Bell, Broad put England on top by stumps

Australia

England held a commanding lead at stumps on day three of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, with Ian Bell and Stuart Broad surviving more controversy to end the day on 326 for six, a lead of 261 runs.

England held a commanding lead at stumps on day three of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, with Ian Bell and Stuart Broad surviving more controversy to end the day on 326 for six, a lead of 261 runs.

The pair put on 108 unbeaten runs together, batting out the evening session after coming together before tea. There was drama just before the close though, after Broad hit the ball to slip but refused to walk, and the umpire gave it not out.

The Australians were furious, but they had no recourse as they had used all their reviews, leaving coach Darren Lehmann to fume on the balcony. As it was, Bell was superb during his knock of 95, and Broad ended the day on 47.

It was the third poor umpiring decision to blight the match in two days, though this time it was on-field man Aleem Dar at fault, not third umpire Marais Erasmus. The stumping that wasn't, of Ashton Agar, and the LBW overturning of Jonathan Trott were down to DRS/technical controversy, while this one was a case of eyesight going wrong.

England started the day on 80 for two, having survived the evening session on day two thanks to some patient batting from Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook. The pair continued in the same vein in the morning, but with a bit more aggression.

Pietersen was particularly impressive, playing some beautiful shots on his way to a half century, bringing up his fifty with a crunching cover drive to the ropes. Cook was more circumspect, making his fifty off 164 balls.

The breakthrough arrived via Pattinson in the 57th over, when KP played completely against how he'd been going all morning. He played at a wider delivery with an angled bat, and got an inside edge onto his middle stump, out for 64.

Cook departed soon after, becoming Agar's first Test wicket. The England skipper played forward and got a leading edge off a top-spinner, and Michael Clarke was on hand in the slips to take a superb one-handed catch.

This left Bairstow and Bell, neither in good form, to see out the session, and they were on 13 and 20 respectively when the lunch break arrived.

Bairstow, who had minimal game time ahead of this series, looked uncomfortable when he came back out to bat, and was soon recorded as Agar's second Test wicket. He played at a wider one, stretching to get the edge, and Brad Haddin took the catch.

Bell and Prior rebuilt for most of the session, nurdling the runs as Australia took the new ball. They put on 44 runs together in 13 overs, much quicker than Bell had batted with Bairstow, as that pair made 43 runs in 20 overs.

Prior was not to last though, and fell for 31 when Peter Siddle took the ball. The paceman induced a silly shot, and the wicketkeeper pulled the ball to Ed Cowan at mid-wicket. Broad came in and faced 12 balls for a single before tea.

The evening was calm and fruitful for England, drama aside, and Bell played a knock that silenced the critics. He was technically sound, and took advantage of bad balls, hitting 12 fours in his 228 deliveries.

Broad, meanwhile, showed no pain from the shoulder injury that kept his bowling to a minimum, and he also played one of the better knock fans had seen from him in recent months. He faced 122 balls for his 47. Had the umpire given Broad out, it would have been Agar's third wicket of the day.

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