England’s Top 5 Test Performances – #4

England v Australia 2015

We continue to count down to England’s best Test performance at Edgbaston and coming in at number four is England’s impressive three day victory over the Aussies last summer. It was the Ashes, the biggest cricketing rivalry, watched by millions across the globe, the Series was tied and England delivered on the biggest stage. What a performance it turned out to be, with England annihilating and fair to say humiliating the Australian team in front of a record crowd who made Edgbaston into a fortress with a truly special atmosphere.

Australia would have fancied their chances going into the Third Investec Test Match after levelling the Series at Lords with a comprehensive 405-run victory, with Steve Smith producing a masterclass with the bat by scoring 215-runs. The visitors would have hoped for more of the same in Birmingham as they looked to take an advantage to Trent Bridge. However, what followed was a spectacular performance that most England fans would have not dreamed of.

"The Edgbaston crowd was up there with the loudest I can remember. With some of the chants, even guys who have played a fair bit of cricket were looking at each other and realising how special it was. Edgbaston has been a fantastic venue for us."

Alastair Cook, England captain

Australia won the toss and elected to bat and Chris Rogers and David Warner were given the responsibility to get the Aussies off to a flying start in front of the rowdy Edgbaston crowd. The England bowlers quickly found their line and accuracy and wickets tumbled at a frantic pace. Australia were 72/3 at lunch with Warner (2), Smith (7) and Clarke (10) losing their wickets to some fantastic England bowling from Jimmy Anderson and Steven Finn. England fast bowlers took quick wickets in the second session to bowl Australia out for just 136 with Chris Rogers the only Aussie to put up a fight with a resolute 52 from 89 balls. Once again James Anderson proved to be England’s main man by claiming six wickets for just 47 runs and received a standing ovation for his unbelievable display with the ball.

In reply, Ian Bell and Joe Root both scored fifties as England finished the day at a solid position of 133/3. Australia made inroads on the second morning and reduced England to 190/7. An eighth-wicket stand of 87 runs between Moeen Ali and Broad gave England a healthy lead before Australia came back to dismiss the tail and end the innings at 281, a lead of 145 for England.

Australia knew they had work to do and needed their top order batsmen to score some big runs if they were to have any chance in this game. However, it was a devastating spell from Steven Finn who reduced Australia from 62/1 to 92/5 by claiming wickets of Smith, Clarke, Voges and Marsh with five of the top six batsmen being dismissed for single-digit scores. David Warner played some powerful shots and attacked at every possibility scoring 77 runs off just 62 balls. Australia finished the second day on 168/7, only 23 runs ahead, with Finn having five wickets to his name and England knowing it was a matter of time before they went 2-1 up in the 2015 Ashes Series.

On the morning of the third day, battling fifties from Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc extended Australia's slender lead and eventually finished the second innings with 265. Finn ended with career-best figures of 6/79 and was given the Man of the Match award for his magnificent bowling – this was truly deserved. Chasing the target of 121 to win, England lost both openers cheaply, but unbeaten knocks of 65 from Bell and 38 from Root guided England to a comfortable victory by eight wickets, and a 2–1 series lead.

The Australians could simply not live with England’s bowling attack of James Anderson and Steven Finn who produced devastating performances. The Aussies went from 566/8d in the first innings at Lords to 136 all out at Edgbaston which shows that the Australian batsmen had no answer to England’s attack. England claimed victory in the second session of the third day once again showing the scale of the victory. This was a brilliant performance by England in one of the biggest sporting occasions.

England take on Pakistan this summer in an Investec Test Match and tickets are on sale priced from £31 for Adults and from just £6 for Juniors (U16s). You can purchase your tickets now by calling 0844 847 1902 or click here to book online. 

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