It was Nathan Lyon’s (second from right) day as his four wicket haul reduced England to 238 for nine on Day One at Chester-le-Street © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Aug 9, 2013

It has been an intriguing day of Test cricket at Chester-le-Street as England ended on 238 for nine on Day One of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia. At the end of the day, one can say that Australia are in command although England did have their moments. Nathan Lyon was the star for Australia as his spell of four for 42 led to an English collapse.

Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat first. The conditions were overcast early in the day and it was tough to bat. Joe Root and Cook were circumspect and measured in their approach. Cook took 16 balls to get off the mark and the first boundary for England only came in the 12th over. Jackson Bird, who replaced Mitchell Starc, and Ryan Harris purchased some movement early on.

Shane Watson was brought into the attack and he had Root caught behind for 16. The umpire initially ruled it not out, but Michael Clarke reviewed it instantly. The Hot Spot showed that Root had got an edge and he was given the marching orders. The first session was very attritional and England finished it on 57 for one.

After lunch, Trott looked in great touch and was getting into his stride with a few boundaries. He tried to dominate Lyon by sweeping him around the corner and also essayed a good cover drive. However, he was out against the run of play when he inside edged one onto his pads and it lobbed to short-leg.

That brought Kevin Pietersen to the crease and he showed his intentions immediately. Waltzing down the track, he struck a few boundaries off Lyon and that forced Clarke to take the spinner out of the attack. He brought the fast-bowlers back into the attack and Pietersen looked authoritative, essaying a typical flick through mid-wicket for four.

But, Clarke then brought Lyon back into the attack and the move worked wonders. Pietersen tried to guide a delivery through the off-side, but only managed an edge to Brad Haddin’s gloves. That was to start a collapse.

Cook was resolute and gritty, but left an incoming delivery off Bird, which hit him on the pads. With him offering no shot, the umpire had no hesitation in ruling him out. At Tea, things were in the balance at 155 for four.

Bell, England’s best batsmen in this series, had a brainwave as he tried to loft Lyon over the top in the very first over after Tea. However, he only managed to offer a catch to mid-off. From 149 for two, England had not collapsed to 155 for five.

Bairstow and Prior then batted for almost 20 overs, but only managed to score 34 runs. Australia kept maintaining the pressure. As it has happened in this case, the Decision Review System (DRS) worked in favour of Australia. An appeal for leg-before for Prior was turned down as the umpire felt it was going down the leg side. But, Australia reviewed it and Hawk-Eye showed that it would go on to hit the leg-stump. Prior was on his way back to the pavilion.

Bairstow then tried to sweep Lyon, but was hit on the pads. He decided to review umpire’s decision, but it confirmed that he was out. Australia may have wondered what might have been had the DRS worked in their favour earlier in the series.

As the Test match moved towards the end of the day’s play, the runs had dried up. England lost Broad and Swann and there were fears of them being bowled out on the first day. However, James Anderson and Bresnan scored a few quick runs and helped push England’s challenge.

Lyon had a fantastic time and made a brilliant comeback. In his first four overs, where Pietersen dominated, he conceded 22 runs, but in his next 15 overs, he only conceded 15 and took three wickets.

Brief scores:

England 238 for 9 (Alastair Cook 51; Nathan Lyon 4 for 42) vs Australia

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)