Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gough Strikes but Aussies Rally

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Gough Strikes but Aussies Rally

Article excerpt


DARREN GOUGH needed just one delivery to send the excitement meter soaring all over again at Edgbaston today.

England's fastest bowler ripped his first ball of the morning past Michael Slater's swishing bat to hit the stumps and raise the possibility of another dramatic chapter in the opening Ashes Test.

It seemed unlikely that anything could quite match yesterday's fabulous feast when 427 runs were scored and 12 wickets fell.

But Gough eagerly accepted the challenge - and his dismissal of Slater, for 77, brought a huge roar of appreciation from another full house crowd.

England, dismissed for 294, knew they had to take advantage of helpful conditions when Australia began the second day on 133 for two with Slater in sight of an eighth Ashes century.

Yesterday's high humidity was gone but thick clouds hung over Edgbaston, promising to assist England's quicker bowlers if only they could find the right line and length often enough.

Slater, whose near run-a-ball innings was peppered with 13 boundaries, started sedately this morning by taking a single off Andrew Caddick. But he declined to try to play himself in against Gough.

The first delivery of the second over nipped back into Slater off the seam and defeated the right-hander's ambitious attempt to despatch it through mid-wicket.

What a start for England and Gough's clenched fist salute underlined the importance of the breakthrough. But Mark Waugh (13 not out and Steve Waugh (31 not out) rallied the Australians and guided them to 187 for three after an hour's play.

England had been given hope last night by that remarkable last wicket stand of 103 between Alec Stewart and Caddick. But Australia's response meant they resumed as second favourites.

Much of the first day damage was inflicted by Shane Warne, who is now close to completing the most influential century in modern Ashes history. …

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