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Broad defies boos to spark Aussie collapse

Brisbane (AFP): Stuart Broad defied boos to snatch four key wickets and trigger an Australian collapse as England seized control on the opening day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba Thursday.

Australia, 71 for two at lunch after winning the toss, had a disastrous middle session, losing four wickets including two to Broad as the hosts went to tea on 153 for six.

Brad Haddin was on 24 and Mitchell Johnson was 12 at the break but the day so far belonged to Broad, who was vilified in the build-up for not walking during the recent Ashes Tests in England.Loud boos rang out when Broad, branded a “smug Pommy cheat” by a local newspaper, stepped up to bowl but he quickly snared opener Chris Rogers for one in his second over.

Broad also accounted for Shane Watson (22) just before lunch, and he then took the prized scalp of Australian skipper Clarke in the second over after the first break.

Clarke looked uncomfortable against a short-pitched delivery and popped a gentle catch to Ian Bell at short leg for one, in what was a quick and tame end for Australia’s best batsman.

Opener David Warner had creamed Broad’s first ball of the day for four but his determined innings ended with a whimper as he became the tall quick’s fourth victim just short of his half-century.

Warner looked disgusted at himself as he drove lazily at a short ball from Broad and spooned a catch to Kevin Pietersen, celebrating his 100th cap, in the covers for 49 off 82 balls.

It continued to unravel for Australia and debutant George Bailey edged Anderson to Alastair Cook for three, leaving the home side 100 for five in the 36th over.

Bailey only lasted 15 balls and he could have been out earlier if a snick off Anderson had carried to Cook at first slip.

Steve Smith looked effective with his unconventional shot-making, but perished when he played away from his body and sparred Chris Tremlett to Cook at slip for 31.

It was far from the start Australia needed as they bid to avoid losing four successive Ashes series for the first time since 1890.

Broad struck with the first ball of his second over with a lifter which Rogers thick-edged to Bell in the gully.

Broad had a fascinating duel with the pugnacious Warner, who hooked his first ball to the boundary and then dabbed an audacious upper-cut high over the slips for four.

But Broad then prised the key wicket of Watson, who needlessly played outside his off-stump and was snapped up by Graeme Swann in the slips.

And it all fizzled out for Warner, who fell to a lazy shot off Broad just when he looked settled in and on course to do some damage.

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