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Ashes: Bowling first suited England - Tim Bresnan

Fifth Ashes Test: Australia 134-4 v England (stumps, day one)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground Date: 3-7 January (resumes 2245 GMT on 3 Jan) Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; TMS highlights online (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
Match scorecard

Tim Bresnan removes Michael Clarke
Tim Bresnan removes Aussie skipper Michael Clarke

Tim Bresnan said England were delighted Australia captain Michael Clarke opted to bat first in the Sydney Test.

Australia made 134-4 on a rainy first day of the final Ashes contest, and Bresnan (2-47) said England's batsmen would encounter easier conditions.

"It's a good day for us - we were looking to have a bowl," he said.

"We can only see the pitch getting better from now. It needs a lot of sun to break up and looking at the forecast I don't think it's going to get it."

Australia must force a win at the SCG to prevent England, who have already done enough to retain the urn, from claiming the series outright.

Bresnan said England's bowlers had teamed up well to deny Australia scoring opportunities, with only 55 runs scored in the first two hours before lunch.

"You get your rewards for persistently knocking out lengths and that's what we did," he said.

"Shane Watson [who hit 45] played the new ball magnificently, he left the ball really well, but he came out after lunch playing a few more shots. It gave us more of a chance and eventually he nicked off.

"As I said at Melbourne [where England won by an innings], I play better under the pump, I think it brings the best out in me."

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And with 21 overs to be bowled before England get a new ball, Bresnan said the plan was to get two more wickets before using the new ball to clean up the tail.

For Australia, Usman Khawaja gave an encouraging debut, making 37 before falling to the last ball of the day.

He said: "I had a ball while I was out there, but I could have got a lot more runs. I got myself out on this occasion, didn't execute the shot right. All I can do is learn from it."

With Phillip Hughes falling just before lunch, Khawaja, Australia's first debutant to bat at three since Justin Langer in 1992-93, had the whole 40-minute interval to plan for his first Test innings.

He said: "I was so excited I had to have a lie-down for 25 minutes, I had half a snooze to try not to think about too many things and then get out there and try to let things happen."

Khawaja, 24, said he reckoned the contest was "pretty even" going into day two.

Listen to commentary highlights from the fifth Test (UK users only)

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



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see also
England on top in rain-hit Sydney
03 Jan 11 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
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Justin Langer column
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Ponting to undergo finger surgery
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Fifth Ashes Test day one photos
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Australia select Khawaja and Beer
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Swann questions Aussie selection
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Moores exit was key - Pietersen
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Ponting ruled out of Sydney Test
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England seal win to retain Ashes
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Cook backs under-fire Collingwood
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Live cricket on the BBC
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England in Australia 2010-11
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