Stuart Broad led England to a 169-run victory in the first Ashes Test as Australia
collapsed either side of lunch on the fourth day at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens
Australia, well-placed at 97 for one, slumped to 106 for five as four wickets
fell for just nine runs in 36 balls.
Chasing a record-breaking 412 for victory, Ashes-holders Australia were dismissed
for 242 after tea.
Fast-medium bowler Broad took three for 39 in 14 overs as England enjoyed an
emphatic win in their first match under new Australian coach Trevor Bayliss.
As if defeat wasn’t bad enough for Australia, left-arm fast bowler Mitchell
Starc — who took five wickets in England’s first innings — was struggling
to be fit in time for Thursday’s second Test at Lord’s after injuring his ankle.
No side have made more in the fourth innings to win an Ashes Test than Australia’s
404 for three at Headingley back in 1948 when Arthur Morris scored 182 and Donald
Bradman, widely regarded as cricket’s greatest batsman, an unbeaten 173.
But Ashes-holders Australia were well-placed at 97 for one when they lost David
Warner lbw for 52 to off-spinner Moeen Ali on the stroke of lunch.
Broad had bowled superbly in an opening spell of one for 10 in six overs and
probably deserved more than the wicket of Chris Rogers.
However, Broad — renowned for striking in bursts — took two for five in 13
balls shortly after lunch to capture the prize wickets of Steven Smith and Australia
captain Michael Clarke.
Broad was on target in the first full over after lunch when he seamed the ball
away from Smith, the world’s number one ranked Test batsman, who edged a comfortable
catch to Ian Bell at second slip as, for the second time this Test, he fell
Clarke, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation and looking to lead
Australia to their first Ashes series win in Britain in 14 years, having featured
in all three subsequent losing tours, then went for just four when, reaching
for a drive, he guided Broad to Ben Stokes at backward point.
And 106 for four became 106 for five when Adam Voges (one) edged fast bowler
Mark Wood through to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler.
England captain Alastair Cook has often been criticised for being excessively
cautious in the field.
But that this was a day when everything seemed to go right for Cook, England’s
skipper when they were whitewashed 5-0 in Australia in 2013/14, was exemplified
by the departure of Brad Haddin for seven.
Not only did Cook recall Ali into the attack, he also clung on one-handed at
the second attempt at short mid-wicket to a stunning catch off a full-blooded
slog-sweep against the spinner by Haddin.
Ali’s first two overs Saturday had cost 22 runs but his next two had yielded
two wickets for no runs, with wicket-keeper Haddin’s exit leaving Australia
122 for six.
Shane Watson hung around for over an hour making 19 before he was lbw to Wood
having, with equal inevitability, failed in a review of the decision.
It was the second time this match the under-pressure all-rounder had fallen
leg before and the 29th occasion in his Test career.
No 8 Mitchell Johnson held England up with a 77 that included a straight six
off part-time spinner Joe Root.
But Root, whose 134 was central to England’s first innings 430 after they had
slumped to 43 for three, had his revenge when Johnson edged him to Adam Lyth
Root ended the match when he caught Josh Hazlewood at long-off from the bowling