2017 Ashes: Australia claim 1-0 lead with Gabba Test victory

By @saihoops on
2017 Ashes
Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - GABBA Ground, Brisbane, Australia, November 26, 2017. England's James Anderson and Stuart Broad walk behind Australia's Cameron Bancroft and teammate David Warner at the end of the fourth day of the first Ashes cricket test match. Reuters / David Gray

Australian openers David Warner (87 not out) and Cameron Bancroft (82 not out) steered the team to a comfortable 10-wicket victory against England in the first Test of the 2017 Ashes on Monday.  The Australians have drawn first blood in the five-match series which will move to Adelaide for the second Test on Dec. 2.

In pursuit of 173 runs for a 1-0 series lead, the Aussie openers reached the target in exactly 50 overs, after resuming on an overnight score of 114/0 at the start of the fifth and final day. Bancroft, making his Test debut, brought up the first half-century of his career, while Warner curbed his natural instincts to lead the team to safety.

After claiming a 26-run first-innings lead, Australia bowled out the visiting English team for just 195 in the second innings. Steven Smith, captain of Australia, was rightfully awarded the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten knock of 141 in the first innings.  Smith, Shaun Marsh (51) and fast bowler Pat Cummins (42) helped Australia take a slight first-innings advantage after England amassed a first-innings total of 302.

2017 Ashes: Australia take 1-0 lead to Adeliade

After the victory, Smith said he was proud of both his team and his personal efforts. "The first Test of an Ashes is always incredibly important, especially with our record here at the Gabba. So it's great to keep that intact. We played some really good cricket after losing the toss, and to get a ten-wicket win against a quality side is very satisfying. My hundred has got to be up there with one of my best, purely from the position we were in and that it's an Ashes series. I had to work really hard for it, dig deep and get ourselves out of that situation, so I'm really pleased with it," the Aussie captain said via ESPNCricinfo.

Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root rued the team's second innings collapse. "We're very disappointed to lose the game," he said. "We came here fully confident that we could get a win, and for three days we were excellent. We probably missed a couple of chances with bat and ball in the first innings, where we should have maybe gone on and made that 400-plus score, being four-down with 250-plus on the board, you want to make that count."

The 2017 Ashes will now move to the Adelaide Oval for the second Test starting Dec. 2. England has dominated the Ashes rivalry in recent years, winning four of the last five series, dating back to the 2009 Ashes in their backyard.  Australia registered a 5-0 series sweep of England when they last hosted the Ashes in 2013-14.

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