Ashes 2013-14: Stuart Broad's fifer leaves Australia reeling at 273/8 at stumps on Day 1 of 1st Test

Stuart Broad (right) took five wickets on Day One against Australia in the first Ashes 2013-14 Test © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

Nov 21, 2013

A magnificent bowling performance from Stuart Broad ensured England take honours on Day One of the first Ashes 2013-14 Test in Brisbane at the Gabba on Thursday. Broad took five wickets as Australia are at 273 for eight at stumps. Half-centuries from Brad Haddin (78 not out) and Mitchell Johnson (64) helped Australia in the evening session.

The post-tea session began cautiously, but Haddin got the crowd going quickly with a six off James Anderson. The ball was not that short, but Haddin rocked back onto his back-foot and got underneath the ball and pulled over deep square-leg for a maximum.

After facing a testing over from Anderson, Johnson targeted Graeme Swann. He punched one from Swann off the back-foot and the ball raced away to the fence on the off-side for a four. Joe Root could have stopped that, but fumbled at the boundary. Haddin then slapped a wide delivery from Anderson for a four through point.

Johnson was playing Swann with ease. He was even fending off bouncers from Chris Tremlett. The 50-run partnership between Haddin and Johnson also came along. Johnson then hit a lofted drive off Swann down the ground to get another four.

All this while, Alastair Cook kept an attacking field with two slips and a gully. Johnson then launched Swann again for a four down the ground. That ensured Australia went past the 200-run mark. Johnson then went one better and smashed a straight six over Swann’s head.

Haddin reached his 50 at a strike-rate of 50 in his 50th Test. Johnson then got underneath a ball from Swann and hit a four towards the mid-wicket region. Haddin looked in great form as he played a delightful straight drive off Tremlett which raced away for a four.

Johnson reached his half-century with another lofted drive over extra-cover off Swann that raced away for a four. The pitch offered little to the bowlers towards the end of the day and the Australian top-order would have been kicking themselves for not capitalising on the opportunity.

Cook took the new ball and after a few overs, he was rewarded with a wicket. Broad bowled an in-swinger and Johnson left a small gap between his bat and pad as the ball clipped the bails. The stand between the duo was 114 runs for the seventh wicket.

Peters Siddle was the next batsman and he did not last long as he edged an away swinger from Anderson to Cook at first slip. Ryan Harris joined Haddin out in the middle. At stumps, Haddin was unbeaten on 78, while Harris was on four.

Earlier in the day, Australian captain Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first. George Bailey got his Test debut for Australia. Michael Carberry and Chris Tremlett were selected in the England team.

England started well as Broad dismissed Chris Rogers for one early on. Then David Warner and Watson put together a 59-run partnership for the second wicket. Warner was positive in his strokeplay and scored six fours in his inings. Watson departed for 22 just before lunch.

Clarke (1) and Warner (49) soon fell to Broad after the break to leave Australia reeling. Bailey handed Anderson his first wicket of the match by edging to Cook at first slip. Steven Smith’s resilient innings came to an end as a Tremlett riser found the edge and captain Cook pouched another catch. Then the rescue act began for Australia before England had the last laugh towards the end of the day’s play.

Brief scores:

Australia 273 for 8 (David Warner 49, Brad Haddin 78*, Mitchell Johnson 64; Stuart Broad 5 for 65) vs England.

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(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)