It was the 27th over of the innings. The very next over after Lunch. Stuart Broad, in the rhythm, was set to commence proceedings and Steve Smith was the batsman on strike.
The seamer angled the the third delivery of the over into the right-hander and followed it up with a peach, an absolute beauty!
It was pitched outside-off and held its line. Smith never saw it coming and edged it straight to Jos Buttler who completed a regulation catch behind the stumps.
Australia were reduced to 101/3, and with the in-form Steve in the hut, they sniffed a win, a big win.
It was not Broad’s lone effort. It was backed by the complete bowling unit. From Moeen Ali to James Anderson to Mark Wood, they stuck to a plan and blew the Aussies away on fourth day of the first Ashes Test.
England not only had their front-line seamers bowling an accurate line, they had back-ups in Ben Stokes and Mark Wood to give their strike bowlers sufficient rest and not release pressure in the process.
As far as the spin department is concerned, the Three Lions, in Moeen Ali now have a fine and most importantly, a gutsy spinner in their ranks. Ali gave away 22 runs in his first two overs but came back strongly to register figures of 3/59 in 16 overs.
In Ali’s success, Cook played his part. The skipper persisted with the offie who didn’t disappoint and returned with figures of 3/59.
Youngster Mark Wood, playing his first Ashes, too displayed his skill with the cherry.
Wood, who has a short run up as compared to the likes of Broad and Anderson, has this ability to skid the ball off the surface. The seamer returned with big wickets of Adam Voges and Shane Watson, and set the tone for his Ashes summer.
The pitch at Cardiff was not conducive to seam bowling. It was docile with no life on it, but that didn’t stop England from folding the mighty Aussie line-up with a day to spare.
Speaks a lot about this aggressive English attack.