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Saturday, August 01, 2015

England, as expected, win convincingly to take 2-1 lead: T3 D3


England 281 & 2/124 (32.1ov, Bell 65*/90b/10x4, Root 38*) beat Australia 136 & 265 (79.1ov, Warner 77, Nevill 59/147b/7x4, Starc 58/108b/1x6 6x4, Finn 21-3-79-6) by 8 wkts; T3/5 D3/5 at Edgbaston. England lead Ashes series 2-1. Player of the match: Steven Finn.

It was inevitable, given the match situation at the start of play, that England would win. It was small comfort to Australia that they made England wait two sessions to claim victory. The greater part of that comfort came form the lower order batting, not the bowling, as Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc showed more resistance than those ahead of them in the order.

When England began its modest run chase most Australian supporters would have wished for a tight contest. There was a sniff of that when both openers fell, but Ian Bell, tasking advantage of a letoff in the slips, struck out again and saw them home.

Jimmy Anderson will miss the next Test, and perhaps the rest of the series. For all the talk about his record, and properly acknowledging his great bowling the first innings of this match, I believe that Stuart Broad has been the most consistent threat across the three Tests to date.

And Australia? Adam Voges should be replaced, and perhaps one or two others - but not Michael Clarke who I believe is a class batter, despite his bodily infirmities (about which there has been surprisingly little media comment). Remember the saying: form is temporary, class is permanent.

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