Cameron Bancroft and David Warner have decided to offer toiling bowlers of England no relief in the closing moments of the first Gabba Test as they relieved Australia to 10-wicket win within just the play of an hour on the final and fifth morning.
When they resumed on 114/0 overnight, the openers of Australia resisted the temptation to gallop to the last line with merely 56 runs needed and players were distracted in England by overnight headlines having the alleged altercation of Jonny Bairstow with Bancroft last month in Perth.
Both batsmen felt the relief back in the groove and seen another disciplined off but unpenetrative burst from Stuart Broad and James Anderson before picking their tempos up over the next seamers, Jake Ball and Chris Woakes.
Ball induced the solitary half-chance of the day, an edge over Bancroft which flew over Alastair Cook wide over the solitary slip but it was left o Bancroft to hit the winning runs over Woakes in a 3-boundary fusillade in the first over followed by the drinks break. Moeen Ali was not called to bowl after fighting with injury on finger earlier in innings while Joe Root sent two offspin overs before the end.
Despite the justified jubilation of Australia, it was the anti-climatic end for up to 3 and half days, a hard-fought and gripping contest, and it was too similar to the first Test of 1990-91 series, at the Gabba when England was crushed by 10 wickets irrespective of being held at times upper hand in a low-scoring contest. Thereafter, Root ruled the match at the time when Australia got away over England.
He added, “We feel very low on losing the game. We came here with confidence that we could win and we were great for three days. Most possibly, we missed a few of the chances with ball and bet in the first innings where must have gone on and made the score of over 400, with 4-down on 250-plus on board and you can make it count.”
Root singled the efforts of James Vince and Mark Stoneman whose half-centuries on first innings seemed to have England set up in the match. He added, “I believed Vincey and Mark in essence played really well in their first Test on Ashes. To stand up like that has seen great composure, character, and skill. It’s just on ensuring that they go on and make huge hundreds when they enter next time.”
“With the ball, we similarly made them work really well and I think wicket was better and better but Smith played great knock and we bowl them off for 150 if you take it out. We’ve required ensuring that we bounce back just away. We have showed nice character and resilience over the past year and we needed to do that once more.”
Australia’s captain, Smith was proud of both his own contribution and team to the victory in the form of unbeaten 141 which shored up the first innings of Australia and secured the lead.