It was imperative for England to bat out Day 3 at Trent Bridge to stand a chance of taking the third test. A score of 326 for 6 at the close is a good building point for tomorrow, with a lead of 261 runs.
The day started well as Pieterson raced to his fifty, with Cook only scoring 1 run at the other end. Things were looking good as the 3rd wicket partnership steadily build up England’s lead. But eventually the big breakthrough came, with Pattinson bowling Pieterson for 64. Cook at this point had reached 48, and went on to get his half century before being caught at slip by his opposite number Michael Clarke. Incidently, Cook became the first victim of yesterday’s hero Ashton Agar, who claimed his first test wicket for the Aussies. Ian Bell, who created a solid partnership with Jonny Bairstow, survived two lbw reviews either side of lunch. However, just after the second appeal for trapping Bell, Australia broke the 43 run partnership, with Bairstow becoming the second victim of Agar, caught in the slips by Haddin for just 15. England lost a wicket when looking strong, as Cowan caught Prior for 31 from Siddle’s bowling. Ian Bell and Stuart Broad set about extending England’s lead with a 108 run partnership throughout the afternoon.
After poor decisions cost England earlier in the test, finally one went their way. Stuart Broad appeared to edge Agar to Clarke at slip, but the umpire gave not out, with Broad sticking at the crease. Although it may have been unsporting not to walk, the decision lies with the umpire, and as Australia had no reviews left, Broad had the right to stand his ground. I mean, how many Australians would walk in this situation, at this key point in an ashes test. Speaking about the incident, Kevin Pieterson said “Every single batsman who plays cricket, no matter who you play for, has the right to wait for the umpire’s decision”.
Whatever you believe should have happened in this instance, it shouldn’t overshadow Ian Bell’s magnificent innings of 95. With England finishing on 326-6, they look in the driving seat for the final two days.