Nathan Lyon’s 15th career five-wicket haul saw Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston in the first Ashes Test and go 1-0 up in the five-match series.
Lyon finished with an impressive 6/49 to run through the hosts, who were bundled out for just 146. Chasing 398 for victory, England lost wickets at regular intervals. Jason Roy (28) and captain Joe Root (28) played battling knocks but the off-spinner removed both batsmen during his inspired spell.
For the second time in the match, England’s middle-order fell cheaply with Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali failing to get to double figures. Local boy Chris Woakes top-scored for England with 37, which included a slew of cuts and pulls. Pat Cummins (4/32) and Lyon, though, kept getting regular breakthroughs for their side. The Australian pacer also picked up his 100th Test wicket.
Lyon returned to remove Ali – for the second time in the match – and Stuart Broad in back-to-back deliveries. Australia are chasing a first away Ashes series win in 18 years. Their victory also meant they became the first team to get on the ICC World Test Championship points table.
England resumed on 13 without loss after Australia star Steve Smith’s second hundred of his comeback Test following a ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal had allowed the tourists to declare late on Sunday’s fourth day. Rory Burns, whose first-innings 133 was his first century at this level, became just the 10th cricketer to have batted on all five days of a Test.
But he had added just four runs to his overnight seven when he was undone by an excellent seaming and rising delivery from Cummins that lobbed off his gloves to Lyon in the gully. Number three Root, on four, was given out leg before to James Pattinson by umpire Joel Wilson.
But in a match full of overturned decisions, Root successfully challenged the verdict, with ball-tracking technology showing the delivery would have missed leg stump. There was a bizarre hold-up in play on a sunny day for about 10 minutes because of a “buzzing” stump microphone that was eventually replaced. That meant umpire Wilson had equalled an unwanted record with an eighth overturned decision in a Test match. The second Test begins at Lords on August 14th.
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