The first test of the 2010 Ashes got off to a flier with Peter Siddle's career best 6/54, including a hat-trick in the final session, restricting England to a total of 260 in their first innings.
There was still time in the final session for Australia to rack up 25 runs till stumps on day one. Earlier, Alastair Cook had made a clam 67 before the Siddle onslaught, while Ian Bell produced some of his best cricket under pressure with a 76 to help England move up the respectable score of 260.
Ashes has a history of extraordinary opening days, and the latest one lived up to expectations. Though Siddle's moment came in the final session, the tie got off to a cracking start when four balls into the game, England skipper Andrew Strauss tried to cut Ben Hilfenhaus only to find the safe hands of Hussey at gully. Strauss, who had shown impressively during the warm-up matches, had his head in his hands before taking the long walk back to the pavilion.
It took England until the third over to get off the mark, when Jonathan Trott edged safely to third man. The visitors required some steadying and it was provided by Trott and Cook. However, Trott looked skittish almost edging to second slip and then to point. He fell at 29 when he drove loosely at Shane Watson's full length delivery only to see his stumps fall.
Cook played a composed innings, refusing to be drawn into wide deliveries. He was dropped at 26 by Doherty, but apart from that he was majestic till his dismissal. His stand of 76 with Kevin Pietersen steadied the English innings post-lunch. However, Siddle, on his first test since January, was picked just to unsettle batsmen on good pitches. He did just that. He invited Pietersen to edge to Ponting, and with a very similar delivery got Collingwood at third slip.
Pietersen's wicket was key as the South-African born Englishman played his best innings since his Achilles injury. With Ian Bell looking good, the wickets in the final session would prove important for Australia. It was then that the Siddle magic began.
He was recalled to attack after tea, and in his second over back, he enticed Alastair Cook to push outside and edge to Watson at first slip. Matt Prior soon followed suit. He was given no time to settle with Siddle's blistering pace smashing his wickets. Broad was rushed in only to be rushed back out as Siddle found his boot on the way to the stumps. Broad's referral was an act of frustration as the Gabba went electric after Aleem Dar confirmed the wicket. Siddle and the Aussies' celebrated the 9th hat-trick in Ashes history and only the third in a century.
Ian Bell gave England some hope, batting away under pressure with little help from the tail. Swann (10) was Siddle's 6th victim while Doherty took the crucial wicket of Bell (76) and then Anderson (11).
There was still time in the final session for Australia to go up to 25-0, with Watson on 9 and Katich on 15 at stumps. It will be an interesting day two at the Gabba and early wickets could swing the tie in England's favor. Typically, it's the Ashes. Anything can happen.