About the Match
Having already won the Ashes series convincingly, the Australian team is hopeful of making a clean sweep here and would like to finish off on a high. Though the 4th Test saw a considerable improvement from the English batsmen, they lost the plot mid-way and were defeated by the Aussies by 8 wickets. The visitors would be eager to come up with a face-saving result here and return home with some respite whereas Australia seems confident to dominate once again; both teams will fight hard and this final test of the Ashes series will not fall short in providing some great cricketing entertainment.
Chris Rogers and Shane Watson exhibited their batting prowess posting a 136-run partnership for the 2nd wicket in the 2nd innings and demolished the spirit of the visitors with a heavy blow. Rogers exuded confidence as he smashed away 13 fours and scored 116 runs from 155 deliveries; Watson posted an unbeaten 83 off 90 balls that comprised of 11 fours and took the team safely home with 8 wickets to spare. Earlier the bowlers took quick wickets; Johnson finished with 8 wickets in total, Lyon claimed 6 wickets, Harris and Siddle took 2 wickets each while Watson claimed a wicket in the first innings. The first innings saw the batsmen struggle a bit and in reply to 255 runs, were able to score only 204. However, the team outplayed the English in the 2nd innings and came back strongly to win the 4th test by 8 wickets. They have surprised themselves with their outstanding performance in this series and are looking confident to make a 5-0 sweep.
The team is demoralized after the humiliating defeat here and everything seems to be going wrong for them; while the 4th test saw a much better fight from the batsmen, they weren’t able to sustain the pressure in the 2nd innings and gave up easily. While the top order started out well, it was Bell and Pietersen who steadied the innings and posted a 67-run stand for the 4th wicket. Pietersen looked in charge against the Aussie bowlers and kept the scoreboard ticking, scoring 71 runs off 161 deliveries but the rest of the middle order collapsed and they came up with a total of 255 runs. In the 2nd innings, Cook scored 51 off 64 balls and Pietersen missed his half-century by 1 run; the batting collapse happened again and they were all out for 179 runs, which the bowlers failed to defend. Anderson and Broad were successful in the 1st innings with 7 wickets between them however they failed to repeat the performance in the second innings. The team will need to pull up its socks and fight it out with the Aussies with a positive attitude.
While Australia is keen to make a clean sweep here, England wants to avenge some of its humiliation by winning this last match. Though the visitors will come up with a better strategy and try to make a comeback, the Aussies are highly charged up to demolish their opponents and are well placed to win the final Test too.
Australia, 1.66 @ Bet365
Australian squad has been pretty good with their batting as well as bowling throughout this Ashes. While England have collapsed under pressure, Australians have prospered. The Australian batting as well as bowling is looking decent. I think that Aussies will manage to take first innings lead on England in the final test as well.
1st Innings Lead:
Australia, 1.53 @ William Hill