James Anderson hit top form in the 3rd Ashes Test at Birmingham to hand England the advantage on Day 1. Anderson finished with figures of 14.4-0-47-6 as Australia were bowled out for a paltry 136, shortly before Tea. The English batsmen then seized the opportunity and took their team to 133/3 at stumps, just three shy of the Australian total.
Australia bat first, blown away by James Anderson
With the series evenly poised at 1-1 after Australia’s resounding victory in the 2nd Test at Lords, fans and spectators were expecting a mouth-watering contest in Birmingham. However, it was veteran James Anderson who managed to take the honours single-handedly at the end of first day’s affairs. He trapped David Warner leg before in the 3rd over of the day, and never looked back thereafter. Steven Finn got rid of the bigwigs – Steve Smith and Michael Clarke – before the Australian total could reach 40, and set the platform for his senior teammate to rip the rest of the Aussie unit apart. Barring a gritty half century from Chris Rogers, the sorry-looking Australian batting scorecard had little to offer in the face of Anderson’s fury. He wrapped up the innings by the 37th over, and completed a much awaited comeback to vintage form.
Cook, Bell, Root lead England’s charge in last session
With the conditions at Birmingham favouring the faster bowlers, chances of the home team crumbling against the trio of Johnson-Starc-Hazlewood looked high. The young Hazlewood even managed to send opener Adam Lyth back to the pavilion in the 8th over. However, the hosts brought things under control from thereon. Skipper Alistair Cook and his able partner Ian Bell steadied the ship with a rock-solid 57-run stand for the 2nd wicket. Lyon managed to get Cook bizarrely caught at short leg off a benign half tracker. Bell completed a well deserved half century before he became Lyon’s second strike, on the penultimate over of the day. Joe Root, in the meantime, played a number of fluent shots en route to an unbeaten 30 off 35 balls.
Day 1 – Australia (1st innings) – 136 all out (Chris Rogers 52, James Anderson 6/47)
England (1st innings) – 133/3 (Ian Bell 53, Nathan Lyon 2/3)