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Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Thursday, 25 November 2010

Ashes: Peter Siddle hat-trick shocks England at Gabba

First Ashes Test, Brisbane:
England 260 v Australia 25-0 (day one, stumps)

Dates: 25-29 November Start time: 0000 GMT Coverage: Listen live to Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK only). Watch live on Sky Sports 1, highlights on ITV 4
Match scorecard

Australia players congratulate hat-trick hero Peter Siddle
Hat-trick hero Peter Siddle soaks up the congratulations

By Oliver Brett

Peter Siddle took a hat-trick on his 26th birthday and a Test-best 6-54 as England's batting was dismantled on the opening day of the first Ashes Test.

England had reached 197-4 before Siddle had Alastair Cook caught at slip for 67, and then removed Matt Prior and Stuart Broad with his next two balls.

Ian Bell hit out, making a fine 76, but England were all out for a modest 260.

Shane Watson and Simon Katich safely negotiated six overs as Australia replied with 25-0 in Brisbane.

The day served as a harsh reminder for England that, despite their flawless preparation and some strong performances in the three tour games, an Ashes series on Australian soil remains one of the toughest of assignments.

Australia, by contrast, went into the match on the back of three straight Test defeats - but the Gabba has long been a fortress and England made poor use of winning an important toss.

F Spofforth (Aus), Melbourne 1879
W Bates (Eng), Melbourne 1883
J Briggs (Eng), Sydney 1892
JT Hearne (Eng), Headingley 1899
H Trumble (Aus), Melbourne 1902
H Trumble (Aus), Melbourne 1904
S Warne (Aus), Melbourne 1994
D Gough (Eng), Sydney 1999
P Siddle (Aus), Brisbane 2010

Captain Andrew Strauss lasted just three balls, Jonathan Trott (29) fell when threatening a major innings, and it was a similar case with Kevin Pietersen (43).

Cook, who put on 76 with Pietersen and 72 with Bell, played his part but it was his wicket that triggered the Siddle-inspired collapse that left Australia firmly on top.

It was a perfect day for the Victorian, playing only his 18th Test and first since January after spending much of the year in rehab recovering from a stress fracture in his back.

His inclusion in this match had been a hotly-debated topic, with the in-form Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger, who had also endured an injury-affected build-up, both left out.

Siddle became the 11th Australian to take a hat-trick, the fifth in an Ashes series and the first against England since Shane Warne at Melbourne in 1994.

He took all six wickets with balls of full length, an indication to England's bowlers of how they might yet prosper on day two.

The tourists' attack will have much to do after the hosts started the much-anticipated series in ideal fashion.

After two dot balls from Ben Hilfenhaus, Strauss sensed the chance of an early boundary, but the ball got a bit big on him, and was too close to his body for him to control the shot properly.

It flew straight to Michael Hussey at gully, and already Strauss's fastidious plans had taken a major knock.


It was with a huge sigh of relief that the generous contingent of England supporters greeted the first runs of the day, Trott steering Hilfenhaus down to third man for four in the third over.

Soon afterwards, England were nearly two men down, as the new Kookaburra ball combined with humidity to create a bit of nip for the bowlers.

Siddle appealed for lbw against Trott, umpire Aleem Dar thought long and hard and ruled not out. Ponting went for the review, but with the ball just clipping leg stump on the replay, Trott was permitted to stand his ground.

Things continued to look dicey for England, a Trott edge off Siddle just bouncing before getting to Ponting at second slip.

But, with Cook building slowly and Trott more positive, England got through the first hour without losing any more wickets, only for a 41-run partnership to be ended in the first over after drinks by Watson.

Ian Bell
Without Ian Bell, England would not have got to 200

A full, straight delivery somehow went through Trott's pushed drive to bowl the Warwickshire man.

Cook finally hit a boundary, pulling the disappointing Mitchell Johnson, while Pietersen announced his arrival with a crisp off-drive for four off Watson.

The introduction of debutant spinner Xavier Doherty proved a muted affair; in fact Doherty was more noticeable for his error in the field when dropping Cook, on 26, above his head at point.

Australia sensed a missed opportunity as England took lunch on 86-2.

When Cook then cracked a boundary off the first ball after lunch, and Pietersen began to show a liking for Johnson, the tourists looked well placed. But two Siddle overs forced an urgent reappraisal.

First, an excellent full-length delivery, with a bit of seam movement away from the bat, lured Pietersen into a drive that was well held by Ponting at second slip.

And another smart catch in the slip cordon, this time taken by Marcus North, did for Paul Collingwood, who made just four.

It was imperative for Bell and Cook to produce a weighty stand.

Bell looked in fine touch from the very start of his innings, but having rushed to 18 from his first 22 balls he survived a close call when the Australians reviewed a not-out decision on an appeal for caught behind off Johnson.

There was no concrete evidence that Bell had hit the ball, so Ponting had used up both his referrals.

A tea-time score of 172-4 again suggested a promising position for England, but Australia employed a conservative approach early in the final session to slow the scoring.

With the runs drying up, the Aussies still needed wickets, and Siddle provided three in three balls.

First Cook nicked one in the channel outside off-stump to Watson at first slip, then Prior left a huge gate, was beaten for pace and bowled by a straight one.

As the Gabba crowd roared in expectation, Siddle gave the Aussie fans what they wanted, arrowing in a yorker at Broad's pads to claim the first Ashes hat-trick since Warne's effort 16 years ago.

The moment was tainted a little as England reviewed the decision, in some desperation, but the tourists' plight was plain to see.

Siddle hails 'amazing' day

Bell sensibly upped the tempo, but Graeme Swann lasted just nine balls before falling lbw to Siddle, who had become an unstoppable force - he would have had a seventh wicket if Brad Haddin had clung onto a diving catch off James Anderson.

Instead, Doherty wrapped up the innings as Bell, looking for his ninth boundary, was caught in the deep and Anderson was bowled.

Australia's openers started brightly, and when Swann's first two balls were sweetly hit by Katich for boundaries, one could sense England's confidence rapidly draining and Australia's growing massively.

Listen to the day one Test Match Special podcast right here.

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see also
Bell confident of England revival
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Jonathan Agnew column
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First Ashes Test in photos
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Strauss focused on Gabba opener
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Clarke passed fit for Ashes Test
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England will win Ashes - Flintoff
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Australia selectors drop Hauritz
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England in Australia 2010-11
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Live cricket on the BBC
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