England slightly ahead as Clarke stands firm

Australia

England were probably the happier side at stumps on day one of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, with Australia reaching 273 for five and failing to convert half tons, but a dropped catch near the close drew the sides level.

England were probably the happier side at stumps on day one of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, with Australia reaching 273 for five and failing to convert half tons, but a dropped catch near the close drew the sides level.

A century stand between Chris Rogers and Shane Watson was the highlight of the day for the hosts, but the pair fell within an over of each other after making half centuries. Michael Clarke (48 not out) and George Bailey (53) then added 83 in the evening.

The hosts won the toss and chose to bat first at the Adelaide Oval, picking the same line-up that won the first Test in Brisbane. England, meanwhile, went against expectations by handing a debut to Ben Stokes and adding spinner Monty Panesar.

Rain arrived in the second over for a quick break, before it returned in the 10th over for a longer spell. As it was, the morning session only saw 14 overs, during which time David Warner was dismissed.

He fell to paceman Stuart Broad for 29 off 32 balls, caught by Michael Carberry. This left Watson and Rogers to build the innings, and they advanced to triple figures on the scoreboard soon after lunch.

The pair batted together for 44 overs, making 121 runs. Rogers reached his fifty first, off 135 balls, while Watson made his off 109 deliveries. The all-rounder could only add one run to it though.

He was dismissed by James Anderson, superbly caught and bowled during his follow through, as the fast bowler began to extract some reverse swing from the dry pitch. Graeme Swann got Rogers caught behind by Matt Prior in the next over for 72.

This left Clarke and Steve Smith to bat the session out, and they nearly succeeded. Smith was beaten all ends up by Panesar though, beating the outside edge to bowl him for six and bring on the tea break.

The evening session saw Bailey and Clarke come out firing, with Bailey in a particularly aggressive mood. He struck three sixes on his way to a maiden Test fifty, one of which brought up that score, but he was soon out for 53.

Swann was the man to take the catch, with Bailey having been dropped earlier on (Clarke too, mind you). The spinner made a leaping catch in the covers to send Bailey packing, leaving Clarke and Brad Haddin to see out the day.

England could have had another wicket just minutes before the close when Haddin hit the ball straight to Carberry off Panesar, but the normally excellent Hampshire man dropped the sitter, as well as the fumbling rebound.

Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon.

England: Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar

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