Peter Siddle revealed he was motivated by revenge after taking a hat-trick on his 26th birthday to leave England reeling on day one of the first Ashes Test here at the Gabba.
Siddle dismissed Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad during the evening session to help hustle England out for 260 and become only the ninth player in Ashes history to take three wickets in three deliveries. He finished with career-best figures of six for 54.
At the close, Australia were 25 for nought after losing the toss, to leave Siddle reflecting on a perfect start to the series in which they hope to erase the bitter memories of watching England celebrate regaining the urn at The Brit Insurance Oval in August 2009.
“The hat-trick ball that got Broad lbw was a dream ball,” said Siddle, who just edged out Doug Bollinger for a place in the XI. “It hit him full and there was a bit of shape on it. I was a bit nervous when he referred it but when I saw the replays, I thought I’d be safe.
“What happened at The Oval is a huge part of what’s driving us on. You don’t want to lose any game, so losing the Ashes is awful. I can remember it now: we went on the field for the presentation and had to watch England yahooing when they were handed the urn.
“We don’t want to have to see scenes like that again and it will play a big part for us throughout this series. What we’ve done today is a great start.”
Siddle was playing his first Test since January after recovering from a stress fracture of his back and he admitted he had needed to increase the intensity of his training to regain his place in the team. Siddle also picked up the wickets of Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood and Graeme Swann but was unable to trouble Ian Bell, who top-scored for England with 76 before he was caught in the deep off debutant Xavier Doherty as he tried to push on while batting with the tail.
Bell might have had a hundred had he been able to play naturally but yet again England batsmen were guilty of laying the foundations for a long innings before losing concentration.
Jonathan Trott was bowled through the gate hitting across the line for 29, Pietersen reached 43 before being caught at second slip after an uppish drive at Siddle and Cook, who made 67 in four hours and 42 minutes, nibbled at one from Siddle that was angled across him and was taken by Shane Watson at first slip.
As he did during the three tour matches, Bell looked in outstanding touch and expressed confidence that England’s attack can do tomorrow what Australia’s managed today on a slow Gabba wicket.
“Our total is under par but it’s not a million miles from a par score,” he said. “It’s a slow wicket and the ball swung all day, which is unusual for day one.
“There is a chance for our taller bowlers to hit the pitch hard and if it quickens up a bit, we are in the game. We are not out of this match by any means but we need to hit the ground running in the first hour tomorrow.
“We have to remember that it is a better first day than the last time we were here [when Australia closed the first day on 346 for three]. It didn’t all go to plan today but rest assured we will come out scrapping tomorrow.”
Tom Collomosse is the cricket Correspondent for the Evening Standard.