result
5th Test (D/N), Hobart, Jan 14 - 16 2022, The Ashes
303 & 155
(target 271)188 & 124
Australia won by 146 runs
Player Of The Match
101
travis-head
Player Of The Series
357 runs
travis-head

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Showing newest first sort
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    Play done for the day

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    Rain halts play

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    Wood gets Green!

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    All eyes on Green

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    Fifty up for Green

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    Ton up and gone!

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    Hundred up for Head

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    Fifty up for Head

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    Broad's back - and how!

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    Smith falls to Robinson

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    Broad gets Khawaja

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    Robinson strikes to remove Warner

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    England win toss, bowl first

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    Toss delayed by rain

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    Hello Hobart

Showing newest sort
Updated 14-Jan-2022 • Published 14-Jan-2022

As it happened - Australia vs England, 5th Test, Hobart, 1st day

By Valkerie Baynes

Play done for the day

Australia 6 for 241 (Head 101, Green 74) vs England

An accomplished century from Travis Head restored control for Australia on an entertaining first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test, which was ultimately curtailed by rain.

It must have felt like three steps forward, 224 back for England as Australia slumped to 3 for 12 inside the first 10 overs then recovered to 6 for 236 by the time Cameron Green fell shortly before steady drizzle halted play in the third session of the day-night fixture in Hobart.

After a particularly fruitless day for Mark Wood, he employed short-ball tactics to finally prise out a dangerous-looking Green and offer some hope for the tourists. Green had played an excellent innings, unfurling some breath-taking cover drives en route to his knock of 74, but it was Head - with whom he shared a 121-stand for the fifth wicket - who stole the show.

Returning to the side after missing the drawn fourth Test in Sydney, Head scored his second century of the series - this one off just 112 balls - before falling to the very next delivery, chipping Chris Woakes to Ollie Robinson at mid-on for 101. Had he managed to stick around, Australia's claims to have won the day would have been reinforced but, as it happened, the hosts finished in a far better position than had seemed likely in the first 90 minutes or so.

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Head's hard work pays off

No sooner had a re-start been scheduled for 10 minutes from now and the covers were put back in place, signalling a further delay.

In the meantime, Travis Head has been talking to Channel Seven about his impressive return from a Covid-enforced absence in Sydney:

"It was hard watching at home and in isolation, then I had two days here where we didn't do anything. I had a couple of rounds of golf. Stayed relaxed, stayed calm. I knew it was there. I'd only been a week out of it and I worked really hard over the last few days on wickets out the back that were pretty challenging.

"I haven't traditionally been the best net batter in the past and it's something that I've worked really hard on, being hard to get out in the nets when I'm in that mode. Over the last two days, I was really conscious of making sure that I was making the right decisions, moving on the right balls, attacking the right ones, defending the right ones, and being hard to get out. I felt like I had come into this Test feeling ready to go."

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While we wait...

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Rain halts play

Rain has sent the players from the field with Australia 6 for 241. Alex Carey is not out 10 and Mitchell Starc is yet to score. Mark Wood finally gave England something to smile about, removing Cameron Green for 74 after the Australian batters had taken back control after a poor first hour or so, Travis Head's century instrumental in their recovery from 3 for 12.

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Wood gets Green!

Mark Wood switched to a short-ball tactic in that over and reaped the rewards with the last ball, dismissing a dangerous-looking Cameron Green for 74. Wood threatened with the third ball of his 11th over, a shorter delivery that didn't lift much and struck Green on the gloves. Green ducked under the next, another short ball, and managed to fend the following one to the leg side. Coming back round the wicket, Wood banged the last one in short and Green's attempted pull sailed straight to Zak Crawley at deep midwicket, leaving Australia 6-236.

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Expensive overs

112 runs conceded by Mark Wood and Chris Woakes for one wicket in 20 overs between them to tea
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All eyes on Green

As the teams head to the tea break, Australia are 215 for 5 following that century from Travis Head before he fell next ball and an unbeaten fifty from Cameron Green, who is now 57 not out. Here's Alex Malcolm's thoughts on Green, who will now team up with Alex Carey to press the hosts on after a troubling start that feels like it was a long time ago:

This is the Cameron Green that has plundered eight first-class centuries in the last two-and-a-half seasons and has averaged 51 across 39 matches. He has been calm and composed but has looked to score from ball one. His footwork has been precise and he has played in a very orthodox and mostly risk-free manner.

He much prefers coming in early. This is only the fourth time he’s come to the crease in Test cricket with the team total under 100, and he’s made two half-centuries and a 45 in three of those four innings. The other was his debut innings against India. He has also shared two century stands in two of those innings and a half-century stand in the other.

Green averages 63.55 batting at no.4 in first-class cricket and 86.00 at no.5. But he averages just 36.50 at No.6 and 25 at No.7. He is a proper middle-order batter and always has been ever since junior cricket at Subiaco-Floreat Cricket Club and Scotch College in Perth. He will no doubt settle further up the order the longer his Test career goes.

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Fifty up for Green

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Ton up and gone!

No sooner had Travis Head brought up his hundred - his second century of the series - and he was out on the very next ball, spooning a catch to Ollie Robinson at mid-on off the bowling of Chris Woakes. Head screamed "No!" as the ball looped up off the bat for a soft dismissal to give England a much-needed breakthrough shortly before the second break. Head fell for 101 off 113 balls, having looked slightly nervous on 99 when he chipped over a leaping Woakes' hand to safe ground just in front of Robinson. He brought up his ton on the next delivery, working Woakes to the off-side for two. His dismissal put Australia at 204 for 5.

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Hundred up for Head

Travis Head brings up his century off just 112 balls. Returning to the side after missing the fourth Test in Sydney with Covid, Head has been immense, wresting back control for Australia after a shaky start saw the hosts slump to 3 for 12. He combined with Marnus Labuschagne to put on 71 runs for the fourth wicket and, after Labuschagne fell in rather messy fashion to Stuart Broad for 44, Head has shared a stand of 121 with Cameron Green, who remains 47 not out. They've also brought up the 200 for Australia, who are 204 for 4.

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Championship lessons

As Travis Head and Cameron Green pick up where Head and Marnus Labuschagne left off, Andrew Miller offers an insight into what could prove to be a big turning point:

Rumour has it that in the 2021 County Championship season, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head were among the Australia overseas pros in a WhatsApp group named "Stevo's gonna get ya". The group was named in honour of Darren Stevens, the Grand Old Man of Kent, and sure enough, he frequently did, his ageless wobblers giving both men grief en route to a haul of 39 wickets at 18.58.

Twice in the space of a month, Labuschagne fell to Stevens in identical fashion: lbw for 11 on a Cardiff greentop in April on the eve of his 45th birthday to boot, and lbw for 11 in a rain-wrecked rematch in Canterbury in May. In between whiles, Head was bowled for 20 in their solitary match-up in Hove.

Ollie Robinson played in that latter game too, reeling off the impressive figures of 18-4-29-3 as Kent were rolled over for 145 in the first innings; so too Zak Crawley, whose criticism of county pitches made headlines on the eve of this Test. Whatever the vagaries on display in Sussex that week, he transcended most of them in making 85 from 144 in Kent's second innings.

And so too, in an extraordinary second-hour onslaught in Hobart did Labuschagne and Head, as they ripped the initiative back from a rampant England team in Ashes conditions that might have been spirited directly from the sort of Division Two tussle that is getting such a bad rap at present. Full story here.

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All about Australian agronomy

By Alex Malcolm

England are getting a lesson in Australian agronomy. Bellerive’s billiard table green pitch looks sumptuous for the seamers early but one of the unique elements to Bellerive is that it is the only Australian domestic pitch that uses rye grass. Most Australian pitches have couch grass.

The difference is quite significant when you literally dig into the weeds. Rye thrives in cooler climates and has a much weaker leaf than couch. It doesn’t have any structure in the roots compared to couch either. It dies off a lot quicker over the course of a game and the pitch can really flatten out. That has been evident in recent years where teams batting second in Sheffield Shield cricket have really dominated and some big scores have been made batting fourth.

England made the right call to bowl first but can’t expect the surface to nip and swing all night like it did in the first hour. They still have to work hard to get their lengths and lines right. As Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green have shown, bad balls can still get punished with ease.

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Head makes a statement

By Alex Malcolm

Travis Head has made a statement. This has been an incredible counterattack. He has been fearless and put enormous pressure on England’s bowlers in the same fashion as he did in the first innings in Brisbane and the second innings in Adelaide.

But he has profited from some awful bowling from Mark Wood and Chris Woakes in particular. His first three boundaries were from long half-volleys. Then after the 40-minute break Ollie Robinson floated up a delivery at 112kph and he dismissively flicked him over midwicket. England need to tighten up their lengths again.

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Fifty up for Head

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Labuschagne's luck

By Gaurav Sundararaman

Marnus Labuschange has has a great start to his career, however some of his runs could be attributed to a lot of luck. Zak Crawley dropped him when he was on 0 and he went on to make 44. Since his debut, Labuschagne is one of the luckiest batters in Test cricket. Out of 42 chances that he has given, 19 have been missed by the opposition.Thats 45% of the chances missed. It is the highest for any batter since Oct 2018 when he made his Test debut.

Ben Stokes is the second-luckiest with teams dropping 40% of the chances he provides. Not everyone capitalises on these chances. However, Marnus has made good use of the fortune he has been given in his short Test career.

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"What's doing, Marnus?"

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Broad's back - and how!

Marnus Labuschagne falls after a dangerous-looking 44 off 53 balls and a 71-run stand with Travis Head for the fourth wicket. Broad returned to the attack after a brief but expensive spell from Mark Wood and bowled Labuschagne round his legs with a full, straight delivery that had the batter all tangled up and toppling face-first to the ground as the ball clattered into his stumps. That made it 4 for 83 for Australia.

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Wood's last two overs

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Australia get going

Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head have pressed on for Australia following the drinks break, pushing their fourth-wicket partnership to 53 so far. A couple of expensive overs from Mark Wood have yielded 11 runs and 15 runs, with Chris Woakes conceding nine off an over in between.

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Big test for Travis Head

By Alex Malcolm

Travis Head returns at no.5 after Covid-19 kept him out of the Sydney Test. But Bellerive is one of his least favourite grounds in Australia. He averages 28.84 in 13 innings in Hobart. Nine of those 13 innings have been scores of 14 or less and seven have been scores of 5 or less with three ducks. He was all at sea in his only innings here earlier this season for South Australia.

But he does have a fourth-innings 145 here back in 2018. He also had a poor career record at the Gabba prior to his 152 in the first Test. But this type of surface, a proper green seamer is not one that he’s suited to with his hard hands and preference to feel bat on ball. This will be a test for Head at 3 for 12.

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Smith falls to Robinson

And the wickets keep falling in Hobart. Ollie Robinson gets his second, dismissing Steve Smith for a duck, edging to Zak Crawley at second slip. Australia are battling at 3 for 12. That's only the second time Smith has been dismissed for a duck the Ashes.

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Broad gets Khawaja

Both Australian openers are gone after Stuart Broad had Usman Khawaja - retained and moved up the order after his twin tons in Sydney - caught at first slip by Joe Root for 6. England almost had Marnus Labuschagne out off the bowling of Ollie Robinson beforehand, but Zak Crawley spilled the chance diving across Root from second slip. There wasn't too much damage done as Australia slumped to 2 for 7.

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Robinson strikes to remove Warner

Ollie Robinson has made a breakthrough for England, removing David Warner for a 22-ball duck. Warner began by facing 15 consecutive dot balls from Stuart Broad, but it was Robinson who did for the Australian opener with a ball just back of a length and just outside off which found a decent edge, taken by Zak Crawley at second slip. That put Australia at 1 for 3 on the last ball of the sixth over.

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Broad takes a dive

This was the first ball of the match...

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An important toss to win

By Alex Malcolm

That is a very important toss to win for England. In the past three seasons, only one team in nine first-class matches at Bellerive Oval has won the game after batting first and that was Tasmania last summer when they bowled New South Wales out for 32 in the second innings of the match. The team bowling first has won seven and there was one rain-affected draw. South Africa also beat Australia by an innings in the last Test here in 2016 after bowling first and skittling Australia for 85.

Sheffield Shield pitches at Bellerive recently have produced low-scoring first innings with the ball swinging and seaming courtesy of the live green grass. There is 8mm of green grass on this pitch. But they have become batting paradises later in the game. Tasmania chased down 315 in the fourth innings in the last Shield game in November. Queensland chased 310 in March last year with Usman Khawaja making an unbeaten 115. Queensland also chased 414 in 2018.

They were all red-ball games. In three pink-ball day-night games between 2014 and 2016 the team bowling first had one win, one loss and there was a draw.

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England ring in the changes

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England win toss, bowl first

England have won the toss and opted to bowl first. Joe Root, their captain says: "With the overhead conditions, slightly tacky nature of the pitch with some live grass, we'll take the opportunity to bowl first."

Pat Cummins, his Australian counterpart, would have done the likewise: "We were probably going to have a bowl... but not too upset".

England have rung in the changes, Rory Burns returns as opener for Haseeb Hameed, Ollie Pope is back with Jonny Bairstow out because of the thumb injury he sustained in Sydney, and Sam Billings is in for injured wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson make up a four-pronged seam attack with Mark Wood and Stuart Broad. James Anderson and spinner Jack Leach will sit this one out.

Scott Boland retains his place for Australia after an impressive start to his Test career while the hosts simply couldn't look past Usman Khawaja after his twin tons at the SCG, meaning opener Marcus Harris misses out. "Really tough for Harry," says Cummins. "We were really happy with how he's gone, but when someone knocks down the door like Uzzie it's hard to walk past."

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Toss delayed by rain

That rain over Hobart has, indeed, become heavy enough to delay the toss. At this point, it's expected to take place half an hour late. While we wait, Andrew McGlashan recently took a look at Bellerive's Test history and at how this match might unfold.

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Billings wins his cap

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Hello Hobart

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the fifth and final Ashes Test from Hobart's Bellerive Oval, aka Blundstone Arena. There's a bit of rain around, although it's not too heavy at this stage. All being well on that front, we'll bring you news of the toss and teams shortly. It's looking like Sam Billings will make his Test debut following that marathon drive from Queensland to Sydney last week, having been handed his cap by James Anderson. Ben Stokes has presented Mark Wood with his 25th England cap.

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