England have clinched the opening test of the Investec Ashes Series in a match that wasn’t only controversial but a match which went down to the wire at Trent Bridge.
The woeful batting of the English had Australia in a good position after day one, but once again James Anderson rescued his country with some terrific match-winning bowling right throughout the game. Bagging 5 wickets in the run chase, Anderson finished the match with 10 wickets overall, and was by far the hero for England when Australia looked like they might just creep over the line with 1 wicket left in the shed.
Controversial selection Ian Bell notched another century and perhaps his most important ever, putting the total Australia would need to chase over 300 with five sessions of cricket remaining in the match.
Once again it was collapses which cost Australia with the bat, namely Ed Cowan who was a controversial Australian selection at 3 going into the test.
The first test was a story of stand-out performances when you look at the statistics. Ashton Agar’s 98 on debut batting at eleven, Ian Bell’s century, and James Anderson’s performance with the ball.
It wouldn’t be an Ashes Series without controversy, and almost ironically the match came down to a DRS decision, the source of Trent Bridge’s heated debate this week. On Day 3 the cricketing world was left in shock when Stuart Broad edged the ball to Michael Clarke in the slips, but refused to walk, and the umpire didn’t give it out.
Australia had no DRS Reviews remaining but the edge was clear to see for everyone at the ground and watching at home on television. The English and Australian media had a field day with the incident, some even calling it the worst umpiring decision in Ashes history. After playing the innings of his life and nearly seeing Australia home, Brad Haddin was given not out but a DRS Review reversed the decision, handing England victory by 14 runs.
This opening test left many talking points, namely where to go with DRS from here and if this system is indeed helping the game of cricket or hindering it. A new cricket sensation for Australia in Ashton Agar has been born, breaking all-time cricket records for the highest score by a tail-end batsmen on debut. You get the sense that Ashton Agar won’t remain a tail-ender for long, and if signs from Australia’s run chase were anything to go by, young Agar may well be placed as an all-rounder starting at Lord’s on Thursday.