England fight back on dramatic opening day against Australia

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Australia closed on 75-4 in reply to England's 215 as seamers dominated the opening day of the Ashes first test at Trent Bridge.

Peter Siddle claimed 5-50 as he ripped through the hosts' middle order - claiming five of England's top seven batsmen - before a riotous final session in Nottingham saw fellow Aussie seamers James Pattinson (3-69) and Mitchell Starc (2-54) clean up shortly after tea.

Having lost their last four wickets for just two runs, England responded positively, and proceeded to tear through the Australian top order, with Steven Finn and James Anderson seemingly inspired by the new ball.

After opting to bat first on day one, England lost captain Alastair Cook (13) and his new opening partner Joe Root (30) during the morning session, but recovered well to go in at lunch on 98-2.

However, Kevin Pietersen - who had joined top scorer Jonathan Trott (48) at the crease - fell foul to Siddle's first over of the afternoon session, and after Trott went with England on 124-4, Australia smelt an opportunity.

Jonathan Bairstow led an England counter-attack during a 54-run stand with Ian Bell for the fifth wicket, before Siddle returned to dismiss Bell and Matt Prior in successive overs.

England collapsed after tea with Stuart Broad (24) caught-and-bowled by Pattinson, before Bairstow (37) and Finn (0) went in successive balls from Starc, leaving last-man Anderson to prevent a hat-trick.

His clever leave only delayed the inevitable, though, as Graeme Swann (1) was dismissed for a catch into cover in the following over.

Australia began their innings positively as Shane Watson struck successive fours off Finn, taking the visitors' total to 19 off as many balls. However, the Middlesex fast bowler hit back with a double strike to take Watson then Ed Cowan to alter the course of the match.

Then up-stepped Anderson with arguably the most crucial wicket of the day, as he dismissed Michael Clarke for a six-ball duck. It was his 308th Test wicket, which took him past Fred Trueman into third place on England's all-time list.

If that was the icing on the cake, then the cherry came soon after, with Chris Rodgers trapped lbw for Anderson's 309th, to cap a fascinating finale to the opening day at Trent Bridge.

England could yet escape with a first innings lead, if they can successfully dismantle the remainder of Australia's batting order on Thursday, with Steve Smith perhaps the biggest threat, finishing Wednesday on 38 not out.




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