Play finally got under way at 5pm on Day 1 allowing only 30 overs to be bowled, Australia won the toss and this time Ricky Ponting didn’t dare invite the English to bat.
England’s bowlers then decided to return a favour as they were almost as bad as the Aussie opening bowlers were at Lord’s, gifting Australia easy runs as they wasted the new ball spraying it all over the place.
After losing the toss and then bowling as they did, England have totally handed the initiative back to Australia. Ricky Ponting and the Aussie management took a massive gamble in opening with Shane Watson in place of the dropped Phil Hughes, this was a huge opportunity for England to strike early and further undermine Ponting’s decision making as a captain.
With the combination of a helpful pitch and England’s wayward bowling Watson helped himself to 62 not out, blasting 10 boundarys on his way making the descision – albeit surely a short term one – to play him as an opener a success.
The only wicket to fall was that of Simon Katich who was lbw to Graeme Swann for 46. England’s bowlers will have to get a grip early on the 2nd day or else they might be looking for the inevitable weather or another Cardiff backs-to-the-wall display to prevent Australia levelling the series.
The Draw is favourite at 4/11 with 888sport, Ladbrokes and William Hill
Australia are 11/4 with Totesport,
Stan James and Paddy Power
England are 14/1 with VC Bet, Betfred and Bet365