Ashes 2013: Best moments from Day 3 of 1st Test

Ian Bell (left) and Stuart Broad’s unbeaten partnership ensured that England took the honours on day three © Getty Images

By Prakash Govindasreenivasan

The first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge has seen three days of absolutely riveting cricket from both Australia and England. Here are some of the best moments from the third day.

Ashes 2013: Best moments from Day 3 of 1st Test

While Aleem Dar (extreme right) couldn’t spot the thick edge of Stuart Broad’s bat, the frustration of the Australians further mounted by the fact that they didn’t have any reviews left which could have easily overturned the decision in their favour © Getty Images

Aleem Dar’s howler and pokerfaced Broad

While all the dissecting comments after the second day’s play were directed towards the Decision Review System (DRS) and its incapability to spot an inside-edge of Jonathan Trott, Day three belonged to the lack of the technology. Or call it Australia’s bad management in exhausting their couple of DRS reviews.

In the final session of what was a truly intense day of Test match cricket, there came a blemish. Ahston Agar tossed one up, pitched it on the rough for it to turn sharply towards Stuart Broad who was looking to cut the ball away.

The ball took a thick edge, struck wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s gloves and went to Michael Clarke who was stationed at first slip. Unfortunately, to his horror, umpire Aleem Dar was unmoved. And so was Broad albeit nervously. The Australians appealed raucously but to no effect. Broad was in no mood for a gentlemanly gesture to walk away.

From the replays one could infer that Broad was fully aware of the fact that Australia did not have any reviews remaining and so he tried his luck by staying back. While one could hold Broad accountable for failing to play honestly, the majority of the blame for this poor decision should go to Dar.

Ashes 2013: Best moments from Day 3 of 1st Test

Ian Bell’s half-century also marked the completion of 6000 runs in his Test career. Bell provided the much-needed solidity to the England innings © Getty Images

Ian Bell’s 6,000

Even as the Broad incident took centre stage towards the close of third day’s play, it largely belonged to England’s rescue man Ian Bell who essayed one of his best knocks in Test cricket. When he took a couple to reach his score of 52, Bell had become the 14th Englishman to score 6,000 runs in Tests. The most important factor of this innings of Bell has been that he might just have taken the game away from Australia’s clutches.

Ashes 2013: Best moments from Day 3 of 1st Test

After a good show with the bat, Agar dismissed a well-set Alastair Cook to bag his first Test wicket © Getty Images

Agar’s first Test wicket

The 19-year-old Ashton Agar entertained the Trent Bridge crowd with some delightful batting at No 11 on the second day. Coach Darren Lehmann showed great bravado in picking him ahead of experienced Nathan Lyon and the move paid off, but strangely with the bat.

The real test for Agar was on the third day was to come out and do some damage. His idea of damage turned out to be picking up the wicket of the opposition skipper Alastair Cook. Cook saw a flighted delivery, pitching in the rough and tried to guide it on his leg side.

However, it turned out to be a top-spinner and held its line to take a leading edge. An alert Michael Clarke at first slip did exceptionally well to stretch and stick out his left hand to grab the ball out of thin air.

Day three has seen momentum shifting from one side to another across sessions. The day started off with the game in the balance. Just when Cook and Kevin Pietersen were starting to pull it towards England, both were dismissed to bring the game back to square one. Australians, at that moment would have liked to push the English further with a couple of more wickets. But Bell and Broad put on a solid century partnership to tip the scales in England’s favour.

The last time England won the first Test of an Ashes series was way back in 1997 at Birmingham. With a solid lead and a good bowling attack to back them, they will surely fancy in setting the record straight in the current millennium. Whether they will achieve it is what remains to be seen over two more exciting days of cricket.

Click here to read all the talking points of Ashes 2013

(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is a reporter with CricketCountry. His Twitter handle is @PrakashG_89)