England pace spearhead's Ashes best of 6 for 47 demolishes Australia for 136 on Day One of Edgbaston Test
Birmingham: What is a summer day at the end of July in England without skies populated by apocalyptic clouds, people bundled up in jackets and coats taking refuge under brollies, and the cricket being interrupted by misty drizzles and drizzly mists? Lord's and Cardiff served up slow and low wickets and loads of sunshine but with the return of the typical English weather at Edgbaston, it was also a return to a typically English playing surface.
England's James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Marsh on Day One of the third Ashes Test at Birmingham yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
A decent covering of grass, fair bit of bounce and pace off the deck brought the bowlers back in to the contest. It brought indecisive footwork and tentative leaves outside off stump back from the Australian batsmen. It also brought England's most successful Test bowler ever — Jimmy Anderson — back from the wicketless outing at Lord's as well.
Yesterday, he put on a terrific show of seam and swing bowling as he floored the Aussies with his 18th five-wicket haul, and his best Ashes figures, 6 for 47 runs on Day One of the third Ashes Test. Anderson was switched on from the first delivery of the day, jagging it off the seam beating the prod from Chris Rogers. When David Warner was almost run out of the next ball, talk of the repeat of Adelaide 2010 made the rounds where Australia were reduced to 3 for 2 in 13 deliveries.
Deservedly and expectedly, Anderson made the initial breakthrough trapping Warner LBW, who wasted a review as well. Steven Finn, playing a Test match for the first time since the dramatic Trent Bridge contest of 2013 – more remembered for Ashton Agar's fluky 98 – made his return to the side count by prising out in-form Steve Smith and the out-of-form Michael Clarke. But it was really in the second session that Anderson rocked the Aussie boat.
After lunch, in a spell of 19 deliveries costing his just 7 runs, Anderson ran through the Australian middle order. He drew a fatal mistake from the cautious Adam Voges, catching the batsman in two minds; suckered Peter Nevill into leaving a straight delivery by showing a sequence of outswingers earlier; preyed on Mitchell Marsh's need to attack and coolly plucked Mitchell Johnson with one delivered from around the wicket, straightened to take the edge to gully.
At 94-7, a drizzle provided rest for the English pacers, Anderson in his 15th over put the icing on the cake by cleanly bowling Nathan Lyon as Australia were bundled out for a poor 136. Against a batting line up susceptible to collapse under even mildly testing conditions, Anderson took full advantage of the atmospherics and the grass underfoot, displaying great skill and control. A typical English summer day. A typical Jimmy Anderson kind of day.
Brief scores (Stumps — Day 1)
Australia 136 all out (C Rogers 52; J Anderson 6-47, S Broad 2-44, S Finn 2-38). England 133 for 3 (A Lyth 10, A Cook 34, I Bell 53, J Root 30 n o)
Jim Laker - 10/53 vs Australia at Manchester in 1956
Jim Laker - 9/37 vs Australia at Manchester in 1956
Arthur Mailey - 9/121 vs England at Melbourne in 1921
Frank Laver - 8/31 vs England at Manchester in 1909
George Lohmann - 8/35 vs Australia at Sydney in 1887