Broad swaps stick for wickets

England

England fast bowler Stuart Broad was pleased to answer critics, after resigning Australia to a shaky total of 273 for eight on day one of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad was pleased to answer critics, after resigning Australia to a shaky total of 273 for eight on day one of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday.

Broad entered the series in the wake of plenty of flak after incurring the ire of opposition coach Darren Lehmann for unsporting behaviour during the Trent Bridge clash earlier this year, and was quick to silence plenty of critics on Thursday.

The right-arm fast bowler completed figures of five for 65, reducing the home side to a temperamental total of 273 for eight. The prolific haul arrived as Broad's best figures in Australia – and capped an unprecedented 50 wickets for the calendar year.

"There's been a lot of build-up, a lot of talk, but we put everything else aside and focused on the game. I was preparing myself for a bit of stick but it's nice to come away with picking up some wickets," said Broad.

"You could easily walk away with none for 100 after being abused all day, but it certainly feels better with five for 60-odd. The Aussies are good sports fans, they like to see tough, hard cricket. They like to give the opposition a bit of stick but they respect good sport."

The home side's total would have read considerably poorer were it not for all-rounder Mitchell Johnson and wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin's fighting 114-run alliance for the seventh wicket.

Haddin marked a momentous 50th Test match cap with a rearguard 78 not out and the left-handed Johnson justified a return to the XI with an aggressive 64 – before Broad removed the latter with the second new ball.

"After losing the toss on what is a belting batting wicket, to get eight wickets in the day is excellent. But we saw in the period when Haddin and Mitchell were going well, it was hard to remove them," he added.

"That's something we can take a positive from as a batting group. We've got to get them out in the morning but if we get through the new ball, you can cash in in that 40-to-80-overs spell."

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