Ashes: Ian Bell and Stuart Broad put England in driving seat
Ian Bell and Stuart Broad combined to help England build a lead of 261 on the third day of the opening Ashes Test.
By Alex Williams
Last Updated: 13/07/13 12:47pm
England reached stumps on 326-6, Bell finishing the day on 95 not out while Broad's unbeaten innings of 47 provided the latest controversy of a gripping contest.
With his run tally on 37, a Broad edge deflected off the gloves of wicket-keeper Brad Haddin and into the hands of Michael Clarke at slip, but umpire Aleem Dar did not pick up on the nick and the Nottinghamshire man was allowed to continue.
Prior to the late drama, neither side managed to gain the upper-hand as England struggled to build on a 110-run third-wicket partnership between Alastair Cook (50) and Kevin Pietersen (64).
The situation was finely poised all the way until tea, which England reached six wickets down with a lead of just 165, but the hosts finally took a stranglehold in the evening session.
England started the day on 80-2 and enjoyed an ideal first hour as Pietersen kicked on to reach his half-century, while Cook occupied the crease at the other end in typically assured style.
But just 10 runs after their stand had passed the century mark, Pietersen's middle stump was uprooted as he sent an inside edge clattering into his wickets following a botched attempt to drive James Pattinson through the covers.
Cook also eventually passed the fifty mark but the opener had not managed to add any more runs to his total when he edged to Clarke at slip to become Ashton Agar's first Test wicket.
That wicket brought Jonny Bairstow to the crease and the Yorkshireman survived when Australia tried to overturn an unsuccessful lbw appeal, a wasted review which would come back to haunt them.
After the lunch interval Bell remained in situ despite a much closer lbw call. He was originally given out by umpire Kumar Dharmasena, but a review revealed that Shane Watson's delivery was just missing the stumps.
Bairstow (15) did not use a review, or even wait for the umpire's finger to go up, as he turned and walked back to the pavilion straight after edging Agar behind to Brad Haddin to leave England on 174-5.
After the new ball was taken, Matt Prior moved the scoreboard on with a string of boundaries before being made to pay the price for his aggressive approach when he misjudged a pull off Peter Siddle and looped a relatively simple catch to Ed Cowan to depart for 31.
Bell nudged past his half-century as he steadied the ship with Broad either side of the tea interval, with the right-hander showing great timing to become the top scorer of the innings.
Australia looked to have made another breakthrough when an Agar delivery looped off the bat of Broad, via the gloves of Haddin, into the hands of Clarke.
But with Dar unmoved and Australia having no reviews remaining, Broad decided against following the lead of team-mate Bairstow and remained at the crease.
The incident bubbled beneath the surface until stumps, which England reached with Bell and Broad just short of a hundred and half-century respectively.