Australia 220-5 at tea on Day 1 vs. England
By John Pye ,AP
December 14, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
PERTH, Australia -- England took the upper hand over Australia on Friday for the first time since day one of this Ashes series, with Graeme Swann the unlikely source of two key wickets.
Offspinner Swann dismissed Michael Clarke (24) and David Warner (60) on either side of lunch as Australia slipped to 129-4 before recovering to reach 220-5 at tea on the opening day of the third test.
Steve Smith was unbeaten on 58 and Brad Haddin on 35 at the interval, with England only one wicket away from exposing the tailenders.
Australia, which can regain the Ashes with a third straight win, won the toss and batted for the third successive test and the batsmen made their intentions clear with 29 boundaries and four sixes before tea on a hot, clear day at the WACA ground, where England's sole victory was back in 1978.
The fast, bouncy wicket was expected to favor the pacemen but the English attack struggled to maintain the right length for most of the first two sessions.
Stuart Broad had 2-54 to lead the pacemen but it was the slow bowling of Swann that put two in-form batsmen off their rhythm.
Chris Rogers (11) was run out attempting a needless single by a direct hit at non-striker's end by Jimmy Anderson from mid-on with the total at 13, and Broad enticed an edge from Shane Watson (18), with Swann taking a superb catch above his head at second slip, to make it 52-2.
Warner and Clarke combined in a 54-run third-wicket stand and were on top of the England bowlers when Cook brought Swann into the attack six minutes before lunch.
The move gave Cook first blood in the battle of the 100-test captains, when he held a catch at short midwicket after Clarke danced down the wicket to Swann's second ball.
Warner plundered eight fours and a six, playing mostly off the back foot, before picking the wrong ball from Swann to cut and skewing a catch to Michael Carberry at backward point.
Australia slipped to 143-5 when Broad snared his second wicket, following two bouncers to George Bailey with another short ball and the Australian No. 6 top edged high to Kevin Pietersen at deep backward square.
After taking 16 balls to get off the mark, Smith opened his account with a driven six off Swann. He followed that with another six and five fours in a crucial 77-run unbroken stand with vice-captain Haddin.
Cook and Clarke each received a special cap before play to commemorate their 100th test matches.