Well, it should not be news to anyone by now that England won the first Ashes test in Cardiff against Australia. I think it was Botham who has the theory that the third day decides a test, and England won the third day decisively. Things were fairly well-balanced at the end of Day 2; England had put on a good score for their first innings and Australia were set fair to match it. They were 264-5 versus England’s 430 all out. I did hope that if England could take three wickets by lunch, they would be in the box seat. As it was, Australia were all out for 308 before lunch, a deficit of 122.
England took their innings and lost Cook before lunch (I had a little £2 bet on Cook getting to 48, so I was disappointed). And they were all out at end of day for 289, but when the lead of 122 was added, that meant that Australia had to get to 411 to win in their final innings. England were all out with the final play of Day 3, and so Australia had two whole days, or 180 overs, to get to 411.
Unfortunately for Australia, they didn’t even get to the end of Day 4 before they were all out. Only Mitchell Johnson and David Warner scored more than 50, and actually Johnson was the high-scorer with 77. But they couldn’t muster more than 242 before they were all out. And so England were victorious.

I think there were small wins and benefits to both teams; Starc took five wickets in the first innings and appears to be the danger Aussie bowler. Johnson was wicketless but seemed to take it with good humour, he had a fairly good run rate of 4.44. Root, Stokes and Ali all scored highly, as did Ballance. So as expected.
It was good to see Bell get a 60 in the second innings, and I hope that is a return to form for Ronald. It is good to see him in the runs. Root also scored 60, probably without breaking a sweat, but such is the nature of cricket today.
I think at the end of Australia’s first innings, the prediction was that this would be difficult for Australia to recover, and so it proved. I had a bet on Australia to win and obviously that has now fallen by the wayside, but I think an England win, so decisively, is worth a fiver…


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