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Australia take charge at The Oval as England reduced to 107-8

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Australia look set to send Michael Clarke off to retirement on a high, taking complete control of the fifth and final test of the Ashes at The Oval on Friday.

Resuming their first innings from their overnight score of 287-3, Australia posted 481 runs on the board courtesy of captain-in-waiting Steve Smith's outstanding innings of 143. Smith was well supported by Adam Voges, who made 76, while Mitchell Starc also threw his bat around late in the innings to chip in with 52-ball 58.

England had 40 overs to bat before the close of play and they made a complete mess of their innings, aided by some accurate seam bowling from the Aussie pacers. Australia had brought Peter Siddle and Mitchell Marsh into the side for this test match, and duo shared 5 wickets between them as England slumped to 107-8 at the close of play.

Skipper Alastair Cook appeared to be a man in a hurry as he raced to 22 from 21 balls before becoming Nathan Lyon's first victim. The England captain was to top score in their dilapidated effort with the bat, while fellow opener Adam Lyth chipped in with 19 before he was caught off Siddle.

The veteran pacer also accounted for Ian Bell for 10, while Marsh removed Joe Root for 6. England had slid to 92-8 in the 35th over when Marsh took his third wicket of the innings, getting rid of Stuart Broad for naught, but Moeen Ali (8*) and Mark Wood (8*) saw out the last 5 overs of the day to take England past the three figure mark.

Ali in particular has been a thorn in Australia's side all summer, and survived being hit on the helmet today by a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson. The left-hander will look to extend England's batting effort for as long as possible, which could encourage Australia not to enforce the follow-on.

However, given that the visitors do have a 5-man bowling unit in this test match, they may well decide to push for a win tomorrow itself if they can get rid of the tail early in the morning.

Mini Scorecard:

Australia 1st Innings 481 all out (125.1 overs, 3.84rpo)

D Warner 85 (131) S Finn 3-90 (29.1)

S Smith 143 (252) M Ali 3-102 (18)

England 1st Innings 107-8 (40 overs, 2.67rpo)

A Cook 22 (21) M Marsh 3-18 (7)

A Lyth 19 (42) P Siddle 2-18 (10)