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Australia win Ashes opener

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Australia salute their fans after completing victory at Lord's © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen’s second half-century of the match and a lengthy delay for rain were not enough to prevent Australia securing a 239-run victory in the opening npower Ashes Test against England at Lord’s.

Pietersen became only the eighth England batsman to make fifties in both innings on his Test debut, but four wickets from Glenn McGrath and one for Shane Warne wrapped up Australia’s win.

Pietersen ran out of partners and was left unbeaten on 64 as England were dismissed for 180.

Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen hits out during his half-century © Getty Images

McGrath ended with 4-29 and nine dismissals in the match, while Warne took 4-64 as Australia claimed the last five wickets in the space of 46 balls.

The opening two sessions of the fourth day were washed out following a downpour which began shortly after 9am.

When the rain finally ceased, umpires Aleem Dar and Rudi Koertzen made an initial inspection at 2.45pm and again 30 minutes later when the covers had been removed from the square. It was then announced that play would start at 3.45pm.

There were 42 overs scheduled to be bowled as England resumed on 156 for five in pursuit of a 420 victory target.

Glenn McGrath

Simon Katich and Glenn McGrath celebrate the wicket of Ashley Giles © Getty Images

McGrath wasted little time in making the first breakthrough and dismissed Geraint Jones in the third over of the day, after the addition of two runs, as an attempted pull shot presented Jason Gillespie with a simple catch at mid on.

New batsman Giles avoided a bouncer first ball but then edged to gully where Matthew Hayden took the catch.

One more run was then added before the rain returned and the players left the field for a 10-minute interruption.

The wickets continued to tumble as the action resumed with Matthew Hoggard and Stephen Harmison both trapped lbw without scoring by McGrath and Warne respectively.

Pietersen at least gave the England fans something to cheer when he reached his 50.


The celebrations begin after the final wicket falls © Getty Images

Prince Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhyi, George Gunn, Paul Gibb, Cyril Poole, Peter Richardson, Tony Greig and Pietersen’s England team-mare Andrew Strauss are the only other players to have chalked up two fifties on their first appearance.

Pietersen also had the consolation of smashing a huge leg-side six into the stands off Hampshire colleague Warne, and two further boundaries, but it was soon all over when Simon Jones edged McGrath to Warne at first slip.

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