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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July 2005, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Ashes media watch
The first Ashes Test began with a bang for England but ended with a whimper.

The newspapers in England were promising fireworks from the likes of all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, paceman Steve Harmison and newcomer Kevin Pietersen, prior to the Lord's showpiece.

The Australian press, on the other hand, took a more considered view, believing both sides had a good chance of success.

But by the end of Sunday, the first Test honours belonged to Australia, after England's batsmen collapsed largely due to the guile of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Here is what the two rival nations' press made of the action-packed events at Lord's.


The Sun
"Vaughan again losers" was the headline used to describe England's defeat.

The tabloid followed that up with a second headline, "Another spine mess", to highlight the weakness of England's middle order which partly resulted in the team's 239-run loss.

The Mirror
The newspaper led with "You bunch of drips", stating that continuous bad weather had been England's only hope of saving the match.

"Pathetic England took just 61 balls to curl up their toes in a Lord's surrender which brought all their Ashes nightmares flooding back," wrote correspondent Mike Walters.

The Times
Simon Barnes wrote that nerves were a key to why England dropped so many catches.

'When it comes to playing Australia, England cannot shake off that feeling of deference, the feeling that they are not supposed to win," he said.

Daily Express
John Dillon wrote that Glenn McGrath's devastating spell towards the end of England's second innings highlighted the difference between the sides.

"What McGrath did when they finally got to play here in the dull late afternoon on Sunday was to take apart the remnants of Michael Vaughan's team with the casual air of someone who had been offered an opportunity to knock off early."

Daily Telegraph
The broadsheet focused on Pietersen's contribution with the bat, having made two half-centuries, and his three dropped catches.

"Pietersen's only realistic claim to be recognised as English is by the catches he drops," Martin Johnson wrote in his column.

"After only one Test match Pietersen is already being talked about as good enough to get in the Australia team and, who knows, he might yet apply," Johnson added.


Brisbane Courier Mail
Robert Craddock wrote: "England revealed its secret weapon to counter Shane Warne just before the first Test ... Merlyn the magical bowling machine.

"Fifteen years in the making, Merlyn is the first to be able to bowl top-class leg-spin and was programmed for what was anticipated to be Warne's stock balls - the leg-spinner and the slider.

"Three days later and Warne has proved there is only one magical leg-spinner in this series - and he doesn't have to be plugged into a wall."

Sydney Morning Herald
"The drizzle over Lord's cleared for just long enough for Australia to demoralise England by completing a crushing victory in the first Ashes Test," it said.

"The Australians, inspired by the vintage performances of old Ashes tormentors Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, needed only 10.1 overs on the fourth day to take the five remaining England wickets and seize a 1-0 lead that is expected to be crucial in shaping the rest of the series."

Sydney Morning Herald
Jon Pierik wrote: "The glossy polish of Bold New England was stripped away to reveal a side with the same shattering weaknesses of Frail Old England as Australia took the Ashes opener at Lord's.

"While defeat was hard enough to digest, it was the manner in which England collapsed that had many fans and past players worried about the series prospects of Michael Vaughan's team. "

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