Rory Burns scored an unbeaten century to give England the much-needed stability in their first innings of the first Test of the Ashes series at Edgbaston. Burns’ maiden century also brought England within 17 runs of surpassing Australia’s first innings total. At the end of the second day’s play, England were 267 for four with Burns batting at 125. Joining him at the crease was Ben Stokes, who remained not out for 38.
England started their first innings from 10 for no loss with Jason Roy and Rory Burns at the crease. However, Roy departed for just 10 runs with the team’s total being just 22. Captain Joe Root came to bat at number three and added 130 runs with Burns for the third wicket. Root also completed his fifty before getting out for 57 off the bowling of Peter Siddle, who took a brilliant catch on his follow-through.
Joe Denly, who replaced Root, looked comfortable as he began to play his text-book strokes comfortably. But he got out cheaply for 18 off James Pattinson’s bowling, adjudged LBW. Jos Buttler too could not contribute with the bat and departed for 5. However, that was the last England wicket to fall.
Meanwhile, Burns went on to score his maiden Test and Ashes century. He later told BBC, “It is something I have dreamt of. I was on 99 for a while – to get over the line is awesome. I was calm throughout it. I was waiting for a ball to come into my area. It was one for the purists – hard work. I enjoy that. Getting in the battle and doing what you can is enough for me.”
England now need just 17 runs to level the Australian total for the first innings with six wickets in hand. The hosts have a great opportunity to take a considerable first innings lead before aiming to bowl their opponents out cheaply.
Scores in brief:
Australia 284: Smith 144, Broad 5-86
England 267-4: Burns 125*, Root 57