Australia secured a 1-0 lead in the Ashes 2023 by defeating England by 2 wickets, thanks to the impressive performance of skipper Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon on Day 5. The last day of the first Test encountered a rain delay, resulting in an early lunch announcement by the umpires. When the match resumed after the delay, Usman Khawaja struggled while Australia lost wickets from one end.
Despite Ben Stokes dismissing Usman Khawaja, it appeared that the game was nearly lost for Australia. However, skipper Pat Cummins ensured that the team rose from adversity and led them to victory alongside spinner Nathan Lyon.
England won the toss and decided to bat first with Josh Hazlewood dismissing Ben Duckett (12) early with Zak Crawley (61) standing on the other end. Ollie Pope (31) tried to hold it for a while, but soon he became the first target of spinner Nathan Lyon. Then Joe Root (118*) walked in and played one of his best innings. He kept the scoreboard running while wickets kept falling on one side. Soon Jonny Bairstow joined him for some explosive shots but Nathan Lyon sent him back to the pavilion. England declared the innings at 393/8.
Australia’s David Warner (9) and Usman Khawaja (141) entered the crease with energy. The opening duo started the innings well but Stuart Broad dismissed Warner brutally and soon after also packed up Marnus Labuschagne (0) on the next ball. Steve Smith (16) failed to make much impact and Ben Stokes ensured his dismissal. Travis Head (50) gave some support to Usman Khawaja and the Australian innings saw some magnificent shots. Cameron Green (38), Alex Carey (66), and Pat Cummins (38) also made some efforts and Australia ended at 386, trailing by 7 runs.
England started the second innings on a disastrous note with openers Ben Duckett (19) early with Zak Crawley (7) walking back to the pavilion early. The wickets kept falling at regular intervals with Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon ensuring that no England player crosses 40. Only Joe Root (46) and Harry Brook (46) were able to put some runs on the scoreboard and in the second innings England was packed up for just 273 runs.
Chasing 280 runs, Australia had high hopes from the openers Usman Khawaja (65) and David Warner (36) who provided the team with a good start but Marnus Labuschagne (13) and Steve Smith (6) again failed to make much impact. Scott Boland (20) and Travis Head (16) tried to support Usman Khawaja, but Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali knew better cricket. Soon, Ben Stokes dismissed Usman Khawaja and Australia was looking in real trouble now. But, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon stayed on the crease like mountain till the last run and ensured victory for their team in the first test of Ashes 2023.