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Day of drama as The Ashes gets underway

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Hot on the heels of the British and Irish Lions comprehensive victory against the Wallabies comes The Ashes. And what a riveting start to the test series it was.

Trent Bridge witnessed a day of drama, fallen wickets, batting collapses, uncertainty and some stunning bowling. As the crowd settled in to watch England open up with the bat, they doubtless expected at least a full day of carefully crafted runs from the home willow. But they hadn’t reckoned with the grit, determination and prowess of Peter Siddle. Taking 5 for 50, Siddle tore through the England order as the batsmen dropped like flies.

He controlled the wicket beautifully, mixing up his angles, maximising the heavy swing in the air and bringing the England top order firmly to book. Kevin Pietersen went cheaply, as did Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott who looked like his implacable efficiency might in fact save the day for the home side suddenly dragged onto his stumps in a rare lapse.

As England limped unconvincingly to a paltry 215 all out, the stage looked set for Australia to punish their profligacy and mount a masterful total. Well that script unravelled pretty rapidly as Steven Finn and jimmy Anderson stepped up with a searing display of bowling.

Finn saw 3 boundaries fly off his first 7 deliveries, but kept plugging away until Shane Watson went to a catch at first slip. His very next ball removed Ed Cowan – caught at second slip – and his hat-trick was only just denied by Michael Clarke who then promptly went to a stunning ball by Anderson, who truly outdid himself at moments yesterday.

With the crowd finally coming alive towards the close of play, Australia were firmly on the back foot. England will hope that Stuart Broad, who took a nasty knock at the crease, will be fit today to help drive home the bowling attack as play continues.

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