Stuart Broad knocks over David Warner on wet first day in Sydney

Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad dismissed Australia opener David Warner for the 13th time in Tests but England’s hopes of reinvigorating their Ashes campaign were blighted by rain on the opening day in Sydney.

The urn is already gone after the hosts opened up an unimpeachable 3-0 lead in Melbourne last week, but England have pride and places to play for and their opponents are hungry for a whitewash.

Bad weather was a constant on day one at the SCG, delaying the start by half-an-hour and interrupting play on three separate occasions as Australia reached 56 for one in 21.4 overs.

Broad has had a bit-part role in the series to date, playing just one of the three live matches, but marked his recall by taking care of old rival Warner yet again. It was a case of deja-vu for the left-hander when he nicked Broad to second slip for 30, having fallen to the 35-year-old seven times in the 2019 campaign.

England lost the belated toss but, with a tinge of live grass on the pitch, there was genuine encouragement for the reunited duo of James Anderson and Broad.

The first ball of the innings gave England further cause for optimism, Anderson’s opening delivery leaping off a good length and rapping Warner on the glove.

That proved something of a red herring, though, with no further unnatural bounce to aid Anderson’s swing. Broad, described by assistant coach Graham Thorpe as a ‘caged tiger’ coming into the match, was unable to generate any real movement initially and was driven heartily through the covers as Warner settled.

Stuart Broad dodges the showers in Sydney.
Stuart Broad dodges the showers in Sydney (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Midway through the fifth over more rain arrived, forcing the teams off with Australia on eight without loss. Another eight-over mini-session was possible before a second rain break, with Australia again coming through unscathed.

Anderson made life difficult for the openers when he went round the wicket but Warner was warming to the task, cracking another extra-cover drive and then pushing the seamer straight back down the ground for four more.

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Marcus Harris was beaten on the outside edge by Broad but responded by pulling a short ball to the mid-wicket ropes and when Mark Wood was summoned to bring some extra pace to proceedings, he squeezed in just three deliveries before the rain returned.

Warner foreshadowed his dismissal when he fenced at Ben Stokes, offering the hint of a chance to Zak Crawley in the cordon but picking up a streaky four instead. When Broad returned for another try, the chance stuck.

Drawing an indeterminate push outside off stump, another thick edge made its way to Crawley, who held on with both hands at second slip.