Woakes and Broad Lead England's Dominance on Day One of Fourth Ashes 2023 Test

Jul 20, 2023

Woakes and Broad Lead England's Dominance on Day One of Fourth Ashes 2023 Test Image

Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad displayed outstanding performances on the first day of the fourth Ashes 2023 Test, guiding England to a commanding position as Australia finished at 299-8 at stumps at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Woakes proved to be England's standout bowler, claiming impressive figures of 4-52 in 18.5 overs. Meanwhile, Broad's exceptional form continued as he took 2-68 in 14 overs. The day's play was marked by a remarkable achievement for Broad, who joined an elite club by becoming just the second fast bowler and fifth bowler overall to reach the monumental milestone of 600 Test wickets.

Electing to bowl first, England's skipper Ben Stokes made a bold decision that paid off, putting Australia's batting lineup to the test. Broad's relentless display began when he dismissed Usman Khawaja lbw for three early in the morning session, securing his 599th Test wicket.

David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne formed a promising second-wicket partnership of 46 before Woakes intervened, claiming Warner's wicket for 42.

The ever-reliable Steve Smith seemed destined for another substantial innings before Mark Wood's express pace trapped him lbw for 41, breaking his crucial 59-run stand with Labuschagne. Smith then combined with Travis Head for a 50-run partnership, but Broad's persistence paid off as he dismissed Head via a pull shot, earning his historic 600th Test wicket.

Labuschagne, who has been enduring a lean patch, managed to reach his 16th Test fifty before being dismissed lbw by Moeen Ali. Woakes, on the other hand, demonstrated his all-round brilliance by returning to the attack to trap Cameron Green lbw and subsequently claiming the wicket of Mitchell Marsh, caught behind by a stunning one-handed diving catch from Jonny Bairstow – both in the same over.

Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey displayed resilience and was poised to remain unbeaten until stumps, but a late withdrawal of the bat resulted in his dismissal, caught behind by Bairstow off Woakes. As stumps approached, Mitchell Starc remained unbeaten on 23, while captain Pat Cummins was at one not out.

With England firmly in control on the first day, the stage is set for an enthralling contest as Australia aims to recover and England looks to further strengthen its position in the much-anticipated fourth Ashes Test.

Brief Scores: Australia 299-8 in 83 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 51, Mitchell Marsh 51, Chris Woakes 4-52, Stuart Broad 2-68) against England