Australia clawed back some dignity on day 2 at Trent Bridge, with a record test score for a number 11 batsman and highest test 10th wicket stand. The hero of the innings was 19 year old Ashton Agar, who put the visitor’s top order to shame with a stunning 98. The Aussies attempted to dig in in the morning session and stabilise their position, but only put on 33 runs before Matt Prior caught Steven Smith behind off the bowling of Anderson. At 108 for 5, Australia lost it, throwing away 4 wickets for only 9 runs, with 2 wickets each for Swann and Anderson, his 4th and 5th of the match. But with Australia on the ropes, 117-9, Hughes and Agar dug in for over 30 overs. They put on a record breaking 10th wicket stand for a test, 151 runs, and débutante Agar’s score of 98 being the highest for a test number 11. Matt Prior thought that he had stumped Agar on 10, but the after several slow motion replays proving inconclusive, the batsman was given the benefit of the doubt. England finally dismissed Agar just shy of his century, with Graeme Swann catching the teenager on the boundary off the bowling of Stuart Broad. Although the majority inside Trent Bridge were supporting the hosts, not many would have begrudged the youngster his ton after a magnificent (and potentially match winning) performance.
England lost an early wicket, with Joe Root being caught for just 5. Controversy then followed as Jonathan Trott was dismissed lbw for a duck, and although hotspot showed no sign of contact with the bat, the slow motion camera showed that Trott had indeed got an inside edge on the ball. Kevin Pieterson came in with Cook to steady the ship, and his 6 boundaries saw him build a composed 35 as he showed signs of returning to form in an England shirt. England finished the day on 80 for 2, leading by 15 runs.
If Cook and Pieterson survive the morning session, the test could sway in England’s favour, but as it is, the game stands perfectly in the balance.