This morning looked like England were in for a real fight. There was no swing for Jimmy Anderson or Steven Finn within the first half hour and Steven Smith and Phil Hughes looked set to continue the Australian chase of England’s below par first innings total.
Smith reached his fifty comfortably, dispatching Graeme Swann for multiple boundaries, constantly using his feet and not letting Swann get settled.
However, just past the half hour mark, Anderson started reverse swinging this 24 over old ball, and the momentum switched. Soon after Smith hit his fourth test fifty Anderson hit his outside edge for a simple catch to Matt Prior. Smith fell with the score on 108-5, then some impeccable bowling from Anderson and Swan left the tourists 117-9
Anderson (5-70) reached his 14th five wicket haul, and shows why he is the leading wicket taker at Trent Bridge. Anderson showed great control and reverse swing to dislodge Peter Siddle, and then without troubling the score, Starc was removed by a fine catch from Prior.
There has also been no rest for the batsmen at the other end, with Swann (2-55) showing why he is the best off spinner in the world. Swan dislodged Brad Haddin with the biggest spinner of the day, taking out his off stump. Swann then continued this pressure to remove Pattinson trapped LBW in front of middle stump.
However, a last wicket stand of 112 between Hughes (63 not-out) and Ashton Agar (69 not-out) has kept Australia firmly in the hunt, but judging on how the majority of these Australian batsmen have played, it would have to be conceded that England are on top.
The pestering of a short length from Finn which resulted in numerous boundaries from the Australian number 11, allowed the tourists back in the game, but England will be sure to not make the same mistakes again after lunch or in their second innings.
An early stumping appeal on Agar was controversially turned down by the third umpire, which could have completely changed the complex of this game.
This morning has been a class display of swing and spin bowling, and typical Australian grit. England will hope to bat Australia out of the game showing why they are the favourites. England should have finished this Australian innings off with an 80 run lead, but instead they trail by 14. England will have to out their first innings out of their head, and start again in their second innings.
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