The fifth and final Ashes Test of the 2013 summer series sparked into life on the last day but the contest ultimately ended in a draw when bad light stopped play.
England were agonisingly close to reaching their victory target of 227 only for the umpires to call a halt on proceedings four overs from the scheduled finish.
The decision was roundly booed by the hosts’ spectators who packed out the Oval to witness the last action of what has been a momentous Ashes series for the home side.
After a complete wash-out on Saturday, the match appeared to be petering out towards a rather stale draw, however bright skies on Sunday morning meant play continued with England still at the crease in pursuit of Australia’s first innings 492.
A stout 47 from Matt Prior helped guide the hosts to 377 all out as Australia prepared to set England a tempting run chase.
The tourists attacked from the first ball of their second innings, adding 116 runs before skipper Michael Clarke opted to declare with a lead of 226 – ultimately setting up a one-day style resumption for the crowd to enjoy.
And England happily took the bait, with Messrs Pietersen and Trott laying in to the Aussie seamers after a solid start from the openers.
As the overs and the clock ticked on, England looked more and more likely to triumph and needed just 21 runs from the remaining 4 overs with Prior and Woakes left in the middle.
But with the light rapidly deteriorating, the pulsating conclusion had to be cancelled as Aleem Dar had the final say, ordering the teams off for their own safety just after 7.30pm.
The draw means that England can celebrate a clinical 3-0 series triumph as Australia are left pondering what went wrong overall across a forgettable English summer for Clarke and his men, who have much work to do ahead of the reverse encounter Down Under later this year.
Ian Bell unsurprisingly earned the man of the series award, the England No.5’s three centuries and consistent performances undoubtedly a lynchpin to his country’s warranted success.
Ryan Harris picked up the accolade for being Australia’s best performer and he at this stage is the only man genuinely safe in terms of retaining his place in the eleven going into the winter series.