Stuart Broad said the chances of him bettering his historic eight-wicket burst at Trent Bridge are slim, describing his man-of-the-match performance on the first morning of the fourth Test as a once in a lifetime spell.
Broad’s eight for 15, the best figures from a fast bowler in an Ashes Test, effectively sealed the series win inside 93 minutes as Australia’s batsmen folded in 111 balls – the shortest first innings of all time.
“That the best spell I’ve bowled,” Broad said. “Our bowling coach, Ottis Gibson, said to me those spells come once in a lifetime. Sometimes you do it for your school, sometimes you do it for your club. But to do it for England against Australia, I couldn’t have dreamt it.
“Our catching was spectacular that morning. It summed up all the hard work we’ve been putting in, that hour and a half. It was a reward. I’m sure I’ll never better that eight for 15 as a bowler. It was a special morning.”
Broad picked up a ninth wicket for the Test in Australia’s second innings but had to take a backseat on Saturday morning, watching as the Durham pair, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, wrapped up the innings victory.
Wood claimed the final scalp of Nathan Lyon and took to his imaginary horse in the celebrations, topping off a breakthrough summer with the ball for the 25-year-old from Ashington, who has 18 wickets in his first five Tests.
“I can’t quite believe it. The summer couldn’t have gone any better for me,” Wood told BBC’s Test Match Special. “To miss out at Edgbaston and then to be back here and take the winning wicket is an incredible feeling, one I’ll never forget. I was still shaking in the dressing room half an hour later. I haven’t played a lot because of my injury record but I don’t really care, I’ve won the Ashes.
“I don’t remember much of taking that last wicket. That feeling when we were in the group … I think I got stood on about five times. I still have some ear ache from the shouting. It is not great being teetotal as there is champagne everywhere.
“I never thought a year ago I would be in the side, let alone taking the final wicket to win it. I wanted to be myself and prove I was good enough. I think there is more to come.”
Joe Root’s first innings 130 set up his side’s 391 for nine declared and took him to No1 in the world Test batting rankings – the first England player since Michael Vaughan in 2003. Root has scored 443 runs in the series, with two centuries and two half-centuries, at an average of 71.79. He told Sky Sports: “It’s hard to put it into words – the way that this squad of players has come together and not relied on one or two individuals.
“We bowled them out for 60 when I was wearing the sweater and a few of the other lads are superstitious so I had to keep it on.
“The credit goes to the bowlers – 20 wickets wins you Test matches, and fingers crossed our good catching can continue, because the fewer chances you need to create the better.”