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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

1/120 at tea, all out 224 at stumps: Broad bowls England to series win in a bleak session for Australia; T4D4

England 238 & 330 (95.1ov, Bell 113/210b/11x4, Bresnan 45, Pietersen 44, Swann 30*, Harris 28.2-2-117-7, Lyon 3/55) def Australia 270 & 224 (68.3ov, Warner 71/113b/1x6,10x4, Rogers 49, Broad 18.3- 3- 50-6, Bresnan 2/36, Swann 2/53) by 74 runs: T4/5, D4 at Chester-Le-Street, Durham. England lead series  3-0 with one Test to play.player of the match: Stuart Broad.

For England this would be, as Paul Keating said when his party won the 1993 election, the sweetest victory of them all. At least of this series, though it will probably be remembered and mythologised as one of the sweetest of the Ashes contests.

That the Test was hard fought until almost the last session will be overlooked as the tale of how Stuart Broad pulled England's socks up in the face of David Warner's judicious aggression will be embellished. There's no denying that Broad bowled very well on a wearing wicket (as at times did Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann), but so did Ryan Harris the supposed crock who with a little help from 
Nathan  Lyon kept Australia in with a chance despite some English lower order resistance

Bear this in mind: at tea Australia were 1/120 , needing another 179. Warner 57* was on song and Geoffrey Boycott in the Test Match Special commentary box was praising him and excoriating England. 

How then did the wheels fall off? Broad and bad batting are the obvious answers, but other questions about the Australians' mental approach need to be posed, and some answers proposed. I have none to suggest at the moment, but hope that the team leadership can come up with some in time to avoid another loss of a match, and face, at the Oval next week.

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