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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ashes PHOTOS: Pietersen holds fort but Aussies dominate on Day I

Ashes PHOTOS: Pietersen holds fort but Aussies dominate on Day I

Last updated on: December 26, 2013 13:00 IST

Pietersen holds fort as England falter at MCG

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A valiant half century by Kevin Pietersen helped England stay afloat on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday.

- Scorecard

The visitors had made 226 for six at close of play on Day One.

Pietersen completed his 35th Test fifty, his 13th against Australia, just after tea. The 33-year-old was unbeaten on 67 at stumps, with Tim Bresnan (on one) for company. 

Earlier, Australia won the toss and invited England to bat first.

The Australian bowlers justified Michael Clarke's decision by tying down down the English batsmen.

Before a record Boxing Day festive crowd (91,092) at the MCG, Ryan Harris led the home side's attack to have the beleaguered tourists under pressure.

Teams:

Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.

England: Alastair Cook (captain), Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Monty Panesar, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan.


Image: Kevin Pietersen of England celebrates his half century
Photographs: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

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Cook made a patient 27

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In the 19 tosses Clarke has had as Australia skipper it was only the fourth time he has put the opposing team into bat.

England got to first hour drinks without losing a wicket but lost skipper Alastair Cook three overs later when he nibbled at Peter Siddle and was caught by Clarke at second slip for 27.

Cook added 48 runs for the opening wicket with Michael Carberry (38).


Image: Alastair Cook of England reacts after being dismissed by Peter Siddle of Australia
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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Watson left the ground with a groin injury

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Carberry shouldered arms and lost his off-stump to a Shane Watson inswinger to waste another good start and be out for 38.

Carberry, who was dropped in the slips on two, had done all the hard work and was beaten by a terrific movement off the pitch from Watson in the 34th over of the innings. 

It was the third time allrounder Watson had snared Carberry's wicket in this series and in nine Test innings Carberry has been out six times between 30 and 43.

But Watson's well-catalogued injury jinx struck again when he was unable to complete his seventh over late in the middle session and left the ground for treatment for a right groin problem. He, however, returned to action in the final session.


Image: Shane Watson of Australia leaves the ground with a leg injury
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Watson left the ground with a groin injury

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Harris removed Root with an outswinger, enticing an edge to 'keeper Brad Haddin for 24 in the 43rd over. 

Root, like Carberry, had established himself in an 82-ball stay but Harris's perseverance won through in a patient bowling performance.

The bowler returned to have Ian Bell (27) caught behind. 


Image: Ryan Harris of Australia celebrates his dismissal of Joe Root of England with teammates
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

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Johnson took his tally in the series to 25

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Mitchell Johnson, however, inflicted the most damage on England. 

The 32-year-old, who came into the match having taken 23 wickets in the first three Tests, picked up two on the opening day. 

Johnson first had Ben Stokes (14) caught by Watson at first slip before cleaning up Jonny Bairstow (10).

The wickets took his tally in the series to 25.

 


Image: Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Ben Stokes of England
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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