38 Wednesday, 8 July 2009 London Lite TV AND RADIO TIMES SKY SPORTS 1 live: 10am-7pm, highlights: 8pm and 11pm. CHANNEL 5 highlights: 7.15pm BBC RADIO 4 from 10.45am FIVE LIVE SPORTS EXTRA 10.25am-6.30pm WEATHER Today: Partly cloudy with chance of showers late afternoon. Tomorrow: A fair morning and afternoon but expected to cloud over later on. LITESPORT ENGLANDvAUSTRALIA ASHES2009 FIRSTTEST rary reprieve, however, with Strauss fallingfor30threeballslaterwhenhewas surprised by a short ball, which he fended high in the air, allowing Michael Clarke to run back from slip to take the catch. And, just two overs before lunch, Boparasscratchyinningsof 35wasended in humiliating fashion when he played a checked drive outside off-stump to John- sons slower ball which looped to Phillip Hughes at backward point. Australia,who suffereda major setback just 48 hours before the start of the series when strike bowler Brett Lee was ruled out with a rib injury, were jubilant -- and unfortunate not to claim another victim before the interval. Kevin Pietersen survived a strong lbw appeal from Hilfenhaus before he had scored, which was rejected by umpire Doctrovebecauseof itsheight,butscram- bled to an unbeaten six while new bats- man Paul Collingwood had reached five at lunch. The Barmy Army did their best to lift spirits given the unconventional venue for the Ashes opener -- they had trans- lated their title and had Byddin Barmi emblazoned on their shirts -- but the general atmosphere was one of gloom. ThedaystartedwithsopranoKatherine Jenkins singing the Welsh anthem, Land Of My Fathers. Andwithtwoanthemsandthreehymns to get through, Swansea-born Cook was Englands only real link, given his Welsh mother. But he pointed out: Am I right in thinking theres a rivalry between Cardiff and Swansea? I hope the locals wont mind a Swansea boy opening the batting. But he wasnt there long enough for anyone to care. Left-armer Johnson was given the responsibility of getting things underwayandhesentdownarathertame first six balls as a prelude to the wicket clattering antics that were to come. It was all so different to the initial opti- mism which broke out when Strauss won the toss. Deciding to bat with a smile, he said briefly:Itlookslikeagoodwicket,while a slightly miffed Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting grumbled: We would have had a bat as well. By lunch Ponting looked happy to have lost his decision-making powers -- but there is an awful long way to go. As the great Surrey spinner Jim Laker, who took 19 wickets in the Ashes at Old Trafford in 1956, once said: The aim of English cricket is, in fact, mainly to beat Australia. ENGLAND were teetering on the brink of a real crisis after a lively opening to the AshesseriesinCardiff asAustralianpace- man Mitchell Johnson grabbed two wick- ets in a fiery morning spell. Favourites before the start of the five- matchnpowerseries,Englandsuccessfully came through the first half-hour of play after they won the toss and decided to bat first with Australia struggling to make an impact. But despite picking an unexpected start- ingeleven--swingbowlerBenHilfenhaus and off-spinner Nathan Hauritz were preferred to experienced seamer Stuart Clark--Australiaclaimedthekeywickets of Alastair Cook (10), Andrew Strauss (30) and Ravi Bopara (35) as England reached 97-3 at lunch in Cardiff. England captain Strauss had no hesita- tion in deciding to bat first after calling correctly with the hosts deciding to name Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann as a double spin threat rather than choose Durham seamer Graham Onions. They were also given a comfortable start with Strauss and Cook having few prob- lems against Australian new ball bowlers Johnson and Hilfenhaus during the first seven overs of play. Theturningpointof themorningsession cameinthenextover,however,whenCook played a loose shot outside off-stump off the back foot against Hilfenhaus, and was brilliantly caught by Michael Hussey, div- ing to his right in the gully. His demise brought Bopara to the creasehopingtobuildonhissuccessive hundreds against the West Indies earlier this summer. But he soon became rattled by hostile bowling from Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle during the early stages of his innings. Before Bopara had even got off the mark he was surprised by a short delivery from Siddle which hit him on the helmet grill -- and he was hit in the chest in the next over from the new Merv Hughes. IttookBoparanineballstoscorehisfirst runs with a bottom edge off Siddle which narrowly missed his stumps before racing down to third man for four, and he had to wait until his 21st delivery when he recorded his next scoring shot, a clip through mid-wicket for two off Johnson. Having weathered that early storm, however, Bopara never seemed to settle at the crease although he hit a superb on- drive for four off Siddle to release some pressure and then drove Johnson for two fours in the same over. Strauss,meanwhile,hadlookedcomfort- able and survived a strong shout for lbw fromJohnsonwhenumpireBillyDoctrove rejected the appeal, believing the attemptedyorkerwouldhavemissed leg-stump. It was only a tempo- Johnsontakestwo,Hilfenhaus oneasEnglandfalterinCardiff BY NEAL COLLINS LUNCHTIMESCOREBOARD ENGLAND, 1ST INNINGS A Strauss c Clarke b Johnson................30 A Cook c Hussey b Hilfenhaus ............. 10 R Bopara c Hughes b Johnson...............35 K Pietersen not out...................................6 P Collingwood not out............................. 5 Extras (b4, lb1, nb6)..............................11 Total (3 wkts)........................................97 Fall: 1-21, 2-67, 3-90 To bat: Prior, Flintoff, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Panesar Bowling: Johnson 9-1-37-2; Hilfenhaus 10-3-17-1; Siddle 8-0-38-0 AUSTRALIA: Hughes, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) & Billy Doctrove (WI) ENGLAND MEET index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html