Stuart Broad destroys Aussie top order
Stuart Broad left Australia’s Ashes campaign in disarray, skittling the tourists for 60 in a scarcely believable start to the fourth Test.
Broad snared 8-15 in 9.3 overs, while Australia suffered an incredible collapse of 7-29 in the space of 56 deliveries after being asked to bat first by Alastair Cook at Trent Bridge.
England were all but assured of the victory they’re chasing to reclaim the urn, having reached 0-13 at lunch.
Australia’s deplorable dig lasted 18.3 overs, the last-wicket pair batting through almost six of them.
It was the fastest first innings in Test history.
Extras top-scored for the tourists with 14.
Neither side had previously experienced such ignominy in the Ashes.
“It’s the sort of score you expect to see at the under-9s on the village green,” Ian Botham observed for Sky Sports.
Australia were nine down when they passed 47, the memorably woeful total they managed in 2011 at Cape Town.
It was nonetheless embarrassing for Australia, their seventh-lowest Ashes total and smallest in England since 1902.
Australia’s three best batsmen were dismissed in the opening 10 minutes.
Michael Clarke, who demoted himself to No.5 in the order, extended his slump by lashing at a wide ball with minimal footwork.
Cook snaffled the resultant catch as Clarke was out for 10, becoming Broad’s fifth victim of the match.
It was the first time since 1913 that an England bowler had a five-wicket haul before lunch on the first day of a Test.
Broad achieved the feat in 35 minutes of mayhem.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk in,” Broad said of his career-best haul.
The visitors had no answers as the 29-year-old squared them up to find edges with ease at his home ground.
Ben Stokes plucked a spectacular catch at fifth slip to dismiss Adam Voges (1), while Mark Wood removed David Warner (0) in his first over.
Otherwise, the early carnage was brought about by Broad.
It started with Chris Rogers (0), who became Broad’s 300th Test scalp when the game was two minutes old.
Steve Smith (6), the only batsman in the top four to get off the mark, went in the same opening over when Joe Root held onto a catch at third slip.
The wicket of Shaun Marsh (0), promoted to the side at the expense of brother Mitch, started a run of three consecutive wicket-maidens for Broad.
Clarke was the only man to make it to double figures apart from Mitchell Johnson (13), but he was arguably the most culpable given it was one of few loose balls from Broad.
The captain vowed earlier this week he would not be retiring after the five-Test series, however the calls for him to do so will grow louder with every failure.
In Clarke’s past 29 Test innings, he has reached 25 just six times and scored two hundreds.
The 34-year-old’s average this series is 17.33, although he wasn’t the only brittle batsman exposed by Broad.
“A couple of tailenders have shown them how to do it,” Shane Warne said on Sky.
“They haven’t got too many runs, but at least they’ve got behind the ball.”