Ashton Agar

Ashton Agar (right) took his second Test wicket before Ian Bell scored a half-century in the post-lunch session of Day Three of the first Ashes Test © Getty Images

By Jaideep Vaidya
Jul 12, 2013
Ian Bell scored a half-century, even as England lost two wickets in the afternoon session to take tea at 230 for six. Bell thus became the 14th Englishman to cross 6,000 runs in Test cricket as England’s lead extended to 165 runs.

Ashton Agar took his second Test wicket after finding Jonny Bairstow’s edge less than half an hour after lunch. Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior then launched a counterattack and scored a quick 31 before his aggression got the better of him.
England lost both their overnight batsmen, Kevin Pietersen (64) and Alastair Cook (50), in the morning session after the duo brought up their 13th century stand in Test cricket.
Pietersen and Cook had provided England with a steady start and had negotiated the nervy first hour of play well. Pietersen was looking confident and struck a few glorious boundaries before bringing up his 31st Test half-century. However, at the stroke of the hour, the talismanic batsman chopped James Pattinson‘s fullish delivery wide of off-stump onto his middle stump to end a responsible knock.
Cook, meanwhile, had begun showing his first signs of aggression as he approached his half-century, which was brought up in 164 balls, equaling his slowest ever. But the England captain was to fall soon after as he nicked Agar to first slip to give the teenager his first Test wicket.
Brief scores:

England 215 and 230 for 6 (Kevin Pietersen 64, Ian Bell 56*; Mitchell Starc 2 for 59, Ashton Agar 2 for 53) lead Australia 280 (Phil Hughes 81*, Ashton Agar 98; James Anderson 5 for 85) by 165 runs.
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(Jaideep Vaidya is a correspondent at CricketCountry. A diehard Manchester United fan and sports buff, you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook)