Ashes 1st Test: Root-inspired rally part of the tale of the first day

It was all looking pretty ominous for England on the first day of the 1st Ashes Test in Cardiff. At 43-3 the mood was dark but a rally anchored by Gary Ballance and Joe Root has lifted some of the tension and given the hosts a solid platform to build from. 

Here’s how the first day of the 2015 Ashes unfolded:

England win the toss and decide to bat and the excitement is palpable. There was plenty of pomp and ceremony before proceedings got underway at the SWALEC stadium.

And before the start of play cricket’s luminaries waded into the debate around who’ll lay claim to the famous urn.

Needless to say, Michael Holding wasn’t giving England much of a chance…

Lyth out for 6 – And so it begins…

Not the greatest start. There’s been a lot of talk about Josh Hazlewood’s potential to unleash hell on England’s batsmen in this series and he delivers early on by taking the wicket of Adam Lyth.

Captain Cook blows cold, bell tolls for Ian

The heat on Alistair Cook intensifies after he’s dismissed for just 20 runs, bowled by Nathan Lyon and caught by Brad Haddin.

Mitchell Starc then removes Ian Bell LBW for just one run. He won’t be happy with his recent form.

Root dropped by Haddin on 0

*Understatement alert*

Haddin dropping Root when he was on zip proved costly.


England come off the ropes

Yorkshire’s finest hold it together nicely with the White Rose county’s Gary Ballance and Joe Root steadying the ship for England.

BBC Test Match Special’s statistician Andrew Samson is quick to highlight the pair’s strengths with this pearler: “It’s the sixth time Ballance and Root have batted together in Test cricket and their third century partnership.”


Smith dives and misses, Root survives

England v Australia: 1st Investec Ashes Test - Day One 

Phew. Steve Smith is presented with what initially appeared to be a gilt-edged opportunity to nab Root’s wicket after it strikes his pad and loops up towards Smith. HotSpot confirms there was no edge anyway but nervy moments. 

Not a lot of love for Cardiff…

Plenty of pundits and ex-pros were quick to put the boot into the state of the pitch.

Have we mentioned Root enough yet? He brings up his century

‘Nuff said…


Ballance dismissed, England 196/4

That man again Hazlewood pops up with a wicket to halt some of England’s momentum. Ballance LBW 61 after tea. Decent knock.

Picture of the day?

What a glorious sight. A futile Aussie attempt at preventing a boundary.

England v Australia: 1st Investec Ashes Test - Day One

Root finally gets rumbled

England has found a new hero. Root goes for 134 after a fantastic innings, edging Stark to Watson.

Stokes has gone too!

And here’s the sound of his wicket falling to Starc with audible Aussie cheers. Another decent effort as he departs on 52. Australia fight back.

Jos Buttler stopped in his tracks

Well, his lazy chipped effort from a Hazlewood delivery is caught by Mitchell Johnson. Stuart Broad enters the fray and the boos begin from the Australian contingent.


England finish the day 343-7 with Moeen Ali on 26 and Stuart Broad yet to score after coming in late.

Root (yep, him) is the man of the moment. Could he be the Man of the Series?

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William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.