Ashes 2013: England v Australia, first Test, day three as it happened

Day three as it happened: Stuart Broad refuses to walk and Ian Bell is 95 not out as England's lead moves to 261 at the close.

12 July 2013 Last updated at 19:06

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As it happened

  1. 1903: 

    How will the Broad controversy affect the rest of the game and the series? Have England got a winning lead? Can the Aussies produce a final twist to the remarkable Test match?

    We wait until tomorrow for the answers. Until then, enjoy your Friday night.

  2. 1901: 

    Of course, you can read Sam Sheringham's match report as well as the thoughts from the BBC's cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew.

    I've just seen a preview of the Aggers column. Trust me, it's a humdinger.

  3. 1857: 

    And you know that there will be so much fallout from the day's action. Of course, all the best news, reaction and analysis can be found on the BBC.

    Firstly, if you want to listen to highlights, the TMS podcast and the pint-sized Ashes, head to BBC Radio 5 live's Ashes page.

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If you have a ticket for Saturday, don't give it away. It's going to be another riveting day - we've had three special ones so far but tomorrow could be the best of the lot. England have the edge and we might see a winner tomorrow but Australia are not going to roll over. The modern player has played so much one-day cricket that a target of 270/280 doesn't faze them."

  5. 1850: 
    Ian Bell and Stuart Broad

    So where does this leave the game? Well, England are in the pound seat. A lead of 261 may already be enough, but, only four wickets have fallen today to show that runs can still be made on this pitch. Australia will think that quick wickets in the morning can give them a sniff.

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia will think it's flat and they can get these runs but we all know 260 is tough to get batting last. It's going to be spicy tomorrow because if somebody has the tenacity in the Australian team to get their head down, they can do it."

  7. 1848: 

    England batsman Kevin Pietersen on the Stuart Broad controversy: "Every single batsman who plays cricket, no matter who you play for, has the right to wait for the umpire's decision. We play hard and we play very, very fair and every single batsman has the right to wait for the umpire. Aleem Dar is a fantastic umpire and we respect his decisions. We want to worry about what goes forward and we've got a Test match to win tomorrow."

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I would wrap Graeme Swann in cotton wool tonight - I wouldn't want to let him have a bath where he might slip and hurt himself. He is vital to England's chances in this match."

  9. 1847: 

    England batsman Kevin Pietersen: "If we bat certainly for another hour or a bit longer we could be in for some good stuff. Ian Bell is a fantastic cricketer, he has got a proven track record. We know how good Ian Bell is, he knows how good he is and that's all that counts. I felt good I just played a rubbish shot."

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I certainly won't be crying for Australia. It shouldn't over-ride the fact that Ian Bell has played one of his best ever innings for England. I thought Kevin Pietersen played well today and Stuart Broad played quite well too. There has been some splendid cricket. I still think it's a good pitch to bat on, so I'm not sure England will definitely win it, because it's not one of those pitches were you will flash the ball around."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it strengthens the argument to give each team just one review - for the obvious wrong decision like that today."

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special
    Umpires  Kumar Dharmasena and Aleem Dar

    "There is no debate, it's quite simple. The Australians I have played with and have watched, with the exception of Adam Gilchrist, believe in standing and it's up to the umpire to give you out - there shouldn't be a morale argument. They should be upset, disappointed and angered by the umpires. If they keep making poor decisions, it's up to the ICC to do something about it."

    Listen to Boycott and Aggers' review of the day on BBC Test Match Special's podcast.

  13. 1842: 

    Australia rattled, England forge on. Bell approaching a priceless century, Broad an equally important half-century. England close on 326-6, 261 ahead. On a wearing pitch, they may already have too many for the Aussies.

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "The rules say that it's 'in the opinion of the umpire' so it's above things like 'The Spirit of the Game'. I don't see bowlers asking you back when the ball is sliding down leg."

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "To me, it has to be the umpire [fault]. A player is allowed to stand his ground. If Australia had one appeal left, Broad would have walked. The fact there was no referral left, he left it up to the umpire. It was a poor miss from Aleem Dar but Australia can't stew on it, they have to get the last four wickets as soon as possible and then work hard with the bat. If Australia bat until the end of the Test, they will probably win the game."

  16. 1840: 

    Broad gets a clear edge off Ashton Agar into the hands of Michael Clarke. Surely he's got to be given? No, umpire Aleem Dar unmoved. Australia, no reviews left, are furious. No suggestion that Broad will walk. At that point, England are 297-6.

    Listen to the moment on BBC Test Match Special.

  17. 1837: 

    It was left to Ian Bell and Stuart Broad to drag England towards the ascendancy. Before tea and after, slowly, steadily. The lead inched past 200. 50 for Bell, Broad's most valuable innings in some time. And then, the controversy...

  18. 1835: 

    Batting became harder, the ball spinning and reverse-swinging. The scoreboard almost at a standstill, the hosts lost Jonny Bairstow and then, after an attack against the new ball, Matt Prior. 218-6, the lead 153, the match back in the balance.

  19. 1832: 

    Resuming on 80-2, only 15 ahead, England were making steady progress in the Trent Bridge sunshine, led by Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook. Australia, though, stuck to their task and got their reward with the wickets of both Pietersen and Cook in the morning session. England 157-4 at lunch.

  20. 1830: 

    Pick the bones out of that if you can. Well actually, we can...


    Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne: Sounds like another exciting day at Trent Bridge & still a pretty even contest.. No surprise re Aleem Dar. He's always had no idea.

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "There is still a long time left in the Test but the wicket is deteriorating a bit now. What the partnership between Bell and Broad has shown is that if the batsmen are prepared to dig in they can get runs. You are never going to blast a team out on here."


    Andrew Webb: So Ian Bell gets questioned again and unwanted criticism yet his performance today shows how he can help England when needed!

    Robert Fanner: Poor Ian Bell's tremendous efforts have now been overshadowed by a dodgy piece of umpiring - that's the real shame.

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a tough last session for the Australians. They will be disappointed, they thought they had got rid of Stuart Broad - you hate to see obvious decisions like that not given - but the English players are really happy. England have taken the upper hand and they will look to build their lead above the 300 mark tomorrow."

  25. 1823: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 326-6 (Bell 95*, Broad 47*)

    The last over of what has been England's day. The main question, will Ian Bell look for the six runs he needs for a hundred, or will he sleep in the 90s? Remember when Steve Waugh went to a century off the final ball of the day in Sydney? The SCG almost collapsed. Pattinson to bowl. Three dots, then four. Bell looks to have settled for a nervous sleep. A single from the fifth ball means Bell will rest on 95, with Clarke making Broad wait for the final delivery. Three gullies, but it's down the leg side. England close on 326-6, they lead by 261.

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's always late in the day when you hear the English crowd. It's been a sedate crowd today, they have been on the edge of their seats but now England are in the ascendency they are getting behind the team."

  27. 1818: 
    Eng 325-6 (lead by 260)

    Agar's final over of the day, he the bowler that was denied by the Broad non-dismissal. In comes a silly point for left-hander Broad, Agar giving the ball plenty of air, but the Notts man is not for tempting. His work for the day might be done. If you compare runs scored by number of times he should have been out, he's 47-1.


    In the course of this innings, Stuart Broad became the first player to score 1000 runs batting at number eight for England. Godfrey Evans is second on that list with 833. Daniel Vettori (2227) has the world record.

  29. 1815: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 325-6 (Bell 94*, Broad 47*)

    Only three overs remain, can Ian Bell reach a century before the day is out? If he does, the roar from Trent Bridge will be heard in Leicester. He moves two runs closer with a pull off the returning James Pattinson but then has to survive a huge appeal for lbw as Pattinson nips one back. There's a big inside edge, but Pattinson continue his appeal. Umpire Dharmasena, like Morpheus, politely tells Pattinson to button it.

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "DRS was brought in to correct obviously wrong decisions and that is how captains should use it. Alastair Cook does just that, he is very sparing with it, and hopefully Michael Clarke does the same after this."

    Listen to the TMS commentary of the incident

  31. 1810: 
    Eng 322-6 (lead 257)

    And now the Barmy Army are in full voice, singing from the direction in which Steve Smith has to chase to prevent Ian Bell earning a boundary. Bell is on to 92, delivering to those (including myself) who said he was in need of a score.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special commentator

    "The amazing thing for me was Stuart Broad's ability to stand there and look as though he hadn't nicked it."

  33. 1807: 

    You really feel that when all is said and done, this will be the period that England won this Test match. Yes, they have had the fortune of the Broad decision, but that takes nothing away from the way he and Bell have played. When they came together, the lead was 153. Now, Broad's cut shot brings up the hundred partnership and pushes the lead past 250. Whatever target England do set the Aussies, it will take some getting.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a big lead now, Graeme Swann's going to get so much purchase out of the rough marks - and the posh bits."

  35. 1803: 
    Eng 314-6 (lead by 249)

    It may be the end of the day, but the Trent Bridge crowd are at their loudest. Perhaps it's the cooler conditions - it's hard to get rowdy under boiling sun. Both sides seem happy to play for the close - Aussies not wanting to leak any more runs, England looking to escape further losses. Agar continuing, but it's of little threat.


    Ryan David, TMS inbox: I still recall the vitriol on these very pages when Graeme Smith didn't walk after a fine nick. I trust England fans will refrain from any holier-than-thou attitude in future.

  37. 1759: 
    Eng 313-6 (Bell 89*, Broad 40*)

    Watson cranks up his creaking body for another set of six. He may have bowled one of the tightest spells in Test history, but he's also got away with a few loose balls. Here, Bell needs a fishing pole to reach a wide one, getting a bottom edge to Haddin. Wide again from Watson, with Bell late-cutting to score the first boundary in the Aussie all-rounder's 14 overs.


    James: Really big innings for Bell this, and at an absolutely crucial time. Let's hope it does wonders for his series.

    Patrick Appleton: Solid batting effort from England so far today. Has this team finally conquered the nerves of big favouritism?

  39. 1756: 
    Eng 309-6 (lead by 244)
    Darren Lehmann

    Boozy chants of "Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land," comes from the stands, while Darren Lehmann continues to sit on the balcony with a face etched in anger. Broad, almost taunting Ashton Agar, prods forward to play back a maiden. England are happy that the close is in sight.


    A S M: Hot Spot shows nothing so even with a review Broad would be not out!

    Elliott Gilmore: That's why we love sport, it gives us opinions and talking points that go on way longer than the game-right or wrong keep watching.

    Paul: This is silly. An Aussie wouldn't walk. Sometimes it happens, get over it.

  41. 1753: 
    Eng 309-6 (Bell 85*, Broad 40*)

    Excitement and controversy ended by the reappearance in the attack of Shane Watson. Tighter than Scrooge, he sends down an unbelievable 11th maiden from 13 overs bowled. Eight overs remain in the day, which is currently belonging to England. The stand is worth 91 from 32 overs.


    Bobert: I don't like that at all, and I'm English! If you're out, then you walk. Very disappointing Stuart Broad.

    VonBlade: That not out makes the Trott one balance out. But goodness what a TERRIBLE decision. Broad gets a lifeline.

    John Morris: Stuart Broad should have walked there. Really poor sportsmanship.

  43. 1748: 
    Eng 309-6 (lead by 244)

    Broadedgegate has cranked the atmosphere inside Trent Bridge up a notch. If there are any fans in Nottingham who think Broad (who's one of their own, remember) should have walked, then their voices are not currently being heard. There's nothing like a bit of controversy to enhance the Aussie-baiting, and the Baggy Greens must feel like it's 11 versus 20,000 right now.


    Anish: In the spirit of the game, and in respect for each other as professionals, Stuart Broad should have walked.

    Sohil Pandya: If Ramdin was banned for two matches for acting against spirit of the game, shouldn't Stuart Broad be given a ban?

    Jordan King: What goes around comes around boys. Agar and Trott for you now Broad for us. By that token you still owe us one.

  45. 1744: 
    Eng 307-6 (Bell 85*, Broad 39*)

    Through all the brew ha ha, Ian Bell continues to make his way to what would perhaps be the most valuable century he has ever scored in an England shirt. A delicate touch sees a cut shot from Peter Siddle run behind square for four, the Warwickshire man now 15 away from a ton on the day he went past 6,000 Test runs.

    Stuart Broad

    Larry Cant, TMS inbox: How many Aussies on the pitch suggested Trott nicked the ball yesterday and invited him to remain at the crease?

    Jim McGrath, TMS inbox: I think Michael Clarke should be careful what he says after he middled KP in 2010 and didn't walk!

    Richard Overton, TMS inbox: England should not pick Broad again after that. Shocking.

  47. 1741: 
    Eng 302-6 (lead by 237)

    Former England skipper Michael Atherton was once asked on the pitch why he didn't walk when playing in a Test down under. He responded by saying "when in Rome". Broad still looks a little sheepish, but the bottom line is England's progress continues. They are inching towards a lead of 250.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I do hope this doesn't set the tone for the rest of the series. There is a boundary. Looking at the replays, Broad doesn't look comfortable to me, he looks like a boy who has been sent into the corner in disgrace. There will be questions about how England play the game."

  49. 1737: 
    Eng 301-6 (Bell 81*, Broad 37*)

    A huge debate on Twitter about whether Broad should have walked or not. Me? I'm a non-walker, but also think you shouldn't complain if you get a bad decision. England had their moan last evening, but now they've got one back. Funny how these things even out.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "The review system was brought in to get rid of the howler, I don't see why umpire Dar couldn't have had someone is his ear saying you've got that one wrong let's just overturn that quickly. This has been a terrific game but I think a lot will be talked about that incident, which is sad."

  51. 1732: 
    Eng 301-6 (lead by 236)

    The relative calm of an Agar maiden. In amongst all that, England were earlier warned for running on the pitch. If the umpires speak to them again, the Aussies will be awarded five penalty runs.


    Marc North: I want England to win this badly but I think Broad should have walked then. Absolutely shocking decision by the umpire.

    Matthew Coote: It's the umpires job to give a batsmen out not the batsman himself.

    Phil Lee: Would an Australian have walked - I think not ...

  53. 1730: 
    Eng 301-6 (Bell 81*, Broad 37*)

    The Aussies are fuming, Brad Haddin still chirping at Dar, now standing at square leg. Concentrate on your keeping, Bradley. If you were more worried about catching the ball you might have held on to that Ian bell edge that has flown past you for four. Why do I get the feeling that this will run and run?

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's disappointing to see someone standing for that but Broad is not walking. That's a terrible mistake by the umpire I can't understand why he hasn't given that one out."

  55. 1727: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 297-6 (Bell 77*, Broad 37*)

    Quite frankly, this is unbelievable. Broad, going back, edges Agar through to Michael Clarke at slip via a deflection off Brad Haddin's gloves. Appeal, must be gone, surely? No! Aleem Dar unmoved. The Aussies have no reviews, Broad, poker-faced, gives nothing away. Let's see the's a huge edge. How has Dar missed that? Michael Clarke angrier than a swarm of hornets. Darren Lehmann, expletives on the balcony, the coach looks like he might go into labour.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "Such is the tension in this match that you fear any bold prediction will be followed by instant mocker-induced calamity. But with this partnership for the seventh wicket climbing up towards 80 and the lead past 230, there is a definite feeling around the ground that that match may be turning. England supporters finally smiling a little more, Aussies suddenly rather more stony-faced."

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Bell is a craftsman, he can play. Sometimes he can infuriate you because he's a top class talent and he gets himself out but this is a top class innings when England needed it."


    Shane Watson is the first Test bowler this century to bowl 10 maidens in his first 12 overs in an innings. In a Test match between West Indies and England at Port of Spain in 1968, Joey Carew bowled 11 maidens in his first 12 overs. In fact, his figures were 17-16-1-1 at one stage.

  59. 1717: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 297-6 (lead by 232)

    Is there a better captain to watch than Michael Clarke? On his haunches directing traffic, he posts three men on the off side catching for Stuart Broad. Broad drives regardless, scampering one. He dives to make his ground, beating the throw, which then hits the stumps at the striker's end. Appeal for a run out against Ian Bell, but he's safely home. Time for a drink.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't want England to think they've got enough, I want them to bat out tonight."

  61. 1712: 
    Eng 292-6 (Bell 73*, Broad 36*)
    Stuart Broad and Ian Bell

    Now then Phil Hughes, talk us through what happened there. Fielding on the boundary as Broad heaves to the leg side, Hughes watches the ball just land out of reach then makes a pig's ear of flicking it inside the boundary. Four given, Michael Clarke turns away in disgust. This partnership is worth 74 runs in 23 overs.


    Matt, TMS inbox: In south of France with only the wife's phone for updates - she is letting me check the score once an hour only!

    Christopher Little, TMS inbox: Of the six England wickets to fall - two weren't actually out, one was a drag on and one was a loose shot. Only Cook and Bairstow have been 'got out' - it's a toothless Australia attack this.

  63. 1709: 
    Eng 287-6 (lead by 222)

    The big-hearted Peter Siddle, arms pumping, is getting the ball to tail in to the right-handed Bell. Careful, Ian, don't let that hit you one the pads, the Aussies would be singing. In comes a silly mid off, but Bell remains stoic. Are Sunday ticket-holders getting more optimistic?


    Tom Webb: Could also be Stuart Broad's most important England innings!

    Albertawhite: The way this first Test has gone I keep thinking tomorrow is actually the fifth day.

    Katy Nolin: How can you not love a game where 'England lead by 200 after tea' is actual sports commentary?!

  65. 1703: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 286-6 (Bell 73*, Broad 30*)

    Australia need a moment of magic and it's almost provided by Ed Cowan. Fielding at short leg, he anticipates Stuart Broad's sweep shot off Ashton Agar and moves to his left. When the ball is aerial, he throws out a hand, but can't cling on. We've used the 'dropped catch' graphic because we don't have a 'that-would-have-been-the-best-catch-ever' graphic.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Looking a bit weary in the field now Aussie aren't they. Every ball has got something on it and it just drains you. They're just starting to wilt a bit I reckon."

  67. 1659: 
    Eng 282-6 (lead by 217)
    James Pattinson

    A tweet from #bbccricket says "slowly slowly, catchy monkey". Well put. Right now, England are catching the monkey, koala, wallaby, kangaroo and Matilda. Slowly, then rather quickly, taking the game away from Australia. Soft hands from Bell brings him three off James Pattinson, with Broad crashing through point and getting four leg byes off the pads. 11 off, lead increasing quickly.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "One question on everyone's lips at Trent Bridge: how much is enough? A philosophical poser often asked down the ages; here, the bullish say a lead of 220 will do it, the paranoid want 275 at the very least. Is the pitch doing enough? Is Broad fit to tear in at full lick? Consensus: if England are still batting at stumps, they'll be clear favourites."

  69. 1653: 
    Eng 271-6 (Bell 67*, Broad 25*)

    Aaaahhhh, Stuart, you old tease. Can't get Watson away, but you can play the dreamiest of cover drives to send Mitchell Starc to the fence. That's the 50 partnership, of which Broad has contributed 25. Which, at this moment, is his exact Test average. Lovely stats.


    Joel Fentem: This could be Ian Bell's most important England innings by the end of it.

    Rob Butler: England expects... every man to make his average. Even if these two got out now we would still have 243 to defend.

  71. 1649: 
    Eng 266-6 (lead by 201)

    When did Shane Watson turn into Glenn McGrath? Tighter than a hippo's leotard, Stuart Broad simply can't get it through that off-side field. Watson has bowled 12 overs for three runs! With 10 maidens! Is he that that good? Really?

    Are you about to leave the office but don't want to miss a moment? Don't worry - all you have to do is download the BBC Sport website app and the BBC iPlayer Radio app and you can follow the action on the move.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special

    "As we saw in the first innings, Agar and Hughes applied themselves so we still want 50 or 60 more, if we're being greedy another 80 would be nice. That's gluttonous isn't it?"

    Listen to commentary on BBC Test Match Special.

  73. 1644: 
    ENGLAND LEAD BY 200- Eng 266-6 (Bell 66*, Broad 21*)

    Clarke shuffles his bowlers, searching for that elusive breakthrough. Back comes swinger (of the bowling sense, that is) Mitchell Starc, with Ian Bell working through square leg to take England's lead to 200. What's next? Of course, it's another Stuart Broad inside edge. The Chinese Cut: the best shot in the book.


    Conor Matchett: Fans wanting quick runs might need reminding that England have another two days to bowl/bat. Staying in is the order of the day.

    Kyle: I feel Broad deserves a little bit of credit for his approach here. He came in just as wickets could have started tumbling.

    Dunc: I heard that jaunty popster Melanie Chisholm wants to change direction in an Emo-style duet with Paul Collingwood. Mel 'n Colly.

  75. 1641: 
    CLOSE!- Eng 264-6 (lead by 199)

    The edges of Stuart Broad's bat are getting a workout here. First he tries to swing Shane Watson into the River Trent, but only gets an inside edge past his stumps. Then, an outside edge falls short of Michael Clarke at first slip. Luck for the shoulder-padded one.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special
    Ian Bell

    "England are eking their way there. Just take it in stages. The Aussies will have a total in mind they feel comfortable with, so their heads will start to drop before long."

  77. 1636: 
    Eng 264-6 (Bell 65*, Broad 20*)

    Still Agar, bowling a defensive line over the wicket to the right-handed Bell. Think Ashley Giles, only with more turn. Few problems for Bell, England on the verge of the reaching the 200 lead.


    The answers to today's #Ashes Question of Sport (#QSTeaser) teaser are Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting, who dismissed his opposing captain Vaughan.

    The question was: Which five players took a wicket for Australia in the last Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005?

  79. 1632: 
    Eng 261-6 (lead by 196)

    Australia's miser, Shane Watson, comes back into the attack. Nine overs, only two conceded, with eight maidens for he with the concrete middle parting. Watson is accurate again, looking for some reverse wobble, but Broad ruins his figures by pinching a single to mid on.


    Shane Watson (9-8-2-0) is the first bowler since 2001 to have eight maidens in the first nine overs of their bowling spell in a Test match. The last bowler to have eight maidens in their first nine overs of a Test bowling spell was Muttiah Muralitharan in 2001.

  81. 1627: 
    Eng 260-6 (lead by 195)

    Are England just taking the upper hand? Every single takes them closer to victory, one more run that Australia have to chase. Cheers as Bell plays Agar through mid-wicket with wrists of elastic. Three taken. It's been comfortable since tea.

    Ian Bell

    Remember that you can look back at some of the photographic highlights of day three at Trent Bridge on the Test Match Special Facebook page.

  83. 1623: 
    Eng 255-6 (Bell 60*, Broad 16*)

    An outstanding array of hats on show at Trent Bridge, the crowd protecting themselves from the searing heat. A man in a boater chats to a woman wearing shades that say "Boom". Can you have a serious conversation with such a lady? Bell looking assured, working Siddle. Broad needs a slice of fortune - an inside edge going between his legs.


    Aaron, Reading, via text on 81111: For all those Pommie optimists, thinking 220 will do it...have you already forgotten about a certain tailender in the Aussie team?

    Ed in London: Ade (1554), You can't just ignore an innings... Bairstow's SA innings was against the best attack in the world in challenging circumstances. If you're going to do that why not ignore Compo's centuries against a benignNZ attack? And then you are left with a player who won't score and who lets pressure mount for his teammates.

    Barry: Cricket convert ! No interest in the game up to now, Scottish - but this match has been gripping.

  85. 1618: 
    Eng 252-6 (lead by 187)

    Agar, skipping in, throwing his front arm down the track as he delivers the ball. Runs coming more freely for England. Singles here and there, the odd kick for leg byes. Michael Clarke forced to chase back from slip. That did not look comfortable, as if his back is held together with dental floss.


    Garry in Northwich via text on 81111: I am 50 years old and never really liked cricket... But think that is going to change. Totally engrossed in this match.

    Kefft: Survive tonight and the morning session & it's ours. Have you looked at the weather forecast for west Bridgford tomorrow? Swingers' paradise (no not like that).

  87. 1615: 
    Eng 247-6 (Bell 58*, Broad 12*)
    Stuart Broad

    Decisions, decisions for Michael Clarke. Attack for wickets? That's fine, but too many gaps would give England the chance to get away. Runs are so important. An in-out field for Peter Siddle, scouts on the boundary, but catchers too. Singles available, with Broad also deflecting one of his hip for four leg byes. England inching, clawing towards a 200 lead.


    Ben Clifton: Given up on being sneaky following online commentary now - it's too exciting to keep minimising and I'm happy to look slack.

    Sam O'Lena: I'm in a camper can. Battery is low. I have a choice between fridge and radio. *pours milk away and eats pork pie quickly*

    Carlos Henderson: Feel real pity for those who don't get Test cricket. This match has provided all the thrills of 20/20 and SO much more besides

    Will Horax: I just heard Paul Collingwood and Alan Border are writing a book together. Written by BorderColly,

  89. 1610: 
    Eng 240-6 (lead by 175)

    Scores of supporters squeezing through a narrow walkway back to their seats. They are all male, carrying beer, wearing shades and questionable T-shirts. A sort of Sad Men's Club convention. Agar, arms whirling, around the wicket on a full length to Bell. A maiden.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "Australia were going very defensive to Ian Bell before tea, taking out even the single slip in the attempt to choke his scoring areas. For Stuart Broad the plan is much more aggressive - lots of short balls, man in at shortish extra cover, slip, gully. Very, very tense in the stands - occasional explosions of cheers when England squeeze runs away through the tourniquet, stifled groans of horror when the ball keeps low or they play and miss."

  91. 1607: 
    Eng 240-6 (Bell 57*, Broad 10*)

    Left-hander Broad has plenty of company as Peter Siddle hurries in. Slip, gully, a catcher on both sides. Broad, who got clouted in the first innings, is wearing protection on his shoulder, like an American footballer. Or an 80s blazer. Given width, he twice flashes square, earning a boundary then an all-run four. You don't many of those, that's the best part of 88 yards to scamper.

    Former Australia seamer Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special
    Ian Bell

    "I think a lead of 230-250-plus will have England feeling a bit more comfortable, there's no real demons in the wicket. Obviously there'll be reverse swing but there's still two and a bit days left."

  93. 1602: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 232-6 (lead of 167)

    Left-arm spin of Ashton Agar on the resumption, which sees the sun perhaps not burning quite as brightly in Nottingham. Appeal as Broad kicks away on off stump, not out. Interestingly, it would have hit the stumps, but the Aussies have no reviews left. You have a bat, Stuart. My advice would be to use it.


    Totum: Re Alex 14.05 & DW at 15.45, if Collingwood joined the England management team in a job share with Andy it would be CollyFlower

  95. 1558: 

    A 20-minute tea interval isn't very long is it? I wonder if the batsmen even bother to take their pads off? Also, it's quite a long walk from the pitch to the dressing room. If you were fielding on the boundary on the opposite side of the pavilion, it would be barely worth going back in. Spare a thought for the umpires, too. Last men in, first men back out. See, here they come again, ready for act three, scene three.


    Nick Weetch: Is there any better sport or drama than Test match cricket? I feel sorry for you who don't get it.

    Aidan Barlow: One thing is for sure, this will be be a nail-biting end to the test match, perhaps like Edgbaston 05. 220 lead might be enough.

    David Jones: Loving this - real attritional Test match cricket. 250 ahead easily enough to win, Australia will struggle even to make 200.

  97. 1554: 

    So, 34 overs to go today, with two more days to come. Will we reach Sunday? I doubt it. By this time tomorrow, we will probably have a good idea about which side is going 1-0 up this series. The final session of a Test match Friday - the weekend starts here.


    Ade, via text on 81111: That Test against South Africa is looking like an anomaly for Bairstow. Take that game out of his career and he has looked consistently out of his depth.

    Gazza: Why, oh why, are we making county class bowling look like world beaters. Tactics are puzzling.

    Darren: So, at what point will all the pro-Bairstow lot start admitting that he really doesn't look up to much right now? All the ridiculous chat before was about KP vs Bairstow, and so Comps made way to get JB in the side. A decision based on form of the respective pair?...I think not.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "That 165 lead doesn't look huge but on this pitch it's certainly competitive. England will need a few more though. I was only joking when I said declare! A great game, it could go either way."

  100. 1550: 

    The tension continued throughout the afternoon session. The Aussies strangling, reverse swing, spin. Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior come and go, but Ian Bell stands tall. 56 not out, England 230-6, 165 ahead. Only 150 runs have been scored in the day, if that pattern continues England may be 230/240 in front by the close. Can they last that long? If they do, will they be in a match-winning position?

  101. 1547: 

    England made good progress from their overnight 80-2 this morning, Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook looking comfortable in the first hour. Australia, though, have been disciplined throughout the day and got their rewards to remove both of England's main men. 121-2 became 157-4 at lunch.

  102. 1545: 

    Thanks Marc. Are you nervous? Calm down and have a brew. Let's see where we're up to...


    From Dave, not even pretending to work any more, Exeter: Too many doom-mongers out there. With reverse swing, Swann and a dry pitch 200 will be a big ask for Aussie, 250 almost impossible. Just hope 3rd ump is on better form...

    DW, Glasgow: Re. Alex London 1405. Combining Collingwood's technique with Bell's fragility would give anyone the Collywobells.

  104. 1543: 

    It's going to be another nervy session for supporters of both teams after tea. Primed to take you through the final few hours is Stephan Shemilt...

  105. 1541: 
    TEA- Eng 230-6 (Bell 56*, Broad 1* - lead by 165)

    James Pattinson, chest pumping, races in and whistles a bit of chin music past Stuart Broad's grille. Don't be tempted by those, Broady. JP even offers a bit of lip to the England all-rounder and the umpire chips in, trying to cool the Aussie's jets. A maiden over takes us to tea and England have a lead of 165 with four wickets remaining.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "People will look at England only 165 ahead and think that will be easy for Australia to get but this pitch is difficult to bat on, it really is. There is lots of spin, lots of reverse swing, but it's a great game and could go either way."

  107. 1538:  
    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge

    "An ovation for Bell's fifty momentarily broke the tension among the crowd, with even the Australians rising to their feet to applaud. England supporters have been cheering ones and twos as if they were boundaries, reflecting the inflated value of every run in such a tight, low-scoring game."

  108. 1537: 
    Eng 230-6 (Bell 56*, Broad 1* - lead by 165)

    Is Ian Bell actually slipping into the Brigadier Block role vacated by Paul Collingwood at the end of the last Ashes series? In the last year he has produced runs in the middle order against South Africa, India and New Zealand just when England needed them. He picks up another four from Mitchell Starc. One over until tea...


    Thomas Lambton: Prior needs to learn to play the situation, he has now left us in a very difficult situation with that dismissal.

    O'Boogie: I don't care what any 'experts' say, England need at least another 100 runs to stand a chance of winning.

    Matt Oldfield: I'm keeping the faith - the Test of the Tailenders they'll call this in years to come.

  110. 1533: 
    FIFTY FOR IAN BELL- Eng 225-6 (Bell 52*, Broad 1*)

    Ian Bell moves to 6,000 Test runs at the same time as bringing up his 36th half-century in 89 Tests, middling James Pattinson for two before adding a couple more past point. He gets some stick at times but Belly is doing his country proud at the moment. Every run counts. Seven fours in his 50, from 127 balls.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "One of the criticisms of Ian Bell is that he doesn't score runs in crucial situations. Well in this innings he's standing up to the plate."

    Listen to match commentary on BBC Test Match Special.

  112. 1528: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 220-6 (Bell 48*, Broad 0*)
    The crowd watch the match attentively

    There's a few flutters in the English supporting part of the Trent Bridge crowd as Stuart Broad is rapped on the pads by a Mitchell Starc special. Umpire Aleem Dar shakes his head after seeing the inside edge which is, this time, caught on camera. A leg-bye is the only run of the over.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think I'd have kept the spinner on to Stuart Broad, dangle the carrot. You know he's going to play aggressively."

  114. 1523: 
    PHOTO CAPTION- What is KP looking for? (1454)

    Andy Bentley: KP is trialling the ECB's new version of the mid-wicket hotspot.

    Joseph Hawes: KP looking for Ashton Agar's Big Book of How to Bat.

    Robert Proctor: KP is looking for an excuse for his poor shot selection to throw his wicket away.

  115. 1523: 
    Eng 219-6 (Bell 48*, Broad 0* - lead by 154)

    While Australia scent English blood now, skipper Michael Clarke also realises runs are at a premium as he spreads the field - he being the only close catcher at slip. Peter Siddle bowls another maiden. Gosh, this is tight.

  116. 1520: 

    If Ian Bell reaches 50 he will have scored 6,000 Test runs. He will be the 14th for England and fifth youngest (behind Cook, Gower, Atherton and Pietersen). Of the 14, only Thorpe (90) has played more Tests than Bell's 89.

  117. 1519: 
    Eng 219-6 (Bell 48*, Broad 0* - lead by 154)
    Peter Siddle celebrates dismissing Matt Prior

    While Matt Prior has got himself out twice in this match now, we should probably remember that there were few complaints about his swashbuckling style when he was dropped a couple of times on the way to that match-saving century in New Zealand last winter. Stuart Broad is the new man to the crease and he survives his first ball, the last of Ashton Agar's over, as Ian Bell takes the only single.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "Just when you start to settle England fans and think Prior has done all the work. I thought the decision to take the second new ball was a strange one, the hardness of the new ball was exactly what Prior would have wanted, and when he came to the crease the old ball was reversing back into the right handers and very difficult to time. This game keeps changing. England are getting a decent lead but if someone can get Australia an 80 they'll be very close."

  119. 1513: 
    WICKET- Prior c Cowan b Siddle 31 (Eng 218-6 - 153 lead)

    The Matt Prior rollercoaster comes off the rails and Australia are into the England tail now. It wasn't a pretty shot from Prior either as he pulls Peter Siddle's short ball to a leaping Ed Cowan at midwicket. Live by the sword...

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary of Prior's wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Root 5), 2-11 (Trott 0), 3-121 (Pietersen 64), 4-131 (Cook 50), 5-174 (Bairstow 15), 6-218 (Prior 31)

    First innings: England 215; Australia 280. Match scorecard.

    PHOTO CAPTION- What is KP looking for? (1454)

    Oliver Tuck: Perhaps KP is looking for his off-stump?

    Matt Crozier: A distant mirror?

    Chris Dixon: KP is looking for Joe Root's dummy I believe.

  121. 1509: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 212-5 (Bell 47*, Prior 25* - lead by 147)

    Ashton Agar continues to whirl away and raps one into Ian Bell's pads but the ball was heading down leg and the umpire rightly shakes his head. A maiden over for the youngster, who will definitely not be playing for Henley CC this weekend.

  122. 1505: 
    Eng 212-5 (Bell 47*, Prior 25* - lead by 147)

    Matt Prior was one of Peter Siddle's victims in that Brisbane hat-trick of 2010 but the Sussex wicketkeeper is right behind the snarling Aussie's first few deliveries. Michael Clarke then holds up play while he has a word with the bowler - is he asking for some paracetamol for his bad back or offering pearls of wisdom? Prior continues to live by the sword as he throws the kitchen sink at a wide one and watches as the ball just about clears the fielder Ed Cowan at backward point and runs away for four. Tense.


    Totum: Go on Matt Prior, ruin their game, take their ball away, bully them, take the match away in 60 minutes of craziness

    Northy: Will Bairstow's 15 be viewed as valuable runs at the end of the day, or will he be the man who failed when England needed him?

    Mark: After seeing England bat in this game thank goodness Messrs Warne, McGrath and Lee are no longer playing.

  124. 1501: 
    Eng 208-5 (Bell 47*, Prior 21* - lead by 143)

    Ashton Agar, with his boy band good looks, comes into the attack and the balding, bearded bully with the bat in his hand (Matt Prior) latches on to a short ball and creams it for four. There's few better sights in modern cricket than a rampant Matt Prior - let's hope it continues.


    Ashes 2013: Surely Bairstow's place is in danger for the second Test? Compton, Chopra, Taylor all deserve a shot?

    Hufton+Crow: It's proper hide behind the sofa cricket.

    Charley Wright: I was endorsed by Dennis Amiss MBE on Linkedin the other day, tenuous connection but true.

  126. 1457: 
    Eng 203-5 (Bell 47*, Prior 16* - lead by 138)

    Joe Root looks really fed up on the balcony - probably because KP won't let him have a go on the binoculars [1454]. James Pattinson continues his tendency of bowling a number of decent deliveries before sending down a four-ball - which Ian Bell dispatches with love to the boundary.

  127. 1454: 
    Eng 199-5 (Bell 43*, Prior 16* - lead by 134)
    Kevin Pietersen

    KP's got the binoculars out on the England players' balcony - do we have any suggestions what he might be looking at? Remember that this is a family live text commentary! Peter Siddle has been recalled to the Australian attack as Matt Prior, ever the fidget in his crease, manages a single through midwicket before Ian Bell adds one through the gully.

  128. 1446: 
    Eng 196-5 (lead by 131)

    Pattinson after drinks, two slips and gully with the nearly new cherry in hand. Upright action, probing on and around off stump. Bell, like a Grenadier Guard, dutiful in defence. A maiden.


    Jason in London (of Burnley descent), TMS inbox: "No close connection but I can offer you a gloriously tenuous one... Jimmy Anderson's grandma is my granddad's cousin. Makes me and Jim 3rd cousins I believe. Met him a nightclub..."

    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge

    "The atmosphere at Trent Bridge is fairly sober, the majority of spectators quietly absorbing this fascinating battle between two great rivals. There's always an exception of course, and unsurprisingly it's our yellow-shirted Aussie pals in the New Stand who are keeping things light, tossing a beach ball around in their seats as if they were on Bondi Beach.

    "Alongside them, a posse of England fans in St George's Cross T-Shirts appear far less cheerful, shuffling awkwardly in their seats, fully aware that this partnership may determine the outcome of the match."

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "We've seen with the new ball when the odd shot has been played it whistles away. It gives the bowlers a chance with a bit of swing and a bit of seam, but if you hit it you'll get rich value for it."

  132. 1442: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 196-5 (Bell 42*, Prior 15* - lead by 131)

    The good thing about Matt Prior's natural instincts is that he could take the game away from Australia in a session. He hammers Starcers, as Blowers has affectionately nicknamed the Aussie left-arm quick, for four past backward point before ending the over with a classy clip to the wide long-on boundary. The Prior rollercoaster is rattling along now. Starc 2-55 from 23 overs now.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "The lowest fourth-innings target successfully defended at Trent Bridge? The 186 England failed to chase against South Africa in 1951. After that comes the 202 that was enough to see England home against the same opposition in 2003. So with England around 130 runs ahead, a huge amount remains to be done."

  134. 1438: 
    Eng 188-5 (Bell 42*, Prior 7* - lead by 123)

    Have you got your seatbelt on? The Matt Prior rollercoaster has started to chug - the wicketkeeper throwing his bat at one outside off stump and getting a lucky edge for four. He takes a single before Ian Bell gets over a James Pattinson bumper and pulls it for four. The Warwickshire man almost perishes moments later when he nibbles at one outside of stump. No nibbling today, Ian - England need you to feast on runs.


    Philip Pugh: Reply to Nick M (1423) Derek Underwood was the best man at my first wedding, not THE Derek Underwood, though.

  136. 1433:  

    Here is today's Ashes #QSTeaser from our colleagues at A Question of Sport (@QofS_Official). Wonder if Tuffers knows the answer?

    Which five players took a wicket for Australia in the last Ashes Test at Trent Bridge in 2005?

    The answers will be revealed later.

  137. 1432: 
    NEW BALL- Eng 179-5 (Bell 38*, Prior 2* - lead by 114)

    Now then, this is a crucial point in the innings because Australia have got a new cherry in their hands. While reverse swing might be taken out of the equation, left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc has two slips in position as he tries to induce Matt Prior and Ian Bell into a loose shot. When Starc does stray on to Prior's legs, the keeper takes a single behind square before Bell whips two more precious runs through the on-side.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's handy for Australia to have someone like Watson. Just bowling eight or 10 overs in a day it just takes the pressure off the bowlers, not like Pietersen and Trott's lollipops."

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Clarke looks rather like an animated mushroom, doing press ups with that big cream sunhat on his head."

  140. 1428: 
    Eng 176-5 (Bell 36*, Prior 1* - lead by 111)

    I'd hate to have to buy a Christmas present for Shane Watson - he looks like the sort of person who is very hard to please. Even another maiden over to Ian Bell can't raise a smile. Incidentally, Michael Clarke is still exercising that dodgy back.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "Ashton Agar's Test debut just gets better and better. Take away his runs at 11 and England would be more than 200 runs ahead; factor in his dismissals of captain Cook and Bairstow and they are in it deep."


    John Slater: Ashton Agar impressive with the bat. But watching highlights yesterday his bowling action is suspect. Bent arm straightens on delivery..

    From Nick M: We're in a pizzeria in Italy following the incomparable BBC web coverage and one of my companions has just revealed he was best mates with Aggers at kindergarten. Can anyone else match such a close connection with proceedings?

  143. 1423: 
    Eng 176-5 (Bell 36*, Prior 1* - lead by 111)

    Few things are certain in life but I'm pretty sure Matt Prior is not going to die wondering this afternoon. His typically aggressive approach worked for him in that final Test match in New Zealand over the winter, but there's no Monty to get his back this time. He is off the mark with a single and Ian Bell adds one himself. England's lead is now 111 for those superstitious sorts.


    Kevin Carter: I can see this being over and done with by tonight with another wicket gone.

    Ben David Jones: Bairstow looks horribly out of form, have to question why England didn't let him play any cricket in the build-up.

    Nick Weetch: Only one winner from here - don't trust our lower order to put on another 150.

    Northy: Re: Alex in London (14:11) - is the opposite of Bellingwood, ColinBell?

  145. 1420: 
    Eng 174-5 (Bell 35*, Prior 0* - lead by 109)
    Ashton Agar celebrates

    Do Henley Cricket Club have any 19-year-old all-rounders who England can select for the second Test? Ashton Agar should put the lottery on this weekend because everything he touches turns to gold, runs or wickets. Shane Watson trundles in for another maiden over as Brad Haddin stands up to try and keep Ian Bell in his crease.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's perfect situation for Australia because the new ball is due they can take it straightaway or an over or two with the old ball as Agar is turning it. England need 200, that gets you in the game, anything less, it's a bit tight then. You can still win but if somebody gets 60 it makes a big dent."

  147. 1415: 
    WICKET- Bairstow c Haddin b Agar 15 (Eng 174-5)

    Agar's Ashes? The youngster's dream debut continues to get better as he comes around the wicket to Jonny Bairstow, gets one to rip and the ball takes the outside edge. Brad Haddin does the rest and, once again, England are relying heavily on Matt Prior.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Root 5), 2-11 (Trott 0), 3-121 (Pietersen 64), 4-131 (Cook 50), 5-174 (Bairstow 15).

    First innings: England 215; Australia 280. Match scorecard.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "When you see the replay it pitched outside off-stump and it went a long way. I'd have been very unhappy if I'd been given out."

  149. 1411: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 172-4 (Bell 34*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 107)

    Massive cheers echo around Trent Bridge as the replays show the ball was going over the stumps. Shane Watson looks even grumpier than usual and Ian Bell offers a wry smile. Good old technology, eh?

    Match scorecard.

  150. 1411: 

    Bad news for England. Shane Watson bowls five outswingers and then nips one back into Ian Bell. The classic sucker-punch and the umpire raises his finger - but Belly reviews it...


    Alex in London, TMS inbox: I have always thought that if England had a player named Bellingwood (Ian Bell's technique, Paul Collingwood's determination and 'fighter spirit') then we would have the best number 6 in world cricket. Conversely, if we got Collingwood's technique and Bell's mental fragility, we would be in dire trouble.

  152. 1405: 
    Eng 172-4 (Bell 34*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 107)

    Looking rather like a beached seal, Michael Clarke does some weird stretches in the outfield. I wonder if that back of his is giving him some jip and, if so, England need to keep him out there as long as possible. Peter Siddle continues to be as miserly as Arsene Wenger in the transfer market by sending down another maiden - his eighth of the innings from 16 overs.


    Martin Smith: Re: Alex Byron (13:54) I don't think he's batting more defensive. If anything, I just think he's very low on confidence.

    Wayne Davies: Nerves on edge, finely poised, superb game of cricket, time of next wicket crucial - will define rest of this match.

    Ben Hayes: If Bell gets a big score could silence doubters concerned over his mental fragility, if he fails it will suggest they're right.

  154. 1403: 
    Eng 172-4 (Bell 34*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 107)

    We're accustomed to seeing brollies up at the cricket, but this time it's not because of rain but to help the spectators deal with the relentless afternoon sun. England's lead passes three figures as Ian Bell chops James Pattinson for four. The runs continue to flow as Bell delicately dabs another boundary down to third man. The bowler looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp as he takes his hat and slopes off to his fielding position at the end of the over.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia have bowled well and have dried up England's runs. I know England have been a bit circumspect but Australia have dried them up. A quick 50 from a Prior or Bairstow in a low scoring game can completely change the outlook like Agar did."

  156. 1357: 
    Eng 164-4 (Bell 26*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 99)

    Jonny Bairstow is doing nothing to calm the nerves of the jittery England dressing room as he aims a couple of expansive air shots at Peter Siddle. While 'Vicous' has the ball in hand, you always get the sense something might happen. JB just has to remember how well he played Dale Steyn and Co at Lord's last summer. Maiden over.


    Joe Gibbens: If Bell and Bairstow can share a partnership like the Cook/Pietersen one then England will win this Test.

    Alex Byrom: Is it me or has Ian Bell become very defensive in the last couple of years. (Not that that's a bad thing).

    Graham Wright: Am I the only one who thought the photos at 13.14 and 13.17 are of Sam Sheringham.

  158. 1354: 
    Eng 164-4 (Bell 26*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 99)

    Oh hello. The Australians are beginning to get the ball to reverse swing thanks to chief ball inspector Shane Watson. Ian Bell works James Pattinson for two behind square before the bowler responds with a couple which almost sneak past Belly's inside edge. It's a quiet start to the afternoon with the Trent Bridge stands only half full after lunch. I suspect a few sun-drenched spectators have gone for an ice cream. Speaking of which, England's lead is now 99.

  159. 1349: 
    Eng 162-4 (Bell 24*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 97)

    Peter Siddle went wide of the delivery crease to get rid of Ian Bell in the first innings and he is trying a similar ploy second time around, but the Warwickshire man is equal to the challenge so far. After a few solid defensive shots, Bell angles three down past backward point to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special

    "It is crucial to be able to still keep attacking fields in the final innings. When you've got 300 to play with you've got a bit of leeway, if it's 200 you're just hoping for early wickets."

  161. 1344: 
    Eng 159-4 (Bell 21*, Bairstow 14* - lead by 94)

    This is another superb chance for Jonny Bairstow, who was left a bit high and dry with the tail in England's first innings. The Yorkshire youngster begins with a single after lunch before Ian Bell shows James Pattinson the sponsor's logo on his bat with a firm forward defensive. He then takes a quick single into the leg side with the Aussie fielders still a bit dozy after the lunch break.

  162. 1341: 
    Eng 157-4 (Bell 20*, Bairstow 13* - lead by 92)

    Right then, we've enjoyed Blowers rapping and we've caught up with Gary Pratt but now it's time for the serious battles to resume. James Pattinson is ready to roll and Jonny Bairstow is on strike...

  163. 1338: 

    Don't mock Jimmy's batting, Mike [see email below]. I've seen many a glorious four ping off the Burnley Express's willow and race away for four through the off side. And, before Steven Finn's New Zealand sit-in, he was England's go-to night-watchman.


    Mike in Cheshire, TMS inbox: Transparent ploy by Cap'n Cook and KP. Plan is obviously to get to a lead of 117-9 as soon as possible to unleash the number 11 batting sensation that is James Anderson.

  165. 1334: 

    England supporters will be hoping the media frenzy which followed Ashton Agar's knock will move on to somebody like Jonny Bairstow tonight. If the media feel compelled to talk to the PE teacher at St Peter's School in York this evening, Jonny B has done his job.

  166. 1330: 

    So let's remind ourselves about the match situation. Basically, it's more finely-poised than a fine poise. England have reached lunch on 157-4 and lead by just 92 runs. Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow are the men at the crease, with Matt Prior and the bowlers also left to bat.


    Steve, chilling in St Ives, via text on 81111: Re Fenners (12:56): Bopara is out injured for 6 weeks! And what form has Onions been showing exactly? No need to press the panic button just yet we are only 3 days in!

    Steve Morgan in Kingston with gnawed fingernails. Toenails next: After Australia called the AA yesterday, maybe England can ask B&B (Bell and Bairstow) to provide a safe haven this afternoon.

    Martin, Billericay: This is turning into a classic Test Match, it's proper cricket, unlike the knockabout 20/20 stuff. I suspect Sir Geoffrey might agree.

  168. 1324: 

    I've just heard Blowers rapping on Test Match Special and, while Eminem has nothing to worry about, I was impressed. I'm looking forward to the first album. By the way, check out Henry's outfit for today...

    Henry Blofeld's outfit
  169. 1323: 
    Gary Pratt is congratulated by jubilant team-mates after running out Ricky Ponting

    There's no doubt that debutant Ashton Agar guaranteed himself a place in Ashes history with that remarkable innings yesterday - and his dismissal of Alastair Cook this morning - but it was an Englishman who will be forever remembered for his exploits during the last Ashes Test to be played in Nottingham.

    Durham's Gary Pratt, on as 12th man, ran out Australia captain Ricky Ponting and ensured his place in cricketing folklore.

    "It was just a case of see the ball, pick it up and throw it," the 31-year-old told BBC Sport's Owen Phillips. "You don't really think about it, you just get on with it.

    "As a batsman you know your fielders and their strengths, but as a fielder it's a bit different. You just hope to tempt them into a run. The thing that people tend to forget is that it was a diabolical run by Damien Martyn - there was never a run there."


    Ben Pathe: Can't believe how absorbing every session in this match has been. Is what makes the Ashes so uniquely fascinating.

    David Whalley: Everyone moaning about bell and he's not even out yet? Sure a match winning ton will change that.

    Tim Colman: Explaining to younger members of work you used to have to ring a phoneline to hear the Test match score. They're laughing at me.

  171. 1319: 

    Ashes fever continues to grip the country and 1.685m UK browsers followed the action via this live text on day two. There were also 214,000 users listening to Test Match Special via Radio 5 live sports extra. BBC Sport continues to be the place to be for live text and radio commentary of cricket's most historic contest.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and Download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

  172. 1317:  
    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge
    Trent Bridge

    "Graham Carvey from Wolverhampton turns 60 today, and his caring brothers have chosen to remind him of his advancing years by gifting him with an inflatable zimmer frame."

  173. 1314:  
    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge
    Trent Bridge

    "With the weekend approaching there's more of a festive feel to Trent Bridge today, with plenty of fancy dress on show, including this rather fetching offering."

  174. 1312: 

    It might be tense out in the middle but there's a few cool characters knocking around the Trent Bridge concourses today. BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham has bumped into a few of them...


    Rory McMahon: The criticism levelled at Cook reflects the mentality that demands instant success & has ruined football, anyone want that?

    Jordan King: Don't worry guys, Prior's got this! When was the last time he failed twice with the bat in a Test match? Big game player.

    Joe Blackmore: How long before Hildreth gets a chance ahead of Bell or Bairstow? Been consistently great with the bat for SCCC, deserves a shot.

  176. 1311: 

    Thanks Stephan. How are we all? It's still nervy stuff, isn't it? By the way, get stuck into Test Match Special during the lunch break because Blowers is about to try his hand at rapping. Seriously.

  177. 1308: 

    I agree with Glenn McGrath, the Aussies are on top and can take complete control with wickets after lunch. However, the way the pitch is playing, England could fancy defending anything over 200. A fascinating afternoon lies ahead of us. Here to talk you through that is Marc Higginson.

    Former Australia seamer Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "The match is slightly in Australia's favour, it is hard work to score but equally it's hard to take wickets. An important period coming up after lunch, it's not far until the new ball. If England can get through it they'll be pretty happy, if Australia can do some damage they'll be right on top of this Test match."

    Listen to BBC Test Match Special over the lunchtime break.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "Australia's morning, no two ways about it. A lead of just 92 is still a good 160 runs shy of the absolute minimum England will have wanted at the start of play. Another gripping session of Test cricket, another day beautifully poised."

  180. 1304: 
    LUNCH- Eng 157-4 (Bell 20*, Bairstow 13* - lead by 92)

    It will be Ashton Agar bowling the traditional one-over-of-spin-before-lunch. Slip and a short leg, single to Bairstow, leaving Bell to do the pre-interval work. In comes silly point, Agar stays over the wicket, Bell thrusts out a pad and heads off for a sandwich. What a session. Australia take the upper hand, but how many can they chase? England lead by 92 with six second-innings wickets in hand.

    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge

    "At the risk of putting the mockers on him, this feels like a big innings for Ian Bell, whose average has been heading south of late. In his golden year of 2011, he scored 950 runs at an average of 118.75, in 2012, he dipped to 672 at 33.6 and so far in 2013 he has scored 270 runs at 30. Since scoring 235 against at The Oval in August 2011, he has scored just one century in his last 35 Test innings."

  182. 1259: 
    CLOSE!- Eng 156-4 (Bell 20*, Bairstow 12*)

    Batting really is not easy. The pacy Pattinson gets one to stick in the mid-wicket, will Bell almost offering attack up to cover. Next ball, a huge in-ducker arrows into Bell's pads - he would have been in trouble was it not for the inside edge. Words from Pattinson, Bell shakes his head. Will we get another over in before the break? We will... the 72nd of the innings.

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    James Taylor: I have a feeling (of hope) that 200 may be just enough. Pressure of batting last could really get to the Aussies on turning pitch.

    David Gibson: All of you criticising Cook will all be hanging your heads in shame by the end of summer!

    Stu Orford: Is that Merv Hughes on the BBC feed at 12:39?

  184. 1256: 
    Eng 155-3 (lead by 90)

    Australia working so well as unit here, skilful reverse-swing bowling being backed up by buzzard-like fielding. Starc, hiding the ball as he runs in, testing the England pair with deliveries that duck away towards the waiting slips. Another over ticks by, maybe only one more before lunch.


    Fenners, via text on 81111: Bar Jimmy Anderson's spell yesterday, England have been second best throughout this match, and a defeat would be a welcome wake-up call for all concerned. In should come Compton, Bopara, Onions, out should go Bell, Broad, Bairstow. Selectors need to pick the team on merit, not just who their favourites are.

    Kesh, London: That was the first time as captain that Cook failed to convert a fifty to a hundred.

    Dave, Rugby: Don't know what all the panic is about, 150 will be an ample lead against the fragile Aussie batting line-up.

    Kevin Pietersen
  186. 1252: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW - NOT OUT- Eng 151-4

    Watson, only two runs conceded from six overs, is withdrawn, replaced by the extra pace of Pattinson. My word! That's swung a mile, Bairstow helpless as he leaves outside off stump, only to see the ball home in on the sticks. Safely past, but only just. Another in-ducker, Bairstow shuffling to get his dancing feet out of the way. Appeal, not out. Looks to be going miles down the leg side, but the Aussies are ticking and want a review. As we thought, that wouldn't have hit a third set.

  187. 1246: 
    Eng 150-4 (lead by 85)

    Finally some loose stuff for England to feed on. Ian Bell, hungry, gobbles up a wide one from Starc to back-cut for four. Starc adjusts too far, two more off the pads. The lead creeps, inches, edges, towards 100.


    Barry Strudwick: All those who wanted Strauss to retire last year should hang their heads - Cook is not the answer as skipper.

    Mark Benjamin: Love the way some English fans are now lambasting KP. He just top scored for us! Oh how fickle we are.

    Jeff Ando: I can't decide if England are arrogant/complacent or if that's just our media. Either way, it looks like a contest now.

  189. 1243: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 144-4 (Bell 13*, Bairstow 7*)

    Close! Bell rapped on the pad by a Watson in-ducker, but ump Dharmasena shakes the UFO-like sunhat. Would have just shaved leg stump, so a review would have been futile. Then a controlled edge, two scampered, every run cheered.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce analyses Mitchell Starc at Trent Bridge

    "Mitchell Starc going round the wicket to young Jonny Bairstow, having bowled him with an in-swinger going over the wicket in the first innings. He's getting some reverse-swing, bending the ball away from the batsman - a good tactic, as Bairstow likes to be positive and drive. Two slips and a gully waiting for any injudicious edge."


    Michael: Can't help feeling that the wicket of Cook could be curtains for England, can anyone else stand up and put on a big score?

    Mark Nicholson: Got to be looking to give them a target of at least 300 to be chasing. No where near that right now.

    Paul Johnston: Love the little pic of Lord Boycs of Boycott you use, reminds me of Chuck Connors in old TV western 'Rifle Man'

  192. 1239: 
    Eng 141-4 (lead by 76)

    Once again, the god of Test cricket has worked his magic to keep us riveted. Earlier, England were coasting, seemingly set to move towards a match-winning position. But Australia's patience was rewarded, Cook and Pietersen were removed and now, with the ball swinging, it is the hosts under pressure. Fascinating stuff. By the way, who would be the god of Test cricket? WG Grace? The Don? Richie Benaud?

    Trent Bridge
    Former Australia seamer Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "The wicket is quite slow but there is a fair bit of reverse swing and I'm sure Jimmy Anderson - a great exponent of reverse swing - wouldn't mind seeing that. It's hard work for the batsmen to score runs but also for the bowlers to blast anyone out."

    Listen to match commentary on BBC Test Match Special.

  194. 1234: 
    Eng 141-4 (Bell 11*, Bairstow 7*)

    Clarke, the busy skipper, directs his men this way and that from first slip then crouches with hands resting on knees as Watson examines Bell. Even a full toss goes unpunished - Watson has bowled five overs but is yet to concede a run.


    Chris, barely working in Chiswick, TMS inbox: Will Bell and Bairstow be British boundary bashing barbarians? Or will the wiley wombats whip our wizards out with wondrous wickets?

  196. 1231: 
    Eng 141-4 (lead by 76)

    The Aussie seamers are now making this old ball sing concerto. It's Mitchell Starc's turn to get the ball reverse-swinging away from this right-handed pair. Left-armer over, then around the wicket, this is a huge Test for England between now and lunch. If they get through that, the new ball is only 16 overs away. Batting might not be easy for some time.

    Ashton Agar

    Ramesh, via text on 81111: Agar would be spared for thinking what's the big deal about Test cricket. You turn up, hit a century (almost) then get the opposing captain's wicket.

    Rob, London: Touch of deja vu about the play this morning so looking forward to Jimmy's 98.

    Kevin, Peterborough: Re: Rob Skipton 11:30. Nothing wrong with the name Kevin - it's a name of champions. A Kevin once won the 400m at the Peterbrough Schools Athletics Championships.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge
    Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke

    "Michael Clarke's had a good morning - a brilliant catch to dismiss his opposite number Cook, his bowlers reducing the odds on a shock Australia victory with every wicket. In under a sun-hat at first slip, he drops into a yoga pose between deliveries to ease his iffy back - cobra pose, I believe."

  199. 1227: 
    Eng 136-4 (Bell 8*, Bairstow 5*)

    An odd move to replace James Pattinson with Shane Watson? Maybe, but Watson has often been a top exponent of reverse swing. He hangs the ball outside off stump; a slip, gully, short cover and short mid-wicket waiting for the mistake. A big hooper back in to Bairstow, but he's up to the task. England under the pump.

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    Owain Connors: Kevin Pietersen has the patience and tactical nous of a 5 year old.....

    Paul Denny: Head in me hands at me desk. Not only has the cafe run out of baguettes for me lunch but Captain Cook is back in the pavilion.

    Russell Moore: Whatever lead we manage I can see it being a close result for either side. Perfect cricket wicket in many ways.

  201. 1221: 
    Eng 136-4 (lead by 71)

    Jonny Bairstow, with a tendency to play across the line, gets English hearts jumping as he does just that to Agar. "Caaatttcccchhh" is the cry from behind the stumps, but there's no chance to mid-wicket. The tenseometer has been cranked up inside Trent Bridge. Early lunch? No thanks, there's a Test match hanging in the balance.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce analyses Ian Bell at Trent Bridge

    "Significant pressure on Ian Bell in this hour before lunch with both KP and Captain Cook gone in quick succession. Bell averages just 21 in 16 innings at home to Australia, but his country needs him to make big runs after Ashton Agar's key first Test wicket.

    "What's Captain Clarke's plan for Bell? James Pattinson is getting reverse-swing with this old ball, so there's a man in at shortish midwicket for the catch, plus two slips and a gully in for the edge induced by bounce or a nervous prod. Mid-on and off, point, cover - any thoughts on moving in a short leg for the inside-edge onto pads off that in-swinger?"

  203. 1218: 
    Eng 133-4 (lead by 68)

    A very similar morning unfolding to that of yesterday. Then, Australia coasted before losing five wickets for nine runs. Bell, Aussies buzzing all around him, quells the excitement with a straight bat to Pattinson.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge
    Alastair Cook

    "An exponential explosion in queues at the Trent Bridge bars after the dismissals of KP and Cook, a thundering bison charge of sun-creamed smeared punters looking to drown their disappointment."

  205. 1216: 
    Eng 133-4 (Bell 8*, Bairstow 2*)

    Jonny Bairstow and Ian Bell, your time to stand up is now. In what is effectively a one-innings match, England are 68-4. How many would be too many for Australia?

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "The game turned on its head in the last 10 minutes, brilliant catch from Clarke. Every now and then Agar bowls a top spinner, whether he means to or not I don't know but he gets his wrist slightly wrong and it creates an over spin. This is the moment Australia have to win the match, they have to grab another couple of wickets, they can't allow a partnership to develop."

  207. 1211: 
    WICKET- Cook c Clarke b Agar 50 (Eng 131-4 59.1 ovs)

    What a catch! A first Test wicket for Ashton Agar and it's the mammoth scalp of the England skipper. Alastair Cook, just after passing 50, looks to turn on the leg side, but the ball is spinning out of the rough and he can only get a leading edge. The ball loops to slip, where Michael Clarke leaps goalkeeper-style to his left to cling on. The momentum has turned, the advantage is back with the Aussies. England lead by only 66.

    Listen to Test Match Special's commentary of the wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Root 5), 2-11 (Trott 0), 3-121 (Pietersen 64), 4-131 (Cook 50)

    First innings: England 215; Australia 280. Match scorecard.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's one of the most pleasant sights in modern cricket the Ian Bell cover drive, beautiful foot movement, times it, keeps his shape, with that front elbow nice and high."

  209. 1210: 
    50 FOR ALASTAIR COOK- Eng 131-3

    I wonder how much the result of this match rests on the innings being played by Alastair Cook. Concentration and patience personified for over four hours, he goes to 50 with a single on the leg side. From 164 balls, it equals his slowest half-century in Test matches. Bell, like a man who has spent all morning in the nets, gets off the mark with a wonderful cover drive.


    Simon Aindow: Should have reviewed it Kev. You just never know with Erasmus.

    Greg Double: Always questions about Ian Bell's ability to play under would be the perfect time to answer those critics.

    Chris Gunn: Knew Pietersen wouldn't hang around, he gets too involved in trying to force runs.

  211. 1205: 
    Eng 122-3 (Cook 49*, Bell 0*)

    Ian Bell, you owe England a score. The Warwickshire man is England's number five, entering the action at a pivotal moment. Remember, England are effectively 57-3. With a slip and short leg for company, he begins by defending the accurate Agar.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special
    Kevin Pietersen is bowled

    "On this sort of pitch there will be inside edges that will go on to the stumps. When the ball goes low it's inside edged that do players. It's a pity, he played rather well, but it's a big wicket for Australia. They've got a big plan against Cook and have stopped him scoring. There are only certain players like Pietersen, maybe even Bell if he gets in, that can score at a reasonable tempo."

    Listen to match commentary on Test Match Special.

  213. 1200: 
    WICKET- Pietersen b Pattinson 64 (Eng 121-3 57 ovs)

    What a waste. What a boost for Australia. What a blow to England. Kevin Pietersen, who looked like he had mastered the method of run-scoring on this slow pitch, lets his aggression get the better of him. Aiming a loose back-foot drive at a wide ball from James Pattinson, he drags the ball onto his stumps. Without looking back, he tucks his batter under his arm while Australia begin big celebrations. Big moment.

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary of the wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Root 5), 2-11 (Trott 0), 3-121 (Pietersen 64)

    First innings: England 215; Australia 280. Match scorecard.

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    Chris Wilson: Cook is set to bat all day, regardless of how many runs he scores. That's good enough for me, calm down everyone.

    Mark Duffell: A left-arm spinner bowling to Kevin Pietersen. Wonder who Ashton Agar's first Test wicket will be?

    Ted Edmondson: I'm sorry. Did I just read (11.40) Boycs complaining that Cook is being OVER defensive? Definition of irony, right there.

  215. 1155: 
    Eng 116-2 (Cook 47*, Pietersen 60*)

    Chatter around Trent Bridge, the crowd occasionally breaking away to applaud this steady start from the England pair. Agar, deep tan, bouncing in. Two singles taken.

  216. 1152: 
    Eng 114-2 (49 ahead)

    James Pattinson, right-arm open-chested action, gets his first extended look at Pietersen. Hello, there's the first big sign of reverse swing, the ball hooping back into the hulking KP. Defended nonchalantly, then a single pinched to keep the strike.

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    Neil Spofforth: Proper Test cricket this innings. Loving the Ashes.

    Tim Witherden: Re: Rob, Skipton 11:30. More unlucky if your first born child is a daughter!

    Jamie Chalklin: Jimmy Anderson to get a ton today as the eleventh batsmen.

  218. 1149: 
    Ashton Agar

    Indeed it will be the left-arm spin of record-breaking number 11 Ashton Agar. "Good morning, Ashton. My name is Alastair Cook, the captain you frustrated for so long yesterday." Cook, now awake after over-sleeping, skips down the track to belt over mid-wicket for four, bringing up the 100 partnership. That's the 13th time this pair have shared three figures.


    Jaimie Brooks in Manchester, TMS inbox: I've been impressed with Alastair Cook's mental strength in this innings. He's not in the greatest of touch, but he's doing a good job for his team by only playing deliveries he needs to. It's not so much 'can't Cook', as 'won't Cook'.

  220. 1145: 
    Eng 108-2 (lead by 43)

    Almost to check if Alastair Cook's heart is still beating, James Pattinson serves up a wide long hop that even the comatose England skipper can't fail to cut behind point for four. Did that boundary bring the biggest cheer of the day so far? Captain Clarke waves to the dressing room and makes a gesture that looks like he's calling for a Hannibal Lecter mask. I suspect that means we're set for some spin.


    John Rigby in Cape Town, TMS inbox: I have to come to the defence of my fellow countryman. Marais Erasmus made the right decision regarding Jonathan Trott. There was nothing on snicko and nothing on hot spot. The fact that the other angle was malfunctioning isn't Marais's fault. So a South Africa gave a South African out and there's a South African at the wicket! This is an Ashes match isn't it?

  222. 1140: 
    Eng 104-2 (Cook 38*, Pietersen 57*)

    You feel that Pietersen is warming to something special. Mind you, a rabbit that doesn't know which end of the bat to hold would fancy tucking into a Peter Siddle full toss. Driven back down the ground for a boundary.

    Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "The problem for Cook is the Aussies have worked out they're going to bowl wide of off-stump and are not going to give him anything to work off his legs which he's very good at. Also when you get into a very defensive frame of mind when a bad ball does come along you can't time it, he's got over defensive."

  224. 1136: 
    Eng 100-2 (lead by 35)

    The first bowling change of the day, James Pattinson replacing fellow pacer Peter Siddle. A lovely delivery to begin, moving past Pietersen's outside edge before Cook's play-and-miss becomes his first false shot of the morning. Not lots happening for the seamers, it might not be long before we see whizzkid Ashton Agar.


    Totum: Is Cook actually there? Or has my computer broken? His score isn't moving.

    Dave Hadfield: Pietersen averages 50 in Test cricket yet has scored 31 50s in 163 innings. Stats are a funny thing.

    BromPhoto: Blowers aka The Notorious B.L.O. rapping with Duckworth Lewis on TMS [at lunchtime]. Possible band name; Rage Against The Sightscreen?

  226. 1130: 
    50 FOR KEVIN PIETERSEN- Eng 99-2 (lead by 34)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Well played, Kevin Pietersen. Digging in for the team last night, his acceleration this morning has taken him to a 31st Test half-century. Naturally, it comes in flamboyant fashion, a Starc half-volley driven through the covers with a flourish. Although the 120-ball effort is his fourth-slowest, you'd fancy that two sessions of Pietersen would go a long way to winning this game for England.


    Steve Ewen, Harrogate, via text on 81111: What could be in the script for today? Century from Johnny Bairstow?

    Rob, Skipton: More nervous right now than I ever have been following England. Will my first born child be named Kevin? If he scores a ton then yes. Unlucky son.

    Agar-nonymous: In future when my batting is described as 'Agaricultural' can I take it as a compliment ?

  228. 1126: 
    Eng 94-2 (Cook 38*, Pietersen 48*)

    Since last night the Australia plan has been built on patience, discipline, line and length. Siddle and Cook have re-settled into their battle of wills. The big-chested Siddle charging in to serve up bowling-machine accuracy on off stump. Cook, the concentration of a surgeon, patience of a monk, is happy to wait.

    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge
    Graham Onions

    "Graham Onions, seen here speaking to England fitness coach Huw Bevan on the Trent Bridge boundary, may be restricted to 12th man duties for this Test, but with concerns over the fitness of Stuart Broad and the form of Steven Finn, he may well find himself thrust into Ashes action at Lord's. In three Tests against Australia in the 2009 Ashes, he performed admirably, taking 10 wickets at 30.30."

  230. 1121: 
    Eng 94-2 (lead by 29)

    The third morning has brought a different Kevin Pietersen from the one we saw last night. On the second evening, KP was wrestling with himself, straining every sinew to show patience for the cause. This morning, he seems more keen to attack, pulling out a bullet square drive to send Starc crashing to the point fence.

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    Darren Longden: Alastair Cook needs to bat around KP and let KP play his game for England get a good score.

    The only Tony: All is set for Cook and KP to bat all day, big hundred each. Sensible play the order of the day, plenty of time left.

    Matt Graham: Is there such a thing as a non-crucial session in the Ashes?

  232. 1118: 
    Eng 90-2 (Cook 38*, Pietersen 44*)

    Bustling tree-chopper Siddle is around the wicket to Cook, who looks to be in exactly the same patient mindset as last evening. A good, probing line from Siddle, but Cook's bat and pad form an impenetrable barrier. A maiden.

    Former England spinner Phil Tufnell, BBC Test Match Special

    "We were saying about needing a nice dull day, that rarely happens with KP at the crease."

  234. 1113: 
    Eng 90-2 (lead by 25)
    Trent Bridge

    With the sun shining, this once again feels like a batting day. A slowish pitch, so batsmen will need patience. Bowlers will find no conventional swing, but there will be some spin and a hint of reverse swing, as Starc gets to Pietersen. KP, so patient for so long, tries to manufacture a whip through the leg-side, but a leading edge flies through cover for four. Lucky boy.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "Australia skipper Michael Clarke with a relatively defensive field for Cook- one widish slip, a gully, point, extra cover, mid-off, mid-on, shortish mid-wicket, deep square leg and fine leg. It talks of containment rather than aggression, pressure through parsimony instead of raw pace. For KP, Clarke is more creative - a very short mid-on, just in front and to the right of non-striker Cook, hoping to benefit from a slightly uppish, bottom-handed drive."

  236. 1108: 
    Eng 86-2 (Cook 38*, Pietersen 40*)

    A bizarre moment to start the day picked up by the TV cameras. Umpire Kumar Dharmasena, trying to transport the ball to the Aussies, wound up a big right-arm throw to no-one. The ball bounced off the pavilion stairs and ended at the feet of the emerging England batsmen. Aussie skipper Michael Clarke asking "can we have our ball back please?" Peter Siddle resumes, Cook working the first single of the day, with Pietersen almost foxed by a low full toss. Inside-edge for four.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge

    "While their styles might be contrasting, Pietersen and Cook have frequently proved the most complementary of batting partners. In tandem in Test cricket they have compiled 3,300 runs, at a higher average (66.42) than any other England pair except the legendary Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe (87.86). And the overall run total of those two greats is within reach today - just 18 runs off at the start of play."

  238. 1103: 
    Eng 80-2 (lead by 15)

    Left-armer Starc, dark-haired and loose-limbed, is immediately around the wicket to the imposing Pietersen. Blue sky, burning sun, Trent Bridge pretty much full for the first over. Full length, Pietersen in good order, but a maiden.

    Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge, Chief sports writer, BBC Sport
    Kevin Pietersen

    "So far in this innings Kevin Pietersen has been as restrained as he is usually flamboyant. His slowest ever Test half-century came off 134 balls against India at Lord's two summers ago, but his 35 runs so far here have taken 98 balls. That day at Lord's the initial slow start was followed by a rapid and spectacular acceleration - can he do the same here today to take the game away from Australia?"

  240. 1058: 

    Umpires? Australia fielders? England batsmen? Jerusalem played on the tannoy? All ticked off. No more chat of brilliant debuts or dodgy decisions, it's time for action. Mitchell Starc to Kevin Pietersen. And, there's still just enough time to catch up with yesterday's Ashes. Listen to Pint Sized Ashes: Day two in under two minutes on the BBC Radio 5 live Ashes index. Let's play.

    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge
    James Anderson

    "England supporters will be hoping not to see a repeat of this too soon today. The man trudging back to the Pavilion with bat in hand is their number 11 Jimmy Anderson."

    Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath, BBC Test Match Special

    "The pitch is dry but it is holding up, there are a few rough patches and there is no pace in it. Australia will want to come out today, pick up some early wickets but England will want to build in the first session.

    "ICC have a job to do for the game in the middle, the broadcasters are about entertaining, they are always adding new initiatives. There will always be a difference between how much technology both want. What happened yesterday, the Trott issue, should not have happened. There was human error more than anything else and it needs ironing out. If that happened to Australia, we would be blowing up too and the English would say "that's cricket".

  243. 1055: 

    Let's hope that any alien invasion doesn't get in the way of a huge first hour or two. With the Ashton Agar-inspired Australia taking a first-innings lead of 65, England, in the shape of Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, begin today on 80-2, effectively 15-2. You fancy that the winners of the first session will go much of the way to being 1-0 up in this series.


    Joe in London, via text on 81111: Could we please stop talking about 'crucial sessions'? Has this game not already shown us every session is crucial?

    Adam Davies, Leeds: Whilst the 1st innings & Agar in particular was awesome, in the cold light of day: Australia bowled their best and England batted poorly. England bowled decent not exceptional and Agar produced a once in a lifetime innings. Only need one of those things to change in England's favour and they will be out of sight. England too good for the Aussies.

    Iain in London: Anyone know of any big screens in London to watch today's action, got the day off and want to make the most of it!

  245. 1053: 

    Thanks Marc. In two days of Ashes cricket we've had drama, excitement, tension and the unexpected. What next? Doosra-bowling aliens landing behind the Trent Bridge pavilion and playing Waltzing Matilda on Mike Gatting's belly?


    Peter Wood: Today England need to bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat and bat.

    Neil Chamberlain: Amazing Agar, great knock yesterday but form is temporary, class is permanent, lets see if he's amazing after 5 Tests.

    Alex Briggs: Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ashton Agar, Nicholas Hoult as Ali Cook and King Joffrey as Michael Clarke.

  247. 1050: 

    Right then, that's the build-up almost done and dusted. Stephan Shemilt has walked into the live text saloon and is thirsty for some action. Is England's pint pot half full or half empty? Let's find out...


    Richie Barnes in Hove, TMS inbox: It's effectively a one innings game now with England 15-2 on a great batting wicket. If England bat all day they will be 315+, too much for the Aussies. It will be interesting to see how much the ball turns and whether the Aussies get any reverse swing this morning with the ball 43 overs old. A crucial two sessions coming up.

  249. 1047: 

    Kevin Pietersen has had his struggles against left-arm spinners, but against Australian left-arm spinners he has scored 132 runs off 159 balls (SR: 83.01) and been dismissed only once: by Xavier Doherty at Adelaide in 2010 (for 227). Australia left-arm spinners he has faced are Doherty, Agar, Michael Clarke and Michael Beer.

  250. 1045: 

    There was some interesting chat on BBC Radio 5 live last night, with Ed Smith suggesting that 98 is just as good as a hundred - especially when it comes with a world record. He compared it to scoring two goals in the World Cup final and then being asked if you are gutted not to score a hat-trick...

    Former England batsman Ed Smith, BBC Test Match Special commentator

    "It was an amazing day yesterday. The fact Ashton Agar missed a 100, the guy played fantastically well, with innocence and joy and fun, it was as though he was playing in the back garden with his brother. I don't think the selectors thought he would be the highest scorer on his debut.

    "The idea that stepping up to Test cricket is daunting is rather outdated. Everyone is watching it, it is available globally and player come in thinking they are ready for the occasion."

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "I would start with Ashton Agar and then Mitchell Starc, he has been outstanding so far. Australia bowled wide of the stumps yesterday, you need to be hitting the stumps. They will bowl straighter today with the split field. If this partnership builds and develops, it looks the kind of pitch that anything over 200 will be challenging chase. For Australia to win, they have to be batting today. The pitch is dry, will see low bounce, reverse-swing too."

  253. 1040: 

    It's going to be another scorcher at Trent Bridge today, so I expect there will be a few lobsters knocking around Nottingham this evening as the sun takes full effect. Apparently it will reach temperatures of 26/27 degrees Celcius today, but there's a 20% risk of thunderstorms tomorrow. As for next week's Lord's Test - there is no sign of the weather breaking. Cracking news.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan, BBC Test Match Special

    "The last hour and half last night was old school traditional cricket with the odd leave which we didn't see. It is going to calm down and the first hour is crucial. England and Kevin Pietersen have to make use of the 37 overs before the new ball. I would expect them to be more pro-active and positive, putting Australia under pressure. There is a lot of pressure on that middle order for England though."


    Richard S MacDonald: I think KP will be out early doors. Then Bell will post a good score and silence the critics!

    Alex Briggs: There's only a certain amount of engrossing cricket my nerves can stand. Cap'n Cook to grind out a double hundred please.

    Chris Bowen: My life in KP and Cook's hands. Start well, I'll take this afternoon off to watch. Start badly, I'd rather be at work.

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce at Trent Bridge
    Australia warm up at Trent Bridge

    "Australia's bowlers warming up on the practice pitches adjacent to the main strip, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle charging in at one stump, the slip cordon practising their pouching on the outfield nearby. Another clear, sun-kissed English summer's morning, anticipation ripe in the warm air. After two extraordinary days, what will day three of this Ashes conjure up for us?"

  257. 1033: 

    We've established that England have plenty of work to do with the bat, resuming on 80-2, but the Three Lions will take a certain amount of comfort from the fact James Anderson and Graeme Swann will relish bowling last on this wicket. So just how good is Jimmy?

    "He's incredible," said Anderson's mentor, Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson. "Every stage that is put in front of him he performs exceptionally well. He's feared by all the opposition and carries that well. It's something you have to live up to. He uses that ball in conventional and reverse swing conditions to terrific effect."

  258. 1025:  

    Just a quick heads up that the Test Match Special team will be hitting the airwaves on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra in five minutes' time. You can also listen via the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport website app.

    At lunch, Henry Blofeld will be singing along with The Duckworth Lewis Method while England team analyst and sister of Stuart, Gemma Broad, is the guest at tea.

    I can't wait to hear Blowers have a sing-song. I reckon he hammers the karaoke every weekend.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbccricket

    Phil Craven: What we need today is an uneventful, steady, boring day at the crease! Do we want that?

    Ben Fox: I think once the nerves have settled, England will come into their own - Australia haven't got much to throw at them.

    Matt Southcombe: This Test match only really begins today. Huge session for England coming up.

  260. 1022: 

    If you want to follow the Ashes on social media then we have some suggestions for the key BBC accounts to follow during the summer. On Twitter, @bbcsport will provide you with all the breaking news and action on the field as it happens; @bbctms will provide you with all the match facts and statistics to impress your friends, and @bbc5live will alert you to all the best audio to listen to on a match day and a non-match day.

  261. 1021: 

    Don't worry if you have to go out and about during this series, you can follow every moment of this year's Ashes with the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport app. On the radio app, you can listen live to Test Match Special and download the Aggers and Boycott close-of-play podcasts. The BBC's ever-popular live text commentary, with analysis and insight from our reporters at the ground, is available on the BBC Sport app.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and Download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

    Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "England need to bat all day. They cannot afford to play extravagantly because they will lose wickets and lose the game. It will be like a war of attrition with Australia trying to squeeze the runs. England need to make sure they give their bowlers something to bowl at."

  263. 1018: 

    You don't need to be a boffin to realise that England need big knocks from Captain Cook and KP today. It was real attritional stuff in the final hour last night and it might be more of the same today. England need to be aware that wickets tend to fall in clusters in the morning session at Trent Bridge - just ask Australia. KP, you have been warned.

  264. 1015: 

    Alastair Cook ended day two on 7,574 Test runs and Kevin Pietersen on 7,548. They both have a chance of going past Colin Cowdrey, who is currently the sixth highest run-scorer for England with 7,624.


    Ross Lawson in Norwich, TMS inbox: This day is such an important one, for the remainder of the series as well as the Test. Australia will have learnt that England are a team who can become very frustrated when things don't go their way, and they should use that to their advantage when they begin their chase. For England, they need some resilience up front, ideally losing just one wicket before lunch. It's a big game for Jonny Bairstow, but he may need support from Broad and Swann, who really need to buck up their batting.

  266. 1008: 

    Former Australian opener Geoff Marsh is another who has spent time coaching Ashton Agar - and was a little less surprised than others about the world record knock of 98.

    "I wasn't surprised by his ability to bat because we saw last year for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield that he played some terrific knocks, under pressure, just like his innings yesterday," Marsh told BBC Radio 5 live.

    "He's a terrific kid with a lovely family and a real passion for the game. I've sat with Justin Langer all week and we said Ash has to play in this Test match and when we saw him batting down at number 11 we were confident he would do well."

  267. 1005: 

    Other than Shane Warne, I cannot recall too many more spectacular entrances into Ashes cricket than Ashton Agar's yesterday. Even Jarrad Loughman, who coached the youngster between the ages of 15 and 18 at Richmond Cricket Club in Melbourne, admitted the innings came as a surprise.

    "It was surreal," Loughman told BBC Radio 5 live. "Ashton went out with the Aussies in all sorts of trouble and to peel off 98 runs in his first Test was just amazing. I was another Australian sitting late watching some exciting Test cricket.

    "I'd like to say I saw it coming but it was a bit of a surprise. Ash has always had great ability with the bat. His left-arm spin is his prime strength but he has always been very skilful in terms of his batting and also in the field."


    Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker: Flying back shortly. Try and hang in there, until lunch at least, England. I've booked a spot on the sofa. #Ashes

  269. 1000: 

    The highest winning fourth-innings total in a Test at Trent Bridge is 284-6 by England against New Zealand in 2004. However, there have been four higher fourth-innings totals at the ground: 440 by NZ versus England in 1973 (lost), 345 by NZ versus England in 1983 (lost), 335 by Australia versus England in 1930 (lost) and 290-4 by England versus Australia in 1972 (drawn).

  270. 0959:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Michael Vaughan has been talking to BBC Radio 5 live this morning and, like everyone else, there was just one name on his lips - Ashton Agar.

    "Australia were a team that looked beaten then all of a sudden this 19-year-old arrived at the wicket and you could see straight away he had all the basics sorted," said Vaughan, on Agar's world record 98.

    "He moved to the ball when it was full, he went back when it was short and he played some wonderful drives. The best thing was the way he played Graeme Swann.

    "Swann is the best spinner in the world and he just smashed him over his head for six. He looked high class and he's never going to bat number 11 again."

  271. 0953: 
    Andrew Flintoff consoles Brett Lee

    It sounds like the match could be decided by the smallest of margins, and former England captain Michael Vaughan suggested on Twitter last night that it's building up to a similar climax to Edgbaston in 2005. England won that match by just two runs - are your nerves ready for another jangler like that?

  272. 0952: 

    So who is going to win the game from this position? Nathan Bracken reckons England, currently 80-2 and 15 runs ahead, need to score 300 more runs to feel safe.

    "There's a reason why big totals aren't chased down on day five and the more runs that England get it means it's that little bit harder for Australia to chase down the total," said Bracken.

    "I saw enough from the Australian bowlers in the first innings to challenge England. If Australia can keep them to 250 they can win but if England get to 300 it's going to be extremely difficult."

  273. 0947: 

    So how do you get Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen out on a flat wicket on day three? Former Australia fast bowler Nathan Bracken had a chat with BBC Sport last night, and offered his countrymen a few pointers.

    "It becomes a patience game, a game of trying to control where they score their runs and make them do something different," said Bracken. "We saw from Cook in the first innings something he hasn't done in a long time, driving at the ball. Normally he just lets it go through, but he's gone back now to playing the way everyone's seen for the past two years.

    "Pietersen is going to be aggressive and he is going to take risks which gives you more opportunities for a wicket."

  274. 0942: 

    Alastair Cook has scored six hundreds and averages 61.25 in the third innings of a Test when England have had a first-innings deficit.

    In third innings of Tests, Alastair Cook has an England record 10 centuries and is one behind the world record of Kumar Sangakkara (11).

    BBC Sport's Sam Sheringham at Trent Bridge
    Trent Bridge

    "It's warm and bright in Nottingham, the sun just starting to burn through the morning haze. It feels like a day to bat, and bat long."

  276. 0939: 

    Former Australia batsman Justin Langer told the Sydney Morning Herald that Ashton Agar reminds him of the celebrated "Calypso cricket" generation of West Indies players.

    Langer, who coaches Agar in Western Australia, says the 19-year-old racked up his sensational debut score of 98 in a loose, easy style reminiscent of 1970s batting greats Clive Lloyd and Roy Fredericks.

    "He's so loose and relaxed," Langer said. "It's very rare to see young players who are like that - they tend to be so coached and so mechanical, I guess because of the professional era we're in.

    "His arms are like a hose in a swimming pool. And all the great athletes, if you think about it, they're really loose. That's why he was able to play through the leg side, through the offside, play the hook shots, hit back over the top, and play along the ground. That's always exciting."

  277. 0936: 

    Ashton Agar's stunning knock of 98 was inspired by Aussie legend Steve Waugh's hundred against England at the SCG a decade ago.

    "One of my favourite Ashes moments was Steve Waugh hitting four runs off the last ball of the day to make his hundred and to make a hundred in an Ashes Test would have been awesome. But I'm very happy," the 19-year-old told The Age.

  278. 0934: 

    What's your morning routine like? I trust it involves a quick flick through BBC Sport's Ashes gossip column?

    In there today, the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel says Ashton Agar produced one of the most incredible innings in the history of the Ashes, and even England fans groaned when he failed to make his debut century.

    "They wanted the young man to get his deserved century, just as much as the visitors from the Southern Hemisphere," writes Samuel. "Agar the 'Orrible was a term of endearment really, an acknowledgement that he had horribly turned this Test match and the scoreboard on its head, putting England on the back foot again after they appeared to have Australia skittled."


    John Andrews: I predict that Ashton Agar will be dropped for the second Test. Although his batting is top drawer, his spin is no threat to KP.

    Ian Savage: If Pietersen could repeat his double ton and partnership with Cook from Adelaide 2011 today I would be very happy.

  280. 0927: 
    Jonathan Trott

    However, while we all enjoyed watching a previously unheard of teenager fulfilling our wildest dreams out in the middle, there was a spot of controversy at Trent Bridge yesterday.

    England batsman Jonathan Trott was given out lbw for a golden duck and the home side have asked the International Cricket Council for clarification on the dismissal.

    Trott was given not out by on-field umpire Aleem Dar but dismissed by third umpire Marais Erasmus despite the key HotSpot camera angle being unavailable to the official.

    Pace bowler James Anderson said: "Trotty hit the ball and was given not out on the field. I'm not quite sure what went on after that. It's pretty disappointing really."

  281. 0923: 

    Ashton Agar's innings was so epic, it prompted a tweet from the Australian prime minister as cricket supporters down under stayed up through the night to watch history unfold. However, just like his batting in the middle, Agar's demeanour was cooler than the other side of your pillow when speaking to the media at the close of play.

    "When I walked to the crease I was thinking we were in a little bit of trouble but the wicket was good," Agar told BBC Sport.

    "Phil Hughes told me to take it ball by ball. We just played the moment and forgot about everything else. It was good fun, exciting and I enjoyed it.

    "I have always tried to play freely and naturally and I don't really get too nervous. There are a lot of people who would love to be doing what I'm doing."

  282. 0919: 

    While Ashton Agar will probably be cutting out those back-page headlines and putting them on his bedroom wall, perhaps the greatest compliment I heard about him yesterday came from Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special.

    The former England captain, who knows a thing or two about batting, compared some of Agar's strokeplay to that of legendary West Indies all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers. Now that's something to tell your mates down the pub.

  283. 0915: 

    Guess what? The papers have had a field day with the Ashton Agar story. The Daily Star's headline is "Ashtonishing" while The Independent have plumped for "Amazing Agar". Throw in the Racing Post's "Wizard of Oz" effort and you get the picture.

  284. 0910: 

    Ashton Agar is probably waking up with bruises all over his arms this morning - as he pinches himself to see if everything that happened yesterday was actually true. The 19-year-old walked to the crease with his side tottering on 117-9, and left with a world record score of 98 in his sky rocket and instant worldwide acclaim. Together with the equally impressive Phil Hughes (81 not out) he dragged Australia to 280 all out. Not bad for a lad who started the summer playing for Henley Cricket Club.


    Before we recap on yesterday's amazing action and begin to look ahead to what lies in store for us today, let me offer a reminder that you can get involved today by sending a tweet, via #bbccricket, by pinging us a text to 81111 or by composing an email to (putting 'For Marc Higginson' in the subject line). Let's crack on.

  286. 0904: 

    Good morning everyone and welcome to coverage of the third day of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. Yes, it really is only the third day. England will resume their second innings on 80-2 this morning - their lead over Australia just 15 runs.

    What can we expect today? Some good old-fashioned dig-in cricket from England's batsmen? Or maybe the Aussies will blow a hole in the home side's middle order? Whatever happens, it promises to be fascinating.

  287. 0900: 
    Ashton Agar

    Wow. This Ashes Test is producing more drama than a Christmas Day episode of EastEnders.

    Just when we thought nothing could eclipse the excitement of the opening day, teenage debutant Ashton Agar waltzed to the crease and handed Australia the perfect present with a world-record knock by a number 11.

    Then Mitchell (Starc, not Phil) started throwing his weight around and England were spluttering and stalling more than one of Frank Butcher's second-hand cars.

    Captain Cook and KP settled the Three Lions down and, heading into the third day, the match is now tighter than Ian Beale's pursestrings.

Live Scores - England v Australia


  • England beat Australia by 14 runs
  • England: 215 & 375 (149.5 overs)
  • Australia: 280 & 296 (110.5 overs)
  • Venue: Nottingham

Australia 2nd Innings

View full scorecard
Watson lbw b Broad 46
Rogers c Bell b Anderson 52
Cowan c Trott b Root 14
Clarke c Prior b Broad 23
Smith lbw b Swann 17
Hughes lbw b Swann 0
Haddin c Prior b Anderson 71
Agar c Cook b Anderson 14
Starc c Cook b Anderson 1
Siddle c Cook b Anderson 11
Pattinson not out 25
Extras 1nb 11b 10lb 22
Total all out 296

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The Ashes

England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson with the Ashes urn

Squads, fixtures, scorecards, results and reports from Australia's Ashes tour of England