Australia were 82-0 at lunch on the first morning of the Fifth Investec Test after being put in to bat. The opening pair of Chris Rogers and David Warner played with diligence and fortitude, determinedly leaving the ball in the early overs to try to negate any movement.
It was only the 13th time in 98 Test matches at The Oval that the captain winning the toss had asked the opposition to bat. Alastair Cook of England said that his decision, in overcast conditions, was influenced by what had happened previously in the series. In the third Test at Edgbaston and the fourth at Trent Bridge, the tourists were bowled out, respectively, for 136 and 60 when batting first.
But the partnership in its last match together – Rogers is retiring after it – played with extreme caution in the early stages. Only 19 runs came in the 14 overs bowled in the first hour, though Australia were slightly more expansive afterwards.
Warner reached his fifth fifty of the series from 76 balls with his sixth four, driven through extra cover. Both batsmen played and missed a little but there were only two edges, both of which fell short of the slip cordon. Rogers was on only one when he was fortunate to survive a fast ball from Mark Wood which reached Cook a first slip on the bounce and Warner as 41 when he was beaten outside off stump only for his uncontrolled shot to bounce inches short of Joe Root at third slip.Reuse content