Australia wins 1st Ashes test by 251 runs, Lyon takes 6-49

England’s Jason Roy is bowled out by Australia’s Nathan Lyon as Australia won the first test of the Ashes series. (Reuters)
Updated 05 August 2019

Australia wins 1st Ashes test by 251 runs, Lyon takes 6-49

  • Offspinner Nathan Lyon was often unplayable with 6-49 and passed 350 test wickets in a remarkable turnaround for the Australians
  • Australia even had the luxury of declaring at 487-7 in its second innings on Sunday to set England an unlikely winning target of 398

BIRMINGHAM, England: Australia won the first Ashes test by a huge margin of 251 runs on Monday after dismissing England for 146 in its second innings on the final day.
Offspinner Nathan Lyon was often unplayable with 6-49 and passed 350 test wickets in a remarkable turnaround for the Australians, who had been reduced to 122-8 in their first innings at a hostile Edgbaston.
“It’s disappointing,” England captain Joe Root told the BBC. “We got ourselves in a really strong position.”
Allrounder Chris Woakes provided England’s top score with a defiant 37 at No. 9 after the hosts crumbled from 60-1 to 97-7. Woakes was the last man out in the 53rd over to Pat Cummins (4-32), sending the ball to Steve Smith in the slips as England collapsed in the afternoon.
England had resumed after lunch on 85-4. Jos Buttler (1) went in the first over, bowled by Cummins, and Jonny Bairstow was then caught by Cameron Bancroft off Cummins for his 100th test wicket. In what has been a nightmare test at times for the umpires, Bairstow opted to review Joel Wilson’s decision but he was unsuccessful, leading one BBC pundit to exclaim “Joel’s got one right!“
Lyon reached the 350-wicket landmark when Ben Stokes (6) was caught behind.
The spinner went on to dismiss Moeen Ali for his five-for and had Stuart Broad caught by Smith for a golden duck. Jimmy Anderson came out to bat despite lingering injury concerns — he bowled only four overs in the entire test — and denied Lyon his hat trick.
Rory Burns (11) was the first man out Monday — caught by Lyon off Cummins — when England had added only six runs after starting on 13-0, and Root (28) was the last man out in the morning, visibly angry with himself after tamely sending the ball to Bancroft at short leg off Lyon.
Lyon had come on to bowl after an hour’s play and proved the threat that England feared with three wickets before lunch. Lyon also soon settled a big question of the day: Could white-ball specialist Jason Roy patiently stay in without taking risks in smashing quick runs? That was answered in Australia’s favor when the explosive opener, playing only his second test, needlessly advanced down the wicket against Lyon. The ball turned and clattered into the stumps. Roy was out for 28 after sharing a 41-run partnership with Root and England on 60-2.
Bancroft caught Joe Denly (11) at short leg after Lyon struck again to leave England 80-3 before Root was dismissed.
England’s instinctive batting aggression paid huge dividends in its Cricket World Cup title last month, including a semifinal win over Australia in Birmingham, but the switch from white to red ball is proving a tough challenge so far against its well-prepared opponent.
Australia even had the luxury of declaring at 487-7 in its second innings on Sunday to set England an unlikely winning target of 398.
“I love playing cricket here in England. The atmosphere’s always amazing, and the boys turned up and played a really good game of cricket,” man-of-the-match Smith said. “To go 1-0 up in the series is a big boost.”
England had taken a 90-run lead after the first innings with 374 in reply to Australia’s 284. But Smith’s centuries in each innings (144 and 142) proved far too much for a humbled England, especially without its record test wicket-taker Anderson able to bowl after the opening session.
Root said it was easy to be wise in hindsight and that Anderson had gone through the normal selection process and passed a fitness test. Root called it “part and parcel of test cricket, sometimes things go against you.”
And Root should know. He had survived a scare on 4 when he was given out by Wilson leg before wicket against pacer James Pattinson. He went for review and the ball was shown to be missing.
Play was briefly held up by a malfunctioning stump mic before Root was given out again by Wilson for lbw when on 9, this time off Siddle. Root immediately reviewed and was shown to have clearly got his bat to the ball first.
The second of five tests starts at Lord’s on Aug. 14.


Motorsport must encourage more women to compete, says Saudi female driver Aseel Al-Hamad

Updated 21 November 2019

Motorsport must encourage more women to compete, says Saudi female driver Aseel Al-Hamad

  • FIA is hosting an event alongside the Nov. 22-23 Diriyah ePrix called “Girls on Track"
  • Said Kingdom hosting events like Formula E is vital in boosting popularity of motorsport

RIYADH: One of Saudi Arabia’s first female racing drivers believes motorsport is too male dominated and that more needs to be done to encourage women to enter the sport.

Speaking exclusively to Arab News, Aseel Al-Hamad said the fact that only 1.5 percent of racing licences are held by women was “a big international issue.”

Al-Hamad, who is also the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said that while there are some women blazing a trail in the sport, more needs to be done by its authorities.

“There are Formula 1 drivers like Tatiana Calderón, team principles such as Susie Wolff and Claire Williams. We also have female mechanical engineers and in all kinds of positions, but they are just a few. 

“We need to use them as role models to encourage more young girls to become like these amazing women,” she added.

Al-Hamad, who has been passionate about cars since her youth, told Arab News that she is a fan of Formula 1 and a highlight of her career was being invited to drive an F1 car, but her driving idol was Michèle Mouton. 

“Because, back then in the 1980s, she competed in an all-men rally championship. And honestly, I don't think anyone did what she did at that time,” she said.

It is experiences like those that inspired her to forge a path for more women in motorsport and lead the way for female drivers in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Al-Hamad, who mixes racing with her interior design business, is one of the representatives on the International Automobile Federation (FIA)’s “Women in Motorsport Commission”, which creates programs and initiatives to encourage more young girls to be inspired by the sport and consider it as a career.

“I won’t forget the day I got contacted by the president of the Federation asking me to join the board of directors, it's great because I have lots of difficulties in my career and it's so great to now build a foundation for these young women and ensure that they won't go through the struggles and the challenges I went through,” she said.

On the possibility of one day seeing a Saudi female world champion in major motorsport such as F1 and Formula E, she said: “Today, it is possible, especially when we are seeing how the government is very much supporting sports and women’s participation in sport. 

“We have just recently started and we're starting really fast. I won’t be surprised to see a champion soon competing in big international events.”

Al-Hamad also said the Kingdom hosting events like Formula E is vital in boosting the popularity of motorsport in the country and the wider region. 

“Maybe most of the people used to watch football. But, today, when we have such international motorsport event, so many people will get closer to the motorsport and understand the rules. 

“And maybe these young generations, when they attend the race, they might get inspired and become fans of motorsport.” She added.

The FIA is hosting an event alongside the Nov. 22-23 Diriyah ePrix called “Girls on Track,” the second time such an event has been held outside of Europe.

“This event is very much focused on encouraging young girls from eight to 18 years old to discover their talents and motorsport, hopefully it will inspire them to consider a career in motorsport,” Al-Hamad said. 

The event will include educational workshops to introduce girls to a range of topics -- from mechanical engineering to motorsport journalism, as well as opportunities to use racing simulators and to drive on a carting track.

The girls will also take part in a panel discussion with some figurehead females in motorsport including Susie Wolff, team principal of Venturi Formula E. 

“We've approached mostly schools and we sent them invitations to have girls register and hopefully they will discover their talents,” Al-Hamad said.

Her advice to young women is to achieve what they dream for, even if they are dreaming big.

“They might have some fears at the beginning, they might think it's impossible. But my advice to them is to take small steps and just think of the steps with time, they will be surprised that they actually achieve their dreams,” she said.

Ahead of the Diriyah ePrix, Al-Hamad drove Porsche’s first all-electric road vehicle -- the Taycan -- from Dubai to Riyadh with former F1 driver Mark Webber.

Ahead of the Diriyah ePrix, Al-Hamad drove Porsche’s first all-electric road vehicle -- the Taycan -- from Dubai to Riyadh with former F1 driver Mark Webber. The model goes on sale in the Middle East in 2020. (Porsche)

The Taycan, which goes on sale in the Middle East in 2020, is the most powerful production electric model that the sports car manufacturer currently has in its product range, hitting 0-100kmh in 3.2 seconds.

On driving it, Al-Hamad said: “We wanted to test the performance of the car and it's great that we just arrived ahead of Porsche's debut in the Formula E this weekend.

“I love the handling, the feeling, it's a fast car, it has the same Porsche DNA in its interior and exterior. It is a beautiful car.”