Nottingham (UK) :Stuart Broad took eight wickets as England skittled out Australia for 60 in a historically quick 111 balls and moved within sight of an Ashes-clinching win on the first day of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
Fast-medium bowler Broad took eight for 15 in 9.3 overs as he smashed through the 300 Test wicket mark in a scintillating performance he acclaimed as “unbelievable”.
Australia’s innings was wrapped up in just 18.3 overs— the quickest any team has ever been bowled out in the first innings in the 138-year history of Test cricket.
Joe Root’s unbeaten century then compounded Australia’s misery as England reached stumps on 274 for four, a lead of 214 runs.
Root was 124 not out after putting on 173 for the fourth wicket with Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow (74). Nightwatchman Mark Wood was unbeaten on two.
For the second match in a row England, 2-1 up in the five-match series and needing one more win to regain the Ashes, had all but assured themselves of victory with their first-day performance following last week’s eight-wicket success at Edgbaston.
Initially cloudy conditions offered some assistance to the bowlers and doubtless prompted Alastair Cook’s decision to field first upon winning the toss.
But they were not ‘unplayable’. Broad bowled well, maintaining an excellent line and length on his Nottinghamshire home ground.
However, several of his wickets owed much to poor shots by Australia batsmen who again cemented their reputation as ‘flat-track bullies’ unable to cope with sideways seaming and swing movement.
Eight Australians were caught in the slip cordon—all off Broad.
Mitchell Johnson (13) and Australia captain Michael Clarke (10) were the only batsmen to make double figure scores in the innings.
Australia’s total—with extras the top score on 14 — was the lowest by either side in an Ashes innings since England were dismissed for 52 at The Oval in 1948.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. It’s not sunk in,” Broad told Sky Sports after drawing level with England great Fred Trueman’s career tally of 307 Test wickets.
“We knew Trent Bridge would offer us something but we had to bowl well and take our catches.”