Australia off to a good start on Day 1 of fifth and final Ashes Test against England

Australia had a successful first day in the fifth and final Ashes 2023 Test at The Oval, bowling out England for 283 runs. Then, openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner provided a solid start with the bat. At the end of Day 1, Khawaja (26 not out) and Marnus Labuschagne (2 not out) took Australia to 61/1, as they trailed England by 222 runs.

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After winning the toss and electing to bowl, Pat Cummins and his team were challenged initially. England began aggressively with Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley attacking the Australian pacers. Australia got their first breakthrough when Mitchell Marsh dismissed Ben Duckett for 41 in the 12th over. In the following over, Cummins dismissed Crawley for 22. The Australian team continued to build momentum, as Hazlewood dismissed Joe Root in the 16th over.

During the first session, Moeen Ali and Harry Brook took the attack to the Aussie bowlers, stitching a 111-run partnership before lunch to reach 131/3. Ali and Brook’s resilience was eventually broken when Todd Murphy dismissed the former for 34. This led to a series of wickets falling for England as Australia capitalised on the overcast conditions.

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England skipper Ben Stokes was the next to be dismissed, with Mitchell Starc dismissing him for just 3 with a fantastic delivery. Jonny Bairstow (4) then followed Stokes back to the pavilion.

Brook’s excellent innings of 85 also came to an end, as Starc once again proved to be the key bowler, putting England in a difficult situation before tea. Chris Woakes (36) and Mark Wood (28) made valuable contributions but were dismissed by Murphy and Starc, respectively. Stuart Broad was then dismissed, as England ended their first innings at 283.

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Australian openers Warner and Khawaja stayed at the crease and scored at a decent rate to narrow England’s lead. Warner’s promising innings was cut short to 24 when he edged a delivery from Woakes, with Crawley taking a brilliant catch in the slips. Khawaja and Labuschagne then safely saw out the rest of the final session.

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