The opening day at the Gabba just doesn’t want to ever go England’s way, does it?
Group Captain Strauss wins the toss, understandably chooses to bat, then gets out third ball from a shit Hilfenhaus delivery. Some batsmen then came and went and scored a few runs, before the excitement kind of dried up.
Just when it looked like Alastair Cook and Ian Bell had settled in with a good partnership after tea, and I’d slightly dozed off, Peter Siddle had other ideas. As I was stirred by some sort of sinister foreboding, Siddle found the outside edge of Cook’s bat, just as he had with Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood earlier on.
The snarling Victorian then upped the ante tenfold, steaming in to make a mockery of Matt Prior’s crazy preparation out in the middle, bowling him off his pads, putting Siddle on a hat-trick. Now I’ve seen hat-trick balls go to waste on many occasions, but he wasn’t having any of it, firing the ball full and straight into Stuart Broad’s pads, and completing the first ever Test hat-trick taken by a bowler on their birthday.
And to think that his inclusion in the Australian XI had come as a surprise to a fair few people, who had thought Doug Bollinger was the more likely choice.
It was a fantastic piece of sporting theatre, even if it meant that Ian Bell was left having to rustle up an à la carte innings total using the Tesco value batsmen that he was left with.