England won the toss and Stuart Broad exploited the favourable conditions in sensational fashion to record career-best figures of 8-15 – aided by some sensational catching by his team-mates. The Aussies were bundled out before lunch in just 18.3 overs – and suffered the ignominy of seeing extras top score for the first time in Ashes history, on 14. Mitchell Johnson was second-highest scorer with 13.
The home side’s dream day continued when the sun came out just as their opening pair were coming out to bat. England duly made hay in the improved batting conditions to finish the first day on 274-4 – a commanding lead of 214. Joe Root remained unbeaten on 124, and his Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow also weighed in with 74. Mitchell Starc’s three-wicket haul provided little consolation for Australia.
The tourists are already 2-1 down in the five-match series, and need a minimum return of a win and a draw in the last two Test matches to retain the Ashes. Barring a miracle that looks all but impossible now.
Victory in this match would give England an unassailable 3-1 lead, and see them regain the Ashes which they lost when they were humbled 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14.