12 July 2013

The Ashes 1st Test, day 3, Trent Bridge

The Ashes 1st Test, day 3, Trent Bridge

England 1st innings: 215 all out after 59 overs
Peter Siddle 5-50, James Pattinson 3-69, Mitchell Starc 2-54

Australia 1st innings: 280 all out after 64.5 overs
Ashton Agar 98, Phillip Hughes 81*, Steven Smith 53

England 2nd innings: 6/326 from 133.0 overs
Mitchell Starc 2-66, Ashton Agar 2-86

Match situation: England lead by 261 runs with 4 wickets in hand.

After getting the vital wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook, and having England at 5/174, England have found invaluable runs in their middle order (Ian Bell 95*, Stuart Broad 47*) and as a result they're in a winnable position for the opening Test.

Tactically it would seem taking the second new ball when we were still making something of the worn down first ball was a mistake, especially since there was evidence of reverse swing and something for our spinner to work with. England were then able to glide the new ball around with the extra pace on offer and take advantage to get settled (notably Matt Prior) with not much swing to talk about. Momentum was killed.

A lead of 261 runs and 4 wickets in hand ultimately gives us one option. We need 4 wickets in the first session at least come day 4. A run chase of over 300 runs, while not impossible, is an unlikely score to chase down successfully at Trent Bridge.

284 runs is the highest successful fourth innings chase at the ground, done by the home side in 2004. Stats in England paint a picture.

We saw Ashes heroics in Ashton Agar and Phillip Hughes on day 2. Day 4 and 5 is a chapter unwritten for our batsmen to make history. It will be a tough challenge as no rain is forecast and this lead will advance, meaning this game should bring a result.

Good news during the day was Ashton Agar taking his maiden Test wicket, a screamer of a catch by Clarke in the slips.

The blunder of the day was Aleem Dar not using the technology at his disposal as an umpire. DRS was introduced to rule out doubt over a decision (although players use it as a get out of jail free card and not tactically enough - Clarke's error too) and put away those "howlers" and uncertainties.

Stuart Broad clearly got an edge to the slips off Agar's bowling. We had used our reviews so we couldn't get the wicket, but it was however an opportunity for the umpire to double check his decision and use the technology to ensure the game went on with no fault on the umpire's watch.

We are always ridiculously having to "check for no balls" after an LBW, bowled or slip catch dismissal. Why couldn't a professional umpire do the same in this instance in checking for a probable edge?

I will defend Broad in that he didn't have to walk, so no point in blaming him or calling him a bad sport. Some people walk, others don't. Always been that way in the game for many, many years. It was the umpire's decision and it was an error of judgement.

Day 4 will be a challenging day but who knows what could go our way.

Verdict: Day 3 goes to England after winning the final session. 

Other recent articles at The Baggy Green Blog:
Ricky Ponting's final first-class innings.

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bettiwettiwoo said...

'We are always ridiculously having to "check for no balls" after an LBW, bowled or slip catch dismissal. Why couldn't a professional umpire do the same in this instance in checking for a probable edge? '

Good point.

Sylvester said...

Exactly my views on the matter. The blame lays with Dar and a bit with Clarke. I still would like to see DRS with the 3rd umpire, for the Broad case he would have instantly said that is so out and told the umpire to hold on while he checked it. In other cases like the Bell one he would have looked at the replays and then told the umpire to call him back. The Big Bash had the concept but it looked like the players had no idea that rule was in place.

Ian said...

Betti, nothing gets my back up more than those no-ball checks. Umpires need to seriously step it up. A big reason why Simon Tauffel remains top of the lot for me. So consistent and generally uses the tools to get the job done.

Yeah Sly. Would loved to have seen Broad on his way so we would have seen stumps with some positivity in the camp before day 4. Lost that now. However, think it would be hypocritical of us to sledge Broad when Andrew Symonds' stand in 2007/08 was far more controversial. I stood by Roy and in this instance I agree with Broad. Umpire is there to officiate. If he says you're gone, that's it.

Third Umpire needs more control. USE the technology and do it right. It's not complicated.

All these referrals take time to so it has to be moderated, hence why there is a limit for captains. Having said that though it needs to be used correctly and Clarke took a gamble on one that was tactically not smart.

Sid the Gnome said...

Completely agree on Stuart Broad - he was under no obligation to walk and he chose not to. Unfortunate, and possibly poor work on Clarke's part, that we had no referrals left but the same situation would've occurred even without DRS. Umpire couldn't tell, batsman used the situation to his advantage. I'm sure if an Australian had done the same, Aust fans would be ok with it.

Unknown said...

Good article. Fascinating test match. I reckon it's just about gone as a possible win for the Aussies but there has been some real positives in this match. Generally, the Aussies have fielded very well. Agar looks to have an exceptional temperament for this format and Phil Hughes is a far more accomplished player off his legs and on the pullshot now.

Ian said...

310 runs to win. Huge task, history doesn't suggest we can take it but we can.

Ahoy Kirby. I just think back to the Andrew Symonds ordeal. We all had bitter vibes regarding India (Harbahajan) so it added fuel to the fire but many other players didn't walk. Just a frustrating situation as DRS is there and the third umpire is there too.