After the draw in the third test of the Ashes, England had already retained the Ashes Urn and it was definitely staying in England thanks to the rain interruption. However, England captain Alastair Cook did not let his team think the Ashes was over yet as he piled the pressure on his team mates and went out a week after the third test to win the Ashes in style. This is the first time England have won three tests at a home series since 1985 when they claimed the Ashes Urn back from Australia. England are looking to win four tests at home for the first time ever.
The first innings of the fourth test were very close between the two countries with England being the team who batted first and they got off to a decent start. Alastair Cook was the opening batsman alongside Joe Root, but he didn’t get his chance to shine until Root lost his wicket and Jonathon Trott strolled up to the crease. Together, Cook and Trott’s runs equalled up to 100 runs and with mediocre scores coming from the other batsmen after that, England were all out for 238 after 92.0 overs.
Obviously, Australia needed to score as many runs as they possibly could and it looked very promising when their opening batsman, Chris Rogers, managed to score over a century before he was caught by Matt Prior. Other than Rogers, Shane Watson was the only other Australian cricketer who looked promising in the first innings scoring 64 runs. Steven Smith, Brad Haddin and Ryan Harris all got over 10 runs, but the other 6 Australians didn’t manage to score over 10 runs leaving Australia on 270 all out after the first innings.
The second innings were slightly better for England. Ian Bell was the man on form hitting just over a century capturing 113 runs before he lost his wicket. It was an all-round good performance from the team as only 3 men couldn’t get their score into the double digits. This innings was good for Kevin Pietersen and Tim Bresnan who both managed to score just under 50 runs each. After 95.1 overs, England scored 330 all out giving Australia a target of 299 runs for the win.
This was a crucial innings for the Australians, if they wanted to not lose the Ashes but draw it they must have reached at least 299 runs. It looked positive for Australia as Chris Rogers and David Warner opened wonderfully scoring 49 and 71 runs respectively. Following them, Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke both captured 21 runs each and from then onwards, it went downhill for Australia as Stuart Broad hit form. The England man bowled out 6 Australians, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Peter Siddle, Harris and Nathan Lyon, all in an evening session.
Captain Alastair Cook talked about this wonderful victory, “Nine wickets in a session, the crowd, excitement and nerves at the beginning; it was a special day. As a side in these last 12 months, and before that under Andrew Strauss as well, we have come through tough situations and we have learnt how not to get beaten when we are up against it. When we’ve got a chance, when it’s even stevens, we have the players to take the game by the scruff of the neck.” He then commented on the final test, “We are going to get greedy and try and repeat that (the fourth test win) at The Oval.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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