Australia scored 92 for the loss of Shane Watson and Usman Khawaja in the third Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford at lunch on Day One.
The talking point of the session was Usman Khawaja’s dismissal of caught behind. This happened in the 23rd over of the innings when Graeme Swann’s delivery turned and bounced. Khawaja attempted to drive the ball and ‘keeper Matt Prior collected the ball head height. Umpire Tony Hill declared Khawaja out; this call was challenged. Third umpire Kumar Dharmasena upheld the decision but there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that Khawaja had edged the ball. From no loss for 76 to the loss of two wickets in a matter of six runs there was a swing in the momentum in the home side’s favour. Chris Rogers ( 67 not out) and Michael Clarke (5 not out) are unbeaten at the crease.
The refreshing approach of Australian batting was the highlight of the first session. The feature of Australia’s batting was the positive intent. Rogers in particular got into his groove in the first over when he drove James Anderson for a boundary behind point. He then grew from strength to strength driving the ball with consummate each. The two best shots of his innings were the straight drives hit against James Anderson and Tim Bresnan. Rogers brought up his second fifty of the Ashes off 49 balls.
Shane Watson looked a tad scratchy at the start of the innings. He survived a close leg-before call early on in his innings against Stuart Broad.
Batting on 19 he edged Bresnan to first slip to give England their first wicket on a placid track. Soon after Khawaja was out too. Rogers is still going strong.
England named an unchanged playing XI. Monty Panesar, who has 25 wickets in three Tests at the venue missed out.
Earlier Australia’s captain Michael Clarke won the toss and chose to bat first. Australia made three changes bringing David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Nathon Lyon in places of Phil Hughes, injured James Pattinson and Ashton Agar respectively. So far, Rogers has vindicated Clarke’s decision to bat first. DRS continues to be Australia’s pet-peeve.
Australia 92 for 2 (Chris Rogers 67*; Graeme Swann 1 for 3) vs England.