Aussie collapse puts England on the verge of regaining Ashes

England are on the verge of regaining the Ashes after Australia lost their top four batsmen for just 23 runs. The visitors had looked to be back in with a chance as their bowlers performed admirably before lunch, and openers Chris Rogers and David Warner took them to 113 without loss. Mitchell Starc claimed six wicket for Australia, whilst Ben Stokes ripped through the Aussie top and middle order with five wickets. England could claim victory tomorrow without having to bat again; they need to take three wickets for 89 runs.

Ben Stokes finished with figures of 5-35

Ben Stokes finished with figures of 5-35

Joe Root risked getting out twice, as he began the day trying to carry on where he left off. It was third time lucky for Mitchell Starc, as Root nicked behind for 130 as he attempted a drive. Mark Wood’s impressive innings of 28, including 5 fours, was ended by an equally impressive delivery from Mitchell Starc, who claimed his fifth wicket. Starc produced another top delivery to bowl Jos Buttler for 12. Buttler had attempted to be more positive, but continued to fail to put a big score together. Ben Stokes nicked Hazlewood behind for 5, meaning England were 332-8, losing four wickets for 58 runs in this session.

Moeen Ali accelerated England’s progress, bringing up 350 with a big six. Along with Stuart Broad, who hit 2 fours and a six, the pair put on 58 to increase England’s lead past 300. Mitchell Johnson broke the pair though, with Steve Smith catching Ali with a superb diving catch for 38. Alastair Cook declared before lunch on 391-9, giving the Australian openers a tricky few overs to navigate before the break.

David Warner was dropped twice, once by Cook (above) and once by Bell

David Warner was dropped twice, once by Cook (above) and once by Bell

After yesterday’s misfortunes, Australia might have thought that their luck had finally come in. David Warner was dropped twice, a routine catch from Cook on 10, and a tougher one on 42 where the ball sprung out of the hand of a diving Ian Bell. Chris Rogers was offered a reprisal, as he was caught by Root with the score at 105 without loss, however a no ball was called after Wood had overstepped. But England’s bowlers now smelt blood, and Ben Stokes stepped up to the plate. He dismissed Rogers, who could only edge to Root at slip for 52, and fellow opener David Warner, who top edged a shot up in the air to Stuart Broad. Shaun Marsh then edged Stokes to Root for 2. Fittingly, Stokes took the catch for the vital wicket of Steve Smith, who fell to Broad for 5. The top order was now gone, putting on only 23 runs after Rogers’ dismissal. Broad’s ninth wicket of the match moves him to fourth on England’s all time wicket takers with 308.

Michael Clarke’s move down the order appears not have had any impact on his form, as he was caught for 13. Cook fumbled the catch, but managed to palm it back in the air for Ian Bell to take the catch. Peter Nevill was caught for 2 by Cook, but Finn had overstepped, giving Australia a second reprisal. Nevill was the next to fall, going lbw for 17 to Stokes, giving the England man figures of 4-32. Stokes took his fifth wicket as Mitchell Johnson edged to Cook, who finally got his catch, for 5. Australia finished on 241-7, as the umpires led the players off the field for bad light. They trail England by 90 runs.

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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.

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.

England hold slight advantage on day 2

A fine batting display from Chris Rogers threatened to put Australia in control of the first test, but a lack of support from his fellow batsmen has potentially left visitors chasing the game. Moeen Ali stood out, scoring a strong 77 to banish memories of yesterday morning’s abysmal early collapse, before taking two wickets.

Moeen Ali scored 77 with the bat before taking two wickets

Moeen Ali scored 77 with the bat before taking two wickets

England resumed on 343-7, with Broad and Ali at the crease. Stuart Broad survived an early scare, with Johnson’s short ball ricochetting off of the batsman, and appeared to be caught by Adam Voges. Broad was given out, but an umpire review revealed the ball did hit the ground. Moeen Ali brought up his 50 with a fortuitous four, getting an inside edge which darted across the face of his stumps before reaching the boundary. Broad lost his wicket cheaply for 18, as he swung loosely at a Nathan Lyon delivery, nicking behind to Haddin.

Ali was the next to fall, as his impressive 77 from 88 balls was ended when he edged Starc’s delivery to Shane Watson at slip. Jimmy Anderson’s was the final wicket, with England finishing on 430, and Mitchell Starc ending up with a five-for. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Mitchell Johnson finished with the worst bowling figures for an Australian in England since 1985, with 0-111 from his 25 overs.

Broad could have had an early wicket, as Chris Rodgers was given out lbw. However, an Australian review revealed a nick from the bat. Anderson eventually made the breakthrough though, as David Warner edged his delivery to a diving Alastair Cook at slip, putting Australia on 52-1. Steve Smith looked to be carrying on his good form, until he chipped straight to Cook at mid-wicket for 33. Chris Rogers had really dug in and was looking good for a century, pushing Australia forward to 180 with Michael Clarke. But he fell agonisingly short of his ton as he became Mark Wood’s first Ashes victim, nicking behind to Jos Buttler for 95.

Alastair Cook dives to take

Alastair Cook dives to dismiss David Warner

Michael Clarke was the fourth to fall, as he drove straight back to Moeen Ali, who reacted quickly to take a smart catch, leaving the Aussies 207-4. Ben Stokes took a late wicket to put England in the driving seat, as Adam Voges played a loose shot to Anderson at cover for 31. Australia finished the day on 264-5, trailing by 166, with Shane Watson and night watchman Nathan Lyon at the crease. James Anderson’s economic bowling stood out, as he was rewarded with a wicket and six maidens from his 16 overs. Moeen Ali was also dangerous with the ball, taking 2-67.

England will feel that they hold a slender advantage after two days play, and taking the wickets of Watson and Haddin early on tomorrow will put the hosts firmly in control. With the exception of Chris Rogers, the Australian openers got in, but were unable to capitalise before getting out.

England win Ashes

England wrapped up the 4th test and the series at Durham today after a superb spell of bowling saw the Aussies fall from 109-0 to 224 all out.

Starting on 234-5, England wanted to get a lead of at least 300 to secure a win at Chester-Le-Street. Tim Bresnan survived an early lbw review after the new ball came out, with the decision being left to ‘Umpire’s call’ as the ball was only clipping the bails. Ian Bell fell early on to end a magnificent innings of 113 after being bowled by Harris. Harris claimed his 5th wicket as he dismissed Prior for a Golden duck from the next ball. Harris got his 3rd wicket of the day as Steve Smith caught Broad for 13, leaving England on 275-8. Bresnan, who had been promoted to 7, and Swann put on an impressive 42 partnership before Bresnan was caught and bowled by Ryan Harris for 45. Swann survived a dropped catch by Steve Smith when he was on 17. Jimmy Anderson was finally out for 0, as he nicked Lyon behind to Haddin, meaning England finished on 330 all out, a lead of 299. Harris’ 7-117 was his best figures for Australia

Rain delayed play by an hour after lunch but finally the sun came out with Australia on 11-0. Chris Rodgers survived an appeal, as the umpire gave him out for caught behind, however the review showed the ball to have come off his hip, not his bat. England finally broke through the 109 run opening partnership by Graeme Swann, as Jonathon Trott caught Rodgers for 49. Swann also got the next wicket, as Khawaja went lbw for 21. Bresnan got the key wicket of Warner, who by this time was on 71, with Prior catching him behind. England wasted a review as Steve Smith was adjudged to be out lbw, but the ball hit him at waist height. Stuart Broad bowled an outstanding ball to dismiss Clarke for 21. Steve Smith then dragged his bat on to his stumps as he tried a pull shot, going for only 2 runs. Bresnan then got Shane Watson lbw for 2, despite Watson being urged to review by partner Haddin. Australia had now lost 4 wickets for just 11 runs. That became 5-13 as Stuart Broad trapped Haddin lbw for 4, despite another unsuccessful review. Broad struck yet again, as he trapped Harris lbw for 11. Nathan Lyon survived 2 dropped catches in successive balls from Broad, with Swann and Broad putting him down. With England needing 1 wicket to win the Ashes, the umpires decided that the only way that the match could continue was for England to bowl spin as it was too dark to bowl pace. Matt Prior missed his chance to go down is Ashes history as he missed the ball when Jackson Bird was in no man’s land, allowing the Aussie to scramble home. Soon the sun came out, allowing England to bowl pace, and that paid off as Peter Siddle lofted Stuart Broad straight into the hands of Jimmy Anderson, out for 23. Broad’s 11th wicket of the match meant Australia finished on 224, meaning England won the match by 74 runs and the series (3 – nil up with one to play).

After his 11 wickets, Stuart Broad was named Man of the Match. Post-match, he said “I was glad I could contribute. The wicket suited my style of bowling and I found slightly fuller length. We had to regroup today and to get nine wickets in that period after tea was a special effort.” This is the first time since 1934 that England have had two bowlers take 10 wickets in an Ashes series match, Anderson at Trent Bridge and Broad at Chester-Le-Street.

Rodgers punishes average England

An unbeaten 101 from Chris Rodgers left Australia trailing by just 16 runs at the close of play. England’s last wicket lasted only two overs in the morning, before Jimmy Anderson was dismissed by Jackson Bird, adding no more runs to his 16. This left England at 238 all out.

Stuart Broad made an early impression on the Aussies, getting 2 early wickets. David Warner was bowled by Broad for 3, with Usman Khawaja following for a 8 ball duck, leaving Australia on a perilous 12-2. Rodgers survived 2 reviews, with DRS confusion playing it’s part. After surviving a first lbw appeal, Rogers appeared to be caught by Prior, but the review showed that it hit his pads. However, the review also showed that Rodgers would have been out lbw. But the umpires refused to give the opener out, as England’s appeal was based on the catch, not the lbw. Captain Michael Clarke could only add 6 to the total, before Cook took a high catch at first slip from Broad’s bowling. Steve Smith also failed to stay at the crease after getting in, after nicking Tim Bresnan behind to Matt Prior. Rodgers was dropped twice on 45 and 50, with Bresnan missing a catch from his own bowling, and Graeme Swann dropping Rodgers at full stretch at second slip. To add to England’s woes, the ball looked as if it would have carried to Alistair Cook for  simple catch, and Swann appeared to injure his finger attempting the catch. Rodgers and Watson put on a 129 partnership to push the Aussies on from 76-4 to 205-5. The most worrying thing for England was the bowling of Anderson, Swann and Bresnan looking distinctly average, with Stuart Broad providing the only signs of hope. It was no surprise then, that Broad was the one to break the Aussies’ key partnership, with Matt Prior diving to his left to cling on to Watson’s nick, dismissing him for 68. Not long after Rodgers made his maiden Ashes test century, bad light stopped play with Australia finishing on 222-5. This came at a good time for England, and hopefully a nights rest and a new ball to come will invigorate England’s bowling attack.