Published on: Jun 21, 2023
Australian captain Pat Cummins led from the front to his lift his team to a thrilling two-wicket win in the first Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday, June 20. Set to chase 281, Australia were in trouble at 227/8. However, a ninth-wicket unbeaten stand of 55 between Cummins (44 not out off 73) and Nathan Lyon (16 not out off 28) took Australia to a famous win.
Cummins struck two sixes in an over from Joe Root and also hit four fours. Lyon, who was dropped early in his innings by Ben Stokes, a very difficult chance, went on to strike two crucial fours, including a straight drive off Stuart Broad. Cummins hit the winning runs for Australia, guiding Ollie Robinson behind the wickets for a boundary.
At the start of the day, rain delayed proceedings. Following a lengthy delay, Australia resumed their innings on 107/3. Nightwatchman Scott Boland was caught behind off Broad for 20. Despite a blistered finger, Moeen Ali produced a beauty to have Travis Head (16) caught at slip.
From 143/5, Usman Khawaja (65 off 197) and Cameron Green (28 off 66) added 49 runs for the sixth wicket to bring Australia right back in the game. However, England inched ahead in the contest as Green and Khawaja perished by dragging deliveries onto the stumps from Robinson and Stokes respectively.
Alex Carey hung around for 20, but Root had him caught and bowled with a brilliant catch. As Carey walked back, England could have smelt victory, but Cummins had other plans.
Speaking after the match, Cummins opened up on the contrasting styles of the two sides and said, “Both teams spoke about playing their styles, we played to our strengths and we don’t know which is better, but makes for good entertainment.”
Hailing Player of the Match Khawaja, he added, “Incredible composure, played at his own pace and he has been a class player the last couple of years. Really happy for him. I think he had a good feel for the wicket, and then everyone chipped in around him.”
He also opened up on Lyon, who starred in both innings and said, “He’s huge, both innings he is putting down one end. He is an absolute superstar; he is calm and goes about his work. He is a captain’s dream.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent