After losing the early wicket of David Warner, Australia reached a total of 112 for one as lunch was taken on Day One of the fifth Ashes 2013 Test at The Oval. Shane Watson has reached 80 off 77 balls to guide Australia.
Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat. Australia made two changes to their starting line-up and gave left-arm pacer James Faulkner his Test debut. He replaced the out-of-form Usman Khawaja. Another left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc came in for Jackson Bird. England handed all-rounder Chris Woakes and left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan their Test debuts. They replaced the injured Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow.
Australian openers Warner and Chris Rogers began cautiously as James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowled a testing spell. That spell got the early breakthrough England wanted as Warner poked at a full delivery from Anderson outside off stump and edged it to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. He was guilty of not moving his feet at all.
Watson came in at No 3 and started hitting fours immediately. He got a little lucky as he could have been dismissed by Broad leg-before, but the umpire ruled him not out. But once Watson got into the thirties, he got into the groove. He targeted debutants Woakes and Kerrigan. He pulled and drove Woakes as he raced to his 21st half-century.
Kerrigan conceded 10 runs off his first over and then 18 off his second. Watson did most of the damage. Rogers seemed happy to play second fiddle and just provided Watson enough support from the other end. Watson hit four fours in Kerrigan’s second over in international cricket and that prompted captain Alastair Cook to bring back Broad into the attack.
When lunch was taken, it was Australia who had the upper hand in the Test.
Australia 112 for 1 (Chris Rogers 21*, Shane Watson 80*) vs England.
(Shrikant Shankarpreviously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)