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14 wickets fall on intriguing first day

Pacers call the shots at Trent Bridge as Peter Siddle scuttles England’s plans and then Steven Finn and James Anderson reduce Australia to 75/4

14 wickets fall on intriguing first day - Cricket News
Peter Siddle of Australia picked up 5 wickets for 50 runs.
On an idiosyncratically English summer day, a typically Australian effort from Peter Siddle ensured that the 2013 Ashes got off to a rousing start at Trent Bridge. England, having seemingly fluffed its lines to be bowled out for only 215, roared back through its seamers, chopping Australia down to 75 for 4. Of the last eight Tests at this venue, seven have failed to make it to the fifth day, and the latest game threatens to be no different.
Siddle, the lionheart, was used exceptionally well by Michael Clarke in four short spells of raw aggression that added up to returns of 5 for 50 from 14 overs. After beginning indifferently, with a spell of 4-0-27-0 from the Pavilion End, Siddle switched to the Radcliffe Road End, from where he picked up all his wickets.
It was Alastair Cook who left the door ajar first, at the toss, by giving Australia the chance to bowl under consistently overcast skies, and later, in the ninth over, when he played an airy drive off James Pattinson to be safely caught by Clarke at second slip.
Joe Root, playing with soft hands, looked the part as an opener and built steadily with the ever impressive Jonathan Trott, who whipped the ball through the on side as though he was having an extended net session. The second-wicket partnership of 51, which would only be bettered once in the innings, was ended by the ball of the day. Siddle, slanting the ball in from over the stumps, got a full delivery to tail away late and Root’s failure to cover for the swing resulted in a pegged back off stump.
Kevin Pietersen showed that even supermen occasionally have nerves, and should have been caught behind on one when he dabbed Pattinson down leg, only for a diving Brad Haddin to miss the difficult chance when the ball dipped on him. It did not cost Australia much, though, as Siddle induced a poke, bringing Clarke into business once more at slip.
Trott, who had been the epitome of solidity for his 48, found a way to get himself out, driving at a ball that was far outside the off stump only to get an inside edge that disturbed the timber. For a moment, Trott could not believe what he had done and raised his bat in anger, threatening what remained of his stumps, but eventually kept his cool and trudged off.
Ian Bell soothed the eyes with a controlled pull to the fence to get off the mark, but was never allowed to settle into any sort of fluency. There was just enough movement in the air and the odd bit of seam when the ball hit a crack to ensure that batsmen needed to be watchful at all times. For the third time in the innings, Siddle returned to take a wicket in the first over of a new spell, as Bell followed an away swinger into the hands of Shane Watson at slip.
At 178 for 5, England was in danger of confirming that this was a good toss to lose, but still had the chance to press on if the tail wagged. Matt Prior has shown the ability to come good in a variety of conditions, and the innings was set up perfectly for a bulldog rearguard effort in the company of Jonny Bairstow, the last recognised batsman. As it turned out, Prior had a brain fade that became the template for the rest of the tail, slapping a wide ball to point to give Siddle his five-for. England then lost its last four wickets for only two more runs, collapsing to 215 all out, well short of the first-innings average of 330 for the venue, in only 59 overs.
Australia further shored up its position when Watson crunched a couple of authoritative boundaries through the off side, suggesting that batting positively might be the way to go in the conditions. That suggestion was rudely put down by Steven Finn, who took the new ball in place of Stuart Broad, who was off the field after being struck on the shoulder while batting. Finn had Watson on the drive and Graeme Swann reacted smartly at third slip.
Ed Cowan, who had been on and off the field because of an illness, lasted one ball at No. 3, driving hard at Finn to guide the ball into the slip cordon. The hat-trick almost came about when Clarke played forcefully to a ball outside the off that bounced a touch more than he expected.
At 19 for 2, Australia had conceded the ground that its bowlers had annexed, and it was to get worse. Jimmy Anderson, whose radar wasn’t quite spot on in conditions where the ball was hooping around, produced a peach to Clarke, who was drawn forward and then squared up as the off stump was clipped.
Steve Smith, promoted to No. 5 ahead of Phil Hughes, provided the only real resistance as Anderson returned to remove Chris Rogers lbw – a decision unsuccessfully challenged by the batsman – to leave Australia at 53 for 4.
When stumps were drawn at 6.30pm, with eight overs still to be bowled thanks to tardy over-rates from both teams, Australia had scrapped its way to 75 for 4, but still trailed by a significant 140 runs.

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