Siddle gives Aussies the edge
Brisbane - Paceman Peter Siddle removed Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood in the space of nine balls to give Australia the edge over England on the opening day of the first Ashes Test on Thursday.
Siddle, preferred to Doug Bollinger in the starting 11 at the Gabba, swung the game Australia's way after removing the dangerous Pietersen and Collingwood during the middle session.
At tea, England, after winning the toss, were 172 for four with opening batsman Alastair Cook unbeaten on 60 in 244 minutes and Ian Bell 26 not out.
The wholehearted Siddle's second bowling spell proved productive when he snared the big wicket of Pietersen, who averages over 50 against Australia.
Pietersen yet again failed to go on after playing himself in and fell to Siddle for 43 in the 38th over.
Pietersen went on the front foot to drive only to get a thick edge and Ricky Ponting took a secure catch at second slip.
England's high-profile batsman was at the crease for 96 minutes and hammered some beautiful cover drives among his six boundaries.
Collingwood only lasted eight balls before falling in Siddle's next over, edging to Marcus North at third slip for four.
Siddle had taken 2-4 off nine balls.
In the morning session England lost the wickets of skipper Andrew Strauss off the third ball of the match and Jonathan Trott in the 14th over.
Strauss sliced a wide Ben Hilfenhaus delivery straight to Mike Hussey in the gully for a duck.
Strauss's dismissal follows his inglorious last series in Australia four years ago when he made just 247 runs at 24.70 and scored only one half-century in his 10 Test innings.
Watson bowled Trott for 29 with an inswinger on the last ball of his opening over which collected his off-stump.
Cook had batted through the opening two sessions after having a life on 26 when debutant Test spinner Xavier Doherty put down a catch at point.
Australian skipper Ponting lost his two challenges when the TV umpire ruled against a lbw decision on Trott (8) in Siddle's second over and Bell (18) who survived an inconclusive catch off Johnson.
England have not won the Brisbane Test since Mike Gatting's team prevailed by seven wickets six tours ago -- on the way to their last Australian series victory in 1986/87.
England: AJ Strauss (capt)
Australia: SM Katich, SR Watson, RT Ponting (capt), MJ Clarke, MEK Hussey, MJ North, BJ Haddin (wk), MG Johnson, XJ Doherty, PM Siddle, BW Hilfenhaus
, AN Cook, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, IR Bell, MJ Prior (wk), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, ST Finn