LONDON • James Anderson will miss the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge because of the side strain he suffered at Edgbaston on Thursday.
That was the only bad news England had to deal with yesterday as they cantered to an eight-wicket win over their arch-rivals Australia in the third cricket Test to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
After wicket-keeper Peter Nevill and fast bowler Mitchell Starc showed up Australia's top-order batsmen with defiant half centuries in the morning, England were left with a target of 121 to win.
And they achieved that target just before tea, with Ian Bell slamming a belligerent 65 and Joe Root keeping him company with a patient 38.
Nevill (59) and Starc (58) combined well in an eighth-wicket stand of 64 during Australia's second innings 265 all out.
They also managed to do something that eluded five members of Australia's top six in the innings by reaching double figures, with left-handed opener David Warner's 77 the only major contribution by a specialist batsman.
England fast bowler Steven Finn, recalled for his first Test in two years following an injury to Mark Wood, led the attack with his best figures at this level of six for 79.
Finn's return surpassed his previous Test best of six for 125 against Australia at Brisbane in 2010.
England suffered a setback before play started when Anderson, their all-time most successful Test bowler, was ruled out of the remainder of the match and next week's Test at Trent Bridge with a side strain.
Anderson, whose Ashes-best six for 47 in Australia's meagre first innings 136 extended his record England haul to 413 Test wickets, suffered the injury while bowling on Thursday.
While the England and Wales Cricket Board has refused to confirm whether the fast bowler has suffered a tear, the standard recovery time even for a minor issue is usually around two weeks, with an eight-week absence considered the worst-case scenario.
There must be a strong possibility that Anderson's season is over.
Trent Bridge has been a happy hunting ground for Anderson as a total of 53 wickets at an average of around 19 apiece confirm.
In the right conditions, the ball has swung under clouds since the redevelopment of the Radcliffe Road end of the ground.
The most obvious step for the selectors is to recall Mark Wood, the Durham bowler, who has stayed with the team after being omitted in part because of fitness for the third Test.
THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE