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The Ashes 2023: England v Australia, fourth Test, day one – live | Ashes 2023

Key events

More from Stuart Broad

I find Ashes series the most enjoyable to play in. I enjoy the extra scrutiny and how much the public love it. I’ve been able to forge great battles with some of the Australian players over a long period of time. It’s been a pleasure to play against those guys.

I never really think about what I’ve done on the field. The special memories are in the changing-room when you’ve won a Test or a series. I’d argue the last year has been the most enjoyable of my career.

Aussies are generally very competitive people, and that brings out the best in me. I love that eye-to-eye battle. We play cricket to have great battles on the field but also to enjoy each other’s company after the game. A lot of the players have got good relationships off the field.

When we won the toss and bowled I was hoping to get it [the 600th wicket], as it would mean we’re taking wickets. A nightmare day for us would have been 350-3, which could have happened when the blue sky came out.

We’re delighted to take eight wickets. Of all the pitches we’ve played on in this series, it feels like the most balls were middled today. It felt like if you just missed, you went to the boundary. But ultimately there are wicket balls out there as well. When we won the toss we weren’t hoping for 160 all out; we’re just hoping for a decent chase.

Stuart Broad speaks

I had a few hugs and handshakes, certainly from staff who have been in the dressing-room longer than me. There’s a nice ring to it, getting my 600th pole at the James Anderson End!

Glenn McGrath was my hero growing up, so when I went past him last year that was really cool. I’m not saying I was at his level as a bowler – if he’d played more Tests he’d have ended up with 700.

I suppose it’s a sign of longevity. I’m addicted to Test cricket – I love the grit and competitiveness of it, and it feels very special to be on a list with some of the greats of the game.

I remember getting my cap from Sir Ian Botham in Colombo. A lot of people say that getting your Test cap is the dream. I never felt like that. I wanted to make memories in it, win big series and experience a lot with that cap. That was my mindset.

You never know when your last game will be – I’m probably one of the most dropped bowlers in history! – but I feel very lucky to have played with some great teams along the way.

The consensus on Sky is that it’s England’s day, just about. They looked in trouble when Australia were 120 for two and 183 for three but took wickets at vital times, sometimes in strange ways. Eight of Australia’s top nine reached double figures; nobody scored more than 51.

Chris Woakes was the star, taking 4-52, but it’s Stuart Broad who leads the team off. He took his 600th Test wicket – just think how much hard yakka that entails – when Travis Head was caught on the hook. He’s England’s greatest Ashes cricketer since Sir Ian Botham, so it’s no surprise he reached the milestone against Australia.

Stumps

83rd over: Australia 299-8 (Starc 23, Cummins 1) Woakes may never have a better chance of a first Ashes five-fer. He almost gets it when Starc is beaten by an outswinger, but he survives and that’s the end of a compelling first day’s play.

82nd over: Australia 298-8 (Starc 23, Cummins 0) James Anderson, 40, returnes for a single oover before the cose. Starc has an almighty hack across the line, inside-edging the ball past the stumps for four. Anderson walks back to his mark smiling. They got to him as well.

Though he has been nowhere near his best today, Anderson has again been pretty unlucky. You should see his xW!

81st over: Australia 294-8 (Starc 19, Cummins 0) Chris Woakes has had another day out: 18-3-51-4. All ten of his wickets in this series have been proper batters, even if Carey is No8 in this game.

WICKET! Australia 294-8 (Carey c Bairstow b Woakes 20)

Chris Woakes strikes with the second new ball! Carey tried to leave one outside off stump, was too late in doing so and got a thin inside edge through to Bairstow. That was similar to his dismissal at Headingley, when he tried to leave Woakes and dragged the ball onto his stumps.

Australia’s Alex Carey walks after losing his wicket, caught by England’s Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Chris Woakes. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

80th over: Australia 293-7 (Carey 20, Starc 19) The diminuendo continues with a maiden from Wood to Carey. At Headingley, Carey struggled against Wood’s pace but today he has been rock-solid in defence. The attacking strokes can wait until tomorrow.

After an interlude of 21 runs in 12 overs, it’s time for the second new ball.

79th over: Australia 293-7 (Carey 20, Starc 19) Starc finally plays an attacking stroke off Moeen, dumping a slog-sweep for four. He’s a place too low at No9, and has looked very comfortable in making 19 from 56 balls.

78th over: Australia 289-7 (Carey 20, Starc 15) Mark Wood returns for one last spell. His first ball is a slightly apologetic bouncer to Carey, though it’s still clocked at 91mph. Wood laughs and runs back to his mark.

Carey turns down a couple of singles, continuing his policy of protecting the tail from Wood’s pace, and as a result it’s a maiden. We’ve had 17 runs from the last 10 overs, a sleepy end to another eventful day.

Australia's Alex Carey ducks under a short ball from England's Mark Wood on the opening day of the fourth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at Old Trafford.
Australia’s Alex Carey takes evasive action. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

77th over: Australia 289-7 (Carey 20, Starc 15) Carey reaches for a nice delivery from Moeen and edges wide of slip for three runs. It wouldn’t have carried anyway.

76th over: Australia 286-7 (Carey 17, Starc 15) Starc pulls Woakes round the corner for a single. We’re four overs away from the second new ball, so I may have been premature in suggesting James Anderson’s work was done for the day.

“Regarding wickets taken since 2008 (over 68), it’s notable that the next England names on the list (after Swann) are Ali, Stokes, and Woakes,” says Peter Hanes. “Is this England’s wicketiest ever attack?”

It’s not just England’s, it’s the highest for any team. The six main bowlers, including Stokes, had 1916 Test wickets between them at the start of the game, which puts them a nose ahead of the England attack at Trent Bridge in 1993.

75th over: Australia 284-7 (Carey 16, Starc 14) Stalemate.

“The new England/New Zealand approach to cricket means averages are now of little relevance,” writes Dean Bainbridge. “The entire approach assumes nobody will get ‘average’ scores – the approach allows failure. It is actually expected that some batters or bowlers will fail, safe in the knowledge that the freedom their colleagues play under allows them to more than make up for low scores or wicketless periods.

“Statistically, it just needs 2-3 players to play well for decent scores to be posted. It’ll work for a team with genuine talent and potential, but it’s perfect for this England team. It explains Moen’s inclusion – on a statistical basis, he’ll be nowhere near this team, but just his potential for runs and wickets sees him picked. He could hit a century in a session, or get out reverse sweeping; it’s all the same as far as England are concerned.”

Especially if it means Joe Root doesn’t have to bat at No3.

74th over: Australia 283-7 (Carey 16, Starc 13) Woakes replaces Anderson, whose confusing day ends with figures of 16-4-39-0. Carey back cuts his third ball for foour, a nice shot from a player who looks in control again after a loose batting performance at Headingley.

England’s ageing attack – Wood is the youngest at 33 – are looking weary, and Australia might be missing a trick by not applying more pressure. Even with that boundary, there have been only 11 runs from the last six overs.

73rd over: Australia 277-7 (Carey 11, Starc 12) Moeen has found a deecnt rhythm in this spell, probably helped by the fact they haven’t played any attacking strokes.

“It’s interesting that you mentioned Keith Miller, because it seems his shadow has loomed over Australian selections ever since he retired,” says Martyn Gillam. “There’s been a near obsession with finding an ‘all rounder,’ with a penchant for picking blokes who aren’t really the true deal, but who scratch the selectors’ itch. There’s been a long list including Graeme Watson, Shane Watson, younger Mitch Marsh and now Cameron Green who has been anointed with ‘automatic selection’ status even when his results don’t justify it. How much would Australia like a mulligan right now and swap him for Murphy to bowl in the fourth innings? The fact is, players like Miller, Sobers and Kallis are a rare breed, and selectors shouldn’t be putting square pegs in round holes to try to recreate them.”

Simon Burnton’s Ashes diary

72nd over: Australia 277-7 (Carey 11, Starc 12) It’s hard to know what a good score is on this pitch, though instinct says between 300 and 350. All the batters have reached double figures apart from Khawaja, yet nobody has gone past 51. England’s bowling has been mixed – lots of jaffas, lots of fourballs – and the old ball is still doing enough for Anderson to lift one past Starc’s outside edge.

71st over: Australia 276-7 (Carey 11, Starc 11) “I agree that Carey batting at No8 is crazy,” says Brian Withington. “Shouldn’t there a rule against a team fielding as many decent batters as Australia? Don’t they know that fair play dictates that you should always include a spinner batting at three, preferably one coming out of retirement with a dodgy finger?”

If you think Australia’s tail looks strong today, check out South Africa’s at Adelaide in 1997-98. Nos 7-11 were Brian McMillan, David Richardson, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Pat Symcox. The daft thing is they needed to win the game to draw the series, yet they beefed up their batting. I suppose it almost worked.

70th over: Australia 274-7 (Carey 10, Starc 10) The momentum has shifted subtly throughout the day; so has the tempo. We’re having a quiet little spell at the moment, with Anderson conceding a single from his 15th over.

“Dear Monsieur Smyth,” begins your friend and mine, Robert Wilson. “People are very fond of Moeen (and disturbingly proud of themselves for it). That’s charming but I watched that spell and the Aussies were taking an actual rest. It was saved from being embarrassing by the first five overs of Bairstow’s classic Dadaist keeping (might be his most ironic yet). He seems a genuinely decent bloke and I truly hope that this becomes an absolute reverse hex resulting in him knocking out an effortless double hundred but a wrong-way-round 27/37 average is giving me flashbacks to the worst bits of the 1990s.”

Usually I’d agree with you. I can’t believe I’m not going to agree with you. Am I really going to disagree with you when Moeen is averaging 16 and 55 in the series? I jolly well am, you know. I can’t really see a credible alternative, and this highly peculiar line-up feels like the best solution to a bespoke problem. The other thing is that simple averages have become less relevant under Stokes and McCullum, although the geek in me, who grew up Tony Gray was the greatest bowler of all time, is weeping at that thought.

69th over: Australia 273-7 (Carey 9, Starc 10) With two left-handers at the crease, Moeen Ali replaces Chris Woakes (15-3-43-3). A quiet first over, one from it.

In other news, look at this catch.

68th over: Australia 272-7 (Carey 8, Starc 10) I wonder how Peter Moores, who started the Branderson era by dropping Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard at Wellington in 2008, felt when Stuart Broad took his 600th Test wicket. Anderson and Broad are the only seamers in history to take 600 Test wickets. Since Moores made that decision, Anderson and Broad have taken 626 and 599 wickets respectively; nobody else has 500 in that time.

Anderson returns to the attack. Starc edges on the bounce to sleep and then flicks successive half-volleys through midwicket for four. He’s using his wife Alyssa Healy’s bat, and he borrowed her timing with those two strokes.

Jimmy Anderson reacts after conceding runs on day one of the England v Australia 4th Ashes test match at Old Trafford on July 19th 2023.
Jimmy Anderson reacts after conceding runs. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

67th over: Australia 264-7 (Carey 8, Starc 2) Carey turns Woakes round the corner for two, with Wood doing absurdly well to save the boundary at fine leg. Woakes switches round the wicket, until Carey drives him straight for four and he moves back over. Carey is a helluva No8 in any team.

66th over: Australia 258-7 (Carey 2, Starc 2) A quiet over from Wood, which is to say I was editing/replying to the email below, and that’s drinks.

“A good keeper would have taken that to hands,” says Dechlan Brennan. “Even Bairstow’s catches look ugly. Ian Healy (perhaps the best keeper of all time) has hammered him on Australian TV and that’s correct. You’ll say it’s a great catch with your English lens on though.”

Ah, come on, we may be England or Australia fans but we’re all two-eyed. For want of a much, much, much less pompous phrase, I thought it was a great catch with my empathy lens on. Ian Healy is probably the best wicketkeeping analyst around, so we should all defer to him on technical matters. But after everything Bairstow has been through, that was a charming moment of human triumph.

65th over: Australia 256-7 (Carey 1, Starc 1) Woakes angles a good delivery past Starc’s outside edge. He’s taken nine wickets at an average of 20 in this series, all proper batsmen. And crucially, he has dismissed Keith Miller Mitchell Marsh three times. Nobody ese looks like getting him out.

Starc takes a single off the last ball, which means he’ll be facing Mark Wood at the start of the next over. Hmm.

“With the sound effects that accompanied Alex Carey to the wicket, I think you may need to give Yvette Campbell (58th over) an update …” says Tom Adam.

64th over: Australia 255-7 (Carey 1, Starc 0) Poor Chris Woakes. Even when he takes two wickets in an over, he’s overshadowed by somebody else. Near flawless human being that he is, he won’t mind one bit.

Wood continues – I suspect he would have taken a break had Marsh and Green still been at the crease – and Carey turns down a single to deep backward point. That’s seems an odd decision, with Mitchell Starc at the crease and Pat Cummins still to come, but I’d imagine he’s just trying to see Wood out of the attack. If so, chapeau; if not, what are you doing, man.

63rd over: Australia 255-7 (Carey 1, Starc 0) The celebrations of that wicket were delightful. Ben Stokes charged towards Bairstow and seemed to break into song at one point. After all he’s been through, that’s such a lovely, life-affirming moment. And it wasn’t any old wicket, either, because Mitch Marsh was batting marvellously.

Jonny Bairstow has taken a sensational catch to dismiss Mitch Marsh! Chris Woakes has taken two in an over and England are on top again.

Marsh was turned round by a beauty and edged it between wicketkeeper and first slip. Bairstow changed direction, plunged to his right and grabbed the ball just about the turf. He celebrated in style, spreading his arms and legs wide before he was swamped by his teammates. They could not be more delighted for him.

Jonny Bairstow is mobbed after catching out Mitchell Marsh.
Jonny Bairstow is mobbed after catching out Mitchell Marsh. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

WICKET! Australia 255-7 (Marsh c Bairstow b Woakes 51)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Jonny!

WICKET! Australia 254-6 (Green LBW b Woakes 16)

If you want a job done, and you’re in England, ask Chris Woakes to do it. He has struck with the first ball of a new spell, trapping Cam Green LBW.

Green lunged around his front pad and was hit just above the kneeroll. Joel Wilson gave it out on the field, and that was crucial because it was umpire’s call on height. Green reviewed unsuccessfully, and he might feel a bit aggrieved because that was only just hitting the bails. Either way, it’s the end of an unconvincing, slightly tenative innings.

Chris Woakes successfully appeals for LBW against Cameron Green.
Chris Woakes successfully appeals for LBW against Cameron Green. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

62nd over: Australia 254-5 (Marsh 51, Green 16) Wood implores Nitin Menon to raise the finger when Green is hit on the boot by a sizzling yorker. It was bat first – just – and the umpire rightly says not out.

Wood tries another yorker later in the over, but it’s too straight and Marsh puts it away for four. That brings up another dominant, hard-hitting fifty from just 57 balls. From nowhere he has become a key man in this series; no batter on either side looks in such good touch.

Mitchell Marsh hits the runs that take him past his half century.
Mitchell Marsh hits the runs that take him past his half century. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

61st over: Australia 245-5 (Marsh 46, Green 12) Another full toss from Moeen is driven down the ground for four by Marsh. England have bowled too many fourballs today, and it might be time for a change at this end. Marsh looks in complete control against Moeen.

60th over: Australia 241-5 (Marsh 42, Green 12) Though Wood hasn’t found his Headingley rhythm today, he has still given everyone the hurry-up. Even Marsh, who eats extreme pace bowling without needing a knife and fork, is playing him respectfully.

Marsh turns a straight ball into the leg side for two, which brings up an important fifty partnership from just 60 balls. Australia’s running has been much more aggressive today.

59th over: Australia 237-5 (Marsh 39, Green 11) Marsh fails to punish another low full toss from Moeen, who is once again in little-girl-with-the-little-curl mode. He has bowled some fine deliveries too, and as I type he skids one past Marsh’s defensive push.

Probably fair to say Broad and Moeen weren’t the right combination for Mitch Marsh; his combined Test average against them is in excess of 300.

58th over: Australia 232-5 (Marsh 35, Green 11) Stokes misses a run-out chance! Green knocked the new bowler Wood into the covers and loudly rejected the offer of a single. Marsh was halfway down the track when Green gave him the bad news, but Stokes couldn’t pick the ball up cleanly on the run. He howled at the sky in frustration when he realised.

That allowed Wood a few more deliveries at Green, two of which flew past the outside edge. He’s riding his luck.

“1.30am in Oz,” writes Yvette Campbell. “Reading your updates under the covers in bed, sound off so as not to wake hubby next to me. As I cannot hear the coverage, I was wondering how the crowds have been acting towards the Australians. Have they been polite and fair, or booing Aussies at every opportunity? I’ve loved cricket since I can remember, but the crowd and members’ behaviour at Lords truly shocked me. The Ashes lost something that day.”

There were some pantomime boos for Warner and Smith, the usual nonsense, but I can’t recall anything else today. That incident at Lord’s feels a bit weirder every day.

57th over: Australia 232-5 (Marsh 34, Green 11) The increasingly dangerous Marsh drives Moeen through extra cover for successive boundaries. Both were fine shots, though the second came off a low full toss. It’s been a mixed bag from Moeen today: 9-0-46-1.

Marsh, meanwhile, has smacked 31 off his last 22 deliveries. He has already taken Broad and Moeen apart in this series, and he played Wood superbly at Headingley, so England are running out of options.

56th over: Australia 223-5 (Marsh 25, Green 11) Green is beaten all ends up by an extravagant leg-cutter from Broad, who is bowling by far his best spell of the day. A big inswinger is forced down the ground for a single, which brings Marsh back on strike.

Marsh has a great record against Broad, with a head-to-head average of around 175 in Tests. As if to prove the point, he chips Broad contemptuously over mid-off for a one-bounce four. What sort of way is that to treat a man who’s just taken his 600th Test wicket?

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