Brisbane, Dec 8: Australia dealt their English foes an early Ashes blow on day one of the first Test in a stunning bowling performance in Brisbane before rain washed out the final session.
Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, though his plans for England took a turn in the session’s opening moments.
Australian new ball tearaway quick Mitchell Starc struck with the first ball of the series, hitting the base of Rory Burns’ leg stump as he shuffled across. It was just the second occasion a wicket has fallen on the first ball of an Ashes series, with Stan Worthington caught by Bert Oldfield off the bowling of Ernest McCormick in 1936.
Josh Hazlewood kept the foot down for Australia at the other end, removing Dawid Malan and Joe Root to leave the tourists reeling at 11/3.Ben Stokes and Haseeb Hameed dug in until the first drinks break, though captain Pat Cummins removed Stokes with a beauty, finding the shoulder of the left-hander’s bat after refreshments.
Hameed was joined by Ollie Pope, and the pair dug in despite the efforts of the deployed Nathan Lyon, sat on 399 Test wickets.
Hameed’s work was undone immediately after lunch, with Captain Cummins again finding the edge, as Steve Smith took a solid catch.
It brought Jos Buttler out, who channelled his white-ball form from the T20 World Cup seemingly, countering with an array of strokes of both the front and back foot. Buttler and Pope raced to a fifty-run stand, though any aspirations of building on their start were quashed a ball after the pair reached the milestone.
Buttler (39) edged a good Starc delivery to Alex Carey, and Cameron Green enjoyed his first Test wicket soon after, with Pope (35) top-edging to Josh Hazlewood in the deep.England were unable to cause late-innings drama, falling to 147 all out, with Pat Cummins leading from the front with figures of 5/38.
As the teams made their way off for the tea break taken at the end of the innings, rain fell across the ground, causing a further break in play. Despite the rain abating after a while, overcast conditions and a wet outfield ensured that no further play took place.