The Ashes: Advantage England as Australia lose six in chase of 311

Updated: July 13, 2013, 11:27 PM IST
The Ashes: Advantage England as Australia lose six in chase of 311

Nottingham: England's bowlers reduced Australia to 174 for 6 at stumps on day four of the first Test at Trent Bridge, after a pulsating Saturday evening session which left the tourists needing another 137 for victory.

England claimed four wickets after tea, including opener Chris Rogers, who was Australia's top scorer with a 121-ball 52 that included eight fours. Stuart Broad took 2-34 and Graeme Swann 2-64, leaving Brad Haddin and Ashton Agar not out on 11 and 1 respectively. Agar was promoted up the order from No. 11 after his first innings 98 and, while he was happy to bat through to stumps with Haddin, Australia is the underdog going into the final day.

To win, Australia will have to break the record at Nottingham for a successful fourth innings Test run chase, set by England who scored 284 against New Zealand in 2004. Earlier, England posted 375 after Ian Bell hit 109 and Broad 65. England resumed on 326-6 and Bell, who was 95 not out overnight, made his 18th Test century with an innings of 267 balls and 15 fours.

Broad hit 65 from 148 balls with seven fours before James Pattinson had him caught behind, ending a stand of 138 that tilted the match England's way. Bell was also caught behind off Mitchell Starc, who had Australia's best bowling figures with 3-81. Peter Siddle took 3-82. The tone was set from the first ball, when Starc bowled an astonishing head-high beamer that flew through the vacant second slip area for five no balls.

Broad, who controversially stood his ground and was given not out on Friday despite clearly being caught by Michael Clarke off Ashton Agar, reached his 10th Test 50 in the second over of the day by slicing Pattinson at catchable height through first and second slip. In the next over, Bell drove Starc through point to bring up his century and the partnership was broken only in the 140th over, when Haddin took a tumbling catch to remove Broad.

This time Broad walked and he was given a standing ovation by the majority of the crowd and his teammates on the dressing room balcony. Successive boundaries for Bell from Siddle took the England lead past 300 before he finally fell to Starc in the 145th. Graeme Swann was out for 9 edging Siddle to Clarke and the innings concluded when James Anderson was caught by Phillip Hughes off Siddle without scoring.

The Australian openers initially made batting look easy but after an hour of the afternoon session Watson was lbw to Broad after an unsuccessful referral. Rogers successfully referred a catch behind off Swann and reached his 50 with a single from Root in the final over before tea. The momentum seemed to be shifting back to Australia at 111-1, but with the final ball of the session Root had Cowan caught

Rogers perished in the 23rd over when he got a leading edge to Anderson and was caught by Bell. Clarke and Steve Smith were building a useful partnership but the momentum shifted again when Clarke was given out caught behind to Broad after an umpire's review. Clarke insisted he hadn't hit the ball and referred the call but the hotspot camera revealed the faintest nick and he was out for 23 - the "snickometer" later revealed a noise as the ball passed Clarke's bat. Smith was lbw to the next ball from Swann for 17 and England then demonstrated how the referral system should be used when they overturned a not out decision against Phillip Hughes, who was lbw to Swann.

First Published: July 13, 2013, 11:27 PM IST

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