Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell halted Australia’s advance after a treble strike by Ryan Harris on the third day of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street yesterday.
At tea, England in their second-innings were 123 for three, a far from decisive lead of 91 runs, with both Pietersen and Bell 37 not out having so far added an unbroken 74 for the fourth wicket.
England, who at 2-0 up in the five-match series had already retained the Ashes, were in dire straits at 49 for three as 33-year-old fast-bowler Harris inflicted their latest top-order collapse this series.
Harris, playing a third straight match for just the second time in a 15-Test career plagued by injuries, took three wickets for 18 runs in 24 balls either side of lunch.
Before the interval, Harris bowled Joe Root (two) with a superb seaming delivery that clipped the top of off stump.
Soon afterwards, with conditions still overcast, he induced England captain Alastair Cook, on 22, into nicking a loose drive outside the left-hander’s off-stump to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.
Jonathan Trott, with Australia captain Michael Clarke attempting to restrict his run-scoring by packing the on-side field, then gloved Harris and was well caught down the legside by a leaping Haddin for 23.
Pietersen, fresh from his 113 in the drawn third Test at Old Trafford, showed fellow South Africa-born batsman Trott how it should be done by pulling a short ball from Harris for four.
Bell then late cut Peter Siddle for four and played an even finer variant of the same shot, also for a boundary, against all-rounder Shane Watson.
Pietersen ended the session by cutting Siddle for four to third man.
Australia dismissed for 270
England dismissed Australia for 270 earlier yesterday, the tourists held to a slender first-innings lead of 32 after they added 48 runs to their overnight score of 222 for five.
Australia resumed their innings with Chris Rogers 101 not out following the 35-year-old left-handed opener’s painstaking maiden Test hundred on Saturday, made in the face of excellent seam bowling from Stuart Broad, who finished the innings with five wickets for 71 runs in 24.3 overs.
Rogers had added just nine runs to his overnight score when, pushing forward defensively to off-spinner Graeme Swann, he was brilliantly caught off glove and pad for 110 by wicket-keeper Matt Prior, diving in front of the stumps.
Umpire Tony Hill originally ruled not out but England overturned his decision using the Decision Review System and Rogers, who batted for nearly six hours, was out having faced 225 balls with 14 boundaries.
Broad, with the new ball, ended the innings with the ninth five-wicket haul of his 61-Test career when he had Harris out lbw for 28, featuring five fours.
Once again England overturned a Hill decision, with the New Zealander, somewhat comically, reversing his signal with no players in front of him as they headed off the field.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.
Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ