The Ashes 2015 – Third Test, Day 3: Edgbaston Nightmare Relived

How can one bounce back and muster sufficient fight and effort after two days of being thrown around like you are a chewed up dog toy?

Questions like these circled around the grounds of Edgbaston, as hope brimmed for an English crowd who could sense blood.

Out entered the blood, as Nevill and Starc trudged out to the middle amid laughter and arrogance, with the Poms all standing in their costumes to welcome an English team on the brink of going 2-1 up in a tight series of test match cricket.

With the overnight score showing the Aussies to be only 23 runs to the good, they looked a rabble, as the wicketkeeper and opening bowler were forced to dig their team out of a giant hole created by their top order batsmen and wayward bowling.

Fortunately enough for the pair, they managed to make quite a good job of it, as they firmly struck their way past 200, with Nevill being removed with the score on 217 after a fantastic 59, bringing up his maiden test half century.

Starc and Hazelwood kept the score ticking along, as Finn removing Nevill for his sixth scalp of the innings not putting the two bowlers off their game. Finally, the lively Stokes ripped through to end Hazelwood’s solid stay of 11, showing his top order comrades how to stick out a gritty innings in tough conditions.

20 runs later and Starc was removed by the tricky Ali, as his 58 led a strong resistance with Nevill in what has been an otherwise lifeless performance.

With the Australian second innings being wrapped up 50 runs more than England would have wanted or expected, they still only had a lead of 122, giving the Poms two and a half days to chase down a miniscule yet tricky target.

However difficult a small run chase is talked up to be, the pressure didn’t appear to reach Cook and Lyth, as they saw off a couple of tricky overs before lunch, with Cook even adding a boundary to his total.

After lunch, a revitalised Starc finally found the intensity that he discovered with the bat, as he started bowling at a quicker pace and producing some fearsome swing. This combination proved too much for Cook, as his pegs got crashed just 11 runs into the cause.

Any hope of a quick start for Australia was diminished by the arrival of Bell, who caressed boundaries with ease and chipped easy runs.

The Bell innings was aided by one crucial moment, as Captain Clarke put down his opponent at second slip after some erratic yet bouncy bowling set up a strong opportunity. The drop typified the game for the Aussie captain, as he had a shocker on world cricket’s biggest stage.

From then on, even the searing removal of Lyth with the score on 51 didn’t halter the English progress, with a beauty of an inswinger from Hazlewood bringing in Root, who fed off Bell in a lovely counter attacking partnership.

Suddenly the game was gone and the lead was 2-1, with Root and Bell smacking their way to glorious victory in front of a rapturous and rowdy Edgbaston crowd.

For Australia, this is all but another nightmare after 2005’s effort. But at least in 2005 they gave it a red hot crack until the end. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the 2015 version.

Whether or not this was another lapse by the Aussies, they sure do have plenty of thinking to do ahead of Trent Bridge, as they yet again face the position of being on the ropes.

And for England, well, they are only one win away from the ultimate feeling of ecstasy.

Stumps- Day 3
Australia 265 all out (79.1 overs)
Warner 77
Nevill 59
Starc 58

Finn 6/79 (21)
Anderson 1/15 (8.3)
Stokes 1/28 (11)

England 2/124 (32.1 overs)
Bell 65*
Root 38*
Lyth 12

Hazlewood 1/21 (7)
Starc 1/33 (6)

Man of the Match: Steven Finn

England leads 2-1 with two matches to play.


  1. Sean the batting is the obvious blight in our two losses, but Lyon excepted the bowling is not much better. A great over from Johnson in the first innings of the third test, two good efforts at Lords, after a crap first test. His spot is safe but who knows what he’s going to do. Starc got 8 wickets in the first test, though was expensive. He has not impressed on this tour. Haslewood, similarily has seemed below par.

    So what changes? Siddle has underwhelmed in the UK previously, what does Cummins offer in match fitness. Hardly inspiring.

    Any pointers?


Leave a Comment