Day 1: England cash in on McGrath's absence

England enjoyed Glenn McGrath's freak absence to score 407 all out on the first day of the 2nd Test.
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Updated on Aug 08, 2005 03:51 PM IST
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PTI | By AFP, Birmingham, England

England enjoyed Glenn McGrath's freak absence to score 407 all out on the first day of the second cricket Test against Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday.

It was England's best first day score since World War II surpassing the 406 for two they made against Pakistan in 1962 at The Oval.

Marcus Trescothick (90), Kevin Pietersen (71) and Andrew Flintoff (68) all made fifties on a day where England struck 10 sixes and 54 fours.

McGrath, who sustained an ankle injury after treading on a stray cricket ball on the outfield during the pre-match warm-up, could only watch as fellow quick Brett Lee (one for 11) and leg-spinner Shane Warne (four for 116) both conceded over 100 runs.

Before Australia could begin their reply, rain stopped play.

At tea, England were 289 for four, Flintoff 68 not out off 60 balls with five sixes and six fours and Pietersen 40 not out.

But three balls after the break Flintoff went without addition, caught behind by wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist off Jason Gillespie as the fast bowler became only the fifth Australian to take 250 Test wickets.

Together with Pietersen he'd put on 103 in 105 balls but England were now 290 for five.

And when Geraint Jones was caught behind for one off Kasprowicz, McGrath's replacement, Australia looked as if they might justify captain Ricky Ponting's decision to field first.

Ashley Giles, on his Warwickshire home ground, made a handy 23 before he was lbw to Warne.

Undaunted, Pietersen pulled Lee for six but two balls later holed out off him to Simon Katich at deep mid-wicket having faced 76 balls with 10 fours.

Tailender Stephen Harmison hooked Lee for six to bring up his fellow paceman's century before he fell to Warne.

But last man Simon Jones took England to 399 when he struck Jason Gillespie for a straight six before his two off the bowler took England past 400.

Jones finished on 19 not out after Warne had Matthew Hoggard lbw for 16.

Earlier Kasprowicz, took two wickets in four balls as England, 132 for one at lunch, slumped to 187 for four before Pietersen and Flintoff counter-attacked.

Marcus Trescothick was 77 not out at lunch and captain Michael Vaughan unbeaten on one.

But 10 runs short of what would have been his first Test century against Australia, left-handed opener Trescothick fended at a wide Kasprowicz delivery and edged to wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

Trescothick faced just 102 balls with two sixes and five fours.

And after Ian Bell (six) and Vaughan (24) went, England had lost three wickets for 23 runs in 32 balls.

Flintoff though struck Warne for three sixes, the first over long-on, the second over mid-wicket and the third clearing long-off.

But his most outrageous six came when, despite taking his eye off the delivery, he hooked Lee out of the middle, a shot made famous by another England all-rounder, Ian Botham, during the 1981 Ashes series.

England had a huge boost before play began when miserly bowler McGrath, man-of-the-match with nine for 82 at Lord's, was ruled out.

Nevertheless, Ponting chose to field on a pitch softened by tornado-induced rains last week.

Trescothick and fellow left-handed opener Andrew Strauss saw England off to a flying start with a flurry of boundaries.

Then Warne, Test cricket's leading wicket-taker, saw Strauss - whom he'd dropped at first slip on four - loft him for a boundary.

But Warne, who dropped Strauss at first slip on four, had his revenge and his 590th Test wicket when he bowled him for 48 with a ball that spun back sharply and beat the batsman's attempted forcing shot.

England 1st Innings

M Trescothick c Gilchrist b Kasprowicz 90

A Strauss b Warne 48

M Vaughan c Lee b Gillespie 24

I Bell c Gilchrist b Kasprowicz 6

K Pietersen c Katich b Lee 71

A Flintoff c Gilchrist b Gillespie 68

G Jones c Gilchrist b Kasprowicz 1

A Giles lbw b Warne 23

M Hoggard lbw b Warne 16

S Harmison b Warne 17

S Jones not out 19

Extras (lb-9, w-1, nb-14) 24

Total (all out, 79.2 overs) 407

Fall of wickets: 1-112, 2-164, 3-170, 4-187, 5-290, 6-293, 7-342, 8-348, 9-375

Bowling: Lee 17-1-111-1, Gillespie 22-3-91-2, Kasprowicz 15-3-80-3, Warne 25.

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