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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
England checked by Aussie revival
Fourth Ashes Test, Trent Bridge (day one, close): England 229-4 v Australia

Michael Vaughan
England reached 229-4 as Australia fought back with three wickets in the final session of a truncated opening day of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.

Marcus Trescothick's third fifty of the series put England in command at 129-1 before rain arrived during lunch.

When play finally resumed debutant Shaun Tait ousted Trescothick for 65 and also claimed Ian Bell cheaply.

Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen were both dropped but went on to share 67 before the skipper fell for 58.

The Australians suffered two early setbacks, Glenn McGrath failing a fitness test on a sore elbow to be sidelined for a second time this summer, and Ricky Ponting calling incorrectly at the toss.

McGrath was replaced by Mike Kasprowicz, which meant the Australian attack had an unfamiliar look to it, the first time since 1996 that neither McGrath nor Jason Gillespie had been in the line-up.

Kasprowicz was the one bowler to find some early movement in the opening exchanges, before the England batsmen quickly took command.

In addition to losing a crucial toss and having to bowl on an easy paced pitch ideal for batting, the Australians again had problems over-stepping, and sent down a total of 18 no-balls in the morning session.

Trescothick, often a nervous starter, was still to score when he fenced at a wide one from Brett Lee, who took the new ball with Kasprowicz.

Debutant Shaun Tait was brought on after 10 overs, but the featherbed pitch would not have been one he would have chosen for his first Test spell.

With a rolling approach to the wicket and an ungainly, slingy action, his first ball was full barely on the cut strip.

He soon clocked in excess of 93mph but Trescothick dispatched successive boundaries through the off-side in his second over.

Shaun Tait
Tait's action is unorthodox but generates pace and movement both ways

Andrew Strauss also looked in excellent touch, successful with the pull shot whenever the ball was dropped short.

With the score at 74-0 after 17 overs, Shane Warne was introduced, but England continued their policy of attacking him and a man was immediately deployed on the mid-wicket boundary.

Having conceded 16 from his first 15 balls, Warne got the breakthrough in unusual fashion, Strauss sweeping from wide of the off-stump and the ball fizzing onto his foot before looping to Matthew Hayden at slip.

Umpire Steve Bucknor was undecided and referred the decision to the third umpire, who confirmed the batsman's demise.

That brought in Michael Vaughan, no doubt still jubilant that he was not having to contain the Australian batsmen on this pitch, and he was duly presented with a short one that he dispatched beautifully off the back foot to the boundary.

For the third time in the series the Australians took a wicket with a no-ball, Trescothick's angled bat sending the ball crashing into the stumps.

To compound the problem Lee sent down another next up as he vented his anger, Trescothick swatting it to the boundary.

With Warne and Lee noticeably agitated, Vaughan continued his work serenely with two elegant drives in the final over before lunch.

Tait was able to extract some away movement in his one over after the first rain break, utilising the wind direction to tempt Vaughan into a wild lash way outside the off-stump that fortunately for him he failed to make contact with.

Only three overs were bowled before the players went off again, but when they returned at 1555 the Australians came right back into the contest.

Tait and Kasprowicz were able to extract movement in the air and off the seam, and the wicket was given a little extra spice with steady drizzle falling on it as the umpires elected to play on.

Mike Kasprowicz
Kasprowicz fails to hold a routine return catch from Pietersen

Trescothick was beaten by both the pace and swerve of Tait's inswinger, while Bell edged one in the corridor of uncertainty that saw Gilchrist take a neat catch tumbling to his right.

Having dropped catches and misses stumpings at Old Trafford, Gilchrist held on superbly for his 300th Test dismissal, only the fourth wicket-keeper to do so.

But then came the reprieves, Pietersen on 14 trying to turn one to leg and offering a straight return catch that Kasprowicz got a hand to but spilled.

When Vaughan was 30 he tried to force the unfortunate Kasprowicz off the back foot and Hayden grassed a chance at comfortable height in the gully.

There was general incredulity when Ponting brought himself into the attack and began with two of the widest deliveries of the summer, but the move almost brought a wicket when Pietersen was stranded halfway down the wicket and was relieved to see Hayden's throw miss the target.

Vaughan brought up his half-century in stylish fashion with a clip to the mid-wicket fence, and England were relieved to see bright sunshine that made batting more favourable again.

But Ponting had the last word and found a useful one that moved away and caught the edge as Vaughan tried to force off the back foot.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England's Marcus Trescothick


Interview: Australia's Shaun Tait



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