1st Test Ashes Review (At Gabba)
Australia struck early with an exquisite bowl to dismiss Cook. Following that Vince and Stoneman set about building a partnership. Then Lyon came into the attack, he managed to keep the run rate down. The signs were starting to look ominous for the Aussies. The game was delayed due to rain. Following that the partnership continued. Both batsmen were cautious and didn’t take risks. Then Paine dropped a simple catch with Vince the fortunate batsman. Shortly after Cummings dismissed Stoneman. Vince was dismissed after tea; he was the victim of some brilliant fielding from Lyon who was responsible for the run out. England ended the day at four for one hundred and ninety-six with honours just about even.
Malan and Ali started to built a solid partnership. Eventually the partnership was broken by Starc. Incredibly England capitulated and lost six wickets for fifty-six runs. All four Australian bowlers took at least one wicket, which signified an even contribution. Despite that England reached the psychological mark of three hundred runs giving the bowlers something to defend. Three hundred and fifty was probably a par score. Like the Aussies the English team didn’t rely on one bowler with the first four wickets to fall for the Aussies being taken by four different bowlers. Australia were in trouble having lost four wickets when they reached seventy-six runs. What followed was a pivotal partnership between captain Smith and number six batsman Marsh. The partnership remained unbroken at stumps on eighty-nine runs at stumps on day two.
Marsh and Paine departed and Australia were in a bit of trouble at six for two hundred and two; one hundred runs in arrears of the English total. Starc followed shortly after. What came about after that was a solid partnership between Smith and Cummings; a sixty-six run partnership, with the tale ender making forty two of the runs. Finally, Woakes got reward for effort when he claimed the wicket of Cummins. That wicket put Australia’s hopes of passing the English total in jeopardy with only two wickets remaining. Thanks to one hundred and forty-one runs not out from captain Smith Australia had a twenty-six run lead after their first innings. In a good sign for England all six bowlers used took at least one wicket. Cook failed again in the English second innings with Hazlewood claiming the two wickets that England had lost in the final session of day three to give Australia the ascendancy.
Australia dominated day four of the first test. They managed to take the final eight Australian wickets cheaply for one hundred and thirty-three runs. Lyon, Hazlewood and Starc managed to take three wickets each. Captain Smith even bowled three overs! All four front line bowlers took at least one wicket a piece. Captain Root looked dangerous reaching a half century. However, he failed to go on with it; he was the victim of a brilliant piece of bowling where he trapped the English captain leg before wicket. Smith was inspirational in the field with four catches. England would be disappointed with their capitulation in the second innings with the bat as they bowled well to keep Australia to a twenty-six run first innings lead. Bancroft and Warner rotated the strike well early in their pursuit of the tricky target of one hundred and seventy runs. Warner struck at almost seventy runs per one hundred balls as Australia got close to victory. At stumps they required just fifty-six runs with all ten wickets in hand.
The game was a forgone conclusion on day five with Australia in the driver’s seat. Both opening batsmen, in Warner and Bancroft reached eighty runs without losing their wicket. The Aussies cruised to victory with England using six bowlers in their attempts to break through and claim the elusive ten wickets in the Australian second innings. Despite being well beaten captain Root endeavoured to change the bowlers on a regular basis. England will need to improve their bowling if they can be competitive in the next four tests remaining in the series.
Also published on Medium.