Ashes 2009 Australia v England, 1st Test, Day 1 Summary Cardiff
Morning Session: England got off to a solid start with Andrew Strauss looking in good form but not so for Alistair Cook. Cook looked out of sorts right from the start and gave his wicket away 10 runs (off 25 balls), courtesy of an athletic catch by Michael Hussey. Ravi Bopara, most consistent English batsman in the recent past, arrives at the crease and straight away he is attacked with the “short stuff”, with Peter Siddle hitting him on the face with a bouncer. The same was being delivered at Andrew Strauss. And all of a sudden, it seemed like that Indians weren’t the only one who struggled with short pitched deliveries. After living dangerously for most of his innings, Bopara gave his wicket away to Mitchell Johnson’s excellent slower delivery. Mitchell Johnson also got the wicket of Andrew Strauss through a quick and well directed bouncer caught by Michael Clarke in the slips.
At Lunch: England – 97/3 in 27.0 overs (KP Pietersen 6, PD Collingwood 5)
In the after lunch sesson, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood were starting to build a partnership and runs were starting at a fast pace. Both went on to make half-centuries. Kevin Pietersen got a lucky break off a good yorker bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus which hit him on his boot right in the front of the wicket but the umpire wasn’t convinced. Just when things were looking good for England, Paul Collingwood gave his wicket away to Ben Hilfenhaus caught by wicketkeeper Haddin. This was followed by the wicket of Pietersen when he played a bizarre shot trying to play the sweep shot onto the leg side to a ball which was good three feet outside the off stump.
Then came in Andrew Flintoff, the England Cricket Hero. He looked full of confidence with a big smile on his face. Flintoff got off to a solid start playing shots all around the park with full freedom and no fear. To me, he looked a bit over-confident. On the other side Matt Prior was also in full flow scoring runs at a fast pace (Strike Rate of 90+). Flintoff played some great shots and he looked in good form but in the end, he gave his wicket away to a wide delivery by Peter Siddle. I believe it was Flintoff’s over-confidence that lost him his wicket. Minutes after Flintoff’s exit, Matt Prior lost his wicket to an excellent in-swinging delivery by Peter Siddle. And what a mess did England make at the end of the day. First Kevin Pietersen lost his wicket in a silly way and Flintoff followed the same path. Matt Prior should have been more careful in the end with only 9 more deliveries left in the day’s play. England could have been in a much better place if they hadn’t made silly mistakes and had good composure to play quality cricket.
End of the Day: England – 336/7 in 90.0 overs (JM Anderson 2, SCJ Broad 4)