Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle picked a sensational six-wicket haul, including a hat-trick, on Thursday to bowl out England for 260 on day one of the opening Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Any questions about Siddle's selection ahead of Doug Bollinger were erased in a dramatic over in the second session, where he dismissed Alastair Cook (67), Matt Prior (naught) and Stuart Broad (naught) to trigger wild celebrations on the field and in the stands.
Playing his 18th Test and first since breaking down with a back injury in January, the Victorian fast bowler who turns 26 today finished the innings with amazing comeback figures of 6-54 from 16 overs.
Siddle is the 11th Australia bowler to take a hat-trick in Test matches and the first since Glenn McGrath's hat-trick against the West Indies in Perth in December 2000, the Australian reports.
It was also the fifth Ashes hat-trick by an Australian and the first since Shane Warne's achievement at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1994-95.
Earlier in the day, England captain Andrew Strauss had won the toss and elected to bat, but suffered a heavy blow as he was dismissed in the first over of the series for a duck.
However, his opening partner Cook looked solid in the middle and scored a confident half-century, during which he shared crucial partnerships with Jonathan Trott (29), Kevin Pietersen (43) and Ian Bell (76).
Trott looked relatively untroubled until he was bowled by a superb Watson delivery, which went through a small gap between his bat and pad to take the middle and off stumps.
The tourists had reached 117-2 shortly after lunch before Siddle struck in successive overs to remove danger man Pietersen (43) just as the England star was looking ominous, and Paul Collingwood (four).
Cook and Bell steadied the innings with a 72-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but Siddle turned the game on its head with his hat-trick to break the momentum.
England went from 197-4 to 197-7 in the three deliveries, while debutant left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty (2-41) finished the innings with the wickets of Bell and James Anderson (11).
Australia were 25-0 in the seven overs they had to face before the end of the day's play.
Shane Watson was unbeaten on nine and Simon Katich was 15 not out.
England: Ist Innings:- 260 (Bell 76, Cook 67, Siddle 6-54)
Australia: Ist Innings:- 25-0 (Katich 15 not out, Watson nine not out) (ANI)