Another England horror show start in Brisbane – day one of the Ashes series

England endured a dispiriting start to their 2021/22 Ashes campaign, slumping to an underpowered 147 all out as Australia’s pace attack ran riot in Brisbane

Here the PA news agency rounds up the alarming day one events at The Gabba.

History repeating

When Burns was skittled by the first ball of the series it was a dramatic and dreadful moment for England, but not an entirely unprecedented one. In fact, it was the second time they had kicked off an Ashes campaign with an immediate wicket – Stan Worthington caught behind off the bowling of Ernie McCormick in December on the same ground in December 1936. Back then, Worthington’s team-mates rallied to 358 and won the game at a canter. Burns can only cross his fingers for such an outcome.

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Root’s risky call

Nasser Hussain’s decision to send Australia in to bat after winning the toss at The Gabba in 2002 is remembered as one of the biggest captaincy blunders of modern times. By the end of the first day, Australia had racked up 364 for two and the wheels were off for the tourists. But Joe Root should not have feared making the same call this time, with overcast skies, an unsettled forecast and a green pitch to make use of. They are the kind of conditions an English attack dreams of Down Under and Root’s decision to give the opposition bowlers first use backfired badly.

Magic number

Tweet of the day

Australians up and down the country could not resist revelling in their side’s dominance, up to and including the emergency services.

England’s lowest totals in the 1st innings of a Test in Australia

  • 45 – 1887, Sydney
  • 75 – 1894, Melbourne
  • 112 – 1998, Perth
  • 118 – 1879, Melbourne
  • 113 – 1888, Sydney
  • 123 – 1989, Sydney
  • 133 – 1882, Sydney
  • 134 – 1958, Brisbane
  • 147 – 2021, Brisbane

The Barmy Army’s night shift

With England’s travelling fans shut out of the tour, a group of hardcore supporters from the Barmy Army met in a London establishment to cheer the team through the night from several thousand miles away. It all got a bit much for the resident trumpeter, who took a chance for 40 winks after a demoralising first session.

Armbands for Ash

England’s players took to the pitch wearing black armbands, honouring the memory of player Eileen Ash. The former England Women’s international died over the weekend at the age of 110, having been the world’s oldest Test cricketer. Ash made her debut in 1937.

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Storm Warning

The second day is scheduled to start early, but more wild weather is expected on Thursday, with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology warning of a risk of “possibly severe” storms, and a 70 per cent chance of showers.

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