Saturday, 13 July 2013

The Ashes - 1st Test - Day 4 Trent Bridge

Another totally compelling day of cricket.  It swung one way, then another, then another.  This is what test cricket is all about.

England closing in on victory?  Its going to be a nail biting finale.
This test has vision of Edgbaston 2005 the way the momentum is shifting one way then another.

England started the day positively.  Broad flashed at a wide one and the ball flew between 2nd and 3rd slip to reach his 50.  Thunderous standing ovation.  Bell made his century but once Broad edged behind (and walked this time ;), Australia closed out the tail, bowling out England for 375, leaving themselves a large but getable 311 for victory.

The Aussies started tremendously well.  They put on 84 before losing their first wicket, Broad capturing Watson leg before.  Cowan made a scratchy start but fell for a modest 14 then Rogers went just after tea, Anderson bowling a leg cutter which Rogers chipped up to the covers.

Then the turning point.  Aussie skipper Clarke edged behind, huge noise as the ball passed the bat, he followed the ball into Prior's gloves and didnt walk.  Blatant edge.  Umpire gave it out.  He immediately referred it but snicko spotted the edge and that was his wicket confirmed.

End of over.  Swann at the over end ripped one out of the rough into the legs of Smith, huge appeal for lbw and it was 2 in 2 balls.  No referals left, he was gone.  England were looking null and void for a spell but 3 wickets after tea gave them momentum.

Hughes fell lbw to Swann not long after and Australia closed on 174-6.

Its a simple calculation.  Australia need another 137 runs to win.  England need 4 wickets.  England have to be favourites but with Brad Haddin still in with Agar, both results are still possible.  The Australians never give up so it could be an absolute nail biter again.