Shamik Das

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gabba, dabba, doo!

"Heads I win, tails you lose"

Brisbane, First Test, First Day: Australia 346/3 (Ponting 137*, Langer 82, Hussey 63*; Flintoff 2-48) v England

And they're off!!! The most eagerly anticipated series in history finally got under way at midnight.

With Ashley Giles and Geraint Jones getting the nod over Monty Panesar and Chris Read respectively it looked like the Aussies would have a psychological edge before the first ball was bowled.

And then the first ball was bowled, one of the most horrendous deliveries you're ever likely to see, Stephen Harmison firing one way down off side to Andrew Flintoff at second, yes second, slip!

From the ridiculous ...    ... to the sublime!

From that moment on, the hosts were firmly in control. Justin Langer struck a quick-fire 82 while Australia captain and newly crowned ICC Cricketer of the Year Ricky Ponting scored his 32nd Test century - his ninth in the last 13 Tests.

As for Mr Giles, he didn't perform too badly himself, snaring the dangerous Damien Martyn for just 29 and going for less than three an over - the most economical of the England bowlers.

Here is that Harmison howler in full ...


... followed by a little something from last summer that shows us what he's capable of!

Catch the first day's highlights tonight on BBC Two at 11:20, and listen to live coverage of day two on Radio 4 198LW and the BBC Sport website from midnight.


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