England in Command
England's bowlers have reduced Australia to 174-6 at stumps on day four of the first test at Trent Bridge, after a pulsating evening session Saturday...
England's bowlers have reduced Australia to 174-6 at stumps on day four of the first test at Trent Bridge, after a pulsating evening session Saturday 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.
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.No side has made more to win in the fourth innings of a Trent Bridge Test than England's 284 for six against New Zealand in 2004.
James Anderson's first ball of Australia's second innings whistled past Shane Watson's outside edge and Chris Rogers, on nought, nicked Stuart Broad just short of England captain Alastair Cook at first slip. But both batsmen survived, with Watson 18 not out at lunch and Rogers unbeaten on 10. Bell, 95 not out overnight, went to make 109 and shared a seventh-wicket stand of 138 with Broad (65) after the all-rounder was controversially given not out on yesterday.
Broad enjoyed a massive slice of luck on 37 when experienced Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar ruled in his favour after Australia appealed for a catch by captain Michael Clarke at first slip off teenage debutant spinner Ashton Agar. Bell, on 34, was given out by Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena after an lbw appeal by medium-pacer Shane Watson before successfully challenging the decision on review.
Apart from a tough diving chance dropped by Haddin off Peter Siddle when he was on 77, Bell batted near faultlessly on yesterday after coming in with England effectively 56 for three following a first innings deficit of 65. This innings, which saw him pass 6,000 runs in his 89th Test, was an especially important one for Bell as the 31-year-old Warwickshire right-hander, often accused of not scoring runs when England most needed them, played arguably his best innings for his country.
Saturday's play started in extraordinary fashion when left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc bowled a beamer so wide it had Clarke in the slips jumping out of the way as Dar called no-ball for a dangerous delivery. Bell then steered a Starc full toss through gully for four to go to 99. At the other end left-handed batsman Broad completed a 124-ball fifty when he edged a drive off James Pattinson between Watson and Clarke in the slips for his sixth four.
Australia's shoddy start on Saturday continued when a misfield at point by Agar, who made 98, the highest score by a Test match No 11, in the tourists'.
Brief Scores: England 215 & 375 (I Bell 109, K Pietersen 64, S Broad 65, A Cook 50, P Siddle 3/85, M Starc 3/81, Agar 2/82) vs Australia 280 & 174 for six (Watson 46, C Rogers 52, Swann 2/64, S Borad 2/34)