England, set a target of 227 to win after Australia captain Michael Clarke's bold declaration, needed 21 more to win off 24 balls with five wickets left when the umpires decided the light, even with the floodlights on, was too dark to continue and ended the match at 7.35pm local time. (Agencies)
The draw meant England, who'd already retained the Ashes, finished the five-match contest as 3-0 winners having triumphed in three successive Test series against Australia for the first time since the 1950s.
Jonathan Trott (59) and Kevin Pietersen (62), who both scored their maiden Test hundreds in Ashes matches at The Oval in 2009 and 2005 respectively, kept England in sight of an improbable win, in a match where they had largely been outplayed, after Clarke closed Australia's second innings at 111 for six.
This result saw Australia fail to win a single Test in an Ashes series for the first time since their 3-0 loss in England in 1977 and meant they'd failed to win a Test for the ninth match in a row following a 4-0 loss in India earlier this year.
England captain Alastair Cook responded to Clarke's challenge by taking two fours in the first over of the chase off Ryan Harris. But Harris removed Joe Root for 11 when he flat-footedly edged an intended cut to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
It was a record-breaking catch for Haddin, with his 29th victim of this Ashes seeing him surpass the previous world record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in a Test series of 28 set by Australia great Rodney Marsh against England in 1982/83.
England, whose run-rate today had barely risen above two an over, scored 22 runs in two overs, 10 off spinner Nathan Lyon and 12 off debutant seamer James Faulkner, with Trott piercing the legside field for a couple of excellent boundaries.
But a second-wicket stand of 64 ended when Cook was lbw for 34 to left-armer Faulkner, who'd taken four for 51 in England's first innings 377. Pietersen came in and clipped Faulkner through mid-wicket for four before driving him wide of mid-off for another boundary.
Suddenly England were eyeing a sensational win, with Pietersen pulling left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc for four. But Pietersen's brilliant 55-ball knock featuring 10 fours ended when he was well caught at long-on by David Warner off Ryan Harris.
England, set a target of 227 to win after Australia captain Michael Clarke's bold declaration, needed 21 more to win off 24 balls with five wickets left when the umpires decided the light, even with the floodlights on, was too dark to continue and ended the match at 7.35pm local time.