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Monday, January 03, 2011

Australia down though not out after rain shortened day: T5D1

Australia 4/134 (59 ov, S Watson 45) v England: T5/5, D 1/5 at SCG

After Michael Clarke won the toss and opted to bat Australia struggled against the tight England bowling we've come to expect to post a modest, though not disastrous, total on a day shortened appreciably by rain and bad light.

It looked as if they'd get through the first session without loss, but then in the last over Philip Hughes, who'd hitherto been prudent in his shot selection, flashed at Chris Tremlett and was (again) caught in the slips by(again) Paul Collingwood for 31/93b (5x4).

The weather permitted only another 30.3 overs to be bowled for the rest of the day, during which time the total moved from 1/51 to 4/134. Clarke's scratchy 4/21b was not a great start to his captaincy career, and while Shane Watson, more watchful than usual, and Usman Khawaja, who showed signs of a promising temperament, looked to have done the hard yards they, like Hughes, didn't go on to better things. Watson nicked Tim Bresnan to slip for 45/127b (5x4), and Khawaja top-edged Graeme Swann to backward square leg for 37/95b (5x4).

Rain stopped play before
Brad Haddin (promoted to no 6) could join Mike Hussey at the wicket. Tomorrow morning the BOM predicts a 40% chance of rain, so Australia may not complete their first innings. Nor may they have added many runs.

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