Positive England gain Ashes momentum

Jubilant scenes surrounded the SWALEC towards the close of Day Four of the First Test after Moeen Ali grabbed the wicket of Josh Hazelwood. The Australian tail-ender lofted the ball straight down long-on’s throat to give England a 1-0 lead in the Ashes.

The testing encounter between the Poms and Aussies proved to be an entertaining opener as Joe Root’s 1st innings outshone the Aussie seam attack. With worries of how a young England batting line-up was going to cope against a strong visiting side, Ballance and Root carried the hosts through to a comfortable lead after the 1st innings. In the 2nd, Bell and Root both scored 60 with Ben Stokes putting an additional 42 on the board.

Between England’s batting periods, Chris Rogers scored 95 for Straya but no other batsmen managed to offer any real support as they fell short on Day Two. After some impressive bowling from the England line-up and the aggressive batting from the middle-order, Australia was set 412 to win the First Test.

Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers as he took impressive figures of 3-39 as he looks back to his best that has inspired some great Ashes victories. Moeen Ali also took the crucial wicket of Dave Warner who was in good knick and could have caused real problems for England.

Mitchell Johnson and Starc provided a scare for England as they closed down the massive gap between the current score and the runs required. Part-time bowler Joe Root came into the attack and took both the crucial wickets to end the hopes of the visitors.

The next test

Going into the next test at Lords, England are expected to remain unchanged after such a brilliant performance. However the visitors will be heading back to the drawing board.  

Shane Watson suffered another two LBW dismissals as he fails once again to score runs. Meanwhile this summer his team-mate Mitchell Marsh has been scoring centuries for fun but finds himself not selected for the national side. Mitchell Johnson proved expensive in the first innings and more out-of-form performances could cost his side dearly. With Pat Cummings waiting in the wings all the seamers needed to be in among the wickets or risk dropping out of the side. Brad Haddin is also being criticised for failing to catch Joe Root before he went onto score a century.

In the last 17 Ashes series, 15 have been won by the side that wins the First Test. The comprehensive victory for England has set the standard that they need to maintain throughout the series. Onto Lords with the second test commencing Thursday 16th July.

Do you think England can take the Second Test? Let us know in the comments below.