Inspired England record first Ashes win at Lord's in 75 years

Inspired England record first Ashes win at Lord's in 75 years


England's Andrew Flintoff holds a stump after their 115 run victory over Australia

Chasing a record 522 for victory, the Australians put up a brave fight with Michael Clarke (136) and Brad Haddin (80) leading the fightback before folding up for 406 about 15 minutes before the lunch break on the fifth and final day.

The capacity crowd at the historic Lord's erupted into frenzied celebrations when spinner Graeme Swann took the last wicket off Mitchell Johnson to give the hosts a memorable triumph which will be remembered for Andrew Flintoff's fiery five for 92.

It was a remarkable comeback from England who just about managed to save the first Test in Cardiff with the last wicket pair of James Anderson and Monty Panesar playing out 69 balls to ensure a nail-biting draw.
The burly Flintoff, who is on his swansong series, turned out to be the wrecker-in-chief with an outstanding exbition of seam bowling and was fittingly given the honour to lead his teammates into the dressing room after the victory.

Resuming at their overnight score of 313 for five, the Aussies never really looked like saving the match after Haddin was dismissed by Flintoff without adding to his overnight tally.
The dismissal of Clarke, who held the innings together with a composed effort, was the final nail in the Australian coffin and it was only a matter of time before the hosts had their moment of glory.

Clarke had himself to blame for his wicket as he lost his concentration and stepped out to Swann only to see the ball turn in and knock down his stumps. His 224-minute vigil at the crease contained 14 boundaries.
The remaining Aussie batsmen could not hang around for long though Johnson (63) did unleash some lusty shots in the dying moments to narrow down the margin of the defeat.

Australia's Mitchell Johnson, right, is bowled out by England's Graeme Swann. AP Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted that his side was outplayed by the hosts in all departments of the game but promised to regroup as a team and come hard in the remaining three matches.

"It is disappointing to lose the game. We were outplayed in all departments of the game. We have to regroup as a team and be ready when the next game starts", Ponting said.
The two teams will now travel to Birmingham where the third Ashes Test will begin from July 30.

Flintoff, despite pain in his right knee that led him to announce that he will retire from Tests after this series, bowled 10 consecutive overs from the start of play to earn his third five-wicket haul in the longer version of the game.
Off-spinner Graeme Swann had 4-87 and removed Clarke, who was Australia's main hope in an attempt to reach a record run chase.

The hosts were humiliated in the 2006-07 Ashes series, losing by a 5-0 margin. The first Test in Cardiff was drawn after a battling match-saving effort by England.
James Anderson set an early positive tone for England with two lbw appeals in the first four balls of the day, though both were given not out by umpire Billy Doctrove.
Flintoff then claimed the first wicket of the morning before Australia had registered a run. Brad Haddin's resistance, which spanned 196 minutes, came to an end when he edged to Paul Collingwood at second slip for his overnight score of 80. The score was then 313-6.
Flintoff's bowling speeds were consistently above 90 mph and, to emphasise his threat, struck established batsman Clarke on the glove with a spiteful bouncer. The next ball swung into Clarke and cut away from the outside edge of his bat.

Johnson experienced similar hardship against Flintoff and was hit on the shoulder when he failed to connect with a hook shot when on 11. Two balls later he connected for one of his nine boundaries.
Johnson edged Stuart Broad towards Flintoff at second slip when on 15 but the ball just failed to carry and the batsman scrambled a single. Later in the same over, Clarke reasserted his authority by cover driving for a well-timed boundary.

Swann produced the key breakthrough by bowling Clarke, who had advanced down the pitch only to see the ball dip under his bat and spin back on to the off stump. Swann's ecstatic celebration illustrated the team's relief at removing Clarke.

Australia's vice-captain batted for 319 minutes, faced 227 deliveries and struck 14 boundaries.
Nathan Hauritz (1) was bowled by Flintoff after offering no stroke and Peter Siddle was also bowled by the Lancashire all-rounder, who celebrated his fifth wicket with his usual modesty, kneeling on the Lord's turf and acknowledging the applause.

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