Anderson takes six to put England in command in third Test
BIRMINGHAM – Paceman James Anderson took six wickets to skittle Australia for a paltry 136 and put England in control on the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Anderson (six for 47) was backed up by fellow quicks Stuart Broad and Steven Finn, on his test return after a two-year absence, as a fascinating Ashes series took another twist.
Ian Bell led England’s reply of 133-3 with a half-century and by the close, forced early by rain, a rejuvenated home side had put their heavy second test defeat at Lord’s behind them.
England lost Adam Lyth and Alastair Cook but Bell, promoted up the order on his home ground, played positively for his 53 before falling to a poor shot in trying to slog spinner Nathan Lyon to end a stand of 56 with Joe Root (30 not out).
Australia, whose batsmen prospered at Lord’s in squaring the series after defeat in Cardiff, failed to cope with seam and swing-friendly conditions after winning the toss.
Anderson made hay with only opener Chris Rogers, passed fit after suffering dizzy spells in the last test, offering resistance.
Rogers was eighth man out for 52 and not long after Australia were dismissed in 36.4 overs.
Anderson, who went wicketless in London, took four wickets in 19 balls after lunch to leave Australia in tatters.
His burst began with Adam Voges caught behind for 16. Mitchell Marsh (0) also nicked to Jos Buttler and then Peter Nevill was bowled for two without offering a shot.
England’s leading wicket-taker in tests bagged his 18th five-wicket haul when Mitchell Johnson (3) sliced to Ben Stokes.
Australia lost three wickets in the morning with Finn, branded “unselectable” by former England limited overs coach Ashley Giles 18 months ago due to a breakdown in his bowling action, sending back Steve Smith (7) and skipper Michael Clarke (10).
After Anderson had given England a flyer by trapping David Warner (2) lbw, Finn, recalled in place of an unfit Mark Wood, found bounce and movement.
Smith edged to Cook at first slip and he bowled Clarke with a full and straight delivery, the Australia captain continuing his run of low scores.
England had put 19 on the board before the struggling Lyth (10) flashed at a wide Josh Hazlewood delivery and was held at slip.
Cook (34) and Bell took the total to 76 when the England captain fell in extraordinary fashion, smashing a short ball from Lyon straight into the midriff of Voges who was trying to take evasive action at short leg.
SCOREBOARD Australia 1st innings C. Rogers lbw b Broad 52 D. Warner lbw b Anderson 2 S. Smith c Cook b Finn 7 M. Clarke b Finn 10 A. Voges c Buttler b Anderson 16 M. Marsh c Buttler b Anderson 0 P. Nevill b Anderson 2 M. Johnson c Stokes b Anderson 3 M. Starc c Buttler b Broad 11 N. Lyon b Anderson 11 Extras (lb-7 nb-1) 8 Total (all out, 36.4 overs) 136 Fall of wickets: 1-7 D. Warner,2-18 S. Smith,3-34 M. Clarke,4-77 A. Voges,5-82 M. Marsh,6-86 P. Nevill,7-94 M. Johnson,8-110 C. Rogers,9-119 M. Starc,10-136 N. Lyon Bowling J. Anderson 14.4 - 2 - 47 - 6 S. Broad 12 - 2 - 44 - 2 S. Finn 10 - 1 - 38 - 2(nb-1) England 1st innings A. Lyth c Voges b Hazlewood 10 A. Cook c Voges b Lyon 34 I. Bell c Warner b Lyon 53 J. Root not out 30 J. Bairstow not out 1 Extras (lb-4 w-1) 5 Total (for 3 wickets, 29 overs) 133 Fall of wickets: 1-19 A. Lyth,2-76 A. Cook,3-132 I. Bell To bat: B. Stokes, J. Buttler, M. Ali, S. Broad, J. Anderson, S. Finn Bowling M. Starc 9 - 1 - 39 - 0 J. Hazlewood 10 - 0 - 50 - 1 M. Johnson 5 - 0 - 20 - 0(w-1) M. Marsh 3 - 0 - 17 - 0 N. Lyon 2 - 0 - 3 - 2 Referees Umpire: Aleem Dar Umpire: Chris Gaffaney TV umpire: Marais Erasmus Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle. –Reuters