|Ground:||Trent Bridge, Nottingham|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||AC Voges, AN Cook, MJ Clarke|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 8th August 2015
By Andy Jalil at Trent Bridge
In association with INVESTEC
England regain the Ashes with innings victory
Nottingham – It took just 40 minutes for England to mop up the Australia innings and regain the coveted Ashes. In one of the shortest Ashes Tests played – lasting only two days and 40 minutes – Australia lost their three remaining overnight wickets in 10.2 overs on the third morning and meekly surrendered the ‘little urn’ in the presence of yet another sell-out crowd with all 14 days of the series having seen such a turn-out.
Having won the last home series in 2013, Alastair Cook became only the third England captain after the legendary Dr. W. G. Grace and Mike Brearley to win two Ashes series in England. A delighted Cook praised his opposite number, the Australia captain, Michael Clarke: “He is a fantastic player and a fantastic leader. It’s obviously a tough moment for him but he should be remembered as a great captain and a fantastic cricketer, so congratulations to him.”
Having been told it’s 599 days since England handed the Ashes over, Cook said: “I can’t believe what we’ve achieved in the last 18 months (since losing 5-0 in Australia) and in these three days. I am incredibly proud of the lads and all support staff. You see the talent in the country, young guys have come in and done incredibly well. Ben Stokes in the second innings was absolutely fantastic. Joe Root has gone from strength to strength.
“Moeen Ali having come into the side, they have driven this side forward. As captain I’m very lucky to have a group of senior players. Broad (player of the match) stepped up and did something special with 8 for 15. We said at the beginning of the New Zealand series we wanted to show our talent as a side and we had to be led from the front so I had to take a big step as captain.”
Resuming on the overnight score of 241 for seven and needing 90 runs to make England bat again, Australia had added just one run before Stokes added to his five wickets of the previous day when he had Ian Bell at second slip take a shoulder high catch as Mitchell Starc edged an in-swinger that straightened late. Another run later, Mark Wood yorked Josh Hazelwood on the middle stump and Adam Voges, 48 overnight and having added a run, seeing the last man in, scampered a single to reach his first Test half century.
Finally, on 253, Nathan Lyon, dragged a ball from Wood on to his off stump and it was all over, leaving England triumphant by an innings and 78 runs and with an unassailable 3-1 lead. It is 30 years since Australia suffered an innings defeat in England. Voges remained unbeaten with 51 having defied the England attack for three hours and 10 minutes. Stokes’ six for 36 were his best Test figures beating his previous best effort of six for 99.
Clarke, who announced that he will retire from international cricket after the next Test starting in 12 days’ time, said: “Alastair Cook and the England team deserve a lot of credit, they showed us how to execute good swing and seam bowling in these conditions and they also batted well so it wasn’t for lack of trying, the Australian boys worked hard and gave it our best but we’ve been beaten by a better team.”
He went on to say: “England have had their moments and they’ve grabbed them with both hands and made the most of it and they showed their class in this Test match. I’ll always hold myself accountable as captain of the team, my performances were nowhere near the level and standard they need to be to be an Australian cricketer and captain so I don’t blame anyone. As a team we haven’t performed as we needed to and as captain I certainly haven’t led from the front.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)