With England closing Day 1 on 157 – 0 already 59 ahead of the Australian’s having bowled them out for 98, England would be looking to press home their advantage on Day 2 to setup a winning position.
Australia were in need of quick wickets and lots of them if they were to stand any chance of staying in this test match and therefore preventing England from retaining the Ashes. Australia started opened the bowling with Peter Siddle who although didn’t get any wickets was the pick of the Australian bowlers on Day 1.
Australia got the breakthrough they required fairly early on sending Cook back for 82 with Siddle taking the wicket. Siddle struck again removing England’s other opener, Andrew Strauss, to leave England 170 – 2.
Trott and Pietersen were made to work hard for their runs with Australian captain Ricky Ponting rotating his bowlers. A huge moment of controversy then arrived as Pietersen played forward to a delivery which went through to the wicketkeeper Haddin. Brad Haddin was confident of a nick and they decided to review the decision.
As with all referred decisions it was shown on the big screen. A white mark on the very bottom of the bat was shown thus representing that perhaps the ball hit the bat. However the third umpires decision was correctly given not out as the white mark shown could not have been the ball due to the ball passing the bat much higher up.
Australian captain Ricky Ponting was outraged at the decision and along with team mate Peter Siddle began to take it upon himself to have a word with the umpire. The heated conversation lasted about 3 – 4 minutes before play began and Pietersen was rightly given not out.
The partnership reached 92 with Pietersen going to 51 before he was LBW to Siddle who took his third wicket. Signs of the ball keeping a bit low will please England as they will need to take a further 10 Australian wickets to win the test.
Trott went along his merry way, unfazed by anything the Australian’s threw at him. He reached his 50 however his partners at the other end were struggling. First off Collingwood attempted a pull shot off Mitchell Johnson only to get a top edge straight to Peter Siddle for 8. Then Ian Bell went in similar fashion by the same combination this time for just 1.
Paul Collingwood’s future in an England Test team is now beginning to look very bleak. He has averaged just 15 runs in his last 9 test matches and with the likes of Eoin Morgan waiting in the wings it is only a matter of time before his left out.
With England now 268 – 5 a period of rebuilding was required if they only wanted to bat once. England’s wicketkeeper Matt Prior was due in next and with very little runs in the series it was his time to peak.
With Prior reaching just 4 he edged the ball behind to wicketkeeper Haddin off the bowling of Johnson and began to walk off. Umpire Aleem Dar however called Prior back as he wanted to check whether it was a legal delivery.
The third umpire reported that Johnson did indeed overstep the line and the delivery was therefore a no ball and Prior was called back to the crease. Although tight lipped this time Ricky Ponting was fuming.
With all the drama’s now out the way England continued to bat superbly with Trott reaching 3 figures and Prior going to 50 as England reached 444 – 5, a lead of 346. With 3 days still left in the test match England are likely to continue batting tomorrow before declaring sometime just before tea.
With England’s complete dominance in the first two days of the fourth Ashes test there only appears to be one outcome in this test match.