x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Day 1 of third Ashes Test: How sessions unfolded at Old Trafford

Barring a DRS ruling that went against the unfortunate Usman Khawaja, it was Australia's day at Old Trafford.

Australia's Usman Khawaja walks off after being given out during play on the first day of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Andrew Yates / AFP
Australia's Usman Khawaja walks off after being given out during play on the first day of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Andrew Yates / AFP
Morning session
Australia 92 for two Michael Clarke's beleaguered side have not had much go right for them so far this summer, but that changed when he won the toss and chose to bat on a flat Old Trafford wicket. He was rewarded as Chris Rogers struck his second half-century of the series by playing an aggressive innings that was laced with a flurry of boundaries. It was not such good news at the other end, Shane Watson's disappointing series continued as he fell for 19 before Usman Khawaja was wrongly given out caught behind off Graeme Swann. The bemused No 3, who had not hit the ball, was even more baffled when the TV umpire Kumar Dharmasena upheld the decision, despite no evidence indicating bat had made contact with ball.
Afternoon session
Australia 180 for three Australia's good start appeared in danger of falling away when Rogers was trapped leg before by Swann, 16 runs short of his first hundred. But with the innings teetering, Clarke played a captain's innings, using his feet beautifully to counteract the threat of Swann, and dismissing anything loose from England's increasingly weary pace attack. Steve Smith did not look convincing, but he survived, and grew in confidence as he watched his captain at the other end playing superbly.
Evening session
Australia 303 for three By now, both players were seeing the ball like a football and using their attacking instincts to punish any loose delivery that came their way. Alastair Cook, the England captain, rotated all his bowlers towards the end of the day but without any luck.
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