England on top as the 1st Ashes Test reaches its climax

England need 4 wickets for victory and Australia 137 runs as the 1st test comes to an exciting end on Sunday at Trent Bridge.

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Ian Bell and Stuart Broad got the day underway well with the bat, bringing up their century and half-century respectively. When Broad fell a few overs after that though, the tail didn’t show much resistance as England were bowled out for 375.

That left Watson and Rogers 30 minutes to negotiate before lunch, and they did that well. The partnership didn’t end there though, as the pair continued on after the break building a good foundation for the team’s run chase, as they took the team to 84/0.

Then when the breakthrough of Watson did come, the collapse England would have been hoping for didn’t as Cowan chipped in with a 43 ball 14, and Rogers completed a good half-century before departing for 52.

That left Australia on 124/3 as Smith and Clarke who are arguably Australia’s two best players of spin partnered at the crease, and showed why they have those reputations, as they comfortably saw off Swann and Root while still keeping the scoreboard ticking.

As the partnership started to look threatening, England brought back Stuart Broad, and that was when disaster struck for the Aussies, as both the in batsmen at the crease departed in consecutive deliveries, with Clarke edging to Prior for 23, and then the 1st ball of the next over, Smith lost concentration and was trapped lbw by Swann for 17.

Those wickets completely changed the complexion of a test that has been swinging in both teams favour for the entire 4 days, as all of a sudden batting looked a lot more difficult than before, and it told with the side stumbling to the close on 174/6 leaving England well on top going into day 5.

Matthew Nepgen

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