After the first two days of the Durban Test, there was no clear winner as both South Africa and England fought tooth and nail to grab the advantage. It was on day three that the visitors finally pulled ahead with a solid all-round show.
If the third Test at Edgbaston lasted for two and a half days, the fourth Test at Trent Bridge finished even quicker, with England wrapping up things very early on the third day, and thus regaining the Ashes
Shambolic. Embarrassing. Pathetic. Disastrous. Cricket pundits and critics would be running out of adjectives to describe Australia's batting effort (or the lack of it) on day one. How really does one describe a batting innings lasting less than 20 overs on the opening day of a crucial Ashes Test?
Stuart Broad skittled Australia for 60 in the morning session and then Joe Root piled on the runs in the afternoon and evening sessions to give England 214-runs lead at the close of day 1 of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
England bowled out Australia for 242 to win the first test of the Ashes by 169 runs. Australia began the day needing a total of 412 runs over Days 4 and 5, but England bundled out Australia on day 4 which ensured that day 5 is not needed.
In spite of the fact that Australia were dealt a big blow just days before the Ashes, with the sudden retirement of Ryan Harris, the visitors would still head into the opening Test of Ashes 2015 at Cardiff as favourites
At the end of the third day's play at Lord's, New Zealand seemed to hold all the aces. They had taken a significant first-innings lead and had also picked up a couple of key second-innings England wickets.