THE KEY MOMENTS
- No batsman manages 50 as England fall to 215 all out, having chosen to bat
- Siddle stars with the ball, bagging 5-50
- But Anderson and Finn lead fightback with four early wickets
- Stuart Broad did not field in evening session after shoulder injury while bowling
- Batting from both sides poor
- Australia spring a surprise with selection of teenage spinner Ashton Agar, England pick Finn over Bresnan
THE EVENING REPORT
Australia 75-4 (21 overs: Smith 37*, Hughes 7*) - England 215 all out
England began the hard work of getting themselves out of a hole with four Australian wickets in a frenzied evening session at Trent Bridge.
Having wobbled before tea, the hosts' batting fell away completely to a meagre total of 215 all out, a far cry from the target they might have had in mind when they won the toss.
Stuart Broad, having batted his way to a carefree 24, was the first to perish - but the bigger concern will be his shoulder. He was rapped on the right shoulder by James Pattinson when he batted, and did not take to the field, let alone bowl, in the evening session. His wicket came courtesy of another short ball, top-edging a catch back to Pattinson.
That precipitated a collapse, with Jonny Bairstow falling for 37 to Mitchell Starc in the next over. It was a super ball, rocking back the off stump having swung late, and signalled the death of England's momentum. Steven Finn followed the next ball, caught behind and reviewing the decision for reasons which were less clear than the edge he had got to the delivery.
As farce threatened to envelop the England innings it was probably of some relief that it ended quickly, Pattinson grabbing the final wicket as Swann holed out to Phil Hughes.
But the fightback began swiftly and the Nottingham crowd sprung into life.
Finn, struck for three early fours by Shane Watson, got the opener driving and caught behind. Ed Cowan perished in similar fashion the very next ball, while the hat-trick delivery was only a whisker away from clattering Michael Clarke's off stump, or feathering the edge of his bat.
Clarke did depart for a duck, however, as Anderson bowled him a beauty which straightened from middle stump and clipped the top of off.
At that point England threatened to run riot, but in the end they could only prise out one more wicket - opener Chris Rogers leg before to Anderson.
Steve Smith played smoothly for 37, belying the fact he was not in the original Ashes squad. He may get his reward if the sunshine returns to the Midlands tomorrow and deprives the bowlers of their swing. Meantime England will be hoping that Broad heals and wakes up ready to bowl his share of the overs tomorrow.
THE TEA REPORT
England 185-6 (52 overs: Trott 48, Bairstow 32*)
England’s middle order flattered to deceive as Australia took a further four wickets in the afternoon session.
There were starts aplenty, but the tone for the afternoon session was set once Kevin Pietersen played a loose shot and gave Peter Siddle an early wicket, before bowling Jonathan Trott for 48 via a thick inside edge.
England, who have a dreadful record on the opening days of series in recent times, launched a feisty comeback via Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow, who reached the lunch break unbeaten on 32 from 35 deliveries, but late wickets arrested that momentum.
Siddle grabbed both those wickets, bringing up another first-day five-wicket Ashes haul.
First he drew an edge from Ian Bell, who had just shown some fluency to reach 25. And with tea 10 minutes away, Matt Prior gifted his wicket by slashing at a wide delivery to the covers.
THE LUNCH REPORT
England 98-2 (26 overs: Trott 37*, Pietersen 10*) versus Australia. England won the toss and chose to bat first.
Honours were just about even after England reached 98 for two wickets in a gripping opening session of the Ashes.
Alastair Cook fell for 13, while Joe Root followed for 30, but Jonathan Trott, who eased to an unbeaten 37 from 47 balls and Kevin Pietersen took the home side through to the lunch interval in good shape.
England’s only selection issue was resolved when Steven Finn got the nod over Tim Bresnan – but there were plenty of talking points in the Australia line-up.
The highlight was a debut for 19-year-old Ashton Agar, the left-arm spinner who had only 10 first-class matches under his belt, while Steve Smith was recalled into the middle order.
While the rest of England is baked in sunshine, the clouds rested defiantly over Nottingham, meaning that although Cook was pleased to win the toss and bat, there was some swing for the Australians to work with.
After a rogue wide from James Pattinson to begin the contest, he settled into an impressive rhythm, culminating in the dismissal of Cook for 13. The skipper played too far away from his body, tickling an edge behind for a routine catch for Brad Haddin on his Test return.
Trott joined Root in the middle, and made a positive and dynamic start. At one point both men had 16 – all in fours. They kept that partnership ticking along, wresting the initiative back from the Australians as the back-up bowling of Peter Siddle and Agar failed to exert any control.
But just after their fifty stand, a change of ends for Siddle, who had gone for 27 runs in his first four-over burst, bore an instant result. His yorker beat Root and a hint of late swing took out the off stump.
Pietersen came in next, to applause from the crowd where he once played his county cricket. He could easily have been strangled down the leg side early, but Haddin missed his fine glance and it ran away for four.
As it is, England's nervy starter has a chance to get underway in earnest after the lunch break, although Australia will have been heartened by a bit of late swing for their seamers, and a hint of turn for Agar to work with.