Australia took just a little over 20 overs on the final day’s play to end England’s resistance and win the opening Ashes Test Match by 277 runs. The writing was on the wall once Kevin Pietersen flicked Brett Lee straight into the hands of Damien Martyn at mid wicket. The last five wickets for England fell for 77 runs. Ricky Ponting for his 196 and 60 not out got the Man of the Match award.
The Aussies had taken the second new ball in the first over of today’s play and in the fourth ball of the day itself, Kevin Pietersen was gone without any addition to his overnight score of 92. Soon Geraint Jones, the other overnight batsmen too followed Pietersen back into the pavilion after getting an inside edge onto his stumps off McGrath. Geraint Jones contributed 33. Giles and Harmison got a few boundaries which reduced the margin of defeat ever so slightly. It was Stuart Clark cleaning up the tail as he picked up all the last three wickets to fall for England.
The end was when Steve Harmison had got a top edge in his attempted hook shot to be caught at fine leg by Glenn McGrath. England did well though in their second innings scoring 370 in 100.1 overs, it should keep them in good spirits ahead of the second Test Match at the Adelaide Oval which starts on the 1st of next month. Their bowling needs a drastic improvement to back the form that Pietersen, Collingwood have got into. Stuart Clark and Shane Warne were the most successful bowlers in the second innings for Australia with both of them taking four wickets each. For Australia, Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath who had injury problems returned to field today which is good signs for the Australians.