The Ashes – Days 3 and 4

[Kieran Burman | Head of TV]

Day 3 of the first test

Australia again opened the days play at the crease, on a nice sunny morning. Opening bowler Mark Wood put early pressure on night-watchman Lyon who partnered big hitter Shane Watson.

It was Watson however who fell first, being bowled LBW to Broad despite asking for a review.

The night-watchman was the next to go, failing to add to his over-night total. A wicket-maiden for Wood capped off a great few opening overs for England’s bowlers. New batsman Haddin and Johnson then put on a nifty 29 partnership before Haddin, who dropped Joe Root on 0 in the first day was caught-out off the bowling of Jimmy Anderson who struck with the new ball.

Bad boy Mitchell Johnson also failed with the bat, with the bowler having a series to forget so far – getting caught mid-wicket off the bowling of Stuart Broad – a wicker which every England fan loved. The remaining two batsmen only added two to the total, lasting just one over with both of them at the crease.

308 was Australia’s total leaving themselves 122 runs behind England’s total and making England strong favourites going into the second innings.

It was Australia however who had the first laugh, getting the wicket of the England captain with just 17 on the board – with a fantastic catch from Lyon creating a ferocious start from a withering Australia.

Straight after lunch England also lost the wicket of Balance for a duck, meaning Australia were still in the game and showed no signs of giving up!

Life then suddenly came back into England who hit 41 runs off of four overs- which is almost unheard of in 50 over matches, let alone Tests. Ian Bell found his feet scoring a quick 17 off of 14 whilst Lyth burst onto the scene scoring 20 runs in two overs, despite getting just eight runs in the opening 13.

Lyth then continued to 37 before getting caught in the slips. Bell and Root then put on a decent partnership – both reaching 60 of off 89 balls. Stokes further their scores with a quick fire 42, pushing England firmly into the lead; at the rate they were going anyway.

Then disaster struck. England lost four wickets within 50 runs with three of them being within 10. Buttler, Stokes and Broad all lost their wicket, with only Stokes making a meaningful contribution and all of a sudden Ali was the only recognised batsman left with the tail end of England’s batsmen.

10th in the batting order Wood scored a very quick and impressive 32 before the end of the days play – with a disappointing Moeen Ali at the other end who scored little and slowly. England ended the day with a 412 lead, with Australia given two days to reach the total.

 

Day 4 of the first test

The day started like it was a new test match. Australia were yet to face a ball in their second innings and James Anderson and Stuart Broad were riled up and ready to go. Australia got off to a nervy start with a few lbw appeals and appeals for caught behind straight off the bat – if you’ll excuse the pun. Joe Root was the first Englishman to drop a catch so far this series, but it was a difficult one with him diving to his left albeit at a catchable height. England then had a review turned down, with quality umpiring all round – from the on-field umpire and the umpire upstairs. But it was England who won the first point, catching Rogers early on. David Warner however had claimed the second metaphorical point for the Aussies, reaching his 50, but was caught LBW soon after by Mooen Ali. Steve Smith, now down to number 2 batsman in the world scored a quick fire 33 before getting caught at point. They put in one of Australia’s last decent efforts before England were over them like a rash. Captain Michael Clarke then fell short again due to England’s pressure. Clarke admitted after the game that Australia were simply out-played. But that they hope to put up more of a fight in the next test. Three more wickets quickly followed with England captain Alistair Cook making a superb catch in the process; With Shane Watson succumbing to LBW yet again. Out of form Mitchel Johnson then showed the Barmy Army what he really is made of – but with the bat, scoring an admirable 77, which did prove to be Australia’s last hope. Man of the Match Joe Root getting his second wicket of the day, after 60 runs in England’s innings. Root then secured the win with a catch in the deep. Australia only managed to reach 242, with England winning by 169 runs and they go one-nil up in the Ashes series! Next we go to Lords!

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The Ashes – Days 3 and 4