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Ashton Agar and Phillip Hughes secured Australia – first Test

Zia Rana July 11, 2013

England 215 and 2-80 (Alastair Cook 37*, Kevin Pietersen 35*, Mitchell Starc 2-15) leads Australia 280 (Ashton Agar 98, Phillip Hughes 81*, Steven Smith 53, James Anderson 5-85) by 15 runs.

A devastating knock by the debutant Ashton Agar, well supported by Phillip Hughes, put Australia on top against the hosts England on day two at Nottingham.

The home side was bundled out for 215 runs in their first innings followed by 2-80 after 43 overs in the second. The visitors smashed 280 before their first innings came to an end in 64.5 overs.

The second day of The Ashes – 1st Investec Test came to an end on July 11, 2013, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Earlier, Australia commenced the day at 4-75 in 21 overs, Steven Smith and Phillip Hughes were unbeaten on 38 and 7 runs respectively. They took the score over hundred runs in the 27th over as Steven Smith dispatched the first fifty of the match. He was caught behind by Matt Prior off James Anderson for 53 off 79 balls with 1 six and 7 fours. The fifth wicket fell at 108 as the English bowlers destroyed the lower order batting of the Kangaroos and they were reeling at 9-117. The debutant Ashton Agar came in next as Hughes was stranded at the other end.

Ashton Agar - Individual and partnership record in Test cricket

Ashton Agar – Individual and partnership record in Test cricket

Agar survived a huge appeal of caught behind and stumping together at six runs but he survived with a green signal from the third umpire. Hughes was fighting at his end while contributing useful runs whereas Agar hit 1 six and 7 fours until the end of the 47th over. Ashton Agar attained his maiden Test half century on the 50th delivery and added another eight runs in the 50th over with a six. Phillip Hughes reached his seventh Test fifty in the following over and the two batsmen accumulated 5 fours when the lunch break was taken after 55 overs.

The run rate was picked up by the duo after lunch and especially Agar was the most attacking of the two. They created a world record once the score went past 268 after surpassing the partnership of 151 runs by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge while representing New Zealand against Pakistan in February, 1973. Agar got another record when he reached 96 on the first ball of the 64th over and was marching towards his unique century. Tino Best of West Indies had scored most runs (95) while playing at no.11 vs. England in June 2012. Ashton Agar was unluckily caught by Graeme Swann off Stuart Broad for 98 from just 101 balls with 2 mighty sixes and 12 fours. Phillip Hughes stood firm at his end for 81 off 131 comprising 9 fours as Australia powered 280 while consuming 64.5 overs.

James Anderson was the star performer with five wickets, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann shared two each whereas Stuart Broad ended up with one wicket.

England conceded a first innings lead of 65 runs and their second innings was opened by the skipper, Alastair Cook along with Joe Root. Mitchell Starc penetrated through the defence of Joe Root and Jonathan Trott on the successive balls of the 8th over and the hosts were struggling at 2-11. Kevin Pietersen joined in next with Cook who hit 2 fours in the 9th over as the first tasted his boundary two overs later.

The pair did not take any risk and kept on crawling while getting odd boundaries as and when available. They could not be separated until the stumps were taken while England scored 80 runs in 43 overs. Alastair Cook was batting for 37 off 130 with 4 fours and Pietersen managed 35 from 98 balls comprising 6 fours.

The match has entered an interesting phase as England has a minor lead of 15 runs in the first innings with 8 wickets remaining. The pre-lunch session will determine the direction of the game and Australia will work hard to get a few wickets quickly.

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