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The Ashes 2010 1st Test, Day 1: Siddle Hat-trick Stuns England

By on November 25, 2010

Australia 0 for 25 (Katich 15*, Watson 6*) trail England 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Siddle 6-54) by 235 runs…

Birthday boy Peter Siddle has become the ninth Australian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket and has finished with 6-54 as the English fell from 4-197 to be all out for 260.

The hat-trick was all class, with each delivery a genuine wicket ball. Alastair Cook was drawn into an edge to Watson at slip, Matt Prior was bowled all ends up with an inswinger, and Stuart Broad was trapped plumb in front with the perfect sandshoe-crusher.

The drama escalated further when Broad referred the decision, but the decision was never in doubt, and the Gabba crowd were granted the opportunity to erupt again when Aleem Dar raised his finger for the second time.

The even-keel contest was no more, and the visitors were all of a sudden down and out at 7-197.

Ian Bell was by far and away the best of the English batsman, and his knock of 76 – before becoming Xavier Doherty’s first Test wicket – was all class, and a sure sign that the right-handed No.6 will be a key player in the Ashes series.

Cook’s score of 67, from 168 deliveries, may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing innings ever played at the Gabba, but after losing Andrew Strauss to the third ball of the day, his anchoring role, was necessary.

Kevin Pietersen (43) and Jonathan Trott (29) offered resistance at the top of the order, as well.

The avalanche of wickets in the third session may have sent the home-side into the lead, but from the start of play to the time Siddle went ballistic, it had been an incredibly tight and tough game of Test match cricket.

After returning from tea at 4-172, England continued steadily for a time and with the exception of one Cook edge through the slips off Watson in the 60th over, the Australians failed to threaten.

Initially, Siddle bowled too wide and Hilfenhaus was unable to swing the ball, even with some building cloud cover.

But the English showed no inclination to push the advantage, and after 65 overs the scoring rate had fallen to three runs an over, with Cook particularly pedestrian.

Siddle straightened up in the 66th and the change of line paid immediate and massive dividends; out of nowhere, his hat-trick ripped the game from the visitors.

Ian Bell reminded the Australians there were still some wickets to take, clipping Siddle for four soon after to bring up a beautifully played 50.

But Siddle was irrepressible, and he made it six wickets for the day, trapping Graeme Swann plumb LBW to send the English fumbling to 8-228.

James Anderson should have been the next man to fall to the Victorian juggernaut, but keeper Brad Haddin was unable to hang on to a hot diving chance low down to his left.

Ian Bell began to farm the strike, but even he was not immune to the momentum of Siddle, and he very nearly chopped on in the 72nd over.
Bell was attempting to hit out while he had his chance, and it was his eventual undoing, falling to the first ball of Doherty’s 14th.

Doherty made it two for the over and two for the day when he knocked Anderson over.

Australia made it through to stumps without loss, finishing the first day’s play at the Gabba well on top, after Peter Siddle snared a hat-trick and led the bowling attack to dismiss England for 260.

With seven overs to negotiate, Shane Watson and Simon Katich were calm and collected, compiling a chanceless 25 runs to reduce England’s first innings lead to 235.

Watson was as assured as any Australian fan could have dreamt in the first over, leaving the wider balls, defending with confidence, and blasting a cover-drive for four all the way along the ground with a full swing of the bat.

England were having no luck with the seam attack, so after six overs Strauss threw the ball to his spinning weapon, Graeme Swann, to bowl the last over of the day.

But Simon Katich treated the right-arm off-spinner with complete irreverence, blasting his first two Test match deliveries in Australia to the boundary.

Andrew Strauss had been dismissed by Ben Hilfenhaus with the third ball of the day, but despite the promising start, it wasn’t until the third session that Australia truly grabbed the game by the collar.

Source: Cricket Australia

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