Australia celebrate wildly as they land famous win despite England heroics in classic first Ashes Test

Australia came back to land the first blow in the Ashes as Pat Cummins led his side to victory by two wickets at Edgbaston.

Claiming revenge for 2005, Australia produced a late rally with their backs against the wall to wrestle victory away from England over a rain-trodden week in Birmingham.


Aussie captain Cummins proved absolutely magnificent as he led his country to victory against the odds
Stokes saw victory slip away at Edgbaston


Stokes saw victory slip away at EdgbastonCredit: Getty

The pivotal moment came when captain Cummins thumped a Joe Root over for 14 runs at a time when England smelt blood.

And he and Nathan Lyon continued some simply supreme batting in the conditions as Stokes and co ran out of ideas on how to get them out.

With just two wickets to go, Cummins and Lyon, who have starred throughout the week with the ball, etched themselves into Aussie folklore.

Their partnership of 55 runs edged Australia over the line, sparking wild celebrations in the green and gold cohort of the Edgbaston ground, as well as in the Aussie pavilion.

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Bazball is here and it is taking the nation by storm, an aggressive form of cricket without its intricacies – taking the chaff with the wheat and rolling with the punches.

And that means even in defeat, to stick with the plan as it can produce unparalleled moments of sport that will yield results.

But against Australia, arguably the best side in the world, any error can be capitalised on – which is exactly what happened in the latter half of the day on Tuesday.

Ben Stokes dropped what would have been an exceptional catch, Root even dropped a catch straight at him from the wicket and a real horror show when Zak Crawley stopped a boundary only to lose his footing and give up four runs anyway.

Cummins might have just etched himself into Australian history


Cummins might have just etched himself into Australian history
Cummins put on an incredible show with the bat


Cummins put on an incredible show with the batCredit: Getty

When the new ball did arrive, it did little to change the momentum which had viciously shifted in the Aussies’ favour.

As the clock ticked over 7:00 PM and light running out, Australia needed just 12 to win with eight overs to go.

Any other time and that would indicate an easy victory but it was anything but as the Ashes continues to throw up moments of drama.

Over the week, there were wild moments such as Stokes’ decision to declare early, several dropped catches from Jonny Bairstow and the option to hold off on the new ball.

But there were also moments of brilliance from England like Root’s batting and bowling, Ollie Robinson’s hulking figure causing panic within the Australian ranks and even Harry Brook being given an over.

However, Cummins and co just proved too good over the course of the week – particularly Usman Khawaja, who was out in the sun for most of the Aussie innings and scored a combined 205.

England had handed Australia a target of 281 to win the first Test – spookily close to the 282 number in 2005 at the same ground that saw the visitors fall short by just two runs.

That sparked Michael Vaughn’s side to victory but history could not repeat itself.

England came up short in a cruel but incredible Test


England came up short in a cruel but incredible TestCredit: PA
The five-day Test came to a dramatic conclusion on Tuesday


The five-day Test came to a dramatic conclusion on TuesdayCredit: Getty

Australia had been chipping away at the total throughout the day as the Hollies Stand became quieter and quieter as the tension reached palpable levels.

Moeen Ali, who took Travis Head earlier in the day, was experiencing serious discomfort but his switch out for Root proved a brilliant decision.

The former England captain, so often the hero at the bat, reduced Australia’s run rate to barely two an over to take the sting out of their attack before taking Alex Carey with a fantastic catch from his own bowl.

That wicket came almost immediately after Stokes decided against taking the new ball, once again a choice that ultimately proved critical.

And that decision went from wonder to bafflement as Stokes continued with the old ball, giving the Aussies confidence as the sun began to set.

Stuart Broad took three wickets in Marcus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Scott Boland, the latter coming early in the day to set the pace on an extraordinary day of Ashes cricket.

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And Ollie Robinson’s deceptive slow ball wiped out Cameron Green at a time when Australia sensed victory in a match that swung each way more times than the battered Edgbaston wicket.

If the next four Tests prove half as dramatic, this will be an Ashes series that will be remembered for years to come.

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