Despite losing final test of the series Australia retained the Ashes urn. Australia had to chase a mammoth target of 398 runs in the final innings. But this time Steve Smith fell early scoring 23 runs. Interestingly, this is the only below 50 score of Smith in Ashes 2019. However, Matthew Wade showed a fight and scored a century. But he dismissed scoring 117 and Australian tailenders were unable to reach the target facing superior English bowling attack.
Steve Smith was making a return in test cricket from this series after facing one-year ban for ball-tampering. Earlier, Smith and his fellow Warner both faced boos from the English crowd in World Cup. In the first test, when both entered the ground in hope to win the hearts of the fans again, English fans spotted showing them sandpapers, a reminder of ball-tampering incident. Steve Smith who had a phenomenal time throughout the series was continuously getting booed by the crowd.
Steve Smith Gets Standing Ovation
Despite, boos and pressure of comeback, Steve Smith proved he is the best test batsman of the era. Despite missing one test match Smith’s stats in the series are a chartbuster. In 7 innings he scored 774 runs averaging 110.57 per innings. His scores are; 144, 142, 92, 211, 82, 80, 23. No other batsman even reached 500 runs in the series.
In the end, even the English crowd respected the remarkable performances of Steve Smith. After his final innings of Ashes 2019, Smith received a standing ovation from Kennington Oval crowd. English journalist Piers Morgan also took inspirational note of the fact and tweeted, “The bat, it transpires, is mightier than the sandpaper”.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 15, 2019
The Ashes 2019 series ended in a 2-2 draw but as Australia were defending champions, they retained the series. Now Australia will host Sri Lanka for a 3-match T20 series starting October 27.