The Ashes is a age old rivalry between Australia and England that continued this year. For years Australia have dominated in England, so much so that it reached a point where it was considered a birthright.
But coming into this series was an entirely other story because England had just become the World Champions. That all went out the window as Australia won the first test with a brilliant performance.
Australia Win First Test
Australia have won the first Ashes test match in dominating fashion at Edgbaston. This was the Aussies first win on the ground since the 2001 series which they ended up winning. Australia were in a lot of trouble after the first day but they quickly pulled it together and fought their way back into the game. England surrendered on the final day, giving Australia a massive 251 run lead and 1-0 series lead.
Poor England Batting
England came into the final day knowing that they either needed to chase down an impossible score of 398 runs or they needed to bat out the day and try to force a draw. Instead England did the complete opposite, at one point they lost six wickets for a shockingly low 146. Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins were the chief destroyers after they took advantage of a worn pitch that had all kinds of movement. They both tore through the English lineup with Lyon claiming 6-49 and Cummins clamming 4-32. The Aussies wrapped up the game before tea and now lead a series in the UK for the first time in 14 years.
Smith’s Return Welcomed
If we’re being honest the return of Steve Smith to test cricket was the highlight of the game. We could just sit back, admire and appreciate some of the finest batting you’re ever likely to see. He may have not played for an entire year but his hunger for runs has never died. In the first innings Australia were in serious trouble when they were reduced to a 122-8 but Smith pulled his side out of that hole to guide them to a respectable 284 and scoring 144 in the process. His side started their second innings 90 behind but with his help they quickly wiped that out.
More Of The Same In The 2nd Innings
Smith scored another incredible century in the second innings, getting out for 142. He also became just the fifth Australian batsman to score two centuries in the same match and only the third to do so in England. He definitely showing why he was once considered the best in the world, in terms of the Ashes this was sixth consecutive scores of 50 or more. Smith may no longer be the captain but his showing true leadership in the side again and the form that he was in before the big scandal. This was the first time Smith has ever scored two centuries in the same.
Before these sides know it the second test will begin and both sides need to improve in some departments. England need to figure out who is going to replace Jimmy Anderson in the squad who couldn’t bowl throughout the match due to his early injury. Another worry for them is figuring out how to actually get rid of Smith which is going to be hard in this form. Australia need to improve their batting, they can not rely so heavily on Smith as they won’t always be so lucky.