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Leeds Day One: Normal transmission has been resumed.

Submitted by rickeyre on August 8, 2009 - 11:00am

England wins the toss. England bats first. England is all out for 102 in the 34th over. Australia wins by nine wickets with 27 overs to sp.... oh hang on, it's a Test.

Maybe we can call a compromise and get the Fourth Test over with inside two days, just like England and the West Indies did at the same ground nine years ago. Yes it's the traditional Australia versus England mismatch we know and love so well.

For now. Saturday, as Scarlett O'Hara would have said if she was a Sky Sports cricket analyst, is another day.

But if there was any measure in the gulf between the two teams on Friday, it could be summed up with the following rhetorical question: Whose omission from the first three Tests was more lamentable - Steve Harmison's or Stuart Clark's?

There's one question for which I can't supply an answer: What sort of warmups do umpires perform before the start of a game? Point in discussion, the very first ball of the Test.

Andrew Strauss, just twenty minutes on from winning the toss and choosing to bat first, faces the Terry Alderman of 2009, Ben Hilfenhaus. A huge banana-bending inswinger from Hilfy appears destined for fine leg, then nips straight and hits Strauss' pads plumb in front. The skipper clips his boot with his bat but otherwise makes no contact. Billy Bowden, in for his first match of the series, gives it not out.

Players do their warm-ups right up till the last minute (though in the case of Matthew Prior and Brad Haddin that's not always advisable). What do umpires do so that they are in a state of peak physical and mental alertness from the very start of play?

Competition for the Ashes Best-on-Ground award for the 2009 series is hotting up. The Midwinter-Midwinter is named in honour of an Australian player from the early days of the Ashes and an England player from the early days of the Ashes - who happen to be the same person, but whose cricketing nationality was transformed in one of the most infamous poaching incidents in sporting history. Several strong individual efforts in an eventful Friday, but my Midwinter-Midwinter points for Headingley Day One are: Peter Siddle 3, Stuart Clark 2, Ricky Ponting 1.