Broad piles on misery for dismal Australia

Stuart Broad produced career best figures of 8-15 as Australia slumped to 60 on the first day at Trent Bridge. The visitors lasted only 18.3 overs as they were skittled out before lunch in one of the most remarkable days in Ashes history. England ended the day on 274-4, a lead of 214 runs. This was helped by an unbeaten century from Joe Root and a half century from fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow.

Stuart Broad celebrates his record equalling five-for

Stuart Broad celebrates his record equalling five-for

England won the toss and elected to bowl. It took only three balls for Stuart Broad to begin his one man mission, as Rogers edged to Cook at slip for 0. Steve Smith also fell in the first over, making 6 before being caught straight on and edging to Root. Mark Wood made the score 10-3, as opener David Warner nicked behind to Buttler. Broad added a further two wickets, with Shaun Marsh (0) and and Adam Voges (1) being caught by Bell and Stokes respectively. Ben Stokes’ catch was outstanding, as he dived to his right and plucked the ball from behind him at fifth slip.

Michael Clarke was the first Aussie to make it in to double figures, but he was caught by Cook after thrashing out at a Broad delivery. With this dismissal Broad equalled the fasted ever five wicket haul, in just 19 balls. Steven Finn bowled Peter Nevill for 2 to get his first wicket, leaving Australia 33-7. Mitchell Johnson offered some resistance, hitting two fours to pull the visitors towards 50. But Broad cleaned up the Australian lower order, with Starc and Johnson being caught by Root in virtually identical dismissals. Nathan Lyon added a further 9 to bring Australia to 60 before he was caught by Stokes. The state of the Aussie innings was that ‘Extras’ top scored with 14, and only two batsmen made it in to double figures.

Joe Root hit an unbeaten 124

Joe Root hit an unbeaten 124 as England cruised to a large lead on day 1

With such a low target, England could come out and bat without any pressure. Things started brightly, as both openers made some early boundaries. But having retained his place despite his poor form, Adam Lyth fell early on again, thin edging a Mitchell Starc delivery behind to Nevill for 14. Ian Bell was unable to add to his consecutive half centuries at Edgbaston as he was dismissed lbw by Starc for just 1. With England 34-2, Alastair Cook and Joe Root put on a partnership of 62. With the score at 65-2, Cook was fortunate to stay in as he edged between two slips. Michael Clarke and Steve Smith both dived, but Smith only succeeded in helping the ball for four and possibly taking the catch away from the skipper. Cook did fall, also lbw to Starc, making it 96-3. His score of 43 was his second highest of the series, but the disappointment was visible as he walked off agonisingly close to his half century.

From then on the Yorkshire duo Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took centre stage. Root brought up his 50 with a four, and when the pair went on to pass the 100 partnership. Bairstow made his first test half century in two years, from just 73 balls, with a four down leg side. Joe Root soon brought up his ton with a four, his sixteenth of his innings, and his second ton of the series. Jonny Bairstow risked getting out many times throughout his innings, but the closest he came was when he was almost run out, but Mitchell Johnson was unable to direct a scoop on to the stumps. To add insult to injury, England nicked another run from the overthrow. The Yorkshire partnership was finally stopped as Jonny Bairstow was caught by Chris Rogers at square leg. Bairstow made 73 before Hazlewood dismissed him, and created a partnership with Root worth 173. England put on a further five runs before close of play to finish on 274-4, a lead of 214.

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Anderson masterclass puts England in control

England bounced back from their dismal defeat at Lord’s in perfect fashion by taking charge of the third test at Edgbaston. The hosts bowled out Australia before tea, with James Anderson taking 6-47, before putting themselves just three runs behind at the close of play. Steven Finn and Jonny Bairstow came in for Gary Ballance and the injured Mark Wood for England, whilst Australia named an unchanged side.

James Anderson's 6-47 are his best Ashes bowling figures

James Anderson’s 6-47 are his best Ashes bowling figures

Australia won the toss and chose to bat. England set the tone of the day early on, as David Warner had to dive to save himself from being run out without playing a ball. It wasn’t long before he did fall though, lbw to Anderson for 2. Steve Finn marked his return to the side after a two year absence, first taking Smith’s wicket, caught by Cook for 7, and bowling Michael Clarke for 10. This early flurry of wickets left Australia on 34-3 when rain stopped play. Adam Voges and Chris Rogers offered a little resistance, with a partnership of 43.

Straight after lunch, Voges was drawn in to an Anderson delivery, but nicked behind to Buttler as he tried to pull out at the last second. Anderson took his third wicket as Mitchell Marsh edged behind without scoring. Australia mid-order collapse continued, as Peter Neville left an Anderson delivery, which cannoned into off stump, leaving the score at 86-6. Anderson’s took his eighteenth five wicket haul, as Ben Stokes caught Mitchell Johnson at slip for just 3. Chris Rogers continued his single handed resistance as a boundary brought up his 50, meaning that he’d contributed over half of Australia’s runs. All hope Australia had of batting out the day was lost as Rogers was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad for 52. Broad dismissed Mitchell Starc for 11 and Anderson took his sixth wicket, bowling Nathan Lyon for the same score. Australia finished on 136, dismissed in only 35.4 overs.

Ian Bell made 53 as he was moved up the order

Ian Bell made 53 as he was moved up the order

Adam Lyth contined his poor series, playing at a wide shot and edging behind to Hazelwood for 10. Ian Bell came in at three, and alongside Cook stabilised the hosts. A Cook boundary took England past 50, and consecutive fours from Bell brought up to 50 partnership from just 53 balls. Alastair Cook was very unfortunate to fall, as he played straight in to Voges’ midriff. The short leg somehow managed to hold on to the ball, as it caught in his arms that he had raised to protect himself. Ian Bell brought up England’s hundred with a boundary, but skied to David Warner just after he passed fifty. England closed on 133-3.

Root rescues England after openers collapse

Joe Root produced a superb century to keep the first test alive in Cardiff. England had found themselves at 43-3, but the partnership of Root and Gary Ballance revived English hopes. Josh Hazlewood stood out from the Australian bowlers, with figures of 3-70 from his 22 overs. The hosts will resume tomorrow on 343-7.

England won the toss and elected to bat in cloudy conditions. Adam Lyth was the first to fall, caught at slip by David Warner for 6 off the bowling of Hazlewood. Spinner Nathan Lyon was introduced in the tenth over, and this move was rewarded as Alastair Cook edged behind for 20. The day looked in danger of becoming embarrassing for England, as Ian Bell was trapped lbw for 1. Starc’s bowling almost was the downfall of Root as well, first with a muted lbw claim, and more noticeably when the Yorkshire man edged behind, only to be dropped by a diving Brad Haddin.

From this initial trouble, Root and Ballance began piling on the runs, with Root bringing up his 50 in 56 balls. Ballance finally fell lbw to Hazlewood for 63, with the fourth wicket partnership worth 153. Root brought up his century with a square drive for 4, off of just 118 balls. Mitchell Starc was the man to eventually dismiss Root, who edged to Shane Watson for 134. Ben Stokes reached his 50, but was bowled by Starc almost immediately, with England now 293-6. Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali took England past 300, with their 50 partnership coming in just 51 balls. Jos Buttler chipped straight to Mitchell Johnson at mid-on for 27, Hazlewood’s third wicket of the day.

Mitchell Starc shared the honours with Hazlewood, also taking three wickets. Mitchell Johnson had no such luck, with his 20 overs producing figures of 0-87. England will look to push past 400 tomorrow, maybe batting through to the afternoon before getting some early wickets before close of play. This is a situation which looked very unlikely for the hosts to be in at points today, so they must capitalise on this life-line.

Watson ton puts the Aussies on top

England gave 2 players debuts at the Kia Oval, with Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan coming in for Jonny Bairstow and the injured Tim Bresnan. They abandoned the strategy of 4 seamers and 1 spinner to accommodate Kerrigan, and this decision looked to bite them, as they looked toothless in attack.

Jimmy Anderson got back amongst the wickets as David Warner edged him behind to Prior for 6. Despite 2 appeals for lbw against Watson, England couldn’t break the partnership of Watson and Rodgers, during which Watson reached 50. Kerrigan’s first 2 overs of test cricket for England saw him concede 28 runs. The 100 partnership from Watson and Rodgers was reached just before lunch, as the Aussies finished the session on 112-1.

Chris Rodgers fell for the 6th time in 7 innings to Graeme Swann, with Trott taking the catch for 23. Michael Clarke almost got himself out, as he deflected a high ball just past his stumps while stranded outside the crease. Anderson got his second wicket as he bowled Michael Clarke, with the ball deflecting off the batsman’s pad and on to his stumps. Watson brought up his first test match 100 against England, as he looked unbeatable.

Cook dropped Watson on 104, and England looked as if they would rue this at the end of the match. Watson brought up his 150, and not long after Steve Smith brought up his 50 as Australia looked comfortable 263-3. Chris Woakes thought that he had finally broken through, as Watson was given out; however following an umpire review it was reversed as the ball was going over the stumps.

Watson finally fell for 176 to a magnificent diving catch from Kevin Pieterson, with Stuart Broad getting a hard earned wicket. Peter Siddle came in as night watchman and will start tomorrow at the crease with Steve Smith with Australia on 307-4. Simon Kerrigan gave away 53 runs off only 8 overs on a miserable debut, as the Aussie batsmen targeted the spinner. England will hope that his opening day nerves are out of the way, as he will hope to be more incisive on day 2.

Aussies dominate Day 1 in Durham

A display of mediocre batting from England put Australia in the driving seat for the 4th Ashes test. The hosts collapsed from 149-2 to a pitiful 238-9. Neither Cook or Root looked comfortable early on, and it seemed only a matter of when, not if the first wicket would fall. Root went for 16, caught behind by Haddin. Jonathan Trott’s arrival sparked England on, and the pair put on 73 before Trott was caught off of Nathan Lyon’s bowling for 49. Kevin Pieterson came in and also looked positive alongside Cook, with the latter putting on only his 3rd 50 of the series. But Pieterson’s cameo didn’t last long, after just 35 balls, he was caught for 26. Cook was next to fall, just before tea, as he decided to leave Jackson Bird’s delivery before it cut back towards the wickets, leaving England 153-4. Ian Bell, one of the stars of the series so far, had a moment of madness after tea, as he decided to go for a big hit, only to place it into the grateful clutches of Ryan Harris for Lyon’s 3rd wicket. Matt Prior came in to partner Bairstow, and the pair tried to build slowly. A successful Aussie review saw Prior go for 17 (lbw Siddle) from 58 balls. Lyon got another wicket, despite a Bairstow review, as the Yorkshireman played and missed before the ball clattered in to his pads, making just 14 from 77 balls. Sensing blood after the flurry of wickets, the Australian’s put the England tail enders under real pressure, as shown by Stuart Broad lofting a high ball straight to David Warner, a shot that would disappoint most village cricketers. Graeme Swann entertained the crowd at Chester-Le-Street with 3 quick 4s, before falling for 13. Bresnan and Anderson put on 24 runs before the end of the day, leaving England floundering on 238-9. England will hope to raise that to about 250 tomorrow before taking some early wickets to keep them in the game.

Apologies for there being no third test reports, as I was away in Turkey with no internet for a week.