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Friday, August 07, 2015

Broad 8/15 scythes through Australia - all out 60 before lunch- then Root 124* confirms England dominance:T4 D1 to

England 4/274 (65ov, Root 124*/158b/1x6 19x4, Bairstow 74/105b/12x4, Cook 43, Starc 3/73) lead Australia 60 (18.3ov, Extras 14, Johnson 13, Broad 9.3-5-15-8) by 214 with 6 !st inns wkts in hand: T4/5 D1/5 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Toss: England, who sent Australia in.  England XI: Wood in for Anderson (injured); Australia XI{  S Marsh replaced M Marsh.

Stuart Broad bowled magnificently, inducing an appalling, if not entirely inexplicable, batting collapse before lunch. Australia's embarrassing 60 all out, apart from all the records it broke, has effectively allowed England to win the Test and thereby reclaim the Ashes.

If there were any doubts about this they were dispelled by Alistair Cook and Joe Root who took England into the lead after two early wickets fell, and then Root and Johnny Bairstow's  173 run 4th wicket stand.  This also exposed the limitations of the four man frontline bowling attack, which in turn questioned the competence of the selectors. In my opinion Adam Voges should have been replaced by Shaun Marsh, leaving Mitchell Marsh in the eleven (unless the selectors followed my wilder thoughts and restored Shane Watson, or Brad Haddin, or even Peter Siddle)

England had the better of the conditions- overcast at the outset turning to intermittent sunshine in the afternoon-  but this does little if anything to excuse Australia's technical deficiencies. It is one thing to look to bat aggressively but it is folly, as so many,perhaps all, Australians did, to fail to tailor your responses to the conditions by, for example, not going so hard at the ball as you would do on your
home pitches.

Magnificent as Broad's bowling was, his team supported him well. Mark Wood had David Warner caught behind in his first over after Broad had removed Rogers and Steve Smith in his first. 3/10 was only marginally better than Australia's 3/2 at the start of the 2010 Adelaide Test, but on this occasion was no recovery.

And England's fielding was superlative, Ben Stokes took the catch of the series when he caught Adam Voges in the slip cordon - watch it on TV or YouTube where it will surely be replayed many times.  My favourite was Alistair Cook's Aussie Rules style mark to remove Michael Clarke wafting outside off stump for an undistinguished 10 - the third highest individual contribution' after extras 14 and Mitchell Johnson's 13.

I watched England overtake Australia's paltry offering in the English afternoon but slept soundly through, and beyond, the last session. No nightmares during my slumbers: I'd already had them in real time via my TV screen.

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