By Shrikant Shankar
Dec 28, 2013
England are at 115 for four in their second innings at tea on Day Three of the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 28, 2013. England began brightly, but lost four wickets for 22 runs in the afternoon session to hand Australia the momentum.
Shane Watson offered width and Alastair Cook cut the ball behind backward-point for a four. Watson bowled the same delivery and Cook played the same shot and got the same result — four more. That was the 35th half-century for the England captain.
Mitchell Johnson bowled an in-coming delivery at Cook and it hit him on the pads in front of the stumps. The Australians appealed and the umpire raised his finger. Cook (51) thought about reviewing it, but after consultation with Carberry, decided not to.
Joe Root was the next batsman in. He left the first delivery alone. Johnson then bowled a full delivery and Root tried to play at it, only to withdraw at the very last moment.
The Australians appealed for caught-behind as Brad Haddin collected the ball and the umpire again raised his finger. Root asked for the review and replays showed no visible deviation off the bat. Hot Spot also showed no edge and neither did the real-time Snicko. So, the decision was overturned.
Carberry used his feet to Lyon and played the ball through mid-wicket for three runs. Root then got off the mark with a drive through covers for three runs off Johnson.
Root then opened the face of the bat and steered a delivery from Peter Siddle wide of the slips for a four. It was an edge, but Root played that shot with soft hands.
Siddle then came from round the wicket to Carberry and hit him on the pads. The ball pitched outside off-stump and came in sharply. Carberry (12) shuffled across and missed. The Australians appealed and he was given out.
That started the flurry of wickets. Root pushed a delivery from Lyon to mid-off and took off for a quick single. Johnson got a direct hit and Root (15) was well short of the crease. Pietersen got off the mark with a single towards deep square-leg.
Nathan Lyon then dismissed Ian Bell first ball as he lobbed one to Johnson at mid-off. England lost three wickets in five deliveries. From 86 for one, they ended up at 87 for four.
Pietersen and Stokes played out the remaining overs before tea wicket any further damage. When the tea interval was taken, England led Australia by 166 runs.
England 255 (Michael Carberry 38, Kevin Pietersen 71; Mitchell Johnson 5 for 63) and 115 for 4 (Alastair Cook 51; Mitchell Johnson 1 for 19) lead Australia 204 (Chris Rogers 61, Brad Haddin 65; James Anderson 4 for 67, Stuart Broad 3 for 45) by 166 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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