For reasons beyond my control I missed start of play but could hear the TV and assumed Anderson was out. I was wrong, it was Cook gone to Harris and disaster time. Bell dropped first ball! Jimmy hung on for a few balls and took a few blows but Johnson soon got him 14-3, deep shit. Pietersen scores three then flashes at Harris, 17-4. Just when you think it can’t get any worse comes the realisation that it almost certainly will…It does, Siddle gets Bell for 2 and its 23-5. The Aussie bowlers are all over England again, the captain is innovative and the fielding is excellent as ever.
Then some small consolations; The middle order of Stokes and Ballance were watchful and when Stokes drove Harris straight for four the 5th wicket partnership reached 9, the highest of the innings so far. By then the deficit was less than 300! Stokes clips to leg for 3 and becomes the first England batsmen to reach double figures, soon followed by Ballance. England push on passed fifty and the partnership reaches 25, both these youngsters look impressive, whatever happens from here. Have to mention the massed Richie Benuads in the crowd, even the Barmy Army is being given a match for a change.
Ballance gets one full on the grill, how will he react? Big test coming for a man on debut now, must stay up till lunch! They make it with the score at 61-5, well played! What have we become when a partnership of 38 is being celebrated?
TMS on first thing in the morning and once again it’s grim. England all out for 155 with Stokes top scoring with 47. Broad hit a quick 30, Ballance and Bairstow both made 18 and Rankin made double figures. The wickets were shared showing what a bloody good bowling unit Australia have become. Then despite England picking up a few wickets, Australia powered on pushing the lead past 300 with Rogers 73*. We were in the shit after day one, now it’s up to our necks but that won’t stop me settling down for a bit more torture in a few minutes time.