England On Top


England’s bowlers reduced Australia to 174-6 at stumps on day four of the first Test at Trent Bridge, after a pulsating evening session yesterday which left the tourists needing another 137 for victory.

“I’m still confident we’ve got a chance of winning,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said.

England claimed four wickets after tea, including opener Chris Rogers, who was Australia’s top scorer with a 121-ball 52 that included eight fours.

Stuart Broad took 2-34 and Graeme Swann 2-64, leaving Brad Haddin and Ashton Agar not out on 11 and 1, respectively.

“Ashton’s first innings showed he’s a player of talent, that’s for sure, and with the experience of Brad Haddin and the players we’ve got to come in, I’m sure we can give it a shot,” Clarke said.

Agar was promoted up the order from No. 11 after his first innings 98 and, while he was happy to bat through to stumps with Haddin, Australia are the underdogs going into the final day.

To win, Australia will have to break the record at Nottingham for a successful fourth-innings Test run chase, set by England who scored 284 against New Zealand in 2004.

Earlier, England posted 375 after Ian Bell hit 109 and Broad 65.

fluctuating day

Bell rated his innings, which lasted 267 balls and included 15 fours, as his best against Australia.

“I think it’s definitely my best Ashes innings,” Bell said of his 18th Test century. “And it’s nice to put an innings together when the team needed it most.”

On another dramatically fluctuating day England resumed on 326-6 with Bell on 95 not out.

Broad hit 65 from 148 balls with seven fours before James Pattinson had him caught behind, ending a stand of 138 that tilted the match England’s way.

Bell was also caught behind off Mitchell Starc, who had Australia’s best bowling figures with 3-81. Peter Siddle took 3-82.

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