Friday, 31 July 2015

Clinical England take 2-1 Ashes lead!

A clinical England decimated a hapless Australia by eight wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the Ashes series at Edgbaston on Friday.

Chasing a modest 121 runs to win, Ian Bell slammed a strokeful unbeaten half-century and along with Joe Root ensured England take the lead and leave the Lord's drubbing behind.

Although Australia were able to dismiss the England openers, they had little to defend. Bell and Root took their time before belting the Aussie bowlers all over the park.

Earlier, Australia's tail wagged on the third morning of the third test to frustrate England's push for victory and a 2-1 Ashes series lead. 

 England had hoped to quickly take the three remaining second innings wickets but a late-order flurry pushed Australia's lead to 120 before Moeen Ali removed Mitchell Starc 15 minutes before lunch with Australia dismissed for 265.

The hosts negotiated two overs before the interval to go in four without loss, captain Alastair Cook on four and Adam Lyth yet to score.

Starc had led Australia's resistance with some big hits in his 58, sharing an eighth wicket stand of 64 with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill (59) who held up England for 147 balls in compiling a maiden test half-century.

Beginning the day with a slim lead of 23, runs came quickly for Australia -- 39 in the first six overs -- through a mixture of good shots, streaky fours and sloppy fielding with Starc in particular quick to punish anything overpitched.

It appeared that England were badly missing strike bowler James Anderson, who suffered a side strain on Thursday that has ruled him out of the fourth test.

But Steven Finn, with his sixth wicket of the innings on his way to test best figures of 6-79, ended Nevill's resistance when the batsman tickled down the leg side and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler took a fine catch.

Starc bludgeoned Moeen for a four and six off successive balls, and after Joe Root took a fine one-handed slip catch to remove Josh Hazlewood (11) and give Ben Stokes a first wicket, the part-timer spinner eventually wrapped up the innings when Starc found substitute Josh Poysden at cover.

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