Ashes 2021-22 fifth test, first day: Australia v England – live! | Sport





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WICKET! Warner c Crawley b Robinson 0 (Australia 3-1)

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Preamble

Hello everyone, and welcome to our detailed coverage of the fifth Ashes Test opening day. Weather permitting, and rarely permitting in this part of Australia, the show starts in Hobart at 3pm local time, which is 4am in the UK.

“We are here to prepare for the biggest sporting event Tasmania has ever seen,” the state minister for recreation and sport said earlier this week. And indeed, there is a lot to be excited about in the Isle of Apples. It is the first test match in the state in five years. It is the first ever ash test in Tasmania. And it’s Hobart’s first day / night test. The ball is pink. The field is greener than Bob Brown. The skies are capricious. There is a lot to expect.

The rest of the country, it must be said, has other concerns. Covid is rampant, supply chains are breaking, the federal government is faltering, and the national mood is gloomy. Novak Djokovic’s grinning mouth drives the news every night. A test cricket match, despite dead rubber, is a welcome distraction from it all.

An injured and battered England is looking to win its first test in Australia since 2010-11. The fourth test was a real crap and visitors will try to go better and save something from what has been a terrible month and a bit. Australia’s record in the home tests of the pink ball is extraordinary: nine tests, nine victories. Bookmakers have them as prohibitive favorites. For the rest of us, something resembling the last day in Sydney would be fine.

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