After the first two days of the Ashes, when Ashton Agar memorably made history and put Australia in the driving seat, the first test could of been won by either side and the final day of the opening test was truly fantastic. At the end of the day, it was one man who won the first test following a man of the match performance. James Anderson made four wickets on the last day and five in the final innings in order to give his international side, England, the opening test advantage as the hosts plan to go into Thursday’s second test on a high.
Australia went into the final day knowing that they had only four wickets remaining and from those wickets, they had to score 137 runs. Anderson managed to eliminate Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle from the line up as they were all caught by Captain Alastair Cook. Early exit’s for the three Aussie’s left it down to Brad Haddin and James Pattinson to reach the require target. After bowling for 13 consecutive overs, James Anderson stepped down as the England bowler in order to allow Steven Finn to bowl, but Finn looked out of form.
After some fine hits from Brad Haddin and James Pattinson, Australia found themselves only 31 runs away from their target with victory in sight. The lunch ended up being delayed, but when the two teams did go into the break, England were close to defeat as the Aussie’s only needed 20 more runs. James Anderson was preparing himself to bowl once more as he walked out onto the field filled with determination.
James Anderson bowled his way smoothly passed the first over allowing Australia only 6 more runs leaving them 14 runs away from a thrilling triumph. However, in the second over after lunch, the ball looked as though it hit Haddin’s bat leaving Matt Prior to catch for the win. Yet, celebrations were delayed as the Umpire didn’t think the ball hit the bat forcing Captain Alastair Cook to call upon the big screen for final proof. With the whole of Trent Bridge biting their nails, the screen showed the smallest glance on the bat, handing England a well-deserved, but tough first test triumph.
After the match, James Anderson, who captured 10 wickets in the first test for England, commented, “The match had the nerves going but I love bowling here and I’m happy to pick up some wickets again. It generally swings here but whatever way we can get the ball moving, it is a bonus for us. At one point it looked like we were only going to have a lead of 150 but Stuart Broad and Ian Bell batted superbly well and got us to a decent total. You can’t fault the effort of the boys.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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