Trescothick leads England's Ashes fightback

First Test, Day Two: Australia 492 all out; England 158-1 (M E Trescothick 63 no, M A Butcher 51 no)

From Myles Hodgson,Pa Sport,Brisbane
Friday 08 November 2002 01:00

Marcus Trescothick spearheaded England's spirited fightback in the opening Test today, becoming the catalyst for a stirring bowling display before claiming a determined half-century at The Gabba.

The Somerset left-hander became the key figure in a vastly-improved England display which put Australia firmly on the defensive and completed a remarkable turnaround from the desperate performance of the opening day.

Resuming overnight on 364 for two, Australia seemed on course for a total of around 600 when they began the second day with Matthew Hayden unbeaten on 186 and his sights set on eclipsing his career-best of 203.

Instead, their formidable batting order collapsed to 492 all out, still an imposing total but far less than was anticipated, and their attempts to make inroads into England's batting line-up floundered amid a series of dropped catches similar to the tourists' antics 24 hours earlier.

Caddick had begun England's fightback by striking with the 17th ball of the day, tempting Hayden into hooking a short delivery which he edged behind to wicketkeeper Alec Stewart just three short of a double century.

But it was the dismissal of Damien Martyn which really sparked England's fightback as seven wickets fell for 93 runs in 27 overs, Trescothick claiming a sharp catch at first slip at the second attempt off Craig White.

Caddick claimed his second wicket four overs later, expertly pinning Waugh down with a series of short deliveries before tucking him up with a final ball closer to the body which the Australian captain guided off his glove and hip to John Crawley at short leg.

If England's confidence was high, it could soon have become deflated with the arrival of Adam Gilchrist, their explosive and prolific wicketkeeper-batsman, at the crease with Australia on 408 for five.

Unlike his performances in England, however, Gilchrist never got going today and only four overs later chased a wide delivery from White which flew into the hands of Ashley Giles at point and the tourists had claimed four wickets for 37 runs in 17 overs.

Interrupted by an untimely lunch, England's momentum was lost and Shane Warne dominated a 63-run partnership with Darren Lehmann spanning 64 minutes which was only ended by the introduction of left-arm spinner Giles eight overs after the interval.

Giles claimed two wickets in successive balls to remove Lehmann, who drove straight to cover after a nervous 30 spanning 94 minutes, and Andy Bichel and before wrapping up the innings to finish with four for 101.

That left Michael Vaughan and Trescothick nine tricky overs to negotiate before tea, which they only just survived with the Somerset left-hander being dropped at fourth slip by Martyn off Glenn McGrath after he had scored just two.

Vaughan had been the more positive of the pair, but perished four overs after the interval, caught behind off an inside edge from a McGrath delivery which jagged back sharply and threatened further problems for England before the close.

Trescothick failed to find his most fluent form, but battled his way to a half-century, while Mark Butcher escaped twice on 14 and 30 when he was dropped in the gully by Hayden off Bichel and Gilchrist missed a regulation stumping off Warne.

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