x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Day 2 of the first Ashes Test: How sessions unfolded at Trent Bridge

How the morning, afternoon and evening sessions played out in the first Test of the Ashes series in Nottingham.

While Ashton Agar starred with the bat, Mitchell Starc saved his heroics for Australia with his bowling.
While Ashton Agar starred with the bat, Mitchell Starc saved his heroics for Australia with his bowling.

Morning session

Australia 229 for nine at lunch. To butcher a football cliche, it was a session of three very misshapen thirds. No wickets in the first half hour, but 28 easy paced runs for Australia. Then five wickets for spit in the next 30 minutes as James Anderson and Graeme Swann destroyed the brittle Australian lower order. Then Ashton Agar arrived in Test cricket, and the match took the sort of turn that Agatha Christie usually scripts.

Afternoon session

Australia 280 all out. England 11 for two at tea Agar plus his parents and two brothers in the stands, all shared a rueful smile when he holed out two runs short of what would have been a stunning century. Maybe the fairy-tale had the wrong ending, but at least the No 11's heroics had put Australia in the box seat in the Test match. After Agar did the business with the bat, his doppelganger Mitchell Starc, above, dismissed Joe Root and Jonathan Trott in successive balls.

Evening session

England 80 for two at stumps. After the frivolity, some sobriety. England needed to hunker down after the extraordinary 10th wicket stand by Australia. They did so thanks to some customary solidity from Alastair Cook, as well us some less-than-trademark circumspection by Kevin Pietersen. England's two senior batsmen edged their side into credit. With no wickets lost in the session, their 69 run partnership inched them up to a 15 run lead in the match.

THE PERFECT 11

Ashton Agar’s 98 from 11th man scratched a sore that has regularly irritated England.

Tino Best (West Indies)

The West Indian only held the record for the highest score by a No 11 in Test cricket for just over a year, after Agar bettered the 95 he made in the 2012 Edgbaston Test. He did not seem too perturbed though, as he immediately tweeted his congratulations to Agar. “Must say we as number 11 batters in Agar and myself love this English bowling attack #SweetLikeSugarCane.”

Danny Morrison (New Zealand)

At one point, Morrison held the world record of 24 Test ducks. He was not so useless that he could not annoy England’s bowlers for a whole day, though. He scored 14 in an unbeaten 10th-wicket stand of 106 with Nathan Astle which saved the Auckland Test of 1997, before being summarily dropped following what turned out to be his final appearance.

Paul Adams (South Africa)

Despite only making a paltry 153 in the Cape Town Test of 1995, England’s bowlers had given their side a chance of success by reducing South Africa to 171 for nine. Then Paul Adams, a new spinner whose bowling action was memorably described as a frog in a blender, shared a decisive stand worth 73 with the wicketkeeper David Richardson and England were sunk.

RECORD DAY

The records set by Australia’s Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes against England during the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on :

– Agar and Hughes’ partnership of 163 is the highest for a 10th wicket in Tests. It was previously 151, jointly held by New Zealand’s Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge (1973) and Mushtaq Ahmed and Azhar Mahmood of Pakistan (1998).

– Agar’s 98 is the highest score by a Test No 11 – beating West Indian Tino Best’s 95 made against England last year. The previous best by an Australian No 11 was 61 by Glenn McGrath against New Zealand in 2004.

– Agar is the first debutant No 11 to score a Test half-century, the previous highest score was Australian Warwick Armstrong’s 45 in 1902.

– It was only the third time in Test history the 10th-wicket pair have doubled their team’s total. Australia were 117-9 and then 280 all out.

TOP LAST-WICKET PARTNERSHIPS

163 Phillip Hughes and Ashton Agar, Australia v England, 2013

151 Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge, New Zealand v Pakistan 1973

151 Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed, Pakistan v South Africa, 1997

143 Denesh Ramdin and Tino Best, West Indies v England, 2012

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