First Test at Lord's: McGrath storms in to force abject surrender from sorry England

AUSTRALIA 190 & 384 ENGLAND 155 & 180 Australia won by 239 runs

The wooden board, which commemorates every performance of this magnitude at the ground, is the poorer without the name of S K Warne on it, but at least the 35-year-old had the satisfaction of taking the catch which took Australia to a memorable victory.

It was the equally brilliant McGrath who deprived Warne in what will probably be his last Test appearance at Lord's. The fast bowler took four wickets for three runs in 23 deliveries as England capitulated from their overnight score of 156 for 5 to 180 all out in 50 demoralising minutes of play.

It was fitting that Simon Jones was "c Warne b McGrath" because it was the bowling of these two greats which dashed England's hopes, and highlighted the vacuum in class that still exists between these two teams. McGrath finished the match with the awesome figures of 9 for 82, yet it was Warne who led the Australians into the Lord's Pavilion with a souvenir stump in one hand, the match ball in his pocket and the outstanding analysis of 6 for 82.

Before this match, Matthew Hoggard had the gall to suggest these two cricketers were over the hill. It will go down as one of the most ill-considered comments in Ashes history. After receiving his man of the match award McGrath went to join his family in the Mound Stand.

But what now for England? That five of Michael Vaughan's team had not played a Test against Australia was deemed to be an advantage, because they would not bring the mental scarring of previous failed campaigns into this series.

The players will attempt to put on a brave front. They will state that England underperformed, and that when they play to their full potential they can compete with this great Australian team.

Indeed they can. But, sadly, only when Australia do not play to theirs. And after this drubbing several of them will now realise just how good Ponting's side is, and the size of the task they face.

This was a very good Australian performance but they can play better. The tourists' batting on the first day was poor and several of their star names - Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Ponting - failed to perform. But, in the same breath, it is hard to believe that McGrath will bowl with such precision in the second Test at Edgbaston in 10 days' time.

During this period Vaughan and Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, have a lot of work to do. There will be calls from some quarters to change the team, but this would achieve very little. This was England's best team at 10 o'clock on Thursday morning and it should be in Birmingham on 4 August.

Angus Fraser's highlight

England lost the match by 239 runs but their bowlers still made an impression. The second ball of the game, bowled by Stephen Harmison, hit Justin Langer on the right elbow and Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting on the head. Ponting also had stitches in a wound on his cheek. The ferocious bowling allowed Michael Vaughan's attack to dominate the series.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks