Australia has crumbled to a 169-run defeat in the first Test at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens, England’s attack routing the tourists for 242 on Day 4 to turn the Ashes series on its ear.
Set an imposing target of 412 for victory, the overwhelming favourites started strongly but it all fell apart rapidly in the second session. Stuart Broad had opener Chris Rogers (10) – after he was dropped in the third over by Joe Root off James Anderson’s bowling – caught at slip by Bell with the score on just 19, but David Warner and Steve Smith steadied the ship and picked up the run-rate with some free-flowing stroke-play.
Warner (52) was trapped lbw by Moeen Ali just before lunch, however, and Smith (33) also fell to the Broad-Bell combination immediately after the resumption, sparking a collapse.
Michael Clarke (4) and Adam Voges (1) were gone within five overs, and Brad Haddin (7) – leaving courtesy of a stunning catch by England captain Alistair Cook – and Shane Watson (19) offered little resistance as Ali and Mark Wood grabbed their second wickets and Broad lifted his tally to three.
A catch from Alistair Cook to match his captaincy in this game. Bloody superb!
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 11, 2015
Watson was given out lbw yet again – followed by another unsuccessful review – to leave Australia gasping for air at 7/151 as the struggling veteran all-rounder heaped more pressure on himself.
Mitchell Johnson then embarrassed the Australian batting order by smacking 77 off 94 balls, putting on a 72-run stand with Mitchell Starc (17), who is serious doubt for the second Test with bone spurs in his right ankle. But the gutsy pair were merely delaying the inevitable, and Joe Root removed them both with his part-time off-spin.
No.10 Josh Hazlewood (14) was the last man out as Ali capped a superb day with his third scalp.
After the horrors of their 2013/14 Ashes tour of Australia and their diabolical World Cup campaign Down Under, the victory was sweet for England, who have again shaken up the world cricket landscape with the comprehensive nature of a heavyweight upset on home soil.
What a lovely day for going 1-0 up in a Ashes series……!!!
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 11, 2015
Stud of the day
Ali (3/59) was outstanding, but we’ve given the nod to Broad for his early breakthrough and double-strike after lunch to claim the key wickets of Smith and Clarke. After struggling to make an impact in the first innings, Broad went for the jugular and finished with 3/39 from 14 overs.
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) July 11, 2015
Undoubtedly Ali’s leg-before capture of Warner on the cusp of lunch. Warner and Smith were in imperious touch and had added 78, but Australia’s already-remote chances of victory took a nosedive when the opener departed.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 11, 2015
The tourists must regroup quickly ahead of the second Test at Lord’s, which starts on Thursday. Watson will almost certainly make way for Mitch or Shaun Marsh, while Starc’s likely injury absence will see Peter Siddle return to the side for the first time since the first Test against India last summer. Brad Haddin and to a lesser extent Adam Voges are under pressure for their spots after a poor Test, but should get at least one more chance. England, meanwhile, head into the next clash brimming with confidence after stretching their unbeaten home Ashes streak to seven Tests. All 11 players made a telling contribution at some point during the match in Cardiff.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 11, 2015
- The team that has a 1-0 Ashes lead has gone on to win the series 15 of the last 17 times, with 1997 and 2005 the only exceptions.
- Watson has been dismissed lbw 29 times in 109 Test innings, including 14 in 37 innings against England. He also has eight unsuccessful reviews against his name in Ashes Tests.
- David Warner has posted the most 50-plus Test scores in the last two years with 17. Misbah-ul-Haq, Joe Root and Steve Smith are just behind on 16, while Chris Rogers and Kumar Sangakarra have 15.
- Smith’s fourth-innings average is just 29.3, compared to his career average of 51.7. His first-innings average is a staggering 89.6.