Pat Cummins with Joe Root. Photo: Getty Images for Cricket Australia

Australia 1-0 England: Aussies claim first Test by nine wickets

Keep up to date with all the live action as England look to stave off defeat against Australia in the opening Ashes Test.


Pat Cummins with Joe Root. Photo: Getty Images for Cricket Australia

The Ashes series got underway on Wednesday 8 December 2021 at the Gabba in Brisbane from 02:00 (SAST).

Follow the action right here with live score updates from the first Test between Australia and England.

Ashes: Live scores

Ashes – First Test day one report

England made a disastrous start to the Ashes Wednesday, all out for 147 on the stroke of tea after losing opener Rory Burns to the first ball of the series in Brisbane.

Mitchell Starc sensationally bowled Burns around his legs as Australia’s pacemen ripped through England’s top order with Pat Cummins taking 5-38 on his debut as Test captain.

After England captain Joe Root won the toss and chose to bat, the visitors were bundled out in just 50.1 overs.

Dawid Malan, who scored six, and Root, for a duck, quickly followed Burns as England slumped to 11-3 on a green-looking wicket.

Cummins then removed Ben Stokes for five to leave England struggling on 59 for four at lunch, with opener Haseeb Hameed on 25 alongside Ollie Pope on 17.

In the first over after the interval Hameed edged Cummins to Steve Smith at second slip to leave England teetering at 60-5.

Jos Buttler came out and launched a fightback with a glittering array of attacking shots to put the Australian attack on the back foot for the first time.

However, with the score on 112, Buttler, who had reached 39, feathered a catch to debutant wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Six runs later, Pope was caught at deep fine leg for 35 to give Cameron Green his first Test wicket.

England’s challenge was all but over, despite some late hitting from Chris Woakes, who was last man out for 21 as Cummins mopped up the tail.

  • Broad left out –
    Earlier Root had taken the brave decision to bat in hot, humid, bowler-friendly conditions at the Gabba under overcast skies, a move he may have been rueing over tea.

Brisbane has been experiencing a wet start to the summer, washing out most of the tourists’ scheduled warm-up games.

Having had little chance to become acclimatised to the conditions, England’s top order struggled with the pace and movement of the Australian attack.

The crowd of around 28,000 were barely settled in their seats when Starc clean-bowled Burns behind the left-hander’s legs with a full, swinging delivery that should have been defended.

It was only the second time in Ashes history that a wicket had fallen on the first ball of the series. The only previous victim was England’s Stan Worthington in 1936, also in Brisbane.

Josh Hazlewood had Malan caught by Carey and then the prize scalp of the world’s top-ranked batsman Root, taken at first slip by David Warner without scoring.

Stokes, on his return to action after five months, drove gloriously to the boundary after the first drinks interval.

But soon after Cummins got the ball to lift viciously and the all-rounder could only fend it to Marnus Labuschagne, who dived to his left at third slip to take a good catch.

England, already missing the rested Jimmy Anderson, made the surprising decision to leave out veteran seamer Stuart Broad.

They instead opted for a seam attack of Woakes, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson, bolstered by Stokes and left-arm spinner Jack Leach.

Rain and bad light forced play to be abandoned on day one of the first Test between Australia and England at the Gabba on Wednesday.

After England were bowled out for 147 on the stroke of the tea interval, heavy rain began to fall.

When the rain eventually stopped, umpires Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker adjudged the light to be too poor for Australia to begin their first innings.

Play will begin 30 minutes early on Thursday at 9:30 am (1:30 SAST Thursday).

Day one report provided by © Agence France-Presse.

Match preview

A new era beckons for the hosts under the leadership of Pat Cummins, who will be keen to make a great first impression when they take on England in the opening game of the Ashes in Brisbane.

Cummins will be the first fast-bowling captain to lead Australia since Ray Lindwall in 1956. He will be in the company of the same bowling line-up that wreaked havoc the last time England travelled Down Under, with that series ending 4-0 in favour of the Aussies. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon have all been named in the first Ashes XI.

READ: Three KEY battles that could decide the Ashes!

Behind the stumps, Alex Carey is set to don the gloves in the absence of Tim Paine, who is currently on an indefinite break from cricket after a sexting scandal ended his tenure as skipper. 

David Warner, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne will form the spine of Australia’s batting lineup. Smith, in particular, has a tremendous Ashes record, with 2800 runs and 11 centuries against the arch-rivals.

Australia name XI

Australia have already named their playing XI for the first Test, with Marcus Harris, Travis Head and Chris Green completing the XI along with the aforementioned names.

England, on the other hand, have kept their cards close to their chests. They have named a 12-member squad for the first Test that sees Jonny Bairstow and James Anderson miss out.

England’s decision to bench Anderson is down to workload management as they want to keep him fresh for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.

The tourists’ batting will be heavily dependant on their captain, who has been in a league of his own in 2021. Having amassed 1455 runs in 12 matches, Joe Root is the only Test player across the world to have aggregated more than 1000 runs this calendar year.

The visitors’ biggest worry is the fact that their next most prolific batter this year, Joe Burns, has scored more than 1000 runs lesser than their skipper. The return of Ben Stokes is going to be a massive boost, but only time will tell if the lack of game time for the talismanic all-rounder, who last played a competitive match in July, will prove to be costly.