Third Man Cricket » Ashes First Test 2015 – Day 1 : An Expat Cricket Website
Ashes First Test 2015 – Day 1

And so the third Ashes series in two years has begun, well at least after a reminder from the weather gods of where we are playing, followed by some singing, some dancing, some flag twirling and some fireworks. Seems T20 is having a bigger impact on test matches than we anticipated…

Anyway, on to the cricket.

Australia exploited the early conditions well, making breakthroughs with wickets taken, rather than given, by good balls to the batsmen. They shared them around the bowlers and by lunch the Poms were on the ropes. Perhaps fortunate to be only 3 down given Haddin’s drop of Root in a way that left most on the field wondering if it would’ve even been out. As it turns out, Root did hit it and that drop turned into a very expensive error.

The middle session being entirely England’s as Root made the visitors pay dearly. It was beautiful stroke play from a man in his prime and he is swiftly heading towards being this generation’s great for England.

Gary Balance, however, continued to scratch around like a hungry chicken wondering where the seeds to feed his form are. But scratch around he did and with Root, denied the Australians any momentum going into the last session.

That he was able to score was a sign that conditions had swung in the batsmen’s favour, much as they should in the second session on the first day when the sun is out and the early sting has been taken out of the wicket. He was also granted some leeway from an Aussie bowling outfit that struggled to maintain the rage at times.

That changed in the final session with the Aussies evening things up taking four wickets, three to good balls and Butler gifting his to Starc.

So what do we know now that we didn’t know before? Not much to be honest. England’s top order failed again. Cooke/Balance/Bell are still out of form and I hazard to guess they won’t find it soon (famous last words). Root is the back bone of their line up and they are most reliant on the younger generation for runs. Johnson/Starc/Hazlewood/Lyon are a formidable attack, when they get it right. Even when they don’t, they are still one bowler up on the Poms, that will become two when they have settled in to the series.

Of note is what the odds did today… both Australia and England winning tightened markedly. A good sign for cricket fans, Aussies, Poms and neutrals alike, that we might finally witness a long, tight test series.

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