Watto knock! Aussies finally get hold of them
Shane Watson hit his first century in 25 Tests to help Australia move to 183-3 at tea on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against England. ScorecardUpdated: Aug 22, 2013 01:49 IST
Shane Watson hit his first century in 25 Tests to help Australia move to 183-3 at tea today on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test against England in London.
Under pressure following his poor form all series with the bat, Watson smashed 18 fours and a six to reach 121 not out from 157 balls at The Oval. He batted on after taking a fierce blow to the head from a bouncer by Stuart Broad and was dropped on 104 by Alastair Cook in the slips.
Two wickets fell in the afternoon session after Australuia reached 112-1 by lunch. Graeme Swann had Chris Rogers caught by Jonathan Trott for 23, and James Anderson bowled Michael Clarke for 7, leaving Steven Smith as the other not out batsman on 15.
Anderson has England's best figures with 2-21.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat but had to endure a hostile opening spell from Anderson and Broad before Watson hit debutants Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan out of the attack.
Warner lasted only 18 minutes before getting an outside edge to Anderson for wicketkeeper Matt Prior to accept the catch.
However, England's decision to release fast bowlers Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett from its squad and go without experienced back-up for the opening quicks backfired when Watson gave the new boys a harsh introduction to test cricket.
Watson hit both Woakes and Kerrigan for six fours, but he also smashed Graeme Swann for a six over the sightscreen and brought up his 50 from 61 deliveries when he nudged a single from Kerrigan.
Australia reached 100 when Watson hit Kerrigan for 18 in the 25th over, forcing England captain Alastair Cook to bring back Broad in a bid to stem the flow of boundaries.
Broad responded with a maiden over, but the century partnership was reached in the final over before lunch when Rogers flicked Broad for three runs through midwicket.
Rogers fell for 23 early in the afternoon session when he edged Swann to Jonathan Trott, who took a low catch at first slip.
Watson was on 91 when he was hit on the back of the head by a Broad bouncer. The blow struck the batsman just below the helmet, but after a two-minute delay he continued.
Michael Clarke looked vulnerable throughout his 39-ball innings and was bowled off his pads by Anderson in the 43rd over. In the next over, Watson, having slowed slightly since lunch, reached his first century in 48 attempts with a stroke for three from Anderson.
England then squandered the momentum when Cook dropped Watson after he edged Anderson to first slip.
The debutants returned at the end of the session. Woakes improved, but Kerrigan's final over before tea began with a rank, head-high full toss that Smith swatted for four.
First Published: Aug 21, 2013 15:32 IST