England made a strong start to the Ashes on Thursday as they bowled out bitter rivals Australia for 284 at a hostile Edgbaston.
The raucous Birmingham crowd took great pleasure in the early dismissal of Aussie bad boy David Warner by Stuart Broad for just two runs, and it didn’t get any better for the tourists – who had won the toss and chosen to bat – from there.
Warner opened the batting with another member of the ‘Sandpaper Three’, Cameron Bancroft, who was also dismissed by Broad.
David Warner (L) trudges off after being dismissed by Stuart Broad (R) early on day one
Warner, Bancroft and Steve Smith were banned for a year after being caught cheating against South Africa in March 2018.
Bancroft, in a plan concucted by Warner and Smith, rubbed sandpaper against the ball to help the Aussie bowlers in a move not only illegal, but considered a heinous crime in cricket and one a proud cricketing nation have struggled to forgive.
And, needless to say, the Edgbaston crowd had not forgotten as scores were pictured cheekily waving sandpaper at the beleaguered Aussies as wickets tumbled.
Smith began to rebuild the innings with Travis Head and with England legend James Anderson taken to hospital for a scan on his troublesome calf there was a brief period of hope for the tourists.
Many England fans turned up armed with sandpaper to remind the Aussies of their cheating
Chris Woakes (third right) is congratulated by his team-mates after dismissing Matthew Wade
But that was gone when Head’s dismissal sparked a collapse, with five wickets falling for just 23 runs. Broad and Chris Woakes were the chief destroyers in Anderson’s absence, picking up five and three wickets respectively.
The stubborn Smith though struck a brilliant hundred as Australia clawed their way to 284, with Peter Siddle also proving a source of frustration for the hosts with 44.
But England have their noses ahead as they look to regain the Ashes urn lost to the Australians in January 2018.
Openers Rory Burns and Jason Roy safely negotiated two overs at the end of the day to reach 10-0.
Disgraced former captain Steve Smith looked in fine form for Australia on day one