by Sampad Sengupta
|Victorious England celebrate|
Wickets tumbling, runs scored, records broken and to add to all that, some controversy, that’s all you can ask for in a game of cricket and the first Ashes test of 2013 didn’t disappoint. It was a fight to the finish in the first test match at
Bridge as England
came out on top beating arch rivals Australia by 14 runs on the final
day. The match was a brilliant advert
for the longer format of the game which many consider to have lost its charm.
The headlines in the build-up to the series were dominated by the return of
England’s star batsman Kevin Pietersen and also
by the appointment of Darren Lehmann as Australia’s head coach. The Australian team, very much a team in
transition and struggling to find stability, had plenty of changes in the
dressing room with the arrival of new players and personnel. This was highlighted in their team selection
for the first test where they dropped established players like David Warner and
Nathan Lyon and brought in 19-year old debutant Ashton Agar. The England side was much more
predictable with the only notable change being that of Joe Root opening the
batting alongside captain Alastair Cook.
won the toss and chose to bat and soon found themselves in trouble as they got
bowled out for a meagre 215, Peter Siddle being the pick of the Australian fast
bowlers, picking up 5 wickets. Australia
too did not find it easy to score runs after a shaky start and thanks to some
good knocks in the middle order and a record breaking innings of 98 (off 101
balls) from No. 11 Ashton Agar, they reached a total of 280. Agar’s score was
the highest by any No.11 batsman in Tests.
His innings was that of class and he played a brand of fearless cricket
showing no signs of being nervous playing his first Ashes test.
Read Tim McBain's response to the Ashes' First Test here.