Ashes: Five things we learned from day one at the Gabba as James Vince and Mark Stoneman impress

England’s staunch defence laid the platform for a good first day at the Gabba, which traditionally favours the hosts.

James Vince and Mark Stoneman put on sold half-centuries after the early dismissal of Alastair Cook, while skipper Joe Root departed cheaply late in the day.

Here are the key things you may have missed from day one of the opening Ashes Test.

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Vince-Vaughan calls looking good

Comparisons with former England captain Michael Vaughan are never far away when it comes to Vince.

But his fine start to the series, hitting 83, in part justified his surprise call-up at No3 and drew parallels with the way Vaughan dazzled on his breakthrough Ashes tour in 2002-03 with 633 runs.

Stoneman looking solid Down Under

Stoneman had come into this first Test on the back of four 50-plus scores in England’s tour matches, with the nine winters he spent playing grade cricket in Australia obviously helping him.

But the Surrey opener took it up another level at the Gabba, registering his highest Test score of 53.

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood, left, appeals for the wicket of England’s James Vince during the Ashes cricket test between England and Australia in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

Slow progress for fast bowlers

All week Australia built up their pace attack, with the coup de grace coming on the morning the series started when the Brisbane Courier Mail’s front page pictured Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood above the header: ‘Bodyline”.

Yet the trio, admittedly not helped by a slower-than-expected pitch, were more Circle Line as they struggled to live up to their feared reputations.

Gabbatoir falls flat

Brisbane is Australia’s fortress, a ground where they have not lost a Test since 1988.

But the usually-hostile crowd was silenced on the first day of this series as Steve Smith’s side struggled to take wickets.


Australia can get bad weather too

Rain delayed the start of the afternoon session by 95 minutes and showed it’s not only England where the cricket is at the mercy of the weather.

It also means an early start tomorrow, with play starting at 11.30pm GMT (9.30am local time).