Cricket Article

Ashes 1st Test - Australia Go 1-0 Up After Edgbaston Drubbing

Ashes 1st Test - Australia Go 1-0 Up After Edgbaston Drubbing Photo: TT
Australia take 1-0 lead against England

Australia beat England by 251 runs to win the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

The tourists, who recalled to the Test side all three of the players banned for ball tampering – Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft – won the toss at Edgbaston and opted to bat first. Warner survived a missed appeal caught behind, but his reprieve was temporary, as he was lbw to Stuart Broad soon afterwards. Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja then looked to mount a recovery, but Khawaja edged Chris Woakes behind and was given out after a review.

With Jimmy Anderson off injured, Smith and Travis Head led a recovery but, when the scored had reached 98, Head was lbw to Woakes for 35. And then Woakes struck again to remove Matthew Wade lbw after on appeal after he was initially given not out. And then captain Tim Paine gifted England a wicket, hitting Broad straight to Rory Burns at deep square leg. Two balls later Broad had a fourth wicket when James Pattinson was lbw second ball. Pat Cummins made five but then he chose to shoulder arms to a delivery from Ben Stokes and was lbw.

Then Peter Siddle gave Smith the support he needed as the pitch flattened out and the pair put on 88 for the 9th wicket until Siddle fell for 44, caught by Jos Buttler off Moeen Ali. Nathan Lyon came to the crease as Smith began to open up, and he reached his 23rd test century, before accelerating the scoring rate. He was eventually bowled by Broad for 144, having hit 2 sixes and 18 fours, having contributed more than half of Australia’s total of 284 all out. Lyon meanwhile was undefeated on 12.

Broad finished with 5 for 86, whilst Woakes took 3 for 58.

There was just time for the England innings to get underway, Burns and Jason Roy reaching 12 without loss at stumps.

On the second morning England lost Roy early, caught at slip by Smith off Pattinson. But Burns and Root dug in against tight, disciplined bowling. Both had their share of luck. Root survived the ball hitting the stumps without dislodging the bails when he had scored just 9, whilst Australia failed to review a leg before decision against Burns when the opener was on 21, which would have been given out. Together the pair put on 132 for the second wicket until Root gave Peter Siddle a return catch and he was out for 57. Joe Denly then joined Burns at the crease and he made 18, until he was lbw to Pattinson. Then Jos Buttler was expertly caught by Bancroft at third slip, with Cummins the bowler this time.

However, Burns reached his maiden test century, and, with Stokes, the pair added an unbeaten 71 as England closed the second day on 267 – 4, trailing Australia by 17 runs, but with 6 wickets still standing. Burns was undefeated on 125 overnight, whilst Stokes was 38 not out.

Resuming on the third morning, Stokes reached his fifty, but was then dismissed caught behind off Cummins, as England lost 4 wickets for 18 runs. Burns was the next to go, his long vigil at the crease ending on 133 after he too, was caught behind, Lyon the bowler. Moeen Ali was bowled by the same bowler five balls later, before Bairstow edged Siddle to Warner at first slip.

Woakes and Broad then defied Australia by putting on a valuable 65 for the ninth wicket, until Broad was caught by Pattinson off Cummins for 29. Then the injured Anderson added a further 9 with Woakes until he was the last man to fall, caught off Lyon. England had been bowled out for 374, a lead of 90, with Woakes unbeaten on 37.

In reply, England, one bowler short due to Anderson’s injury, struck early when Warner edged Broad behind and was caught. Bancroft and Khawaja looked to establish a platform but then Bancroft edged Moeen to Buttler at short edge for simple catching practice. Khawaja and Smith then shared a stand of 48 before Khawaja gave the faintest of edges to a ball from Stokes and was caught behind for 40. However, Smith and Head saw out the rest of the day, as Australia closed on 124 – 3, a lead of 34 runs.

Smith and Head continued largely untroubled on the fourth morning and the pair added a further 80 to the overnight score until Head fell for 51, caught behind off Stokes. The afternoon saw Australia pile on the runs with Smith and Wade adding 126 for the fifth wicket. Smith reached his 24th test century, joining the elite band of players who have scored a hundred in both innings of an Ashes test, before he was caught behind for 142 off Woakes after England took the new ball.

Then Wade and Paine added 76 as Wade reached his first test century. He was eventually caught by Denly off Stokes for 110, with Paine bowled by Moeen shortly afterwards for 34. Pattinson and Cummins then piled on the agony, adding 78 unbeaten runs for the 8th wicket, until Australia declared on 487 – 7, setting England an unlikely 398 to win the match. Pattinson, who hit 4 sixes, was unbeaten on 47, and Cummins 24 not out.

England faced a tricky period before stumps in their second innings, but Burns and Roy safely got to 13 not out overnight.

Australia though struck early on Day 5 when Burns could merely fend a short ball from Cummins to Lyon at point to take a simple catch. Roy and Root put on 41, but Roy charged down the wicket at Lyon, and was bowled for 28. Then Denly was poached by Bancroft at short leg off Lyon for 11, and Root fell in identical fashion for 28, to leave England teetering at 85 – 4.

Straight after lunch England lost their fifth wicket when Cummins bowled Buttler. England then suffered a further collapse as Bairstow and Stokes fell off successive balls, Bairstow caught by Bancroft off Cummins, and Stokes caught behind off Lyon. Moeen and Woakes resisted briefly, but then two more wickets fell in successive balls, first Moeen caught by Warner off Lyon, and then Broad falling to the same bowler, caught by Smith for a duck. Woakes, who had offered some late resistance, was the last man out, caught at slip by Smith off Cummins who finished with 4 for 32. Lyon meanwhile took 6 for 28. England had been bowled out for 146.

Rajeev mcallister
Sports Pundit staff writer

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