Bell leads England to emphatic win

Ian Bell led the way as England beat Australia in under three days at Edgbaston. In one of the most rollercoaster Ashes series in recent years, the hosts now lead 2-1 after an 8 wicket victory in the third test. Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc gave Australia a glimmer of hope, both making fifties, but the target of 121 was too low for the bowlers to stand any chance.

Ian Bell's went on to make 65 not out after being dropped on 20

Ian Bell’s went on to make 65 not out after being dropped on 20

Australia’s batmen came out with no pressure on them, and it showed. Peter Nevill brought up his fifty as he and Mitchell Starc found the boundary five times in the first four overs. But Nevill was given a let off, as he gloved the ball behind, with Buttler taking an impressive catch, but the umpire gave him not out. Replays showed that Nevill would have been given out if England had any reviews remaining. Starc and Nevill’s partnership passed 50 before Nevill was caught for 59 in an almost carbon copy of his earlier let-off.

Mitchell Starc continued the resistance bringing up his 50 with a six, which also put Australia 100 ahead. Josh Hazlewood added 11 before Joe Root dived high to take a superb catch at slip. Mitchell Starc’s was eventually dismissed as he chipped straight to England’s substitute fielder, on for Jimmy Anderson. It ended an impressive innings of 58 which had given the Aussie bowlers something to play for. Australia were saved by their mid-to-lower order, who recovered to finish on 265, giving England a target of 121 to win.

England would have wanted to try to reach their total with minimal damage, and openers Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth needed runs to end their poor form. However Cook fell early on for 7, clean bowled by Starc. With the score at just 11-1, there was a chance of a few nerves creeping in amongst the England team, but Ian Bell showed that was not the case. The Warwickshire man seemed to be on a mission to win the match by himself, punishing the Aussie bowlers with 20 from his first nine balls. Australia captain Michael Clarke dropped Bell on 20, putting down a straightforward catch at slip. Fittingly, Bell brought up England’s 50 with a four. Adam Lyth’s place in the team may be under consideration, as he went lbw to Hazlewood for 12.

Mitchell Starc shamed Australia's top order with a fine half century

Mitchell Starc shamed Australia’s top order with a fine half century

Bell brought up his second 50 of the match by hitting a four on the off side. Joe Root also looked in a hurry to win the game, hitting 6 fours and a six to contribute to their partnership of 73. England were able to reach their target without further damage before a delayed tea, as Joe Root flicked the ball over a close field for four.

England’s emphatic win was the perfect response to their disgraceful showing at Lord’s, with Steven Finn’s 8 wickets a particular highlight. Jimmy Anderson’s injury will rule him out of the fourth test, and presumable Mark Wood will come back in to the team after just missing out on this test.

Advertisements

Finn stars in extraordinary third test

England are set to wrap up the third test at Edgbaston in an unprecedented three days after restricting the visitors to 168-7, a lead of just 23 runs. The hosts had resumed the day on 133-3, but another day of exhibition bowling saw 14 wickets fall. Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad made sure that England capitalised on the first day’s bowling display, whilst Steven Finn’s six wickets decimated the Australian middle-order. Only David Warner, who put on 77, offered any resistance to the English bowlers. The day was marred by a potential series-ending injury sustained by Jimmy Anderson, who went off with a muscle injury.

Steve Finn produced a five-wicket haul to put England firmly in the driving seat

Steve Finn produced a five-wicket haul to put England firmly in the driving seat

Mitchell Johnson opened the day brightly for the Aussies, as he took two wickets in three balls. Both Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes fell to short balls cannoning off of them to Peter Nevill. Joe Root brought up his 50, but got out for 63 after nicking a poor Mitchell Starc ball to Voges at slip. After surviving one review, Jos Buttler continued his poor series, going lbw to Lyon for 9. However, Hawkeye revealed the ball to be missing the stumps, meaning had Buttler reviewed the decision he would have stayed in.

Moeen Ali's 59 from 78 balls featured 11 fours

Moeen Ali’s 59 from 78 balls featured 11 fours

With England seven down and leading by only 85 runs at lunch, Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad built up a partnership of 87. Ali hit 11 fours on his way past fifty,whilst Broad found the boundary three times. But Broad fell to a short ball from Hazlewood, skying it to Mitchell Marsh. Moeen Ali’s fantastic innings came to an end in the same over, as he lobbed to Warner at the boundary. Anderson was the last to fall, with England finishing on 281, a lead of 145.

Stuart Broad drew first blood for England, trapping Chris Rogers lbw for 6. David Warner carried Australia past 50, providing 30 of them himself. Steve Smith was unable to produce a similar display though, adding just 8 before he skied a Steve Finn delivery high to Jos Buttler behind the stumps. Adam Lyth took a great diving catch to dismiss Clarke for 3, and Finn was on a hat-trick as Voges edged to Bell on the next ball. Mitchell Marsh survived the hat-trick ball, as well as an lbw review, but was bowled by Finn for six. Australia had crumbled, losing four wickets for only 30 runs.

And it looked as if England could have wrapped up the match today as David Warner looped Adam Lyth for 77, leaving Australia 111-6, still trailing by 34 runs. It wasn’t long after dismissing Warner that Anderson pulled up with a suspected side muscle injury. Steve Finn took his fifth wicket of the day, as Mitchell Johnson top-edged to Ben Stokes at backward point. Australia survived the day, as Starc and Nevill took them to 168-7 at close of play.

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.