Sports, Cricket

Ruthless Australia crush England in first Ashes Test

Published : 11 Dec 2021 07:17 PM | Updated : 14 Dec 2021 05:51 PM

A ruthless Australia crushed England by nine wickets to win the first Ashes Test in style just after lunch on day four at the Gabba on Saturday.

Needing just 20 runs after bowling England out for 297 in their second innings -- with Nathan Lyon taking his 400th Test scalp -- Australia cruised to the target in 5.1 overs when Marcus Harris square-drove Mark Wood for a boundary.

The only blemish was the wicket of makeshift opener Alex Carey, who was out for nine, caught behind off the bowling of Ollie Robinson.

Regular opener David Warner was unable to bat due to a rib injury he suffered when he was twice hit by Wood in the first innings. 

Australia will carry a 1-0 lead in the five-match series into the second Test, which starts in Adelaide on Thursday.

“A lot of things did go right,” said Pat Cummins, making his debut as Australia Test skipper.

“So someone was smiling on me. I'm really proud of everyone, I thought it was a really complete performance.”

England will need to regroup after being dismantled with both bat and ball at the Gabba. After being bowled out for 147 in the first innings, England then struggled to make any impression with the ball, with player of the match Travis Head (152), Warner (94) and Marnus Labuschagne (74) all punishing the English attack, particularly left-arm spinner Jack Leach.

The visitors did fight back on the third day with a defiant partnership between captain Joe Root and Dawid Malan, but once they both fell early on Saturday, English resistance crumbled.

“Frustration, we worked really hard to get ourselves back into the game last night and we knew how important this first session was,” said Root.

Read more: Kohli backs struggling Rahane after ‘good’ year of cricket

“If we had got through to the new ball unscathed and carried that partnership forward we would have given ourselves a really good opportunity to go in and post a total that would have kept us in the game.

“It’s a shame we couldn’t quite get through that initial phase (today) because it could have been very different.”