Australia fought back with two late wickets to restrict England to 196 for four and leave the Ashes series-opener delicately poised on Thursday after the tourists´ unheralded batsmen threatened to dominate an intriguing first day.
Ashes debutants Mark Stoneman and James Vince had frustrated Australia´s vaunted pace attack with a 125-run partnership on a surprisingly slow Gabba wicket but seamer Pat Cummins hauled the home side back into the game.
The young paceman broke the stand by bowling Stoneman for 53 in the last over before tea, then returned to capture England captain Joe Root lbw for 15 in the final session. In between, off-spinner Nathan Lyon denied Vince a potentially career-defining century with a brilliant piece of fielding, running him out for 83 after the batsman had put in nearly four hours of pain-staking graft.
Rookie batsman Dawid Malan did well to negotiate a nervy finish and was 28 not out at stumps, with all-rounder Moeen Ali unbeaten on 13 at the other end. “I think it´s pretty evenly poised,” Cummins, who took 2-59 on his first day of test cricket on home soil, told reporters. “Obviously they batted the whole day but didn´t really get away from us.”
Having won the toss, England would have been buoyed by the performance of rookies Vince and Stoneman but tempered by the disappointment that neither could go on to post bigger scores.—AFP