Stuart Broad produced his best bowling performance of the series to haul England back into the match on the second morning of the fourth Ashes test against Australia in County Durham yesterday.
Broad, who often blows hot and cold, was in a mean and hungry mood and took advantage of overcast skies and a pitch offering more seam movement to take three for 23 as Australia slumped to 75 for three in reply to England’s first innings total of 238.
Opener Chris Rogers was 41 not out at lunch while Steve Smith was unbeaten on 17.
The day began with England on 238 for nine and, in the second over, last man James Anderson was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Jackson Bird.
Later in the same over Bird ended the innings by bowling Anderson for 16, leaving Tim Bresnan undefeated on 12 at the other end.
It did not take long for England to make inroads at the top of the Australian order, David Warner being bowled for three by an inswinging delivery from Broad that clipped the top of the left-hander’s off stump with the total on 12.
There had been no addition to the score when Usman Khawaja, on zero, could not decide whether to play or leave a delivery from Broad. The ball struck the toe of his bat before going through to Matt Prior.
It was the 200th catch of Prior’s career on his 71st test appearance and left him third on the all-time list of England wicketkeepers, behind Alec Stewart (227) and Alan Knott (250).
The home team, 2-0 up in the five-match series, then wasted a video review for LBW when Broad hit Rogers on the pad, but the replay showed the ball had pitched a couple of inches outside leg stump.
England lost another review moments later when umpire Tony Hill gave Rogers not out caught behind off Broad.
The video replay showed the ball clipping the pad, not the bat, and the hosts quickly changed their appeal to a leg-before-wicket shout.
England’s players started celebrating when the big screen in the corner of the Emirates Durham showed the ball hitting the stumps, but that appeal was also turned down because the ball was only clipping the top of the bails.
Captain Alastair Cook and his players remonstrated with Hill and his colleague Aleem Dar, but to no avail.
Rogers responded in defiant manner by hitting two fours in one over from Tim Bresnan.
One four came from a tidy clip off his legs through mid-wicket that Kevin Pietersen allowed to slip under his body on the boundary and the other was a crisp straight drive.
Broad then took his third wicket when skipper Michael Clarke (six) chased a wide ball and slashed it high to Cook at first slip who took a good reaction catch above his head.