Cricket 2 years ago

The Ashes: Joe Root reigns supreme as England edge Australia on Day 1

  • The Ashes: Joe Root reigns supreme as England edge Australia on Day 1

On a day when the "Menacing Mitchells" were trounced, England opened The Ashes in style, running away with the honours, being 343/7 at Stumps. 

Having won the toss and choosing to take the willow first, England didn't get off to the prettiest of starts as Adam Lyth edged one behind trying to hit Josh Hazlewood through the leg side. Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance then settled the nerves somewhat and just as it seemed the two had settled in, Cook was walking back to the pavilion with Nathan Lyon - whom the England captain tried to attack -  having the better of him.

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Ian Bell followed Cook soon, being undone by a beauty from Mitchell Starc making it 43/3. In came Joe Root - the King of England - and his back would have soon been seen had Brad Haddin not dropped him when the Yorkshireman was on nought. Root then began the kind of counter-attack that only few others in the world can match reaching his seventh half-century in absolutely no time.

By now, Australia knew how big a drop it was as Root continued to pile more misery alongside Gary Ballance (61) who proved the selectors right with a gem of an inning in a partnership worth 153, that Hazlewood - Australia's best bowler on the day - brought to an end.

The march, however, never stopped as the Redhead Ben Stokes (52) arrived at the crease and began to manipulate Australia, Joe Root (134) not backing off either and both reached a half-century and century respectively.

At 280/4, it all seemed to be going England's way, but Ashes Cricket - as they say - is never that straight. Mitchell Starc, who had been erratic all day finally found his length to remove Joe Root and Ben Stokes in quick succession, and it soon was quite even at 293/6.

Seemingly reluctant to sit back, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali decided to keep attacking, rollicking their way to a 50-run partnership, but then, Hazlewood was still going, and had Jos Buttler going back for 27 to make it level for the 75921th time in the day. 

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