Travis Head breaks England's resolve with swashbuckling century after rare, early wickets

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Australia vs England, Ashes 2021-22 live: score and latest updates from fifth Test day one in Hobart - AAP VIA REUTERS
Australia vs England, Ashes 2021-22 live: score and latest updates from fifth Test day one in Hobart - AAP VIA REUTERS

New ground, same old story. England threw away a good start against Australia and the move from the mainland to Tasmania looks like a trip too far for a broken bunch of players.

English hands were on hips and shoulders sagged as Travis Head broke any remaining resolve with a brilliant second century of the series, and Cameron Green showed why he will be an Ashes star for the next decade as Australia reached 241 for six before the lightest of rain persuaded the umpires to come off.

Ollie Robinson bowled beautifully with the new ball but his lack of conditioning became a problem again, as he stiffened up and bowled just one abject over after lunch, barely reaching 70mph, leaving Joe Root a bowler short.

Robinson has skills, and is an intelligent bowler, which makes it worse that his fitness levels, something he can control, are such a problem. If he is to last in Test cricket he has to be more professional and England tougher with their players.

It is hard to imagine Justin Langer, the Australia coach, allowing one of his bowlers, especially one who is only playing his ninth Test, so much rope. Robinson played golf on the players’ day off on Tuesday, when colleagues such as Chris Woakes decided to prepare instead for the Test. It is no surprise he had a bad back three days later, letting Root down. He has gone off in every Test with a niggle.

England's Ollie Robinson, left, celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith, right, during their Ashes cricket test match in Hobart - AP Photo/Tertius Pickard
England's Ollie Robinson, left, celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith, right, during their Ashes cricket test match in Hobart - AP Photo/Tertius Pickard

Stuart Broad revelled on a green pitch at the start of the innings as the ball seamed extravagantly but he was kept out of the attack for a costly hour after the first break and dragged his length back as England lost control. Head pounced and batted even more fluently than he did when scoring a century in a session at the Gabba.

Mark Wood and Woakes bowled poorly, conceding runs at 5.6 an over. Wood has been England’s most potent threat in Australia but outright pace was not suited to a seamers’ pitch while Woakes is getting worse away from home, his average falling to 54.13 on tour and four wickets at 69 in this series.

The collective tank was empty and Root cut a frustrated figure. He was not the only one. At one stage Broad appeared to gesticulate angrily to the dressing room as Robinson laboured over a pick up and throw on the boundary. This tour really cannot end soon enough for some.

Head put on 71 with Marnus Labuschagne in 74 balls and 121 in 160 with Green, the two stands rescued the innings from the depths of 12 for three as Hobart’s first hour of Ashes cricket was dominated by England.

Broad bowled round the wicket to David Warner and he was immediately rattled, struggling to know what to leave or play. His 22-ball duck was the longest of his career, while Steve Smith was also dismissed for nought, the first time in 244 innings together that neither have managed a run.

Steve Smith of Australia edges and is caught off the bowling of Ollie Robinson of England during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series - Mark Kolbe/Cricket Australia via Getty Images
Steve Smith of Australia edges and is caught off the bowling of Ollie Robinson of England during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series - Mark Kolbe/Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Robinson removed both, taking two for 15 from seven overs in an excellent opening spell and with Broad having Usman Khawaja, scorer of two centuries a week ago, caught at first slip for two, as England fully justified Root’s decision to bowl first on a pitch more often seen in Derby than Australia.

James Anderson was ruled out due to back and hamstring issues - or in other words too much cricket at 39 - as England made five changes, Jonny Bairstow failing to recover from a broken thumb. Ollie Pope and Rory Burns, two batsmen who started the series and were dropped after two Tests, returned for Haseeb Hameed and Bairstow; Anderson presented debutant Sam Billings his Test cap. It is the eighth time in 15 Tests England have made four or more changes and the contrast with Australia is sharp. They have made just six changes in this whole series, and two of those were forced by covid.

It was a blessing for Warner when Robinson put him out of his misery, Crawley taking a good catch at second slip. Robinson beat Labuschagne with two balls, and a third was dropped by Crawley, a catch that would have comfortably gone to Root at first slip.

England's Zak Crawley (foreground, centre) drops a catch off the batting of Australia's Marnus Labuschagne -  Darren England via AAP/PA Wire
England's Zak Crawley (foreground, centre) drops a catch off the batting of Australia's Marnus Labuschagne - Darren England via AAP/PA Wire

Khawaja edged for six off 26 balls and Smith lasted two deliveries before he was squared up by Robinson and caught off the splice.

Head and Labuschagne decided they had to take a risk and play some shots. With Robinson and Broad tiring, the back-up bowling had to keep the pressure up but Wood conceded 16 off his first two overs and Woakes nine from his first. The fifty stand took just 44 balls and Australia lashed 62 off ten overs as England retreated.

The breakthrough was unexpected and bizarre. Labuschagne walked over to the off side, and fell flat on the ground as he missed a straight ball from Broad that crashed into middle stump.

Head and Green dominated the second session, 130 runs flowing from 28 overs. Head punished anything short of a length, driving off the back foot. His timing was wonderful and the outfield quick, giving him full value.

Head steered Woakes into the off side for his fourth hundred in Test cricket, this one off 112 balls with 12 fours. He became the leading run scorer in the series too, not bad for a player who spent the last Test in isolation.

But it was not to last. Next ball from Woakes, he chipped a catch to mid on, where Robinson moved stiffly, holding his back after pouching the ball.

Green played his best innings of the series, building on 74 in Sydney and he should have joined Head with a hundred but finally, England’s leg trap worked. Wood bounced Green who tried to hook a ball too far outside off stump and was caught at deep midwicket.

Fifth Test, day one as it happened

11:17 AM

Stumps: AUS 241/6 (Carey 10 Starc 0)

Play abandoned for the day.

After a wonderful start by England, they were hit by a stunning counter-attack instigated by Travis Head. Marnus Labuschagne seized the initiative until he gave us his Norman Pitkin impression, Head took the baton back and smashed England's attack to all parts, an England attack with Robinson and Stokes playing but injured that lacked the ammunition to press home their advantage.

Nick Hoult's report will be here soon and we will also have the reflections and analyses of Scyld Berry, Isabelle Westbury and Tim Wigmore on these pages.

Play will start at 3.30am tomorrow, half an hour early.

11:11 AM

It's raining again

There's 80 minutes left in the day, so there could still be some play. But we have to wait for this shower to pass.

11:04 AM

Play will resume at 11.15am

And will carry on until 12.30pm if it stays dry. Not that it was all that wet in the first place. Gives Robinson more time to recover, Broad a chance to have an hour in the ice bath.

10:50 AM

The umpires are out

Chatting to the groundstaff ... not an umbrella in sight.

10:47 AM

The players are still off the field

And the covers are still on despite it not being wet enough to dampen a dachshund. They cannot play any later than 12.30pm GMT so need to get on asap.

10:32 AM

Test cricket ...

10:24 AM

The bigger covers are coming on

They're now doing the whole square and run-ups.

The grounds crew put rain covers over the wicket durin day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Blundstone Arena - Matt Roberts/Cricket Australia via Getty Images
The grounds crew put rain covers over the wicket durin day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Blundstone Arena - Matt Roberts/Cricket Australia via Getty Images

10:15 AM

Here's how Mark Wood worked Cameron Green over

10:11 AM

Positive Covid Test in the England Women's camp before the Ashes

Isabelle Westbury reports

Following the second round of England Women’s scheduled PCR tests on Wednesday a member of the England Women support staff tested positive for Covid-19. The staff member has been in isolation in accordance with state Covid management guidelines since the result of the test and will remain in Canberra when the group travel to Adelaide for the IT20 leg of the multi-format series.

The ECB medical team have been working alongside their Cricket Australia counterparts to manage the situation. Additional testing and contact tracing has been undertaken and no additional positive cases have been reported.

A further round of routine PCR tests will be undertaken before the team fly by charter to Adelaide on Monday January 17.

10:08 AM

OVER 58.3: AUS 241/6 (Carey 10 Starc 0)

Carey cracks a super square cut for four, the shower thickens and ... off they go.

Rains stops play.

10:07 AM

OVER 58: AUS 237/6 (Carey 6 Starc 0)

Broad has two slips and a gully for the left-handers. There's some rain in the air, a few drops on the camera. Carey works one off his pads and Broad resumes over the wicket to Starc, slanting it across inviting the back-foot punch but as it's Broad's 18th over, it lacks a little zip and precision.

10:01 AM

OVER 58: AUS 236/6 (Carey 5 Starc 0)

Wood comes round the wicket to Carey and starts with a vicious snorter that arrows towards the batsman's adam's apple and he has to jackknife out of the way. The next ball is on his hip and he pops it off his hip for a single. Ah, it's chin symphony time. Two bouncers at Green give him the hurry up as he ducks, taking his eye off one as it threatened his helmet. Short leg is in play and Green jabs one off his ribs in his general direction then holes out. Now England know - at 6ft 8in Green doesn't like the ball coming at his head. Then again ... who does?

09:58 AM

Wicket!!

Green c Crawley b Wood 74 He rattled him with two bouncers and it was clear he didn't like it up him. He took on the third, bowled with a scrambled seam from round the wicket and flapped it off the top edge down deep midwicket's throat. FOW 236/6

09:54 AM

OVER 57: AUS 235/5 (Green 74 Carey 4)

Carey gleans one off the inside edge to put Green on strike. The right-hander is tempted by one outside off-stump and he creams it through the covers. England have a short cover in for that stroke, hoping the ball might stick in the pitch and scramble Green's timing but he took it on and nailed it.

09:50 AM

OVER 56: AUS 230/5 (Green 70 Carey 3)

Another wonderful back-foot punch from Green, smacking Wood for four through extra-cover. But Wood ends the over with one that spits up at Green who nonetheless plays it well, under his nose. Green batted in concrete boots for the first two Tests and now he's a dancer.

09:46 AM

OVER 55: AUS 226/5 (Green 66 Carey 3)

Correction: Robinson is out in the field so might well be able to bowl later.

Carey tucks two off his hip. Broad is bowling well and with great endeavour. He likes the over the wicket line to Carey even though he is a master round the wicket to left-handers. He slants three deliveries across Carey who, so far, refuses to be tempted. They think they can nick him off on the back foot with that line.

09:40 AM

OVER 54: AUS 224/5 (Green 66 Carey 1)

Mark Wood curses himself and his whole lousy lot when Green punishes a straight one by whipping it through midwicket for four. Wood and Woakes are being carted, Broad is 35 and Robinson is lame. Root might not be a very good captain but he hasn't been the luckiest general either. Green rocks on to the back foot and punches through the covers for four. Wonderful stroke, pure KP.

09:37 AM

OVER 53: AUS 216/5 (Green 58 Carey 1)

Good morning - Ollie Robinson hasn't come back out with England. Which suggests his back spasm is worse than originally thought as he fielded for the last hour. It never rains ...

Broad resumes with the pink ball which looks soft. Green defends one, leaves one then clips a single on the front foot, 'David Gower's 'Big Dog', to mid-on. Carey defends the last three, Broad bowling beautifully to the left-hander, giving him no room and nagging away at off-stump.

Sam Billings is very chirpy and demonstrably enjoying his Test debut in contrast to Jos Buttler, at least vocally, who has seemed very flat all series. I can't criticise him for it though, as he used to drive me to distraction when he first came into the Test team with his encouragement and hype after each ball.

09:30 AM

Much to do for England

After that superb knock from Head (ably assisted by Labuschagne and Green) put Australia firmly in the box seat.

England's threadbare bowling lineup need to perform better in the final session than they did in the middle session if they are to claw their way back into this.

On that note, I'm handing over to Rob Bagchi who will take you through to stumps.

09:12 AM

OVER 52: AUS 215/5 (Green 57 Carey 1)

Three dots from Root to Green, before he pushes one down the leg-side which the hulking all-rounder flicks around the corner for three.

Carey survives the last two deliveries but was deceived by the final ball, which slid on with the arm and saw him chop an inside edge past his stumps.

Anyway, that's tea and Australia will be delighted with how the second session went - they amassed 130 for one and have taken charge of the match after a perilous start.

09:09 AM

OVER 51: AUS 212/5 (Green 54 Carey 1)

A maiden from Woakes to Carey. Time for one more over before tea.

09:06 AM

OVER 50: AUS 212/5 (Green 54 Carey 1)

Green guides Root down to third man for a couple before punching into the off side for the single which brings up his fifty.

He has played second fiddle to Head but it's been a fine knock regardless - he has looked in total control.

Carey gets off the mark with an off-side nudge, before Green crashes a sumptuous drive through the covers for four.

09:04 AM

OVER 49: AUS 204/5 (Green 47 Carey 0)

Green rotated the strike before Head brought up his century with a slashing cut behind square - before being dismissed next ball.

New batsman man Carey defends his first ball solidly enough.

09:02 AM

WICKET! Head c Robinson b Woakes 101

It's all happening!

Head reaches his century with a chopping drive for two - but is out next ball!

He chips Woakes straight to Robinson at mid-on and disconsolately trudges off the field.

A soft dismissal after a superb knock.

FOW 204/5

08:56 AM

OVER 48: AUS 201/4 (Green 46 Head 99)

Australia milk four singles off this Root over as they pass 200. Both batsmen closing in on individual milestones too.

08:52 AM

OVER 47: AUS 197/4 (Green 44 Head 97)

Woakes returns - and is unceremoniously pumped over midwicket for four by Head straight away!

It was angled in from around the wicket and found the middle of the left-hander's bat as it was clobbered away for four.

Then next ball Head plays tip-and-run into the off side to rotate the strike.

Oh, Woakes beats Green's bat! A touch of away movement and Green's floaty drive connects with nothing but air.

A touch of encouragement for England, at last.

08:48 AM

OVER 46: AUS 192/4 (Green 44 Head 92)

Australia's serene progress continues as they nudge and nurdle three singles off Root's over.

It's been some turnaround since the first hour when England had the hosts in all sorts of bother.

08:45 AM

OVER 45: AUS 189/4 (Green 43 Head 90)

A solitary single to Head from this Broad over and the left-hander is into the nervous 90s.

He's faced exactly 100 balls so far.

08:41 AM

OVER 44: AUS 188/4 (Green 43 Head 89)

A maiden from Root to Green! It feels like an age since one of those.

A reminder for any latecomers - Australia were 12/3 after 10 overs.

They've piled on 176/1 since then though...

08:38 AM

OVER 43: AUS 188/4 (Green 43 Head 89)

Shot!! Perhaps the highlight of Head's fine innings so far... he takes advantage of a little width from Broad and lashes it through the covers for four.

Broad is chuntering away to himself on the walk back to his mark - not sure why he's so miffed.

If he thinks the cover fielder should have got in the way then I'm afraid taking evasive action was definitely the safer bet given that shot was absolutely crunched.

He opts to go back over the wicket and Head blocks back to end the over.

08:33 AM

OVER 42: AUS 184/4 (Green 43 Head 85)

Another bowling change, with Root replacing Wood. Two off the bat and three byes as the Aussies continue on their merry way.

08:32 AM

OVER 41: AUS 179/4 (Green 42 Head 84)

A switch of ends for Broad who replaces Root, but England's senior bowler can't stem the run-scoring tide.

Head crashes him through point for four, before slicing through the covers for a single.

Then Green plays a glorious textbook cover drive - big stride, high elbow - to move into the 40s.

England are starting to lose their grip and this pair are closing in on a quickfire century partnership.

08:26 AM

OVER 40: AUS 169/4 (Green 37 Head 79)

Root shuffles his pack with Wood replacing Broad.

The paceman loses his run-up as he scampers in for his first ball... and on his second attempt Head's slashing drive bisects slip and gully and races away to the third-man boundary.

Head nabs a single, before Green guides a full ball past the cordon for three more.

And the runs keep coming, Head whipping a too-straight delivery to long leg for two and then carving through the covers for another couple.

Twelve off the over.

08:19 AM

OVER 39: AUS 157/4 (Green 34 Head 70)

Hmm. Root continues but there's plenty to ponder for the England captain.

Woakes and Wood have been expensive, Stokes is injured, Robinson went off the field with a niggle and Broad is his only other specialist bowler.

The Aussies pilfer five off this over with no bother.

08:13 AM

OVER 38: AUS 152/4 (Green 32 Head 67)

Three singles from the first three balls of Broad's over, before Head cuts superbly for another boundary!

Lovely shot, the ball was angled in and there was barely any width, but he chopped it away from a fourth-stump line with his hands close into his body.

Then he nicks the strike by opening the face down to third man off the final ball.

That's time for drinks. If you'd offered Cummins and Australia this score after the first hour of play they would have snapped your hand off.

08:08 AM

OVER 37: AUS 144/4 (Green 30 Head 61)

Green shovels Root into the off side for a single, before they scamper through for a leg bye.

The final delivery is too short and whipped off his pads behind long leg.

Robinson has a big chase on but does well to claw the ball back and save a run. He gets to his feet pretty gingerly though.

08:06 AM

OVER 36: AUS 139/4 (Green 26 Head 61)

Green gets in a big stride to the first ball of Broad's over and pumps it down the ground for a single.

Decent stuff from Broad after that, probing in and around off stump to Head who plays out the over stoutly enough.

England have started to tighten things up a bit - they were struggling to keep a lid on the run rate for a while earlier on.

08:02 AM

OVER 35: AUS 138/4 (Green 25 Head 61)

Root whirls through another over with just two from it.

He nearly caught Head out with the final delivery by pushing through a quicker one but the No 5 managed to jam his bat down and keep it out.

07:57 AM

OVER 34: AUS 136/4 (Green 24 Head 60)

Woakes continues, and Head gets down to the non-striker's end courtesy of a clip to the leg side.

Green is starting to look comfortable out there too and he plays a lovely whipped drive through wide-ish midwicket which allows the Aussies to canter through for three.

07:53 AM

OVER 33: AUS 131/4 (Green 21 Head 58)

The perils of selecting just four frontline bowlers being highlighted here as Root enters the attack.

He's milked for four singles, although did get Head into a bit of a tangle with an inside edge rolling just past his stumps.

Robinson is back on the field, but we'll have to wait and see if he's fit enough to have another bowl this session.

07:50 AM

OVER 32: AUS 127/4 (Green 19 Head 56)

Poor start to the over from Woakes, offering up a freebie on Head's hips which he flicks on its way to fine leg to bring up his fifty, off just 53 balls.

Head blocks back the next ball, before lasering a drive through the covers for four!

It was full outside off, perhaps slightly over-pitched but Head threw the kitchen sink at it and the ball raced away!

No need to run for those.

07:45 AM

OVER 31: AUS 119/4 (Green 19 Head 48)

Four singles from Wood's over, which the Aussie pair negotiate comfortably enough.

His seven overs have cost 50 and aside from clattering Head with a bouncer he hasn't looked particularly threatening, which is a concern for England who have only picked four frontline bowlers.

07:40 AM

OVER 30: AUS 115/4 (Green 17 Head 46)

Shot! This has been a cracking innings from Head, bar one loose shot early on and a couple of mix-ups against the short ball.

He stands up tall to Woakes and cracks a drive to the point boundary. He's up to a run-a-ball 46 and has been pivotal in dragging the Aussies back into this after their difficult start.

Travis Head is closing in on a half-century - AFP
Travis Head is closing in on a half-century - AFP

07:35 AM

OVER 29: AUS 111/4 (Green 17 Head 42)

Head doesn't look particularly comfortable playing Wood's short stuff.

After being rattled in the chest by the English paceman earlier, he gets into another mess in this over but manages to fend it into the leg side to get off strike.

Green adds a single to his total, before Head plays a lovely punch down the ground for three.

Wood is less than impressed as a thickish outside edge from Green runs away to the third-man fence.

England could be in some bother here if Robinson is struggling to bowl again for a while.

07:29 AM

OVER 28: AUS 102/4 (Green 12 Head 38)

Just a couple to Green off Woakes, who has replaced the (presumably injured) Robinson.

Green stands up tall and his back-foot defensive stroke sneaks past backward point for a comfortable two.

07:25 AM

OVER 27: AUS 100/4 (Green 10 Head 38)

Three singles off this Wood over and that's the hundred up for Australia.

After slumping to 12/3 they will be delighted to have a ton up having lost just one more wicket.

07:22 AM

OVER 26: AUS 97/4 (Green 8 Head 37)

Worrying signs for Robinson, whose pace is notably down in this first over after the interval.

He's always a bit slow working through the gears but is hovering just over 70mph throughout this over - and he gets punished as a result.

Green crashes him through extra cover for four before rotating the strike via a thick inside edge.

Then Head pounces on an overpitched delivery, whipping it over midwicket.

Robinson walks straight off the field after he's handed his cap so there must be a problem of some kind.

07:17 AM

OVER 25: AUS 88/4 (Green 3 Head 33)

Ouch. Wood cramps Head for space with a fierce short ball, the batsman takes his eyes off it and it smashes into his chest.

Head is OK to continue but that will have hurt, it was up around 93mph.

Wood pitches the next couple up and Head defends solidly, before pushing an on-drive for two off the final delivery.

07:11 AM

The players are back out

Wood to bowl the first over after dinner.

06:43 AM

Woops

06:35 AM

OVER 24: AUS 85/4 (Green 2 Head 31)

Woakes to bowl the the final over before dinner (it's a day/night Test remember).

Just a single to Green from it and that's the interval.

A thrilling session of Test cricket, with England snaring three early wickets before Labuschagne and Head launched a superb counter-attack.

But the Aussie No 3 fell in bizarre fashion just before the break, left crumpled on the wicket with his stumps akimbo.

06:31 AM

OVER 23: AUS 84/4 (Green 1 Head 31)

Just what the doctor ordered from England after Labuschagne and Head had passed the fifty partnership in double-quick time.

Labuschagne had been dancing around the crease a bit but it was an ugly way to lose his wicket! Smith and Cummins both spotted having a chuckle in the Australian changing room as they watch the replay.

You imagine he'll be copping a fair bit of stick for that one from his mates.

06:26 AM

WICKET! Labuschagne b Broad 44

Got him!! Labuschagne won't want to watch this one back on the replay, but Broad is absolutely delighted!

The Aussie No 3 takes a step towards off but ends up in a complete tangle and the ball crashes into the base of leg stump!

All three stumps were exposed and he ended up in a heap on the floor.

FOW 83/4

06:24 AM

OVER 22: AUS 83/3 (Labuschagne 44 Head 31)

Head slices Broad past the despairing dive of Pope at backward point and the ball runs away for another boundary.

06:19 AM

OVER 21: AUS 79/3 (Labuschagne 44 Head 27)

Just two to Labuschagne off this Broad over. England asking the umpires about the state of the ball, as well they might after the pasting it's taken in the last 10 overs.

06:13 AM

OVER 20: AUS 77/3 (Labuschagne 42 Head 27)

Wow. What a shot from Labuschagne, who picks up a delivery from Woakes from outside off and disdainfully deposits it for a one-bounce four through midwicket.

Absolutely outrageous batting, basically played off one leg too!

A penny for the thoughts of Zak Crawley, who dropped Labuschagne on 0.

Zak Crawley dropped Marnus Labuschagne when the Aussie No 3 was on 0 - GETTY IMAGES
Zak Crawley dropped Marnus Labuschagne when the Aussie No 3 was on 0 - GETTY IMAGES

06:08 AM

OVER 19: AUS 71/3 (Labuschagne 37 Head 26)

Broad replaces Wood as England look to stem the flow of runs.

His first delivery is a little too straight and clipped away for two by Head, before they scramble through for a single after a thick inside edge.

Labuschagne leaves the final three balls of the over well alone.

06:03 AM

OVER 18: AUS 68/3 (Labuschagne 37 Head 23)

Head is absolutely motoring along here - adding another three to his tally with a pull through midwicket.

That moves him on to 23 from 17 balls, quite some going considering Australia were reeling at 12/3 when he came to the crease.

05:58 AM

OVER 17: AUS 65/3 (Labuschagne 37 Head 20)

The runs are definitely flowing! Head slashes Wood behind point for three, with Pope doing well to chase it down and prevent the boundary.

Then Labuschagne swats a short ball for four, before driving down the ground for another three.

Head rotates the strike and then Labuschagne crunches the final delivery through the covers for four more!

Australia have thrashed 36 off four overs since drinks.

05:52 AM

OVER 16: AUS 50/3 (Labuschagne 26 Head 16)

Woakes replaces Robinson - but offers up a juicy half-volley first up and Head makes no mistake, carving it through the covers for four.

Then Head miscues a pull, but it falls safe down the ground and they trot through for a single.

Labuschagne plays a lovely shot, leaning on a slightly overpitched delivery and flicking it away through the leg side for four.

The runs are flowing for the Aussies all of a sudden.

05:48 AM

OVER 15: AUS 41/3 (Labuschagne 22 Head 11)

Shot! Head carves an overpitched delivery from Wood through the covers in delightful fashion and it races away for four.

Then Wood offers up a gimme to Labuschagne off the final ball of the over... short, wide and punches away through point for another boundary.

05:43 AM

OVER 14: AUS 30/3 (Labuschagne 17 Head 5)

Robinson continues, but his radar is a little bit awry in this over.

He's too straight to Head who works him away down to fine leg for a single, and then chucks two in a row down the leg side to Labuschagne who fails to get any bat on them.

Time for Woakes?

05:36 AM

OVER 13: AUS 29/3 (Labuschagne 17 Head 4)

Wood replaces Broad, and his extra pace nearly does the trick!

Short of a length and Head is a bit slow on it, getting a thick inside edge just past his stumps.

Wood strays too straight to Labuschagne who dismissively whips him away through midwicket for four.

The ball absolutely races off the bat and the rain earlier hasn't slowed the outfield down too much.

And that's drinks. England will be delighted with their start.

05:31 AM

OVER 12: AUS 24/3 (Labuschagne 13 Head 3)

Head off the mark with a punch through the leg side for three off Robinson. And then another crashing drive from Labuschagne reaches the extra cover fence.

Hopefully England don't come to regret that Crawley drop...

05:27 AM

OVER 11: AUS 17/3 (Labuschagne 9 Head 0)

Robinson drops short to Labuschagne - and too short as it happens, the ball sails over the Aussie No 3's head and is called a wide.

But he's back on the money with the very next delivery, it nips away and just misses the outside edge!

Labuschagne pounces on an overpitched delivery at the end of the over and crunches it down the ground for a boundary.

05:19 AM

OVER 10: AUS 12/3 (Labuschagne 5 Head 0)

Labuschagne whipped Robinson through midwicket for the first boundary of the day before rotating the strike.

But then the impressive Robinson removed Smith to give England their third wicket of the morning.

05:18 AM

WICKET!! Smith c Crawley b Robinson 0

The big one! Squares him up, gets it to nibble away and Crawley takes a decent grab low down.

England getting their just rewards for an excellent start with the pink ball.

FOW 12/3

05:14 AM

OVER 9: AUS 7/2 (Labuschagne 0 Smith 0)

A superb start from England after winning the toss and opting to bowl.

Just what Joe Root would have envisaged - both openers back in the shed, the ball doing a decent amount and Australia's big two at the crease early on.

Green pitch, grey skies and the ball nipping about - this tweet looking fairly prescient,

05:12 AM

WICKET! Khawaja c Root b Broad 6

Angled in, nibbles away, catches the edge and snaffled by the England captain at first slip!

Australia in a little bit of trouble early on in Hobart.

FOW 7/2

05:08 AM

OVER 8: AUS 7/1 (Labuschagne 0 Khawaja 6)

What an over from Robinson to Labuschagne! The Australian No 3 survives by the skin of his teeth.

He's beaten all ends up with the first two balls of the over, then pats back the next ball solidly enough.

Then Robinson finds the edge... but it's dropped by Crawley diving in front of Root who wouldn't have had to move to catch it!

Another beauty beats the bat again and then Labuschagne leaves the final ball alone. Terrific stuff from Robinson.

05:03 AM

OVER 7: AUS 7/1 (Labuschagne 0 Khawaja 6)

Khawaja's thick outside edge squirts away behind point for a couple, before he shovels a drive down the ground for two more.

Broad won't be too disappointed to see him continuing to drive at deliveries in and around off-stump though, with the ball darting about a bit.

04:59 AM

OVER 6: AUS 3/1 (Labuschagne 0 Khawaja 2)

It's been a superb start from England after winning the toss and inserting the Aussies - and Robinson removes Warner for a 21-ball duck.

That's a wicket maiden too. Just two runs off the bat from the first six overs.

04:57 AM

WICKET! Warner c Crawley b Robinson 0

England have the deserved breakthrough! Robinson draws Warner into a defensive push and catches the outside edge - with Crawley taking a smart grab at second slip!

FOW 3/1

04:52 AM

OVER 5: AUS 3/0 (Warner 0 Khawaja 2)

The Australians sneak through for a leg bye, before Khawaja launches into a flashing drive at Broad... and hits nothing but air!

Another decent over from Broad.

04:49 AM

OVER 4: AUS 2/0 (Warner 0 Khawaja 2)

Some encouragement for Broad in the previous over - and more here for Robinson!

From over the wicket to Khawaja he gets one to dart a long way past the left-hander's bat.

Rueful smile from Khawaja as the ball sailed through to Billings. It did too much really and started a bit too wide to do any damage, but decent signs for the England bowlers.

Then another teasing delivery in the fourth/fifth-stump channel draws Khawaja into a play and miss.

Testing start for the Aussie batsmen.

04:45 AM

OVER 3: AUS 2/0 (Warner 0 Khawaja 2)

Close! Warner a bit late on one from Broad and nearly chops on - the ball just squeezes past leg stump.

Some encouragement for Broad here as he angles the ball in, hits the seam and gets one to jag away.

Warner digs out a yorker and then defends out to gully. Two maidens in a row for Broad.

04:41 AM

OVER 2: AUS 2/0 (Warner 0 Khawaja 2)

Robinson bang on the money straight away - beating Khawaja's bat twice in succession in the fourth-stump channel.

Then he strays a little too straight and is worked away down to long leg for a couple.

Khawaja defends stoutly and then leaves the final ball of the over well alone.

04:36 AM

OVER 1: AUS 0/0 (Warner 0 Khawaja 0)

Good start from Broad, who raps Warner on the thigh pad first up, and tumbles to the turf in the process.

Half-hearted appeal with Warner playing no shot but it was going over the stumps.

Warner miscues an attempted drive, getting a thick inside edge into the leg side for none and ends the over skewing into the cordon with soft hands - all along the floor though.

04:31 AM

Broad v Warner

To get us under way. Around the wicket as per, with three slips and a gully.

04:27 AM

The players are out on the field

National anthems coming up and then we will be good to go.

04:17 AM

Ponting hails Billings

04:06 AM

Here's the Australia XI

Warner, Khawaja, Labuschagne, Smith, Head, Green, Carey, Cummins, Starc, Lyon, Bolland.

04:02 AM

England win the toss and will bowl first

Joe Root says it was a tricky choice but cites "overhead conditions, the slightly tacky nature to the wicket and a tinge of grass" for his decision.

04:00 AM

Five changes for England

As per our chief cricket correspondent Nick Hoult.

03:47 AM

Confirmation the toss will be at 4am

So hopefully we won't have too much of a delay...

03:45 AM

Some reading on the 700th man to represent England in Tests

Sam Billings will make his Test debut today (weather permitting!) - meet the 'driven posh boy' finally ready to prove his worth to England.

03:39 AM

Toss delayed due to rain

Not the news anyone wants to hear on the first morning of a Test.

11:18 AM

Good morning

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of the first day of the fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia in Hobart.

It was an unfamiliar feel at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval as England’s Mark Wood addressed the media on the eve of the final Ashes Test (Isabelle Westbury writes). Unfamiliar because it’s both the venue’s first Ashes match and its first Test with a pink ball. And while playing Test cricket for your country will occupy the players’ minds first and foremost, even if the series is long gone, there’s much to look ahead to as well.

Like this year’s Indian Premier League. Wood, who regularly reaches bowling speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, is a lucrative commodity on the white ball circuit, just as he is spearheading England’s red-ball attack. And with Mitchell Starc, who has a prolific record in day-night cricket, already suggesting that the pink ball closely mirrors the effect of the white ball, if Wood can put in a good stint at Hobart, England’s paceman could see his stock quickly rise.

“I am [entering the IPL auction] at the minute,” Wood confirmed, ahead of the final Test. The deadline for players to register for the auction is the end of this week, with the IPL set to run over April and May.

“If I look ahead to the World Cup and I can learn something in the IPL, if I can put myself in pressure situations and try and get better for the end of the year, that’ll be good.”

“I withdrew just before,” Wood explained, of his decision not to play in last year’s IPL. “I was umming and ahhing but felt that, with a long time away…

“From a financial side of things, it’s great to go in. But actually, the reason I’d want to go in [this year’s IPL auction] is cricketing reasons because of what’s to come with England. I just felt the reason I’d have gone last year was purely financial and the time I’d miss with my son I’d never get back.”

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