Ashes 2017-18: Test 1, Day 1 diaries

Pat Cummins, six years after making is debut, is playing his first Test in Australia

Brisbane [Australia] November 23, 2017: England’s James Vince made 83 before Australia fought back on day one of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Vince added 125 for the second wicket with Mark Stoneman either side of a 95-minute delay for rain at the Gabba. Vince was run out by Nathan Lyon’s superb direct hit, in between Pat Cummins bowling Stoneman out for 53 and trapping captain Joe Root lbw for 15. England, the Ashes holders, ended day’s play at 196-4, with Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali unbeaten on 28 and 13 respectively.

The tourists battled hard after winning the toss and losing Alastair Cook in the third over.

But on a slow pitch, Vince and Stoneman – both of whom were playing their first Ashes Test – were kept in check by a home attack that rarely offered anything loose with a ball that was only three deliveries old on the second morning.

If the surface does harden up over the next few days, Australia – unbeaten in Brisbane since 1988 – could get the best of the batting conditions and their bowlers could generate more pace during England’s second innings.

The visitors, therefore, are likely to require their lower and middle order to get them to at least 350.

Lyon roars

Off-spinner Lyon attracted much attention with his pre-match comments, saying that he hoped Australia could end the careers of some England players during this series.

Not only was he excellent with the ball, but on the field he produced the most decisive moment of the day.

With Vince looking set for a century, he pushed the ball into the off side and set off for a single.

Lyon moved from point, swooped and threw at the non-striker’s end with a direct hit beating Vince’s lunge for the crease.

Soon after, Cummins got Root to play across a full length ball for an LBW. The initial not-out decision overturned on review.

Vince repays faith of selectors

Vince hit 12 fours in his Test-best 83

Hampshire’s Vince averaged only 19 when he played seven Tests in 2016, so it was a surprise selection when he was recalled for this tour to fill England’s problematic number three position.

While Cook and Root – the two most established members of England’s batting line-up – managed 15 runs between them, Vince and Stoneman showed commendable composure on their Ashes debuts.

Arriving in only the third over, Vince looked much more assured than in his previous innings, showing good judgement that had previously eluded him.

Whenever Australia’s pace bowlers bowled too full, he played his trademark drives, scoring heavily through the covers and point.