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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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.

England cruise to victory with a day to spare

England have taken a 1-0 in the 2015 Ashes after securing a 169 run victory in Cardiff. The Aussies had two days to chase down their target of 412, but a middle order collapse enabled England to wrap the game up with a day to spare. With rain forecast for tomorrow, the only real hope of Australia salvaging a result meant batting out the day, so finishing in such style was imperative for England.

Alastair Cook catches Brad Haddin at the second attempt

Alastair Cook catches Brad Haddin at the second attempt

Australia had an early let off, as Joe Root dropped Chris Rogers within the first few overs. Rogers couldn’t capitalise on his reprieve though, as he fell for just 10, edging Stuart Broad to Bell at slip. The umpires, amid a chorus of boos from home fans, decided to review the decision, before confirming that the opener had to walk.

David Warner and Steve Smith seemed to target Moeen Ali, taking their partnership past 50, but the Englishman had the last laugh, trapping Warner lbw just before lunch. Warner fell for 52, with the Australians 97-2 at lunch. However, all Aussie hopes of salvaging anything from the first test were obliterated as they lost five wickets for just 25 runs.

Steve Smith survived an appeal, as Root caught a ball that ricochetted off of the Aussie’s pads, not his bat. However, within the same over, he edged straight to Ian Bell, out for 33. Broad took his third wicket of the day, as Clarke hit straight to Ben Stokes at backward point for only 4. Mark Wood joined the party, forcing Adam Voges to edge behind for 1. In an attempt to restart the Aussie attack, Brad Haddin tried to go big against Moeen Ali, but only succeeded in picking out Alastair Cook, who made a wonderful high catch. Haddin’s dismissal left the Australian’s 122-6, needing 290 to win.

Mitchell Johnson offered Australia's only resistance scoring 77

Mitchell Johnson offered Australia’s only resistance scoring 77

Mitchell Johnson showed the batsman how it was done, posing the English bowlers a few problems as he found the boundary with both sixes and fours. But his partner Shane Watson fell lbw again, with Mark Wood dismissing him for just 19. Australia went in to tea at 162-7, the game well and truly out of sight.

Johnson continued to lead the resistance well, as he passed 50, and soon after his partnership with Mitchell Starc took Australia to 223-7. Joe Root broke through though, as Starc edged in to Cook’s chest, and fellow slip Adam Lyth dived to take the catch. The same combination of Root and Lyth prevented a Johnson century, as he swung wildly at a tempting ball, only to nick it to Lyth. Moeen Ali finished off the Australians in the next over, with Josh Hazlewood skying the ball to Joe Root, leaving the Aussies all out for 242.

Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali shared three wickets apiece, for 39 and 59 runs respectively, whilst Mark Wood (2-53) and Joe Root (2-28) also had success with the ball. Joe Root was named man of the match, following his scores of 134 and 60, and his two wickets today. The second test starts on Thursday at Lords.

England in control despite wobble

England have two days to bowl out Australia, after setting them a target of 412 to win the first test. Despite this level of control, they did suffer a wobble, losing three wickets for just nine runs, giving Australia a slither of hope of taking the first test. Despite the mini-capitulation, Australia still require the third highest successful run chase in Test history to take the win, so only a shocking bowling display or rain should prevent an England victory.

England celebrate dismissing the Aussies for 308

England celebrate dismissing the Aussies for 308

Australia resumed on 264-5. England did get the early breakthrough, as Shane Watson was dismissed lbw by Stuart Broad. Nathan Lyon, who had been sent in as night watchman, fell in the next over, lbw to Mark Wood. Mitchell Johnson and Brad Haddin put up a mini-stand of 34, hitting seven fours between them. The final three wickets fell for just four runs, as Haddin (22) and Starc (0) fell to Anderson, either side of Mitchell Johnson (14) chipping straight to Gary Ballance off of Broad. Australia lose last five wickets for 43 runs, finishing on 308, 126 runs behind. Anderson stood out from the English bowlers, finishing 3-43, with Broad, Wood and Ali all taking two wickets each.

Alastair Cook fell just before lunch for a disappointing 12, with Nathan Lyon taking a low catch. Gary Ballance fell just after lunch, caught behind off of Hazleworth for a duck, leaving England 22-2. Ian Bell began strongly, reminding his doubters of the form he showed in the last Ashes series at home. Adam Lyth hit the day’s first six, but just after a Bell single brought up the 50 partnership Lyth was dismissed for 37. Nathan Lyon was the man who took the wicket, with Lyth edging to a diving Clarke at slip.

Ian Bell brought up his 50 with a four before tea, with England going into the break on 160-3. But Bell fell for 60 soon after tea, bowled by Mitchell Johnson for his first wicket after a dismal first innings. Joe Root was also scoring freely, and brought up his fifty with a four, his twelfth 50 in his last 18 test matches. Josh Hazlewood ended Root’s hopes of a second consecutive century, bowling the Yorkshire man for 60.

England’s capitulation began as Jos Buttler gifted Australia his wicket for only 7, with Haddin catching his attempt a a reverse sweep. Ben Stokes was the next to fall, with an inside edge back on to the stumps from Mitchell Starc. Stuart Broad completed England’s wobble as he was caught well by Hazlewood from a complete slog, with England looking in danger of not pulling out a lead of 400.

Mark Wood made 32 from just 18 balls

Mark Wood made 32 from just 18 balls

But Mark Wood brought up that milestone, hitting an entertaining 32 from 18 balls, including 4 fours and 1 six. Moeen Ali was unable to repeat his first innings heroics, as he ambitiously swung at a loose ball, nicking behind for 15. James Anderson was bowled by Lyon as England were bowled out for 289, a lead of 411. Nathan Lyon finished 4-75, with two wickets a piece for Johnson, Starc and Hazlewood.

England should realistically see off Australia comfortably, perhaps even with a day to spare. However, if they fail to dismiss the Aussie openers in the morning session then some nerves could creep in.

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.

England win second test with a day to spare

England won the second Ashes test with a day to spare after bowling Australia out for 235. England started the day batting, on a score of 333-5. Jonny Bairstow fell for 20 early on, and Root soon followed, as an audacious attempt at a boundary was read at third man by Steve Smith for 180. After Root’s amazing innings came to an end, Cook declared 349-7, giving Australia a 583 run target for victory, bigger than any successful run chase in test cricket. This innings was much needed for Root, who was looking rather scarce of runs since being moved up the order for England.

Australia’s top order yet again failed to score runs, as Shane Watson was again trapped lbw, this time by Anderson for 24. Fellow opener Chris Rodgers soon followed, as Swann bowled him for 6. Australia slumped to 36-3, as despite a review, Phillip Hughes was Swann’s second victim, lbw for 1. Captain Clarke and Usman Khawaja started a revival, batting well in to the afternoon for a partnership of 98. But as Clarke fell for 51 to Joe Root, caught by Cook, the Aussies collapsed again, losing 3 wickets for 3 runs. After surviving a review, Khawaja was caught off of Root’s bowling for 54. Australia’s poor use of reviews continued, as Steve Smith fell for 1, with Prior catching Bresnan’s delivery. Ashton Agar was next to fall, although originally given not out. Although there was no mark on Hot Spot, the 3rd umpire gave Agar out for 16. Swann got his 3rd wicket as he trapped Haddin for 7. The lower order showed the batsman up again, as all of the bottom 4 scored in double figures. Siddle was bowled by Anderson for 18, and Pattinson also fell to Swann by lbw for 35, in a 43 run final partnership. Australia finished 235 all out, losing by 347 runs.

With Australia’s top order failing to score runs, changes are a must to avoid a series whitewash. A total of 186 runs and 2 wickets contributed to Joe Root winning the Man of the match award.

Root on form on day 3

Joe Root dominated day 3 at Lords as England extended their lead to over 500 runs. Root and Bresnan batted through until the afternoon session, with Root reaching his 50 in the process. Eventually though, Pattinson broke the 99 run partnership as Bresnan was caught by Rodgers for 38. Bresnan had been troubled by bouncers throughout his innings, but the Aussies didn’t exploit this until his eventual dismissal. Ian Bell came in at 6, but was fortunate to get past 3 runs. Steve Smith caught him; however the umpires were uncertain as to whether the ball had carried. Bell was given the benefit of the doubt, and proceeded to build a brilliant partnership with Root. Root made his first century at Lords just after tea, where he and Bell seemed to be toying with the Aussies by using an exciting array of shots. Bell passed his fifty before trying to hit big, only to find the hands of Rodgers, caught for 74. Root reached an unbeaten 178 at the close of play, with England’s score of 333-5 giving them a lead of 566 runs.

To win, Australia will need a record beating second innings, with the record successful run chase being 418 (West Indies Vs Australia 2003), and the record at Lords being 344 (West Indies Vs England 1984). After total domination today, England will feel that the second test is all but over. However, Captain Cook will have no trouble motivating his players to finish the job in a professional manner.