Thursday, 25 November 2010

England given short, sharp shock

They may have had the perfect preparation and gone into the game high on confidence, but England where given a stark reminder of just how difficult it will be to win in the Ashes down under.

One day one at the GABBA, a ground Australia haven’t lost at in 22 years, England actually began well – winning the toss and electing to bat on a decent looking surface.

As those following the livescores last night will tell you, that air of optimism was blown away within three balls when captain Andrew Strauss attempted to cut a Ben Hilfenhaus delivery that was too close to his body and the ball flew to Mike Hussey at gulley.

In a series that will no doubt be close and keenly contested (hopefully) England know they will have to stand up and be counted and win mini-battles throughout each contest.

Sadly for England fans they lost everytime on day one, with Australia clawing themselves into contention on each occasion England looked to be settling into the game.

None more so than at 197-4, when with England set for a decent score Peter Siddle dismissed Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad in successive deliveries for an historic hat-trick that left England reeling.

Siddle became the 11th Australian to take a hat-trick, the fifth in Ashes and the first against England since Shane Warne at Melbourne in 1994.

The Victorian paceman, playing on his 26th birthday, continued to torment England and soon snared Graeme Swann lbw before debutant Xavier Doherty finished England off with two late wickets.

It was the sort of day England feared most. A score of 260 is a poor return on what was a decent pitch and those keeping up to date with the latest Ashes scores tonight will know that England’s bowlers have to dig themselves out of a massive hole.

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