It appeared that England were badly missing strike bowler James Anderson, who suffered a side strain on Thursday that has ruled him out of the fourth test.
When he stepped off the plane in early 2014 after being sent home early from the last Ashes tour without featuring in any of the tests, Finn faced an uncertain future as a cricketer.
“Unless we get those three wickets tomorrow and knock off the runs we’ll look pretty silly talking about it now”, Finn said.
Bairstow was caught by Peter Nevill for 5, making Johnson the fifth Australian to take 300 test wickets.
Australia held on to force the third Ashes test into a third day, limping to stumps at 168-7 in the second innings for a 23-run lead on Thursday.
“It has been a while since I’ve played Test cricket so to come here and take wickets was great”, said Finn.
First innings hero and birthday boy James Anderson got injured and left the field in between. Finn, returning to Test after two long years, notched up a five-wicket haul on Thursday to rattle the Aussie batting lineup in their second innings.
By then England should be 2-1 up with two to play – an astounding transformation given Australia’s series-levelling 405-run victory in the second Test at Lord’s.
But whereas that clash had taken place on a largely placid pitch, the course of this Test owed much to Michael Clarke’s decision to bat first on a seaming surface offering sideways movement.
The morning session at Edgbaston was fraught for both sides as England tried desperately to take the three wickets they needed and Australia urgently sought to establish a lead which might offer a semblance of hope.
Coming back into action, Finn saw the back of Johnson to complete to claim his seventh wicket of the match and 97th of his Test career.
Chris Rogers, whose 52 had been the lone batting highlight of Australia’s first innings, fell for six when he was trapped lbw to Stuart Broad.
Australia’s plight worsened in the second over after tea when out-of-nick skipper Clarke (three) was caught well down at third slip by Adam Lyth, Finn striking again with his very next delivery as Voges hung out his bat and picked out Ian Bell at second slip. It is a remarkable comeback for Finn who just 18 months ago was seen as ‘unfit for selection.’.
Mitchell Marsh ensured that Finn didn’t get a hat-trick but he was bowled by the same bowler for 12 a little later.
“Rogers said Australia could not afford to let England build a decent lead”.
Warner, after a strokeful 62-ball 77, was scalped by Anderson.
Joe Root with 63 top-scored for England who were boosted by an entertaining eighth-wicket stand of 87 between Moeen Ali (59) and Broad (31).