England push Aussies to the ropes | Sunday Observer

England push Aussies to the ropes

LONDON AFP: Ben Stokes and Joe Denly batted England into a potentially match-winning position in the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Oval on Saturday as Australia’s hopes of a series win faded.

At tea the home side -- desperate to finish their World Cup-winning season on a high by levelling the series at 2-2 -- were 193-2, leading by 262 runs.

England captain Joe Root will be wary of declaring too soon though as India last year made 345 batting fourth at the Oval chasing 464.

Denly was unbeaten on a Test-best score of 82 while Stokes, playing as a specialist batsman, was 57 not out after passing 400 runs for the series.

England enjoyed two slices of good fortune on a pitch offering little in the way of help for the bowlers as the September sun beat down from a clear London sky.

Scores: (at tea)

England 294 and 193 for 2

Australia 225