The 10th wicket partnership for Australia in the previous innings had, of course, been a major problem for England, but neither Haddin nor Pattinson were involved in that stand, which was between Agar and Phil Hughes, so England were confident of claiming a straightforwards win, even when the partnership today made steady if unspectacular progress for a fair while.
The Australians went to a delayed lunch on 291/9, 20 runs short of their target. Whilst to those watching on their TVs it might have felt ridiculous to leave the action with a result so close, spare a thought for us in the ground, who had been on the edge of our seats in the burning sun unable to tear ourselves away from the thrilling play. Well, most of us anyway. We were truly astonished to see people wandering for beers during this intense period of play. As my friend remarked, if people need a beer so desperately, then maybe they need to admit they have a problem.
England, whose use of the DRS had been exemplary, had two reviews to spare, and Cook elected to use one now. For us in the stand, unable to hear the audio, and without a clear view of the apparently decisive Hot Spot shots, were left in agonising suspense until Dar finally gave Haddin out. England went wild, as did we in the crowd - my memory is a haze of giddy excitement, as it dawned on us that we had witnessed one of the great Test matches. This is the one sporting event I have been to which I will be telling people I saw in 50 years' time, and they won't believe me. Actually, thanks to Sky Sports' "Fanpic", they won't have a choice but to believe me.
The usual post-match formalities ensued with no major moments of note, and now we are left to contemplate the rest of the series, starting with the 2nd Test at Lord's on Thursday. Of the last 10 Ashes series, England traditionally start very badly, with only one opening-Test victory coming in 1997. Of England's three recent series victories, they started with a loss in 2005, and in 2009 and 2010/11 they began with a very unconvincing draw. It will be a worry for Australia that England generally get stronger as an Ashes series continues.
Rather than the usual TGIAF analysis, we will indulge in the media tradition of handing out ratings out of 10 for the players involved.
Alistair Cook - An unconvincing performance in the first innings was ended after an ugly swipe at a wide ball was caught behind. His careful performance in the crucial second innings was rewarded with a half century, only for him to be promptly removed on 50. But the real contribution he made in the match was his captaincy. Generally good use of his bowlers - Finn being used today the only major failure - was second to his fantastic use of the DRS system, which combined with Australia's failures in a technologically-dominated Test, has scored him a big psychological victory over Michael Clarke. 7.5
Joe Root - He out-lasted his captain in his first innings in Ashes cricket and put together a promising partnership with Jonathan Trott, before a ripper of a Siddle delivery cut his innings short. His second innings effort was much poorer, being caught behind in the final over before tea on day two for 5. He will be thrilled to have picked up his first Test wicket when he had Cowan caught at slip in a promising two-over spell on day four. 5.5
Jonathan Trott - Top scored in England's first innings, looking perhaps the most in-touch of England's batsmen, before chopping onto his own stumps with a sloppy shot. His second innings was only one ball long as he departed for his first-ever golden duck. This dismissal was the first major controversial moment in the match as he was given out via an Australian review, despite replays seemingly showing the bat hit the ball first, and with no Hot Spot available due to technological failings. But for all this, there is no denying Trott had brought this on himself, playing a stupidly and uncharacteristic shot first ball in the final over before tea. 6.0
Kevin Pietersen - After a long time away from the side through injury, it wasn't clear what form Pietersen would be in when he made his return to the crease on day one. A nervous start sprinkled with the occasional gem of a shot was ended when he was caught behind due to a quality Siddle delivery. His second innings effort was key though, coming in after Root and Trott had departed in successive balls. He and Cook played out the final session very carefully, holding back his aggressive instincts, before cutting loose the following morning, before eventually departing after playing onto his stumps. 7.0
Ian Bell - Going into the series with poor form, he followed the general England trend in the first innings by getting in and getting out, as usual to a dangerous Siddle delivery, in fact one of the best of the lot. His second innings performance was essentially a match-winner for England, really his first match-winning effort against Australia, which must be a huge boost to his confidence. He played with utter composure, bringing Stuart Broad through a period where he barely looked as if he wanted to stay for longer than 20 minutes, and fully exploiting Australia's decision not to have a third man. He was eventually removed once Australia were into the England tail-end. He did his reputation as one of the world's best fielders no harm either, with a sensational stop on the final day keeping Haddin on strike moments before Anderson took the final wicket. 9.0
Jonny Bairstow - Like Root, another Yorkshireman making his Ashes debut. He was left with the duty of looking after the tail in the first innings, and punched through several boundaries, although his dismissal moments after Broad had departed was unnecessary and part of a horrible England collapse. His second innings was much nervier, departing after lunch on day three after running out of lives. He did look superb in the field though, perhaps the successor to Bell as England's best man in the field. 5.0
Matthew Prior - In England's first innings he was part of a pitiful collapse after a lazy shot saw him easily caught, the one dismissal all match which infuriated me the most. He repeated the trick of giving the Australians catching practice in the second innings, albeit after a decent scoring cameo. His dismissals against shorter deliveries on the off-side will interest Australia. His keeping had been steady for four days, before a poor day today, costing England vital runs. 5.0
Stuart Broad - With the bat Broad did no harm to his reputation as England's closest approximation of an all-rounder. Some very stylish shots, with a good scoring-rate across two innings. It was his second innings, where he scored a composed half-century which was huge in the context of the match. His decision not to walk after clearly edging in the second innings was criticised, but it certainly does not make him a monster amongst angels, as many cricketers would do the same. After barely bowling in the first innings, albeit taking the huge wicket of Ashton Agar thanks to some intimidatory short bowling, he was huge important on day four for England, taking the two most important Australian wickets of the day, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke. Overall he was very controlled in his bowling. 9.0
Graeme Swann - The less said about his batting the better. He posed some threat with the ball in the first Australian innings, taking a couple of wickets. In the second innings he performed largely the same, although across much longer spells. This was a bit disappointing though given the huge role he was expected to have. He was the only bowler in the match to be launched for sixes (four times), and Australia's tactic of going after his bowling went largely unpunished. 5.5
Steven Finn - Well, his two wickets in two balls on day one was really the first time England entered the match. However, that was largely the end of his positive contributions to the match. 2.0
James Anderson - Unstoppable. Heroic. A bit grumpy. 9.5
Shane Watson - Started explosively in both innings. He was caught behind from the bowling of Steven Finn quite earlier on day one, but in the second innings helped provide Australia with a platform to make their brave run-chase attempt. Unafraid of the new ball, he made himself a big worry for England, but he did fail to remove his reputation of failing to go on to make big scores. His bowling was so tight it might have Scottish ancestry, and at times really helped increase pressure on England, although less so in a second innings where England were happy to score as slowly as necessary. 7.0
Chris Rogers - The old hand played very steadily, going under the radar compared to Watson's bombastic batting but was no less effective. A half century was well-earned in the second innings, although he would have liked to have gone on to punish England more, instead he was removed by a brilliant Anderson slower ball after some Pom planning. 6.5
Ed Cowan - Earned his first innings golden duck after driving unnecessarily against Finn. Looked incredibly shaky in the second innings, before being eventually removed by the part-time spin of Joe Root. 1.5
Michael Clarke - After all the pre-match talk of his being potentially the world's greatest batsman, jaws hit the floor all around the ground when Anderson produced one of the all-time greatest seam deliveries to clip the top of his off stump and leave him run-less. He managed to get off the mark in the second innings and was part of a dangerous partnership with Steve Smith, batting carefully, worrying England with the damage he threatened to cause if he reached the close still in. But another sensational delivery saw him off cheaply again, this time from Stuart Broad. After the talk of Broad not walking the day before, it was a nice reminder that Stuart wasn't breaking the mould when Clarke refused to go, even using up a review. He managed his bowlers fairly well, particularly his introduction to Test cricket of Agar, but his risky use of the DRS system all but cost Australia the match, with reviews used up way too earlier. 2.5
Steve Smith - Until Australia's remarkable first-innings 10th wicket parnership, Smith had been his side's rock, getting the match's first half century with some rapid scoring, before being caught behind off Anderson. His partnership in the second innings was much slower and very determined, but Australia will be disappointed with how he let himself be dismissed by Swann immediately after Clarke had been removed. Positive in the field, and it was a little bit of a surprise not to see his bowling. 7.0
Phil Hughes - Perhaps the two most contrasting innings of the match. A supreme 81* in the first innings, played with class, was all-but ignored in the furore over that Agar innings. He was however removed for a duck in the second innings, with a Swann delivery which pitched only marginally inside the line of the stumps. It's always hard to criticise a batsman who gets out early on, before they're really comfortable, so he will have much to be pleased about after the Test. 7.5
Brad Haddin - With the gloves he made some sloppy errors, although he was fairly solid. He departed cheaply as Australia's lower-middle order disintegrated in the first innings, but in the second innings calmed down a similar clatter of wickets on the end of day four. Going into today as the most senior batsman still in, he played a quite magnificent innings of sheer defiance as he took Australia to the brink of victory, with good judgement to play sensibly against the in-form bowlers, whilst attacking Finn and occasionally Swann when they bowled sloppily. Almost a hero. 8.0
Peter Siddle - If today resembled Edgbaston in 2005, then Siddle recaled his Brisbane 2010 form. A clatter of wickets on the first day amidst some fearsome bowling was not repeated in a second innings where he went for very little runs without posing any threat. However, he finished with three wickets that innings somehow, mainly due to gifts from the batsman. Will be the bowler England are most wary of at Lord's. 8.0
Mitchell Starc - The Australian I was most fond of (alternatively the one I disliked the least) due to his excellent spell last year with Yorkshire, he was quite wayward and costly on day one, aptly replacing namesake Johnson. But suddenly he found some control to clean up former teammate Bairstow before seeing Finn off first ball, although his hat-trick delivery was unworthy of the build-up. In the second innings he was very controlled, one again taking two wickets in two balls, this time Root and Trott amidst controversy, before another poor hat-trick ball. Despite kicking off day four with a Harmison-esque wide, he was a threat throughout. 7.0
James Pattinson - Equally as wayward to begin with as Starc, he picked up first innings wickets only through English incompetence. Marginally better in the second innings, he still racked up a century of runs against at the highest economy rate for his side. He belied his tail-end position to provide a composed innings today to give England a real scare, but along with Cowan is the most likely Australian to be sweating over his place for the 2nd Test. 4.0
Ashton Agar - A 19-year old picked for his Test debut on the opening day of the Ashes, to overall shock, meant he had very low expectations. That he was a spin bowler from Australia did nothing to help that. So his record-breaking 98, his spells of dangerous bowling in the second England innings and his mature play in the Australian run chase is virtually all you could ask for. 9.5
This match has absolutely everything, and it was a true honour to be present.