Australia beat England in one of the all-time great Ashes Tests

Australia beat England in one of the all-time great Ashes Tests

Australia somehow prevailed in one of the all-time great Ashes Tests to beat England by two wickets and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

On an unbearably tense final day of another Edgbaston classic, ninth-wicket pair Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon added an unbroken 55 to defy the raucous crowd and get Australia to their target of 281.

In doing so, they extracted revenge for Australia’s famous two-run defeat on this ground 18 years ago, when the tailenders just fell short of reaching a target of 282.

Cummins, with 44 not out, and Lyon’s unbeaten 16 took Australia to their narrowest Ashes win in terms of wickets since 1907.

England looked to be surging towards victory when captain Ben Stokes produced a magical slower ball to bowl Usman Khawaja for 65 and Joe Root held a stunning return catch off Alex Carey.

But as a breathless match entered its final hour, Cummins and Lyon swung the bat at England’s short-ball plan to inch Australia closer.

Stokes almost dismissed Lyon with a flying catch for the ages when 37 were still needed, the skipper losing control of the ball as he dived backwards at square leg.

The target ticked down, the evening drew in. With three runs required and less than five overs remaining, Cummins deflected Ollie Robinson towards third man, a diving Harry Brook fumbled and Australia had an incredible victory.

A series that has already lived up to the hype continues with the second Test at Lord’s on 28 June. (BBC)

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