A display of mediocre batting from England put Australia in the driving seat for the 4th Ashes test. The hosts collapsed from 149-2 to a pitiful 238-9. Neither Cook or Root looked comfortable early on, and it seemed only a matter of when, not if the first wicket would fall. Root went for 16, caught behind by Haddin. Jonathan Trott’s arrival sparked England on, and the pair put on 73 before Trott was caught off of Nathan Lyon’s bowling for 49. Kevin Pieterson came in and also looked positive alongside Cook, with the latter putting on only his 3rd 50 of the series. But Pieterson’s cameo didn’t last long, after just 35 balls, he was caught for 26. Cook was next to fall, just before tea, as he decided to leave Jackson Bird’s delivery before it cut back towards the wickets, leaving England 153-4. Ian Bell, one of the stars of the series so far, had a moment of madness after tea, as he decided to go for a big hit, only to place it into the grateful clutches of Ryan Harris for Lyon’s 3rd wicket. Matt Prior came in to partner Bairstow, and the pair tried to build slowly. A successful Aussie review saw Prior go for 17 (lbw Siddle) from 58 balls. Lyon got another wicket, despite a Bairstow review, as the Yorkshireman played and missed before the ball clattered in to his pads, making just 14 from 77 balls. Sensing blood after the flurry of wickets, the Australian’s put the England tail enders under real pressure, as shown by Stuart Broad lofting a high ball straight to David Warner, a shot that would disappoint most village cricketers. Graeme Swann entertained the crowd at Chester-Le-Street with 3 quick 4s, before falling for 13. Bresnan and Anderson put on 24 runs before the end of the day, leaving England floundering on 238-9. England will hope to raise that to about 250 tomorrow before taking some early wickets to keep them in the game.
Apologies for there being no third test reports, as I was away in Turkey with no internet for a week.