Stuart Broad could barely believe what he had done after his eight-wicket return took England to within sight of Ashes glory on a historic day at Trent Bridge.
Broad took a stunning eight wickets for 15 runs, including two in the very first over on Thursday, as England dismissed Australia for just 60 on the fast-medium bowler’s Nottinghamshire home ground.
Australia were all out in 18.3 overs – the shortest completed first innings of a match in the 138-year history of Test cricket.
By stumps, England, 2-1 up in the five-match series, were 4-274 – a lead of 214 runs – with Joe Root 124 not out.
Broad struck with just the third ball of the match when he had Chris Rogers out for nought, caught at first slip by England captain Alastair Cook – who won the toss – to give him his 300th Test wicket and the Australia opener his first duck at this level.
“It was just one of those days you dream of really – home ground, to pick up 300 Test wickets and then get a career-best,” said the 29-year-old.
“My previous-best ever bowling was 7-12 against Kimbolton School under-15s,” added Broad, the son of Ashes-winning former England opening batsman Chris Broad.
“I never dreamt I’d be able to get eight wickets in a spell.
“The pitch just offered the perfect amount. It wasn’t really swinging massively, wasn’t seaming loads … I think we got seven edges and only one play-and-miss.”
Eight of Australia’s batsmen were out to catches in the slips – all off Broad – with Ben Stokes holding a superlative one-handed effort to dismiss Adam Voges for one.
“We were brave enough to put six catchers in at one stage – and there were some amazing catches,” said Broad.
“Stokes’s is one of the best ones I’ve been on a field for.”
Root then made sure England pressed home their advantage with a superb century, his second of the series.
“Rooty is on fire, he must be one of the best batsmen in the world,” said Broad.
“I keep seeing the scoreboard pop up on the TV, or see it on the ground, and it doesn’t look real to me.
“It’s a bit of a freak day. But it’s what you work hard for, those moments when it all works for you.
“A 214-run lead after day one is as powerful a performance as I’ve been involved in.
“To bowl a team out for 60 is obviously very special. But to then be 270 odd (as well) is an amazing achievement.”
Broad added: “It’s been the perfect day for us, but it all starts again tomorrow (Friday).
“Australia will fight back. That’s the sort of characters they are, and we want to try to bat them out of the game.”