Well we thought we heard and seen it all from one of the fiercest rivalries in sport but these four tests with one remaining has been something else. Each test match more fascinating than the other and I will tell why that is with a review on the four tests in which England regained the ashes and rightfully so.
First test – Cardiff (England won toss and choose to bat)
England proved their solid batting early on with a great first innings of 430 all out with a couple of standout performances.
- Joe Root 134 runs followed by Mooen Ali 77 and Gary Ballance 61
Australia didn’t quite make the reply then needed, all out for 308 runs despite Chris Rodgers getting a 95. Each England bowler getting a share of the wickets.
- Standout was Jimmy Anderson’s 3-43
So that was a lead of 122 runs for England, however the second innings proved to be a tougher affair. 289 all out taking their lead to 411 still a decent run chase for Australia to catch
- Ian Bell & Joe Root both getting 60 runs
- Nathan Lyon decent with 4 wickets for 75 runs
Australia didn’t make the tough target and fell short of the win by 169 runs. That means that England lead the series 1-0.
- Stuart Broad 3-39 on the bowling
- Mitchell Johnson 77 runs was impressive though
2nd Test Lord’s (Australia won toss and decided to bat)
Australia needed a fightback to get themselves back in the ashes and boy did they prove to have a fighting spirit about them. A fantastic battling performance in the 1st innings as they declared on 566-8.
- Batting standouts: Steve Smith brilliant 215
- Chris Rodgers not too far behind 173
Despite a couple of decent scores by Alistair Cook and Ben Stokes, the others couldn’t keep up the Australian bowling and England were all out for 312 runs.
- Alistair Cook 96 (better for him at last), Ben Stokes 87
- Mitchell Johnson 3-53
Australia decided to bat on and with Chris Rodgers having to be taken off from a dizzy spell, the poms declared on 254-2. No wickets for Jimmy Anderson in a test match is a surprise.
That means the target for England was 509 runs but they collapsed dramatically and were all out for an embarrassing 103 runs, a win for Australia of 406 runs!!!!!!
3rd test Edgbaston (Australia won the toss and decided to bat)
What a wrong decision that was for Australia to bat first, all out for 136 runs despite Chris Rodgers getting a half century.
- Jimmy Anderson hit back with a bang 6-47 (a great response for not taking a wicket in Lord’s)
The reply for England wasn’t anything spectacular but it was still a healthy lead after getting 281 all out.
- Joe Root 63, Mooeen Ali 59, Ian Bell 53
- Nathan Lyon pretty good 3-36
Australia needed a fightback but just didn’t prove the goods i’m afraid 265 all out left England with a target of 121 runs, surely they can’t do a 2nd innings at Lord’s again surely.
- David Warner 77, Peter Nevill 59 Mitchell Starc 58
- Steven Finn was the bowling hero 6-79
The target was easily dispatched by England as they take a 2-1 lead in the series. Ian Bell with another half century helping them through.Jimmy Anderson though would miss the next test because of a side strain injury.
4th test Trent Bridge (England won the toss and decided to bowl)
What an inspired decision to bowl first for England as the man of the moment, Stuart Broad after taking 300 England wickets was a man on a mission. Never have a seen a statistic like this before.
- Australia all out for just 60 runs!!!!!!
- Stuart Broad 8-15 (can’t think of a better stat than that!!!)
- The batting was all over by the morning session or before that.
You would think though that if Australia found it hard to make runs, England would be the same but you would be wrong. 391-9 declaring was a great response and even with the bat, England were on course to retain the ashes.
- Joe Root 130 runs (declaring himself as the no 1 batsmen in the world)
- Mitchell Starc not too bad in the bowling 6-111
Australia needed to bat an awful lot better to stand a chance to even draw the match but getting 253 runs was not enough and England regained the ashes and won the test by an innings and 78 runs.
I personally can’t imagine England having such luck from sometimes a very poor Australia side who didn’t set too much of a target for England to chase, despite a pretty decent comeback on the 2nd test. Sport never ceases to amaze me sometimes but I’m proud of you guys to put your criticism aside and prove you can match against the very best in the world, well done guys!!!