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Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ashes: Chris Tremlett puts England in command

Third Ashes Test, Perth (day one, stumps):
Australia 268 v England 29-0
Venue: Waca Date: 16-20 December. Play resumes 0230 GMT on 17 Dec Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 live sports extra and online; live highlights and day's review on the TMS podcast ; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
Match scorecard

Chris Tremlett celebrates
Chris Tremlett was playing Test cricket for the first time since 2007

By Sam Sheringham

England took a firm grip on the third Ashes Test in Perth after bowling Australia out for 268 on the first day.

Chris Tremlett vindicated his selection with three fine wickets as the hosts slumped to 69-5 shortly after lunch.

Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson all hit fifties before a last-wicket stand of 35 between Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus boosted the total.

But it was another superb day for England as Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook reached 29-0 at the close.

Another commanding performance with the bat on Friday would put the tourists on course to secure the victory that would give them a 2-0 series lead and ensure they retain the Ashes with two Tests remaining.

TOM FORDYCE'S BLOG

For the second Test in a row Strauss's bowlers tore through Australia's top order in the first hour of the match, retained their composure through a middle-order rally, and bowled them out for less than 300 inside the first day.

And while England's decision to select the 6ft 7in Tremlett in place of the injured Stuart Broad paid off, Australia's muddled selection policy was exposed once again as Phil Hughes (two) was found wanting at the top of the order and all-rounder Steve Smith (seven) looked out of his depth at number six.

The duo were two of four changes to the Australia side that surrendered so meekly in Adelaide, as the hosts opted for a four-pronged pace attack and left out left-arm spinner Michael Beer.

But England's decision to bowl first on a green-tinged track meant the spotlight fell first on the home side's rejigged batting line-up.

In keeping with the first two Tests, those who had made it to the Waca in time for the start of play were rewarded with some early drama.

James Anderson, resuming new ball duties after his 20,000-mile round trip to England for the birth of his second child, thought he had dismissed Shane Watson in the first over of the match when Matt Prior took a flying catch down the leg side.

Umpire Billy Doctrove gave the batsman out but Watson was reprieved on review when replays showed the ball had missed the bat, brushing his side on the way through to the keeper.

England did not have to wait long for the breakthrough though.

Surrey paceman Tremlett, winning his fourth Test cap, had already roughed up Hughes with a pair of short deliveries in his first over when he sent down a full, straight ball. Attempting to work it to the leg-side, the left-handed Hughes played around the delivery and was comprehensively bowled.

Watson was almost dismissed in Tremlett's next over when Strauss failed to hold on to a catch well above his head, but once again England's disappointment was short-lived.

Ponting, who had already edged between the slips and gully, prodded defensively at Anderson and Paul Collingwood pulled off a superb one-handed catch high to his right at third slip.

JONATHAN AGNEW COLUMN

Michael Clarke was the next to fall, getting a thin edge to a pacy, straight delivery from Tremlett, leaving Prior to snaffle the catch.

Steve Finn was the next England bowler to strike, trapping Watson leg before wicket with a superb yorker to leave Australia in disarray at 36-4.

Tremlett snared his third victim in the second over after lunch as Smith prodded hard at a routine delivery outside off stump and fed a gentle catch to Strauss - the England captain seeming to break into a grin even before he had the ball safely in his grasp.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann did not enter proceedings until midway through the afternoon session and his first over was a forgettable one as Haddin helped himself to a four and a six off successive balls.

The counter-attack continued in the next over as Hussey passed 50 for the fourth time in as many innings this series with three boundaries off Finn, who had to leave the field of play with what appeared to be cramp.

But just when Australia's two form batsmen looked to be getting them back into the contest, Swann hit back, as a quicker delivery drew a faint edge from Hussey's bat and Prior took the catch behind the stumps.

James Anderson
James Anderson finished with figures of 3-61

Haddin and Mitchell Johnson continued to rebuild Australia's innings with a partnership of 52 before Haddin slashed wildly at Anderson and Swann took an athletic two-handed catch above his head to dismiss the batsman for 53.

Anderson, fresh from a hearty exchange of words with Johnson, bowled Harris with a yorker for three but Siddle managed to hang around to provide support to the increasingly menacing Johnson.

The recalled left-hander smashed eight fours and a six in a valuable knock before a mis-timed pull off the otherwise expensive Finn presented Anderson with a straightforward catch at square-leg.

A dose of old-fashioned slogging from Siddle and Hilfenhaus lifted the Australia total past 250 with Tremlett and Finn briefly put to the sword.

A concerned-looking Strauss turned to Swann, and the off-spinner delivered the last wicket as Hilfenhaus glanced the sixth ball of his first over to Cook at short leg.

England had a close shave in the second over of their innings when Strauss edged Ryan Harris just short of Ponting at second slip.

But Cook (17 not out) continued to look in superb touch, cutting Harris for six as England rounded off a fine day's work.

Listen to commentary highlights from day one (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Agnew and Boycott's review (available worldwide)



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see also
Waugh joins Ponting future debate
16 Dec 10 |  Australia
Jonathan Agnew column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Justin Langer's key moments
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tremlett delighted by performance
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Third Ashes Test in photos
16 Dec 10 |  England
Thursday's Ashes gossip column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tremlett gets nod for Perth Test
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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