Unconventional Ashes Record: Khawaja & Labuschagne

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In the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval, Australian batters Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne created an unusual record with their slow-paced batting. Their partnership witnessed a run rate that etched a new mark in Ashes history. Let’s delve into the intriguing details of this record-breaking performance. 

The Slow-Paced Partnership

During Australia’s first innings, Khawaja and Labuschagne formed a partnership that raised eyebrows for its sluggishness. They stitched a 42-run stand for the second wicket, but what stood out was the time it took for them to score those runs. Labuschagne’s unusually slow knock of nine runs off 82 balls significantly contributed to the slow pace of their innings. By the time Labuschagne was dismissed, Khawaja had faced 123 balls and was unbeaten on 37. 

A New Ashes Record

This partnership saw a run rate of 1.61, making it the slowest partnership in Ashes history among pairs who faced a minimum of 150 balls together in an innings. The record-breaking duo surpassed the previous record held by England’s Michael Carberry and Joe Root, who scored at a run rate of 1.75 in Adelaide during the 2013 Ashes series. In that Test, Carberry and Root’s partnership yielded 48 runs in around 27 overs. 

The Ongoing Test

As the fifth Test progressed, Australia reached 115/2 at Lunch, with Steve Smith on 13* and Usman Khawaja on 47*. England’s first innings saw them being bundled out for 283 runs after being put to bat first by Australia. Harry Brook top-scored with 85 runs in 91 balls, accompanied by Moeen Ali, who contributed 34 runs in 37 balls. Notably, they had a 111-run stand that rescued England after a shaky start at 73/3. A crucial 49-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Mark Wood (28) and Chris Woakes (36) bolstered England’s first-innings score. 

The Bowling Performances:

Mitchell Starc, with figures of 4/82, was the standout bowler for Australia. Josh Hazlewood and Todd Murphy claimed two wickets each, while captain Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh secured a wicket each.

Series Overview

With Australia leading the five-match series 2-1, they have already regained the Ashes urn. However, England still has a chance to level the series in the final Test.


As Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne’s slow-paced innings entered the Ashes record books, cricket enthusiasts marveled at this unconventional feat. While their partnership may have been unusually slow, it added an interesting chapter to the rich history of Ashes cricket. As the series progresses, fans eagerly anticipate more thrilling moments on the cricketing field.

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