Broad at the double as England rock Australia in Ashes opener

Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Stuart Broad removed Australia openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft cheaply as England piled on the pressure on the first morning of the first Ashes Test on Thursday.

Joe Root's buoyant side are looking to round off an already memorable season by completing a World Cup and Ashes double.

Cheers and jeers rang round the often-raucous Birmingham ground as Broad's double strike left Australia reeling at 17-2 inside eight overs after the visitors won the toss and decided to bat.

Chris Woakes then put the Australians in even deeper trouble when he had Usman Khawaja caught behind by Jonny Bairstow for 13.

Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss for the Ashes holders, looking to win their first Test series away to England in 18 years.

As expected, they included all three players given lengthy bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year -- Warner, Bancroft and former captain Steve Smith, in at number four.

Australia were booed when they walked out for the pre-match anthem ceremony.

Warner and Smith at least knew what to expect, having been given similar treatment during the recent World Cup, which saw England beat defending champions Australia in an Edgbaston semi-final last month.

England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson, restored to the side after missing last week's win over Ireland at Lord's with a calf injury, started the match with a probing maiden and beat Bancroft all ends up with his third ball.

- Broad strikes -

Broad might have had Warner out with his first ball, caught behind down the legside by wicketkeeper Bairstow. England opted against reviewing an original not out decision by umpire Aleem Dar but replays showed a thin nick.

But the paceman did not have long to wait for Warner's wicket with the left-hander, moving so far across his crease he was batting on off stump, lbw for two.

Warner did not bother with a review, even though technology suggested the ball would have missed leg stump.

As the initial exultant cheers from the crowd at an early wicket died down, Warner was subjected to a prolonged chorus of boos as he walked back into the pavilion.

Bancroft, who has been captaining English county side Durham, twice struck Broad down the ground for four.

They were his only scoring shots, however, with Bancroft edging a fine Broad delivery that bounced and cut away to England captain Root at first slip.

Khawaja then departed for 13 off 23 balls to leave Australia 35-3 in the 15th over.

Australia have not won a match of any kind at Edgbaston since 2001, while England have won their past 11 internationals at the Birmingham ground.

This match is the first of the ICC's new World Test Championship, with players' names and squad numbers displayed on the backs of their shirts for the first time in 142 years of Test cricket.

England World Cup hero Jofra Archer was left waiting for a Test debut after struggling with a side injury while fellow World Cup winners Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler returned after being rested against Ireland.

An Ashes series win for Australia under the dignified leadership of Paine would help draw a line under the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that led to long bans for former captain Smith, Warner and Bancroft.