England edge all-time classic
By Chris Devine and Callum Dent at Trent Bridge
One of the most thrilling Ashes Tests in history finished in suitably dramatic fashion as James Anderson’s 10-wicket match haul helped England to a 14-run triumph at Trent Bridge.
On an absorbing final day that evoked memories of the fabled 2005 Edgbaston Test, Alastair Cook’s side eventually emerged victorious in the third over after a delayed lunch when Brad Haddin was adjudged caught behind on review for 71, ending a last-wicket partnership of 65 with James Pattinson that carried Australia to 296 all out.
That gave Anderson his fourth scalp of the day, fifth of the innings and match figures of 10-158 at a ground where he has consistently excelled. He now boasts 49 wickets from seven Test outings here at an average of 17.
Given the level of entertainment and drama served up over the first four days of the contest, it was fitting that proceedings should go down to the wire as England claimed their first win in an Ashes opener since 1997.
One can only hope the remaining four matches in this summer’s Investec Series offer up similar thrills and spills, although this encounter – one worthy of mention alongside the most memorable meetings between England and Australia - will take some beating.
Anderson initially took the hosts to the brink of glory with a truly outstanding spell after Australia had resumed on 174 for six in pursuit of 311, more than any team has chased to win a Test in Nottingham.
Bowling unchanged from the Radcliffe Road End for almost two hours in a remarkable display of skill and stamina, Anderson had Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle held at first slip en route to morning figures of 13-6-29-3.
When Siddle departed, Australia were still 80 shy of their target, yet the pugnacious Haddin refused to give in and found a willing ally in Pattinson.
Their counter-attacking alliance ensured the tourists moved to within 20 runs of victory by the end of an extended morning session, but Haddin – dropped shortly before lunch by a diving Steven Finn in the deep – was finally ousted when Anderson returned and induced the faintest of nicks through to Matt Prior.
The bowler was not convinced Australia’s wicketkeeper had hit the ball, but a loud appeal from behind the wicket prompted a review and HotSpot confirmed an edge that sparked fervent celebrations by England’s players and supporters.
In front of a sell-out crowd of 17,000, day five began with Agar, scorer of a record-breaking 98 from number 11 in his team’s first innings, in occupation alongside the veteran Haddin.
Only four scoring shots came in the first eight overs of the morning as Graeme Swann and Anderson operated with great discipline.
Yet Haddin - a centurion in the previous two opening Tests of an Ashes rubber - and Agar gradually grew in stature to score more freely when England accepted the second new ball after 82 overs.
There was understandable relief when Anderson struck just before midday. Agar had no answer to a length ball from around the wicket and edged to Cook.
England’s skipper accepted another catch in Anderson’s next over after Starc had nibbled at one angled across him.
Cook then shelled a chance when Anderson found Siddle’s edge, but made amends soon after with a terrific diving catch to his right.
Australia were on the ropes, but Haddin, having been beaten by a sharp turner from Swann that only just cleared leg stump, battled on in characteristically gritty fashion.
The 35-year-old swiped Steven Finn for three successive leg-side fours once Anderson had finally been withdrawn from the attack.
The second of those boundaries took Haddin past 50 and there was further concern for England when Pattinson carved Finn to the point fence in some style before slog-sweeping Swann for six.
Australia survived two scares before lunch was belatedly taken amid the highest tension.
Jonny Bairstow missed with a shy at the stumps from cover-point that would have run out Haddin after the wicketkeeper had been sent back by his partner.
Haddin subsequently slog-swept Swann towards deep square-leg, where Finn ran round the boundary - only to spill a difficult chance diving full-length across the turf.
Ultimately, two fine pieces of fielding proved significant when Anderson resumed bowling duties under the afternoon sun.
Ian Bell and Bairstow pulled off fine stops in the off-side ring from consecutive deliveries to keep Haddin on strike.
Two balls later, the game was brought to a close.
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2:22pm - WICKET! Haddin c Prior b Anderson 71; Aus 296 all out - ENGLAND WIN BY 14 RUNS!!! Unbelievable! A review is needed to overturn a not-out decision after Brad Haddin edges Anderson behind. A remarkable end to a fantastic Test match. Anderson finishes with 5-73 in the innings and 10-158. England have won an Ashes opener for the first time since 1997.
2:17pm - Pattinson is living dangerously as he inside-edges just past his own stumps and collects three.
2:10pm - James Anderson will bowl the first over after lunch. James Pattinson is on strike and almost plays on second ball.
This takes me back to the 05 Ashes ! Great stuff — Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58)
Lunch: Australia need 20 runs. England 1 wicket. What a morning of cricket! — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket)
1:34pm - LUNCH - Aus 291/9 and need 20 more runs to win; Haddin 69, Pattinson 22 - Australia make it to lunch thanks to a superb unbroken 10th-wicket stand of 60 between Haddin and Pattinson.
2005 - Before this match the last time Australia put on 50 for the 10th wicket in an Ashes Test in England was at Edgbaston 2005. Flashback. — OptaJim (@OptaJim)
1:24pm - CHANCE - With Australia needing 29 to win, Haddin almost holes out to deep square-leg off Swann, but Finn cannot cling on to a low catch diving full-length after making up ground to his left and the ball goes for four.
1:18pm - A mix-up almost sees Haddin run out, but Jonny Bairstow's throw from cover-point misses the stumps and Australia scamper through for an overthrow. The tension is unbearable.
1:12pm - Pattinson is looking more assured at the crease and has raced past 20. Finn is understandably replaced by Broad at the Radcliffe Road End, yet the latter cannot find the breakthrough. This 10th-wicket stand is worth more than 50.
1:05pm - Finn concedes yet another four; this time Pattinson cuts him to the point boundary. The bowler gets one to nip back sharply and, after Pattinson plays and misses, the ball beats Prior and races away for four byes. Pattinson then smashes Swann for six and Australia need 30 to win. Lunch has been delayed by 30 minutes with a result possible.
12:56pm - FIFTY! Haddin (115b 7x4 0x6) - Haddin continues to fight for Australia's cause. He lifts Finn over midwicket for four on two occasions either side of a drive down the ground. This is a vital half-century and Australia now need less than 50.
14 - has taken 14 five-wicket hauls in Tests. Five of these (and his one 10-wkt match haul) have come at Nottingham. Sheriff — OptaJim (@OptaJim)
12:50pm - Haddin gets four after Steven Finn fails to pick up a slog-sweep in the deep. Finn replaces Anderson with Australia needing 64 to win.
6 - skipper Alastair Cook has taken three catches in a Test innings for the sixth time. Grabbed. — OptaJim (@OptaJim)
12:39pm - With a second five-wicket haul of the match in his sights, Anderson appeals for lbw against new batsman James Pattinson, but the ball is going down leg. Anderson has bowled three wicket-maidens this morning.
12:34pm - WICKET! Siddle c Cook b Anderson 11; Aus 231/9 - Cook makes no mistake this time, diving to his right to take a stunning catch that sends Siddle back to the pavilion. Anderson is producing a fantastic spell with the new ball here.
12:27pm - CHANCE - Cook cannot complete a hat-trick of catches off Anderson as he fails to hold on to a sharp chance diving to his left at slip. Siddle survives.
Jimmy Anderson is trending worldwide . for England! Come on! — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket)
12:24pm - Haddin almost plays on after going back to a flighted delivery from Swann, who is back operating from the Pavilion End.
12:17pm - New man Peter Siddle looks in confident mood with successive boundaries off Broad. A drive on the up through cover-point is followed by a flick through the leg side.
100 to win .. 2 wkts to get... Sunday morning .. Ashes test... Full house... Think I have seen this before..!!!! . — Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan)
12:09pm - WICKET! Starc c Cook b Anderson 1; Aus 211/8 - Anderson beats Mitchell Starc's outside edge first ball. The seamer then gets his man in his next over, angling a delivery across the left-hander, who can only find the hands of Cook at first slip. That's the Lancastrian's second strike in five balls and he subsequently completes another wicket-maiden.
Pretty sure I’ll have no fingers left after the completion of day 5. Considering I have no nails it’s only fingers left to bite! — Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77)
11:58am - WICKET! Agar c Cook b Anderson 14; Aus 207/7 and need 104 runs to win - Anderson goes round the wicket and makes an immediate impact with the wicket of Agar, who edges to Alastair Cook at slip. That has got the crowd on their feet!
11:55am - Michael Clarke's side are starting to score more freely now, with Agar cutting Broad for four. The bowler responds with a delivery that keeps low and beats the left-hander's defensive push.
Australia are 202-6; they need 109 more runs to win. Can England claim those 4 wickets to secure an victory? — Investec Cricket (@InvestecCricket)
11:50am - Broad beats Agar's outside edge with a beauty before Haddin continues to attack, chipping Anderson over mid-off for a couple. The wicketkeeper-batsman seems to hurt himself diving to make his ground after a quickly-run two. However, he shows no sign of injury when smashing Anderson over the top of extra-cover next ball to take Australia past 200.
11:41am - The first delivery with the new cherry, which was taken after 82 overs, sees Anderson strike Agar on the pads, but the ball was pitching outside the line. Broad gets his chance at the Pavilion End.
11:31am - Agar follows a play and miss by squirting Anderson behind square for his first boundary of the morning. Australia have got through the first half an hour with no scares, but the new ball is available to England.
11:27am - Haddin shows his first signs of aggression by slog-sweeping Swann in front of square for four to move to 20.
11:21am - England's ground fielding has been impressive so far this morning, Stuart Broad, Joe Root and Jonathan Trott all making diving stops to frustrate the tourists.
11:14am - Another maiden, this time from Anderson, puts pressure on Australia. Anderson draws Haddin into an expansive drive that he fails to connect with, while Agar paddle-sweeps for a couple to open his account today.
Swann has dismissed a higher % of left-handed batsmen than anybody in Test history (based on players who have at least 200 Test wickets) — BBC TMS (@bbctms)
11:08am - With Matt Prior moving up to the stumps, Haddin guides just past Swann at second slip. Agar tries to hit Swann over the top, but can only succeed in smearing the ball towards mid-on.
11:01am - Graeme Swann gets into his rhythm early, starting with a maiden against Ashton Agar. The lights are on here in Nottingham as James Anderson is thrown the ball.
10:55am - The players receive strong applause from the crowd as they make their way out on to the field. Graeme Swann will start from the Pavilion End.
17 - Both and have taken 17 Test wickets caught this year. Answer. — OptaJim (@OptaJim)
10:40am - What England will be wary of is the capability of Australia’s lower order. Brad Haddin has years of experience under his belt, while teenage debutant Ashton Agar showed his quality during his remarkable first-innings 98. Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson have also made useful contributions with the bat in the past.
Australia's tail preparing for the final day of the first Test — Cricket Australia (@CricketAus)
10:30am - Speaking to ecb.co.uk this morning, England bowling coach David Saker said: "If we do our job really well, we should get the result."
A second new ball will be available to England if and when nine overs are completed, but Saker added: "We’ve seen in this Test match it’s probably one of the easier times to bat, with the new ball.
"We’d have to make a decision when that comes around, whether we’d take it or not. Today it looks a bit overcast, so there’s a good chance it might swing around."
You can see the full interview with Saker below.
10:15am - Momentum swung England’s way yesterday evening when their patience was rewarded with three scalps in quick succession, leaving Ian Bell to applaud the bowling performance in the post-day press conference. Read what the second-innings centurion had to say .
10am - How are your nerves this morning? After four days of tension, drama and excitement, one of the finest Ashes Tests in recent memory is set to conclude in front of another capacity crowd at Trent Bridge.
England require four more wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the Investec Series, while Australia are 137 runs shy of their target. Hold on tight.
Good morning from on day 5 of the first Test. Overcast currently. — England Cricket (@ECB_cricket)