SYDNEY – Those Australians who eschewed late nights in front of the television woke up on Tuesday to the news that their cricket team had achieved a thumping first Ashes test victory lauded as “A Win for the Ages” in local media.
The Australians, reduced to 122 for eight in their first innings on day one at Edgbaston, roared back to claim a 251-run victory on Monday and take a lead in an Ashes series in England for the first time since the 2005 opener.
The victory came early enough, just before tea on day five, to make some of Tuesday's Australian newspapers and the triumphant front pages heralded the heroes of the hour - redeemed former captain Steve Smith and off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
“Lyon king roars in epic Ashes victory” was splashed on the front page of The Australian, with the back page leading on “The Miracle of Birmingham”.
Fairfax Media led on a magnificent batting performance from Smith, who scored centuries in both innings on his test return after a 12-month ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
“Modern master” splashed the Sydney Morning Herald, while its Melbourne sister paper, The Age, went with, “Steve Smith bats and bats and bats” on its front page.
Smith's achievement was all the more remarkable, the Herald's Malcolm Knox said, for the fact that the notoriously rowdy crowd at Edgbaston had booed and lampooned him throughout the match.