England hold 39-run lead in fourth Test

Mitchell Starc struck thrice, but England’s march towards series victory in the fourth Ashes Test continued apace after lunch on day one.

The hosts were 3-99 at tea on Thursday, leading by 39 runs at Trent Bridge.

Stuart Broad left Australia’s Ashes campaign in disarray, skittling the tourists for 60 in a session that ranks among the country’s worst.

Broad snared 8-15 in 9.3 overs, while Australia lost 7-29 in the space of 56 deliveries after being asked to bat first by Alastair Cook.

There were many damning numbers that summed up the carnage.

One of the most apt was Adam Lyth’s 14.

The England opener was caught behind and continued to look terribly out of sorts, but he managed to outscore every Australian.

Australia’s deplorable dig lasted 18.3 overs, the last-wicket pair batting through almost six of them.

It was the fastest first innings in Test history.

England had a lead by 2.56pm local time – they took exactly 18.3 overs.

Cook and Joe Root needed only 51 balls to put on a half-century stand.

Starc trapped Cook lbw in the penultimate over of the second session, having dismissed Ian Bell in the same fashion.

But Australia required no shortage of miracles to deny England a win that will ensure the urn changes hands.

Extras top-scored for the tourists with 14.

Neither side had previously experienced such ignominy in the Ashes.

“It’s the sort of score you expect to see at the under-9s on the village green,” Ian Botham observed for Sky Sports.

Australia were nine down when they passed 47, the memorably woeful total they managed in 2011 at Cape Town.

It was nonetheless embarrassing for Australia, their seventh-lowest Ashes total and smallest in England since 1902.

Australia’s three best batsmen were dismissed in the opening 10 minutes.

Michael Clarke, who demoted himself to No.5 in the order, extended his slump by lashing at a wide ball with minimal footwork.

Cook snaffled the resultant catch as Clarke was out for 10, becoming Broad’s fifth victim of the match.

It was the first time since 1913 that an England bowler had a five-wicket haul before lunch on the first day of a Test.

Broad achieved the feat in 35 minutes of mayhem.

“It’s pretty unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk in,” Broad said of his career-best haul.

The visitors had no answers as the 29-year-old squared them up to find edges with ease at his home ground.

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