“Who writes these Ashes scripts?” went former England captain Nasser Hussain on-air. This, in the immediate aftermath of another brilliant Ashes 2023 Test, one that brought close to the series with an England win by 49 runs and a 2-2 final scoreline.
And it was only fitting that Stuart Broad had the final rub of the green as the 37-year-old, who had announced that the ongoing Test match as his final professional game, to pick the last Australian wicket.
Having removed Todd Murphy just a couple of overs back, Broad would come round the wicket to Alex Carey and induce an outside edge for England keeper Jonny Bairstow to claim behind as The Oval roared out loud to an England win.
A fairytale ending for a legend of the game.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 31, 2023
“When you decide to move on from the game, you sort of wonder what your last ball will be. It’s pretty cool for it to be an Ashes wicket,” Broad said afterwards.
Earlier on Day 4, Broad would also grab headlines with the bat as the left-handed batter smoked Mitchell Starc for six off what turned out to be his last ball faced in professional cricket.
Deciphering the change he made to his bowling, by coming round the wicket to left handers, Broad added, “I like detail, data and research. I need facts and data to believe in something, that was very evident when I came around the wicket to left handers in 2015. I did a lot of research against David Warner because he was so hard to bowl at and found ways to dismiss him. It also helped me hammer down my strengths as a bowler. It’s about knowing what your weaknesses are but also about finding your strengths and sticking to them.”
Australia came into Day 5 with all 10 wickets intact and 135 runs in their kitty, chasing 384.
Chris Woakes would remove David Warner in a matter of five runs to provide England with a first breakthrough as he went to claim three more.
Despite rain cutting down on the number of overs, Moeen Ali would claim three wickets while Mark Wood also had one to his name as the hosts completed a comeback having gone 2-0 down after the first two Tests in the five-match series.