Aussies show resolve as Clarke goes cheaply

LONDON • England's loudly-trumpeted hopes of completing a 4-1 Ashes win were jolted by sound Australian batting on the first day of the fifth cricket Test at The Oval yesterday.

After Alastair Cook won the toss on an overcast morning, David Warner and Chris Rogers took the touring side to 82-0 by lunch with Warner completing a disciplined 50 from 76 balls.

There was to be no repeat of the early clatter of wickets at the previous Test in Trent Bridge as the opening pair knuckled down and then started to play in a more aggressive style.

The pair put on 110 runs, before Rogers was caught in the slips off Mark Wood for 43.

Warner slammed 11 fours before he edged Moen Ali's flighted off-spinner to Adam Lyth after compiling a spirited 85.

Shortly after tea, captain Michael Clarke was caught behind off Ben Stokes for 15 and Australia were 186-3. Clarke was given a standing ovation on his way to the crease in his final Test match.

There was high drama before the start of the match, as dozens of demonstrators gathered outside The Oval to protest against the way in which world cricket is now run.

The protest was initiated by Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, the co-directors of Death of a Gentleman, a documentary that attacks the administration of the International Cricket Council since India, England and Australia - the sport's three wealthiest nations - effectively took over the global governing body last year.

Demonstrators held three minutes' silence - a minute each for India, England and Australia - outside the Hobbs Gates.

THE TIMES, LONDON, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2015, with the headline 'Aussies show resolve as Clarke goes cheaply'. Print Edition | Subscribe