By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 26, 2013
England are at 71 for one at lunch on Day One of the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Alastair Cook was dismissed for 27. Michael Carberry is batting on 26 and Joe Root is on 11.
Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss for the Boxing Day Test match and surprisingly elected to bowl first. Australia went in with an unchanged side from the first three Tests after winning all of them.
England made the most of the start with captain Cook playing positively. Cook got two twos in consecutive deliveries of Mitchell Johnson to get his first runs of the match. Johnson then bowled one short and wide and Cook cut it for a four behind point. In Johnson’s next over, he bowled a full delivery and Cook drove it for a four on the off side.
Ryan Harris bowled a length delivery outside off-stump and Cook tried to leave it, but the ball hit the middle of the inverted bat and went in-between the slips for another four. Harris then found the edge of Carberry’s bat, but Steven Smith dropped a tough left-handed catch at third slip.
Peter Siddle bowled one straight to Carberry and he hit that down the ground for his first four. Clarke brought Nathan Lyon into the attack quickly to counter the left-handed batsmen. He started with a maiden over to Carberry.
Lyon bowled well and on the rare occasion he bowled too short, Carberry cut it for a four towards point. There was some spin for Lyon.
Siddle bowled one short and it was quite close to Carberry, who cut and edged it. The ball flew in-between third slip and gully for a four. Siddle got the first breakthrough of the innings.
He bowled a length delivery that moved away and Cook tried to work it away on the off side, but edged it to Clarke at second slip. Joe Root was the new batsman and got off the mark straight away with a single towards backward-point.
Root played a back of a length delivery from Johnson behind gully for two runs. And that got England’s score over the 50-run mark. Then Siddle bowled a few a testing overs to Carberry and Root.
Johnson slid one across Root and he guided it away for a four through gully. Siddle was going a little wide of the stumps and angling it in towards the right-handed Root. But the ball kept moving away after pitching on a good length.
The scoring became quite slow as lunch was getting closer. The batsmen were content with just being unbeaten as lunch was taken on Day One. A good start for England, but the wicket of Cook has got Australia to cheer something about.
England 71 for 1 (Alastair Cook 27, Michael Carberry 26*; Peter Siddle 1 for 27) vs Australia.
(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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