sport

Harris: A pretty good day

Australia seamer Ryan Harris insists the hosts are perfectly happy after England finished on 226-6 at the end of the first day of the fourth Ashes Test.

Harris had Ian Bell caught behind by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 27 as Australia took three wickets after tea, validating captain Michael Clarke's surprise decision to field after winning his fourth successive toss of the series.

The hosts could have been in a stronger position, however, had they not dropped three catches, giving Kevin Pietersen two lives on his way to an unbeaten 67.

"It was difficult, I think Michael (Clarke) wanted to lose this (toss)," said Harris, who bowled superbly to finish the day 2-32.

"We didn't start as well as we liked ... once again we pulled it back and 6 for 220 the end of the day and with three chances down as well is a pretty good day (for us)."

The opening day at the MCG set a new world record crowd, with 91,092 coming through the gates - the biggest single-day crowd for a Test match.

The massive Boxing Day turnout eclipsed the previous single-day crowd record at the MCG of 90,800 set in the 1961 Test between Australia and the West Indies.

"The boys in the team room are so pumped to have played in front of that many people," Harris added.

"The noise at the end of the day when Mitchell Johnson was charging in was tremendous."