Vastavam web: Nathan Lyon took three wickets including the prized scalp of England captain Joe Root as Australia pushed for victory on the final day of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston on Monday. England were 85-4 in their second innings at lunch, needing a further 313 runs to reach an unlikely victory target of 398.
But their more immediate task was to bat out the day’s remaining two sessions and deny holders Australia, bidding for a first away Ashes series win in 18 years, the six wickets they need to go 1-0 up in this five-Test contest. Jos Buttler was one not out and Ben Stokes nought not out after off-spinner Lyon had taken 3-31 in 11 overs.
England resumed on 13 without loss after Australia star Steve Smith’s second hundred of his comeback Test following a ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal had allowed the tourists to declare late on Sunday’s fourth day. Rory Burns, whose first-innings 133 was his first century at this level, became just the 10th cricketer to have batted on all five days of a Test.
But he had added just four runs to his overnight seven when he was undone by an excellent seaming and rising delivery from Pat Cummins that lobbed off his gloves to Lyon in the gully. Number three Root, on four, was given out leg before to James Pattinson by umpire Joel Wilson.
But in a match full of overturned decisions, Root successfully challenged the verdict, with ball-tracking technology showing the delivery would have missed leg stump. There was a bizarre hold-up in play on a sunny day of about 10 minutes because of a “buzzing” stump microphone that was eventually replaced.
Root had made eight when he nearly played on to Cummins before Jason Roy, who made a superb 85 in eventual champions England’s World Cup semi-final win over Australia at Edgbaston last month, drove him through extra-cover for four. Root had moved on to nine when he was again given out leg before by Wilson, this time off the bowling of paceman Peter Siddle. But the batsman’s immediate review revealed an inside edge.
That meant umpire Wilson had equalled an unwanted record with an eighth overturned decision in a Test match.
The 52-year-old Trinidadian, only recently elevated to the International Cricket Council’s elite umpires panel, is due to be the TV umpire in the second Test at Lord’s and be in the middle again for the third at Leeds. Roy swept off-spinner Lyon for four but then, in a shot more appropriate for a one-day match than a side trying to save a Test, charged down the pitch and was clean bowled for 28.
Lyon remained a threat on a wearing pitch offering turn and bounce and he had Joe Denly (11) caught off bat and pad by Cameron Bancroft at short leg to leave England 80-3.