Aussies dominate rain truncated first day
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:England v Australia
Player:SR Watson, SM Katich, GP Swann
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 30th July 2009


Rain and a wet and soggy outfield dominated most part of the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston but when the players did move out, the Sun did not disappoint and a good two and a hours of play was possible in which Australia quite clearly indicated what their plans were for the game.


The batting was aggressive and not even one oppurtunity to hit runs was spared. The Aussie batting was ably supported by an English bowling attack which looked a pale shadow of what they were at Lord's. They bowled short, gave room to the batsman, bowled it at the batsman's legs and did everything that a batter looks forward to coming into the match after a good 10 days break. Katich and Watson and later in the day Ponting just accepted the gifted deliveries gleefully as the tourists ended Day One sitting pretty at 126 for the loss of just one wicket.


Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first after intermittent rains and wet outfield had delayed the start of the game by more than six hours. As expected Shane Watson got the nod ahead of struggling Phillip Hughes who has been twitting his disappointment on the net since having been left out of the 11.


Brad Haddin also could not figure in the 11 because of a broken index finger of the left hand while taking a couple practising in front of the pavilion. Graham Manou was picked as his replacement.


The English pacers started well keeping a tab on both Simon Katich and Watson but the latter started to show his aggressive colours first by hitting a cover drive off James Anderson in the medium-pacer's third over and then following it up with another boundary off Andrew Flintoff's next.


Then Katich also joined him and before the English bowlers could have understood whats happening the counter attack by the Aussie opening duo raised the fifty partnership in as early as the 13th over itself. Runs started to come thick and fast as first change bowlers Graham Onions and Stuart Broad went for runs from the outset itself. Both went for eight runs in their first over itself as Watson and Katich continued carnage.


The bowlers continued to bowl in the worst of the regions and Katich though usually not that extravagant took full toll of the English bowlers vulnerability and mistakes.


Change of pace looked like the order of the moment and Andrew Strauss did not delay it further, calling Graeme Swann to bowl in as soon as the 19th over. The move paid off as the off-spinner first troubled Watson with a close LBW shout and then off the last ball of his over, trapped Katich as he missed a ball that went on with the arm and struck in line, leaving Aleem Dar with no other option but to raise the dreaded finger.


Strauss would have surely sighed relief because Katich was looking exceptionally dangerous. The left-hander had notched up 46 runs from just 48 balls with nine boundaries to his credit. Ricky Ponting walked in after Katich's fall and he was as usual jittery to start off. He survived a close LBW call in Broad's fifth over.


Meanwhile Watson raised his fifty off 89 deliveries. The knock was studded with eight glorious hits to the fence and the half century justified his place in the side as a replacement for out-of-form Hughes. Ponting and Watson then also made sure Australia close the day with no further damage.


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