• England v Australia, 4th Ashes Test, Durham, 3rd day

Root exits after Australia take lead

The Report by Daniel Brettig
August 11, 2013

Lunch England 24 for 1 (Cook 17*, Trott 5*) trail Australia 270 (Rogers 110, Watson 68, Broad 5-71) by 8 runs
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Chris Rogers was done in as one from Graeme Swann found extra bounce © Getty Images
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Ryan Harris carried the fight to England on the third morning of the Durham Test with lower-order runs, then a glorious delivery to defeat Joe Root. Australia lost much of the ground they had gained through Chris Rogers with the loss of their last five wickets for 46, but Harris ensured the tourists had reason for optimism during the lunch break by tilting back Root's off stump.

Brad Haddin and Rogers had failed to keep their wickets intact before the second new ball was taken, leaving Harris to provide the only major resistance with an innings of some fluency. Graeme Swann and James Anderson did the majority of the damage, before Stuart Broad claimed Harris to notch a deserved five-wicket tally.

England began comfortably enough, but Harris conjured a ball that whirred in towards Root before zipping sharply away off the seam to beat the outside edge but not the off stump. Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott have plenty of work ahead to push England into a more advantageous position.

Rogers and Haddin resumed with thoughts of establishing a significant lead, but ultimately were unable even to reach the second new ball, due within six overs of the resumption. Haddin went back when he might have pressed forward against Swann and was lbw, the wicketkeeper's referral made quite optimistically for a ball that was hitting middle and off after straightening from around the wicket.

Following his enormous contribution to Australia's cause on day two, Rogers did not quite find the right rhythm, and shortly before the 80th over arrived he stretched to defend Swann and found extra bounce grazing his glove before floating up off pad for Matt Prior to dive alertly and claim the catch. Tony Hill was unconvinced but again shown to have erred, England's review ending Rogers' innings.

England thus took the new ball with only three wickets left to claim and Australia's tail longer than at any other time in the series. Peter Siddle's batting effectiveness has been largely curtailed by James Anderson, and he fell to England's spearhead once more, snicking low to Alastair Cook at first slip. Nathan Lyon lasted only seven balls before walking across his crease and succumbing lbw to Anderson, even if Hawk-Eye suggested Anderson's nip-backer would have slid past leg stump.

Harris was meanwhile adding to his list of notable displays in the series, playing with calm and good sense in picking off runs. Three consecutive boundaries off Broad stretched Australia's advantage handily, but in the next over Harris was pinned in front of the stumps. A decision review was again required to contradict Hill's judgment.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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