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Australia races to 10-wicket victory

#Ashes, 1st Test, Match Report

Warner, Bancroft break 87-year-old record as host goes 1-0 up in five-Test Ashes showdown.

Australia needed just 16 overs and a little over an hour on the final morning to complete a resounding 10-wicket win over England in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on Monday (November 27).

Overnight 114 without loss after being set a target of 170 to go 1-0 up in the five-match series, Australia cruised to victory on the back of undefeated 80s from David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the debutant. Their 173-run stand broke an 87-year-old record for the highest ever unbeaten opening stand in a successful chase in Test cricket.

Warner was unbeaten on 87 off 119 deliveries when Bancroft brought up the winning runs on his way to a more sedate 82 not out off 182 deliveries. It was Warner’s ninth Ashes half-century and his 25th in all Tests, while for Bancroft, it was a maiden Test fifty.

“We had to show some really good character throughout. Obviously losing the toss, and the wicket was a lot slower than we anticipated it would be. We had to work really hard,” said Steve Smith, the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 141 in the first innings.

After England had been bowled out for 302 in their first innings, Australia was struggling at 201 for 7 when Smith came to its rescue with his 21st century. With support from Pat Cummins, who made 42 in an eighth-wicket stand of 66, Smith made sure Australia eked out a slender but important 26-run first-innings lead.

England seemed well placed to make a match of it despite losing two early wickets, but the dismissal of captain Joe Root, trapped leg before by Josh Hazlewood for 51 shortly before lunch on day four, led to a remarkable collapse. The last six wickets went down for just 82 runs as England was bowled out for 195 in 71.4 overs.

“For three days, we were excellent. Bar Steve's knock, we were right in it," argued Root. “It's frustrating. We have to move on quickly and make sure we don't make the same mistakes in Adelaide.”

While Australia extended its unbeaten run at the Gabba to a 29th year since its defeat at the hands of Viv Richards’ West Indies in 1988, England remains winless at the venue since 1986.

The teams now head to Adelaide for the first pink-ball, day-night Ashes Test starting on December 2.

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