Australia struck the first blow in the Ashes with an emphatic 381-run victory inside four days at the Gabba.

Mitchell Johnson proved to be the key figure in proceedings, taking nine wickets in the match - five coming in the second innings as England failed to produce a competitive score for the second time.

The much-maligned paceman appears to be back to his best, and got a key breakthrough in the first session when Kevin Pietersen was caught in the deep when attempting a pull shot from a rising delivery.

With 'KP' and captain Alastair Cook at the crease, the visitors looked like they might have a slim chance of making the score competitive, with the prospect of either batting for two full days or chasing the victory ahead of them.

However, Ian Bell was also sent back to the hutch after lunch, and not even the rain of thunderstorms could save England once it all cleared up in Queensland.

Cook (65) went two-balls after returning to the field, before Matt Prior, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann were all taken out in quick succession.

Nathan Lyon was doing the damage at the other end, but it was Johnson who took the final wicket of James Anderson after Chris Tremlett had also been caught following a short ball, as the sledging almost boiled over - Michael Clarke warning Anderson to expect a broken arm in the middle.

England have time to recover before the second test, with the tourists looking to respond at the Adelaide Oval on December 5th.

Topics:
The Ashes
England cricket
Australia cricket
Cricket