Fifth Ashes Test: 2023 England vs Australia fixtures, start times, weather and TV channel

Steve Smith of Australia makes his ground as Jonny Bairstow of England knocks the bails off with his glove before receiving the ball

Steve Smith narrowly escaped being run out on day two of the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval – Getty Images/Ryan Pierse

England were left to rue Steve Smith’s marginal run out reprieve as Australia inched into a slim lead to set up the final Ashes nail-biter of the summer.

Subtle movement of bails proved unusually decisive on the second day at the Oval, with Smith’s run out and Stuart Broad admitting that simply walking over to swap Marnus Labuschagne’s bails around was an intentional ploy to unsettle the famously twitchy batsman, who fell to Mark Wood’s next ball.

Australia were 193 for seven, 90 behind, when Smith, on 43, was adjudged not out by Nitin Menon following a stunning piece of work by England sub George Ealham.

With shades of Gary Pratt’s stumping of Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge in 2005, Ealham – a young player on Sussex’s books and son of former England all-rounder Mark – hared in from the fence and threw to Jonny Bairstow, who broke the stumps. After a painstaking replay process, third umpire Menon decided that Bairstow had broken the stumps with his arm first, handing Smith a reprieve.

While England had few complaints at stumps about the decision and a tweet from MCC, the custodians of the laws, appeared to support Menon’s decision, debate continued to rage in coverage and on the stands about whether Smith should have been given out. He added 28 further runs, but helped Australia to a total of 295, a lead of 12 on first innings.

Ashes fixtures and full schedule

  • First Test, Edgbaston, Birmingham – June 16-20 (Australia won by two wickets)

  • Second Test, Lord’s, London – June 28-July 2 (Australia won by 43 runs)

  • Third Test, Headingley, Leeds – July 6-10 (England won by three wickets)

  • Fourth Test, Old Trafford, Manchester – July 19-23 (Match drawn)

  • Fifth Test, The Oval, London – July 27-31

Trent Bridge has missed out on hosting a men’s Test, although it was the venue for the one-off Test in the women’s Ashes.

What time does each Test match start?

All five Tests are designated ‘day’ matches, commencing at 11am (BST), and each day’s play is scheduled to last until 6pm, although time can be made up to 6.30pm, if no breaks in play, to facilitate 90 overs. Lunch will be at 1pm and last for 40 minutes and tea at 3.40pm for 20 minutes.

What is the weather forecast for the fourth Test?

Some light showers are forecast for mid-afternoon Friday. Early forecasts suggest Saturday and Sunday will be largely unaffected, while showers are expected throughout Monday – the fifth and final scheduled day of the series.

What is England’s record in the Ashes at each ground?

  • Edgbaston P16 W6 L5 D5

  • Lord’s P40 W7 L18 D15

  • Headingley P26 W9 L9 D8

  • Old Trafford P31 W7 L8 D16

  • The Oval P38 W17 L7 D14

What TV channel is the Ashes on? How can I follow it in the UK?

Live coverage

Sky has the rights for domestic Tests and is broadcasting all five matches exclusively live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event.

More people tuned into the Edgbaston Test than any other in Sky’s history, with the peak audience of 2.12 million narrowly beating the figures for the 2019 Ashes Test at Headingley, when Ben Stokes marshalled an extraordinary England heist.

TV highlights

The BBC has a highlights package and shows Today at the Test on BBC2 at 7pm after each day’s play.

Radio coverage

The BBC has the radio rights for domestic Tests and features ball-by-ball coverage (unless you are listening on longwave during the shipping forecast) on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and via the BBC Sounds app.

TMS coverage is led as usual by Jonathan Agnew, alongside what it calls “an iconic commentary team” comprising Isa Guha, Simon Mann, Alison Mitchell, Daniel Norcross and Jim Maxwell, with summarisers Michael Vaughan, Sir Alastair Cook, Phil Tufnell, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Ebony Rainford Brent, Vic Marks and Alex Hartley. Andy Zaltzman returns as scorer.

Who is in the Ashes squads?

England named an unchanged squad and then an unchanged XI for the final Ashes Test at the Oval.

Selectors have kept faith with the same players who had them on the cusp of victory at Old Trafford.

Ben Stokes resisted any temptation to freshen up his bowling attack by bringing in Josh Tongue or Ollie Robinson.

England XI for fifth Ashes Test

Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Australia squad for fifth Ashes Test

Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vice captain), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

What are the players saying?

Mitchell Starc, the fast bowler who picked up four wickets, including Harry Brook, described it as “a pretty even day”, but said Australia’s was a contended dressing room. Brook, meanwhile, painted a positive picture of England’s day, having been asked to bat first in helpful bowling conditions.

“We’ve had a decent day In the end, we were all talking about 250 being decent score at lunch time and got 33 more than that,” Brook said. “We were happy with the way we scored our runs. It would have been nice to get few more wickets tonight but hopefully we get them tomorrow morning.”

Brook praised the Australia captain Pat Cummins, who put a difficult fortnight behind him to bowl brilliantly, despite having figures of just one for 61 to show for it.

“I definitely felt that,” Brook said, when asked if Cummins was bowling quicker today. “My inner thigh definitely felt that. He looked like he was running in a bit harder today. As soon as the pitch is seaming like that it always feels a bit quicker. He doesn’t miss much, and they bowled really well.”

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