Spinner Nathan Lyon has made history on an Ashes morning where Australia tore England apart in the blink of an eye.
Australia has taken a 1-0 series lead in the Ashes after England’s batting order crumbled again on Saturday morning at the Gabba.
England resumed at 2/220 after finishing the third day of play just 58 runs short of Australia’s first innings total. Instead of fighting back to post a competitive total, England lost 8/77 in a cataclysmic collapse.
The visitors crawled their way towards a team total of 297, setting Australia a measly target of 20 for victory.
Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. Join now for just $5 for 2-months Kayo Basic. New customers only, ends 13th Dec.
Nathan Lyon’s explosive return to form was the story of the day, with the off-spinner picking up four wickets on Saturday, including his 400th Test scalp.
Meanwhile, Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey set a new record for the most catches taken on Test debut, finishing with a total of eight dismissals.
But the South Australian gloveman, who opened the batting in place of an injured David Warner in the second innings, flopped during the short run chase, edging behind off England seamer Ollie Robinson for 9.
He was the only wicket to fall as Australia chased the target with nine wickets in hand.
The only blemish was that part of the action unfolded unseen when the international TV broadcast feed went down as a result of a power failure to the broadcast area at the Gabba.
The second Test gets underway at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
Warner a no-show after rib issue
Alex Carey was a shock sight as he walked out to open the batting for Australia on Saturday afternoon after David Warner failed to recover from his rib injury.
Warner did not take the field in England’s second innings at the Gabba due to “severely bruised ribs” which he suffered while batting.
Carey was then given the tough job of facing the new ball alongside Marcus Harris with both batsmen under pressure to produce runs.
Lyon roars to help knock England over
Nathan Lyon has walked off the Gabba a new man without the weight of his 400th test scalp weighing him down.
Lyon picked up four wickets, including the key dismissals of Dawid Malan and Ollie Pope.
He had 4/22 on day 4 after an ugly day 3 where he finished with the figures of 0/69 from 24 overs.
Cameron Green also had his finest day with the ball in hand, taking two key wickets, including the prized scalp of Ben Stokes.
He finished with 2/23, while Cummins returned 2/51 as the best of the Aussie bowlers.
England briefly stabilised with a 32 run partnership between Stokes and Jos Buttler when they arrived at the crease with the scorecard at 5/234.
However, the tourists were in collapse again just a few minutes later with both batters sent packing.
Lyon had two wickets in his first spell of the day, as Australia captured 3/11 in 25 balls to leave England reeling at 5/234.
Huge blow as England captain falls early
England is in real trouble again after Joe Root became the second batter to fall early on Day 4.
Root was beaten by a good line and length ball from Cameron Green that swung away late after landing a fraction outside off stump.
Root was tempted to push at the delivery, but only managed to send an outside edge through to keeper Alex Carey.
Root fell for 89, meaning he is still yet to ever record a test century in Australia.
It left England 4/229, with two new batters at the crease after Dawid Malan also fell early.
GOAT makes history with 400th scalp
Nathan Lyon has finally brought up his 400th test wicket, becoming just the third Aussie bowler to ever reach the milestone.
Only Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne have previously gone past 400 test wickets.
It took almost two years for Lyon to move from 390 wickets to the 400-mark as a result of a form slump and Covid-19 restrictions.
He brought up the milestone by dismissing Dawid Malan in his second over early on day 4.
Malan fell skipping down to a good length ball that took an inside edge and popped up to Marnus Labuschagne fielding in close.
Malan fell for 82 to leave England 3/223.
Hazlewood mystery still left unexplained
The Australian cricket team has denied Josh Hazlewood is injured, despite the star quick failing to bowl in the final 40 overs of day 3.
Mystery surrounds Hazlewood’s situation after he was limited to just eight overs on Friday.
He was given just a few overs to bowl to Joe Root before he was taken out of the attack.
Hazlewood has previously made Root his bunny in Ashes combat, having dismissed the England captain eight times.
He remained on the field, but remained unused by Pat Cummins in the final session of the day.
Fox Cricket reporter Kath Loughnan said on Saturday morning Cricket Australia is continuing to tell reporters Hazlewood is fine.
“They’re saying, ‘All is OK. He’s going to be bowling’. It just makes it all the more bizarre as to why he didn’t bowl at all during the final session,” she said.
Aussie great Mark Waugh said the situation has left him bewildered”.
“That’s strange, I can’t work that out,” he said.
“For Josh Hazlewood to only bowl 11 balls to Joe Root yesterday, it bewilders me, really.”
Batter Marnus Labuschagne denied Hazlewood was injured after the end of play on day 3.
“Hoff’s fine. We’re just making sure we’re prepared really well,” Labuschagne said.
“We know that there’s some times at the Gabba where there’s not as many wickets that fall and we’ve just got to hold in that period and make sure we rotate our bowlers well so we’ve got someone fresh.”
Good sign after Warner suffers ‘severely bruised’ ribs
David Warner was spotted out inspecting the Gabba pitch early in day 4 after he failed to take the field on day 3.
Cricket Australia has told reporters Warner didn’t walk out at the start of England’s second innings after suffering “severely bruised ribs” on his way to a first innings knock where he fell agonisingly short of a hundred.
West Australian seamer Jhye Richardson had replaced him as a substitute fielder.
Speaking on Fox Cricket, sideline reporter Kath Loughnan revealed the injury came after he was struck in the chest by a Ben Stokes delivery the previous day.
“Cricket Australia have just told me David Warner has severely bruised ribs,” she said.
“He had a scan overnight which cleared him of any fracture, but he still is in severe discomfort with badly bruised ribs.
“He may come on at some point this afternoon. They are just going to have to monitor him.
“This was after a nasty blow from Ben Stokes on day two.”