Birmingham: A superb rearguard innings of 44 not out by skipper Pat Cummins and his crucial 55-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Nathan Lyon (16 not out) helped Australia scamper to a two-wicket victory over England in the nail-biting first Ashes Test of the 2023 series at the Edgbaston here on Tuesday.
Chasing a fourth innings target of 218 to win the match, Australia, who ended Day Four at 107/3, were in trouble after losing Alex Carey for 20 with the score 227/8.
The first game of the new ICC World Test Championship cycle ended in dramatic fashion, with Cummins playing a captain's knock to steer his side to a famous victory in the Birmingham twilight.
Despite losing the first session of the day because of rain, England, who declared their first innings at 393/8 and bowled out for 272 in their second, were sniffing their chances as they only needed two wickets with Australia needing 54 runs.
However, Cummins and Lyon shared an unfinished 55-run partnership for the ninth wicket as they gave Australia the winning start in their attempt to wrest back the Urn in England after many years.
England looked favourites when Cummins came to the crease, but the skipper added 18 runs alongside Alex Carey and then played the decisive part in the match-winning stand with Nathan Lyon as the opening match of the Ashes went down to the wire.
It was Cummins who hit the winning runs, ending on 44 not out and embraced by the unbeaten Lyon (16 not out).
Rain washed out the whole first session to compress the day's play, with Australia resuming on 107/3 and all results still possible when play did start on a cloudy afternoon.