Tag Ashes 2010-11
Have Aussie pitches become batsmen friendly or were the bowlers from either side in this Brisbane test below par? itsonlycricket believes in prasing over criticising so, lets just say batsmen from both sides impressed with their skills..
Scorecard : 1st Ashes test 2010.
Peter Siddle's hattrick was the highlight on gloomy day 1 after England had made a reasonable begining having won the toss, despite losing captain Andrew Strauss off the 3rd ball of the match. Alastair Cook was allowed to stay on backfoot he thrives on as he added 41 runs with Jonathan Trott who survived a decision review but later was clean bowled off an incoming delivery from Shane Watson. Kevin Pietersen and Cook took England to lunch at 86 for 2 wkts from 26 overs.
Pietersen began second session well, stroking inaccurate Aussie bowlers, specially spearhed Mitchell Johnson who spread the ball to all edges of the pitch but never really attacking all important stumps. Half century stand for 3rd wicket came off 77 balls before Peter Siddle ate up Pietersen and Paul Collingwood in back to back overs to put home team in front at 4 wkts for 125 on board. Cook was Siddle's 3rd victim of the day but Queenslander wasn't finished as yet. next ball, he bowled wicket keeper Matt Prior and off next ball, sent down the perfect yorker to get stuart Broad leg before off stump = hattrick, in the 66th over of the day and England 7 wickets down before 200th run on board.
Ian Bell, the last recognised batsman at the crease, did whatever he could with a half century but Aussies had well and truly taken the drivers seat in the match, specially after they finished no wickets down at the close of play on first day.
Day 2 started tilted towards Aussies as openers negotiated their way to 78 runs although James Anderson bowled some magical deliveries. Anderson's perseverance finally produced result, in form of Watson and next man Ricky Ponting who seemed clueless during his 26 ball stay. Steven Finn and offspinner Graeme Swann contributed wickets of Michael Clarke and Marcus North respectively with some fine bowling to leave home team tottering at 5 wkts for 143 runs. Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin raised hopes of a healthy first innings lead for Australia with an unbroken stand of 77 at close of play on second day.
By day 3, Gabba pitch had baked out perfectly and it was now a batting paradise. Haddin and Hussey raised their century stand off 197 balls, 200 off 399 balls and then stretched it to 300 off 541 balls, demoralising England bowlers no end who didn't bowl that bad.
Day 4 demanded some resilient batting from English side after Aussies had taken solid 221 run lead, and they did so, raising 188 run opening stand as both openers scored century. Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 132 the close of play with Trott on 54, diluting hopes of a decisive result of this test match.
Even on day 5, English didn't push for win, knowing pitch wasn't responsive enough to break bowlers back. Cook scored his double century, Trott second consecutive century against Australia before England declared one wicket down, setting target 297 or home team to bat out 41 possible overs. Aussies did, and match resulted 91st draw between two teams.
Captain's speakAndrew Strauss :- "Getting out in the first over in the first Test is a pretty horrendous way to start. We felt pretty low then and after day three we felt downbeat as well, we'd done good things and we were behind in the game. But we dug pretty deep and we're very happy to be nil-all".
Ricky Ponting :- "The wicket did change dramatically and the last three days of the game have been dominated by the bat".
Cook & Trottbroke the record of biggest partnership for any wicket at Brisbane with their 329 unbroken stand, which interestingly came right after Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin had re-written same record with their 307 in innings before, breaking 64 year old record held by Don Bradman & Allan Hassett with their 276 runs back in 1946.
Strauss + Cookis now 6th most prolific test opener, taking their tally to 3300 runs together with 9 century and 13 fifty stands. Windies pair of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge own the list with 6482 runs but Cook & Strauss are now past only other active pair = India's Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag who have 3250 runs between them.
Strauss stumpedfor the first time in his test career today, as his 136th dismissal. Strauss has been caught by fielders 96 times (including keepers), bowled 19 times, lbw 17 times, run out twice and hit wicket & stumped once.
Peter Siddle38th bowler to take hattrick in test cricket, 11 Australian and 6th against England. At the close of play, Siddle said :- "I was nervous, the crowd was all behind me, which pumped me up. I'd like to say it (the hattrick delivery) was exactly what I wanted but I was looking to hit the top of off (rather than a yorker)".