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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
McGrath inspires Aussie fightback
First Test, Lord's (stumps, day one):
Australia 190; England 92-7

Glenn McGrath
McGrath holds up the ball after taking his 500th Test wicket

Glenn McGrath claimed his 500th Test wicket and took 5-21 as England made a dispiriting reply to Australia's 190 all out on day one of the Ashes series.

They closed on 92-7 at Lord's with Kevin Pietersen still there, after an extraordinary opening day which lived up to all the pre-match hype.

Steve Harmison (5-43) had earlier excelled as the Aussies batted first.

But McGrath then destroyed England's upper order in a spell just after tea that changed the match completely.

Australia batted in overcast conditions while England mainly batted in the sunshine. But neither set of batsmen could ever be said to be enjoying themselves.

By contrast, with bounce and swing on offer first thing, the hosts looked happy to bowl after captain Michael Vaughan had lost the toss.

Matthew Hayden played nervously from the word go and it was no surprise when Matthew Hoggard removed him with the total on 35.

A delivery swung into the stumps from outside the left-hander's off-stump, Hayden played outside the ball and it cannoned into off-stump to elicit a huge cheer from the crowd.

Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting's brief innings was also full of incident.

DAY ONE - KEY MOMENTS
1123: A vicious Harmison bouncer cuts Aussie skipper Ponting on his right cheek
1333: Australia plunge to 126-6 as Flintoff removes the dangerous Gilchrist
1619: England collapse to 21-5 as McGrath clean bowls Flintoff
1804: Lee peppers Giles with short balls before dismissing him with the last ball of the day

He was dropped second ball by Pietersen fielding at a close gully position and was then hit on the helmet when missing an attempted pull against Harmison.

The metal grille jammed against his right cheek, cutting the skin, and the team physio had to staunch the flow of blood with a plaster.

Then, after reaching nine, Ponting played an uncertain defensive shot at Harmison and was easily caught at third slip by Andrew Strauss.

Two further wickets followed in the next three overs.

Andrew Flintoff's first over in Ashes cricket was a wicket maiden - his strike coming when Justin Langer (Australia's top-scorer with 40) top-edged a pull to be caught at square-leg.

Steve Harmison
Harmison was hostile and accurate for England on the first morning

Simon Jones also struck in his first over of the day when Damien Martyn feathered an edge to wicket-keeper Geraint Jones.

The last wicket of the morning session came when Jones won an lbw decision against Michael Clarke, umpire Rudi Koertzen deliberating for an age before ruling in favour of the bowler.

There was more joy for England after lunch.

Adam Gilchrist hit a breezy 26 before edging Flintoff behind to leave the score 126-6.

Australia then produced their best partnership as Shane Warne (28) and Simon Katich (26) put on 49, but Warne was riding his luck.

The famous leg-spinner finally went to the well once too often and was bowled by Harmison, who two balls later had Katich caught off a top-edged hook.

Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie were then easy fodder for an inspired Harmison and the Aussies were all out in 41 overs before tea.

Blood pours from Ponting's face after he is struck by Harmison
Blood pours from Ponting's face after he is struck by Harmison

Though Strauss and Marcus Trescothick survived the five overs leading up to tea, they failed to make much headway thereafter as McGrath had both men caught in the slips in the same over.

The veteran seamer then bowled three right-handers as the ball jagged off the seam and on occasion stayed low.

Michael Vaughan played back to one he should have been forward to, Ian Bell was bowled off the inside edge and Flintoff was defeated by one that kept low.

Pietersen and Geraint Jones then found themselves batting together with the total an uninspiring 21-5.

But the sun was out and once McGrath finally came out of the attack the noose loosened for the hosts.

Gillespie was treated with some disdain by both batsman but late in the day Brett Lee produced a snorter which Jones (30) could only fend to the wicket-keeper.

That strike ended a valuable 58-run partnership.

Ashley Giles was caught off a Lee no-ball moments later before treading on his stumps facing the final delivery.

That made it patently advantage Australia.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Australia's Glenn McGrath


Interview: England's Steve Harmison


Interview: Australia selector David Boon



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