NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom: Australia’s Peter Siddle produced more first-day Ashes heroics as England struggled to 185 for six at tea on the opening day of the 2013 series at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Fast-medium bowler Siddle took five wickets for 50 runs in 14 overs, his haul including the prize scalps of Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott.
Siddle, who took a hat-trick on the opening day of the first 2010/11 Ashes Test in Brisbane, then ended a fifth-wicket stand of 54 when he had Ian Bell caught at first slip by Shane Watson.
And 178 for five became 180 for six when wicketkeeper Matt Prior, a noted counter-attacker with the bat, was caught at cover-point by Phil Hughes as he chased a Siddle delivery designed to have him hole out.
Earlier, England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat despite overcast conditions at Trent Bridge promising assistance to swing bowlers.
Cook scored a mammoth 766 runs during England’s 3-1 series win in Australia in 2010/11. But in his first Ashes Test as captain, Cook was caught behind off James Pattinson for just 13.
Joe Root, in his first Ashes Test and first as an opener after winning six caps as a middle-order batsman, looked good in making 30 after replacing Nick Compton at the top of the order before he was bowled off-stump by Siddle’s excellent outswinging yorker.
Jonathan Trott was soon into his stride with a cover-driven four off Pattinson and he greeted the first ball from shock teenage debutant Ashton Agar by cover-driving a full toss from the 19-year-old left-arm spinner for four.
England, who have long made slow starts to Test series, were 98 for two at lunch.
They lost Pietersen soon afterwards when, playing carelessly away from his body, he was caught by Australia captain Michael Clarke off Siddle.
Trott had looked in good touch, making 48 that featured nine fours but Siddle, moving out wide on the crease, got him to drag on a ball he might otherwise have left.
A criticism of Ian Bell’s career is that he has too rarely made runs when England most needed them and Wednesday was a case in point.
Bell had made an attractive 25 — 24 of his runs came in boundaries — when he edged a half-cock shot off Siddle to Watson.
Siddle may have been below his best in Australia’s two warm-up fixtures but on a day when new ball duo Pattinson and Mitchell Starc, both making their Ashes debuts, struggled early on the big-match performer had come up trumps again. Scoreboard