by Kobe Jacobs, ACS Literary Scholar
Those in Australia who stayed up until the early hours of Wednesday morning witnessed arguably the greatest Test match ever played between England and Australia and goodness hasn’t there been a few?
The First Test at Edgbaston must have left those in attendance feeling as though they got their money’s worth for a five-day fixture, regardless of the result for their nation.
And this is what Test cricket is all about, this is why the longer format is more appealing to cricket lovers. It’s the nerves, suspense and the nail-biting finishes that we as fans desire so much.
Games like these are ones you just don’t forget and Pat Cummins’ guided shot down to third man for four runs is a moment I’m sure Aussie cricket fans will long remember.
Though for the match to get into this position, it’s well worth mentioning that the home side was ever so gutsy in pushing the Australians to the very end.
Ben Stokes’ decision to declare late on Day 1 was nothing short of bold.
Knowing how the surface was playing in offering little to the bowlers, Stokes’ intent to put some early pressure on the visitors was evident. This tactic ultimately became unstuck due to the brilliance of Usman Khawaja.
It’s one thing to make an Ashes hundred, but to bat on all five days of a Test is incredible, especially given the way he played with such poise.
If it wasn’t for Khawaja, the Australians would not currently be 1-0 up.
He laid the foundation in both innings to help his side stay within touching distance. His persistence with the bat was tremendous.
Ultimately, and rightly Khawaja won the Man of the Match award for his two knocks of 141 and 65.
The ghosts of Edgbaston from 2005 looked as though they were set to haunt the Australians once again on the final day.
Armed with the second new ball, the short-pitched bowling from Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson was relentless to both Lyon and Cummins.
Such an onslaught looked as though history was going to repeat itself in Birmingham, luckily for the Australians, it didn’t.
This win will be entrenched in Australian cricketing folklore for decades to come.
It’s a victory that mustered every ounce of bravery from Pat Cummins’ men, who have now conquered ‘Fortress Edgbaston’ for the second consecutive time in an Ashes series.
Still with four games left to play, Edgbaston has already provided us with a memorable moment.
If the rest of the games in this series are played in this fashion, this might just be one of the greatest Test series ever.
So strap yourselves in and be prepared for more angst, anxiety, intensity as well as more high-level skill and fierce competition.
Australian Cricket Society’s literary scholar Kobe Jacobs is mentored by writer John Harms. His pieces are also published at www.footyalmanac.com.au .