Part of a Gabba grandstand roof was damaged by a fierce storm on Wednesday night and the section was closed to the public for the start of the match. Structural engineers were called to inspect the upper eastern stand and assess the area following 77 millimetres of overnight rain and heavy winds in the city.
Media coverage in the rest of the world for this series will be limited following a boycott of the international news and photo agencies due to a media accreditation dispute with Cricket Australia. Reuters, The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Getty Images, which supplies photos to Cricinfo, are not covering the series in a repeat of their decision to suspend coverage last year.
An eight is a horrible thing at golf, but it's a novel experience for cricket. Andrew Symonds, who was dropped at square leg the previous ball, pulled wildly at Ian O'Brien and ran three, with the throw coming back to the wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, who then threw the ball at the stumps and it went for four overthrows. By that stage Symonds and Clarke had run another, pushing the final tally to eight.
Symonds walked out to a royal reception from some supporters in the old hill area, who bowed at him like he had just returned with a boat full of barramundi. He sprinted onto the ground but took a while to warm-up before striking three fours in a row off Grant Elliott's medium pace. An airy drive was followed by a glance to fine-leg and the sequence was finished with a pull to midwicket, taking him to 16.
For the first session Tim Southee, the young swing bowler, was the toast of the Gabba for his three top-order wickets that shocked the hosts. But there is doubt over how old Southee is. The New Zealand Cricket Almanack says he is 19 and born on December 11, as does Cricinfo, while the media guide has his birthday as November 11, which would make him 20, and the media manager wasn't sure. There's a rumour Southee had a party recently but finding attendees was difficult. He ended the debate after play: his birthday is in December.