By Shrikant Shankar
Jan 3, 2014
Brad Haddin and Steven Smith led Australia’s fightback in the afternoon session on Day One of the fifth Ashes 2013-14 Test against England as they are at 201 for five at tea. Haddin is batting on 59 and Smith is on 48. George Bailey (1) was the only wicket to fall in the session.
The session began with Australia in a spot of bother with score at 94 for four at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). George Bailey got off the mark first ball with a single behind square on the leg side. James Anderson bowled very well in the afternoon session as he constantly tested the batsmen.
Stuart Broad bowled one on a length and the ball moved away slightly. Bailey edges it to Alastair Cook at first slip, who spilt at the first attempt but held on in the second. Haddin was the next batsman in. Haddin got off the mark with a straight drive for four off Broad. That also brought up the 100 for Australia. Broad bowled a short delivery and the ball came in sharply and Haddin had to duck down to avoid it.
Anderson again bowled a testing over to both Haddin and Smith. Smith twice left length deliveries as they hit him on the pads. The England players appealed on both occasions, but the umpire said not out. Both deliveries were just outside the line of off-stump and a little over.
Broad bowled one short and wide and Haddin slashed hard and got his top edge over the gully region for a four. Anderson then bowled one on a good length and the ball bounced a little extra. The ball hit the top of the front pad and then the back thigh pad and then wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow took a very good one handed catch.
The England players appealed due to the double noise, but the umpire said not out. Cook asked for the review, but nothing came up. So that was one review gone for England. Boyd Rankin bowled a short delivery and Haddin pulled the ball in front of mid-wicket. Anderson slid in to stop the ball from reaching the boundary. The batsmen ran three.
After that it was a run fest as both batsmen, especially Haddin struck a string of boundaries. Anything short of a length or full and wide was put away for fours.
Apart from being hit for many runs, Ben Stokes had another issue to deal with. He kept knocking the bails at the non-striker’s end with his hand while in his bowling motion. The rules state if that happens, then it is a no-ball. Stokes did that on four occasions in the innings.
The momentum had switched to Australia’s side and even edges off the bat went over and past fielders for fours. Scott Borthwick was brought into the attack to bowl his first over in Test cricket. He bowled a good first over, until Smith came down the track on the last delivery and hit a four towards mid-wicket.
England then suffered a blow as Rankin pulled his hamstring and had to go back into the dressing room for treatment. Both the batsmen then targeted Borthwick and got a few fours off the right-arm leg-spinner.
Haddin then reached his 17th Test half-century with a single off Stokes’s bowling. He has reached a half-century at least in every single match of the series. Haddin has now scored fifties in six out of the seven innings in this series.
Tea was soon called and Australia dominated that session. They scored 107 runs in that session and lost only one wicket.
Australia 201 for 5 (Shane Watson 43, Steven Smith 48*, Brad Haddin 59*; Stuart Broad 2 for 42, Ben Stokes 2 for 62) vs England.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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