England may have safely retained the Ashes at the first possible opportunity, but the first day of the fourth Test in Durham showed that Australia could still be capable of thwarting their hopes of another series victory.
The tourists had to give up any hopes of winning back the urn despite getting the better of a rain-hit third Test at Old Trafford and now need to win both of the remaining matches to level the five-match series.
And any England fans who were hoping the lacklustre display last time out was nothing more than a temporary blip may now be feeling slightly more worried as Australia continued their upturn in form.
Nathan Lyon took four wickets as a sluggish England reached the close of play at Emirates Durham ICG on a modest 238-9.
After England endured another difficult day against their arch rivals, we take a look back on the pick of the news, views video and opinion from Chester-le-Street.
Australia on top
Although the pitch at Emirates Durham ICG was expected to produce some early movement, the general consensus was that whoever won the toss would be best served batting first. England skipper Alastair Cook duly opted to put his own side in after the coin flip went his way but the hosts ceded control as some slow runs in the morning session were followed by some quick wickets later in the day. England need only a draw to win the series and perhaps paid the price for an overly-cautious approach as Australia spinner Nathan Lyon dismantled the middle order with four wickets. Cook and Jonathan Trott scored 51 and 49 respectively, but there was precious little support from the rest.
Man of the day
Lyon was in danger of becoming the forgotten man of this summer's series when he was surprisingly dropped for the first Test in favour of 19-year-old Ashton Agar, who went on to wow the Trent Bridge crowd with a record score of 98 while batting at No 11. But once the magic of that innings had worn off, the left-armer had to give up his place in the side to the more experienced Lyon. The off-spinner took just one wicket on his return at Old Trafford but now looks to be hitting top form after claiming the key wickets of Trott, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell. Lyon returned figures of 4-42 from his 20 overs on the opening day.
Trott went into the first innings on the back of scores of 0, 5 and 11, so his haul of 49 was a welcome boost. Trott felt his timing beginning to return on the first day at Chester-le-Street before his focus finally slipped as he was caught at short-leg off Lyon after edging onto his pads. Despite the positive personal signs, he was disappointed with the situation England found themselves in at stumps. "I think, considering the position we were in, at just over 100-1, we'll be a bit upset with the position we find ourselves in at the close of play," Trott said. "It was little bit difficult once they put catching fielders in front of you, and the pitch didn't come on as quickly as Old Trafford did."
Bird's the word
Even though their attack was extremely effective at the third Test in Manchester, Australia decided to make a change among their bowlers for the fourth Test as Jackson Bird was brought in to replace Mitchell Starc. Bird got through the most overs of any Aussie bowler on day one and was rewarded for his hard graft with the prize wicket of Cook, trapping the England captain lbw after he had shouldered arms to a delivery which nipped back in dramatically. Bird's performance certainly caught the eye of Sky Sports expert Nasser Hussain, who said: "I felt he just put it there early on but as he got into his day he actually bowled the ball and the one for Cook was an absolute beauty. It came back a long, long way, almost like it must have hit a crack."
Ian Ward welcomed a very special guest to the Ashes Zone prior the start of the Durham Test as England star Kevin Pietersen took the latest in our series of batting masterclasses. The Old Trafford centurion went through his full repertoire of shots with Wardy, including Pietersen trademarks like the 'Flamingo' and 'Switch Hit'. The session proved to be an intriguing insight into the mind of a top-level international batsman. "I go through everything on practice days," Pietersen said of his training habits. "So I'll drive, I'll pull, I'll play balls through midwicket, sweep, reverse sweep, I'll hit over the top - so that every single time that I go to bed I've ticked every single box."
As it happened
You can relive all the best action from day one by reading our interactive commentary from Emirates Durham ICG. You can also view a gallery of the day's best images here.