Ashes: Australia in pursuit of 384 to beat England, rain forces early tea in 5th Ashes Test

Australia went to an early tea on 135-0 in its second innings after 38 overs

Stuart Broad England's Stuart Broad hits a six with his last shot | Reuters

Australia needs 249 more runs with all wickets intact to beat England in the fifth Ashes test as rain intervened to frustrate both teams on the fourth day at the Oval on Sunday.

Australia went to an early tea on 135-0 in its second innings after 38 overs, chasing a target of 384 after quickly dismissing England for 395 in the morning. There was still time for a swashbuckling six from Stuart Broad, who announced Saturday night he is retiring from cricket after this match.

David Warner (58 not out) and Usman Khawaja (69 not out) are at the crease.

Holder Australia leads the five-test series 2-1 and has already retained the urn.

England pacer Mark Wood was finally introduced after lunch for the 33rd over of the innings and Australia brought up two milestones. A Warner single saw the hundred partnership for the first wicket reached and Khawaja edged the next ball for four to go to a third half-century of the series.

Warner followed his opening partner to fifty, reaching the milestone off 90 balls in his final innings in England, having signalled his intention to retire in January.

In the next over, Khawaja cut away for four to move on to 60, which took his total of runs for the series to 483, moving him top of the run-scoring charts for this Ashes ahead of Zak Crawley's 480-run effort.

Play was suspended at 2.41pm when rain arrived and an early tea was called.

The ground staff at the Oval brought on the covers during a drinks break with the rain falling and predicted to last for the rest of Sunday, frustrating fans but potentially setting up a thrilling final day to a classic Ashes series.

Broad's surprise announcement on Saturday night that he would retire after this series ensured all eyes were on him as England resumed on 389-9.

Broad, who was given a guard of honour by the touring side when he came out to bat, pulled the last delivery of Mitchell Starc's opening over into the stands and it proved to be his final flay of the bat. Todd Murphy trapped James Anderson lbw five balls later to dismiss England with Broad unbeaten on eight.

There would be no early heroics with the ball for Broad though, with Warner and Khawaja guiding Australia to lunch on 75 without loss before rain arrived.

Moeen Ali bowled after recovering sufficiently from his groin strain on Thursday but leaked runs initially and Australia's openers brought up their fourth fifty stand of the series in the 14th over.


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