|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||JM Anderson, CJL Rogers, ST Finn, A Lyth|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
By Andy Jalil at Edgbaston
Brilliant bowling by Anderson has Australia reeling
Birmingham Its ten years since the last Ashes Test was played on this ground and it was that most memorable encounter which gave England victory by two runs, setting them on the path of winning the series and regaining the Ashes after 18 years of defeat at home and away. Englands hopes of a repeat of that winning performance would have risen considerably after dismissing the opposition for a paltry 136 in the third Test.
James Andersons marvellous effort with the ball brought him six wickets for 47, his best figures against these opponents, beating his previous best of 5 for 73. In an inspired spell of pace bowling after lunch he claimed five wickets, four of which came in a magnificent 19-ball spell conceding just 7 runs.
England began their innings shortly before tea which was delayed because of three interruptions by rain and in the 3.5 overs bowled they were 7 without loss but lost Adam Lyth in the 8th over for 10. For the second successive time the Yorkshire opener is having a poor match, following his scores of 0 and 7 at Cardiff.
But a stand of 57 between Alastair Cook and Ian Bell took the total to 76 before Cook, on 34, was unlucky to see his firm pull shot, in Nathan Lyons first over, went straight into Adam Voges at short leg and he happened to cling on to it. Bell went on to put on 56 with Joe Root and brought up his 44th Test half century in the process from 51 balls with 40 of those runs coming from fours.
It was the Australian spinner again who took the next wicket. Bell on 53 hit high to leg and David Warner made good ground at short mid-wicket to hold the catch over his shoulder. A run later with England on 133 for three, rain stopped play for the fourth time and that was stumps for the day with Root on 30 and Jonny Bairstow on one.
Earlier, lucky to survive being run out to the second ball of the match, when Chris Rogers took a somewhat risky single, Warner fell lbw two overs later and Australias first wicket had fallen to Anderson, who didnt have a wicket in the previous Test, with 7 on the board. He asked for a review of the umpires lbw decision and it went against him.
Following scores of 215 and 58 in the last Test, Steve Smith managed just 7 when he went half forward to an excellent ball from Steve Finn which moved away from just outside off, and edged low to first slip. It was Finns first over and he was one of two changes in the England side from the second Test. He came in for Mark Wood for his first Test since 2013 and Jonathan Bairstow who has been in prolific run-scoring form in county cricket replaced his out-of-form Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance.
Finn was quick to strike again when he yorked Michael Clarke for 10, taking two for two in nine balls and Australia, having decided to make first use of the Edgbaston pitch were three for 34 within a dramatic first hour. Rain seemed to have brought some respite to the tourists and after a 35-minute break Chris Rogers and Adam Voges saw the side to 72 for three at lunch.
Rogers on 35 had been showing a bit of the form which brought him 173 and 49 (retired hurt) in the previous Test. Of his runs 28 had come from boundaries, the finest of which was the drive through cover which had brought up Australias fifty.
Australias batting debacle continued from the second over after lunch with Anderson on the rampage. He had Voges in two minds as he decided late to leave the ball and was held behind off the bottom of the bat. In his next over Mitchell Marsh reached well outside off stump for a second catch to Jos Buttler. Four runs later it was 86 for six when Peter Nevill misjudged in leaving the ball which came in to hit the top of off stump.
With Mitchell Johnson going next, held at gully from a ball that moved in slightly from off stump, Australia were 94 for seven. Stuart Broad claimed his first wicket trapping Rogers lbw but not until he had brought up his 13th Test half century. He had faced 89 balls and defied the England attack for a little over two-and-a-half hours, striking nine fours. Broad struck again in his next over having Mitchell Starc edge behind and Australias penultimate wicket had gone on 119.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)