Well, there we have it folks! The first ashes test of the summer has certainly not disappointed, as England out bowled, out batted and out fielded their Aussie counterparts.
Today it was all about the bowlers. Stuart Broad stood out, and is looking very dangerous going forward. He bowled well against New Zealand and has carried that over. By bowling full, he got enough lateral movement to cause serious problems for Australia all down the order. His 3-fer could easily have been a 5-fer, and England will hope he can continue to bowl this way.
Australia lost Rogers early, but reached 90-1 with David Warner looking dangerous and Smith looking set. It was just as well then that Moeen Ali soon had him trapped LBW, just before lunch. That gave the impetus needed going into the afternoon session. After lunch, Australia collapsed. Smith was caught in the slips off Broad, and Clarke soon followed him, falling to the same bowler.
It was then Wood’s turn, as he produced an absolute jaffa to dismiss Voges. A small lull followed, but almost inevitably Watson then fell over a straight one and was out leg before. The all-rounder even had the nerve to review the decision, despite the fact that he has been out in the same fashion time and time again. Watson has to be looking over his shoulder now, with Mitchell Marsh waiting eagerly in the wings. Marsh provides something slightly different: a strike bowler as opposed to a holding bowler, and someone in a rich vein of form with the bat.
Haddin then came and went, hitting Moeen Ali to Cook who, incidentally, took one of the catches of the cricketing year. When Johnson walked in it was surely all over bar the shouting. However, the Aussie left armer batted very, very well. He hit an expansive 77, and looked as good as any of his predecessors. When he finally fell to Joe Root’s golden arm, it really was all over.
Root sealed the deal, taking the final catch. Moeen finished with a 3-fer, Broad with 3, Wood with 2, and golden boy Root with 2. It’s very encouraging to see Ali taking wickets, and the performances of Broad and Wood have been fantastic.
Root got man of the match, and I’m not going to say anything else about him because I’ll put the mockers on the innocent, young, perfect Yorkshire lad.
We haven’t won them back yet, not by a long stretch. We’ve made a rather good start though.