England's Joe Root laments 'bitterly disappointing' Ashes defeat

World Cup winners England, set an imposing target of 398 to win, collapsed to 97-7 in the post-lunch session on the fifth and final day before being bowled out for 146.

Published: 05th August 2019 10:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2019 10:32 PM   |  A+A-

England's cricket captain Joe Root bats during the second day of the first Ashes Test cricket match between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham, England. (Photo | AP)

By AFP

BIRMINGHAM: Joe Root described England's comprehensive 251-run defeat by Australia in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Monday as "bitterly disappointing".

World Cup winners England, set an imposing target of 398 to win, collapsed to 97-7 in the post-lunch session on the fifth and final day before being bowled out for 146.

The match was a personal triumph for Australia's Steve Smith, who in his first Test since a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal, scored 144 and 142.

"It does hurt. It is bitterly disappointing," said captain Root. "We played really good cricket in the majority of the Test match. Credit to Australia. They fought hard to get back in it.

"(Steve Smith played) two brilliant innings. We have to keep working hard to get him out. Obviously it was hard that we lost Jimmy (Anderson) early on. These things happen. We have to take it on the chin and come back hard at Lords."

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Australia capitalised on the absence through injury of Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, who only sent down four first-innings overs before breaking down with a calf problem that meant he did not bowl again in the match.

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Speaking about Anderson's fitness, Root said: "It was a group decision to select him. He passed all of the fitness tests. It is one of those freak things that happen in cricket. It is disappointing. We have got to respond to that and get things right."

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