An Ashes five-fer: Day 1, Perth

1) MARK STONEMAN THE NEW MICHAEL CARBERRY? During the carnage of the 2013 series, the Australians had a lot of time for thirty-something opener Michael Carberry. With Alastair Cook struggling at the other end, the Hampshire batsman kept getting starts – 40s, 60s, and the like – but couldn’t go on. Stoneman has also been called up relatively late in his career and his stats are shaping up in a similar way.  The unfashionable Surrey man has got a lot of heart but having been dropped twice, it is a shame he didn’t go big.

2) FEARSOME THREE WREAK HAVOC AFTER LUNCH: Justin Langer felt the Australians had been a touch full in a morning that saw England reasonably comfortable at 91-2. After the break, the tourists were suddenly like crash test dummies reacting to a barrage of high speed experiments. Stoneman was hit on the side of the helmet by a devil of a bouncer from Josh Hazlewood, while Dawid Malan was sprayed with bouncers by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. It was a scintillating passage of play in which England showed considerable cojones to lose only two wickets.

3) DAWID MALAN STANDS UP  LIKE A MAN: Dare one say there is more than a touch of deja vu about watching England’s batsmen clear the steeplechase and then fall over their own shoelaces.  So it was a great step forward to finally put in a big partnership as maiden centurion Malan and Jonny Bairstow barely put a foot wrong up until the new ball. Malan, in particular, played with the full face of the bat after a torrid start. He took on the short ball courageously and used his feet to rotate the strike. If Geoffrey Boycott likes your technique, there’s a lot to work with…

4)  INTERPRETATION OF THE DRS IS DAMNED: If the point of the DRS is to overturn the original decision on stronger evidence, then there remains an air of mystery about Stoneman’s dismissal. Having been given not out, third umpire Aleem Dar deemed that there was a touch of something, despite no hot spot or  obvious snicko from the glove holding the bat.  it was probably the right call, but only after about 15 or so replays and with a different angle. The instinct was that the batsman should have been given the benefit of the doubt on the sliver of evidence that was presented.

Jon Barbuti: We’ve been robbed! A batter who was out, being given not out, then correctly given out, but incorrectly given available evidence, (but correctly given subsequent evidence). Just not cricket.

5) ENGLAND ATTACK THE LYON’S SHARE: England were more mobile on their feet against Australia’s premier off spinner and chief executive off the pitch sledger. The Waca has not actually been a Lyon’s den for Nathan who had previously claimed just 12 wickets at 50. Joe Root’s team had clearly discussed getting out of their crease to show positive intent. While Lyon wasn’t carted around, he was at least neutered.

By Tim Ellis