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Australia end Edgbaston hoodoo with thumping 251-run win over England
Match Report

Australia end Edgbaston hoodoo with thumping 251-run win over England

Nathan Lyon's six-wicket haul on the final day of the Ashes series opener dismantled England's batting line-up to award Australia a crushing 251-run win.

Australia's emphatic victory has allowed them to secure 24 points in the World Test Championship, giving them an early advantage in the five-match series.

England, set a target of 398, never looked like salvaging a draw as they lost six batsmen for 37 runs at one stage before being bundled out for 146 in the post-lunch session.

Australia have finally put an end to England's stronghold at Edgbaston where the visitors had not triumphed in 18 years.

Lyon was the pick of the bowlers as he found ample assistance from the pitch for his loopy off-spin, managing to rip deliveries consistently past the bat.

His figures of 6-49 also earned him his 350th wicket in Test cricket while right-arm paceman Pat Cummins supported from the other end snaffling 4 wickets.

The domineering win provides Australia the requisite impetus to progress on their way to a first Ashes win on English soil since 2001.

Australia were tottering at 122-8 on the opening day of the match but were rescued by a heroic knock from Steve Smith, whose valuable contribution of 144 runs lifted them to a respectable total of 284 in the first innings.

The reliable No. 4 followed his heroic hundred with an imperious knock of 142 in the second innings further cementing Australia's dominant status in the match.

Smith's remarkable feat of twin centuries in his first Test in almost 16 months attracted generous praise from his skipper Tim Paine, who reckoned the 30-year-old was up there among the best Test batsmen to play the game.

The returning trio of Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal last year at Cape Town.

They were frequently subject to raucous jeers from the partisan English crowd, which often resorted to chants of 'cheats' to unsettle the three batsmen but the resilient Smith endured the taunts from fans and stuck to his task brilliantly. 

England's woeful batting collapse

Earlier in the day, Rory Burns achieved a unique record after becoming only the tenth cricketer and second Ashes player to have spent time on the batting crease on all five days of a Test match.

Burns, fresh from a stoic 133 in the first innings, failed to replicate his success during England's chase and perished soon after adding a mere four runs to his overnight score.

The pattern of wrongful umpiring verdicts continued on the last day as well with West Indian umpire Joel Wilson judging Joe Root out twice before being overruled by the third umpire upon review.

Jason Roy, whose place in the Test side has sparked criticism over the England management's approach to repairing the opening pair conundrum, was undone by sharply turning Lyon delivery when he was batting on 28.

Lyon fully exploited the rough nature of the worn out pitch and soon had Joe Denly caught off bat and pad by the short leg fielder.

Root also fell victim to Lyon's guile and nicked the ball straight to Bancroft fielding the same position.

England limped to lunch at a perilous 85-4 which became 85-5 right after the 45-minute break when Jos Buttler was clean bowled by a Cummins delivery.

Number one ranked bowler in Test cricket, Cummins reached the landmark of 100 wickets in the longest format when he had Jonny Bairstow glove a rising short delivery to slips.

Moeen Ali's nemesis Lyon had him out once again, marking it the ninth instance of the all-rounder getting out to his Aussie counterpart.

Lyon dismissed Stuart Broad on the very next delivery before James Anderson strolled out to bat despite doubts over his fitness. 

The last-wicket stand did not last long as Smith fittingly grabbed the final catch of the match off the bowling of Cummins.