For England's Gunn & Moore ambassadors Joe Root and Graeme Swann, the Lord’s Test couldn’t have gone much better.
Swann made a valuable unbeaten 28 in the first innings, took five wickets as Australia were dismissed for 128 and then returned four for 78 to wrap up victory in the final over of the fourth day in front of a packed house at the home of cricket.
Root though, ran away with the man-of-the-match award with a stellar performance. Going in to the second innings, he had made three starts in the series so far, leading to some speculation that this place at the top of the order was under threat, and that the decision to jettison Nick Compton had been too hasty.
Root promptly let his bat do the talking with a majestic knock of 180 in 338 deliveries to bat Australia out of the game. It was he who stood firm as Australia charged in late on day two and reduced England to 30 for three.
It was he who blunted them on day three, his patience, application and technical skill first keeping them out and then enabling him to capitalise when the loose balls came along. In the final session as the bowlers tired he took full advantage to register a century which he later admitted was ‘special’.
He even chipped in with the key wickets of Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke as Australia were bowled out for 235 on the final day, his off breaks more than useful as Swann had to leave the field briefly following a collision with Khawaja.
England were glad to get him back on the field though and he certainly delivered with the wickets of Chris Rogers, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin and finally James Pattinson as the Australians failed to come to terms with his control of line, length and the variation he got from a wearing day four pitch.
It was a long day, but a highly successful one. England and GM march on towards Ashes glory. Can anybody in the Australian camp stop them?
Next stop, Old Trafford.
Photos courtesy Getty Images
Swann celebrates taking the winning wicket at Lord's