Just as things looked to be going perfectly at Edgbaston, England were dealt a potentially massive blow when James Anderson was forced to leave the field through injury.
The fast bowler, who took five wickets in the first innings and picked up the crucial scalp of David Warner in the second, was midway through an over when he clutched his side and was unable to continue.
It is feared the bowler may have damaged an intercostal muscle, which would make him a serious doubt not only for next week’s Test at Trent Bridge, but also for the remainder of this Investec Ashes series.
At the moment the current word from the England dressing room is that Anderson is experiencing tightness in his side and that the medical team will continue to monitor him.
The injury is a real blow to England and Anderson, who would perhaps have wanted a slightly better present on what is his 33rd birthday, particularly given the fast bowler’s stellar record at Trent Bridge, the venue of their next match.
Despite the injury to Anderson, England remain very well poised to take a 2-1 series lead, Australia only managing to draw level with England’s first innings score with just four wickets remaining.
The possibility of their first two-day Test defeat for 125 years remains a very real possibility.