By Peter Hall
BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Australia spinner Nathan Lyon ripped through England’s batting line-up as the hosts lost the first Ashes test by 251 runs after being bowled out for 146 in their second innings on Monday.
Chasing the second highest successful run chase in Ashes history (398), England’s day began badly when Rory Burns fell in the second over for 11. The highest successful run chase ever was Australia scoring 404 at Headingley in 1948.
Fellow opener Jason Roy (28) looked in good shape until he was bowled when coming down the pitch. Joe Denly (11) and England captain Joe Root (28), who survived two earlier reviews, were also out before lunch.
The wickets kept tumbling in the afternoon, with England’s middle order collapsing for the second innings in a row as Lyon finished with figures of 6-49 as Australia picked up a first win at Edgbaston in 18 years.
“It is frustrating to have finished the way it did,” Root said. “We have to look further back in the game, three days of this game we have pretty much controlled.
“We have got the confidence that we can do it (win the series).”
Burns, who scored a century in the first innings, did not last long this time round. He lofted a bouncer from Pat Cummings to Lyon at backward point.
Umpire Joel Wilson’s poor test continued after Root was twice saved on review. In total, eight of the official’s on-field decisions were overturned during the test.
Lyon then got his first wicket of the day as he enticed a wild swing from Roy, who missed the ball completely.
An inside edge onto pad saw Denly caught off Lyon, before Root’s luck ran out, with Cameron Bancroft taking a fine catch.
After Root’s dismissal, it felt very much like a matter of time until England’s resistance was broken and in the first over after lunch, Jos Buttler was clean bowled by Cummins for one.
Jonny Bairstow was caught for six after he hit a bizarre shot which flicked off his glove and into the hands of Bancroft at third slip. Ben Stokes was out next ball — Lyon’s 350th test match victim.
Lyon picked up his fifth wicket of the innings as Moeen Ali (4) failed with the bat again. The spinner capped a successful day by dismissing Stuart Broad for a golden duck.
Chris Woakes top scored for England with 37 before he was last man out, giving Cummings a fourth scalp on Monday.
Australia won the opening game of an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2005, with man-of-the-match Steve Smith’s successive hundreds making the difference.
“We did not bat as well as we would have liked on day one,” Australia captain Tim Paine said.
“Steve Smith was still in (when we were struggling) at 122-8 in the first innings, so we knew we still had a chance.
“He is the best player in the world in test cricket, and when he is at the crease, we have real confidence. We were superb with the ball today, but having someone like Steve controlling the game helped.”
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar)