An hour after play began on Day 1 of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia, players were rubbing their hands. The clouds gathered around Birmingham and what appeared to be a cool day turned gloomy and cloudy.
Michael Clarke would have regretted his decision to bat first and England bowlers made sure he did.
Steven Finn, returning to Test cricket after a break of two years, celebrated his return by dismissing the world number one batsman in Tests – Steve Smith – setting him up nicely.
Finn also accounted for the wicket of Michael Clarke that reduced Australia to 34/3 before rain halted play. Australia went to Lunch on the same score. From then on, it was a one man show.
Anderson wreaks havoc
If anything is certain on a gloomy day with ball swinging both ways, it is James Anderson ripping apart the opposition. Today was no exception as Anderson took six wickets to skittle out Australia for 136. He bowled a beautiful line outside off and swung the ball both ways. While David Warner, Adam Voges and Mitchell Johnson were undone with back-of-a-length deliveries, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill and Nathan Lyon were dismissed with full balls.
Anderson claimed his 18th five-for in Tests and while he went wicket less in the Lord’s Test for his 33 overs, he picked up 5 wickets in his first 10 overs in Edgbaston. By quickly wrapping up the Australian innings, Anderson & Co. have given their batsmen to make the most of the day.
For Australia, Roger the lone warrior
Talking about certainty, Chris Rogers’ fifty is another example. In the last 11 Test innings, the Australian has nine fifties with one 49*. On Wednesday, the left-hander held onto one end for Australia as wickets tumbled on the other end.
Though he began hesitantly, Rogers found his rhythm after Lunch. He quickly transferred his weight to back-foot to pull and flicked the one that were angled into him. He not only survived the dangerous spell from Anderson, he also kept rotating the strike and didn’t go into a shell.
Rogers’ innings ended because of the only wrong thing in his play on Wednesday – staying too far back in the crease. Stuart Broad trapped his in front of the crease and Rogers was stuck in the crease. The ball would have easily rattled his stumps and the replays showed just that. He was out after scoring 52 of Australia’s total score of 136.