LITESPORT 38 Thursday, 9 July 2009 London Lite ENGLANDvAUSTRALIA ASHES2009 FIRSTTEST FREDDIE CREATESABREAKING NEWS... LEE WESTWOOD described himself as stupid today for playing the Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond with a chest infection. Westwood, who on Sunday lost a play-off for the French Open and was so looking forward to The Open at Turnberry next week, managed only a two-over-par 73 to trail early clubhouse leader Graeme Storm by eight. I was stupid to go out, especially with The Open next week, said the former European No1, before going off to see a doctor. MONSTROUS TURNBERRY: PAGE 35 ON the evidence of yesterdays play its going to be tighter than last time, but that will provide little comfort when a smug-faced Ricky Ponting walks away with the little urn again. At this stage of the game in Brisbane three years ago Andrew Flintoffs shins had been threatened by Steve Harmisons first ball mega-wide and England finished the day with any semblance of optimism blown away by Ponting (right), whose 196 contributed towards a first day total of 346- 3. England scored only eight fewer runs in Cardiff yesterday, but significantly for the loss of an additional four wickets as they squandered an equally commanding position four overs from the close. These are undoubtedly two evenly matched sides, although not in the same class as the ones which battled it out over here in 2005, so the ability to handle the pressure situations will settle the destination of the sports biggest prize. Having batted England into a matchwinning position, Andrew Flintoff and Matt Prior should have had the foresight to recognise their work for the day had been accomplished and shut up shop. Instead, both opted to play ill-advised shots to the bowling of Aussie workhorse Peter Siddle and tossed their wickets, and potentially the opening game of the series away. Winning in South Africa will have taught this new-look Aussie squad how to thrive in adversity, and theyve already shown just how naive England are under pressure. RECOMMENDED BET: Australia to win series, Evens (SkyBet). LITEBETTING BYJAMESGOLDMANjames.goldman@thelondonlite.co.uk ANDREW FLINTOFF took Englands first wicket of the Ashes series in Car- diff today -- just as Australias openers were threatening to settle in. Injury-prone Freddie was brought on after ineffective pre-lunch efforts from James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. And after a fiery opening over featur- ing three bouncers, Flintoff quietened Aussie dangerman Phillip Hughes -- and then had him brilliantly caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior, diving low to his right. Hughes,soimpressivewithMiddlesex earlier in the summer, departed for 36 off 56 balls, leaving Australia 64-1 Earlier,Swannhadgrippedthenation with an innings of pure magic. The irrespressible Nottinghamshire spinner, exiled from the international ranks for eight years until his Test call- up last winter, produced a free-flowing 47 off 40 balls to see England to the unexpectedheightsof 435beforeMonty Panesar became the final victim of the first innings. Swann, who made his maiden Test 50 againsttheWestIndiesatLordsinMay, cametothewicketaftertheearlydepar- ture of his county team-mate Broad, who had added a useful 19 to Englands overnight 336-7. But even with former opening bat Broad gone, Swann chose to continue the offensive tone with nightwatchman Anderson. Anderson -- who has not registered a Test duck in 49 innings -- played shots and reaped rewards as he pierced the gaps to maintain a fast scoring rate. That was catalysed by the arrival of Swann. England stacked up 50 runs in just 7.4 overs as Cardiff rose to applaud their unlikely heroes. Swann and Anderson added 68 for the ninth wicket from only 53 balls before Hauritz lured the Lancashire seamer intoamistimeddrivetoMichaelHussey at mid-on for 26 off 40 balls. Monty Panesar, not the greatest batsman in Testhistory(average5.33),emergedand survived 17 balls before falling victim to the tame spin of Hauritz, who ended with 3-95. Swann was left stranded on 47 but when todays performance is added to a first class batting record which fea- tures four tons and 32 fifties -- and an average of just under 27 -- he can now layclaimtobeingagenuineall-rounder despite his lowly position at nine in the batting order. Swann didnt just survive against the Aussies, he flayed them, producing everything from the extravagant drive overmid-off toacutereversesweep.He was particularly tough on Hauritz, hit- ting him for three successive fours as Aussies skipper Ricky Ponting held his head in his hands and watched power- less to stop Englands progress. But soon it was Andrew Strauss who was reaching for the headache pills as Hughes got going before lunch. Onhisneeds:AussiecoachTimNielsen Flintoff snatches first wicket of the Ashes after Swann heroics Lee is bang out of Loch CARLO ANCELOTTIS Stamford Bridge bow will be the focus of the Sky cameras on the opening day of the new Premier League season. Sky Sports will show last seasons top three teams live on the first weekend of the new campaign with Chelseas match against Hull on 15 August kicking-off proceedings. The first Ford Super Sunday of the season features champions Manchester United v Birmingham City followed by Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool on Sunday 16 August. Sky Sports, in consultation with the Premier League and clubs, has made its initial selection of 31 live games over the first four months of the season. The first set of fixtures feature the London derbies between Fulham and Chelsea, Chelsea and Spurs, Arsenal and Spurs and Arsenal against Chelsea. Sky will also be screening Cristiano Ronaldos Real Madrid debut against Shamrock Rovers on 20 July, as well as the Wembley Cup, featuring Barcelona, and the Asia Trophy, plus the third instalment of the Emirates Cup. ARSENALS NEW MELO HOPE: PAGE 36 Blues first up on Sky Sports 2 BY NEAL COLLINS LUNCHTIME SCOREBOARD 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 c Katich b Hauritz...................69 P Collingwood c Haddin b Hilfenhaus.......64 M Prior b Siddle.............................................56 A Flintoff b Siddle.........................................37 J Anderson c Hussey b Hauritz...................26 S Broad b Johnson........................................19 G Swann not out..........................................47 M Panesar c Ponting b Hauritz ....................4 Extras (b13, lb11, nb12, w2)......................38 Total...........................................................435 Fall: 1-21, 2-67, 3-90, 4-228, 5-241, 6-327, 7-329, 8-355, 9-423, 10-435. Bowling: Johnson 22-2-87-3; Hilfenhaus 27-5-77-2; Siddle 27-3-121-2; Hauritz 23.5-1-95- 3; Clarke; 5-0-20-0; Katich 2-0-11-0. AUSTRALIA, 1ST INNINGS P Hughes c Prior b Flintoff..........................36 S Katich not out ...........................................18 R Ponting not out ...........................................0 Extras (lb4, w1 nb1).....................................5 Total (1 wicket)..........................................64 Fall: 1-60 Bowling: J Anderson 4-0-16-0; S Broad 6-0-29 -0; G Swann 2-0-5-0; Flintoff 4-2-9-1 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