England 332 and 373 for 9 dec (Trott 119, Strauss 77, Swann 63, North 4-98) lead Australia 160 and 80-0 trail by 465 runs
Trott and Swann piled on the runs for England setting Australia a mammoth 545 runs for victory. Trott becomes the 18th Englishmen to score a century on debut following in the footsteps of fellow teammates Ian Bell, Alistair Cook and Matt Prior.
The day started in sensational fashion as the first ball of the day saw a huge appeal call for caught behind. It looked out and Trott looked a guilty man too. However replays shows it flicked his back leg, producing a very woody sound.
Strauss soon brought up his 50, the longest of his England career; it was a testing time though, requiring a steely grit and determination that typifies the England captain.
Trott shortly afterwards brought up his fifty with a crisp whip through the on side. His timing impeccable as it would prove throughout his composed innings.
As the morning session progressed Strauss looked to up the run rate but played a really awful shot before lunch, flashing hard at a North wide ball pitching in the rough edging to first slip.
AJ Strauss c Clarke b North 75 (191b 8×4 0x6) SR: 39.26
It was a poor shot, but Strauss would have felt he had played England into a winning position. With the dismissal of Strauss the next South African came out to the crease to rub salt into the Aussies wounds. And some more Aussie wounds came as he drove hard at the ball hitting Ponting in the face drawing blood from his mouth. The morning session was a painful session for Australia as England led by 329.
Ricky Ponting came out onto the field with his troops looking as if he had eaten and smeared strawberry jam over his face, not exactly a medal of honour. But the joke was on Matt Prior who after an imperious boundary to get off the mark tried to sneak a single to the deadly Katich who deadeyed it into the stumps. Silly stuff by Prior, intelligent as ever.
MJ Prior run out 4 (9b 1×4 0x6) SR: 44.44
With Prior gone the roof came off the oval as Freddie entered onto the pitch to a standing ovation for the last time as a Test batsman. He decided to get on with it in typical fashion smashing his second ball for four. He then powerfully pulled Siddle for another boundary. Advancing down to the wicket to North was next smashing him to cow with chants of “Super, Super Fred” echoeing around the stadium. The fairytale ending didn’t really happen as he skied North straight down deep mid on’s throat. It went down as an entertaining cameo all the same, swashbuckling as we’ve come to know and love.
A Flintoff c Siddle b North 22 (18b 4×4 0x6) SR: 122.22
In stepped England’s newest hero as Stuart Broad trotted onto the field to join the South African. A brisk innings pursued with the growing confidence exuding out of Broad hitting 3 4s off 4 balls at one point before falling to North.
SCJ Broad c Ponting b North 29 (35b 5×4 0x6) SR: 82.85
Graeme Swann came out guns blazing after tea with a license and smashed a quick-fire half century off 44 balls. England’s field day continued as he plundered boundary after boundary swinging the bat every which way but loose. The big hitting came to an end as he skied a short ball straight up, but what a knock it was.
GP Swann c †Haddin b Hilfenhaus 63 (55b 9×4 0x6) SR: 114.54
Whilst all the carnage was occurring Jonathan Trott, crept his way to one of the most sublime centuries you will ever see on debut becoming the 18th England player to score a century on debut, following in the footsteps of fellow teammates Ian Bell, Alistair Cook and Matt Prior. What a debut. A moment he will saviour for the rest of his life. Such crisp strokeplay, mental strength, exquisite timing. The sound of ball on willow every time he connects reverberates around the ground. With a declaration looming he eventually starting swinging from the hip and eventually fell caught in the gully.
IJL Trott c North b Clark 119 (193b 12×4 0x6) SR: 61.65
With England setting Australia a daunting 546 runs to win the final passage of play went by with the Aussies rarely in trouble. Some chaotic running from Watson the closest England came to a wicket, a direct hit Bell would have seem him well short. They finished the day on 80 without loss. Simon Katich, “Katiche” as Warney likes to call him looks like England’s biggest hurdle to overcome, while the tourist have their own mountains to climb.
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