Having made a meagre 215 with the bat, the pressure was on England’s bowlers to turn things around in the match.
Fortunately for Alastair Cook’s side, that is exactly what happened as first Steven Finn and then James Anderson made serious inroads into Australia’s top order to leave them 75/4 at the close.
Finn struck the first blow, enticing Shane Watson into playing at one outside his off stump and edging the ball to Joe Root at second slip. The fast bowler didn’t have to wait long for his second victim, as new man Ed Cowan fell first ball, wafting loosely outside his off stump to leave Finn on a hat-trick.
Michael Clarke survived that delivery but did not last much longer. He became Anderson’s first scalp when the England bowler produced a simply unplayable delivery which just clipped the top of the Aussie skipper’s off stump and he had to depart for a six-ball duck.
Chris Rogers, playing in only his second Test at the age of 35, helped to briefly rebuild things with Steve Smith but he eventually fell to Anderson for 16, failing to deal with a full inswinger and getting trapped LBW.
Smith however was not so easily removed and took the game to England. He went after Graeme Swann, who was perhaps bowling earlier than usual due to Stuart Broad’s absence from the field with a shoulder injury, and struck the spinner for a sweetly-hit six over long on.
In the end Smith and the much-maligned Philip Hughes were able to see out the rest of the day’s bowling, to stem the flow of wickets lost and leave this game arguably quite evenly matched going into Day Two.