Australia once again gained an early advantage over England in the current Ashes series after David Warner’s splendid hundred saw the hosts reach 244 for 3 at stumps on Day 1 of the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.Warner’s 103 was followed up by an unbeaten half-century from captain Steve Smith (65*), while giving him company at the crease is Shaun Marsh on 31*.Having won the toss and opting to bat on a flat deck, Warner was up and running from the word go. He along with Cameron Bancroft scored 102 runs in the first session to make the most of the conditions on offer.The southpaw scored a breezy century, although he got a life when he was caught on 99 just before the drinks break but was reprieved when the TV replay showed debutant paceman Tom Curran had overstepped his mark to the delight of a bumper Boxing Day crowd at the MCG.Warner raised his hundred with a single on the next ball to add insult to England’s injury but he was unable to capitalise on the life, nicking James Anderson behind to be out for 103.It was Warner’s 21st Test ton as he also completed 6000 runs in the format in just his 70th Test match.Woakes provided his side with the first breakthrough as he got Cameron Bancroft (26) out leg-before after the openers added 122 runs in 34 overs.The visitors were right on the money in the middle session as they scalped two wickets, including that of Warner and Usman Khawaja (17) and dried up the runs completely, giving away just 43 in that period.advertisementCome the final session, all eyes were on the English bowlers who had their tails up but, as has been the case in the series, Smith arrived to the occasion to bail his side out of the stutter, scoring a fluent half century.Shaun Marsh, who could have gotten out on his very first ball, played a perfect foil to his skipper to keep the scoreboard moving. The duo stitched an unbeaten 84-run stand and made sure that there was no more hiccup.Just before the close of play, Root opted to take the second new ball and Anderson and Broad bowled exceedingly well sans any success. The new cherry is just 20 balls old and it would be interesting to see if England can come out on Wednesday morning and make it count, should they fail, the hosts will just run away with the game.They would be looking to bat once and bat big and with their skipper once again at it, the signs are ominous for England.Australia went into the match without left-handed fast bowler Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the series. Starc was ruled out because of a bruised right foot and replaced by Jackson Bird, who hasn’t played a test for 12 months.England also made one change with Curran selected to make his test debut, replacing Craig Overton, who has a fractured rib.Curran, 22, has played a one-day international and three Twenty20 matches for England, and was only added to England’s Ashes squad when Steve Finn was ruled out at the start of the tour due to injury.Despite missing his chance to get Warner, Curran bowled 17 tidy overs and conceded 44 runs.
A snapshot of the touch footy happenings from around Australia… * A training camp was held on the weekend for our Mens, Womens and Mixed National training squads. It included different education sessions such as recovery, nutrition, drug education and physical testing and training sessions, as well as a trivia night for a little entertainment. * The New Rustlers Permit is having their final planning meeting in Bundaberg on Saturday and Sunday 28th and 29th August. The Rustlers are in the final stages of the Permit preparation for the 2005 NTL. This planning incorporates the process for players selections, board makeup, Rustlers Cup, training programs and so forth. For people requiring information on the outcomes of the meeting or the planned pathways they should contact Bronwyn Holland via email@example.com or 07 54940373 or after hours 07 54940316. The first Rustlers Newsletter will be available on the ATA and Sunshine Coast Websites this week. * The ATA website has recorded a new record number of hits for one day! The site received over 108,000 hits last Tuesday and we would like to thank all who visit the site, as well as encourage people to continue to send story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also like to encourage clubs and permits to continue to seek out media representation for their players and events in local television, radio and newspapers, there is certainly a market there! * Did we mention that the band at the State of Origin function rocked? Xparte, lead by Aussie Mens Open coach Tony Trad were an absolute hit. * NSW touch are holding a planning forum for four days this week, topics include the calendar of events, AusTouch implementation, development in NSW within the National Development Framework established at the 2004 Professional and Development Officers Workshop held in June. * The 2004 Queensland Touch Association team titles are coming up. The competition is being held on October 23-24 in Bundaberg. There are various divisions, Mens, Womens, Mixed Opens, 20’s and Seniors. There are both social and competitive divisions. Nominations close of the September 24, check out http://www.qldtouch.com.au for all the info on divisions, or to download an application form. * The Management Audit Consultants presented their report to the Board on Saturday 7th August. The Board will be considering the report and making a series of recommendations to its stakeholders over the next few weeks. Meetings will be scheduled to present this information to all stakeholders and the Board will advise the details shortly. * ACT Touch are holding their Premier League presentation function on September 4, ticket sales close on August 27, so check out http://www.acttouch.com.au for all the details. * Touch in Canberra is starting to warm up for summer, a nice change from the freezing temperatures of the nation’s capital. Nominations for the summer touch competition are open; see the ACT website for info or to download a nomination form. * Touch Victoria create a great monthly newsletter, the August addition has just been uploaded onto their website, it’s definitely a quality read. * The Monash Touch Club is throwing a party to celebrate its 10th birthday this year. Everyone who has ever been involved with the Monash Touch Club is welcome to attend. See Touch Victoria http://www.victouch.com.au for the where, when and what. * `Local Association of the week’: City of Orange Touch Association. Orange touch are holding their seniors registration night on September 10 at the Orange Ex-services club from 5-7pm. Websites for local touch associations can be accessed via the `local’ link in the top right hand corner of the homepage. Websites are a vital communication tool for these associations and there is always opportunity for them to be developed further. * Been wondering lately what you’re meant to do when you realise your coaching accreditation has reached the expiry date? The ATA has updated the criteria and forms used for renewing your coaching accreditations (both level 1 and level 2). These can be accessed by this link or through the My ClubTouch website. Use the Touch Coach link and then enter Coach Information, then Level 1 or Level 2 Update. Remember your accreditation is only valid for four years! http://www.austouch.com.au/index.cgi?det=1&intArticleID=744&sID=46 * Perth’s radio station Nova 93.7 has joined TouchWest as a sponsor heading into their summer of touch throughout WA, another great addition to the development of our sport. Congratulations TouchWest! * The 2004 Australian University Games are in Perth from September 26-October 1. Touch is being played of course, and Barbarians representative Kailee Brown from Murdoch University has been selected as a `Face of the Games’, a representative of not only the Uni Games but also her university, state and sport. Click below for a profile of Kailee or go to TouchWest’s homepage for the full story on the 2004 Australian University Games. http://www.unigames.com.au/aug/announcements_face_of_the_games.htm#KAILEE * Gold Coast Touch scored some surprise visitors for their Winter Grand Finals last Saturday afternoon. ATA Chairman Michael Sparks and CEO Bill Ker, dropped in to check out the action. Mr Sparks and Mr Ker were on the Gold Coast to address the National Squads at their Training Camp, held at Runaway Bay over the weekend. From all reports, both brilliant finals and an excellent training camp. * Remember any story ideas or information can be emailed to email@example.com By Rachel Moyle, firstname.lastname@example.org