Aussies thrash sorry England at Lord's
Australia secured a crushing 251-run victory over England at Edgbaston to take a 1-0 lead in the Ashes series.
Set an academic target of 398 to win, the Three Lions were 13-0 overnight but predictably crumbled to 146 all out as off-spinner Nathan Lyon decimated the line-up.
The 31-year-old took 6-49, with paceman Pat Cummins claiming 4-32 to act as the perfect foil in Birmingham.
First-innings hero Rory Burns was the first to go for 11 with the score on 19, fending off a short ball from Cummins to Lyon at point before Jason Roy and Joe Root steadied the ship.
The score reached 60 when Roy inexplicably danced down the wicket to Lyon and was bowled by one that turned sharply through the gate.
The Surrey man made 28, with skipper Root falling for the same score and to the same bowler just five runs after Joe Denley was caught close in off Lyon for 11.
At 85-4, the writing was on the wall but that soon turned to 85-5 after Jos Buttler was bowled by Cummins.
Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali failed to hang around for too long and it was left to local man Chris Woakes to provide some entertainment for the crowd with 37 from 54 deliveries.
He was last man out after Stuart Broad went for a duck and the Aussies will now be full of confidence for the second Test at Lord's, which starts on August 14.
Root was full of praise for Steve Smith, whose hundred in each innings proved the difference between the sides, but will keep working on plans to dismiss the former skipper at headquarters.
"He (Smith) played two brilliant innings. We have to keep working hard to get him out," he said. "Obviously it was hard that we lost Jimmy early on.
"These things happen. We have to take it on the chin and come back hard at Lords."
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.