The batting collapse of England paved the way for a crushing victory for Australia in the first Ashes Test on Monday.
England, set an imposing target of 398 to win, collapsed to 97-7 in the post-lunch session on the fifth and final day before being bowled out for 146. It was a numbing defeat for Joe Root’s team, who had been ahead for two days but after five was overwhelmed by 251 runs.
Aussies have to thank two of its key players for this scintillating victory. A solid fight by Steve Smith with two back-to-back centuries and the lethal off-spin attack by Nathan Lyon who led the mayhem of England batsmen.
Nathan Lyon tormented England on a pitch behaving as it should on the fifth day; there was turn, sometimes sharp, usually slow. Pat Cummins was the another bowler who shone well by his unrelenting and well-directed pace and aggression and scalped the other four wickets. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took 6-49 and fast bowler Pat Cummins 4-32 as Australia enjoyed their first win in all formats at Edgbaston since 2001.
Steve Smith’s first-innings century helped guide Ashes-holders Australia to 284 after they had collapsed to 122-8. England replied with 374, their first-innings lead of 90 built on a maiden Test century from left-handed opener Rory Burns, who made 133, and fifties from captain Joe Root and vice-captain Ben Stokes.
Former Australia captain Smith's second-innings century and a maiden Ashes hundred from Matthew Wade allowed visiting captain Tim Paine to declare on 487-7.