Siddle rips through England

Peter Siddle (AFP)
Peter Siddle (AFP)

Nottingham - Australia paceman Peter Siddle tormented England's batsmen at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, capturing 5-50 to help dismiss the hosts for 215 on the first day of the opening Ashes Test.

Siddle ripped out England's top order, claiming the key wickets of Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen before James Pattinson took 3-69 and Mitchell Starc 2-54 to mop up the tail in the evening session and put Australia in charge.

Trott was England's top-scorer with 48, from 80 balls with nine fours, while Jonny Bairstow made 37 from 51 balls.

Australia took England's last four wickets for just 2 runs in the space of 14 balls.

Australia's selectors sprang a surprise before the toss by giving a debut to 19-year-old Ashton Agar — a left-arm finger spinner who has played only 10 first-class matches, but it was Siddle who stole the show.

England, which preferred Steven Finn to Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions, won the toss and opted to bat on a slow track with a rapid outfield, a decision that looks to have backfired.

James Pattinson made a jittery start, bowling the first ball of the series so high it was called for a wide, but he atoned in the ninth over.

With the ball swinging around in the overcast conditions, Alastair Cook (13) was living dangerously until Pattinson tempted him to drive away from his body and nick the ball to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Trott, however, belied his reputation for caution with an aggressive innings.

He got off the mark with a stylishly cover driven four and hit successive boundaries off Siddle.

He then stroked Agar's first ball in Test cricket — a full toss — through the covers for four.

Siddle was innocuous and expensive in his first four overs, but his first delivery from the Radcliffe Road End brilliantly yorked Joe Root for 30 to drag Australia back into the contest.

Pietersen edged Pattinson down the leg side in the 23rd over, but although Haddin's diving attempt at a catch failed, the batsman perished in the second over after lunch when he edged Siddle to Clarke at second slip for 14.

The prize wicket of Trott came when he chased a wide delivery from Siddle in the 36th over and dragged the ball onto his stumps.

A livid Trott made a move to smash the stumps with his bat and just stopped himself in time.

England made a partial recovery as Bairstow and Bell put on 54 before Bell was out for 25 when he edged Siddle to Shane Watson at third slip.

Siddle claimed his fifth wicket when Matt Prior tried to drive another wide delivery through point and was caught by Phillip Hughes.

Stuart Broad began the evening session with a counterattacking 24 from 30 balls before he holed out to Pattinson and was caught and bowled — although only after umpire Aleem Dar checked Pattinson hadn't bowled a no-ball as the bowler's foot skidded over the crease as he released the ball.

With the first ball of the next over, the 58th, Bairstow's off stump was sent cartwheeling by Mitchell Starc, who had Steven Finn caught behind off his next ball, a decision the batsman unsuccessfully referred.

James Anderson survived the hat-trick ball and a referral for lbw on the final ball of the over, but the innings was wrapped up when Graeme Swann wafted Pattinson to Hughes at cover.

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