Ashes 2009: Trott Century Keeps England On Top
England 332 (Bell 72) & 373-9 dec. (Trott 119, Strauss 75) v
Australia 160 (Katich 50, Broad 5-37, Swann 4-38) & 80-0
Fifth Ashes Test, The Oval, day three
Jonathan Trott scored a fine maiden century on debut before England declared to leave Australia a target of 546 to win the fifth and final Ashes Test, the Australian openers making their way to 80 without loss by stumps.
Trott's 119 enabled England to close their second innings on 373 for nine after half-centuries from Andrew Strauss (75) and Graeme Swann (63) helped England accelerate and they have asked Australia to chase more runs than has ever been achieved in first-class cricket.
Strauss and Trott added 108 for the third wicket before Strauss edged Marcus North to Michael Clarke at slip just before lunch but England were able to press on, the remaining batsmen accelerating as Trott ground his way to his century.
Matthew Prior ran himself out for four before Andrew Flintoff, in his last ever Test innings, smacked 22 in 18 balls to thrill the crowd and further demoralise the Australian bowlers.
Stuart Broad (29) followed suit before Swann scored his third Test half-century, hitting nine fours in a 55-ball innings and even James Anderson played his part, unbeaten on 15 after Trott, shortly after reaching three figures - the 18th man to reach a century on debut for England - was caught by North off of Ben Hilfenhaus.
North, who bowled 30 overs, was Australia's best bowler, returning four for 98.
Australian openers Shane Watson, unbeaten on 31, and Katich, on 42, guided Australia to a comfortable position overnight, the pitch not offering England an awful lot and the bowlers not bowling too many brilliant deliveries.
Australia, with two days to go, need only to draw to retain the Ashes whereas England must win the match to regain them.
© Cricket World 2009