Cricket

England demolish Aussies at Cardiff to go 1-0 up in the Ashes

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Around an hour or so after tea, on the fourth day's play in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff, Joe Root caught Josh Hazelwood off the bowling of Moeen Ali at deep mid-off, and England went 1-0 up in the 2015 Ashes series.

Australia began day four of the first test needing an improbable 412 runs to win the first test. It was always going to be a difficult run chase for the Aussies, but knowing the mentality of most Australian sporting sides, it was a target that they felt they could reach.

Australia had an early let-off when opener Chris Rogers on 4 was dropped by Joe Root, but that lapse proved to be inexpensive as Rogers was out for just 10 soon afterwards off the bowling of Stuart Broad. That brought Steve Smith to the wicket, and the best Test match batsman in the world rankings proceeded to build a partnership with opener David Warner that looked like it was going to give England major problems.

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They moved quite easily to 97-1 when, with one over left before lunch captain Alastair Cook brought on spinner Moeen Ali and he promptly had David Warner lbw for 52.

The timing of the dismissal could not have been more important for England, as they went into lunch on a high, which was the complete opposite to the Aussies who would have had to completely rethink their plans over the luncheon interval.

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After the interval, Aussie skipper Michael Clarke came to the wicket and batting looked completely different to the morning session. Then, the Aussies looked completely at ease against England's bowling.

Instantly England's bowlers, led by an inspired Stuart Broad, took the game by the scruff of the neck and ripped through the Australian middle order. England took three wickets straight after lunch, which meant that added to the Ali over before lunch, England had taken four Australian wickets for nine runs in just six overs.

At 106-5 and with all their top order batsmen back in the dressing room there was no way back for Australia. They were heading for a crushing defeat, and it was only a matter of when, not if, England would finish off the job.

There was some resistance from the Australian tail, mainly from Mitchell Johnson, who having had a bad Test match with the ball decided to show the crowd that he could actually bat as well as bowl, and he scored a very entertaining 77 runs. Once he was out though the inevitable happened and Australia were eventually bowled out for 242, which left England victors by 169 runs. A crushing defeat for the visitors, but one they will be determined to avenge at Lords next Thursday when the second Test starts.

As the Australian captain Michael Clarke admitted afterwards in the post match interview, his side were completely outplayed in all facets of the game, and they have got a lot of work to do before the second test starts next Thursday.

As for England, they now have to show consistency in their performances. They have shown the English public they can compete with this current Australian side; they must now prove that victory was not a one-off performance.

The Australians will come back hard at England, and they have to show that they can handle the pressure.

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Topics:
England cricket
The Ashes
Cricket

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