Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day November 29, 2010

Cooking the books

The accumulator
Alastair Cook batted on and on and on - for so long, in fact, that his eventual score of 235 not out was almost ten times his previous average in Tests against Australia. By the time England called a halt to his magnum opus, the previously formidable Gabbatoir was as tame as a petting zoo, with the Barmy Army singing his praises against an echoing backdrop of flipped-up plastic seating. Not only did Cook's score outstrip Donald Bradman's 226 as the highest individual innings at the Gabba, it exceeded the series total of 222 that Cook mustered in the 2009 Ashes, while his match total of 302 was also a new ground record, beating the 300 that Matthew Hayden made against England in 2002-03

Business as usual
Jonathan Trott is getting pretty used to taking part in gargantuan stands. In England's last Test, at Lord's back in August, he and Stuart Broad shattered England's eighth-wicket record by piling up a massive 332. So today's unbeaten 329 stand with Cook was small beer by comparison. Nevertheless, in taking his chance to rack up a fourth Test hundred, Trott reacquainted himself with his favourite opponents, Australia, against whom he has now racked up second-innings hundreds in each of his two games.

Trebles all round
England haven't had to lot to cheer about triple-century partnerships in recent Ashes history. On Saturday, their immediate prospects were quashed by Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin, who set a new Gabba record mark of 307; while four years ago in Adelaide, Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen's 310-run stand ended up as the sorriest of footnotes in the most crushing defeat in recent Ashes history. This time, however, there was a lot more for England to get excited about, as they overhauled both of those figures to achieve a new national high in Ashes cricket.

Extra extras
Australia's attack has been overly generous during the past two days, but their discipline before lunch on the final day was particularly bad. Mitchell Johnson attempted a bouncer from around the wicket that went so far down the legside it ended up as five wides. Later, Brad Haddin gave up eight byes in two balls from Xavier Doherty, with the second batch bringing up England's 400. Shane Watson was also called for a wide when he attempted a bouncer as nothing went right for the hosts.

Slip's slip
Michael Clarke was in the business section of the field after spending the first innings floating around to protect his injured back. However, he became one of five Australians to spill a chance when Trott edged to him at first slip on 75. By Test standards it was a sitter, but Clarke spilt it to his right, causing more comments about his fitness, and more anguish for Watson.

Declaration delight
By far the best moment for Australia was the declaration at 1 for 517 shortly before tea. The tired and relieved Australians were gracious in their praise for Cook and Trott, showing there are good feelings in this series as well as bad. Simon Katich fell in Australia's short reply, but Ricky Ponting's mood improved slightly with a breezy half-century.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo and Peter English is Australasian editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    And there goes the 5-0 prediction of the ashes by the "experts"...

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Always easy to tell which of you two has written what. (Andrew, can you sit Peter down and give him a few basic English lessons?)

  • Mradul on November 29, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    And people praise sporing pitches in Australia. Worst Ashes test ever. So who is the "Flat Track Bully" now?

  • Dimuthu on November 29, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    why haven't we heard ANY comments about this being a featherbed and causing test cricket to die etc etc etc? Why are these comments only reserved for the subcontinent? Hypocrites

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    The pitch was flatter than sub-continent pitches.. Even in that same , aussies bowled out england for 260.. So no reason why aussies cant win the ashes as easy as ever... Except Mitch, everything is perfect for australia... Best of which is punter's unbeaten half-century.. Though it is of little importance, it will be great to c how he manages to play in upcoming matches.. Its aussies who have come out much stronger than england in this match. Cook jus saved his carrier.. And one way tat is also good thing.. So that he never repeat the same til the end of this series... Happy to c over-rated swan could not produce any magic here.. :)

  • Lalith on November 29, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Although English were all out for 260 in the first inning on the first day of the Ashes Series, the match brought more problems for Aussies than English at the end. Gabba is the ground where Aussie always wins the first test of any series like Galle is the best for SL to win 1st test of any series against any touring team.

    The match sums up that English improved significantly while Aussies are down especially in the bowling attack.

  • Supern on November 29, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Very Well Done ENGLISH by English Bat(S).....They cud have sparked a real contest if they would have declared a bit earlier..But overall England should have their nose UP after 1st match of the series...Aussies didn't helped themselves by dropping close to 5 sitters..

  • Anver on November 29, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    Marathon innings by Cook saves the Soup..........SUPERBBBBBBBBB !!!!!!!!!!

  • Cheree on November 29, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    A good summation.

    I think Strauss would have been forgiven for not declaring, and as, another commentator said, 'grinding the Aussies down' ahead of the next test match. If he'd done that, Ponting wouldn't have made a confidence boosting half century and the Australians wouldn't have had another chance to boss Swanny around.

    All that aside, the way things turned out makes for an excellent series.

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