Ashes: Oz win series-opener by 277 runs
Lee ousted Pietersen in the first over on Monday, ending England's hopes of saving the Test.india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 16:00 IST
Brett Lee dismissed Kevin Pietersen in the first over on Monday, ending England's hopes of saving the first Test and helping Australia secure a 1-0 lead in the Ashes. The Australians mopped up the English tailenders in 91 minutes on the fifth of five scheduled days, bowling the Ashes holders out for 370 to secure a 277-run win in the first Test.
With the result almost a foregone conclusion after three days-- barring a record run chase or heavy rain in drought-stricken Brisbane-- the match will be scrutinized most for Australia's conservative decision not to enforce a follow-on. That allowed England's batsmen to get some confidence-building time in the middle and had Australia's bowlers working for 100 overs in hot and humid conditions in Brisbane.
With the second Test starting on Friday in Adelaide, strike bowler Glenn McGrath is in doubt with a seriously bruised heel and skipper Ricky Ponting is recovering from a back strain.
Pietersen defied the Australians for almost four hours on Sunday, sharing an innings-reviving 153-run stand with Paul Collingwood (96), but his departure after two deliveries with the new ball evaporated England's last real chance to save the match. The South African-born batsman did not add to his overnight 92 before hitting Lee to Damien Martyn at short mid-wicket and England slipped to 293-6.
Geraint Jones hit five boundaries in his 33 before chopping a McGrath ball onto his stumps to expose England's tailenders at 326-7.
Paceman Stuart Clark and Shane Warne combined to remove No. 8 Ashley Giles (23) and No. 9 Matthew Hoggard (8), both caught at slip slashing outside off stump.
The innings ended a half hour before the lunch interval when Steve Harmison (13) hooked Stuart Clark around to McGrath at fine leg.
Clark returned 4-72 in 24 overs and Warne returned 4-124, failing to add to his four wickets from Sunday afternoon. One problem for Australia ahead of the second Test is the fitness of McGrath, who took 6-50 to skittle England for 157 in the first innings.
McGrath, coming back from 10 months out of the Test arena, needed pain-killing injections to bowl on the last two days. Ponting strained his back batting early Sunday morning and did not field for all of England's 80 overs on day four. He did field Monday, but not in his customary close catching positions.
Ponting, who scored 196 in Australia's first innings of 602-9 declared, elected not to enforce the follow-on Saturday, despite a 445-run first innings buffer.
It was the largest first-innings lead where the follow-on has not been enforced in Test cricket.
Australia won the first Test at Lord's last year before losing two of the next four matches to surrender the Ashes for the first time in almost two decades.
First Published: Nov 27, 2006 12:09 IST