Aug 11 2013
England lost Joe Root before lunch after their efficient removal of Australia's tail ensured they did not concede a decisive first-innings lead on the third morning of the fourth Investec Test at Chester-le-Street.
England needed 75 minutes this morning to rattle out Australia's final five batsmen for 45 runs - meaning they conceded only a 32-run deficit.
Graeme Swann and James Anderson shared two wickets apiece before Stuart Broad (five for 71) completed a deserved five-wicket haul with the scalp of last-man Ryan Harris with the score on 270.
That left England with nine overs to negotiate before the break but Root managed just two before Harris produced a fearful leg-cutter that beat the opener's defences and hit the top of off-stump.
Skipper Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott remained as England reached lunch on 24 for one, reducing Australia's lead to eight on a pitch showing signs it was ready to provide unreliable bounce.
At the start of play the new ball loomed as the key to England's hopes of making quick progress, however, Swann was crucially able to remove centurion Chris Rogers and his overnight partner Brad Haddin in the 5.2 overs before it was due.
Haddin was trapped lbw playing back to the seventh ball of the day and England still had a lead when Rogers' became Swann's 50th Ashes wicket.
A combination of Matt Prior's athleticism, and the operation of the decision review system, ended the 35-year-old opener's near six-hour stay on 110.
Prior had no hesitation in calling for the DRS after he made good ground to dive onto a ball that ballooned off Rogers as he pressed forward.
Hot Spot showed the merest of contact with Rogers' glove and he had to go to expose the tail to a new ball which England immediately took.
In Anderson's first over with the new ball, Harris drove him to the mid-off rope to send Australia ahead.
Anderson had been wicketless until that point but made a double breakthrough in nine balls to ensure Australia did not build a decisive lead.
Peter Siddle edged to Cook at first slip before Nathan Lyon was adjudged lbw shuffling across his crease.
Curiously Lyon did not review Aleem Dar's decision, with Hawk-Eye suggesting the ball would have missed leg-stump by some margin.
Last-man Jackson Bird, hardly noted for his batting, strode to the crease and Harris responded by crunching Broad for three successive boundaries.
Harris had collected a handy 28 - the third highest score of Australia's innings - before Broad claimed a deserved five-wicket haul with a reviewed lbw.
Harris had seemed ready to walk when he was hit plumb in front and, while umpire Tony Hill turned down the appeals, he was embarrassingly proved wrong by the replays.