Date: March 16, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Aussies seize Ashes upper-hand

Australia leads England 6 1/2 to 2 1/2 after the first day of the Ashes event at Moonah Links, Victoria. The home side came out firing as Rohan Blizard set the tone for the rest of his team by squaring the opening singles match against the world&aposs number one ranked amateur, Jaime Moul. Andrew Dodt then accounted for Gary Boyd to give Australia the lead before it was consolidated by Richie Gallichan who won 2up against David Horsey. Ray Beaufils beat Ben Parker 4&3 and when Josh Younger overcame Steve Benson 2&1 it looked as if the hosts would run away with a rampant opening day lead. However Stephen Lewton got the better of Rudi Bezuidenhout 2&1 to restore some pride for the tourists and give them a fighting chance going in to the afternoon foursomes. Wet and windy conditions in the afternoon made it difficult for both sides, but the Aussies came out with a distinct advantage going into the second and final day of the event. Bezuidenhout reversed the result of his singles match, pairing with Blizard to overcome Moul and Benson 1up while Younger and Gallichan halved their match with Parker and Lewton. Dodt and Beaufils also came out even against Boyd and Horsey to give Australia a healthy four point lead with just six points up for grabs on Saturday.