Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bday boy Siddle destroys England

Sports - Cricket - Ashes - 1st Test - Brisbane - Day 1

My picks of the first day:

All the hype, build-up and over-confident and -optimistic interviews and anticipations of fans, players, former players and sports pundits alike were quickly forgotten and tossed out the window, with Peter Siddle stealing the show on his 26th birthday with a hat-trick, the main wicket-taker with six in total, to see England all out for no more than 260 runs. He is only the second Australian to do so in over 100 years - joining Shane Warne on that record list. Australia ended the day safely on 25-0 and will be looking to build on their early confidence with a high total.

Run of play: Advantage to...

1st session, England 86 for 2 at lunch: Australia for exposing and exploiting England's nerves and testing them thoroughly with Cook and Pietersen trying to steady the ship, Hilfenhaus and Watson the visitors' icebergs so far.

2nd session, England 172 for 4 at tea: Australia - similar to first session, some good batting and partnership that kept England from a total collapse with a solid display by Cook, but the Aussies kept nagging and the pressure up with a couple of wickets.

3rd session, England 260 all out; Australia 25-0 at the end of day one: Australia - Siddle turned the match completely on its head and to the Aussies' advantage, dismantling England and destroying any hope of a high score. They will hope nothing similar will happen to them on day two; it just seems to be a too good to be true start for them.

Partnerships: They got started but never really going and rolling: 41 between Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, 76 between Cook and Kevin Pietersen, 74 between Cook and Ian Bell and then came the hat-trick and total collapse thanks to Siddle. They were good starts, nothing more than that. Just when you thought the ships was steady again and ready to go, it hit another rock and had to restart its repair again. Cook and Bell scored over half of the total and spared England from total embarrassment but not from the wicket carnage.

Bowling: No questions about it who stole the show, Peter Siddle hitting England bad and leading to their knock-out. Ben Hilfenhaus and Shane Watson did the early work to keep England at bay and under control, Xavier Doherty and Siddle doing the rest to see them fall all out. Beautiful bowling, exemplary control and capitalisation. We will see if James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann can do anything even close to resembling this total takeover.

Ups: At least there was a little bit of batting shine and nice boundaries inbetween. But the bowling definitely took over the show and got the crowd going. Brilliant atmosphere. Flawless umpiring too, none of the referrals having turned any of the decisions around.

Downs: Has this already spoilt the show? Hopefully not! After all the build-up, England cannot fall at the first hurdle! Please not! They should learn from their mistakes and explosive fall and try to turn it around and against Australia. Please let it not become a one-sided show already!

Hero to zero: Andrew Strauss! As mentioned above, after all the confident interviews and promising and over-confident predictions - the England skipper fails and falls miserably first over! He couldn't have made it easier for the Aussies! Come on Straussie - get a grip!!!

Australia v England first Test day one as it happened

- England win the toss at the Gabba in Brisbane and choose to bat, skipper Strauss gone third ball v Hilfenhaus, after cutting a slower loosener (81mph) straight to Hussey at gulley, jumping up and back, not able to get on top of the ball. After all the talk and preparation, an easy ball to fall to! 0-1; Trott blocks... 0-1, dramatic first over, a wicket maiden! Strauss more than disappointing and disappointed!

- Siddle opens with a maiden at the other end v Cook, not much pace in the pitch.

- First runs by Trott, first ball of the third over, straight googly edged for four on the offside, another boundary on the third ball tapped across the ground on the onside, gone with the wind for four. 8-1 after 3 overs.

- Cook off the mark in the fourth over with a relieving single. Lbw shout by Siddle in the same over, given not out, sent to third umpire by Ponting for a review. It shows the ball was nicking the off-stump, just, original decision stands, Trott is safe, just, 10-1 after 4. What a start...

- 11-1 after 5, disastrous start for England after 3 balls but Cook & Trott trying to even things out.

- 12-1 after 6. 20 for 1 after 7. Over rate 14, run rate 2.86.
- Trott's edge falls just short of Ponting at second slip, , 23 for 1 after 8. Trott's Australian tour so far: 24, 23, 12, 20, 41, hoping for a bigger, land mark score. Temperature 25¤ Celsius, humidity 44%.

- Trott playing across slightly again, edge short of Hussey v Hilfenhaus, 16 from 32. 27-1 after 9, Cook 7, Trott 18, 2 extras (1 NB, 1 WD).

(Pietersen warming up on the sideline, just doesn't look the same with the tash!)

- 28-1 after 10, first blood to the Aussies, Cook & Trott trying their best to dry it up.

- Mitchell Johnson on for Hilfenhaus in the 11th over. 30-1 after 11.

- 35-1 after 12, Cook 9, Trott 24, run rate 2.88 per over.

- 36-1 after 13, first hour gone.

- Watson on for Siddle in the 14th over, first ball v Trott, beautiful shot goes for 4, second ball wide. 41-2: Trott bowled by Watson last ball of the over, took him a bit to get loose, ball pitched up, nicked into the stumps, too square shot, 29 off 53 - not an all too bad knock but got away with a couple of lucky decisions.

- KP on none-striker's end, single brings him on second ball v Johnson, off the mark with 3 off second ball he faced. This is going to be interesting... Cook pulls away for 4, his first, the sixth of the day, he is on 14. 49-2 after 15, 3.27 run rate.

- 50-2 after 16.

- Hilfenhaus back on 17th over, Johnson out of the attack. 53-2 after 17.

- 56-2 after 18.

- 61-2 after 19.

- Pietersen's first boundary takes him into double figures v Watson. 66-2 after 20, Cook on 22, KP on 10, again England are trying to steady the ship after Australia capitalised with a second wicket.

- Doherty on just before lunch for Hilfenhaus to get England into further trouble, sweet first spinner, just needed the slightest of a touch by Trott. Single brings KP against the spinner, see if the batsman can master his weakness... 3 off the second ball brings Trott back on. End of the over 70-2, 29 partnership.

- 70-2 after 22, Watson completes his 5th over with figures of 5-0-14-1.

- 73-2 after 23.

- A couple of overs to go until lunch. Cook crashed the shot away to the covers, straight at Doherty on his debut and he drops it at extra-cover! Lucky excape for Cook. Partnership of 34 off 60 balls, 75-2 after 24, Cook on 27 off 62 and KP on 14 off 27.

- Doherty v KP again, will he make up for the drop? KP gets a lucky boundary off an awkward low-ish ball, 79-2 after 25 overs, there is a definite spark between the two... Sweet smile by KP - for now.

- Johnson on for the last over before lunch on 3-0-11-0. Single brings in KP again, another single, back to Cook. 41 off 69 partnership... KP falls over on the shot, slipping on the surface, good that it went for four! 86-2 as they break up for lunch. Advantage to Australia I would say. England's nerves showing and tested thuroughly, Cook and KP trying to steady the ship, Hilfenhaus and Watson the visitors' icebergs so far.


- 172-4 at tea after 56 overs, 47 off 97 partnership, Cook 60, Bell 26:

- Cook was the standing player and partner of the day: 76 with KP, 8 with Collingwood, both falling making it 117-3, 125-4 respectively.

- Similar to first session, some good batting and partnership to keep England from a total collapse in the afternoon with a solid Cook, but the Aussies kept nagging and the pressure up with regular-ish wickets. Pressure still on England, advantage still to Australia.

- Hilfenhaus kicks off the last session, Watson at the other end, both giving away wides, 50 partnership up.

- 197-5 Cook falls v Siddle, caught by Watson for 67 off 168 balls, a full delivery that pulls a shot out of the batsmen and forces the wicket, his third wicket of the day.

- Prior in and out first ball, bowled by Siddle, ball came in on the player, duck, 197-6, Siddle on a hat-trick, all going Australia's way in the last session. Broad on to survive the hat-trick ball, crowd anticipating... Lbw given out! But England send it to the third umpire for a review, the wicket stands! Siddle the first since Warne to destroy England with a hat-trick, the second one to do so in 100 years, on his birthday! England sinking 197-7! A moment of cricketing history! A hat-trick maiden by Siddle, 5 wickets on the day - certainly woke up the subdued crowd!

- Session so far: 10 overs, 25 runs, 3 wickets. No big scorer for England. On a good-ish note, Bell reaches his 24th Test fifty. Swann's the one with him now by the way...

- 225-8 Swann out lbw, sent for a review too but looks an obvious one, dead out. 6 for 43 for Siddle, excellent bowling, excellent umpiring, and rain pooring down on England - umpires walking off with the rain too, the crowd not happy at all!

- But they are all back on before they were off... Anderson joins Bell. Nearly nr 7 for Siddle, wicketkeeper couldn't hang onto the ball...

- England survive not even another half hour with Bell and Anderson both falling to Doherty in quick succession, 254-9 and 260 all out.

- Australia survive seven overs at 25-0, with only one noteworthy appeal by Broad turned down, pleading for lbw against Watson, but he made clear contact. Nothing's worked out for England today, that's for sure!

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