The Gabba remains a venue of despair for England, with Australia clinically closing out the first Ashes Test in Brisbane to take a 1-0 ahead of the second instalment beginning in Adelaide on Saturday.Needing only 56 runs for victory, David Warner and Bancroft resumed and made light work of the pursuit for a thumping 10-wicket triumph. A few dark clouds threatened overhead but England needed a biblical downpour. It never arrived as the home side reached 0/173 with minimal fuss.Bancroft showed a cool head after finding himself all over the back pages, being given a life on 60 when he edge one off Jake Ball past first slip but looking anything but the Test match rookie otherwise. His selection over Matt Renshaw has been justified.
He hit the winning runs to finish on 82, while Warner flirted with a century before the match ended with him on 87. It was the highest opening stand in an Ashes Test for Australia since Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden combined for 185 at The Oval in 2005.
Warner was back to his best as the England attack struggled to make anything happen on the day-five pitch. At one point Joe Root tried to dig one in short, such was the frustration of the tourists as a match they were in after three days sped away from them late.
Smith named man of the match
Australia’s captain has been named man of the match for his outstanding innings and his tactics
“We had to show some really good character,” Smith said.
“The wicket was slower than we anticipated it would be,” adding congratulations to his bowlers and the “genius” Nathan Lyon.
“Fortunately we got ourselves in the lead and then bowled really well in the second innings.”
Smith was full of praise for Cameron Bancroft on debut but was far more modest in regards to his own efforts.