First Test – Day 4: Almost

England 215 & 375 (Bell 109, Broad 65, Starc 3/81, Siddle 3/85) v Australia 280 & 6/174 (Rogers 52, Watson 46, Broad 2/34, Swann 2/64)

Stumps Day 4. Australia require another 137 runs with 4 wickets in hand.

 

Edgbaston, 2nd Ashes Test, 2005. Australia slump to 7/137, then 8/175 in pursuit of 282 set by England to win. 107 needed on the 4th (and what turned out to be final) day of that famous Test with Lee and Warne at the crease and only Kasprowicz left in the pavilion. Warne (42), Kasprowicz (20) and Lee (43*) get Australia to within 2 runs before the big Queensland quick gloved Harmison to keeper Jones and a nervous England escape to level the series at 1 all.

Can Australia’s tail go one step better and get over the line at Trent Bridge in arguably a better position in 2013? Sadly it’s been left up to them after the Australian batting line-up was exposed yet again. Set a victory target of 311, openers Watson and Rogers look comfortable on a slow Nottingham pitch, easing their way to 84 off 24 overs before Watson lazily plays across the ball and is given out LBW for 46. He reviews the decision only for Hawkeye to show the ball clipping leg stump and the umpires decision stands. 46 is a typical Watson score he makes no matter where he bats in the order, his record of having made as many Test centuries as Alan Border medals won (2) looks in little danger of changing anytime soon.   Cowan, desperately in need of a score, joins Rogers at the crease and after taking a long time to get off the mark plays a couple of nice cut shots as Rogers plays like the seasoned pro that he is. 1-111 turns into 3/124 as Cowan is caught behind off the part-time off-spin of Joe Root, pushing well away from his body and slightly off balance, then Rogers chipped an Anderson slower ball straight to mid-wicket. Three soft dismissals. The coach would be most disappointed with the two openers for getting good starts and not going on with it. Clarke and Smith take the score to 161 before a disastrous 3 over spell where the skipper is caught behind, and Smith and Hughes are both trapped LBW by Swann playing back and getting caught on the crease, learning nothing from Haddin’s first innings dismissal. Clarke uses the final review to try and overturn his dismissal,  in the slight chance that his faint edge wasn’t picked up by hot spot. It was. Of course he knew he hit it, despite what he said at the press conference. At stumps Haddin is unbeaten on 11 and a promoted, and rightly so after his first innings heroics and previous form for Western Australia, Ashton Agar on 1.

Earlier Australia had dismissed to home team for 375. Ian Bell wasn’t at his fluent best but has played few more valuable innings for his country than his knock of 109, his 18th Test match ton. Stuart Broad walks after edging Pattinson to Haddin, have no problem of him not walking after being given not out by the umpire but don’t pick and choose when you walk. You either are or you aren’t a walker. He’s lucky he is playing at his home ground where he was given rousing support from the fans. He won’t get much cheering at the Gabba in November. Speaking of the umpire, Aleem Dar has been awful in this game, like some of the Aussie batsman and a mate of mine who very recently got married, he appears to be batting out of his league.

Starc mixes some brilliant deliveries with some utter trash in taking 3/81 off 32 overs, Siddle takes 3/85 to give him 8 for the match. Pattinson takes 2 but has been far from his best in this Test and Agar takes the other 2, unlucky not to have a couple more.

A fascinating 5th day ahead, England ahead but anything can and usually does happen in Ashes cricket. A great opportunity for Haddin to stand up, play a senior role and show his selection was worthwhile. Starc , Pattinson and Siddle are all good enough to contribute. And the boy wonder is at the crease already. On a slow, turning pitch Swann is the key man for the Poms. Hopefully its as good as Edgbaston 2005, with a slightly different result.

About Luke Reynolds

Somewhere down there between daytime and the dark.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review Luke. This Test is all over bar the shouting. The Aussies couldn’t possibly lose from here could they? 137 is nothing in 20/20 hit-and-giggle so why is it all of a sudden Mt Everest in a Test? They only need to make about 70 runs each. That’s not too much to ask is it? And besides we still have two batsmen at the crease. Haddin’s in the team for his batting, right? (it couldn’t possibly be for his keeping). And Agar averages 98! Game over. The Poms will bleed after this one.

  2. Dips, agreed. If Australia loses this I will be stunned. The more pressing matter for me is how can we stop Clarke from instinctively calling for a review to save his hide? It would be handy to have them for the howlers, I would have thought.

  3. Don’t forget Starc has a test highest of 99, whilst Siddle top scored in both innings of the final test in India. The match remains open.

    Glen!

  4. Brad Carr says:

    Yep Cookie, Clarke’s use of the DRS yesterday was selfish & attrocious (as opposed to being merely attrocious over the first 3 days). When Luke prompts us with the memories of Edgbaston, it’s worth recalling that Kasper’s glove was off his bat when the ball clipped it – we didn’t have DRS then, and we won’t if history repeats here.

    Would be a good time for Haddin to bob up and prove whatever the selectors see in him. My personal view is that he trails Wade (and Payne, for that matter) in both glovework and batting, so i can only imagine he’s there as a specialist sledger.

  5. Cookie – I have a plan. Its crazy but it might just work. Why don’t we get rid of the review and get the umpires to decide? If the review process can’t prevent horrible errors what’s the point of it? The game went along pretty nicely for 150 years without it. The obsessive and doomed pursuit of umpiring perfection in a game built around human frailty is like trying to grow apples on Mars.

    The only “perfect” process would be to allow a review of every ball then no errors would occur at all. But Tests would need to be extended to 30 day games.

  6. David Wilson says:

    Great job Luke.
    Well, it’s all ahead of them.
    What an engrossing match it has been.
    May the match be decided purely on skill & application from here on.
    Carna Aussies.

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