England lead by 214 after seamer’s 8-15 helps skittle Aussies before lunch
ENGLAND paceman Stuart Broad admitted his pride after he produced an extraordinary, career-defining display of 8-15 to give the hosts an iron grip on the Investec Ashes at Trent Bridge yesterday.
Nottinghamshire’s Broad wrought havoc on his home ground, tearing through Australia’s batting line-up as they were skittled for 60 before lunch on day one of what seems sure to be a decisive fourth Test.
Test milestones and records shattered as quickly as the tourists’ resistance: Broad claimed his 300th Test wicket with his second ball, and his five-for from 19 deliveries was the joint fastest in history, while Australia’s first innings, which lasted 111 balls, was a new low.
England’s batsmen then compounded the Aussies’ misery and cruised towards an Ashes-clinching 3-1 series lead by amassing 274-4 before the close, with Jonny Bairstow hitting 74 and Joe Root unbeaten on 124.
Captain Alastair Cook had urged his players to write their names into cricketing folklore with a match-winning display at Trent Bridge, but even Broad himself found it hard to process his achievements.
“It’s been a perfect day for us. It was just one of those days you dream of: home ground, to pick up 300 Test wickets and then get a career-best. I never dreamt I’d be able to get eight wickets in a spell,” he said.
“My previous best ever bowling was 7-12 against Kimbolton School under-15s. It’s great to have a personal best against Australia, one of the best teams in the world.
“A 214 lead after day one is as powerful a performance as I’ve been involved in. To bowl a team out for 60 is very special. But to then be 270 odd is an amazing achievement.
“It’s a bit of a freak day. But it’s what you work hard for, those moments when it all works for you.”
Broad, whose eight-for was the cheapest in Test cricket for 119 years and whose figures were the best by an England bowler since Devon Malcolm’s 9-57 against South Africa in 1994, warned against premature celebrations.
“We’ve just had a quick chat in the changing room about enjoying the moment now, but when we come here tomorrow we’ve still got a big job to do because Australia will fight back hard,” he added.
Captain Michael Clarke, whose 10 runs was three shy of his team’s best score of the day, is on the brink of becoming the first Australia in more than a century to lose four Ashes series in England.
“It’s hard right now," he said. “Obviously I’m really disappointed with how the day has turned out but then you’ve got to look at the fact that it’s only one day down.
“Our backs are against the wall and we’ve got to fight but you’ve got to front up and find a way. First we’ll try and bowl England out, then we’ll try to bat as big as we can.
“The Australian way is to never give up, but we need something special.”