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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Fifth day as it happened
England 373 & 335 v Australia 367& 4-0
Match drawn

Kevin Pietersen hit his first ever Test century on day five at The Oval to set up the draw England needed to win the Ashes for the first time since 1987.

Pietersen hit 158 and Ashley Giles 59 before England were bowled out for 335, leaving Australia to bat out the day.

But there were just four balls before bad light stopped play, and it took 15 minutes for a draw to be declared.

England were in trouble during the morning, losing four wickets, with two in successive balls to Glenn McGrath.


1815: The umpires remove the bails and England have won back the Ashes.

1813: It has been announced that the umpires are set to walk out to the middle and remove the bails to signal that the Ashes are over.

1811: The covers are coming on to the pitch. There may be a decision in sight!

1808: The England players are standing around waiting for the match to be officially over so the celebrations can start. After a marvellous series, it is a shame the summer is ending in farce.

1803: With the Australians off for bad light, according to the umpires half an hour could still be added on as the last hour has yet to start. There is a great deal of confusion and the match is not officially over. With the match and the series effectively over common sense has not come into play.

1757: Harmison opens up with a couple of short deliveries at Langer, with the fourth ball of the innings flying over England keeper Jones for four byes. The umpires promptly offer the light, the Australian batsmen walk off and the game could well be over.

1753: Hayden and Langer come out to open the innings for Australia.

1748: Warne and McGrath, the bane of English batsmen for a decade, lead Australia off the field in what is the final Test in England for both men.

Australia have, in theory, 18 overs to bat, which means they need to score at a rate of 19 an over to win the Test and level the series at 2-2.

However, in reality the Test is done and dusted and England have reclaimed the Ashes.

The last rites will now be played out, with three overs to come before the final hour.

1745: WICKET England 335 all out (Harmison 0)
England number 11 Harmison edges Warne's second delivery to slip, where Hayden takes a fine catch. Warne now has 12-246 in the match, which gives him 40 wickets for the series and 624 Test wickets in total.

1743: WICKET England 335-9 (Giles 59)
Australia may be beaten but Warne is a true competitor and he bowls Giles round his legs to claim his fifth wicket in the innings. It is now the 10th time Warne has taken 10 wickets in a Test.

1739: McGrath, who has finished his spell and has probably bowled his last Test over in England, is given a big ovation by the crowd as he walks down to field on the boundary. He is replaced by Tait, who immediately sprays it all over the shop, a sharp contrast to the metronomically accurate McGrath. A possible 21 overs remain.

1735: Giles thumps Warne away for four through extra cover to move on to 59 not out. There are eight overs before the final hour is due to start. The match can be called off half an hour into the final hour, so celebrations will have to wait for a while yet. A possible 22 overs remain.

1731: The umpires move towards the boundary, sparking cheers from the crowd who think the game is over, but it is only a drinks break.

1728: With the Ashes all but done and dusted Giles (55 not out) is opening his shoulders and he pulls McGrath for four through mid-wicket. The crowd is already celebrating and congas are breaking out all round The Oval. A possible 23 overs remain.

1725: Lee, still bowling over 90mph, keeps Hoggard hopping about as the match meanders to a close. Hoggard is looking about as if to suggest it is getting too dark to continue. A possible 24 overs remain and the Ashes are heading back to England.

1720: Giles finishes McGrath's over by first cuffing the veteran Australian bowler through extra cover for four and then drilling him straight down the ground off the back foot in the style of Pietersen to bring up his 50. A possible 25 overs remain.

1718: The Australians are trying to maintain their intensity but Giles and Hoggard are keeping England's total steadily climbing. Giles moves on to 42 not out with a pull down to square leg which brings him a single.

1714: Lee has never given up this summer and he continues to give the England batsmen a torrid time, rattling Hoggard with a seriously quick short ball. The overs are now down to a maximum 26.

1710: Another over passes and England are now in sight of Ashes glory. A possible 27 overs remain.

1704: Lee is continuing to pound away with short fast balls but Hoggard plays him in his usual obdurate style. A possible 28 overs remain.

1659: WICKET England 308-8 (Pietersen 158)
McGrath squares Pietersen up and bowls him off stump with an absolute beauty. The England batsman scored 158 and put on 109 with Giles in what is surely the partnership which brings the Ashes back to England. A maximum 29 overs remain.

1658: McGrath finds some bounce and catches Pietersen's edge, but the ball races past the slips for four.

1655: Giles clips Lee through mid-wicket for four to bring up his highest score, 38 not out, against Australia and take England past 300. A possible 30 overs remain.

1653: Lee comes racing in for the second over with the new ball and soon has Giles playing and missing, but it is all too late for Australia.

1649: Giles takes a quick single to bring up the 100 partnership off 143 balls. Next ball Pietersen is hit on the elbow after missing an attempted pull. A maximum 31 overs remain.

1646: McGrath takes the new ball for Australia, but it is surely far too little too late for the visitors.

1642: Pietersen lofts Warne for six over wide mid-on and follows with a four to move to 150 not out and take England's lead past 300. His six was his seventh of the innings and a new record for England in the Ashes, beating Ian Botham's old mark of six in an innings. A maximum 32 overs remain.

1639: Giles (30 not out) produces a brilliant square drive for four off the first ball of McGrath's over, the 79th of the innings. A maximum 33 overs remain in the 2005 Ashes.

1636: Warne - bowling his 30th consecutive over - is frustrated once more by the England batsmen. There are a possible 34 overs remaining.

1633: Pietersen drills McGrath through the covers for four to move on to 142 not out. England lead by 283 runs with a possible 35 overs remaining. Of those two would be lost between innings, if Australia were to bat again.

1629: If Australia were to bat now they would require nearly eight-and-a-half runs an over to win the game.

1627: Pietersen steps away and drives Warne off the back foot for a boundary as England stretch clear. He follows up with a single and Giles also cashes in with a three as runs flow. A possible 36 overs remain.

1621: Australia turn to McGrath in place of Lee in a final bid to dismiss England. Giles clips him through backward point for three off the first ball of the over. A further single from Pietersen sees him on to 132 not out and extends England's lead to 268. A possible 37 overs remain.

1616: Pietersen, who is now the leading run scorer in the 2005 Ashes, plays out a maiden from Warne, his great friend and Hampshire team-mate. A possible 38 overs remain in the Ashes, which are surely heading back to England.

1611: Lee is still racing in and bowling in the mid-90s mph, but it looks as though Australia's chances of victory are rapidly slipping away. Lee chucks in a slower ball but Giles picks it up early and plays it with ease. A possible 39 overs remain.

1606: Pietersen launches Warne for a straight six and the great Australia spinner looks disconsolate. He looks even less happy when he is drilled for a straight four two balls later. A possible 40 overs remain.

1603: Lee produces a vicious bouncer to Pietersen. He can only fend it away in the air on the off side but the ball lands safely. Next ball he launches into a pull and belts it for six over mid-wicket. There are now a possible 41 overs left in Test and England increasingly look as though they have one hand on the Ashes.

1600: England survive another Warne over. There are a possible 42 overs left in the Ashes.

1554: After pitching a couple up to Giles, Lee bangs one in short again, but the England man ducks out of the way. Next ball he fences at a slower delivery, which passes through to Gilchrist behind the stumps. Lee finishes his over with a 97mph thunderbolt but Giles leaves it and there are now a possible 43 overs left in the Ashes.

1551: England see out a Warne over with something approaching comfort. There are a possible 44 overs left in the Ashes.

1546: Lee is back over the wicket and fires another bouncer past Giles' nose, but the England man collects a couple through cover off the final delivery of the over. There are now a possible 45 overs left in the Ashes.

1542: Warne turns a leg-spinner and Pietersen (108 not out) guides it down past slip for three runs. There are a possible 46 overs left to play in the Ashes.

1539: Giles steps inside the last ball of Lee's over and clips it for four through fine leg. There are 47 overs possibly left to play and England lead by 234 runs with three wickets left.

1538: Lee has made his intentions clear. He is going to pepper Giles with short balls, and goes round the wicket so he can angle them in at the England player's body.

1535: Australia open with Lee at the other end and he starts by sending a searing bouncer down at Giles, who just ducks out of the way. Giles fends the third ball off using his glove and it lands a couple of yards short of leg gully.

1530: Warne resumes after tea to Giles, who plays the first ball safely out to point.

1526: After 25 days of action and five Test matches the Ashes has come down to the final session of the series.

The fifth Test, and with it the destination of the Ashes, is balanced on a knife edge, and the next two hours will be crucial.

If Australia can quickly remove England's tail then they will have plenty of time to try and chase victory.

If England can see out the next 10-15 overs then a draw would be a strong possibility, and if the match finishes as a draw then England take the series 2-1 and win an Ashes encounter for the first time since 1987.

1511: England go to tea on 221-7, a lead of 227, with Pietersen 105 not out and Giles unbeaten on six.

1509: Pietersen cover drives Tait for four to bring up his maiden Test century. He receives a massive ovation from The Oval crowd, but now has to set his sights on seeing England to safety.

1505: Giles sees off Warne and with five minutes to go until tea the England batsmen will be playing for the interval.

1500: Pietersen edges closer to his century with another single off Tait, moving him on to 97. There are a possible 51 overs left and the match is still finely poised.

If Australia can remove the last three England wickets quickly they will have time to chase a target to win the game and level the series at 2-2, meaning they would retain the Ashes.

1459: Warne is called for a wide as he tries to tempt Pietersen with a big-spinning leg break. Next ball he moves to 96 with a single. At the end of the over 52 overs of play are left.

1454: Pietersen whips Tait through mid-wicket for four and a further single takes the England man to within five runs of his maiden Test century.

1450: Giles works Tait through mid-wicket for three to extend England's lead to 210. Pietersen calls for another bat - his third this innings.

1444: Ashley Giles gets off the mark first ball, bringing up the 200 in the process. There are three-and-a-half hours and around 55 overs remaining.

1442: WICKET England 196-7 (Jones 1)
After hitting Tait for four from his first two deliveries Pietersen keeps the Australians interested as he drives uppishly to mid-off, but the ball bounces a few yards in front of Katich. Pietersen takes a single off the next ball and Tait then bowls Jones with a searing delivery which sends the off stump flying yards.

1436: Australia introduce young paceman Shaun Tait to the attack for the first time, but he is interrupted by a streaker before he can start. When he does charge in Pietersen drills him through extra cover for four to take England's lead to 200. The next ball is laced through point for another boundary.

1430: Jones edges McGrath but the ball falls short of Warne at slip. England move to a 195-run lead through a Collingwood single. After a couple of balls at Pietersen coming round the wicket, which he pads away, Warne goes back over and Pietersen tries to smear him through mid-wicket. Fair enough, except the ball pitched at least a foot outside off-stump and spun about a yard, with keeper Gilchrist taking it in front of slip.

1427: Warne sends down a maiden to Jones and the game enters a temporary lull. After the Pietersen-inspired counter-attack England are in a much stronger position than they were at lunch, but the fall of Collingwood's wicket has given the Australians renewed hope. There are 56 overs of play still to come before this enthralling Ashes series draws to a close.

1423: Jones gets off the mark with a square drive for a single to the boundary rider at deep point off McGrath.

1420: England keeper Geraint Jones, who has had a ropy time with the gloves, comes out to join Pietersen.

1418: WICKET England 186-6 (Collingwood 10)
Collingwood pulls Warne for four - his first boundary - but the spinner gets his revenge as he has him caught at silly point by a tumbling Ricky Ponting off his pad and glove.

1415: A statement of thanks to retiring commentary legend Richie Benaud from the ECB is greeted with applause by the players, an ovation from the crowd and chants of "there's only one Richie Benaud".

1412: Drinks are taken after one run comes off McGrath's over.

1408: Pietersen (78 not out) is content to pad away an over from Warne as the world's all-time leading Test wicket-taker comes round the wicket at him. Pietersen and Collingwood have put on 55 so far, with the latter contributing five off 42 balls so far.

Collingwood may not be scoring many runs but he is playing a vital role given the state of the match and the series.

1403: After the excitement generated by Warne's over the game calms down, you can guarantee only temporarily, as McGrath sends down a maiden. There are still over 60 overs left to play, with England leading by 187.

1359: Pietersen tries to hammer the final Warne delivery over mid-wicket. He gets a bottom edge which hits the ground by his foot and carries to slip. The Australians appeal, hoping the ball has bounced off his foot, but replays show it hit the ground and Pietersen's boot, so the umpires were correct to not give him out.

1357: Warne comes round the wicket to Pietersen, which means he will be trying to pitch the ball in the rough outside the leg stump. Pietersen is content to kick the ball away, but with it spinning so much it is a risky game to play. The fifth ball races past keeper Gilchrist for four byes.

1356: Warne finds both turn and bounce as he fizzes one past Collingwood's edge, but next ball he drifts too far down leg and the Durham man turns him round the corner for a single.

1354: A McGrath no-ball takes England's lead to 180 and Collingwood's single edges them further ahead.

1351: Lee is rested after an eight-over spell which saw him have Pietersen dropped by Warne, but cost him 57 crucial runs. The vastly experienced McGrath takes over.

1348: At lunch it looked as though England were in trouble but they have counter-attacked thrillingly, with Pietersen (77 not out) carrying the attack to Lee and extending England's lead to 179. Katich, who was hit in the ribs by a full-blooded Collingwood pull five minutes ago, has left the field, presumably to receive some treatment.

1345: A full-blooded pull from Collingwood hits Simon Katich in the ribs, but the Australian fielder refuses to show any pain. A single apiece for Collingwood and Pietersen keep the score ticking over.

1339: Lee continues despite being taken for 16 from his last over as Pietersen. Lee fires one into Collingwood's pads and appeals for lbw, but umpire Bowden calls a no-ball. Pietersen drives Lee straight for four and next delivery blasts a pull straight back down the pitch for another boundary. He now has 76, his highest Test score, beating his 71 at Edgbaston.

1335: As Pietersen counter-attacks Collingwood is happy to block against Warne. Each defensive stroke is greeted by huge cheers but a short delivery enables Collingwood to get off the mark from his 17th ball.

1330: Pietersen plays a short ball from Lee for two and then hooks the next ball into the crowd over square leg for his fourth six to bring up the 150. It looked like a top edge but the ball was sent down at 94mph and it absolutely flew. Next ball Pietersen connects with a pull and although Tait gets a hand to it he cannot take what would have been a very difficult catch at fine leg it goes for four. The following ball, at 96.7mph, is whipped away through the same area for another boundary. In total 16 runs come off the over.

1328: Warne rips one past Collingwood's edge, but he survives the over.

1325: Pietersen works Warne away through wide mid-on to bring up his 50 - his fourth of the series. He has been dropped twice but has also bludgeoned three sixes during his 70-ball half-century. England now lead by 150.

1322: Pietersen hooks Lee and the ball flies for six over deep fine leg. Pietersen seems to have decided that attack is the best form of defence and he has raced on to 49. A single gets Collingwood on strike and Lee pitches one up. There is definitely swing as it arrows into the Durham player's pads.

1319: Lee, who roughed up Pietersen with a couple of vicious bouncers before lunch. opens up from the Pavilion End. Pietersen cuffs the first ball through mid-off for a couple off the first delivery. He gets a short one next up and pulls it to deep square leg for another two.

1315: Pietersen opens England's account for the afternoon by forcing Warne off the back foot to deep cover point for two. A further single means the hosts now lead by 136.

1313: It must have been a good lunch as the players are only now returning to the field after an extra couple of minutes break. Whether any of them could face eating anything with the tension they must be experiencing is a different matter. Warne will continue, bowling to Pietersen.

1305: The afternoon session on day five of the decisive fifth Ashes Test at The Oval is just minutes away.

After a thrilling morning's play Australia, out-played for most of the summer by a resurgent England, have given themselves a chance to win the Test and therefore save the Ashes by drawing the series 2-2.

The legendary figures of Warne and McGrath have taken two wickets apiece to reduce England to 127-5, a lead of just 133, with two full sessions plus an extra hour to come.

The ebullient Pietersen (35 not out) and the more circumspect Collingwood (0 not out) are at the crease for England.

Chandra from Singapore via email:
Warne strikes again and the Poms are sweating now. The Aussies will never say die, go Warney.


1231: Pietersen is battered by a Lee short ball which thumps into his glove and then chest. Next ball Pietersen gets another brute of a delivery which leaps at his head at nearly 94 mph. It flies off Pietersen's glove and loops over the slips, leaving the England batsman scrabbling around in the dirt after he unsurprisingly loses his balance.

1225: WICKET England 126-5 (Flintoff 8)
Warne strikes again as he lures Flintoff into driving a return catch to him. Australia are now right back in this match and England's chances of winning the Ashes are looking increasingly rocky.

Warne has now become the leading wicket-taker of all-time against England with 169, breaking Dennis Lillee's record of 167. He now has 37 wickets in this series, which means he has the record for the number of wickets taken by an Australian in a five-Test Ashes series.

1223: Warne fizzes a delivery past Flintoff's bat but the England all-rounder responds by punching him away through cover off the back foot for four.

1218: Lee fires a ball down the leg side past the despairing dive of Adam Gilchrist for four byes.

1215: Pietersen survives an appeal for lbw as he misses an attempted paddle off Warne.

1210: Flintoff takes a single off Lee and Pietersen takes another to move on to 31.

1205: The crowd greet Andrew Flintoff's arrival with massive cheers. Warne greets him with a big leg spinner which pitches on middle stump and spins past the edge of Flintoff's groping bat. Flintoff then gets off the mark with a back-foot force through backward point for a single. There could be another 78 overs of play, so a result - other than a draw - remains a strong possibility.

1203: WICKET England 109-4 (Trescothick 33)
Warne strikes again on another morning of extraordinary drama, trapping Trescothick lbw with a big leg-spinner.

1200: A Trescothick single takes him to 33 and gets Pietersen on strike. So far the England batsman has hit the same number of sixes - two - as the number of times he has been dropped on his way to 30 off 39 balls.

1156: Pietersen picks up the first ball of Warne's over and deposits it into the stands at deep mid-wicket for six to bring up the 100 for England. He immediately sends for a new bat but when he tries to repeat the shot he misses and nearly overbalances as Australian keeper Gilchrist waits for a stumping chance. Undeterred he goes after Warne again from the final ball of the over and once more smashes him into the crowd at mid-wicket for the second six of the over.

1152: Two balls after being dropped by Warne, Pietersen eases a Lee delivery into the covers to take England's lead to 100.

1151: Another huge let-off for England as Pietersen edges a drive at Lee and Warne, of all people, drops a head-high sitter at first slip.

1150: Pietersen greets Lee's reintroduction with a glorious straight drive for four.

1148: Australia bring back Lee, who bowled two early overs, in place of the veteran McGrath, who took 2-24 off his eight overs on Monday morning in a superb spell.

1143: Warne continues to Pietersen and the England batsman tries to sneak a single to Michael Clarke at mid-on. The Australia fielder throws down the stumps at the non-striker's end with a direct hit, but Pietersen just makes it home, although he must have had his heart in his mouth as he waited for the third umpire's decision. Trescothick finishes the over with his first boundary of the innings.

1136: After the 10-minute burst of wickets, appeals and chances which matched any passage of play in this series of unrelenting drama, the match has settled down once again, although it remains nothing less than nerve-wracking. Pietersen gets a thick inside edge to a delivery from his great mate Warne to move on to eight.

1132: Pietersen collects his first boundary as he pulls McGrath through square-leg for four.

1127: Warne produces an astonishing leg-spinner which turns almost square. Trescothick is rapped on the pads but Warne's huge appeals for lbw are waved away by umpire Rudi Koertzen. Replays show it hit Trescothick just outside the line of off stump - which means he cannot be given out as he was playing a shot - but there is no denying it is a remarkable delivery, which must have turned at least three feet.

1125: Pietersen gets off the mark with two through mid-wicket off McGrath.

1123: Trescothick adds a couple to his score with a push through the covers.

1120: England are given a huge let-off as Pietersen edges a Warne leg-spinner and the ball flicks off Australian keeper Gilchrist's right glove. The deflection wrong-foots Matthew Hayden at slip and the ball bounces off both his legs before falling to the ground.

1116: Pietersen survives a huge appeal for a catch at slip off the hat-trick ball after an absolute brute of a delivery from McGrath first up catches him on the shoulder and flies to slip. Umpire Billy Bowden makes a good decision not to give him out.

1114: WICKET England 67-3 (Bell 0)
It's two wickets in two balls for McGrath as Bell fences at one outside off stump and the ball flies to Warne at first slip, putting McGrath on a hat-trick.

1110: WICKET England 67-2 (Vaughan 45)
The first wicket of the day falls as McGrath gets extra bounce outside off-stump and catches the edge of Vaughan's bat, with Adam Gilchrist flinging himself at full stretch to take a brilliant catch in front of the vacant first-slip area.

1106: Vaughan works the ball through point for a couple off Warne and follows up with a single to square-leg to move on to 45. Trescothick (21) then benefits from a Shaun Tait overthrow to get a couple to mid-wicket.

1105: The first half-hour has very much gone England's way, but McGrath nearly evens things up as he pitches one on off stump and sends it jagging past the edge of Trescothick's bat.

1103: Trescothick and Vaughan both take singles off McGrath to keep the scoreboard ticking over nicely.

1100: Trescothick plays the ball backward of point for a single off the final ball of Warne's over to take England's lead to 66 runs. The sun has just broken through the cloud and things look good for a full day's play.

1057: Australia captain Ricky Ponting has decided it was the right move to bowl Warne after all and the leading Test wicket taker of all time is re-introduced to the attack in place of paceman Lee, who was only allowed two overs. Trescothick promptly offers a bat-pad chance which falls just short of the silly-point fielder.

1055: Vaughan caresses McGrath through extra cover for four and follows up with a pull down to backward square leg which adds a couple more to the total.

1050: Vaughan punches the ball away for a single to the man at deep cover off Lee. Trescothick then takes a quick single to mid-off and Vaughan follows up with another quick single to mid-wicket.

1048: Vaughan drives and edges on the ground down to third man for four again off McGrath.

1045: Trescothick drops the ball at his feet and scampers through for a quick single.

1043: Trescothick takes a single of the last ball of Lee's over.

1041: Lee forces an edge from Vaughan but the ball flies harmlessly down to the vacant third-man area for four. Next ball Vaughan drives to the sweeper on the point boundary for a single.

1038: McGrath opens with a maiden. Australia then immediately ring the changes in their attack, removing Warne after one over and introducing speedster Brett Lee for the third over.

1034: Glenn McGrath takes the second over for Australia, with Trescothick on strike. The second delivery is a beauty, pitching just outside off-stump and seaming away past Trescothick's edge.

1032: Vaughan gets the scoreboard moving from the second ball of the day as he punches a low full toss through mid-on for a sweetly-timed four.

1030: Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick are at the crease. The legendary Shane Warne will open the bowling for Australia.

1028: Jerusalem rings round the ground as the Australian team takes to the field.

1025: The crowds have been flooding into The Oval in preparation for the most eagerly-awaited day of sport in England for a generation.

There is light cloud with watery sunshine over London and conditions look set for a full day's play.


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