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Ashes 2023 Day 5: Australia’s Thrilling Chase, Take a 1-0 Lead in 5-match Series

Australia defeated England by 2 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in a 5-match series of Ashes 2023. Australian skipper Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon led Australia to win the first Test of Ashes 2023 on day 5. It is their fourth-highest successful target chase in the Ashes. The highest chase at the grounds of Edgbaston came in 2022 when England chased 378 against India. 2011 The last instance of Australia chasing down a target of 250-plus runs before they did it at Edgbaston was against South Africa in 2011. Australia had not won any of the 31 Ashes Tests between 1949 and 2022, where the fourth-innings target was 250. 

As It Happened: 1st Ashes Test Day 5

The last day of the first Test was delayed by rain and the umpires had to announce early lunch. As the match resumed after a delay, Usman Khawaja started his struggle with Scott Boland. Stuart Broad gave an early breakthrough to Australia as he dismissed the nightmare Scott Boland (20). Travis Head also departed early after Boland’s wicket. Moeen Ali dismissed the dangerous Travis Head (16) in the first slip to Joe Root.

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Australia needed 120 more runs to win after losing Travis Head’s wicket. Usman Khawaja (20) and Cameron Green (28) made a crucial 49-run partnership for the 6th wicket. Ollie Robinson gave another breakthrough to Australia by dismissing Cameron Green (28). But, the biggest breakthrough or loss for Australia was Usman Khawaja’s wicket. Usman Khawaja (65) was dismissed by Ben Stokes when 70+ runs were required to win the match.

Ben Stokes claimed the breakthrough wicket of Usman Khawaja, England v Australia, 1st Ashes Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day, August 3, 2019 Getty Images

After Usman Khawaja, Joe Root dismissed Alex Carey and it seemed like the game was over for Australia. But the skipper Pat Cummins ensured that the team rose from the ashes and would take his team to victory with spinner Nathan Lyon. Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon played dangerous English bowlers and made a match-winning 55* partnership for the eighth wicket.  Australia won an epic first Test by two wickets, to take a 1-0 lead over England at Edgbaston. Before an hour and six minutes, it looked like they had lost it. Usman Khawaja became Player of the match for their brilliant innings of 141 and 65.

55* Partnership between Cummins and Nathan Lyon is the seventh-highest stand in Test cricket for the ninth or tenth wicket in a successful fourth-innings chase. It is also the second-highest for Australia, behind the unbeaten 56-run stand between Tibby Cotter and Gerry Hazlitt in 1907 at Sydney.

796 Minutes batting by Usman Khawaja is the second-longest any Australian in a Test match. Now, he is behind Mark Taylor’s 938 minutes against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998. It is also the fourth longest any batter has batted in an Ashes Test. He surpassed the 767 minutes batting by Bob Simpson in Manchester in 1964.

Also Read: Usman Khawaja becomes only second Australian batter to bat on all five days in a Test

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