Aussies fight back with two late wickets to restrict England

first_imgBy Ian RansomBRISBANE, Australia (Reuters) – Australia fought back with two late wickets to restrict England to 196 for four and leave the Ashes series-opener delicately poised yesterday after the tourists’ unheralded batsmen threatened to dominate an intriguing first day.Ashes debutants Mark Stoneman and James Vince had frustrated Australia’s vaunted pace attack with a 125-run partnership on a surprisingly slow Gabba wicket, but seamer Pat Cummins hauled the home side back into the game.The young paceman broke the stand by bowling Stoneman for 53 in the last over before tea then returned to capture England captain Joe Root lbw for 15 in the final session.In-between, off-spinner Nathan Lyon denied Vince a potentially career-defining century, with a brilliant piece of fielding, running him out for 83 after the batsman had put in nearly four hours of painstaking graft.Rookie batsman Dawid Malan did well to negotiate a nervy finish and was 28 not out at stumps, with all-rounder Moeen Ali unbeaten on 13 at the other end.“I think it’s pretty evenly poised,” Cummins, who took 2-59 on his first day of Test cricket on home soil, told reporters.“Obviously they batted the whole day but didn’t really get away from us.”Having won the toss, England would have been buoyed by the performance of rookies Vince and Stoneman but tempered by the disappointment that neither could go on to a post bigger score.Stoneman was bowled four balls short of the relief of tea, while Vince was out making a needless dash for a single.Vince’s wicket seemed like a turning point and though Root dug in for 50 balls, he was out lbw by a scorching delivery from Cummins, the wicket awarded after home captain Steve Smith demanded a review of Marais Erasmus’s not-out decision.Australia lost a review in the final over trying to remove Malan lbw off paceman Mitchell Starc before play was halted due to poor light.DROPPED CATCH Vince, England’s surprise selection at number three, brought up his maiden 50 in his eighth Test, having never before surpassed 42 in his previous seven matches.“The first hour tomorrow will dictate how the rest of the day goes and if we can get through that without too much damage and Mo (Moeen) can score quickly, Jonny (Bairstow) has to come in,” Vince told reporters.“The more overs their bowlers bowl then the easier the scoring will become.”Stoneman raised his half-century with a streaky edge off Cummins, the ball falling short of second slip before racing off for two, leaving fielder Peter Handscomb pounding the turf in frustration.Worse was to come for the hosts in the following over as recalled wicketkeeper Tim Paine, in his first Test for seven years, dropped Vince when he nicked Lyon behind on 68.Not even the first-choice keeper for his home state Tasmania, Paine had taken state team mate Matthew Wade’s place in the Test squad in a controversial selection, and the miss saw his captain fling his head back in exasperation.While the pitch started with a green tinge, Smith said he, too, would have batted first as his fast men laboured to extract pace and movement for much of the day.The exception was a peach of a delivery from Starc in the morning which removed Alastair Cook for two, kissing the outside edge on the way to Handscomb in the slips.Smith earlier confirmed opener David Warner and Shaun Marsh would play after they suffered neck and back strains in recent days.ENGLAND 1st innings A. Cook c Handscomb b Starc 2M. Stoneman b Cummins 53J. Vince run-out (N. Lyon) 83J. Root lbw b Cummins 15D. Malan not out 28M. Ali not out 13Extras: (b-1, nb-1) 2Total: (for 4 wickets, 80.3 overs) 196Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-127, 3-145, 4-163.Bowling: M. Starc 19.3-4-45-1 (nb-1) J. Hazlewood 18-4-51-0, P. Cummins 19-6-59-2, N. Lyon 24-9-40-0.last_img read more

Tough choices had to be made, says Reggae Girlz coach Donaldson

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Reggae Girlz assistant coach, Lorne Donaldson, said selecting the final squad for next month’s FIFA World Cup in France had been a difficult process, especially knowing there would be disappointment for players who helped the side qualify.Sixteen players who were part of the history-making 20-member squad at last year’s CONCACAF Women’s Championship were retained in the 23-member side for the June 7 to July 7 showpiece.It meant that four players – Christina Chung, Giselle Washington, Shanise Foster, and Jadyn Matthews – all missed out on the trip.“We looked at the persons and the contribution they have made, and what they can do in the future. There will be mistakes that people will not agree with, but it was a very difficult decision,” Donaldson was quoted in a radio interview here.“As coaches, how do you tell your daughters that they can’t make it? We have been through war with some of these players, and at the end, when a big thing like a World Cup presents itself and they are not chosen it’s very difficult. “But that’s why coaches coach. There are tough decisions we have to make, and it’s nothing personal against the players, but somebody will be left out and even the player selected feels sad for those players left out. But we talked with them and hopefully there are no hard feelings.”Chanel Hudson-Mark, Yazmeen Jameison, Kyla McCoy, Chenya Matthews, Tiffany Cameron and Olufolsade Adamolekun were the new faces named in a 22-member squad announced earlier this week.And Norway-based attacker Havana Solaun was recently added to the squad after receiving international clearance from football’s world governing body, FIFA.Donaldson said she expected Solaun to play a vital role in the squad supporting United States-based forward, Khadija Shaw.“There are players and there are special players for positions we need, and she fills one of those roles. In the number 10 role, we need somebody to play behind ‘Bunny’ Shaw that can do that very well,” Donaldson explained.“She’s a quarter-back or a point-guard. She’s a top player we need in the middle to pull the strings and set the tone, and she brings that.”At the World Cup, Jamaica will do battle in a tough Group C where they line up against Australia, Italy and Brazil.last_img read more