Steve Smith finally fell cheaply to Stuart Broad and Joe Root struck to leave England needing five wickets to beat Australia and draw the series on day four of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.
Broad dismissed David Warner (11) for a record-equalling seventh time in the series and Marcus Harris (nine) after the tourists were set a mammoth 399 to win the series 3-1 on a glorious Sunday in London, with England all out for 329 early on.
Marnus Labuschagne fell to Jack Leach and Broad (3-40) ended the prolific Smith’s run of 10 consecutive Ashes half-centuries, removing the former captain for 23 early in the afternoon session.
Root saw the back of Mitchell Marsh and although Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 60 at tea, Australia were 167-5 still needing another 232 to avoid failing to secure a first Ashes series win in England since 2001 a week after retaining the urn.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 15, 2019
England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.
Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.
Australia’s highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to Broad.
Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging a fired-up Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.
Jonny Bairstow produced a sharp piece of work to stump Labuschagne (14) off Leach and Smith was given a standing ovation as he followed soon after lunch, Ben Stokes taking a fine diving catch at leg gully when the top-ranked batsman tried to steer Broad around the corner.
Marsh (24) failed to make Chris Woakes pay for overstepping when he edged to Burns, the all-rounder prodding Root to Jos Buttler at short-leg soon after that reprieve.
England wasted a view a review when they thought Tim Paine should have been given leg before facing Archer and Wade held them up with an attacking knock, striking nine boundaries in a fifth Test half-century.