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Drawn Ashes would be ‘fair’ says England’s Crawley

Venue: The Kia Oval Date: Thursday, 27 July Time: 11:00 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary and in-play video clips on the BBC Sport website & app, plus BBC Test Match Special on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra. Daily Today at the Test highlights on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 19:00 BST.

England deserve to draw the Ashes by winning the fifth and final Test, says opener Zak Crawley.

The 25-year-old hit 189 in the rain-ruined fourth Test at Old Trafford, which saw Australia retain the Ashes.

Australia lead the series 2-1 heading into the fifth Test at The Oval.

“Two-two would be fair,” said Crawley. “They had the better of us at Lord’s, Edgbaston could have gone either way, we probably deserved this one, and Headingley could have gone either way.”

England could not force a result at Old Trafford as the best part of two days were lost to rain.

After the hosts piled up a rapid 592 all out, Australia were 214-5 in their second innings – still 61 runs behind.

Australia edged the first Test at Edgbaston by two wickets and won by 43 runs at Lord’s before England fought back with a three-wicket victory at Headingley.

Speaking after the match was rained off at Old Trafford, Crawley said: “We’re disappointed – we’ve played a lot of good cricket in this game.

“We wanted to win, we were in a good position to win, and two days of rain cost us. But that’s how it is.

“We’ll play the same way and know we can make a big score. That’s the beauty of a five-Test series: you get a look at them, work out tactics and nuances.

“I’ve never played a five-match series before this one.”

Crawley helped to set up England’s hopes of victory in Manchester with a thrilling century, which included 21 fours and three sixes, his 189 coming off just 182 balls.

The Kent right-hander has defied pre-series criticism to average 55 against Australia this summer.”I feel I’m as good a player as I have ever been,” said Crawley. “I feel good about my game, I’m pleased with how I’m playing – I’ve just got to build on it.

“I have a bit more experience now, things to fall back on in different conditions, so yeah, I feel I can kick on now.”

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