Newspapers in London on Sunday excitedly talked up the prospect of England’s first Test win over Australia at Lord’s in 75 years after a dominant performance by the home side in the second Ashes test.
“It has been 75 years since England won a Test against Australia at the home of cricket. But Andrew Strauss’ men are on the brink of ending that misery,” said the News of The World tabloid.
When rain forced an early close on Saturday’s third day, England were 311 for six in their second innings, a lead of 521, with two days remaining -- leaving Australia in need of a record-breaking total to win.
“Aussies without a prayer at Lord’s,” was the splash in The Sunday Times, while the Sunday Express headlined: “Aussies on the Run.”
“The course of history is about to change,” wrote Alec Stewart, England’s most capped cricketer, in the Sunday Mirror.
“Australia have lost their invincible aura and we have a wonderful chance to see England beat the Old Enemy at Lord’s for the first time since 1934.”
He added: “If Australia are to hang on for a draw now they will have to show all the toughness for which they are renowned.”
Many newspapers relished Australia captain Ricky Ponting’s dropped catch -- the News of the World ran the headline “What a silly Rick!” -- but one commentator in The Sunday Times warned the visitors would not give up easily.
“England moved, edgily at first but later with a swagger, towards a position of nearly total command in the second Test match yesterday and are poised to push for an historic victory some time today or tomorrow,” he wrote.
“There is still much work to be done as another 10 Australia wickets will not come easily on a good batting surface, but before the game England would have given a lot to be in the situation they find themselves in now.”