England vs. Australia: Day 3 Highlights, Recap and Takeaways from Trent Bridge
England ended the third day at Trent Bridge on 326-6 with a healthy lead of 261. It was a dogged effort from the hosts, with Ian Bell leading the charge.
The day, though, was packed with controversy, highlights and low lights. The first Ashes Test has had all sorts of action. It's been breathless and gripping with sprinklings of old-school cricket.
We pick some of the best moments of Day 3. Add yours in the comments.
Highlight: Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook's Half-Centuries
Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen safely negotiated England to safety at the close of play on Day 2. They did so at a glacial pace—they simply had to.
The morning of the third day brought some more fruitful results for the pair. Kevin Pietersen brought up his landmark first before he played onto his stumps and was dismissed for 64.
Cook, meanwhile, managed to break his Trent Bridge duck. Despite playing seven Tests at the venue, he'd never scored a half-century there until Friday. He didn't manage anything more than 50, though, but at least he's gotten one of the monkeys off his back.
Highlight: Ashton Agar's 1st Test Wicket
From playing club cricket a few months ago to scoring a record-breaking 98 on debut, Ashton Agar added a wicket to his dream debut.
He got rid of England skipper Alastair Cook with a top spinner which rocketed to the slips, where Michael Clarke took the catch. It's been quite a ride for the 19-year old. He hasn't been overly impressive with his bowling.
His seam placement is still all over the place and his action hasn't quite matured yet, but there is definitely something special there.
His first wicket in Test cricket was greeted with the same delightful smile which met his dismissal after batting in the first innings. Safe to say, Trent Bridge has been wooed.
Takeaway: When Does One Take the New Ball?
With the ball 80 overs old, looking like a puppy had chewed on it and reserving quite a bit, Michael Clarke decided to take the new ball a short while later. With a new batsman at the crease, it seemed logical to persist with the old ball that was whizzing through the air to near unplayable levels.
There was enough reverse to restrict England's run rate and build the pressure. Most thought that the Australians wouldn't be thinking about the new ball at all, but Clarke thought otherwise.
As soon as bowling with the new, hard ball started, England upped the scoring rate and boundaries were flowing again. It did bring a wicket in the form of Matt Prior about 10 overs later, but Australia failed to make any more use of it.
Who'd want to be a captain making that decision, eh?
Takeaway: Days Are Dark When Shane Watson Is Your Best Bowler
At one stage on Friday, Shane Watson's figures read: 12-10-3-0. His economy rate was at 0.25. Those were the fourth-most economical figures for a bowler with at least 60 deliveries in a Test innings.
The rest of the bowlers had toiled away all day. It must be a pretty tough time when your front liners are struggling and a half-crocked part-timer is stealing all their thunder.
He finished the day with figures of 15-11-11-0 and an economy rate of 0.73, an outstanding effort from a man who, a few months ago, didn't look like he'd ever bowl in Tests again.
Takeaway: Walking in Cricket Is Dead and Umpiring Is Poor
Stuart Broad caused considerable controversy when he didn't walk after he got a thick edge through to his stumps. Aleem Dar didn't give him out and Australia couldn't review the decision since they'd wasted all of theirs.
Broad, who could only have been more out if his stumps had been flattened, simply strolled to the middle of the pitch and had a chat to Ian Bell. Outrage ensued with everyone form Piers Morgan to Shane Warne chipping in with an opinion.
Broad is no stranger to controversy, and his not walking raised the debate of Spirit of Cricket all over again. Should he be fined for his antics based on that notion? Probably, but it's unlikely.
Equally, umpiring standards have been quite poor. Dar might have thought that it came off the glove, but that such howlers still happen with all of the technology available, is shocking.
Highlight: Indomitable Ian Bell
Ian Bell ended the day on 95 not out. There was nothing classy about his innings; it was just dogged determination
Vintage Bell batting has been described as "oiled up and naked in a bird cage," but he wasn't even on the same floor as the bird cage on Friday.
Grit goes a long a way, and Bell dug in to steer England to safety and put them very much in control of things.
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