England won the final Test at The Oval by 135 runs to level the 2019 Ashes series 2-2 but Australia retained the Urn after winning the previous series 4-0. (Image credit: Getty Images)
England's golden summer of 2019 has finally ended. After starting off with the series against Pakistan, England managed to achieve history by winning the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time. In the Ashes contest, they had to overcome the brilliance of Steve Smith but they managed to hold their own. After losing the Edgbaston Test and drawing the Lord's Test, Ben Stokes played a once-in-a-lifetime innings to help England achieve their highest chase in Tests as they won by one wicket. However, Australia retained the Urn when they won the Old Trafford Test but England ensured they would not lose a series at home as they won the fifth and final match at The Oval by 135 runs to draw the series 2-2.
The drawn series was the first time Australia and England had played out a stalemate in 47 years. In the 1972 series in England, both England and Australia had played out a 2-2 draw but that was a series in which Australia were in transition. England won the first Test in Manchester but they were blown away by Bob Massie's 16-wicket haul in the Lord's Test. After the third Test in Trent Bridge ended in a draw, England won by nine wickets in Leeds. In the final Test at The Oval, Greg and Ian Chappell scored centuries while Dennis Lillee took a 10-wicket haul as Australia won the Test by five wickets to level the series but England had retained the Ashes after winning the previous series Down Under by a margin of 2-0.
In the 1968 series, Australia won the first Test at Manchester by 159 runs and the next three Tests were drawn. At The Oval, a heavy downpour on the final day threatened to deny England victory. With the help of spectators, the groundstaff indulged in a massive cleaning up operation and play could resume. Derek Underwood picked up 7/50 as England won by 226 runs and leveled the series 1-1.
In the previous series in 1965/66, both teams were once again involved in a stalemate. After the first two Tests were drawn, England won the Sydney Test by an innings and 93 runs thanks to centuries from Bob Barber and John Edrich.
However, in the Adelaide Test, Bob Simpson smashed a double century while Bill Lawry hit a century. Garth McKenzie and Neil Hawke took five wickets apiece as Australia won by an innings and nine runs. With the final Test in Melbourne ending in a draw, the series was level 1-1. This remains the only drawn Ashes series in Australia.
The first instance of a drawn Ashes series was in 1938. After the first two Tests were drawn and the third Test abandoned without a ball bowled, Bill O'Reilly took 10 wickets in the match as Australia won by five wickets but they suffered some nervous moments in their chase of 105.
In the fifth and final Test, records tumbled at The Oval. Len Hutton notched up what was then the highest individual Test score when he smashed 364. Aided by Maurice Leyland and Joe Hardstaff's centuries, England notched up 903/7 declared, the highest score in Test cricket at that time. Australia were handicapped by an injury to Sir Don Bradman while bowling and they suffered an innings and 579-run loss, which remains the highest loss in terms of innings in Tests.