Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
England 377 & 205-5
Australia 492-9 dec & 111-6 dec - Match drawn
England responded to being set a target of 227 in 44 overs to win the final Test and secure a 4-0 series victory by dashing towards it, only for bad light to intervene with four overs to go and victory in sight.
Australia, so positive all day, began to spoil and slow down as the match slipped away—and the fading light beat England with the end in sight.
England win the series 3-0, and the celebrations after the emphatic series win will not be greatly sullied by missing out on a fourth victory.
Alastair Cook set the tone by hitting a couple of boundaries in the first over of the innings, and Joe Root was busy until he chased a wide one to Brad Haddin, becoming the wicketkeeper's 29th victim, a record number for a Test series.
Cook and Trott set into a solid rhythm, scoring at around 4.5 runs per over to keep in touch with the required run rate.
Cook did fall, shuffling across the line and being struck plumb in front by James Faulkner to depart on 34.
But it brought Kevin Pietersen to the crease, and the noise ratcheted up another level at The Oval in anticipation of the chase continuing.
At the halfway mark, England required 131 from 132 balls.
Pietersen is no stranger to being a hero on the last day of an Ashes series at The Oval—the stage was set for him. And he did not disappoint in a 50 partnership in which he raced to 45 from 29 balls.
Michael Clarke, shell-shocked, slowed things down and threw the ball to the previously unused Shane Watson.
Pietersen fell for a majestic 55-ball 62, and Trott followed for 49, trapped by Faulkner to leave Ian Bell and Chris Woakes together, chasing 57 runs in 51 balls.
They got going, getting the target down to a run a ball.
With five overs to go Watson was bowling down the leg side in an effort to prevent scoring. The light too started to fade in the London evening.
After a painfully slow over, with Bell run out from the final ball, England were 206-5 with four overs to go.
It was dark, but the light meters came out, and the game was called off with a result in sight. It was a farcical way to end a fascinating day, and a bizarre end to a strange series.