Skip to content

The Ashes: Australia edge England by two wickets in all-time classic after stunning day five at Edgbaston

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon add unbroken 55 for ninth wicket as Australia pip England in Edgbaston epic, 18 years on from another Ashes classic on this ground; Lyon dropped on two by Stokes as tough one-handed chance grassed - second Test at Lord's from June 28

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Catch up with our rapid highlights of the thrilling final day of the first Ashes Test where it was first blood Australia in this summer's series.

Australia edged England by two wickets late on day five to win an all-time Ashes classic at a boisterous and beguiled Edgbaston as Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon completed a gripping chase of 281.

An engrossing, twisting game that was lit up first ball on Friday when Zak Crawley smoked Cummins for four and continued to intoxicate from that point went deep into a rain-delayed fifth day and earned the fitting finale it so richly deserved - 18 years after the 2005 epic on this ground, which England won by two runs.

England looked set for victory this year when Joe Root caught and bowled Alex Carey (20) to leave Australia 227-8, shortly after skipper Ben Stokes had ended the stubborn resistance of Usman Khawaja, who followed his first-innings ton with 65 from 197 balls.

But Cummins (44no) and Lyon (16no) added an unbroken 55 as the tourists clinched their highest successful chase in an Ashes clash since 1948 after a game that will go down in cricketing folklore.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Pat Cummins hit the winning four as Australia beat England in Birmingham

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Usman Khawaja chopped Ben Stokes on to his stumps as Edgbaston went wild

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Joe Root caught and bowled Alex Carey to leave Australia eight down, before the tourists clinched a famous win

    Lyon was dropped on two by Stokes at square leg, with the home captain unable to cling on to what would have been a staggering one-handed grab, while visiting skipper Cummins struck the winning four as Harry Brook knocked the ball over the rope at deep third.

    Stokes' decision to declare on 393-8 on day one will be questioned but should perhaps be celebrated, helping ensure a series that has the potential to be one of the greatest ever started in unforgettable fashion.

    Stokes brought himself on for his first spell of the innings after tea on day five with Australia 209-6 and struck in his second over to bowl Khawaja off an inside edge with a leg cutter.

    Also See:

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Stokes was so close to taking to a classic Ashes catch but could not hold on to a blinder at square leg

    The 32-year-old's call to delay the use of the second new ball paid off with spinner Root catching Carey shortly after dropping him but Cummins then slammed the old Dukes for six twice in Root's following over and Australia's requirement was soon under 30.

    Stokes deployed the new ball with Australia 254-8 and Lyon promptly drilled it through mid-off for four off Stuart Broad, before Cummins picked up a boundary off Ollie Robinson through extra-cover following Crawley's fumble on the fence.

    Australia's belief grew when Lyon chipped Broad superbly over mid-on for another four and after a series of singles and dots, it was left to Cummins to notch the decisive boundary, four years after he was crunched for one by Stokes at Headingley.

    Damp start, electrifying finish at Edgbaston

    Heavy rain first thing on Tuesday wiped out the morning session and it was not until 2.15pm that Ashes holders Australia resumed their innings on 107-3, needing 174 more runs for victory.

    The damp start was replaced with a white-hot afternoon as the Edgbaston Test continued to seesaw, just like it had in 2005 when Australia pursued an eerily similar target of 282.

    This time around it was Australia who prevailed as they took a 1-0 lead in a five-Test series that continues at Lord's from Wednesday June 28. That game cannot come soon enough.

    Broad's dismissals of Marnus Labuschagne (13) and Steve Smith (6) late on day four, after Robinson had nicked off Broad's old foe David Warner (36), ignited the crowd and saw Australia slip from 61-0 to 89-3.

    When the players finally emerged onto the field the following afternoon the noise was equally deafening; the fans hoping this box-office Test would end dramatically and subsequently getting their wish.

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Broad picked up England's first wicket on day five, nicking off nightwatchman Scott Boland for 20

    Nightwatchman Scott Boland (20) survived the first half hour before snicking a full Broad ball to Jonny Bairstow - Boland had just been tested with a bouncer and perhaps expected similar as he was surrounded by close fielders.

    Broad's third strike of the innings had a similar effect to his first two, causing the England supporters to erupt, but there was no eruption from Khawaja, who was either unable to get going against tight bowling or happy to plod along, sensing runs may be easier to pick up against Moeen Ali later on.

    Travis Head (16 off 24) also started slowly, unable to thread the ball through the packed field up close on the off-side - Australia mustered only 21 runs in the first hour with no boundaries off the bat.

    Head greeted Moeen's introduction post-drinks by hitting two fours, one from a first-ball long hop, but then departed in the same over, clipping a peach of a delivery that turned and bounced to slip - Root with the catch and Moeen's name yelled loud and proud by the England supporters.

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Moeen Ali had Travis Head caught at slip from a superb delivery that turned and bounced

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Ollie Robinson and Khawaja had a heated exchange in the middle as the action grew more intense at Edgabston

    The absorbing cricket included a verbal joust between Robinson and Khawaja - two days after the former had given the latter an expletive-laden send-off after bowling him for 141 - with the pair exchanging words at the afternoon drinks break, a moment that only added to the tension.

    Khawaja clinched a 143-ball half-century but neither he nor Cameron Green (28) got the scoreboard rattling along, even when Moeen, nursing a blistered index finger on his bowling hand, sent down some rank deliveries.

    Australia were 183-5 at tea and perhaps with their noses in front, only for the game to sway the hosts' way early in the final session when Green inside-edged the ebullient Robinson onto his stumps, making it 192-6.

    The match soon enjoyed another shot of adrenaline as Stokes came on for his first stint of the innings and it only got more spellbinding from there.

    What's next?

    The Men's Ashes resumes at Lord's on Wednesday June 28 with the second of five Tests. Build-up begins on Sky Sports Cricket at 10am ahead of the first ball at 11am.

    Before then, though, the Women's Ashes gets under way, starting with the five-day Test at Trent Bridge from Thursday. We are live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am, with the first ball at 11am.

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Seam bowler Kate Cross is looking forward to the first five-day women's Test to be held in England, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from Thursday

    Women's Ashes schedule (all games live on Sky Sports)

    • Test match (Trent Bridge) - Thursday June 22 - Monday June 26 (11am start)
    • First T20 international (Edgbaston) - Saturday July 1 (6.35pm start)
    • Second T20 international (The Kia Oval) - Wednesday July 5 (6.35pm start)
    • Third T20 international (Lord's) - Saturday July 8 (6.35pm start)
    • First one-day international (Unique Stadium, Bristol) - Wednesday, July 12 (1pm start)
    • Second one-day international (The Ageas Bowl) - Sunday July 16 (11am start)
    • Third one-day international (Taunton) - Tuesday July 18 (1pm start)

    How does the scoring system work for the Women's Ashes?

    The winners of the Test match earn four points, with the teams taking two points each in the event of a draw. Two points are awarded for victories in each of the white-ball games, with sides picking up a point apiece in the event of a tie or no result.

    Around Sky