Australia retained the Ashes after taking an unassailable 2-1 lead in the 5-match Test series with one game still to be played. This is the first time since 2001 that the Aussies won an Ashes series played in England. Steve Smith returned after suffering concussion only to smash a brilliant double century as the Aussies finished their first innings on 497/8. The Australian pacers shared ten wickets between them to bowl the hosts out for only 301.
The Aussies lost a couple of early wickets in the 2nd essay but Smith, with an 82-run knock, helped his team to score 186/6 in 43 overs. A target of 383 in 105 possible overs was set in front of hosts who lost two wickets in the first over itself. They were five down inside 40 overs before a middle and lower order resilience. The last five wickets lasted more than 50 overs but couldn’t save the same for the hosts.
All the statistical highlights from Australia’s big win against England in the Manchester Test match:
Smith’s biggest match:
3 – Number of Test series with 600+ runs for Steve Smith; the joint 2nd most for any player. Sir Donald Bradman had as many as six series of 600+ runs while Neil Harvey, Sir Garry Sobers, Brian Lara and Virat Kohli have three each.
10 – Number of Test matches where Smith scored a century and a fifty-plus score. Jacques Kallis (11) and Ricky Ponting (10) also had two 50+ scores including a century in many as ten Tests. The 293 runs Smith scored in his match are the most by him in a Test surpassing 286 runs in the Edgbaston Test.
121 – Innings Steve Smith needed for scoring his 26th hundred in Test cricket. Only Don Bradman (69) has got his 26th Test ton in fewer innings than Smith.
Smith continues to pile on records:
5 – Steve Smith scored 80 and more runs in all five innings he batted in this Test series. He is only the 3rd player to hit five consecutive 80+ scores in Test cricket. Sir Everton Weekes scored five hundreds and a 90 in succession between 1948 and 1949. Alastair Cook also had five consecutive Test scores of 80+ runs between 2010 and 2011.
9 – Smith has scored 50+ runs in each of his last nine Test innings against England; the joint-longest 50+ scores streak against any opposition in this format. Inzamam-ul-Haq also has nine consecutive 50+ scores against England between 2001 and 2006.
Not an ideal game for opening pairs:
11 – Runs aggregated by opening partnerships in this Test match; the fewest in an Ashes Test. The previous fewest were 13 runs in the 1925 Sydney Test match. Overall, only five Test matches had a lower aggregate for the opening wicket than 11 runs in this match.
Root bags an embarrassing record:
3 – Joe Root became the first England captain to bag three ducks in a Test series which includes two golden ducks. Prior to this series, Root never bagged a golden duck in the Test format.
A tough series for Warner:
3 – Number of ducks for David Warner in this Test series; the 5th Australian to bag as many ducks in a Test series as an opener. The previous one to do so was Matthew Elliot in the 1999 series hosted by the West Indies. Overall, Warner recorded the 17th instance of three ducks by an opener in a Test series.
1994 – David Warner became only the 10th Australian opener to bag a pair in Test cricket. The last of the previous nine was Mark Taylor in the 1994 Karachi Test against Pakistan.
Smith @ 11000:
59.13 – Steve Smith completed 11000 runs in first-class cricket with his double century. His current average of 59.13 is the 5th highest for any batsman in FC cricket with 11000+ FC runs and highest among active players.
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