfortably in the change rooms with a rare Australian century opening stand, 0/135.

Such productive partnerships have been a scarce commodity as Warner has struggled for consistency over the past 18 months.

Their only other century opening stand since Khawaja was recalled then promoted to the top of the order early last year was 156 against Pakistan in Rawalpindi 36 innings and more than a year ago. The one before that was at the SCG in early 2020, when Warner and Joe Burns put on 107 against New Zealand, 54 innings ago.

Rain has stopped play at the Oval.Credit: Reuters


UPDATE: Not good

By Daniel Brettig

Radar indicates the rain has set in for the afternoon. Ground staff have covered the entire square.


Rain setting in

The weather radar in London does not look great for a resumption of play today, which is a shame as it appeared we had a very intriguing contest building.

Don’t leave us, though, we’ll keep you posted on what’s happening from The Oval in London. We’re strapped in until the bitter end tonight.

yesterday 11.59pm

Warner, Khawaja break long drought

By Daniel Brettig

Daniel Brettig from the drinks break at The Oval: Australia’s first century Ashes opening stand since 2017, and first in England since 2015, has given the tourists the ideal start to their pursuit of an imposing 384 to win the Oval Test.

Usman Khawaja’s half century took him back past Zak Crawley to be the leading run scorer in the series, and he also passed 5000 runs in Tests – having made more than 2000 of those runs at an average of more than 62 since his recall in January 2022.

Mark Wood has bowled only three of England’s first 38 overs.Credit: Reuters

Warner, seeking his first ever Test hundred in England, found a nice mix of defence and attack, only discomforted when he received a beamer from Jimmy Anderson.

Mark Wood, held back until the 33rd over, clanged Khawaja on the helmet, but could not find a wicket. Rain arrived at mid-afternoon drinks, with Australia needing another 249 runs.

yesterday 11.48pm

Rain delay

We have a delay in play at The Oval due to rain at the drinks break in the second session.

Australia are 0/135 chasing 384 for a win for the ages. Usman Khawaja is not out 69, David Warner on 58.

If you had asked me at the start of the day who would be favoured most by rain, I would definitely have said Australia. Now, I’m not so sure.

England would not be unhappy being off the field right now to regroup as things were starting to go awry for them.

Khawaja and Warner put the pedal to the metal in the last half hour or so, scoring 48 from the last eight overs.

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