|Ground:||Kennington Oval, Kennington|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||IJL Trott, AJ Strauss, GP Swann, SR Watson, SM Katich|
|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 22nd August 2009
A century from Trott on debut put England in a position from where they could dominate the proceedings to reclaim the Ashes that they lost four years back in Australia.
Australia, at stumps on the third day, were 80 without loss - still needing a further 466 runs to win. Openers Shane Watson (31 not out) and Simon Katich (42 not out) ensured Australia made a sound start to their imposing chase.
Trott's 119 was the highlight of England's second innings score off 373 for nine.
Strauss and Trott added 99 together before lunch in a stand of 118 for the third wicket. Having survived Peter Siddle’s shout for lbw to the first ball of the day, Trott brought up the fifty partnership with a pull to the fine-leg boundary. Strauss began to open his arms after reaching his fourth half-century of the series, striking two successive cover drives off Stuart Clark.
Ricky Ponting turned to part-time spin from both ends and Strauss attempted a square drive and was caught by Michael Clarke at slip. Trott lost Matt Prior upon the resumption after lunch-break, when Katich threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to a misjudged single.
Flintoff carved his second ball to the midwicket fence. His standout boundary was a terrific pull off Siddle. But having escaped a leading edge off Mitchell Johnson’s first ball, he top-edged North to deep midwicket for 22.
Broad made 29 before being dismissed in search of runs. Swann then embarked upon a withering assault, unfurling a glorious punched cover drive off Siddle. After edging a tough chance to Ponting at slip, Swann brought up his third Test fifty. He had hit nine boundaries when he miscued a pull off Ben Hilfenhaus to Brad Haddin. He contributed 63 to a stand of 91 with Trott.
Swann’s huge hitting allowed Trott to take his time over his hundred. The Warwickshire batsman eventually guided Hilfenhaus behind square for two, to become the 18th England batsman to reach three figures on Test debut.
Australia had 20 overs to negotiate in the evening, and they gave the impression of a side who reckoned their best chance of saving the Ashes was to attack the target, rather than flat-bat. After a couple of hair-brained singles that yielded run-out chances to Ian Bell, Watson decided to pull anything short and defend fuller balls stoutly.
The right-hander survived three strong appeals for lbw caught on the front foot. In one Steve Harmison over, he escaped with the faintest of inside edges onto the pad. Katich, the more fluent of the two, did well to drop his hands when edging Broad in the next over.
Katich closed on 42 not out, within sight of a second half-century in the game. Watson was unbeaten on 31. Despite their admirable resistance, convention dictates against an Australia win. The highest successful fourth-innings chase to win on this ground is a mere 263 for nine, made by Archie MacLaren’s England in the 1902 Oval Ashes Test.
West Indies hold the Test record, when they made 418 to beat Australia at the Antigua Recreation Ground in 2003-04.
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