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Key stats from the thrilling opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston

Australia’s two-wicket victory over England in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston ranks alongside some of the greatest matches played between cricket’s oldest rivals.

Here, the PA news agency highlights some key stats from an incredible game.

Culture clash

England’s Joe Root
England’s Joe Root tried to reverse ramp Pat Cummins’ first ball on fay four (Mike Egerton/PA)

A big part of the allure surrounding this match and the rest of the series relates to the styles of cricket that both teams play, which could hardly be more different.

Australia play tough, attritional cricket designed to grind down their opposition, while England have adopted an ultra-aggressive style under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, aimed at generating results – whether that be a win or a loss.

This clash of ideologies was on full display in Birmingham.

Australia and England scored a near-identical number of runs (668 compared with 666) and lost the same number of wickets (18), but Pat Cummins’ side faced 1,252 deliveries compared with England’s 866.

Australia were happy to bide their time, scoring at a rate of 53.35 runs per 100 balls on average, while Stokes’ men looked to force a result by striking at 76.91.

The difference in approach was embodied by the teams’ key batters – England’s reverse-ramping Joe Root faced just 207 balls for his 164 runs across both innings, while Australia’s stoic Usman Khawaja scored his 206 runs from 518 deliveries and became the 13th player in history to bat on all five days of a Test match.

Ebb and flow

England’s Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes’ first-innings declaration did not pay off as neither England nor Australia were able to take control of the match (Mike Egerton/PA)

Australia’s win was especially thrilling because of the way the match seemed to swing back and forth throughout.

Just seven runs separated the sides after the first innings, in which England surprisingly declared on 393 for eight and Australia lost their last four wickets for 14 runs to be bowled out for 386.

The drama went up a notch in the second innings, however, as both teams repeatedly threatened to get ahead before losing a wicket.

Eighteen of the 19 second-innings’ partnerships reached double figures but only four passed 50, with the highest being Australia’s opening stand of 61 between Khawaja and David Warner.

Similarly, 19 of the 21 batters scored 10 or more runs, with only Zak Crawley (seven) and Steve Smith (six) falling in single digits.


Australia’s Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon celebrate
Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon led Australia to an unlikely win having suffered defeat in a close match at Headingley in 2019 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Australia captain Cummins and spin bowler Nathan Lyon were key figures in the thrilling Edgbaston victory, having also played a central role in a heartbreaking defeat at Headingley in 2019.

Cummins conceded the winning runs four years ago as Stokes led England to an unlikely win, while Lyon missed a crucial run-out chance in the penultimate over.

This time, the pair inspired their side to victory with an unbroken partnership of 55 from a perilous position of 227 for eight when Alex Carey – the last recognised batter – was dismissed.

Cummins and Lyon had already performed heroics with the ball to limit Australia’s target to 281.

They took a combined eight wickets for 143 runs from 42.2 overs in England’s second innings, compared with two for 121 from 24 overs by Australia’s remaining bowlers – Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland and Cameron Green.

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