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Watson half-century puts Australia on top

  • Story Highlights
  • Shane Watson responds to recall with an unbeaten half-century for Australia
  • His knock helps tourists reach 126 for one on opening day of third Ashes Test
  • Play does not begin at Edgbaston until 5pm local time because of heavy rain
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(CNN) -- Makeshift opener Shane Watson responded emphatically to his Test recall with an unbeaten half-century for Australia in the weather-delayed third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Shane Watson responded superbly to his Australian recall to put the visitors on top in the third Ashes Test.

Shane Watson responded superbly to his Australian recall to put the visitors on top in the third Ashes Test.

Watson, Australia's first right-handed opener for 93 Tests, finished on 62 not out, having replaced Phillip Hughes at the top of the order.

England's only success of a run-heavy evening session came in spinner Graeme Swann's first over when Simon Katich paid the price for over-adventure as the ball snuck past an attempted pull to seal a straightforward leg before dismissal.

Australia closed on 126 for one, after only 30 overs were possible due to heavy rain, with play not getting underway until 5pm local time.

Captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and opted to bat, in contrast to his decision on this ground four years ago when he was made to regret inserting England as they rattled up 407 all out on the opening day.

Australia initially made just one change with Watson in for Hughes at the top of the order. But in a dramatic twist, they were forced into another after the toss took place when it was revealed wicketkeeper Brad Haddin incurred a suspected broken finger in the warm-ups.

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That handed an international debut to South Australia's Graham Manou, after Australian team manager Steve Bernard was granted permission by England to make an alteration to the team sheet lodged with the officials.

England left out Steve Harmison from the 12 men remaining in their squad, which meant they made just one change from the win at Lord's, at number four where Ian Bell filled in for the injured Kevin Pietersen.

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