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.


SFA launches Saudi Arabia’s first walk-run event in the summer

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Updated 13 July 2020

SFA launches Saudi Arabia’s first walk-run event in the summer

  • Staged under the banner of the Quality of Life program, the Step Together walk-run series aims to contribute to Vision 2030 by ensuring that physical activity levels are maintained and grow during the summer months

RIYADH: The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has announced its first outdoor event of the summer season, a series of competitive walk-runs called Step Together.
The first Step Together virtual walk-run is open to individual and teams. Participants can register from July 17 until the closing date of July 26.
Adults taking part can choose to complete either a 42 kilometer full marathon or a 21 kilometer half marathon over a period of 10 days, commencing on July 17. Children under the age of 15 taking part in the challenge will complete a shorter 10 kilometer race over the same period.
The event is the first organized by the SFA since lockdown restrictions were eased. It is designed to appeal to all ages, abilities and demographics by offering both walk and run options. Participants who meet the distance goals will be awarded with finishing medals and electronic certificates celebrating their achievement.
Participants will be able to use their own preferred digital fitness tracker. They will upload data and images every day to the race platform to register progress and compare their results with other participants on the race leaderboard.
Community sports groups (CSGs) are also encouraged to join Step Together, with the event featuring an exclusive leaderboard for groups. Members of CSGs can complete simultaneously in both individual and group categories.
Registered users will each receive email confirmations with a unique link and instructions for the Race Result platform.
The dedicated link allows each participant to enter distance and elapsed time each day, validated by a screenshot from any digital fitness tracker.
A results tab on the platform allows users to enjoy friendly competition and compare results with other participants.
There are also leaderboards for various categories on the same page, including age, gender and distance.
Staged under the banner of the Quality of Life program, the Step Together walk-run series aims to contribute to Vision 2030 by ensuring that physical activity levels are maintained and grow during the summer months.
The aims to promote a renewed excitement and energy for outdoor fitness.
A recent SFA report said there was a 60 percent increase in walking in Saudi Arabia since March, while running became 30 percent more popular.
The report added that the increases mainly came from people who were previously less active.
The SFA aims to further encourage enjoyment of physical fitness within this demographic.

Step Together participants can register on the Race Result platform at sfa.sa/STen.