England’s middle order will look to try to capitalise on a solid start to life in the 2017 Ashes Series later tonight as they resume on 196-4 on Day two of the first test.
Captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat, with the standout performer for the tourists on Day One being James Vince, who made a great knock of 83 before losing his wicket to a stunning run out by Nathan Lyon – the Aussie who had attempted to fire England up with some sledging before a single ball was bowled.
The theme of well performing debutants was found elsewhere on the field as the two teams went to war at the Gabba in Brisbane, with Mark Stoneman posting a respectable 53.
He was eventually bowled by another Ashes debutant, Pat Cummins. The pace bowler (2-15) also took the key wicket of Joe Root, trapping him lbw. He described the wicket as a satisfying one to take.
Although him and Mitchell Starc as a pace pairing did show some promise, it was far from the times of Mitchell Johnson troubling England on a regular basis in the last series that took place down under.
However, with the elegance of his strokes and great footwork, James Vince was the star of the show – the partnership put on with Stoneman for 125 proving crucial in the wake of the early dismissals of openers Cook and Root.
With the rain delay yesterday, play is due to get underway half an hour earlier for Day 2 – an 11:30 GMT start.
With Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali at the crease, England will be looking to just see out the opening overs of the session without losing a cheap wicket.
Australia elected to take the new ball with just two overs remaining yesterday, of which only three balls were bowled before the umpires took the players off for bad light.
Even so, the option of having Jonny Bairstow at No.7 may prove to be a lifeline if the start of the session turns out to be a disappointment as Australia will be looking to keep their late momentum going from the previous day’s play.