England are 2-1 up in the Ashes, as they needed just three days to beat Australia by eight wickets in the third Test match at Edgbaston on Friday.
It completed yet another remarkable turnaround in this compelling series, after the Australians defeated the English by 405 runs barely a week ago.
Following two Test matches of difficult pitches to bowl on, Edgbaston favoured the pacemen, and it quickly became apparent that losing the toss was the best thing that could have happened to the hosts.
James Anderson ripped through the top order with figures of 6-47, as the Baggy Greens were skittled for 136. In response England got 281, handing them a considerable lead. It was the turn of Steven Finn, playing his first Test match in two years, to do the damage with a five-wicket haul by the end of just day two with Australia reeling on 168-7.
The tourists had it all to do on day three, but Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc provided some staunch resistance with a 64-run stand. Both brought up fifties, but Finn, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali all chipped in to bowl them out for 265.
The hosts were handed 121 for victory. While it was a small target, a solid job was still required, and it wasn’t going to come from skipper Alastair Cook, who perished for seven off the bowling of Starc.
Adam Lyth and Ian Bell put on a 40-run stand, but Lyth accounted for just seven of those as he fell cheaply once again – his Test future hanging in immense doubt.
The free flowing and seemingly rejuvenated Bell continued to find the boundary, as the watchful Joe Root was happy to ease his side over the line.
Bell reached his second fifty of the match, and just before tea, Root clipped away the winning runs to seal the emphatic eight wicket victory. 2-1 with two to go, as they head to Trent Bridge for the fourth Test which gets underway on 6 August.
For the full scorecard, click here