Thursday 25 November 2010

Ashes Series 2010/2011: Australia v England First Test Review, Scores, Commentary & Twitter Updates from the Gabba - 2010/2011

Ashes Series 2010/2011: 
Australia v England First Test Review.

Scores, Commentary & Twitter Updates from the Gabba - November 25-29, 2010

Welcome to the dedicated Ashes Page for the First Test of the 2010/2011 Ashes Series between Australia & England from the Gabba in Brisbane. 

Australia & England Draw the First Test in Brisbane.
Series Level at 0-0.

England 1st Innings: 260 All Out. 2nd Innings: 1 dec. 517
Australia 1st Innings: 481 & 1/107.
The Match is a DRAW.
England's Alastair Cook is Man of the Match with 235* & 67.


Simply put Australia had England in a position to be beaten and England batted themselves out of it. In fact not only did England stymie the Australian push for victory but they quickly became the only team that could force a result as early on Day 5 (if not late on Day 4). 
Australia had three big moments in the Game - Strauss going 3rd ball on Day 1, Siddle's Hat-Trick & the Hussey-Haddin partnership - but didn't convert them into a victory.
England countered with having Australia 5/143 chasing 260, cleaning up the Australian tail for just 35 runs, opening their 2nd innings with 188 run stand and finishing their 2nd innings with an unbroken 329 run stand.
Advantage England.
Winners & Losers from Day 5 & the rest of the First Test Below.
Hear Kerry O'Keefe & Jim Maxwell recap Day 5 & the Test via ABC Grandstand Audio. Click to listen to the mp3

Here are The First Test RATINGS
Note: There will be a Player of the Series Award based on the Player Ratings and an MVP Award based on IMPACT over the course of the Series. It is of course possible for one player to take out both awards. All Ratings out of 10.
AUSTRALIA - 1st Test Ratings
Simon KATICH - 7
Shane WATSON - 6
Ricky PONTING (c) - 6
Michael CLARKE - 4
Michael HUSSEY - 10
Marcus NORTH - 4
Brad HADDIN - 8
Mitchell JOHNSON - 3
Peter SIDDLE - 7
Xavier DOHERTY - 5
Doug BOLLINGER (12th Man)

ENGLAND - 1st Test Ratings
Alastair COOK - 10
Andrew STRAUSS (c) - 8
Jonathan TROTT - 9
Ian BELL - 8
Matt PRIOR - 6
Stuart BROAD - 6
Graeme SWANN - 5
James ANDERSON - 8
Steven FINN - 7
Tim BRESNAN (12th Man)

Note: These 5-2-1 Votes are for IMPACT on the Test Match - not necessarily based solely on their individual player rating in the match. There is a Player of the Series Award based on the Player Ratings and this MVP Award based on IMPACT in each Test over the course of the Series. But it is of course possible for one player to take out both awards. 
5 - Alastair COOK, England
Full credit to the Englishman who came into the Series being seen as the weak link in the batting order only to emerge from the Gabba with 302 runs in almost 1000 minutes at the crease. His 67 in the 1st innings was a good knock but his 235* in the 2nd was commanding. He never looked like he would tear the Australian attack apart yet in his own way he did just that - accumulating runs at a rate of 55 per 100 balls and punishing the bad delivery throughout. His 329 run partnership with Jonathan Trott (135*) was outstanding and helped Cook walk away with Man of the Match Honours both officially and on
2 - Michael HUSSEY, Australia
What an outstanding innings when the press and a lot of supporters wanted him punted heading into the Test Match. Had it not been for Cook's incredible 235* - Hussey's innings would hold a place of its own in Ashes History. But it's not all bad - in a game that featured two partnerships in excess of 300 and one of 188 - we got treated to some superb batting. Hussey's 195 from 330 balls with 26 Fours & 1 Six was simply sensational. Also took a huge catch on the 3rd ball of Day 1 to dismiss Andrew Strauss - imagine the way the game could've gone if he'd dropped that regulation gully chance?
1 - Peter SIDDLE, Australia
Features solely for his memorable Hat-Trick but sadly was not seen in the 2nd Innings when Australia desperately needed him to back it up. Make no mistake - a Hat-Trick is an incredible feat but I am still yet to be convinced Siddle is anything more than the toiler we've seen over the past 18 months - as opposed to the 6/56 guy we saw in the 1st Innings at the Gabba.

IN GAME TWEETS - Available again for the 2nd Test from Adelaide.

There'll be scores from during and at the close of play on each day updated on this page and simply follow the Twitter Feed below for regular commentary on the match.

Please note although The NRL Tweet deals mainly in news relating to the National Rugby League - it will have Cricket Tweets from the Ashes Series throughout the Summer.

The Tweets displayed on this page will become dated within days so make sure you follow us on @nrltweet to stay up to date via Twitter.

Full Scoreboard updates during play below & Check out the Twitter Updates As Well.

For the Full Scorecard (Click for link to

 DAY FIVE - Stumps 
England 1st Innings: 260 All Out. 2nd Innings: 1 dec. 517
Australia 1st Innings: 481 & 1/107
The Match is a DRAW.
England's Alastair Cook is Man of the Match with 235* & 67.
Winners & Losers from Day Five Below.
England won toss and were dismissed for 260, Australia were dismissed for 481, England declared at 1/517 and Australia were 1/107 at the close of play in their 2nd Innings.
At Lunch: ENG-1/439 after 133 Overs (A Cook 201*, J Trott 100*)
At Tea: AUS 1/11 (Ponting 6*, Watson 0*) after 7 Overs in reply to England's 1/517 declared. 
At Stumps: Australia finished 1/107 in their 2nd innings chasing 297 to win after England declared at 1/517 in their 2nd Innings. Australia were dismissed for 481 in reply to England's 260 in the 1st Innings.
Alastair COOK with 235* & Jonathan TROTT with 135*
The Englishmen combined for a 2nd wicket unbroken stand of 329 as England utterly dominated Australia's attack on Day 5. Cook looked in command in his 428 ball innings hitting 26 boundaries and although Trott survived two dropped chances he too looked one step ahead of the Australian attack. The pair came together with England 1/188 - still trailing Australia and when Andrew Strauss declared they had pushed the score past 500 and the lead to within 4 runs of 300.  
Australia's Bowling Attack... again.
Where were the heroics of Day 2 boys? Peter Siddle & Ben Hilfenhaus bowled just five & six overs respectively on Day 5 - perhaps to save them for Adelaide or perhaps it was a sign that they hadn't been effective for the majority of Day 4 either. Mitchell Johnson looked decidedly average yet again and Xavier Doherty didn't produce anything that suggested he's got something special in his arsenal (although that was only his 2nd innings in Test Cricket). Shane Watson was spanked by Cook and while Marcus North's figures didn't stink - he shouldn't be bowling almost as many overs as Hat-Trick Hero Siddle (19 to 24).
Stuart BROAD for gaining a valuable wicket late.
Coming into this series I believed Broad was the bowler Australia had to fear - ahead of Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson & Steven Finn. He would go wicketless in Australia's 1st innings but in getting Simon Katich to poke at a rising ball outside off-stump for the only wicket England took late in the day - his confidence will have gained a massive boost.
Andrew STRAUSS for not declaring sooner...
Now this isn't a case of an Aussie whinging that 'we didn't get a chance to win the match' at all - but why didn't Straussy ask himself if England wanted a chance to win the match? Australia were NEVER going to chase anything England set above 250 and although Cook & Trott batted well and scored in good time - the declaration came too close to Tea. After Lunch I posed the question on Twitter 'If YOU were England's captain when would you declare" some responses said they wouldn't, while others agreed with my assertion that anything close to 275 was going to be plenty. But Strauss let Cook & Trott go on a little long and barring a monumental collapse by Australia after Tea - England just wasted some good batting time for the likes of Kevin Pietersen & Paul Collingwood. They could have still sent Australia in for a 15-20 over burst at the end but they didn't and I believe missed an opportunity.
While scores of 51* & 41* aren't the stuff of legend - the fact that Ponting & Watson got the best part of two hours at the crease is only a bonus for the two best strokemakers in the Australian lineup. Ponting played the pull shot and Watson drove well - two keys to the effectiveness of both batsmen's games.
Day Five - England.
They didn't win the Test Match but declaring at 1/517 before Tea on the Final Day is a fair statement nonetheless. It would've been nice to see England have a genuine crack at the Aussies by giving them the barests of sniffs at a target but regardless - to lose just one wicket over three days is a mighty effort. Strauss, Cook & Trott all have big time runs under their belts and their status in this Series just rose considerably. When you consider Australia rely so heavily on the start that Katich, Watson & Ponting give them every time they bat - the fact England's Top 3 have delivered in this way is a huge boost to the visitors.

 DAY FOUR - Stumps 
England 1st Innings: 260 All Out. 2nd Innings: 1/309
Australia 1st Innings: 481.
Winners & Losers from Day Four below.
England won toss and were dismissed for 260, Australia were dismissed for 481 and England are 1/309 at the close of play in their 2nd Innings.
At Lunch: TBA
At Tea: TBA
At Stumps: England 1/309 in their 2nd Innings after Australia were dismissed for 481 in reply to England's 260 in the 1st Innings.
Alastair COOK with 132* and Andrew STRAUSS with 110 as England put on 188 for 1st Wicket.
Australian bowling attack yields one wicket in 86 overs... and that goes to part-timer Marcus NORTH.
Jonathan TROTT for his 54 not out on the back of his impressive dig in the 1st Innings. He's shaping up to be a difference maker at Number 3.
Mitchell JOHNSON has taken 0/131 from 33 overs, scored a duck and dropped one of the only chances from England on Day 4. He shouldn't get dropped but this has not been a happy Test Match.
Australia's bowling attack again... questions must be asked if the most economical bowler is part-timer Marcus NORTH (12 overs, 1/22) and so called strike weapons Peter SIDDLE (0/67 off 19 overs) & JOHNSON produce very little in terms of results when the Test Match is setup for Australia to make a game of it.
Day Four - England.
The First Test looks destined for a draw and England's utter domination of Day 4 is the reason. England's opening pair of Andrew Strauss (110) and Alastair Cook (132*) took the game away from Australia with a 188 run stand and Jonathan Trott backed them up with 54 runs of his own unbeaten. England's 88 run lead isn't huge but they look like the only team that can now have a sniff of victory if they declare before Tea on the Final Day with a lead of 250+ and pile the pressure on the Australian batsmen in the final session. Even if a result is highly unlikely in that scenario - Australia will still have to feel the heat for a session when realistically all they can do is draw or lose the Test.
 DAY THREE - Stumps 
England 1st Innings: 260 All Out. 2nd Innings: 0/19
Australia 1st Innings: 481.
Check Out Our Winners/Losers from Day Three below.
England won toss and were dismissed for 260, Australia were dismissed for 481 and England are 0/19 at the close of play in their 2nd Innings.
At Lunch: TBA
At Tea: TBA
At Stumps: England 0/19 in their 2nd Innings after Australia were dismissed for 481 in reply to England's 260 in the 1st Innings.
Michael HUSSEY with 195 & Brad HADDIN with 136.
Stuart BROAD goes wicketless & Graeme SWANN takes just 2 wickets.
Steven FINN with 6/125 in his Ashes Debut.

Jimmy ANDERSON for one of the best new ball spells in memory that didn't result in a wicket.
Mark NICHOLAS for thinking he can get away with saying DRS like we know what he's talking about.
Day Three - Australia.
Australia lead by 202 runs thanks to a monumental 307 run 6th wicket partnership between Hussey & Haddin and despite the Australian tail failing to wag and England getting through 15 overs by stumps - this was Australia's Day. If England bat through Day 4 they should have a lead but it is hard to see them being far enough in front to see them push for a result here. Day 3 went to Australia and it looks like they are the only team who can get a result from the Gabba in the 1st Test.

 DAY TWO - Stumps 
England 1st Innings: 260 All Out
Australia 1st Innings: 5/220.
Check Out Our Winners/Losers from Day Two below.
England won toss and were dismissed for 260, Australia are 5/220 at the close of play in reply.
At Lunch: AUS 1/96 (S Katich 46*, R Ponting 10*) after 33 Overs v ENG 260.
At Tea: AUS 5/168 (M Hussey 46*, B Haddin 9*) after 60 Overs v ENG 260.
At Stumps: Bad Light stopped play at least 45 minutes early at the Gabba on Day 2 of the 1st Test. Australia are 5/220 in reply to England's 260.
Michael HUSSEY who finished 81 not out and looked in control... from ball two onwards.
Produced the kind of innings that didn't just say he deserved his place in the lineup but one that said 'I'm nowhere near finished yet'. Lucky to see his first ball edge fall short of 2nd slip but from then on he pulled the ball as well as he ever has and as Ricky Ponting is well aware - when that shot is on song - more often than not the rest of your game is as well. His attack on Graeme Swann was calculated and brilliantly executed. Holds any hopes Australia have of a significant lead in his hands on Day 3.

Ricky PONTING & Michael CLARKE who combine for 19 runs.
The class of the Australian top order failed miserably in their 1st innings - Ponting made just 10 and Clarke 9 but at least Ponting scored his runs in half the balls that Clarke did. Clarke faced 50 deliveries and never looked settled - finally edging a pull shot softly to Matt Prior behind the stumps. Ponting fell to the same dismissal but this was even softer - glancing one down the leg side. Australia rely on these two strokemakers to capitalise on their normally strong opening partnership and they simply cannot afford to fail together in future innings for Australia to be in command of matches.
James ANDERSON inspired spell after lunch and the pick of the English quicks with 2/40.
Got lucky with the Ponting dismissal but worried Clarke big time and got the big wicket of Shane Watson to get things started for England. Late movement off the deck is Anderson's biggest attribute for mine, not the movement in the air.
Graeme SWANN who was attacked with success.
England's go-to man for a wicket had 0/20-odd from his first 3 overs and was carted around the park by Hussey. Did get Marcus North but that doesn't seem to be too difficult for any bowler in world cricket when the Australian is on a score under 20. Faces a big 3rd and likely 5th day.
Marcus NORTH who failed when Australia needed him... again.
North is a fine batsman who seems to only get his big scores when Australia have dominated the match with the bat before he comes in. The official stats may not back that claim up entirely but the feeling is that North gets all his big scores when Australia are 4/200 rather than 4/100... that's a worry.
Simon KATICH & Shane WATSON for their 78 run opening stand.
Another fine start from this strong opening partnership. Katich just looks immovable most of the time and Watson is so technically correct that more often than not you need a ripper of a delivery to get him out. Only downside for the pair was that neither went on with the job - Katich made 50 & Watson 36.
Aleem DAR for another quality day of umpiring decisions and Billy DOCTROVE for being cooler than the other side of the pillow when his calls were challenged.
And put Steven FINN in for a special mention for his caught & bowled to dismiss Simon Katich.
Day Two - England.
If Michael Hussey didn't stand up to be counted then England would've won this day emphatically. In fact despite Hussey’s 81 and Australia reaching 71 without loss – this was still England’s day. The English quicks bowled superbly in the afternoon session and Australia's batsmen failed to stand up. The Hussey & Brad Haddin partnership in the final session steadied the ship for the Australians but this was England's day, despite only holding a 1st innings lead of 40 runs entering the 3rd day.
DAY TWO SCORECARD (Click for link to
 DAY ONE - Stumps 
England 1st Innings: 260 All Out
Australia 1st Innings: 0/25.
Here is Peter Siddle's Hat-Trick from Day One

Check Out Our Winners/Losers from Day One & Two below.
England to bat after winning the toss.
At Lunch: ENG 2/86 (A Cook 29*, K Pietersen 23*) after 26 Overs.
At Tea: ENG 4/172 (A Cook 60*, I Bell 26*) after 56 Overs.
At Stumps: AUS 0/25 (S Katich 15*, S Watson 9*) after 7 Overs. ENG 260 (I Bell 76, A Cook 67, K Pietersen 43, P Siddle 6/54, X Doherty 2/41).
Peter Siddle with 6/54 including a Hat-Trick!
Maligned for keeping the likes of Doug Bollinger & Ryan Harris out of the First Test Lineup... Siddle didn't set the day on fire until his second spell when he picked up the back to back wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood. But in his 3rd spell he may have finally reached the heights his captain Ricky Ponting and the Selectors think he is capable of by removing Alastair Cook caught at 1st slip for 67, Matt Prior clean bowled for 0 & Stuart Broad LBW for 0 in consecutive deliveries.
The green & gold in me says CONGRATULATIONS Peter Siddle but the cynic in me still wants Australia to win the game to make the most of Siddle's remarkable contribution on Day One.
Andrew STRAUSS with a 3rd ball Duck in the Opening Over.
Strauss made the RIGHT call by batting when he won the toss but to try and spank Ben Hilfenhaus with the 3rd ball of the opening over when it was rather close to his body... that's not a good call.
Ian BELL for a very polished 76 to top score for England
I've got a story about Ian 'Bunny' Bell that I'll tell you if you just give me the slightest window but he batted very well today. He came in at 4/125 and looked to take the attack to the Australian bowlers and you could tell he'd just come off a massive hundred against Australia A. Easily the most impressive English batsman.
Aleem DAR for backing his judgement to award the LBW on the Hat-Trick Ball.
Make no mistake - Dar's decision was as gutsy as it was correct when he fired Stuart Broad after Peter Siddle hit him on the toe with a full delivery. Remember Australia had USED both their Referrals so there was no safety net if Dar gave Broad not out and Australia chose to challenge it - which would've saved Dar the embarrassment of getting it wrong. Although England challenged the call it was more out of desperation than confidence and the replay proved Dar had it right with just the one live viewing.
Xavier DOHERTY's first ball... when it spun.
Picked to combat the Right Hand heavy England batting order - his first ball to a Left Hander Alastair Cook spun considerably back towards the opener and immediately you knew that he could be dangerous today... and maybe if we're lucky all series. Picked up Bell & James Anderson late in the day to finish with 2/41 off 13.5 Overs.
Doug BOLLINGER... unlucky to be dropped but will need to be very lucky to get back in the team now.
Bollinger accepted his demotion with good grace by signing autographs as he did a lap of the ground in the 1st Session which was admirable given he could've sulked in the sheds instead. But now Siddle walks away with a hat-trick and 6 wickets in the 1st Innings of the 1st Test... Dougie you need a miracle to play in Adelaide or sadly an injury.
Graeme SWANN getting hit for 10 runs in the Final Over of the Day.
Yes it was only one over and Yes it was the Final Over of the Day but YES it was only one over and YES it was the Final Over of the Day. Simon Katich hit him for two fours off the first two deliveries and Australia made an immediate statement against the player that England will be relying on heavily this series. Mind you it was only one over...
Day One - Australia
Peter Siddle's hat-trick put pay to any inroads the English made in the opening two sessions and now it is up to the Australian batting lineup (the strength of the Aussie team) to ram home the advantage of having to chase only 280 on a Gabba wicket that should be better to bat on during Day Two.