The Ashes 2010/2011: Advantage England on Rain-Delayed Opening Day at Sydney

England have taken a marginal advantage on the opening day of the fifth and final The Ashes 2010/2011 test match at Sydney’s SCG, after reducing the hosts to 134 for 4 on a rain-hit day of cricket.

Australia looked to have got the better of the periods when play was possible, as they put themselves in good shape at 105 for 1, before England, inspired once again by the tight, consistent lines of Tim Bresnan, removed three batsmen in quick succession.

Once again, Hughes (31) was outperformed by his opening partner, Shane Watson (45), and it was Hughes who fell first, caught Collingwood, bowled Tremlett, with the score on a healthy looking 55.

50 runs later, Watson fell caught Strauss off Bresnan, with the score on 105, signalling a quick flurry of wickets. Eight runs later, Michael Clarke (4) became Bresnan’s second victim of the day, caught Pietersen.

Newly installed number three, Khawaja (37), was back in the pavilion with the score on 134, caught trott, bowled Swann. Play was called to a close immediately following this wicket.

Mike Hussey (12 not out) will be the scalp England really want early on day two, and both sides will be hoping for a break in the weather which saw more than two hours of delays on the opening day.

If the weather, or Australian batting, doesn’t improve over the next four days, we could see England, who have already retained the Ashes, win their first series in Australia in more than 20 years. Four days, however, is a long time in test cricket.

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