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Ashes rocked by 'carnage' as Mitchell Starc rips through England in fifth Test

The Aussie fast bowler battled through a shoulder injury as England collapsed at The Oval.

Mitchell Starc, pictured here dismissing Ben Stokes in the fifth Ashes Test.
Mitchell Starc dismissed Ben Stokes with a special delivery in the fifth Ashes Test. Image: Getty

Mitchell Starc has defied an injured shoulder to help bowl England out for just 283 on the opening day of the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. The hosts suffered a brutal collapse after making their way to 3-184 just after lunch, losing their final seven wickets for just 99 runs.

Starc was forced off the field before lunch when he re-injured his shoulder, with the left-armer under a huge injury cloud after the fourth Test. But he sparked England's collapse when he came back on, taking 4-82 and dismissing Ben Stokes with an absolute peach.

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Stokes was left with no answers as Starc produced a beautiful out-swinger that went past the England captain's bat and smashed his off stump out of the ground. Starc also got the key wicket of Harry Brook for 85 after he'd been dropped on five, while also cleaning up the tail with the wickets of Chris Woakes (36) and Stuart Broad (seven).

It meant England had thrown away a promising start with collapses of 3-11 and 4-28. And it could have been much worse had Australia not dropped five chances (one of which would have been a Steve Smith screamer).

Mark Butcher said in commentary that England “fell apart”, while Ricky Ponting said they were lucky that their run-rate was so good. “When you are scoring so freely those collapses don’t make as much of a dent on the scoreboard as they normally would,” he said. “If you have collapses of 3-11 and 4-28, and you’re not scoring, you’re (normally) 7/100. But they keep the game going forward.”

Australia then went to stumps 1-61 and trailing by 222, with Usman Khawaja (26) and Marnus Labuschagne (two) the not out batters. David Warner made another good start but once again failed to cash in, dismissed for 24 by Woakes.

But the talk of the cricket world was Starc, who left commentators and fans in awe of his brilliant spell - especially considering the injury. "It's just a case of throw a bit of tape on it and get back into it," Starc said of his shoulder. "It's fine ... it's just a bit of discomfort.

"I have played for over 10 years and been through a few niggles and injuries over the time. There have been times where I have left the team a man down, or others have.

"We all push through niggles and what not. We have a big week ahead of us to try and win this Ashes series. And a few weeks off, so there is no reason not to get up for this week."

Todd Murphy shines in recall for fifth Ashes Test

Todd Murphy was also brilliant on his return to the team after he was controversially left out of the fourth Test. The off-spinner took 2-22 off six overs, claiming the scalps of Moeen Ali (34) and Mark Wood (28) after coming in at the expense of Cameron Green.

Murphy managed to blunt England's attacking ways, which the Aussies have struggled to do all throughout the series. "When they're playing the sort of cricket that they are it nearly comes back to one-day cricket where you have to mix and match," Murphy said on Sky Sports. "Be brave at times and also be smart. Make sure when they're coming at you it's on your terms.

"As a spinner and cricketer in particular you just want to be able to get in the game and be involved in it. It's nice to get in there nice and early today and contribute a little bit."

Mitchel Starc celebrates the wicket of Ben Stokes.
Mitchel Starc celebrates the wicket of Ben Stokes in the fifth Ashes Test. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Starc said of Murphy: "He's going to learn from those experiences, his first Ashes tour on the back of his first Indian tour. He's going to be a quality spinner for us for a long time.

"Obviously coming in and trying to fill Nathan (Lyon's) boots is a big deal as it is. Nathan's obviously bowled quite well here in the past off the back of the Test final. Todd's run off the back of that and bowled some really good overs today and got some crucial wickets."

with AAP

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