We are very happy, says England seamer Jake Ball
Pacer Jake Ball insists England are satisfied with Day Two show despite 89-run stand between Australia skipper Smith and Marsh
England seamer Jake Ball insists the team are "very happy" with how the first Ashes Test is going with the match still too close to call after two days at the Gabba. The tourists made a major breakthrough to see off the dangerous David Warner, who appeared to become frustrated before flicking a catch to mid-wicket off Ball.
England pacer Jake Ball celebrates after claiming the wicket of David Warner (right) in Brisbane yesterday. Pic/AFP
But there was no shifting Australia captain Steven Smith, who finished unbeaten on 64 as he and Shaun Marsh rescued the hosts from 76 for four in an unbroken stand of 89. By the time they reached stumps on 165 in reply to 302, England had ditched most of the slip cordon and instead posted a bizarre formation of catchers on the drive either side of the wicket to Marsh.
It was a field setting entirely out of keeping with the reputation of this venue as one of the world's quickest and bounciest.
Even so, asked about the mood of his captain Joe Root at the close of play, Ball said: "I think he was very happy -- as a team, we're very happy.
"We've done a lot of research, a lot of work on our different plans to each batter.
"We feel like we executed them almost to perfection today. We starved [Warner] of the strike a bit, and runs -- then [it was] a bit of a loose shot to get the wicket."
England tried similarly involved tactics against Smith, loading the leg side and relying on James Anderson's skill and accuracy.
England had earlier lost their last six wickets for just 56 runs, after Dawid Malan (56) and Moeen Ali put on 83 for the fifth.
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