Ashes 2023: Joe Root reaches century as England declare on 393-8 - Australia make firm start with the bat
England reached almost 400 in an enthralling opening day at Edgbaston
Joe Root scored a century on the opening day of the 2023 LV= Insurance Men's Ashes at Edgbaston. Root finished on 118 not out and, along with half century scores from Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow, England declared on 393-8. Nathan Lyon took four wickets and was pick of the bowlers for Australia.
Australia faced two overs each from Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson. David Warner and Usman Khawaja guided the tourists to 14-0 at close.
Zak Crawley made a fast start on what is a dry and hard wicket in Birmingham. Crawley hit away Australian captain Pat Cummins for four with the first ball of the morning as he and Ben Duckett looked to settle quick. Josh Hazelwood has the new ball from the other end.
After a quiet start, Duckett hit his first boundary getting Cummins away off his pads. The scoreboard ticking along early for England England. With just three overs gone, England found themselves 18-0.
In the early stages, Crawley looked eager to hunt down every run, luckily his partner was there to but a stop to any risks. A fortunate inside edge ran away for four from Duckett, but the next ball he was gone. The opener edged and was caught in the slips for 12.
The wicket settled England down and a period of consolidation followed and after six overs, England were 30-1. Ollie Pope released some of the tension with a well timed cut shot for four off Hazlewood leaving England 38-1 from eight overs.
Pat Cummins replaced himself with Scott Boland in the ninth over, England were picking up runs on the vast offside boundary. The last ball of Boland's over zipped past Pope's edge to keep the England number three on his toes.
Nathan Lyon replaced Josh Hazlewood and Pope attempted to sweep the spinner away on multiple occasions in his first over before driving him superbly through extra cover for four with the last ball.
In the 12th over Lyon got one to turn which almost caused some issues for Pope, but again luck was on England's side and the ball bounced to safety behind the stumps.
Zak Crawley hit a sumptuous drive off Boland to leave England 66-1 after 13 overs at the drinks break. He moved quickly into the 40s with a four cut behind square.
90 came up for England thanks to a drive down the ground from Pope but he soon departed. Lyon thought he trapped the batter LBW but he got nothing from the umpire. However, a look on review overturned the decision and Pope had to go for 31. Joe Root the new man in.
Zak Crawley reached his 50 from just 56 balls with a tidy single edging England closer to the 100 mark. Root seemed content to just play himself in before lunch, nudging Hazlewood and then Boland around for the odd single. With the minutes ticking down until lunch Crawley looked to do the same. A cheeky flick off the pads from Root raced away to the boundary across a lightning quick outfield.
Lunch on Day One, the score 124-3 as Crawley edged behind off Boland for a well fought 61.
Harry Brook joined Joe Root in the middle for the start of the afternoon session. Lyon caused some problems in his first over of the session, and the English batters saw this off for two runs.
Brook's first big blow went Lyon packing for four, two balls later in the 30th over his fine cut shot was pretty close to Steve Smith at slip but Brook had just enough on it. Nine from Lyon's first over after lunch.
In the 33rd over a lovely four by Brook has followed up next ball by him being dropped by Travis Head off of Boland. An edge then fell comfortably short of the slip cordon in an over which had everything.
Josh Hazlewood came back into the attack and was dispatched down the ground with a stunning drive from Joe Root. Head was the centre of another fielding mishap as he fumbled a Brook shot away for four.
Root and Brook reached their 50 partnership off just 54 balls and less than 45 minutes together. 36 overs 174-3. Harry Brook was bowled in the most unfortunate of circumstances and Lyon claimed his wicket- this brought captain Ben Stokes to the crease.
The England captain, however, scored just one run. He feathered the ball behind and suddenly, it felt as though England were reaching for the self destruct button. 176-5 and Jonny Bairstow in next to join fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root.
Cameron Green got his first bowl of the day in the 42nd over and it was a tidy effort. It was a double change with Pat Cummins bowling from the Pavilion End. His third of the over zipped past Bairstow's bat.
Root reached 50 thanks to a lofted shot over the slip cordon. A much needed effort from the former captain and England were 195-5.
The end of the 47th over saw Bairstow hit Lyon high and away for four as his partnership with Root went past 40. A flurry of boundaries from Root and then Bairstow had England back on the accelerator approaching the tea break.
Jonny Bairstow gets a thick inside edge first up after tea which races away for four. Root then scooped Boland for six with the fifth ball of the first post-tea over. Nathan Lyon continues.
Bairstow attacked Lyon in the 58th over and two fours helped him towards reaching 50. The merriment of the day was really adding to what was a bubbly atmosphere at Edgbaston.
In the 61st over Bairstow drilled Hazlewood away for four before being dropped by Cairey the very next ball. He moved onto 74 from 74- a true Bazball knock. His brutal innings came to an end on 78 when he was stumped by Cairey for Lyon's third wicket. Moeen Ali the next man in.
Ali loosened up with a thumped effort for four- a shot which got a huge cheer from his local crowd at Edgbaston. This was followed up in the next over with a well timed cut shot away to the boundary. Ali looked like he'd never been away from the Test arena. He topped this- with a huge 6.
The party was soon over though- similar to Bairstow- Ali was stumped from the bowling of Lyon for 18. Stuart Broad next in. Broad let his partner take the game to Australia and Root ramped another ball all the way for 6 to move onto 89.
Broad's cameo came to a crashing end as he was bowled by Green for 18. Root was joined by Ollie Robinson, an agonising 7 runs from his century.
With a delicate single off Lyon, Root reached his well earned hundred. Edgbaston stood and saluted what they had seen. With the pressure off, Root then hit Lyon for 6 before Robinson squeezed a sweep shot past slip for a 4. Not to be out done, Root came back with a second six of the over.
By this point in the day, 6pm, the Australians were looking tired in the field and England had seen enough. Ben Stokes declared with England on 393-8.
With the last ball of the Australian first over, Warner drives Broad away for four. Ollie Robinson took the new ball from the opposite end of the ground.