The Ashes, 5th Test: Shane Watson puts Australia on top in finale


London:  Shane Watson’s Test-best 176 left Australia firmly in charge of the fifth Ashes match against England at The Oval.

At stumps on Wednesday’s first day, Australia were 307 for four as they sought a consolation victory in a five-match series already won by England at 3-0 up.

Watson put a disappointing series with the bat behind him with just his third Test hundred — his first in 25 matches and 48 innings since his previous best of 126 against India at Mohali in October 2010. (Day 1 as it happened)

The 32-year-old all-rounder, playing his 46th Test, was especially severe on debutants Chris Woakes (none for 52 in 15 overs) and left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan (none for 53 in eight), chosen after England opted against recalling fast bowler Chris Tremlett on his Surrey home ground. (Day 1 in pictures)

“A century is something I have searched for for a long time,” Watson, hit on the head by a Stuart Broad bouncer on 91, told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.

“Getting hit on the head helped me because it took my mind off getting through the nineties….

Click here to read more