Stuart Broad produced one of the greatest spells of Ashes fast bowling on his home ground to dismantle a shellshocked Australia for 60 and Joe Root struck a century as England took a giant stride in their quest to regain the urn by ending a remarkable opening day to the fourth Investec Test with a lead of 214.
Broad stepped up in the absence of the injured James Anderson to lead the attack sensationally at Trent Bridge, bamboozling the tourists with an inspired display of seam-and-swing bowling to return astonishing career-best figures of 8-15 in 9.3 overs.
The 29-year-old required just three deliveries to become the fifth Englishman to take 300 Test wickets when dismissing Chris Rogers en route to the joint fastest five-for in Test history – 19 balls.
While England held their nine catches superbly after winning the toss, including a stunner from Ben Stokes at gully, Australia’s batsmen were architects of their own downfall with poor shot selections against the swinging ball on a green strip in overcast conditions.
In a remarkable passage lasting just 18.3 overs, the quickest a team has even been dismissed in the first innings of a Test, extras were the top score with 14.
To make matters worse for the tourists, the sun came out to greet England’s reply and Root showed them how to bat on this surface by hitting an unbeaten 124.
Broad and Root’s heroics therefore left the hosts strong favourites to wrestle back the Ashes they surrendered Down Under in 2013/14 with one match to spare.
After a five-minute delay to proceedings due to a small shower, Broad soon got the Nottingham crowd on their feet with two wickets in a lively opening over.
The right-arm paceman, operating from round the wicket, condemned Rogers to his first duck in 46 Test innings, the left-hander edging to first slip, before finding some extra bounce from over to have Steven Smith also taken in the cordon.
It was 10 for three when David Warner feathered the second delivery from Mark Wood, filling Anderson’s boots, behind.
Shaun Marsh, recalled at the expense of brother Mitchell, lasted only four balls until he poked at Broad and nicked to Ian Bell at second slip.
Adam Voges, attempting to drive, was next to go, edging towards gully where Stokes somehow dived to his right to hold on to a stunning one-handed catch that seemed to have passed him.
Australia skipper Michael Clarke, short of runs this series, lived a charmed life when he inside-edged his second ball, from Wood, for four and then almost shovelled a bouncer to fine-leg.
But a third loose shot proved to be his downfall, slashing hard outside off stump to be caught by Cook at slip, as he became Broad’s victim for the 11th time in Tests, more often than any other bowler.
Australia appeared to be struggling to reach 50 when Steven Finn, in his second over, swung one through the defences of Peter Nevill with the score on 33.
Broad then had Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc caught by Root at third slip and, despite 5.3 overs of resistance from Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood, the local boy wrapped up the innings to complete the third-best Ashes figures and draw level with Fred Trueman on 307 scalps.
Root arrived at the crease at 34 for two after Starc had Adam Lyth, having sweetly drove the left-armer for two fours in a tricky three-over spell before lunch, caught behind and Bell trapped lbw with a full inswinging delivery.
Cook and Root moved their side into the lead in 18.3 overs, the same amount of time Australia occupied the crease this morning, the skipper earning a life when edging a beauty from Starc through Clarke and Smith, who got a hand to it, in the slips for four to bring up 2,000 Test runs versus Australia.
Starc soon pinned Cook with a spearing yorker for 43 to bring Root and Bairstow together, the Yorkshire pair driving home England’s advantage in the evening session.
While Bairstow gained more confidence throughout his 105-ball knock, Root was at his fluent best from the off and cut Warner for four to move to a century off 128 deliveries.
Bairstow missed out on the chance of a maiden Test ton when he surprisingly clipped Hazlewood straight to Rogers at square-leg just before the close.
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