Cummins gets 2 wickets, England 196-4 at stumps on day 1 of Ashes Test

England’s opening batsmen Alastair Cook and Mark Stoneman walk onto the ground for the start of the first day of the first Ashes cricket test match. (Reuters/David Gray)
Updated 23 November 2017
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Cummins gets 2 wickets, England 196-4 at stumps on day 1 of Ashes Test

BRISBANE, Australia: Pat Cummins picked up two vital wickets to restore some confidence in Australia’s pace trio after a pair of unheralded batsmen grinded through most of the opening day of the Ashes series to help England reach 196-4 at stumps.
James Vince (83) and Mark Stoneman (53) combined defiantly in their first experience of Ashes cricket to blunt the much-hyped pace attack, each posting their highest test scores in a 125-run second-wicket stand.
Cummins (2-59) bowled Stoneman in the last over of a middle session delayed for more than hour by rain. He came back in the evening session — after Nathan Lyon had brilliantly run out Vince — to trap England skipper Joe Root (15) lbw, getting a not-out decision overturned, and ensuring the day swung back in Australia’s favor.
At stumps, Dawan Malan was unbeaten on 28 and Moeen Ali was on 13 when bad light stopped play in the 81st over, three balls after Australia took the new ball and one after Mitchell Starc had a review of an lbw decision rejected.
The day started according to the Australia’s pre-series script, with Starc striking in the third over to have former England captain Alastair Cook (2) caught at first slip with the total at two.
That exposed a left-right second-wicket pair — some Australian critics openly wondered if Vince and Stoneman were ready for the Ashes environment — with a combined 10 previous test caps to a potentially hostile initiation.
But they weathered the new ball with reasonable comfort, preventing Australia from capitalizing on the early breakthrough.
Vince rarely played a loose stroke in four hours and 170 balls. He did get a reprieve on 68, though, when recalled wicketkeeper Tim Paine put down a routine chance off Lyon’s bowling late in the middle session.
Stoneman improved by one on his previous high test score before Cummins beat him with a ball that jagged back off the seam to collect his first test wicket on Australian soil.
The banter and bluster from the Australians leading up to the Gabba test centered on their 5-0 sweep here the last time England toured in 2013-14, when a local pace trio spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson intimidated the batsmen and set the foundation for a series domination.
Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cummins toiled in slightly damp conditions before and after a rain-delay on a wicket yet to produce the kind of extra bounce that the Brisbane venue is famous for.
The Australian quicks were under the spotlight from the first ball after losing the toss at the Gabba, where they’re all playing their first Ashes match on home soil and where the Australians haven’t lost a test since 1988.
The early points went to the batsmen. In the 11th over, Hazlewood fielded off his own bowling and hurled the ball back toward the stumps. Vince responded by stroking two subsequent deliveries for boundaries. Hazlewood, usually the most consistent of the quicks with his persistent line and length, struggled with his rhythm and had 0-51 from 18 overs.
Lyon (0-40) caused the most difficulties for the batsmen after joining the attack in the 18th over and getting his first ball to turn sharply, but didn’t get a wicket. He had unsuccessful appeals before the regulation caught-behind chance was put down.
His athletic run out, though — picking up a half-volley on the run from cover and throwing down the stumps at the non-striker’s end to catch Vince well out of his ground — was a significant momentum turner.
England holds the Ashes after winning the 2015 series 3-2 at home, regaining the urn after its lopsided loss in Australia last time.


England’s Oliver Fisher cards first 59 in European Tour history

Updated 21 September 2018
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England’s Oliver Fisher cards first 59 in European Tour history

  • The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle
  • Fisher, who was regarded as a possible future star as a teenage amateur, is ranked down at 287 in the world and had missed 11 cuts in his 22 previous events

VILAMOURA: Unheralded Englishman Oliver Fisher fired the first round of 59 in the European Tour’s 46-year history on a remarkable second day of the Portugal Masters on Friday.
The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle, after his long birdie putt for a 58 grazed the edge of the hole.
“It feels great, I started great and I kept it going,” Fisher said. “Just pleased I two-putted from 40 feet on the final green.”
Fisher, who was regarded as a possible future star as a teenage amateur, is ranked down at 287 in the world and had missed 11 cuts in his 22 previous events this season.
He also had to battle to save his tour card at the same tournament two years ago, but scaled heights that thousands of players had failed to reach before with his efforts on Friday.
“Two years ago I was on the same green just trying to keep my card, so I was keeping that in the back of my mind and trying to remember that it could be worse,” he added.
Fisher’s round gave him the clubhouse lead on 12-under for the tournament, with the majority of players still on the course.
Two other men had come close to the magical number at the Portugal Masters, with Scott Jamieson and Nicolas Colsaerts both missing putts to break 60 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.