The Ashes, 2019
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham
Date: 01 August-05 August, 2019
RR: 2.78 | Australia beat England by 251 runs
So that is it from the first Test of this year's Ashes. It is Australia who take a 1-0 lead and they also win the first game of the World Test Championship. The whole Test match was a roller coaster ride. If this is anything to go by, it is going to be a cracking series. The second Test is to be played at Lord's on the 14th of August 2019. It begins at 1100 local (1000 GMT). Till then, take care and goodbye!
MAN OF THE MATCH - Steve Smith for his magnificent tons in both the innings. There was absolutely no doubt about him being given the award. It is because of him, Australia won this game.
Day 5 though saw the Aussie bowlers blow away the England batting line-up. Cummins and Nathan Lyon being the star with both sharing 10 wickets amongst them. An outstanding display of character was shown by the Aussies in this game. They were booed and bullied throughout the game by the English fans but they never let it get into their heads and they came out on top that too convincingly.
Despite that fightback, England batted extremely well and ended Day 2 on 267 for 4 with Rory Burns scoring a ton. They would have surely eyed a lead in excess of 150 but the Australian bowlers bowled brilliantly on the morning of Day 3 and ensured England did not take their lead past 100 which saw the game evenly poised. However, three wickets even before the deficit was wiped off, surely made England favorites. Yet again though Steve Smith and another comeback man, Matthew Wade, batted Australia out of the game with tons. Australia managed to score 487, giving England a target of 398 which was impossible to chase on the last day but a draw was on the cards.
Now then, the scorecard suggest, Australia won by 251 runs but the game was never so one-sided as it suggests. Instead, for the first three days, it seemed like, it would be England who would take a 1-0 lead. They had Australia on the mat after the visitors elected to bat at 122 for 8 courtesy a fifer from Broad. However, the comeback men, rose to the occasion. Smith showed why he is one of the best going around with a brilliant ton. Siddle hung around with him and his knock also proved to be very handy. Also, a crucial last wicket stand saw Australia get to a competitive first innings score.
What a performance from the Australian bowlers today! They have breached the Edgbaston fortress. Well, one would assume there might not be a lot of difference in a 4th day wicket and a 5th day wicket but it seemed like Australia bowled on a completely different surface than what England bowled on yesterday. They managed to take 4 wickets in the first session and 6 in around an hour and 30 minutes in the second. The star with the ball for Australia - Nathan Lyon. Credit has to be given to Pat Cummins as well as he was brilliant on a wicket which did not assist the pacers a lot.
Pat Cummins is back into the attack.
James Anderson walks out at number 11. He will come out to face the hat-trick ball from Lyon. 6 catching fielders around the bat for this ball!
Stuart Broad is the next batsman in.
Nathan Lyon is back on! Just the single over for Smith.
Drinks Break! Australia continue to dominate this final day. They have got three wickets in the first hour of the second session and are just 3 wickets away from a memorable win at Edgbaston. Woakes and Moeen have put up a fight but the question is how long can they continue this?
Australia's hero with the bat, Steve Smith to have a go with the ball now. Huge boos from the English fans but nothing new in that as he has received that reception throughout the game.
LBW appeal referred by Australia. Moeen Ali is the man in question. Height seems to be an issue. Let us see what the replays think.
Peter Siddle is back on!
James Pattinson is back!
Two wickets in two balls sees Chris Woakes walk out to bat now.
Moeen Ali is the new man in. He has struggled with the bat and was poor with the ball too but a gritty fight here might just make him the English hero.
Bairstow is caught. He has been given out but he has reviewed. He has signaled that it is off the arm.
Jonny Bairstow walks out to bat next. Also, Nathan Lyon to bowl from the other end.
We are back for the second session. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will resume their innings. Australia are six wickets away from a victory. Pat Cummins will start the proceedings for this session.
... DAY 5, SESSION 2 ...
Well, it has been a disastrous morning for England. They would have hoped to not lose more than a couple of wicket in the first session but have all their top 4 batsmen back in the hut. The onus will now be on the duo of Buttler and Stokes. The same pair who won them the World Cup will now have to fight it out in the longest form of the game if the hosts want to salvage this Test and avoid a defeat at the venue where they have enjoyed a lot of success. How will the second session pan out? Join us after the break to find out.
Lunch! No question who this session belonged to. Australia have dominated the morning session on Day 5. They wanted wickets in the first session and they have got 4 of them. It all hinged on how would Nathan Lyon do on this turning wicket and he has done remarkably. The GOAT has picked three wickets, including the big wicket of English skipper, Joe Root. Denly and Roy were his other victims. Lyon has been well supported by the trio of fast bowlers. In a pitch where there has been nothing for the seamers, Cummins, Siddle and Pattinson have bowled with determination and aggression not allowing England to get any easy runs. Cummins was the other one to get into the wickets column.
Vice captain replaces the skipper out in the middle. Ben Stokes is the new man in.
Australia have taken a review for LBW! They have taken it straightaway. Let us see what the replays have to say.
Pat Cummins is now brought on.
Pat Cummins was given the ball but at the last minute the ball is given back to Siddle.
Jos Buttler is the new man in.
Denly reviews right at the end. He has been given out caught at short leg. Is there an edge? He would surely know.
Joe Denly is the new man in.
Nathan Lyon is on!
Root is given out LBW again! He reviews again. If no inside edge, it looks out.
Peter Siddle is on!
Roy once again complains about some noise coming from the stumps area. The umpires have called the ground staff out. A change of stumps maybe? Yes, the middle stump has been changed.
There is some issue with the stumps here. The umpire is having a look. Not sure what the exact issue is. It has been solved and we are all set to continue.
Big moment in the game! Root has been given out LBW. He reviews. This could be a good review.
Joe Root is the new batsman in.
James Pattinson to bowl from the other end.
We are all set to begin Day 5. It is bright and sunny at the moment which is probably good for England. Their batters, Jason Roy and Rory Burns, will resume their innings. The Australian players are out in a huddle. They seemed quite relax. The visitors now make their way to the middle. Pat Cummins, who did not bowl an over yesterday, will start the proceedings for Australia. Three slips and a gully in place. Here we go...
The equation is simple today, Australia need 10 wickets to take a 1-0 lead whereas England have to score 385 in around 90 overs if they are to win the first Test. The latter part looks improbable so one would assume, the hosts would look to play out for a draw. The wicket yesterday was on the slower side but being the 5th day, there might just be more wear and tear and more assistance to the bowlers. It is not going to be easy for the home side. The first session, actually, the first hour is the important one. If England play that out without much damage, they would back themselves to save this game. An exciting day of cricket waits ahead. Welcome to the coverage.
... Day 5, Session 1 ...
England on the other hand, will probably first try and save this game! They need another 385 runs but scoring that in one day, is quite impossible. The hosts need to go session by session, analyze their position and then see how they need to go about things. They have a batting line-up capable of surviving a whole day but will they be able to do so? We will find out on Day 5 as all the action begins at 1100 local (1000 GMT). Till then, take care and goodbye!
Australia can be very pleased with where they are in the game at the moment! However, one could argue they could have declared a lot earlier. Hindsight is always a good thing. They still are favorites to win this game after tons from Smith and Wade. They have around 90 overs on Monday to take the 10 England wickets and by the look of things, the wicket is assisting the spinner so probably, Nathan Lyon will be the key for them.
England will enter Day 5, without any damage being done! Their openers have survived the nervy period. There were many oohs and aahs but they will be happy with the fact that they have not lost a wicket. They though are still way behind in the game.
James Pattinson is into the attack.