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17-Jun-2023 01:59:00 GMT
Eng vs Aus - 1st Ashes Test, Edgbaston

England declare after Root hit 30th Test ton

Australia 20 for 0 trail England 393 for 8 dec (Root 118*, Bairstow 78, Crawley 61, Lyon 4-149) by 373 runs

Birmingham: England stunned Edgbaston by declaring against Australia on the first day of an Ashes series that more than lived up to the hype.

Joe Root's masterful unbeaten 118 pulled England from 176-5 to 393-8 when captain Ben Stokes executed the earliest first-innings declaration in Ashes history.

Root added 121 with Jonny Bairstow, who crunched 78 in as many balls, and coaxed valuable lower-order contributions from Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson.

All this after Zak Crawley, who batted beautifully for 61, got the series off to an explosive start by hammering Pat Cummins' first ball of the day through the covers for four.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took 4-149 for an Australia side that looked to counter England's swashbuckling style by posting fielders to the boundary for the entire day.

If that tactic was surprising, it was nothing compared to Stokes' bold play that gave his bowlers four overs at the Australians, who had been fielding in sweltering conditions.

David Warner defied his old nemesis Stuart Broad, taking Australia to 14-0 alongside opening partner Usman Khawaja.

At the end of a breathless, memorable day, the Ashes holders found themselves 379 runs behind.

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