Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad clinched his best-ever Test figures to blow Australia away Getty Images

England took a decisive step towards regaining the Ashes after Stuart Broad took a career-best 8 for 15 and Joe Root struck an unbeaten century as an embarrassed Australia were bowled out for 60 during an astonishing day of cricket on day one of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.

Michael Clarke's side were dismissed in a barely believable 100-minute spell on the opening morning in the shortest first innings in Test history to leave Australia's hopes of retaining the urn in tatters.

Root (124 not out) struck his eighth career Test century as he and Jonny Bairstow (74) put on a 173 for the fourth wicket to leave England 274 for 4 at the close, and with a lead of 214 giving them an all-but unbreakable advantage heading into day two.

On a day where records tumbled during an extraordinary Australia display – their lowest score in England for 113 years – the destiny of the 2015 Ashes took a definitive amid a combination of subtle seam movement, flawless slip catching and desperate batting.

While England can toast another day of dominance that sees them close in on a series victory, a harrowing day for Australia means there are major questions over the future of captain Clarke, whose own gutless dismissal potentially signals the end of his international career.

Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad took the joint-fastest five-for 19 balls in an incredible spell of bowling Getty Images

A series that had taken violent swings in momentum in the first three Tests reached a vital juncture with England within one win of reclaiming the Ashes they humiliatingly lost in Australia 18 months ago.

Mark Wood was confirmed as the replacement for the injured James Anderson while Australia made another alteration as Shaun Marsh surprisingly replaced younger brother Mitchell. Having been defeated by eight wickets at Edgbaston, Australia were hoping to stage a similar comeback that saw them overwhelm England at Lord's.

But in perhaps the most destructive spell of bowling in Test history, after England won the toss under overcast conditions, the tourists were left battered and bruised to leave them hanging on to the Ashes by their fingernails.

Though without Anderson, the highest Test wicket-taker in Nottingham, Broad came to the fore and he took two wickets, including the 300th of his Test career, in the opening over of the game first as Chris Rogers (0) edged to Alastair Cook and Steve Smith (6) found Root in the slips.

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes took a remarkable catch to sum up Australia's plight Getty Images

Australia were then reduced to 21 for 5 after a record 25 balls, with David Warner getting a beauty from Wood, before Broad struck in successive overs as Adam Voges (0) was caught brilliantly by Ben Stokes before Clarke slashed horribly straight to Cook.

Steven Finn continued his form from Birmingham as he bowled Peter Nevill (2), but Broad was unstoppable from the Pavilion End; taking the joint-quickest five-for as Root again caught well as Mitchell Starc (1) edged hopelessly.

Though the visitors had surpassed their lowest ever Test score, England and Broad were unrelenting with the ball as Mitchell Johnson (13) and Nathan Lyon (9) both succumbed as Australia were bowled out for just 60 in 18.3 overs, a record for the first innings of a Test.

The pain for the Aussies would only be accentuated when England got to the crease and though Adam Lyth (14) continued the lacklustre start to his international career, the hosts built a healthy lead as the seaming conditions made way for glorious sunshine and blue sky.

Joe Root
Centurion Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took the game firmly away from Australia with a 173-run partnership Getty Images

Starc, who had earlier done for Lyth, trapped Ian Bell (1) lbw but Cook and Root took an attacking approach and put on fifty for the third wicket as conditions became perfect for piling on the runs. Cook was dropped by Steven Smith as he slashed hard at a length delivery from Starc but he was eventually out for 43 via surprise full ball from the Australian left-armer.

Any hope Australia had of the exit of the England skipper sparking a clatter of wickets was firmly dismissed by both Root and Barstow as the Yorkshire pair pushed England's lead beyond 100. Both players went to their half centuries – Barstow's first in Test cricket for two years after a spell out of the team – with a flurry of shots off the back foot, while Root drove superbly as he honed in on another century.

Root indeed went to three figures but with the day reaching the dying embers, Bairstow fell short as he was caught by Rogers off Josh Hazlewood but the wicket took no gloss off England's performance, which puts them on the brink of a stunning Ashes victory.