Cummins leads Australia to thrilling opening Ashes win


Pat Cummins has produced a captain’s knock for the ages to steer Australia to an exhilarating two-wicket win over England in an epic Ashes collection opener at Edgbaston.

Chasing 281 for victory, Australia seemed out of the Take a look at after they slumped to 8-227 early within the remaining hour on Tuesday after the dismissals of Usman Khawaja and Alex Carey seemed to have ruined their probabilities.

However Cummins then took cost, placing on a 55-run stand with Nathan Lyon to take Australia to probably the most thrilling victory with 4.3 overs left within the match.

Cummins completed unbeaten on 44, sealing victory when he guided an Ollie Robinson ball all the way down to the third-man boundary and Harry Brook spilled it over the rope.

Lyon additionally completed not out on 16, in undoubtedly probably the most priceless innings of his lengthy profession.

After rain delayed the beginning of play by greater than three hours on Tuesday, Australia’s successful run got here at 7:21pm within the night in Birmingham.

“I’m not going to lie, I used to be completely s******g myself within the final 5 minutes,” Khawaja mentioned.

“I’ve by no means felt like this after a Take a look at. We now have had some arduous occasions right here — I do know it’s only one Take a look at.

“The ebb and movement of this, it was no-one’s Take a look at till proper on the finish after we received.”

England have been left to rue a number of missed probabilities, after Joe Root put down a troublesome likelihood off his personal bowling with Cummins on six and Ben Stokes spilled an equally arduous outfield catch, regardless of a spectacular effort, when Lyon was on one.

The match went some approach to avenge Australia’s ache on the two-run loss to England on the similar floor in 2005, and the distress of being on the tip of Stokes’ batting miracle at Headingley in 2019.

It additionally went in opposition to Australia’s poor report in shut video games, with their final profitable fourth-innings chase of past 250 coming in 2011 when Cummins hit Australia to victory on debut in opposition to South Africa.

And whereas the captain completed the job once more on Tuesday, it was Khawaja’s 66 that broke the again of the chase for Australia regardless of the very best efforts of Stuart Broad (3-64).

Whereas nightwatchman Scott Boland (20), Travis Head (16) and Cameron Inexperienced (28) contributed and fell on the different finish on day 5, Khawaja remained resolute.

The opener’s century within the first innings held Australia’s response to England’s 8(dec)-393 collectively, and ensured the vacationers would virtually attain parity of their 386.

Then after England have been all out for 273 of their second innings, Khawaja was decided to see Australia to the shut.

He barely supplied an opportunity once more, and made his innings by accumulating singles with out taking dangers.

The 36-year-old confronted 518 balls for the match, probably the most of any Australian in a Take a look at this century, earlier than he chopped on to a gradual and broad ball from Ben Stokes.

Khawaja’s strategy got here in stark distinction to that of England.

They modified the sphere virtually by the minute on Tuesday in a bid to unsettle Australia, after delivering on their promise to play with fearlessness with the bat.

However, in the end, England’s aggressive nature got here again to chunk them, declaring their first-innings after 78 overs and whereas eight wickets down on day one, gifting away runs that may have been essential on day 5.

“Devastated that we misplaced, the lads are up there in absolute items,” Stokes mentioned.

“Particularly Robbo and Broady. But when that’s not attracting individuals to the sport we love, I don’t know what’s going to.”