Ashes 2019: Joe Denly looking to push on as a Test cricketer after career-best 94 at the Oval

Sport360 staff 14/09/2019
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Joe Denly silenced his detractors with a 94-run knock.

New dad Joe Denly was disappointed to miss out on a maiden ton for England but the makeshift opening batsman was still delighted with his display which put the hosts in command against Australia in the fifth Ashes Test.

Denly cracked 94 in the second innings at the Oval on day three to help England extend their second-innings total to 313-8. His excellent knock, along with a half-century from Ben Stokes, has handed the hosts an overall lead of 382 runs heading into the penultimate day.

Having welcomed the birth of his baby daughter on Friday, Denly is hoping his best-ever showing in an England shirt can help him push on as a Test cricketer.

“It has been a disappointment of the series that I got a few starts,” Denly told Sky Sports at the end of the day’s play.

“Getting through tricky periods and then getting out. Hopefully if I play more cricket and Test cricket I will keep learning and improving and get more runs.

“Against this attack it is always a battle and you have to work hard for every single run. I am disappointed not to reach the milestone but we are in a good position going into day four and that is the most important thing.”

Having struggled to convert his starts at the beginning of the series, Denly has been progressively getting better in the Ashes and he has credited that improvement to a better judgement of where his off-stump is.

“When you’re batting at the top of the order, leaving is an important part of the game, and I like to think I’ve made improvements since the first innings,” the 33-year-old stated.

“Have to know where your off stump is and leave well. Be committed in defence and in leaving the ball,” he added.

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Ashes 2019: New dad Joe Denly puts England in the driving seat as DRS errors add to Australia's woes

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A career-high 94 for Joe Denly.

England cemented their grip on the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia at the Oval after a dominant day three for the hosts which saw Joe Denly agonisingly miss out on a maiden ton.

Having taken a vital 69-run first innings lead, England drove home the advantage with the bat on Saturday with half-centuries from Denly and Ben Stokes helping them push their second innings total to 313-8 at stumps.

With their overall second innings lead now standing at a commanding 382, the hosts are well and truly in the driving seat to level the Ashes and restore some pride.

On a day that started and ended with England at the crease, we look at the key talking points.

New dad Denly makes it count

Having left the field to welcome the birth of his baby daughter on the second day, Joe Denly returned like a man inspired with the bat to notch up his third half-century of the series.

The makeshift opening batsman forged a 54-run opening stand along with Rory Burns, but it was his 127-run partnership with Ben Stokes for the third wicket that asserted England’s dominance on proceedings in the fifth Test.

Denly had his share of nervous moments – including a non-referred DRS call by Tim Paine – but the right-hander made it count with his best showing of the Ashes. The 33-year-old was even looking good for a maiden Test ton before his innings was cut short on 94 by an excellent Peter Siddle delivery.

Denly’s England Test career was on the line coming into the final Test but he might have just brought himself some more time with his third second-inning fifty.

DRS misses add to Paine and Australia’s woes

Tim Paine’s decision to bowl first on this Oval pitch is looking increasingly shocking with each passing session but the Australia skipper’s habitually poor use of the DRS did his team no favours either in a long and tiring day on the field for the visitors.

The wicketkeeperfailed to refer the decision when Mitchell Marsh struck Denly early on the pad, with replays confirming that the England opener would have been on his way. Later in the day, the Paine committed the same mistake when a Nathan Lyon delivery struck Jos Buttler leg before with the Australia skipper choosing to remain DRS-shy.

His overall use of the DRS in the Ashes has been as dismal as it gets, with the 34-year-old even suggesting that he would delegate those responsibilities to other players going forward. That clearly hasn’t gone to plan either as another horror reviewing day unfolded for the visitors at the Oval.

Between his decision to bowl first and the DRS errors, Paine might have just squandered his chance to become the first Australia skipper to win an Ashes series in England since 2001.

Paine has struggled to come to grips with DRS all summer.

Paine has struggled to come to grips with DRS all summer.

Buttler late show inflicts further misery on Australia

Like Denly, Australia’s reprieve to Buttler came back to bite them in the final session with the explosive England batsman’s cameo helping the hosts consolidate their advantage.

The right-hander was among the English batsmen who were under the scanner for poor form coming into the final Test but his solid showing in both innings at the Oval will alleviate any such concerns.

Having come up with an excellent 70-run knock in the first innings, Buttler cashed in on his good form with a rapid 47-run knock on Saturday. The 29-year-old crashed six boundaries during his entertaining stay at the crease and was set for his second successive fifty before Marcus Labuschagne pulled off a stunning catch running in from the deep.

Still, his match tally of 117 runs has put England in an excellent position to restore parity.

More runs for Buttler.

More runs for Buttler.

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Ashes 2019: Joe Denly and Ben Stokes cement England's advantage in final Ashes Test

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A fine 94 from Joe Denly.

England set the stage for a series-levelling victory on day three of the final Ashes Test, with new father Joe Denly leading the way with a career-best 94.

Denly, who joined wife Stacy for the birth of their second child after play on Thursday night, would have loved to mark a memorable week with a maiden century but, as consolation prizes go, his knock at The Oval will take some beating.

Betraying no signs of sleeplessness the 33-year-old not only made a strong case for his international career to continue this winter – far from a done deal when he walked to the crease – but also played a decisive role in England’s 382-run lead at stumps.

In piling up 313 for eight at stumps, Ben Stokes (67) and Jos Buttler (47) with the key supporting roles, the home side made themselves heavy favourites to make it 2-2 at some point over the next two days.

To achieve their goal of a first outright win on these shores in 18 years Australia need to produce a chase considerably better than the 359 Stokes improbably hunted down at Headingley, though Steve Smith’s presence at number four makes just about anything possible.

Smith, who has 751 runs in six innings, refuses to stay out of the game and here claimed four catches at slip including one quite brilliant leaping one-hander late in the day.

But Australia were far from flawless in the field, with captain Tim Paine’s declining to review sound lbw appeals against Denly on 54 and Buttler on 19 while Stokes survived a couple of tricky chances.

Provided by Press Association Sports

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