Friday, 12 July 2013

The Ashes - 1st Test - Day 3 Trent Bridge

Day 3 turning point...Broad edges to Clarke but doesnt walk...
Another absolutely enthralling day of Test Cricket.  I was plonked on the sofa and didnt move all day.  Was lovely to have the company of my brother for the majority of the day too.

Australia needed early wickets, England needed a solid start.  Cook and KP battled well to see out the second day at stumps and it was essential that they saw out the first hour whilst increasing the scoring rate.

KP batted positively.  His intentions were clear in the first over he faced.  He looked to hit a fullish ball through midwicket only for the ball not to come through as he expected, got a thickish leading edge and it went for four through the covers.  Cook at the other end started slower.  The pair saw out the first hour but then Australia stuck.  KP chopped onto his stumps from a wide ball and Australia's debutant hero Agar claimed the scalp of Cook with a ball that leapt out of the rough and popped up to slip.

In came Bell.  He was a due an innings and he delivered.  At stumps tonight, he remains 95no having batted for 5hr 30mins.  It was epic.  He played straight.  He left everything wide.  He kicked the spinner away from outside leg stump in the rough.  He was magnificent.   He was manfully supported by Matt Prior and later Stuart Broad.  Prior batted positively and was looking in great nick before he toe-ended a short ball to mid wicket.

When Broad came in at 218-6, England led by around 150.  Clearly not enough with two days and another session to come.  Both him and Bell were extremely patient and played every ball with its merit.

The psychological turning point came as England led by 232.  Agar got one to bounce out of the rough to the left-handed Broad and it went straight to Aussie skipper Clarke.  Up they all went in glee...but Broad, for whatever reason, didnt walk.  He walked down the track, done a wee bit of gardening with his bat and went for a chat with Bell at the non-strikers end.  Umpire Aleem Dar remained unmoved and didnt raise the finger.  Did he not see it?  Surely he must have done.  There was a clear sound on TV and Steve and I both knew at home that it was out but Dar somehow didnt give it out.

Howzzaaat?  Not out :)
Unbelievable. Tbh, I'm surprised Broad didnt walk.  Ok, its against the Aussies I know but when you get a massive nick like that, I was brought up to walk.  Had I not walked playing for a club, you can imagine the reaction I would have got.  Having said that, my own team mates would give me stick for walking too.

You cant beat a bit of controversy in an Ashes test.  Some will argue that had the third umpire given Agar out stumped and given Trott not out last night, England would have already amassed a lead of 350 and Australia would have already been out of the game.

At stumps tonight, England lead by 261.  The record 4th innings run chase at Trent Bridge stands at 284-6 when England beat New Zealand in 2004.

For the sake of the game, England need to start Day 4 well and try and get the lead up to 300 and beyond.  With Anderson's reverse swing and Swann's spin, England are just about on top right now.

Absolutely no doubt that the Aussies will still be absolutely livid in their dressing room right now.

I will post up the Day 3 highlights when available.