With its batsmen out of sorts, no established opening pair and some poor performances in the warm-up matches, few gave England much chance after Allan Border won the toss and elected to bowl on a greenish wicket. But Australia’s attack was young and wayward, and despite removing Chris Broad early they struggled to find a consistent line against the patient Athey (76) the aggressive Gatting (61) and the stylish Gower (51). At 4/198 the Englishmen could still have been rolled for a moderate tally, but the spectre of Ian Botham proved too much for the inexperienced Australian seamers. Botham belted 138, including 13 fours and four huge sixes, 22 coming from one Merv Hughes over. England’s final total of 456 was hefty and while Hughes, debutante Chris Matthews and medium pacer Steve Waugh all picked up three wickets, they came at considerable cost.