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.