Ashes 2015: How England won 3-2 after regaining the Ashes in 14 days

Chris Rogers struck the only half-century of Australia’s reply before becoming Mark Wood’s first Ashes wicket, falling for 95, England then building on their first-innings lead of 122 despite more top-order trouble.

Chasing 412 for an improbable win, Australia subsided from 97-1 to 106-5 after Moeen Ali (3-59) trapped David Warner lbw on the stroke of lunch. Root collected the scalps of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson (77) before holding the winning catch at long off and claiming the man-of-the-match award.

What they said – Nasser Hussain: “It’s very rare that you start an Ashes series with a perfect performance. Bearing in mind they’ve come in off the back of a 5-0 defeat in Australia, England were absolutely outstanding from the first ball.”

Sky Sports pundit Ricky Ponting said Australia didn't adapt to the wicket at Cardiff and he believed England were in control from the start

Second Test, Lord’s – Australia 566-8 dec & 254-2 dec beat England 312 & 103 by 405 runs

England’s euphoria was short-lived as Chris Rogers (173) – dropped before he had scored by Root at slip – and Steve Smith (215) ran amok at HQ to post 337-1 on day one. With Brad Haddin absent for personal reasons, not to return for the rest of the series, debutant Peter Nevill contributed 45 and then snared his first victim second ball as Adam Lyth edged behind to start a collapse that saw England slump to 30-4. Australia’s edge was blunted by an obdurate 145-run stand between Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes – but when the skipper dragged on to miss out on a 28th Test century, the tourists turned it up a notch.

When Michael Clarke declared just before lunch, setting England a victory target of 509, hopes of home resistance faded fast against Mitchell Johnson (3-27) – Stokes taking plenty of stick after being run out for nought, failing to ground his bat.

What they said – Nasser Hussain: “Australia have outplayed England – but how did they turn it around? Their box-office players – Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson – put in stunning performances and it’s time for Bell – if he plays – to do the same.”

Watch our top five moments from Australia's victory in the second Ashes Test at Lord's

Third Test, Edgbaston – Australia 136 & 265 lost to England 281 & 124-2 by eight wickets

Michael Clarke resisted the chance to put England’s batting straight back under the microscope and James Anderson made him pay, demolishing Australia’s first innings with 6-47 after Steven Finn had removed Steve Smith and Clarke in his first Test for two years. Ian Bell, promoted to three after Gary Ballance was axed, contributed one of three precious fifties to keep Australia’s probing attack at bay and build a first-innings lead that took the tourists six second-innings wickets to erase. Finn finished with 5-45 after picking up Clarke and Adam Voges in successive deliveries – David Warner seemingly playing on a different pitch as he cracked 77 off 62 balls.

Nevill (59) and Starc (58) ensured Australia had something to bowl at but England got home at a canter as Bell posted his second half-century of the Test, with Root well on track to his as the tourists were despatched on the afternoon of day three.

What they said – Michael Holding: “Finn has gone away and done whatever has been required – he has come back fitter, stronger, and solved that technical problem he had of clipping the stumps. It is not easy to re-model your action and get back into rhythm but he has done it and it is really good to see.”

Watch our top five funniest moments from the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston

Fourth Test, Trent Bridge – Australia 60 & 253 lost to England 391-9 dec by an innings and 78 runs

Leading England’s pack on his home ground in the absence of James Anderson, Stuart Broad grabbed his 300th Test wicket and seven more in quick succession to finish with 8-15 from 8.3 overs as Australia imploded to 60 all out. Only Mitchell Johnson (14) contributed more than Extras (13) on one of the most astonishing first sessions of Ashes cricket during which the heart was ripped out of Australia’s Ashes defence. Mitchell Starc (6-111) responded with three early English wickets only for Joe Root (130) and Jonny Bairstow (74) to pave the way for a positive Cook declaration. England’s aspirations of a two-day Test were held up by an opening stand of 113 between Warner and Rogers before Ben Stokes (6-36) found extravagant movement to knock over both openers and Shaun Marsh.

Day three was a question of when, not if, and England duly regained the Ashes after 39 minutes and 10.2 overs of play when Nathan Lyon dragged Mark Wood on. Clarke’s confirmation that he would quit international cricket at the end of the series was inevitable as Broad’s man-of-the-match award.

What they said – Sir Ian Botham: “Everybody has come to the party one way or another. It’s all been there in the mix. OK, the games haven’t gone five days but they’ve lacked nothing. There have been some great individual performances and there is a definite team spirit there.”

It was an incredible morning session for Stuart Broad after he picked up figures of 8-15, the best ever bowling figures at Trent Bridge in Test cricket

Fifth Test, The Oval – Australia 481 beat England 149 & 286 by an innings and 46 runs

Australia proved premature party-poopers at Lord’s and – determined to give Clarke a decent send off and stop Alastair Cook’s team becoming the first England side to win a home Ashes series 4-1 – turned in a feisty display to win by a distance. Few questioned Cook’s decision to bowl first under leaden skies, but once openers David Warner and Chris Rogers had carefully negotiated the new ball and conditions eased, plenty quickly remembered the importance of batting first at The Oval.

Captain-in-waiting Steve Smith rediscovered the mojo he left in the capital at Lord’s, overcoming a nervous start to post a glorious 143, and a late flurry from Mitchell Starc ran England ragged. England’s reply fell embarrassingly flat once Nathan Lyon bowled Alastair Cook with a crackerjack delivery – seven wickets crashing in the final session of day two to a mixture of horrendously sloppy strokeplay and inability to deal with the pace of Mitchell Johnson.

Clarke had little hesitation in enforcing the follow-on for the first time in his career and Australia’s rampage continued as Adam Lyth – battling to save his Test career – and Joe Root – only just installed as No 1 in the Test batting rankings – fell cheaply for the second innings in succession. Inevitably, the burden of saving the Test fell on Cook and he responded with a stoical 85 off 234 balls but only Jos Buttler (42) and Moeen Ali (35) offered a hint of support.


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