Shane Watson ton puts Australia on top against England

Watson.jpg

London: Australia, after winning the toss, were 307 for four against England at stumps on the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on Wednesday.
Steven Smith was 66 not out and Peter Siddle 18 not out after Shane Watson made a Test-best 176. England have already retained the Ashes and won the series at 3-0 up.
Shane Watson hit his first century in 25 Tests to help Australia move to 183-3 at tea. Under pressure following his poor form all series with the bat, Watson smashed 18 fours and a six to reach 121 not out from 157 balls at The Oval.
He batted on after taking a fierce blow to the head from a bouncer by Stuart Broad and was dropped on 104 by Alastair Cook in the slips. Two wickets fell in the afternoon session after Australuia reached 112-1 by lunch.
Graeme Swann had Chris Rogers caught by Jonathan Trott for 23, and James Anderson bowled Michael Clarke for 7, leaving Steven Smith as the other not out batsman on 15. Anderson has England's best figures with 2-21. Australia won the toss and chose to bat but had to endure a hostile opening spell from Anderson and Broad before Watson hit debutants Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan out of the attack.
Warner lasted only 18 minutes before getting an outside edge to Anderson for wicketkeeper Matt Prior to accept the catch. However, England's decision to release fast bowlers Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett from its squad and go without experienced back-up for the opening quicks backfired when Watson gave the new boys a harsh introduction to test cricket.
Watson hit both Woakes and Kerrigan for six fours, but he also smashed Graeme Swann for a six over the sightscreen and brought up his 50 from 61 deliveries when he nudged a single from Kerrigan. Australia reached 100 when Watson hit Kerrigan for 18 in the 25th over, forcing England captain Alastair Cook to bring back Broad in a bid to stem the flow of boundaries.

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