Australia skipper Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon’s resilient effort at the crease defied top-class bowling to score a thrilling first Test match victory in the first match of the Ashes series against England.
Australia won by two wickets in a match that seemed evenly poised at various stages. Cummins and Lyon built a match-winning half-century partnership. Pat Cummins, known more for his exploits with the ball, scored 44* and Nathan Lyon 16*.
Australia now have a 1-0 lead in the series.
Resuming the third session on Day 5 after tea break, Australia were 183/5. Usman Khawaja was batting solidly at 56* and Cameron Green 22*.
England did a comeback after Robinson cleared up Cameron Green (28). Robinson hit the stumps as Green bat got an inside edge. Australia got another blow as England captain Ben Stokes dismissed Khawaja at 65. Australia were 209/7 with two new batters at the crease – Alex Carey and Pat Cummins. Both the batters were playing carefully as one wicket could turn the tables and England could get their grip on the match.
England’s hopes revived in the 81th over when as Alex Carey went to the pavillon. Australia were 227/8 needing 54 runs to win with just two wickets in hand.
Cummins and Lyon’s resilient half-century partnership tool Australia through an intense phase of the game.
Broad (3/64), Robinson (2/43) were top bowlers for England. Moeen, Stokes and Root got one scalp each.
Earlier, coming to bat on Day 5, Australia needed 174 runs to win the first Ashes Test. After the first session was washed, Scott Boland 13 (19)* and Usman Khawaja 34 (81)* started the proceedings for the Aussies who were 107/3.
Stuart Broad struck early and took the wicket of Scott Boland. Boland was sent in as nightwatchman yesterday to save the wicket for Australia.
Scott Boland scored 20 runs. He went on to play a ball on the on-side, which led to an outside edge and the ball carried to the safe gloves of Jonny Bairstow. Australia were in a spot of bother at 121/4.
Travis Head was next on the crease and he carried on with his attacking gameplay, striking three fours.
Moeen Ali took the wicket of Travis Head who was trying to drive away the ball and was caught in the slip by Joe Root. Travis Head scored 16 runs while hitting three boundaries and half of the Australian team was back in the pavilion at 143.
Usman Khawaja continued to steady the innings and completed his half-century in 143 balls.
The duo of Green and Khawaja took Australia through the remainder of the session.
On Day 4, England started at 28/2 and were bundled out for 273. Knocks from Joe Root (46), Harry Brook (46) and skipper Ben Stokes (43) and lower order contribution from Ollie Robinson (27) helped England gain a 280-run lead with Australia needing 281 runs to win the match.
Pat Cummins (4/63) and Nathan Lyon (4/80) were the main wicket-takers for the Aussies. Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland got one wicket each.
In the first innings, Australia was bundled out for 386 and they trailed England by seven runs, who had scored 393 in their first innings after electing to bat.
Australia was once at 67/3 after David Warner (9), Marnus Labuschagne (0) and Steve Smith (16) were dismissed quickly. Then knocks from Khawaja (141), Alex Carey (66), Travis Head (50) and skipper Pat Cummins (38) carried the Aussies to a big score, though not big enough to secure a lead.
Ollie Robinson (3/55) and Stuart Broad (3/68) were the pick of the bowlers for England. Moeen Ali picked two scalps while skipper Ben Stokes and James Anderson got one each.
In England’s first innings, they had declared at 393/8d on Day 1. Joe Root scored a century (118)*, Zak Crawley and Bairstow smashed half-centuries, scoring 61 and 78 respectively.
Nathan Lyon was the pick of the bowlers in the first innings of England’s batting. Hazlewood took two wickets, Scott Boland and Cameron Green picked one-wicket each.
Brief scores: England 393/8 and 273; Australia 386 and 282/8 (Usman Khawaja 65 and Pat Cummins 44, Stuart Broad 3/64).