England denied historic Ashes test amongst umpiring madness

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After a gruelling series the final Ashes test was today drawn but not without controversy

Way back in 1882 the Sporting Times declared that English cricket had died, following Australia's first ever win on British soil, as they recorded victory against England at the Oval, fast-forward to 7.36pm, Sunday 25 August 2013 and at the very same ground cricket died.

In the fifth and final test in this year's Ashes, nothing but a draw looked likely, England had avoided the follow on in a rain-affected game, what happens next was quite extraordinary, the Aussies bowled the hosts out before batting themselves, reaching 111-6 they declared at tea leaving the Lions a seemingly impossible 227 runs for victory.

The home side skippered by Alistair Cook and chasing a history-making 4-0 home series win, set about their business, making 22 before Joe Root fell for 11, in came Jonathan Trott and he and Cook batted solidly, chipping away at the total and putting on 64 before Cook (34) departed lbw.

The hosts sensed that a result was possible and when the swashbuckling Pietersen hit 62 off just 55 balls, it was really game on. He soon fell as did Trott (59) but the damage was done and the run rate was less than one a ball.

Needing just 55 to win off 10 overs the job was left to Warwickshire duo Ian Bell and Chris Woakes, both continued to push on and as both got to 17 it looked like job done.........then it happened.

What followed was one of the worst decisions made in any sport, Bell was run out without adding to his score and it was at that point with England needing 21 runs of the final 5 overs, umpires checked their light-meters and called the game to a halt at 7.36pm.

With no time left for conditions to change, the game was drawn and England lifted the Urn.

The decision was greeted to a chorus of boos around the famous ground, but it was final, the game was over.

Australia played their hand and England called their bluff, prodding, poking, cutting, hooking and in Pietersen's case smashing the ball around but to no avail.

For me it's a sour end to a magnificent performance from the home side and I for one hope it inspires and motivates Cook's men to get the job done again when the sides meet on the other side of the world in a few months time.