Contrary to our previous prediction at ‘the biggest sports news’, the third test was a marvelous and secure win for England. They beat the Australians inside three days, showing a fantastic reply to their opposition after a big defeat at Lords in the last match.
With a wicket favoring the bowlers, it looked like it would be a much more even match than the flatter lords pitch which Johnson was able to get much more out of than Anderson and Broad. In reality it was just as one sided but the other way round, with Anderson steaming in with figures of 6 wickets for 47 runs. Not for the first time in this series the one player to hold firm for Australia was Rogers, scoring 52 of Australia’s 136 runs in an innings lasting just 36.4 overs.
Australia needed to respond. Clarke elected to bat and before they knew it they were bowling in the same day. They were not to provide the same bowling performances as shown by their opposition. England’s line up had 3 players scoring half centuries, that of Moeen Ali, the in form Joe Root and an important innings from the under pressure Ian Bell. They were all out for a total of 281 giving England a lead of 145 runs with defeat looming in Birmingham for the Aussies.
The second innings was no better for the visitors. Only one of the top 6 batsmen got into double figures with the top order
collapsing. David Warner showed great resilience with 77 runs and scoring his 50 in 35 balls, the quickest half century by any Australian in an Ashes test match ever. Going into the third day the visitors tail end performed well. The wicket keeper Nevill and the bowler Starc both got over the 50 run mark to give a glimmer of hope to the Australian fans. The star of the show was Steven Finn. After having not played an England test in 2 years the tall fast bowler had career best figures of 6 wickets for 79 runs and consequently won the man of the match award.
England then only needed just 121 runs to win with Joe Root and Ian Bell pushing the runs away with ease, similar to both of their 1st innings. A lack of form shown by the openers again with Cook and Lyth being given out early on but that did not mark a brilliant performance from the England team. The one big disappointment was the injury of Jimmy Anderson. A side strain has ruled him out of the fourth test and there are question marks over the fifth and potentially vital match. This could be a game changer in the match but it should not take away from a brilliant performance and victory from the England side.