Ashes 2013: Stuart Broad masterminds run victory in 4th Test

Stuart Broad finished the match with figures of 11 for 121 © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Aug 12, 2013

The Ashes belong to England! Although they had retained the urn in the previous game, the series is now in the bag. It is a game that witnessed an unpredictable ebb and flow of momentum as the hosts marched to victory against Australia by 74 runs in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street. Australia were on course to victory on Day Four during their pursuit of 299, but England hit back to take the last nine Australian wickets in the final session. It was a fitting finale to a game that saw both sides wrestle for control, but England asserted their supremacy when it mattered the most.

On Day One, England won the toss and elected to bat first. In tough conditions, England moved along smoothly as Alastair Cook took his time to build the innings. Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen batted positively during their cameos. However, Pietersen’s wicket saw England collapse as they slipped from 149 for two to 198 for nine. The tail however did manage to take England to 238 as they were bowled out early on the second morning. Nathan Lyon had the major share of the spoils as he ended with figures of four for 42.

Australia came in to bat with the conditions helping the bowlers. Stuart Broad was in rampaging form and was moving the ball. David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke succumbed to his variations and were done in by the movement. That left Chris Rogers with the task of rebuilding the innings and in company of Shane Watson, he fought hard. Although Broad kept troubling him, Rogers fought on. He had a bit of luck on his side as the edges fell short of the fielders. The Decision Review System (DRS) too came to his aid when he was wrongly ruled caught behind.

The Watson-Rogers partnership helped Australia recover sufficiently. Even after Watson’s dismissal, Rogers kept fighting and late on Day Two he achieved his maiden Test century by sweeping Graeme Swann behind square after a prolonged quiet period. It was a huge achievement as the 35-year-old has spent years at the domestic level and finally got a chance to score big for his country. Australia finished Day Two at 222 for five — only 16 runs behind England.

On Day Three, England sparked a collapse that saw Australia only take a 32-run lead. It was only due to their tail’s effort that Australia managed to take that lead. In reply, England were rocked by Ryan Harris as he snared Joe Root, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott to leave them in a precarious position at 49 for three.

Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell then started the recovery job. There was positive intent from both batsmen as they tried to dominate the bowling. Bell in particular was in classy touch. He essayed delicate strokes and took control of the proceedings. Even after Pietersen fell, he continued to rally England and ended the day unbeaten on 105 as England were on 234 for five — 202 runs ahead.

Harris returned the following day a rejuvenated bowler and dismissed Bell and Matt Prior off consecutive deliveries. Although England had lost their established batsman, the tail wagged and extended their score to 330. Harris finished with figures of seven for 117 as Australia were left with 299 to get.

Warner took control of the run-chase and was smashing it from the outset. While Rogers was gritty at one end, Warner punished anything that was pitched short and outside the off-stump. The pair were scoring at more than four runs an over and breezed past 100. Rogers then fell to Swann, who also picked the wicket of Khawaja with the score at 147.

Even after that, Warner and Clarke looked in control. But, disaster struck 21 runs later. Bresnan bowled a snorter to Warner which just got big on him around off-stump. Warner couldn’t withdraw the bat in time and was caught by the wicket-keeper. That was the wicket that started the collapse.

From 168 for two, Australia slipped to 179 for six. Broad got the big wicket of Michael Clarke as he was bowled for 21. Then Steven Smith dragged one onto his stumps as he tried to pull a short ball. To make matters worse, Shane Watson walked across his stumps to Bresnan and was rapped on the pads. Watson challenged the decision, but the replays backed the umpire’s call.

Broad then came back to finish the tail and complete his ten-for. England had completed the ultimate daylight robbery as Australia were left to lick their wounds.
Brief scores:

England 238 (Alastair Cook 51; Nathan Lyon 4 for 42) and 330 (Ian Bell 113; Ryan Harris 7 for 117) beat Australia 270 (Chris Rogers 110; Stuart Broad 5 for 71) and 224 (David Warner 71; Stuart Broad 6 for 50) by 74 runs.

Man of the Match: Stuart Broad

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)