England 307-8 (Bell 72, Strauss 55, Siddle 4-63) v
Fifth Ashes Test, day one: stumps
By Peter Exley
Four wickets from Peter Siddle ensured that day one of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval was Australia's, England closing on 307 for eight having won the toss and decided to bat first.
England made two changes to the side that lost at Headingly with Andrew Flintoff returning to the team in place of Graham Onions and Jonathan Trott making his debut at the expense of Ravi Bopara. Australia on the other hand resisted the temptation of bringing the off spinner Nathan Hauritz back to the team and instead stuck with their winning combination from Leeds.
Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that looks like it will provide a vast amount of runs. However, Alastair Cook fell early on when he was squared up by Peter Siddle and edged to Ricky Ponting at second slip. The under fire Ian Bell then was welcomed to the crease by a barrage of short pitched bowling courtesy of Siddle and Mitchell Johnson but survived this passage of play with only a couple of brief scares.
Meanwhile, Strauss was going along his merry way, looking very solid in defence and he recorded his half century in 89 deliveries. Bell was very close to being bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus who began to swing the ball late on in the session, but he wasn’t able to reove any further England batsmen and they went to lunch at 108 for one with Strauss on 50 not out and Bell on 41.
After lunch, Strauss could only manage to add five runs to his total before he pushed at a ball that Hilfenhaus slanted across him, giving a thin edge through to Brad Haddin behind the stumps.
Bell wasn’t fazed by his captain’s demise however, as he made his way to a half century as he and Paul Collingwood put on 62 before the latter was dismissed by Siddle. This brought debutant Jonathan Trott to the crease.
It took him a while to get his first Test match runs, but eventually he got them but Bell could not prolong his innings, out having failed to add to the 72 runs he made before tea when he inside-edged onto his stumps with Siddle the delighted bowler.
Trott settled quickly, making 41 before being sharply run out by Simon Katich and although Flintoff received a warm ovation, he could only manage seven before chasing a wide Johnson delivery to be well caught by Haddin. Johnson struck soon after to have Matthew Prior caught by Shane Watson for 18.
Australia completed the day in ascendency when Graeme Swann (18) edged Siddle to Haddin to leave Stuart Broad unbeaten on 26.
Siddle returned four for 63 with Johnson's brace coming at the cost of 69 runs.
© Cricket World 2009