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#OTD in 2015: Michael Clarke bid farewell to international cricket

image-l75vrwevMichael Clarke (PC: Twitter)

On this day in 2015, Michael Clarke played the last international match of his illustrious career. The occasion was the last fixture of the Ashes series against England at The Oval. 

Earlier in the same year, Clarke led Australia to their fifth ODI World Cup title by beating New Zealand. However, they were trailing 3-1 in this series coming into this game. 

Australia secure mammoth lead in first innings

Invited to bat first, Chris Rogers (43) and David Warner (85) got Australia off to a strong start with a 110-run stand. 

image-l75vi57cClarke receives a guard of honour (PC: Twitter)

Afterwards, Clarke started well but was soon dismissed by Ben Stokes for 15 off 29 balls.

However, Steve Smith and Adam Voges (76) added 146 runs for the fourth wicket. Smith displayed strong resistance to steer the team forward against a quality bowling attack to score 143 off 252 balls, laced with 17 fours and two sixes. 

In the end, Mitchell Starc played a belligerent innings of 58 to power Australia to a total of 481. Steven Finn, Stokes and Moeen Ali picked three wickets each for the hosts. 

In response, Adam Lyth (19) and Alastair Cook (22) provided a stable start to the English team. However, Mitchell Marsh and Mitchell Johnson tore through the middle-order of the Three Lions. In the end, Moeen Ali (30) and Mark Wood (24) were the key contributors for England to finish on 149. 

Australia secured a monumental lead of 332 runs. 

Australia register a big victory, but England take the series honours

Following on, Cook slammed 85 off 234 balls to be the top-scorer for England, as they managed to score only 286. Peter Siddle was a key architect with four wickets for Australia and the visitors won by an innings and 46 runs. However, England retained the Ashes with a 3-2 victory in the series. 

Australian skipper Clarke finished his Test career with 8643 runs at an average of 49.10, comprising 28 centuries. 

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