Australia wrap up thumping win

By Matthew Sherry

Australia’s bowlers produced another stunning display to earn a comprehensive 381-run victory in the first Ashes Test.

The tourists resumed their second innings on day four at 24 for two, 537 behind Australia, with captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen in situ.

Australia celebrate victory after Mitchell Johnson had James Anderson caught and bowled to earn fine figures of 5-42

After the duo batted through the first hour without alarm, Pietersen pulled Mitchell Johnson to the man at deep square-leg with the score on 72.

Cook responded well and brought up a valiant half-century just after lunch, only to lose Ian Bell – who edged Peter Siddle behind – for 32 soon after.

A heavy storm prompted a rain delay and, following the restart, Nathan Lyon had Cook caught behind for 65 on the cut and Matt Prior taken at leg slip.

Johnson compounded the holders’ misery in the next over, bowling with express pace that was too good for Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

The heavens then opened once more to create a further delay, yet Australia wasted little time when play got back under way as Ryan Harris had Chris Tremlett caught at short-leg and Johnson, fittingly, finished things off by taking a return chance off James Anderson for figures of 5-42.

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8am – At the post-mach presentations Mitchell Johnson is named man of the match for his nine wickets and 103 runs.

Australia captain Michael Clarke says: “A fantastic start, some fantastic individual performances, obviously, not better than Mitchell Johnson with the bat in both innings and with the ball.”

England skipper Alastair Cook adds: “Credit to Australia. They put us under pressure out there and we didn’t respond to it.”

Evening Session

Watch highlights of the evening session on day four

7.42am – WICKET! Anderson c & b Johnson 2; England 179 all out; Root 26 not out; Australia win by 381 runs and lead the Ashes 1-0 – That’s the game. Another vicious Johnson delivery takes Anderson’s glove and the bowler snaffles the return opportunity.

7.40am – Amid words being exchanged between Anderson and Michael Clarke, Root clips the new cherry to the square-leg boundary off Harris.

7.25am – It should be all over but it’s not. James Anderson sets off for a crazy single trying to ensure Root keeps the strike but, with his partner well short, Lyon dislodges the stumps with his elbow before the ball can get there.

7.20am – WICKET! Tremlett c Bailey b Harris 7; England 172/9 – The short-ball barrage works for Australia as Chris Tremlett inside-edges Harris to short-leg, where George Bailey takes a smart, one-handed catch.

7.06am – Root is playing wonderfully straight, picking up a boundary through mid-on off Harris.

6.45am – Play will resume in 15…

6.39am – And it looks like they will soon with the rain having stopped.

6.34am – Still raining at the ground, although the sun is out too. Australia will be itching to get back out there.

6.17am – RAIN STOPS PLAY! England 160/8 – Frustration for the hosts as the heavens open once more. On the flip side, the Gabba – as shown earlier – drains incredibly quickly.

6.13am – Stunning stroke from Joe Root, who straight drives Ryan Harris for a well-timed four amid rain falling.

5.50am – WICKET! Swann c Smith b Johnson 0; England 151/8 – Another one for Johnson. Graeme Swann is the man to go this time, edging a quick delivery to second slip, where Steven Smith takes a sharp catch.

5.48am – WICKET! Broad c Haddin b Johnson 4; England 151/7 – Mitchell Johnson grabs his third and what a delivery. From round the wicket, he targets Stuart Broad’s ribs and celebrates as the number eight – who crunched his first ball for a straight four off Lyon – gloves behind.

5.42am – WICKET! Prior c Warner b Lyon 4; England 146/6 – England slip further into trouble when Lyon, bowling around the wicket, has Matt Prior taken at leg slip.

5.30am – WICKET! Cook c Haddin b Lyon 65; England 142/5 – Got him! Perfect beginning after play recommences for Australia as Alastair Cook edges an attempted cut behind to depart off Nathan Lyon.

Afternoon Session

Watch highlights of the afternoon session at Brisbane

5.16am – Good news everyone: play is set to restart in around 10 minutes.

4.45am – It’s cleared up now and we’re set for an inspection in half an hour.

4.25am – The hail is here…

4.10am – As well as rain, there is expected thunder and lightning plus hailstones. Nasty.

3.59am – RAIN STOPS PLAY! England 142/3 – And there it is. Heavy rain starts the fall and the players head off.

3.53am – There is some truly horrendous weather in and around the ground. Think there’ll be a delay soon…

3.47am – MISSED CHANCE! – Well, that was close. Nathan Lyon gets some extra bounce and Cook edges an attempted cut to slip, where Michael Clarke is unable to hang on to a very difficult chance. 

3.42am – That is a stunning way to get off the mark. Siddle over-pitches and Joe Root responds with a glorious straight-driven four.

3.28am – WICKET! Bell c Haddin b Siddle 32; England 130/4 – Big wicket for Australia as Peter Siddle gets one to lift off a length and take Bell’s edge.

3.23am – Good cricket from Cook and Ian Bell, who are looking busy and keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

2.57am – FIFTY! Cook (156b 2×4 0x6) – Good work skip! Cook brings up a defiant half-century by cutting Johnson, bowling round the wicket, to the fence – a shot he follows up with an upper cut for four.

2.45am – Five runs come from the first over after the restart, sent down by Mitchell Johnson. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell need to bat long here.

Morning Session

Watch highlights of the morning session from the Gabba

2am – LUNCH! England 98/3; Cook 40, Bell 20 – Just one wicket lost in the session for England but Australia will still feel a lot closer to victory. The tourists trail by 463.

1.48am – Lovely stroke to end the impasse from Bell, who drives Steven Smith through cover four four.

1.43am – Australia are keeping a lid on these two, who seem intent on staying in survival mode. Intriguing stuff.

1.29am – Not a lot happening at the moment. Siddle and Lyon are both bowling tightly to Cook and Bell.

1.18am – Ian Bell is off the mark with a pushed single into the covers.

1.05am – WICKET! Pietersen c sub b Johnson 26; England 72/3 – How often do breaks bring wickets? And it’s a soft dismissal, too, as Pietersen pulls Johnson straight to the man at deep square-leg.

12.43am – Good start versus Nathan Lyon as Cook and KP look to be positive. That’s the mindset they need.

12.25am – A nice clip off the pad earns Alastair Cook three. These two have looked in good order thus far.

12.11am – Those England fans in attendance will have loved that! A powerful straight drive brings Pietersen his first four of the innings. 

12.03am – Good opening over from Peter Siddle, who twice finds Kevin Pietersen’s inside-edge. One would have offered an easy catch to short-leg but, alas, Michael Clarke did not have a man there.

Pre-Play News 

11.56pm – Here come Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook. England need their best today.

11.29pm – Hello and welcome to our live coverage of day four of the first Ashes Test. England, requiring 561 for victory, will resume on 24 for two having lost Michael Carberry and Jonathan Trott last evening.

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