England in dominant position after Anderson rattles Australia
England 133-3 (Bell 53) v
Australia 136 (Rogers 52)
Third Test, Birmingham, day one
England closed within three runs of Australia's first innings total of 136 after James Anderson took a six-wicket haul to dismantle the visitors on day one of the third Test of Ashes at Edgbaston.
Australia won the toss and opted to bat first on a pitch that had carry and movement with some swing in the air.
England did not have to wait long for their first breakthrough, with Anderson (6-47) trapping David Warner (2) lbw in the third over of the innings after the latter survived a close run out call earlier.
Steven Finn (2-38), making a comeback to the Test side after more than two years, struck in his very first over, getting the prized wicket of Steven Smith (7) with the perfect delivery moving away and taking the edge to first slip.
Michael Clarke (10) struck consecutive streaky fours but his luck ran out the next over when Finn, bowling his third over, breached his defence with a fuller delivery that moved away to hit off stump.
Australia were in serious trouble at that point at 34 for three in the 12th over.
The match was interrupted the next over by rain. Adam Voges (16) and Chris Rogers (52) then played some positive cricket to add 38 in less than seven overs taking Australia into lunch at 72 for three after 19 overs.
However, Anderson struck immediately in the post-lunch session when Voges edged one in an attempt to leave the ball.
In the next over, Mitchell Marsh (0) edged one to the wicket-keeper without opening his account either as Australia slipped to 84 for five after 23 overs.
Peter Nevill (2) was the next to go, shouldering arms to a wobbly delivery from Anderson that jagged back in to hit off stump.
Mitchell Johnson (3) reached 2,000 Test runs but edged one to Ben Stokes at gully as Australia were crumbling pretty quickly losing four wickets in six overs for just 17 runs.
Rogers continued his unrelenting march, scoring another half-century in good time with nine fours taking Australia to 98 for seven after 28 overs.
Another rain break led the players into tea. Soon after play resumed, Rogers was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad (2-44), a decision reviewed unsuccessfully by the former.
Nathan Lyon (11) and Josh Hazlewood (14 not out) added 17 for the last wicket as Australia were bundled out for 136 in 36.4 overs.
Anderson was sensational with the ball wrecking the Australians in his 15 overs.
However, England’s troubles at the top of the order resurfaced again soon after their innings was interrupted by rain in the fourth over.
Adam Lyth (10) missed out after play resumed, chasing a wide delivery that Voges caught at the third attempt at first slip off the bowling of Hazlewood (1-50).
Alastair Cook (34) looked in good touch even with the ball moving all over the place and Ian Bell (53), promoted to bat at number three, played sublime cricket, striking some delectable fours.
The highlight of his innings was Bell’s three consecutive fours off Hazlewood in the 17th over. The second of those brought up the fifty partnership with Cook at a run-a-ball.
However, in the next over, Cook was extremely unfortunate, smashing a short delivery from Nathan Lyon (2-3), only for the ball to be trapped between Voges’ hands and tummy without the short leg fielder even trying to catch or looking at the ball while taking evasive action.
That left England at 78 for two after 18 overs and an aggressive Bell punished Starc as well for bad bowling hitting him for three fours in the 23rd over.
Bell brought up his own fifty with a delightful four off Mitchell Starc (0-39) through the covers, reaching his milestone in just 51 balls.
In the next over though, Lyon came back with his golden arm, luring Bell into mistiming a hit down the ground for Warner to take an excellent catch.
Rain interrupted play and stumps were declared soon after as England finished on 133 for three after 29 overs. They trail Australia by only three runs on a day when only 66 overs were bowled.
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