Ashes First Test: Of stodgy innings, a dropped catch and a facile win

Australia's thumping win in pictures.

James Vince, playing in his first Ashes Test, had a modest average of 32.94 in the 2017 County Championship season and a top score of 42 in his previous seven Tests. And yet as the battle for the urn got underway at the Gabba, the 26-year-old Sussex batsman subdued a rather threatening Australian pace battery with aplomb en route to a promising 83 off 170 balls helping the visitor post an encouraging 302 in the first innings. Photo: Getty Images
He may have mulled bringing the curtains down on his career nine months ago. He may even have stood in the slip cordon for his state side this domestic season despite being a specialist with the gloves. But that didn't stop the selectors from drafting in 32-year-old Tim Paine for the opening Ashes Tests. If his selection ahead of Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill didn't raise enough eyebrows, then a dropped catch off Lyon on day one - a significant let-off for James Vince - who went on to make 83, must have put a sword hanging over his head. Photo: Getty Images
With his team reeling at 59/3, captain Steve Smith led the Australian riposte with a well-crafted 141 off 326 deliveries handing the host a slim but valuable 26-run lead. Smith's century even prompted former Australian skipper and batting legend Ricky Ponting to wax lyricals about the 28-year-old's form and bright future. Photo: Getty Images
Lyon spun a web of words ahead of the first Ashes Test, and the finger spinner made sure he walked the talk with returns of 3 for 67 in the second innigs, restricting England to under 200 leaving Australia with a manageable target of 173. Photo: Getty Images
After a war of words, barrage of short balls and a rather uncharacteristic turn from the Gabba pitch, it proved to be all too easy for Australia as it romped to a convincing 10-wicket win to go 1-0 up in the five-Test series. Photo: Getty Images