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England respond to potent Siddle

By Chris Devine and Callum Dent at Trent Bridge

Peter Siddle once again started an Ashes Series in style before England’s pacemen hit back with wickets of their own on a frenzied opening day at Trent Bridge.

Siddle, who claimed a birthday hat-trick in Brisbane at the beginning of the previous Ashes rubber Down Under, returned 5-50 to undermine England’s bid to bat big after winning the toss in the opening Investec Test.

The last four home wickets subsequently went down for the addition of two runs, yet Australia hit trouble in reply to 215 all out as Steven Finn - opening the bowling due to Stuart Broad being off the field with a sore shoulder - had Shane Watson and Ed Cowan held in the slips off successive deliveries with the score on 19.

James Anderson built on his fellow paceman’s efforts, bowling Michael Clarke for a duck with a beauty that seamed away sharply and trapping Chris Rogers lbw prior to Australia closing 140 behind on 75 for four.

Steven Smith’s unbeaten 38 represented the most substantial contribution for the tourists on a day when no batsman managed a half-century, Jonathan Trott’s 48 the pick of England’s efforts.

After all the hype that has accompanied the build-up to this series, it would have been easy for the initial on-field action to fall short of expectations.

Yet that was certainly not the case as a capacity crowd in Nottingham found themselves drawn in by a truly absorbing contest.

Faced with a dry and even surface, England captain Alastair Cook understandably opted to bat on a morning that saw Australia throw a curveball by handing a shock debut to left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.

The 19-year-old proved ineffective when given two brief spells in only his 11th first-class appearance, but there was seam and swing movement aplenty for the quicker men on an overcast day to ensure batting proved a more difficult business than many would have anticipated.

A succession of loose strokes and wayward deliveries – perhaps caused by nerves on both sides – ensured England’s first innings proved eye-catching in the extreme.

Australia’s youthful new-ball pairing of James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc looked tense initially – epitomised by the former opening the game with a loopy bouncer called wide by umpire Aleem Dar.

However, it was not long before England’s openers were facing a test of their mettle and Cook fell for 13 at the end of Pattinson’s fifth over, caught behind driving loosely outside off.

Joe Root, opening in a Test for the first time, retained his composure to shake off the odd scare either side of Cook’s departure and found a fluent ally in Trott, who proved typically strong through midwicket and cover.

England looked to have taken control at 78 for one after 21 overs, but Siddle had other ideas.

Having switched to the Radcliffe Road End following four expensive overs, the Victorian yorked Root for 30 with the first ball of his new spell, which swung away late.

England then shot themselves in the foot during the afternoon session as a further four batsmen departed to the fast bowler.

Kevin Pietersen was caught at second slip playing away from his body; the previously untroubled Trott dragged on when driving expansively and Ian Bell nicked an outswinger to first slip after putting on 54 – the highest partnership of the day – with Jonny Bairstow.

When Matt Prior cut a short, wide one straight to Phil Hughes at cover-point, England were 180 for six and Siddle had 5-49.

The positive Bairstow briefly prospered alongside a typically aggressive Broad, yet the innings was brought to a swift end as Pattinson and Starc combined effectively.

Pattinson had Broad caught and bowled off a top-edged pull for 24 and Bairstow, working across the line, was cleaned up a full inswinger for 37 from Starc, the first of two victims in as many balls for his former Yorkshire team-mate.

Finn, who reviewed unsuccessfully having been caught behind, represented the left-armer’s second scalp before Pattinson finished things off with a short ball that Graeme Swann prodded into the off side.

If any England supporters were feeling down in the dumps at that stage, it was not long before they had reason for cheer.

With Broad unavailable, having been hit on the shoulder by a Pattinson bouncer shortly before his dismissal, Finn shared the new ball with Anderson and induced Watson and Cowan into drives that were safely taken in the cordon.

Clarke played and missed at the hat-trick delivery only to be undone by the ball of the day, a jaffa from Anderson that nipped past the outside edge to brush off stump.

England were not done there and picked up a fourth scalp when Rogers, making his second Test appearance more than five years after his first, was pinned on the crease by Anderson.

Smith, however, held firm and showed a willingness to counter-attack with five fours and a straight six off Swann before a hectic day finished with eight overs having not been bowled.

Match Scorecard

Live ball-by-ball commentary

 

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Evening Session
 

Highlights from an amazing evening session at Trent Bridge where England took four wickets to leave Australia 75 for four

 


Australia Innings

6:30pm - CLOSE OF PLAY - Aus 75/4; Smith 38, Hughes 7 - Smith and Hughes have seen out the day well, with the former looking in fine touch. England, leading by 140, fought back impressively following their disappointing batting display and will return tomorrow morning looking for some early breakthroughs.

6:26pm - Swann over-pitches and Smith helps himself to another boundary, this time through the covers. With Cook trying to rotate his bowlers in Broad's absence, Anderson replaces Finn in what is likely to be the last over of the day.

6:20pm - Finn changes to the Radcliffe Road End, hoping to make a similar impact to what Peter Siddle did earlier in the day.

6:09pm - We will not get all of the remaining 14 overs in as play cannot continue past 6:30pm. Graeme Swann has been introduced, with Phil Hughes now at the crease, and Smith shows his confidence by lofting the spinner into the stand over long-on.

6:02pm - WICKET! Rogers lbw Anderson 16; Aus 53/4 - Anderson traps Rogers on the crease and the umpire raises his finger to give England another boost. A review cannot save the left-hander.

6pm - Jonathan Trott produces a brilliant sliding stop to prevent Smith registering a four in the leg side off Finn, with the batsman then finding the ropes off successive balls to guide Australia past 50. If you missed any of today's action,  ecb.co.uk will have all the highlights later on.  

5:50pm - Finn keeps steaming in and is unfortunate not to snare another scalp when Smith inside edges a length ball to the fine-leg boundary. The right-hander then plays and misses. This is enthralling stuff and there are 17 overs still to be bowled!

5:42pm - England have a huge caught behind appeal against Steven Smith turned down off Finn, with Cook opting not to review as the batsman hit his pad rather than the ball. Smith then attacks Finn, pulling him to the boundary.

5:31pm - Skipper Alastair Cook may have a dilemma on his hands soon as Broad's absence leaves England a bowler short. Anderson is now into his fifth over, while Finn has bowled four.  

5:22pm - WICKET! Clarke b Anderson 0; Aus 22/3 - Rogers gets his whites dirty with a desperate dive attempting a quick single, although Anderon's throw was off target. The Lancastrian is back in the action moments later, delivering a splendid ball that moves away from the Australia skipper and bowls him.

5:12pm - Finn almost claims an amazing hat-trick as Michael Clarke plays and misses. The paceman then ends a superb over with a bouncer. The crowd are on the edge of their seats now!

5:08pm - WICKET! Cowan c Swann b Finn 0; Aus 19/2 - Finn is on a hat-trick! Ed Cowan strides to the crease and plays a loose drive that flies into the hands of Graeme Swann at second slip. Game on!

5:06pm - WICKET! Watson c Root b Finn 13; Aus 19/1 - Watson drives through mid-on for his third four off Finn, who responds in emphatic fashion as a ball drifting away catches the right-hander's outside edge and is safely poached by Joe Root at third slip.

5:04pm - Chris Rogers, making his return to Test cricket, drives Anderson for two and goes one better to register his first boundary. The Middlesex left-hander then survives a huge lbw appeal off Anderson.

4:58pm - James Anderson finds some swing from the Radcliffe Road End, but Shane Watson survives and gets Australia's reply going with a single into the leg side. Steven Finn starts at the other end and is driven for successive fours by the attacking Watson. Stuart Broad is currently off the field.

England Innings

4:41pm - WICKET! Swann c Hughes b Pattinson 1; Eng 215 all out -  England are dismissed for just 215 in 59 overs as Graeme Swann loops up a catch to Phil Hughes at short cover. The hosts lost their last four wickets for just two runs and Australia now have 29 overs to bat this evening.

4:36pm - REVIEW - Michael Clarke opts for a review after Starc's appeals for lbw against James Anderson are turned down. Replays show no sign of bat first, but the umpire's decision remains.

4:30pm- WICKET! Finn c Haddin b Starc 0; Eng 213/9 - Steven Finn nicks Starc behind first ball, with a review failing to save him.

4:27pm - WICKET! Bairstow b Starc 37; Eng 213/8 - England are real in trouble now as Starc makes a mess of Bairstow's stumps with an inswinging yorker

4:22pm - WICKET! Broad c & b Pattinson 24; Eng 213/7 - Broad was relishing the battle with Pattinson on his home ground, taking two fours off the paceman. However, the left-hander then slices a bouncer high into the air and is easily taken by the bowler. Broad stands his ground, only for replays to show Pattinson had not overstepped the crease and he has to go.

4:18pm - Broad lifts Mitchell Starc over the top of backward point for a boundary and, after being struck by a fierce bouncer, responds by driving Pattinson to the rope to bring up his side's 200. Bairstow then uppercuts Starc, who has delivered a mixed bag today, for four as England look to be positive early in this session.

4:06pm -  Stuart Broad gets into the swing of things in the first over after tea, driving James Pattinson to the boundary.

Afternoon Session

 

Highlights from the afternoon session where England lost four wickets to leave them on 185 for six at tea

 

3:42pm - TEA - Eng 185/6; Bairstow 32, Broad 1 - The afternoon session belonged to Australia ... and Peter Siddle in particular. The paceman has ripped through the England order after a disappointing early spell to leave the hosts with a lot to do this evening.

3:37pm - A lot rests on Bairstow's shoulders now as he attempts to bat with the tail. Starc switches ends and sees a short ball cannon off new batsman Stuart Broad's side for four leg-byes.

3:28pm - WICKET! Prior c Hughes b Siddle 1; Eng 180/6 - Matt Prior comes and goes in a flash! The wicketkeeper-batsman cannot resist the temptation of a wide Siddle delivery and slashes the seamer to Hughes, who takes a smart catch high at cover-point. Siddle has figures of 5-49.

 

 

3:21pm - WICKET! Bell c Watson b Siddle 25; Eng 178/5 - Bell tucks Agar into the leg side to herald the fifty partnership, which Bairstow has dominated. After flicking the returning Siddle through midwicket for four, Bell gets caught in two minds and can only edge into the hands of Watson at slip. Another crucial breakthrough from Australia's most experienced bowler.

3:14pm - Debutant Agar is bowling too short here, with Bairstow and Bell both rocking onto the back foot to cut him to the boundary. Illness looks to have forced Cowan off the field again. Starc has no luck against his one-time Yorkshire team-mate Bairstow, who is playing his natural game as he cuts and drives for four.

3:04pm - Teenager Ashton Agar returns to the attack and is cut to the ropes by Bairstow to bring up the England 150. Bell then pulls a Starc bouncer for his fourth four and the fifth-wicket partnership is now worth 32.

2:53pm - Mitchell Starc replaces Siddle at the Radcliffe Road End and is immediately driven to the cover boundary by Bell. Bairstow has shown no signs of nerves yet and is taking a liking to Pattinson, who is driven for four and then flicked for three in successive deliveries by the Yorkshireman.

2:39pm - This situation represents a huge test for Ashes debutant Jonny Bairstow. Bell picks up another sweetly-timed boundary by clipping Siddle through midwicket.

2:24pm - WICKET! Trott b Siddle 48; Eng 124/4 - Siddle strikes again! This is a huge wicket for the tourists as Trott chases a wide one and can only drag the ball back onto his own furniture. His search for a half-century at Trent Bridge goes on.

2:21pm - Trott looks in great touch out there at the moment, replicating the shot that brought him two in Watson's previous over. James Pattinson replaces Watson and, after sending down an erratic wide, Trott whips him through midwicket for yet another boundary. Bell then breathes a sign of relief as an edge drops just short of Watson in the cordon. Meanwhile, David Warner is on the field for Ed Cowan.

2:06pm - Jonathan Trott flicks Watson into the leg side for a couple. In the next over, Siddle sends down a wide that beats Brad Haddin and races to the boundary before Bell gets off the mark with a pulled four.

1:59pm - Bell has started watchfully against Siddle, who has the wind in his sails from the Radcliffe Road End.

1:47pm - WICKET! Pietersen c Clarke b Siddle 14; Eng 102/3 - The ball after cutting Peter Siddle to the boundary, Kevin Pietersen can only guide into the hands of skipper Michael Clarke at second slip. That's the right-arm seamer's second scalp in nine deliveries. Ian Bell is next in.

1:40pm - The players are back out on the field and another session is about to begin. Shane Watson has been handed the ball for the first time today.

Morning Session

 

Highlights from the morning session at Trent Bridge where England lost Alastair Cook and Joe Root before lunch


1:02pm - LUNCH - Eng 98/2; Trott 37, Pietersen 10 -
Pietersen takes Starc for four through midwicket in the final over of the morning. The morning session has been an absorbing one and both sides will take positives from it.

12:58pm - Trott, who has looked in wonderful touch from the moment he arrived at the crease, helps himself to off-side fours off Starc and Pattinson. We will have one more over before lunch and England are 94 for two.

12:51pm - Despite tasting success in the first over of his second spell, Siddle is swiftly replaced by left-armer Starc.

12:46pm - MISSED CHANCE -  Kevin Pietersen gets an early reprieve when wicketkeeper Haddin fails to get a glove to a tricky chance down the leg side off Pattinson.

12:39pm - WICKET! Root b Siddle 30; Eng 78/2 - A change of ends brings immediate reward for Siddle. Root has no answer to an excellent yorker that swung away late to take off stump.

12:35pm -  Pattinson is back on in place of the surprisingly unthreatening Siddle, who went for 27 in four overs. England are rolling along nicely at present and a four from Trott through his favoured midwicket region brings up a brisk fifty stand.

12:32pm -  Root has offered further evidence of his unflappable temperament this morning. He collects three more with an elegant push that beats Siddle in his followthrough. Agar then drops short and Root cuts through point to reach 30.

12:24pm -  Trott sees a leading edge off Agar fall safely and then survives a very optimistic lbw appeal. Australia’s spinner subsequently loses his line and England profit from four byes.

12:21pm -  Siddle draws an indecisive push at fresh air from Root, only for the Yorkshireman to respond with an authoritative clip through midwicket for his fifth four.

12:14pm - Australia debutant Ashton Agar gets an early bowl, but his first delivery in Test cricket is a full bunger that Trott drives effortlessly through cover.

12:11pm -  After being kept on 12 for some time, Root gets going again by cutting Starc for four. A slightly less convincing boundary follows for Trott when he edges Siddle wide of second slip and England duly bring up their 50 at the end of the 15th over.

12:01pm - As drinks are taken, here's some news from the Australia camp. David Warner is to link up with his country's A team in Zimbabwe and South Africa in order to gain some match practice. He remains part of Australia's Ashes party.

11:59am -  Peter Siddle takes over from Pattinson. The new bowler soon pays the price for straying on to Trott’s pads as England’s number three flicks behind square for his second four. Siddle's next delivery is driven through mid-on and this is a fine start from Trott.

11:51am -  Jonathan Trott opens his account in glorious fashion with a confident drive to the cover rope. England are 31 for one after 11 overs. Starc came round the wicket to Root in his last set of six and will continue to do so.

11:40am - WICKET! Cook c Haddin b Pattinson 13; Eng 27/1 -  Pattinson is rewarded for his best over yet with the prized scalp of England’s captain. Cook had already been beaten outside off and edged wide of fourth slip for four before getting a thin nick through to Brad Haddin when driving somewhat loosely.

11:27am - Cook is a little fortunate not to lose his off stump when playing and missing at Starc. This looks a good pitch but there is early assistance for Australia’s pacemen, as you would expect on the first morning of a Test. England will be eager to set a solid platform so they can cash in when the ball loses its shine.

11:23am -  That will make Root feel better. He gets off the mark, from the 13th ball he has faced, by pulling Pattinson fine for four. The bowler responds well, beating the outside edge with a gorgeous delivery that seamed away late as Root looked to drive. Another four ends the fifth over, England’s new Test opener guiding one past third slip with soft hands.

11:18am -  Pattinson and Starc look to be shaking off their early nerves and a few questions are now being asked of England’s openers as the ball nips around through the air and off the seam.

Meanwhile, ecb.co.uk has just grabbed a quick word with former England skipper Mike Gatting, who thinks it was a very good toss for Cook to win this morning. Gatt has predicted a 3-0 series win for the hosts.

11:09am - Mitchell Starc's radar is also a little off first up. His fourth ball is confidently clipped through square-leg by Cook for the game's opening four.

11:04am - There is plenty of early swing for Pattinson, who follows up his opening wide by conceding a leg-side bye to Alastair Cook, but only one delivery forces Joe Root to play.

11am - Oh my! James Pattinson begins with a loopy bouncer that is called wide by umpire Aleem Dar.

Pre-Play News

10:58am - Here come the players - an enormous cheer going up as England's opening pair follow the Australian team on to the field. James Pattinson will get us started from the Pavilion End and the Red Arrows fly overhead as the seamer prepares to send down the first ball of the series.

10:52am - On a scale of one to 10, how excited are we all feeling right now? After months of discussion and build-up, the Investec Ashes Series is about to begin!

10:44am - A flurry of fireworks go off at the end of God Save The Queen. We don't have long to wait now.

10:41am - The spectators inside Trent Bridge rise for the national anthems, starting with Advance Australia Fair.

10:35am - Here are the teams in full:

Take a look at some behind-the-scenes footage from Trent Bridge

England:  Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson.

Australia: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke (captain), Phil Hughes, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar.

10:30am - ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT - Michael Clarke calls incorrectly and Cook predictably elects to bat on a dry surface. England have opted to give their final seam bowling spot to Steven Finn , which means Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions miss out. Clarke explains the shock selection of Agar, saying: "He's bowled really well and England have a lot of right-handers."

10:25am - England, of course, have won the last two Ashes series and will be determined to get off to a strong start today as they bid to keep hold of the little urn. Our next update will include all the relevant info from the toss.

10:20am - You can sense the excitement around the ground as the toss approaches. Here's some more pre-match reading for you in the meantime, England skipper Cook explaining the effect the Ashes can have on a player's career .

Ravi Bopara backs England to win the Investec Ashes and shares his memories of playing in the 2009 series

10:05am - As you may well know, the forecast is good for the next few days. There are a few clouds around this morning, but it would be something of a surprise if the captain winning the toss chooses to field. We will find out soon enough.

9:53am - To whet your appetite further ahead of the start of play, why not listen to the latest episode of the ECB Cricket Podcast , featuring interviews with Alastair Cook, Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Paul Collingwood, Graeme Swann, Brad Haddin, Stuart Broad, Marcus North and podcast pundit Mike Gatting.

9:45am - Australia have already sprung a surpise this morning. Teenage left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who has played in just 10 first-class matches, will make his Test debut for the tourists.

9:42am - For all of our Ashes content this summer, be sure to head to ecb.co.uk/ashes , where - among other things - you will be able to find the following...

9:30am - The wait is (almost) over. In 90 minutes the Investec Ashes Series will get under way and ecb.co.uk is in position at Trent Bridge to update you on all the action.

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