Ashes 2017 kickstarted at Brisbane. The Gabba pitch welcomed England batsmen for the season as the visitors opted to bat. The first session of the day marked a strong play from England. While Australia bowlers were trying to press hard on the lines of bowling economy, England batsmen managed to get through their attacks.
Mitchell Starc stuck early to take down Alastair Cook, who opened the game with Mark Stoneman. Cook could play only 10 balls for 2 runs before edging the delivery to the slip. James Vince came up to partner with Stoneman, steering the inning steady. The players, until the session break, partnered for 57 runs. After the first session of the first day, England looked for a high first inning score with a formidable partnership.
The primary factor that irked Australia bowlers was the slow Gabba pitch. The ground was slower than usual making bowlers to lose the grip on line and length. Stoneman and Vince both feasted on seam options. In the next session as well, the host could not restrict the flow of runs. Vince knocked his half century, while in 42 overs, Stoneman reached closer to his half-ton. The players were at ease, while the pressure grew heavier for Aussie bowlers. Vince shot several deliveries off Hazlewood, while Stoneman hammered without much selection.
Nathan Lyon bowled 10 overs with a strong impression of attack. He maintained a good economy, which was just over 1. The bowler could not get wickets soon, but put a cap on flow of runs. Also, the pair had the complimentary right-hand and left-hand combination, adding to confusion of bowlers. Root’s decision to put up a new top order got good returns. Stoneman played with accurate judgement. His stroke-play was excellent. Vince was using his own trademarked cover-drive. The seamers had a sour taste of the first season, pressing Smith to bring on spin options.
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