By Ed Kirk
|First Ashes Test, Brisbane (day four of five)|
|England 147 (Cummins 5-38) & 297 (Root 89, Malan 82, Lyon 4-91)|
|Australia 425 (Head 152) & 20-1|
|Australia won by nine wickets|
After Joe Root (89) and Dawid Malan (82) gave England some inspired optimism on day three of the Ashes in Brisbane, all hope quickly vanished at the start of day four.
If the first ball of a test was to foreshadow the rest of the week, then Mitch Starc’s aggressive inswinger against Rory Burns should have geared England fans in for a hard few days.
When England was bowled out for 147, Australia followed with a resounding 425. With some incredible luck Warner battled to a hard fought 97, but it was Travis Head’s sensational 152 which gave Australia breathing room ahead of the third innings.
On the start of day three, it looked like England needed a miracle to save the first test, and with the most inform batsman at their disposal in Joe Root, that miracle seemed to occur.
A fantastic 162 run partnership between the Yorkshire pair helped England close the gap but when Australia spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Malan for his 400th test wicket, all English hopes crumbled.
The Aussies were left with only 20 to chase which they chased down with ease to maintain their 35 year unbeaten run at the Gabba against England.
Questions will be asked of England captain Joe Root as to why he chose to bat in the given conditions. As well as questions towards the selection, with Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad both dropped from the squad.
Our selection? It’s easy to say with hindsight. We showed fight and character for some of the second innings.England Captain joe root when asked on the selection
The next test on Wednesday will be make or break and now there will be a lot more focus on the teams selected as well as the actual match itself. With Josh Hazelwood already declaring himself not fit as well as Broad and Anderson saying they are fit to play there will be a lot more optimism for England going into the second test.