James Anderson took 6-47 as Australia were skittled for 136, before England closed on 133-3, on a rain-affected but dominant day one of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
The momentum has changed direction numerous times as the Ashes series steadily progresses, but it is back in England’s favour as they go into day two just three runs behind Australia’s miserly first innings total with seven wickets in hand, despite losing the toss.
It looked a good toss to lose from the onset as Anderson got the ball to move both ways, giving David Warner and Chris Rogers plenty of food for thought. Anderson, who turns 33 tomorrow, trapped Warner lbw in just his second over, and the mercurial Steve Smith didn’t last too long either, poking his bat at one to be caught in the slips for seven.
England’s brilliant morning session continued thanks to Steven Finn, playing his first Test in two years. If the wicket of Smith wasn’t enough, he then yorked skipper Michael Clarke for 10.
The serious damage was done however after the rain delay, as Anderson tore the middle order apart. He took a wicket in each of his first four overs after lunch to leave the Baggy Greens reeling on 94-7, and with that, his five-for.
Rogers continued his fine series as he provided the grit and stubbornness that the rest of the Aussies were desperately lacking. He brought up his fifty, but he too perished. The tail displayed brief resilience, but Anderson’s sixth wicket saw them bowled out for 136.
In response, English pair Adam Lyth and Alastair Cook were watchful as they attempted to see off the new ball, but Lyth lost his patience, as doubts continued to circle over his future in the team, to walk for 10. Ian Bell walked out to the crease under immense pressure, but he played with the freedom of a player performing at his very best as he brought up a run-a-ball fifty stand with Cook.
Cook looked in good touch, but was extremely unfortunate to smash his pull shot straight into the body of Adam Voges when he was on 34, who somehow held on to it. Bell then brought up his fifty, but his attacking streak got the better of him, as he skied one straight into the hands of Warner to depart for 53.
It was still a hugely successful day for the English, as Joe Root (30) and Jonny Bairstow (1) will resume on day two with their side three runs short of the Australians total.
For the full scorecard, click here