Paceman James Anderson fired England to a stunning start in the second Ashes Test on Friday and kept going through three baking hot sessions to help bowl Australia out for 245 shortly before the end of the first day.
Anderson accounted for two of the three wickets to fall in the first 10 minutes, made a key dismissal just after lunch and then returned to remove the penultimate Australian batsman to finish with figures of 4-51.
England openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook faced one over from Ryan Harris, which netted one leg bye, to leave England 1-0 at the close of play.
“It was a hugely satisfying day for everybody,” Anderson told reporters. “Hopefully we can push on now, although there’s a long way to go in this game, let alone the series.”
Australia’s Mike Hussey, who made 195 in the drawn first test at the Gabba, again offered the sternest resistance to the tourists, but he was dismissed by spinner Graeme Swann for 93, precipitating the collapse of the tail.
“It’s probably not the best day we’ve had but after the start we got, we probably would have taken 250, having been 3-2,” Hussey said. “We would have liked a few more, it’s a pretty good pitch and obviously we are pretty disappointed in the dressing room tonight.”
Having lost the toss at a ground that is traditionally batting-friendly and where huge first innings totals are the norm, England were expected to spend a long, hot day toiling in the field with little return.
Anderson clearly had other ideas although the first wicket to fall came courtesy of Australian confusion.
The match was just four deliveries old when Watson set off for a single off his pads, but Katich, who had not faced a ball, failed to react and was left fuming as Jonathan Trott fired a direct hit from midwicket.
The next ball removed Ponting for a golden duck, the Australian skipper getting an outside edge to an Anderson delivery and Graeme Swann swooping to catch it at second slip.
Ponting, the most prolific test batsman of all time at the Adelaide Oval, looked as angry as Katich to have marked his 150th Test with his fifth duck.
Vice captain Clarke, who again looked out of sorts, lasted just seven minutes before Anderson and Swann combined to dismiss him for two runs.
Hussey said he was preparing to relax and watch a few hours’ cricket before it was his turn to bat on the normally high-scoring Adelaide wicket.
“I was actually looking forward to having a nice relax for a few hours and watching the first session,” he said. “I have a set routine. Once the first wicket falls, I get my shoes and whites on. When two wickets go down I get my gear on pretty quick. I was upstairs watching — obviously I wasn’t there for very long.”
“I couldn’t really believe it to be honest, it was just a bit of a shock and before I blinked I was out there in the middle,” he said.
Anderson thought he had added Watson to his list of victims soon afterwards, but his loud LBW appeal was ignored and the video review showed the ball was going over the stumps.
The impressive English quick also dropped a difficult return catch off Hussey, a let-off that the Australian mid-order batsman looked determined to exploit.
Anderson finally got Watson two overs after lunch when he managed to find some swing which fooled the batsman into a shot that ended up in the hands of Kevin Pietersen at gully.