Well, what a day!

England all out for 260 — Peter Siddle with 6/37, including an Ashes hat trick:


Speaking of hat tricks…

It’s hat trick Friday! Tell us your story about getting a hat trick — be it in the back yard, club cricket or as a member of the Pakistan cricket team and the best story gets a copy of First Dog on the Moon’s new book The Story of the Christmas Story!

Anyway, It’s hard not to love Peter Siddle. He works his ass off, doesn’t shirk a contest and has a bit of mongrel about him. Hence the nickname “Sid Vicious”:


So Australia has its tail up — 0/25 in reply — and today is all about consolidation. Crikey‘s armchair experts Leigh Josey and Tom Cowie will tenuously predict how today will pan out:

Leigh Josey: Obviously yesterday was almost perfect for Australia. Siddle’s performance is the type which inspires one’s team mates, making everyone walk a little taller. This is perhaps the most dangerous thing facing England. They need early wickets to pile the pressure on Hussey and North. If Ponting and Watson stand up England will be in trouble.

However I am predicting big things from Simon Katich today. He’s the unassuming member of this Australian team. He’ll do his job and do it well. The one unknown variable at play today will be Grame Swann. England will need him to come to the party if England’s fast bowlers don’t break through.

Tom Cowie: Sid Vicious, you little beauty. Six wickets and a hat-tick to boot, a near perfect comeback from a man who’s selection was doubted by the pundits. To be honest, I even had Doug the Rug in my starting XI. Never mind, the selectors look like geniuses now and we’ve got the Poms out for less than 300 — the bare minimum when batting first in a Test at the Gabba.

Day two will be another intriguing battle as we get our first real sighting of the English attack. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad need to grab wickets early today, otherwise this Test could disappear very quickly. The pitch should be good for batting and may offer the perfect chance for the top order to find some form. I agree with Lethal, look for Swann to bowl a lot of overs today. X-Man Doherty showed there is a bit in it for the slower bowlers, so Swann may prove to be a key man for the English.

The best writing around the place:

The Crikey Sports Ashes archive: