Ashes 2009: Watson Leads Australian Charge

Ashes 2009: Watson Leads Australian Charge
Ashes 2009: Watson Leads Australian Charge
©Action Images / Keith Williams Livepic

Australia 126-1 (Watson 62no, Swann 1-4) v England

Third Test, Edgbaston, day one: stumps

Shane Watson scored his second Test half-century as Australia closed day one of the third Ashes Test against England on 126 for one.

Play was delayed due to the heavy rain that hit the Edgbaston ground throughout the past week and the action only got underway at 17:00 local time with 30 overs possible.

Earlier in the day, Phillip Hughes used his Twitter page to inform followers that he will be dropped by Australia and Ricky Ponting confirmed at the toss that Shane Watson would replace him.

Then, moments before the match began, it was revealed that Brad Haddin had broken a finger during catching practice and had been replaced by Graham Manou, who makes his Test debut.

And Watson made the move to have him opening the batting look a shrewd one, stroking ten boundaries to finish the day unbeaten on 62 after losing opening partner Simon Katich for 46.

Katich faced just 48 deliveries, hitting nine fours in an opening partnership worth 85 before Graeme Swann had him trapped in front with the sixth ball he bowled.

There were to be no further breakthroughs for England, howvver, despite a number of close lbw appeals and alongside Watson was his captain Ricky Ponting, who had made 17.

England lead the series 1-0.

Australia: Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Marcus North, Graham Manou, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus

England: Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matthew Prior, Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions

© Cricket World 2009