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Good morning from Edgbaston. It’s a pleasant sort of day so far here in Birmingham, some cloud about but some blue sky as well. And what a day of Ashes cricket we have for us. You know those Test days that end at just the right time? We’re so evenly poised now. Some wins for England yesterday with Stuart Broad’s five-for and the first eight wickets, then that extraordinary batting fightback from Steve Smith and Australia’s two least likely, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon.
Smith’s hundred was one of the best the game has seen, given his personal circumstances mixed with those of the match, and Broad did what he has done against Australia so many times.
Now we have one of those matches where we have no idea what is ahead. Australia, bowled out for 284. By day’s end that could look like a very middling total if England bat well, or imposing if Australia’s bowlers do the business. James Pattinson and Pat Cummins operating at pace, Siddle with smarts, Lyon to extract turn from a pitch that did spin yesterday. England with three of their top six yet to prove themselves at this level, and one or two of them hovering perilously near the drop.
Everything is set up to be a brilliant day at the Ashes. Let’s go.