England vs. Australia: Day 5 Highlights, Recap and Takeaways from Trent Bridge
England beat Australia by 14 runs in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. It was a contest as thrilling as the scoreline would suggest. The twists and turns were never-ending.
Few would have predicted that the match would go into the final day. Even fewer would have predicted that the final day would be so very exciting.
England are up 1-0 heading into the second Test at Lord's, starting on Thursday. We picked some highlights from the fifth and final day at Trent Bridge. Add yours in the comments.
Takeaway: James Anderson Is England's VIP
James Anderson is England's Sultan of Swing. He can get the ball to move to the air either way and proved that he can do so even when the conditions aren't 100 percent in his favour.
He inspired England to a thrilling 14-wicket win on the first day at Trent Bridge and proved that he can always be the man his captain turns to when England are in the soup.
Anderson wrapped up the Australian tail on the final day by finding the edge four times. The bad news is that, at one stage, he limped off the field with a cramp. England need Anderson to be fit and fans will be hoping it was just a silly cramp.
Takeaway: Time Wasting Isn't Just for Football
With the match having petered out far longer than England would have hoped, they shamelessly resorted to wasting time.
The extra half hour had already been taken, but England hadn't managed to take the final wicket. With Australia needing just 20 runs to win, the visitors wanted to make sure Stuart Broad's over was the last one.
Broad took his shoe off, put it back and did a bit of lacing up. It didn't work, though. The umpires allowed one more over. Graeme Swann was tasked with the effort, meaning Australia went to the break probably a bit more nervous than the hosts.
Takeaway: Brad Haddin's Still Got It
After a poor performance in the first innings, Brad Haddin pulled things back to put a vintage performance in the second.
His 71 took Australia within a whisker of clinching an unlikely victory. That anchor role in the middle order is something the Aussies have been desperately missing. There were glimpses of the tail being able to stick it out with him, but James Anderson was simply too good.
Haddin's innings was a vintage knock with both attacking shots and a dig in approach. He flashed at one too many in the end, but if he can reproduce those efforts later on in the series the Aussies might have finally found one of the things that have been missing for so long.
Highlight: England Use DRS Well
The Decision Review System dominated discussions for much of the Test. England got it right, most of the time, while Australia got it horribly wrong.
"Tactical review" was how commentators described the final wicket. Brad Haddin edged through off James Anderson and England let out a subdued appeal. Upon first view, it didn't look like Haddin was out. England didn't even sound convinced in their appeal.
The on-field umpire also thought that Haddin was safe. Upon review, though, Hot Spot showed the slightest of edges and the on-field decision was over turned.
While the DRS wasn't initially there for "tactical" reviews, it worked for England in this case. There will be a lot of debate about the system and how it's used, but England have the better grasp of using it.
Takeaway: Bad Cricket Can Be the Best Cricket
There were glimpses of individual brilliance in the first Test, but overall the quality of cricket was rather poor.
The bowling, from both sides, was shoddy at times. Some of the shot selection from the batsmen was utterly baffling. The umpiring was atrocious. All in all, that made for great fun and exciting cricket.
It might not have been the best advert for the game, but it certainly was an advert. One question now remains: How can the second Test possibly trump the entertainment of the first?