James Anderson took five wickets for the second time in the match as England just held their nerve to win the first Ashes Test against Australia by 14 runs at Trent Bridge yesterday.
When Australia lost their ninth wicket on the fifth and final day, they were 80 runs adrift of their victory target of 311 and all but out of the match.
But by lunch they were 291 for nine, just 20 runs away from a stunning upset with Brad Haddin, 69 not out,
and James Pattinson unbeaten on 22.
However, the third over after lunch saw Haddin, on 71, eventually given out caught behind by opposing wicket-keeper Matt Prior off man-of-the-match Anderson’s full-length delivery.
England, in a Test full of controversial umpiring decisions, challenged Pakistani on-field umpire Aleem Dar’s original not out verdict.
But third umpire Marais Erasmus, using Hot Spot technology, overturned the call and that meant Ashes-holders England had gone 1-0 up in this five-match series ahead of the second Test at Lord’s on Thursday.
Pattinson finished on 25 not out after a last-wicket stand of 65.
It was the second remarkable last-wicket partnership of the match after Australia’s first-innings score of 163 featured a tenth wicket Test record that saw teenage debutant Ashton Agar hit 98 — the highest score by a Test number 11.
England spearhead seamer Anderson, who took four wickets for 12 runs yesterday, finished with an innings return of five for 73 and a match haul of 10 for 158
“Australia battled hard and a lot of credit to them,” said England captain Alastair Cook. “Jimmy was outstanding. Australia fought incredible hard, but we just hung in there. He’s a world-class bowler and sometimes you just use him.
“I said I would be the only England captain not to go bald, but days like today won’t help! Without a doubt you are in control out there.”
Meanwhile, Australia captain Michael Clarke said Anderson and England batsman Ian Bell, whose second innings 109 laid the platform for victory, had been the difference between the sides.
“The boys can hold their heads high,” said Clarke, after Australia’s fifth straight Test loss, in their first Test under new coach Darren Lehmann, following their 4-0 thrashing in India earlier this year
“It was a wonderful game
of cricket but credit to England, they fought well. The two best performers in the match were Ian Bell and Jimmy Anderson and England deserved the win.”
Anderson, who has now taken 49 wickets in seven Trent Bridge Tests at just over 17 apiece, admitted, “The match had the nerves going but I love bowling here and I’m happy to pick up some wickets again.
“It generally swings here but whatever way we can get the ball moving, it is a bonus for us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2013.
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