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From Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport at The Oval
Joe Denly missed out to a maiden century but still helped England to a match-winning spot on the day of the final Ashes Test against Australia.
Fourteen days after his wife gave birth opener Denly forced 94 to all secure his place in the winter tours of England.
After being dropped on nought on the second evening, the Kent guy also should have been given lbw into Mitchell Marsh on 54, just to opt against a review.
He was caught after sharing a third-wicket rack of 127.
Before England 313-8, 382 was left by a late Australia advancement ahead jos Buttler sparkled in his 47.
With two weeks and the pitch starting to show signs of twist, England are primed to measure the series at 2-2.
Defeat here would deny them a first series win in England since 2001, Even though Australia have retained the Ashes.
The home side will also be looking to prevent a primary home loss to anyone in five decades.
But on a day in south west London, England Use these benign states to put together one of the Test summer.
Some uncharacteristic hindsight that was Australian has, though, aided them.
Tim Paine’s decision to field is appearing increasingly baffling too Siddle over Mitchell Starc’s range. The vacationers have lost five catches and failed in their usage of this inspection system.
But that is to take nothing away from Denly, who had batted at number three and three summer before being requested to open.
He has indicated he has a future at the level by creating his third.
There were fractious minutes during the day. Matthew Wade and Joe Root exchanged words, as did David Warner and Ben Stokes, that was goaded from the close fielders. Nathan Lyon chatted.
The home supporters responded in the benefit of their team, especially to any fielder who ventured in the direction of the border.
The Aussie arrival of cult hero Jack Leach gave the crowd one day in a summer that is just about at an end.
As he made 14 on the very first morning denly’s wife Stacy was in the early stages of labour. He returned as the father to another child after dinner on Friday and left the floor.
Australia assisted him celebrate with a pair of let-offs, which Denly confessed by playing with strokes the ground and square of the wicket on the off side for his next half-century in as many Tests.
Including lofting a straight six he nimbly used his toes from Lyon, and has been enough to survive a few blows from the fast bowlers.
Denly put the tone for Joe Root and Rory Burns to play freely in the early hours, but later both dropped to Lyon, Stokes came to keep his fine form.
The Durham all-rounder also profited from being lost – by slide Steve Smith off Lyon on seven – and also proceeded to sweep the exact identical bowler for six and swat at another maximum off Marnus Labuschagne’s leg-spin.
Stokes was bowled by a beauty from Lyon that turned while Denly obtained an equally good one from Siddle that resulted in a border to Smith and nipped off.
With his head bowed, eventually bringing himself to increase his bat he departed.
Australia will leave the UK with all the urn for the first time in 18 decades, but skipper Paine said the series win meant so much to those that this game was a”grand final”. This was.
On top of choice the throw, drops and failed reviews, their superb new-ball matching of Hazlewood and Pat Cummins experienced a rare ineffective day.
Lyon is struggling to his finger with damage – not he will gain sympathy from England supporters. He did have Burns caught , Root produced the ripper to account for Stokes, held slip and, later.
He was also the bowler when another opportunity was missed by the vacationers. Buttler might have been lbw on 19.
It took before the embers of this afternoon for Australia. First Smith leapt length to take Chris Woakes one-handed at slide then, next chunk square leg Labuschagne conducted and dived ahead to hold a yanking Buttler millimetres over the turf.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan:”I composed Joe Denly off, so many did. But I like players that have that inner power. He has past night lost on nought and he must have been thinking he had to make it burst.
“He played well. He also kept his hands you’re going to get found out, should you play hands away from your body and when there are quality bowlers along with a little bit of motion.
“He played with more hands and needed a forward defence.
“Australia have appeared tired and sloppy. England have capitalised on Tim Paine’s choice at the toss and played with an excellent match of cricket so far.”
England batsman Joe Denly, talking to TMS:”It had been good, nice to get that score and disappointing not to reach the landmark.
“But we’re in a excellent position going into day four and that’s the most important thing.
“I was not thinking in my place to the winter trips, I was just hoping to occupy the crease and if I did that scoring chances could come”
Analysis and comment from the BBC’s cricket correspondent.