Lumley castle in Durham forms a picturesque background to the Riverside ground in Chester-le-Street, where the fourth Ashes Test commenced on Friday. England were 238/9 at stumps on Day One. reuters
Nathan Lyon stole the show as Australia produced a tight, disciplined bowling display on a sluggish pitch to reduce England to 238 for nine on the first day of the fourth Ashes test on Friday.
Off-spinner Lyon, bowling almost exclusively from around the wicket, grabbed four for 42 to rip the heart out of the middle order after the home team had won the toss and chosen to bat first in the most northerly test in Ashes history. Captain Alastair Cook top-scored after grinding his way to a painstaking 51 in 164 balls before he shouldered arms to an inswinger from the recalled Jackson Bird and was trapped lbw.
England, who have already clinched the Ashes after taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, made a sound, if slow, start to the first Ashes test to be staged in County Durham before Joe Root fell for 16 with the total on 34.
The much-maligned DRS worked well all day and the first indication of its new effectiveness came when Root was given out caught behind by Brad Haddin off Shane Watson after ‘Hot Spot’ technology showed he got the feintest of outside edges.
Jonathan Trott, renowned for his stodgy approach, joined Cook in the middle and the number three batsman raised the tempo with a streaky four through the slips and a neat clip through mid-wicket for three.
England crept to 57 for one at lunch, Cook managing just one four in the morning session, but Trott continued to play expansively after the interval and quickly overtook his skipper. Trott struck two fours in consecutive balls from paceman Peter Siddle and accelerated to 49 from 60 deliveries before being removed out of the blue by Lyon who cajoled him into offering a catch to short leg Usman Khawaja off bat and pad.