Australia wins first Ashes Test

Three years of Ashes pain spilled over as Australia claimed a drought-breaking first-Test win at the Gabba, as captain Michael Clarke taunted England with threats of broken bones as his team closed in on victory.

As chief destroyer Mitchell Johnson strained for the last wicket and the Australians chipped at England tailender Jimmy Anderson, Clarke became embroiled in a fiery spat with the England fast bowler.

The umpires stepped in as the aggro escalated during the third-last over. The stump microphone picked up Clarke telling Anderson to ''get ready for a broken f---ing arm'' before wagging his finger at him between overs.

After the 381-run victory, Australia's fifth-biggest over England by runs, Clarke did not deny the attack.

"Through my career there was always banter on the cricket field, I copped as much as I give that's for sure,'' he said. "I am not going to go in to what was said on the field, it is part and parcel of the game, but we all respect England as players.

"Through my career I heard a lot worse said on the field than any of the Australian players or England players said out there.''

The crushing result handed the home side a huge psychological edge along with a 1-0 series lead. It was Australia's first Ashes win since December 2010, and their first Test win since January.

Later, England captain Alastair Cook accused David Warner of making disrespectful remarks about opposing batsman Jonathan Trott, when Warner described his second-innings dismissal as ''pretty weak''.

''I think the comment last night by David Warner was pretty disrespectful from any professional cricketer,'' Cook said. ''On the pitch it's pretty much a war anyway. Tough, hard cricket, so on the pitch is fine.''

Clarke would not be drawn on whether Warner would have a case to answer under the ICC behavioural code. No charges have been laid.

Johnson, recalled to the Test team after 10 months, claimed 9-103 for the match. But that did not tell the full story of Johnson's intimidation. The England batsmen were rattled by his raw pace and brutal, short-pitched bowling.

The Australians turned up on day four needing eight wickets for a win to reignite their ailing Test fortunes. ''It's been a long time between drinks but the boys are very excited,'' Clarke said. ''We know England will come back harder in Adelaide, but we'll enjoy tonight and then get ready for the second Test.''

The charge for victory was held up by a spectacular hailstorm and by Cook, who was dislodged by Nathan Lyon for 65. The weather simply delayed the inevitable, as Johnson finished off the game with a nasty short ball that Anderson fended high in the air for a return catch.

The Australians' celebration released months of tension built up through heavy series defeats in India and England and off-field upheaval.

''It's a fantastic start,'' said Clarke, whose team recovered from a first-innings batting collapse then rocked England with the ball. ''There were some fantastic individual performances, no better than Mitchell Johnson, with bat and ball. I really hope this is the start of what is ahead for the rest of the summer. It's only one Test. We know there is still a lot of work to do … preparing for the second Test but I couldn't be any happier for the way the guys stood up.''

Only twice in the past 80 years has a team lost the first Test in Brisbane and won the Ashes.

''It's been a tough couple of days for us,'' said Cook, lamenting his side's collapse in the first innings that gave Australia a lead of 169.

''When you only bat for 50 overs, the bowlers need time to rest in these conditions; we didn't do that and they suffered a bit. It's going to hurt us but there are plenty of characters in this side and we are going to fight back.''

The story Australia wins first Ashes Test first appeared on WA Today.

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