Result
3rd Investec Test, Birmingham, Jul 29-31 2015, Australia tour of England and Ireland
136 & 265
(32.1 ov, target 121)
281 & 124/2
England won by 8 wickets
Player Of The Match
1y
• The Report by Brydon Coverdale

Bell guides England to 2-1 Ashes lead

Ian Bell's second fifty of the match ensured a 2-1 series lead for England and snuffed out any hopes Australia raised during a tail-end fight that set England a target of 121

Match centre 
Scorer: Binoy
Commentator: Alan Gardner
Scorecard summary
Australia136(36.4 overs)1st Innings
Chris Rogers52 (89)
Adam Voges16 (34)
James Anderson6/47(14.4)
Steven Finn2/38(10)
England281(67.1 overs)1st Innings
Joe Root*63 (75)
Moeen Ali59 (78)
Australia265(79.1 overs)2nd Innings
David Warner77 (62)
Peter Nevill59 (147)
Steven Finn6/79(21)
England124/2(32.1 overs)2nd Innings

4.25pm: That's a wrap from Edgbaston, folks. We've had the most fast-forward Test of a helter-skelter series - will any of them get to the fifth day? You can read all about this one in Brydon's report and then hang around on the site for more of the good stuff, including a bumper bag of video treats, featuring Ricky Ponting and Jonathan Trott. For the second time in two years, Australia have had a swing and a miss in Birmingham. Hopefully we've hit the spot but, from myself, Vishal and Gnasher, it's thanks and goodbye. Join us again for the fourth Test next week. Cheerio!

4.10pm: Here go with the presentations, then, starting with the umpires, who were pretty solid all round. Now a word with Australia captain Michael Clarke: "Very hard to explain, I guess credit has to go to England, they came out and bowled really well on day one. I still would have batted first, the wicket's deteriorating, we wanted to get deep into day four, day five. It seemed and swung throughout the game, probably the best time to bat. [Concerns about batting?] The form at No. 4 certainly concerns me, we're playing with 10 players, so the captain needs to get off the plane. [Worried about game?] Not really, the work's there, for me it's about the preparation. Credit to England, they've got me out early. I think my record at five is obviously better than at four but I'll do what's best for the team. I think our tail did really well, Mitchell Starc batted well, I was proud of how the boys fought. I think around 180-200 would have given us a chance but England played well. You don't want to play against a weaker team, someone else gets a chance for England, I'm sure they'll do well. Our goal is to win the series, I still believe we can do that. We have to play well but it's pretty simple."

England captain Alastair Cook: "It's been a fantastic three days. Firstly thanks to everyone who's turned up, we spoke about the atmosphere before and the crowd was as loud as I can remember. I don't think the pitch was 140 all out but the way Jimmy bowled, backed up by Steve was fantastic. It's the sort of pitch we want to play on. For Steven to do what he's done after two years out... Sport has a way of testing you, for him to bowl as he has here, it's great reward. We couldn't have a happier dressing room for Finny, after all the work he's done. [Bell contribution?] Class is permanent and Ian Bell is a fantastic cricketer. He's had a tough few games, that happens when you play for a long period of time but Ian Bell is a class player. [Miss Anderson] This was an opportunity, at 1-1, to grab it and Trent Bridge will give someone else an opportunity. If the [win-loss] sequence carries on to nine I'll be very happy but it would be nice if we didn't do the same at Trent Bridge."

Steven Finn is named Man of the Match: "When I dreamed about it before the game I didn't think it would go like that. You have to trust the work you've done throughout the county season, then when you go out and try to get in the groove. I don't think I've celebrated a wicket like that first one but I just wanted to be out there. [Spell on second afternoon] That was as good as I've bowled in Test match cricket. I try to appreciate every moment I have in the England shirt and the round of applause when I went down to the boundary, the crowd have been brilliant all week. It teaches you to enjoy the highs more, to be here and help win a Test match for England is great. [Onwards and upwards?] Let's not speak too soon, I feel good with the ball in my hand, who knows what will happen at Trent Bridge. But I'm really happy and glad to be playing for England again."

3.55pm: For a moment there, it looked as if Bell and Root didn't want to miss out on tea. Anyway, they'll get a proper sit down and a tot of something a bit stiffer to drink after seeing England through what could have been a ticklish chase without any drama. Edgbaston rises to hymn another victory over Australia - the fortress in Brum is still standing and England have got their noses back in front in this see-saw series.

Ian Bell, the Warwickshire man, made sure he was there to finish things off: "Dressing room's full of enjoyment, we had a tough week at Lord's, Australia showed us how to bounce back and we've done that. The bowlers showed us the way on day one. I was determined to be there at the end - Geoff Boycott told me this morning how bad a shot mine was in the first innings. It's been a great week for us but there's a lot of hard work to come over the weeks to come. Being around friends and family, I've had great support here. I know how hard it's going to be, as it always is against Australia."

That result means England extend their yo-yo record to WLWLWLW. It was also a rare victory for the side batting second, at least over recent Ashes contests - though Edgbaston has a fickle reputation in that regard. Alongside Bell, Steven Finn and James Anderson were key in shaking up Australia after they had sauntered to that enormous victory at Lord's. Anderson won't be in the line-up at Trent Bridge, however, which should give Australia a lift as they attempt to level the series when the fourth Test begins on Thursday. They don't, of course, have to win the series to retain the urn.

Anyway, we've had an early finish here, comfortably inside three days, so why not utilise the time to send in questions for Geoffrey Boycott here or by tweeting them with #BowlatBoycs?

32.1
4
Marsh to Root, FOUR runs
on the pads and Root whips it through square for a boundary - that's is, England have won by eight wickets and take a 2-1 lead in the Ashes

Hello everyone, I've returned to cut the cake...

end of over 326 runs
ENG: 120/2CRR: 3.75 
Joe Root34 (62)
Ian Bell65 (90)
Nathan Lyon11-1-52-0
Mitchell Marsh1-0-4-0

And Alan will take you through England's winning moments. Scores level

31.6
1
Lyon to Root, 1 run
comes down and flicks the ball by taking it on the full to mid-on for one
31.5
Lyon to Root, no run
goes back in the crease and blocks it after the turn

Just two more to go

31.4
4
Lyon to Root, FOUR runs
bit of flight around off and Root sweeps that nicely to the backward square leg boundary for four
31.3
1
Lyon to Bell, 1 run
more towards the batsman, he helps it to midwicket for a quick one
31.2
Lyon to Bell, no run
turn outside off again, Bell leaves again

Long-on comes in

31.1
Lyon to Bell, no run
turning in from outside off, easy leave for Bell
end of over 314 runs
ENG: 114/2CRR: 3.67 
Joe Root29 (59)
Ian Bell64 (87)
Mitchell Marsh1-0-4-0
Nathan Lyon10-1-46-0
30.6
4
Marsh to Root, FOUR runs
short this time, moving away too and Root steers that past backward point with a well-timed cut for four
30.5
Marsh to Root, no run
full on middle now, Root presents the straight bat to drive to mid-on again
30.4
Marsh to Root, no run
full on middle and leg, pushed down straight to mid-on

Samrat Ahuja: "How the tide changes! Bell came into this match to protect his career, and ends up enhancing his reputation by taking the bull by the horn! "

30.3
Marsh to Root, no run
shapes it away from length again, Root leans and leaves
30.2
Marsh to Root, no run
seams it away a bit from outside off, Root lets it go
30.1
Marsh to Root, no run
pretty full outside off, it's blocked down to mid-on

"When was the last time England's top 4 batsmen had 4 character names?" Astute observation, Ben. Maybe a question for Steven or Zaltzman. Here's Mitchell Marsh for the first time in the innings

end of over 304 runs
ENG: 110/2CRR: 3.66 
Ian Bell64 (87)
Joe Root25 (53)
Nathan Lyon10-1-46-0
Mitchell Johnson7-3-10-0
29.6
2
Lyon to Bell, 2 runs
lots of bounce, edge balloons and goes wide of slip as Bell went back to cut and got a thick edge
29.5
1
Lyon to Root, 1 run
turning in sharply, he goes back and works it to fine leg
29.4
1
Lyon to Bell, 1 run
comes down this time and drives it with the turn towards midwicket
29.3
Lyon to Bell, no run
goes back to open up for the short ball and pulls. Falls a few yards short of Marsh at midwicket, just at the edge of the circle
29.2
Lyon to Bell, no run
waits for it to turn and defends to short leg now
Best performances - batsmen
DA Warner
77 runs (62)
11 fours
0 sixes
Control72%
Productive shot
cover drive
21 runs
4 fours
0 sixes
121613150426
IR Bell
65 runs (90)
10 fours
0 sixes
Control83%
Productive shot
flick
14 runs
1 fours
0 sixes
21670144112
Best performances - bowlers
JM Anderson
O
14.4
M
2
R
47
W
6
Eco
3.20
  • FT
  • Y
  • F
  • G
  • SG
  • S
OFFLEG
RHB
1W
2W
1W
LEGOFF
LHB
1W1W
ST Finn
O
21
M
3
R
79
W
6
Eco
3.76
  • FT
  • Y
  • F
  • G
  • SG
  • S
OFFLEG
RHB
1W
2W1W
1W
LEGOFF
LHB
1W
Match details
Edgbaston, Birmingham
TossAustralia , elected to bat first
SeriesAustralia tour of England and Ireland
Player Of The Match
Steven Finn
Series resultEngland led the 5-match series 2-1
Match numberTest no. 2173
Season2015
Hours of play (local time)11am start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00
Match days29,30,31 July 2015 (5-day match)
Umpires
Aleem Dar
Chris Gaffaney
TV Umpire
Marais Erasmus
Reserve Umpire
Rob Bailey
Match Referee
Ranjan Madugalle