Nottingham: England were 274 for four in reply to Australia's first innings 60 all out, a lead of 214 runs, at the close of the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge yesterday.
England's Joe Root celebrates his century against Australia yesterday. Pics/Getty Images
Joe Root was 124 not out and nightwatchman Mark Wood two not out. Earlier, Stuart Broad took a Test-best eight for 15, including his 300th wicket at this level, as Australia were dismissed in 18.3 overs — the shortest-ever first innings in Test history — after losing the toss. England lead the five-match series 2-1.
Root's hundred helped England maintain their position of total dominance at Trent Bridge. When Root cut occasional medium-pacer David Warner for the 17th four of his innings it meant the 24-year-old Yorkshireman had scored the eighth century of his 31-match Test career in 128 balls and the second of this Ashes after his 134 in England's 169-run victory in the series opener in Cardiff.
Victory in this match will give England an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series and see them regain the Ashes after they were whitewashed 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14. Earlier, fast-medium bowler Broad took eight for 15 in 9.3 overs as he smashed through the 300 Test wicket mark in a scintillating performance at Trent Bridge. Broad said the performance had been "unbelievable".
Australia skipper Michael Clarke (left) speaks to Mitchell Johnson during Day One of the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge yesterday
Australia's innings was wrapped up in just 18.3 overs — the quickest any team has ever been bowled out in the first innings of a Test — during a stunning 94 minutes' play. Cloudy overhead conditions offered some assistance to the bowlers and doubtless prompted Cook's decision to field first upon winning the toss. But they were not 'unplayable'. Broad bowled well, maintaining an excellent line and length on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
Poor shot selection
However, several of his wickets owed much to poor shots by Australia batsmen who again cemented their reputation as 'flat-track bullies' unable to cope with sideways movement caused by the seaming ball especially.
Eight Australia batsmen were caught in the cordon — all off Broad — and one by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, with Peter Nevill bowled by Steven Finn. Mitchell Johnson (13) and Australia captain Michael Clarke (10) were the only batsmen to make double figure scores in the innings. Australia's total — with extras the top score on 14 — was the lowest by either side in an Ashes innings since England were dismissed for 52 at The Oval in 1948.