England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day

Agar's world records create extraordinary day

The Report by David Hopps

July 11, 2013

Comments: 191 | Text size: A | A

England 215 and 80 for 2 (Cook 37*, Pietersen 35*) lead Australia 280 (Agar 98, Hughes 81*, Anderson 5-85) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ashton Agar hits over the top during his record innings, England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 2nd day, July 11, 2013
Ashton Agar fell for 98 in a fearless innings but gained two world records in the process © Getty Images

No last man has ever made a Test hundred. Ashton Agar came within inches of achieving it in his maiden Test innings. His eyes lit up at the opportunity to pull Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann flung himself forward to hold the catch at deep midwicket. He was denied the ultimate prize, but his extraordinary innings will remain part of cricket folklore forever.

Before Agar's fearless intervention, life was going swimmingly for England. James Anderson was producing a contented exhibition of reverse-swing bowling. Swann was finding substantial turn. Australia lost five wickets for nine runs in 32 balls and were in disarray at 117 for 9. But if England had imagined that a decisive advantage in the first Investec Test was theirs for the taking, as Australia's first innings shrivelled on a parched Trent Bridge morning, they were mistaken.

Agar might have missed a maiden hundred but for the man dubbed 'Ashton Who?' two world records in a day was enough to be going on with. He walked off the ground with a smile and a shrug that won further admiration. His 98 had taken only 101 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. The cricketing world knows his name now.

Agar's two world records

  • Ashton Agar's 98 is the highest by a No. 11 batsman in Test history. The previous highest was 95 by Tino Best of West Indies, also against England, at Edgbaston in 2012. The previous-best for Australia was by Glenn McGrath, who handed Agar his Baggy Green on Wednesday; McGrath scored 61 against New Zealand at the Gabba in 2004.
  • The 163-run partnership between Phil Hughes and Agar was the highest ever for the tenth wicket in Tests.

Agar was the unregarded teenager who told Australia that the game was not yet up. He now holds the highest score by a No. 11 of all time, surpassing Tino Best's 95, also against England, at Edgbaston only last summer. When Best set his mark, that was explosive hitting; this was batting.

He dominated a transformational stand of 163 in 33 overs for the last wicket - another world record - with Phillip Hughes, a specialist batsman who drew strength from his example. He even gave Australia a first-innings lead of 65 and nobody expected that. The Agar family, who had travelled halfway around the world to watch him make his debut, were in jetlag heaven.

England's shock reverberated into the start of the second innings, Joe Root and Jonathan Trott dismissed by Mitchell Starc in 7.3 overs up to tea. Root got a feather on a leg-side flick - his doubts were not strong enough for his captain to agree to a review - and Australia successfully reviewed to gain an lbw against Trott, even though there was no definite proof of an inside edge that the umpire Aleem Dar had suspected.

Maintaining the threat once the new ball had softened was a different proposition. Australia's pace bowlers dried England's scoring rate but found no reverse swing. Alastair Cook was intent on circumspection and even Kevin Pietersen played with utmost sobriety. The last session dripped by. Agar's left-arm spin, although possessing stately promise, lacked threat, although he did have Pietersen dropped at the wicket - a very taxing chance for Brad Haddin - on 25.

Agar will bask forever in the memory of how he twice deposited Swann's offspin straight for six and pulled Steven Finn defiantly to the boundary in a youthful show of Australian defiance. One on-drive late in his innings off Anderson, played with perfect balance, back leg off the ground in the style of Pietersen's flamingo, was a gem.

Australia's innings might have ended on 131 when Agar, on 6, got the benefit of the doubt on Swann's appeal for a stumping from the third umpire, Marais Erasmus. He must know a good story when he sees one. Agar began tentatively but Finn's hapless attempts to browbeat him with short balls on such a somnolent surface failed miserably as the young debutant lived the dream.

Agar pulled him more and more confidently; Finn's tactics looked more and more misconceived. By the time Finn pitched the ball up, Agar had the confidence to drive him eagerly through extra cover. Finn's four overs cost 32 and he has rarely looked so impotent.

England's employment of deep fields to Hughes, a specialist batsman who was blocking, with the intention of bowling to Agar, a No. 11 dismissing the ball to all parts, looked increasingly clownish, a manual that no longer applied.

England had to abandon plans to restrict Stuart Broad to a watching brief. Broad had officially passed a fitness test before play on an injured shoulder but he had bowled gingerly in front of a posse of England backroom staff. He could barely throw the ball in. Until 10 minutes before lunch - a session extended to two-and-a-half hours - he stood there and watched, unemployed for his own protection.

It has been quite a week for Broad. He has had a cortisone injection in his shoulder, been cold shouldered for laddish remarks on Twitter about Andy Murray's girlfriend and then struck on the shoulder by a bouncer from James Pattinson. As the overs ticked by, and he was not called upon, he probably got a chip on his shoulder to complete the set.

Glorious blue skies greeted Australia at the start of play. All it required was some glorious batting to go with it. For half-an-hour, Australia prospered. Hughes punched Anderson confidently in front of point, Steve Smith met the introduction of Swann's offspin by a spritely blow over extra cover to register the first half-century of the series. Thirty-three runs came in untroubled fashion.

Then, as if by instruction, the mood changed abruptly. The ball spun markedly as early as the second morning; it reverse-swung by the 31st over. The nature of Test cricket in England is not what it once was.

England had hinted that they might contest the Ashes on dry surfaces and they have been as good as their word. Australian wickets fell in a rush. The air was rent with England appeals. The skies were still blue, but it no longer mattered.

Smith had played with adventure, but his eye let him down when he drove ambitiously at Anderson and edged to Matt Prior, beaten by just a shade of outswing. Swann, presented with the sort of parched, cracked surface he must have dreamed that his home ground would one day produce, found substantial turn to bowl Brad Haddin, second ball.

Then in the next over Anderson, cupping his hands around the ball, signalled that he felt it was already time for reverse swing, the result of a dry ground and England's wise ball management. Peter Siddle was worked over, dealt in turn a lavish inswinger and then an aggressive outswinger which he edged to Prior.

Anderson proceeded with lithe contentment. Starc was his third wicket of the morning, all to wicketkeeper catches, as he dabbed at a ball that swung away from him.

Pattinson was quickly dispensed with, thrusting forward to an offspinner which failed to turn, the batsman's review of the lbw decision failing when replays showed the ball thudding into leg stump. In walked Agar, about to deliver something quite extraordinary.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by JG2704 on (July 12, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

@BobMartin - I try to look at things with more of an open mind obviously but re the Broad decision today - while it may not be as costly to Australia re the state of the game compared to day 2s decs , it was worse that all the decs which went against England put together

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 12, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

Crucial session coming up now after lunch. I think England should be aiming for a lead of at least 200. Please Swann, don't get injured out there when it's your turn to bat! We know you love the limelight, but save your thing for the ball in hand (and onwards into the stumps would be nice).

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Well done agar. Done Best batsman since bradmann with his. turn. Hope that aus win today only. Good luck aus.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 12, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Well Agar's dream debut continues. That's a huge 10 mins for Aus just when it looked as if Eng where getting the upperhand. For Eng to stand any chance of winning we need to bat the day out and set Aus at least 230 & hope by tomorrow the pitch is showing some serious signs of detioration. If we are to set set such a target then either Bell, Bairstow or Prior is going to have to produce something special. Aus pretty strong favorites from now.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

I am Pakistani and I Love to see Ausi on top.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 12, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

@Rowayton actually thought Rogers was not out myself, and said so at the time. I don't blame Erasmus for not overturning it (because the evidence was inconclusive) but Dharmasena shouldn't have given it in the first place, imho. Right arm around to a left-hander, hitting him in front of leg, that's too much doubt for the umpire to give it. If anything Starc's was closer, left arm over, swinging it back in, it's actually more likely to hit the stumps.

Don't think England have necessarily had the rough end of the bad decisions. There were bad decisions, however, against both teams, and lessons to be learned.

Posted by Surajrises on (July 12, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

A well deserved half century for Kevin Pietersen. Now he needs to move on and get a bigger score for the Brits.. GO KP GO...

Posted by bobmartin on (July 12, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

@ JG2704 on (July 12, 2013, 8:07 GMT)... Of course I made errors as an umpire.. no-one is perfect and the man who never made a mistake never did anything.. But as is the case with all umpiring errors, each wrong decision goes for one side and against the other, but they never ever cancel themselves out.. Each incorrect decision simply adds to the total number..There are no pluses and minuses. A mistake is a mistake and in umpiring, it cannot be undone. The best umpires are those who make the least mistakes because the one who makes none has yet to set foot on a cricket field. The worst ones are those who try to atone for a wrong decision against one side by making another for the same side..and we've all come across plenty of those in out time..

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 12, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

@Srini_Chennai, the reason hotspot didnt show anything is becasue the operator forgot it set the camera up, and so the evidence was inconclusive, hence the debate is whether the Off fiedl umpire (sat in a bunker) had enough evidence to overrule the onfield umpire.

And thats the clarification that England are seeking for from the ICC.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

What a very humble young man Mr Agar is- his innings was phenomenal!! And as for that smile- showed huge passion and respect for the great game- very well done Mr Agar you are an inspiration!

Posted by volmitius on (July 12, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

i think this rookie spinner has jst changed the fate of entire series with his demolishing and morale boosting innings of 98 !! England must hav been cursing themselves for not containing him earlier and letting him go this far... i m feeling that this innings of agar is goin to hurt the english team big time in this series...this might jst proved to be a spark that can fire up the entire aussie team !! and 1 piece of advice for aussie team , send agar a little higher in the 2nd innings...

Posted by Sadip on (July 12, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

No. 11 batsman on debut at the age of 19 did, what he is capable of doing.....!!!!! Great inning under the circumstances.......Certainly, he will not have to bat at No. 11 anymore in his life.....!!!! He made every Australian fan proud....!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

I really hope Agar can pick up a few wickets - that is what he is in this side for. If he were to go wicketless, say 0-100+ in this innings, it would be very hard to pick him for a second Test, as talented as he is.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 12, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

@JG2704 : In my original post I said 200 would be tough for us to chase, but having thought about it some more, I'm downgrading the sweat line to 150. .. This pitch looks as though it's going to take more and more spin and Starc is making some nice footmarks for Swann to tease our plethora of left handers with. Not that I've got anything against Mitch, it's just that he's got bloody big feet. .. I've also got no doubt that England will lift their game from this point onward. Anyone can get ambushed once (Agar) but a properly run outfit won't let it happen twice in a row. England, as far as I can see, seems a professional setup, so we shouldn't forget that we were 9/117 at one point .. On the positive side for Aus, I believe we'll get more runs out of the lower middle order in the 2nd dig. Siddle, Pattinson, Starc and Haddin can all bat pretty well most of the time, so I'll reckon those 4 will get more than the dozen or so runs they managed between them in the first dig. .. See ya JG.

Posted by Srini_Indian on (July 12, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Can't believe the controversy of Trott's dismissal. The hot spot didn't show anything, Snicko did the same, so based on the technology they had, the evidences are conclusive that Trott didn't inside edge the ball and hence was given out. Don't get me wrong, I'm neither an English or Aussie supporter, the decision seemed right to me. In 2011 summer, I notices some England players checked VVS's bat for any wax coating, perhaps they should check for Trott's bat now.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

@John Yelton, look I agree, he has made some outstanding contributions for WA in his short career so far, guiding them home to a couple of very good wins in the Shield, in very tight situations. Most fans that haven't been following may not be aware of it but he would seem to be just as much a talent with the bat as the ball. Thats his 4th FC 50 from 17 innings and although its a thin sample he is averaging 39. Should certainly have come in in front of Pattinson at the very least. We must remember though that Starc too has a 99 to his name and Sidds hit his maiden FC ton on the A tour.

Posted by srikanths on (July 12, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Agar does seem to have tendency to withdrwaw his back leg towards the leg , could put him in trouble against short pitched. I am of course talking about a weakness as you would talk in the case of a genuine batsman. That is what he looked like.He batted without a worry till 98. People realise what playing without a care means to one's confidence. People talk of failures of a certain Sachin Tendulkar and the delay of getting his 100 th 100 ( which itself was a media creation). Every time I see someone doing well when the expectation are low and every time when I see someone struggling when the expectations are high one thinks of SRT and how he coped ane did exceedingly weel nothwithstanding the perenniel scrutiny.If one factors that n, I would think his average would have been 60+ easily.It was any way above 56 till about a 1.5 years back post which he has been a walking wicket.Age ..... time to retire even for an outstanding performer like him

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

Sorry to appear wise after the event, but I was very surprised to see Agar at number 11 in the batting order. In his his short first class career he already has 3 half-centuries and averaged of 30. That sounds like a potential all-rounder to me. The oz numbers 8-10 are all OK, but none of them are all-rounders or even have pretensions to be. The evidence was already there that he is not a number 11.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 12, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

@dunger.bob - I'd say Australia are ahead right now. Obviously it can all change but once either Cook or KP go you have Bell (who doesn't inspire confidence these days) JB (likewise) and Prior and the bowlers and the tail didn't wag in the slightest in the 1st inns. Obviously our lower mid order/lower order could come up trumps - that's the sort of test it's been. I'd have said if Eng had been 0 wkts down with the score as it is Eng would be slightly ahead. 1 wkt down and it's fairly even. 2 wkts down and Aus are ahead

@OneEyedAussie -I generally am a critic of Cook's captaincy but not sure if Broad was fit to bowl and was he not off the field for some time which would have meant he wouldn't be allowed to bowl for some time?

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

It is always a treat to watch tailender bat and cause problems for the opposition team But in ashton agar's case , he has truly inspired the aussie team wid a great display of batting....this inning frm agar may create all the difference as he has already made dis test remarkable.and in trott case we human are subject to make mistakes but how on earth third umpire can make such a decision without any conclusive evidence ,,, you can't make a decision on your personal basis..ICC must consider these things as these errors can change the course of the game. Secondly i loved the bowling spirit of Jimmy Anderson ...what a way to get rid of Clarke..Clarke had absolutely no clue about that delivery. BUT clarke will definitely come stronger as the ashes progresses ..The Greatest rivalry has begun in we have already seen the heroics on the 2nd day.

Posted by SmellyCat on (July 12, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

Test Cricket at its best. Even though I'm an Indian, I should have been watching India v SrlLanka final, but I did not even bother to switch to that game. Over the last two decades, Ashes was always Australia's and the contest was all about when England would commit hara-kiri and collapse. Now that England is resurgent and Australia going down, it's become a very even contest. This game is not over yet but England is ahead for me. Australia can be in the game only if they get Cook and KP out early, else it's a Gooner for them.

Bring on the fight, Australia.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 12, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Watched the highlights of Agars knock last night and he seemed a very credible batsman, he was patient and hit the bad balls.

In regards to the Trott incident, it would be nice to have clarification fromt he ICC as all the evidence avaialbe suggested an edge, but thats the rub of the green for you, maybe this evens out the Cowna dismissal form Australias first innings.

Posted by Biggus on (July 12, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

Well that was good fun! Nice stuff from Agar, Trott could probably consider himself hard done by, and we have a most interesting game on our hands. Pitch is looking pretty flat now though so our bowlers will have to up their game if we're to contain England to a gettable total. We're certainly a pretty ordinary side but England don't look all that much better especially given the home advantage.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

Its going to be very intriguing to watch the approach of both teams this morning. Will Aus be a little more attacking and try to nip out a couple of early wickets before the batsmen are set, or will they continue on with the gabba line and wait for the second new ball before attacking? Will KP get out after the bowling? Will Captain Cook raise his sails or merely drop anchor? Batting conditions can surely only deteriorate from here, or will the pitch just remain flat and more or less batsman friendly? So much to watch out for this morning!

Who is so bold as to offer up some predictions?

Posted by AJS007 on (July 12, 2013, 7:44 GMT)

In the preview, after the 1st day, after the 2nd day, the title shows "England edge ahead". The fact remains otherwise.

Posted by disco_bob on (July 12, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

As for Dar's shrugging of his shoulder's let's be clear, that was nothing but blatant dissent and he should be publicly reprimanded. He has no authority or right to imply any questioning of the 3rd umpire's decision which is based on access to the technology which is er... why we have the technology. Dar's inexcusable public mockery of the 3rd umpire's decision has had the expected effect of adding fuel to the fire of erroneous public outrage at a incorrect decision correctly overturned, by fans who were already preparing to crow about Australia's stunning collapse.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 12, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@TenDonebyaShooter - The Tino knock was different IMO from this one. Many of Tino's shots were swings. This knock seemed more controlled. Anyway on that day we did have 3 uninjured pacers bowling at Tino (Onions,Finn and maybe Bres) but just couldn't get him out. I genuinely don't think there's that much difference between Broad and Bres or Onions so I'd probably rather have one of the latter purely because they are less likely to break down. I also think that re Broad and KP it proves that managing workloads (esp if you overdo it) doesn't work and can go the other way.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 12, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

@bobmartin - Have to disagree with you. I think over time they do even themselves out even if it's not in the same test or even same series. I notice that many posters on here (inc your good self) boo when it goes against their team but overlook these decs when it works in their favour. I'm guessing you also would have made a few mistakes as an umpire. It's part of life.

@warrenwhite - Ahead in the scorecard - not in the game itself

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (July 12, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

I hope Agar enjoys his moment in the sun. From this point on he will have to deal with the pressure of expectation. It has to be said he looked like a genuine top order batsman, however. Some of those shots were fantastic! Of course, England will already have some guy going through the footage to spot his weaknesses, so it will get harder from this point on.

Now, let's just hope he can bowl, or England might put together a very big score here. Unfortunately, because Australia didn't bat long, England get the best of the batting conditions on day 2/3, and Australia will most likely be batting Day 4 on a deteriorating pitch. England still most likely winners from here. Anything more than a 250 chase in the 4th innings is as good as game over, and England know that.

Posted by 100_rabh on (July 12, 2013, 6:41 GMT)

Agar..What a Lad. All proper cricketing shot but the best part was his shrug when he realised he has been caught. Stuff of dreams. Am an Indian fan and missed Dhoni's inning y'day but happy that i watched Agar playing. So when is India going to play its 2 test matches and 7 one-day series next!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Let us thank the Lord Almighty for Test cricket- cricket in its purest form, free from confining shackles, power plays, 30 yard circles, etc., and, as was proved quite emphatically yesterday, quite simply, ambrosia for the Gods.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 12, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Crazy stuff that Trott was given out, but there again we have seen the very first instance of this 'human error' side-on camera work for the first time in it's history. He hit it of course: Bat was a long way in front of pad, snicko confirmed it and the replays were conclusive. It's such a shame they can't get technology into cricket grounds...

Posted by svengali47 on (July 12, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

The decisions were against England today, but maybe they fail to remember that Andy Flintoff took 3 wickets in a series from No Balls, which may well have turned a close series on its head, so I would think given how close this match is that the Test is as much England's to win as Australia who will bat last. If they don't win from here then it will be more about how they play today than missing out on some close calls. Come back to me at the end of the series and see which side got the worst rub of the green!!! And I hope Ashton stays just as happy and charming for the rest of his career as he was today. A total star in the making as a young man as much as a cricketer. We need more of this type of player fighting for Australia. I hope young Sandhu is made of the same stuff when he starts his test career sometime soonere than later.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

How anyone can say that Trott was not plumb LBW is nuts. The hotspot front on would show any edge. The snicko showed that the ball hitting the pads was the only noise. And don't take my word, Nassar and Athers on Sky TV replayed and replayed the vision and both said that there was no evidence of a inside edge. Trott is a bad sport, he was more worried about whinging about his first golden duck in tests than the truth. As, for Jimmie Anderson saying it wasn't out, give me a break. He appealed for LBW against Chris Rogers which was clearly not out and was gifted a wicket by the dopey umpire. Alam Dar would be guessing if he heard a inside edge. I would rely on snicko not his hearing!! Sucked in England, overconfident and overblown by your own media. Aussies rule, ok!

Posted by ThugbyFan on (July 12, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

Watch the whole Ashton inning and yes, he was lucky as I thought he should have been out stumped on 6, but lets face it, all batsmen depend on luck and umpire mistakes to see them through. How many centuries in cricket have been scored after a batsman survives an early termination due to an umpire error? So to complain about Ashton is pure sour grapes by the English-Saffer team supporters.

Incidently why do all the xenophobic chest-beating poms demand review upon review then whinge like hell when things don't go their way? They did it recently in the Rugby Lions tour of Australia and we are seeing it again.

As an aside, we in Australia are getting a live feed from English cameras and direction. I find it rather strange that every wicket taken by an Aussie bowler, the camera director immediately reviews for a foot fault even if the dismissal was not referred. Yet when an English bowler gets a wicket (eg Finn on Watson, Anderson on Smith) then there is no check for foot-fault. Hmm

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Trott was out, confirmed by snicko. Great Knock by Agar!! still a good knock, we will be away laughing if that 98 wins the test match.

Posted by tjsimonsen on (July 12, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

@SICHO: What about giving credit to a fantastic batting performance by a totally unimpressed youngster instead of just, automatically, jumping on the chance for bashing the bowlers? But that's probably not as fun, is it? @Jono Makim: The problem with Trott's dismissal, I think, is that there was no compelling evidence to overturn the on-field decision. If Trott had been given out originally, it would have been fine. But DRS (I'm still all for it!) is there to overturn obviously wrong on-field decisions - not to overturn marginal ones. There was no clear evidence that Trott didn't hit it, and nor was there any that he hit it. So in this case the dicision should have remained with the on-field umpire. If he had given Trott out, he should have stayed that way too.

Posted by cric_J on (July 12, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

Quite an eventful day of test cricket yesterday.

Top class display of reverse swing from Jimmy and it is pretty ridiculous his figures don't reflect that. An exceptional effort from Agar , although frankly speaking being an England supporter, frustrating would be a better word for my feelings towards his innings. Hughes looked good too.

Regarding the third umpire's decisions , England seem to be having a tough time with it recently. In the CT final , Bell was given out when his foot touched the line. Yesterday , Agar wasn't given out in a strikingly similar scenario. Bell's wicket was a key one in the CT final and England paid dearly for it. Agar's might be the same in this match. Hope it's not.

Trott's decision was disappointing as well, (although lesser than Agar's) as the main criteria for DRS is hotspot and not snicko.

The match is delicately poised being 55-45 in Australia's favour. England need to put their heads down and do it the hard way. Come on lads , we can do this.

Posted by cnksnk on (July 12, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

I hope for his sake Agar takes a few wickets. I was rooting for the young man to score his century. However he has been picked as a bowler and if he does not take wickets he may be dropped next match. Aussies are pretty hard nosed about these things. If some one is not dong their core job, which in Agar's case is to take wickets, they are likely to say - Thank very much and move on. there have been quite a few cases of tail enders scoring runs but getting dropped the next match because they did not take wickets. I can think of Jason Gillespee being dropped even though he had scored a double hundred but did not take wickets

Posted by dalboy12 on (July 12, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

Finn and cook were not good last night. Finn should be replaced by Brendan for the next test his bowling to agar was terrible. As yet I have not seen anything to show cook can think on on his feet as a captain captain in this test or the series against nz. He seems very much a throw the ball to a bowler, set a traditional field and wait for something to happen happen type. This works sometimes when you have bowlers like Anderson etc. But sometimes when a bowler is injured and another bowling rubbish. You need to be able to think and try different things. Cook didn't do that. That said agar batted really well, if his bowling kicks in a potential great all rounder could've been unveiled.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (July 12, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

Come on England .....I dare you ...no I double dare you.... get 215 again..... please get 215 again.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

This is a dream start for this young Lad, Agar, to test cricket. I wish him all the best in the future..

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

If Australia end up winning this, I doubt Agar will care too much about missing out on his century.

Posted by hotcric01 on (July 12, 2013, 3:37 GMT)

Congratulations Agar!But he should do it with the ball too.Because he is the front line spinner of the team.Broad looks out of rhythm.Now Australia have the advantage to win.England should score around 400 to give a fight.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (July 12, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

@R U 4 REAL NICK - Yep, everyone's entitled to their opinion, I just wish you were an ENG selector, because I'd just love you fellas to drop KP. In sport, do the thing the opposition least wants you to do is an age-old strategy. Dropping KP was be the complete opposite as I'm sure the OZ camp would celebrate with glee. KP is the most destructive batsmen in either side - Warner's the only one that comes close, and at this early stage, he has nowhere near KP's pedigree. He's been a key part of each and every one of your recent Ashes winning campaigns. Maybe it's time the ECB starts looking to the future, but I'd leave that one until after the series in OZ. @RandyOZ - Haddin has had a shocker? He got done by an absolute beauty by Swan - remember, that bloke that can't spin the ball, so what was it that ball did then, anyway? He has also had to cope with a lot of misdirected & wayward crap from the bowlers - yes, he has made a few errors, but he has still acquitted himself professionally.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (July 12, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

1) Agar's decision was a 50/50 call at best. The technology isn't clear, despite the 'clear' calls from many punters on this site. There was a lot of shadow and the back foot was not static, it was on the move. DRS was introduced to get rid of the howler - just because every team uses it on the 50/50 call does not change its original purpose. That being said, Trott's decision appears to have been a howler (I didn't get to see any replays as I was relegated to ABC radio due to poor reception). The 3rd umpire got it wrong from all accounts and ENG can feel justifiably aggrieved. I realise 'benefit of the doubt' is not written into the laws of cricket, but it is certainly enshrined in the spirit of the game. When in doubt, benefit should go the batsmen, and just get on with the game. However, the game has changed, and that's just the way of it. Look at the number of LBW' decisions now, many of them 50/50. How many wickets would Hadlee and Alderman take now?

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (July 12, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

The way Agar nursed hughes to 80 showed the maturity of a quality batsman, now that He knows all you have to do is relax and let your skill take over He can go back to 3

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 12, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

Very good contest in the last session with England being bogged down and not scoring despite it being a batter's paradise and there being no swing/seam at all. Good bowling - even starc was economical! However, we need wickets and not just to dry up the runs (although it proved successful for NZ in all of those 5 tests). England have got reverse swing; we haven't. Obviously a tactic by England to prepare dry wickets considering swann's brilliance and the fact that we didn't get reverse in India and they did. Hopefully agar with his confidence can prove his worth with the ball and not just his batting. Right now lyon looks the much better option - play agar at 7? Patto needs to show off his undoubted talents with a good performance. Glad we didn't drop sids - we need him with these pitches.

Oh and @jmcilhinney, I remember you being bullish on the prospect of a 5-0 whitewash... And yet you haven't commented on the day's play at all? Are England just a tad overrated?

Posted by AidanFX on (July 12, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Clarke, please pay attention. I saw Ponting apply the same tactics as Cook did yesterday. He let Hughes have the easy single (as if to say we are not trying to get you out) and Hughes obliged and played himself in, meanwhile he backed his teammate, unknown to everyone else. Holdings comments were spot on To paraphrase: We have two batsmen trying to score runs. One has more runs at a higher run rate - which one do you prefer to bowl to? Can we conclude this is the dumbest tactic employed by captains - So many games have been lost as a result. Try to bowl both players out with fairly conventional fields is a much better tactic then to give away runs and underestimate one of your opponents. Hughes played an excellent humble innings - and Agar gave me a memory to remember - long live Test Cricket.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (July 12, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

5wombats on (July 11, 2013, 20:49) I concur nice to see great contributions being appreciated by the crowd, this is what makes cricket cricket. I've looked at the odds and England are 8/13 Aussie 7/2 I would have it the other way round but probably just pessimism. England need to bat long, the scoring rate doesn't matter really, the longer they play the more uneven bounce and foot marks for Swann (and dare I suggest Root). Just past halfway through the innings and anything could happen, love tests adore Ashes, takes me back to being a kid with Yallop, Gooch, Lillee...also adore the banter with our Antipodean cousins (even the saft ones) most talk sense and don't try to score cheap childish points. Miss watching in normal time (in the states).

Posted by Showbags88 on (July 12, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

It has to be said it isn't the young guys recently that need to be held accountable for Australia's poor performances, it's the older more experienced players. The only experienced players in this team worth their salt are Clarke and Siddle atm.

Cowan, Rogers (only 1 innings so not gonna be too harsh), Watson and Haddin are all the big liabilities in this team and need to start pulling their fingers out.

Hughes, Smith, Starc, Pattinson, Agar have all accounted themselves well and Australia has a good young core of players that could develop into a good unit into the future. If you add Khawaja, Warner, Wade, Cummins the future actually looks pretty bright.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (July 12, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

After that astonishing innings from Agar the game is now the balance. The pitch is showing considerable wear and turn, I wouldn't want to be chasing too many as Swann and Anderson are going to be a handful on this pitch. Forgetting the euphoria of Agar, other than him, Smith, Hughes and Siddle the rest of the Aussies have been woeful in this test. Out of those 4 so many Australian supporters didn't want any of them in the team and many English thought they would be the weak links (myself I didn't want Agar in the team) but glad the kid has proved me wrong as I wont forget that innings for a long time. A 19 year old kid has given all Australians hope whilst maintain a beaming smile and cool composure.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

This is the REAL cricket. Mighty men in white clothing and grinding it out for long periods . its the survival of the fittest with the "BEST SKILLS" ......... TEST CRICKET FOREVER............... All other is just a night out for eats and drinks.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 12, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

@ H_Z_O. Point taken. "Vastly," in terms the Test experience of Root, Bairstow, & others, is unquestionably hyperbole. I plead guilty.

I was writing of the excitement & joy of witnessing this innings, & thinking of the "average" of the 1st class, ODI, List A, T20 etc experience of all 21 other cricketers. My intent was not to diminish any player in this match, but rather to recognise and applaud the performance of a young man whose play reflected Kiplings words, "If you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs…" (Awful poem, but it makes the point!)

This was a riveting experience, enjoyable as KP thrashing Steyn or Clarke disemboweling the SA attack. I am a Saffa, but who could love cricket and not deeply appreciate those performances - the single gladiator putting the (reputed) best to the sword. When the lone combatant is no gladiator like Clarke, but rather a debutant teenager facing men like Anderson & Swann, the fine details of stats do pale into insignificance.

Posted by jango_moh on (July 12, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

great game of cricket... may the best team win.... indian fan!!!!

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 12, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

I really hope agar turned into fearsome batsman. I like the way he played. He is more batsman than bowler. can he play in swinging pitches and defend for hours? We have to see. If he can get few wickets along with this 98 ...

Posted by disco_bob on (July 12, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

Agar, on playing in the front yard with his two brothers... "if you couldn't bowl, you wouldn't get a bat and if you couldn't bat you wouldn't bat for long". Looks like Australia has found it's new cricketing dynasty.

Posted by disco_bob on (July 12, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

Ashton is to The Ashes as Arsene is to Arsenal

Posted by disco_bob on (July 12, 2013, 0:17 GMT)

I jokingly wondered before the match if we would see another Ball of the Century from Ashton Agar in his Ashes (and indeed Test debut). This did not happen but without any hyperbola I think we did see quite literally the Knock of the Century, coming as it did from a No. 11 with proper cricket strokes and at a phenomenal ODI strike rate that had seen 5 previous wickets fall for a handful of runs. While I won't be seeing out this century it is a safe bet we won't be seeing it beaten.

Posted by Scuderi on (July 12, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

@bobmartin - a direct quote from Micheal Vaughan today 'He deserved a century, the way that he played'. But I'm sure you know more than a former English captain

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 0:04 GMT)

I think that Englands bowling tactics against agar were poor, why were they having to resort to bowling short or around the wicket when good full pitched bowling had work against more accoplished and experienced batting. take nothing away from Agar though he batted with great, controlled aggression.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (July 12, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

Once in a generation innings from Agar helps Australia recover from a very hopeless position. Smith failed to discipline himself and get through the first Anderson spell (after which the bowling was very innocuous) and thus exposed the lower order - he has a lot of talent but a lot to learn still. Hughes and Agar were excellent.

Cook's captaincy was APPAULING. Sure, he can't control what Finn bowls but he could have resorted to Broad. Slips, gullies and the ball banged in halfway down the pitch. I still can't work out what was going on there.

I wouldn't stress too much if I were an England fan though. I would say, due to the advantage of winning the toss, England are still marginally ahead in this game. It will be difficult for Aus to chase anything over 250, and I can see England getting that lead quite easily given the clear overhead conditions and docile pitch.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 11, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

Why do we bother with Test cricket? .. This is why!!. .. If this contest isn't floating your boat, then you're into the wrong sport.

Honours about even I'd say. On a knife edge really and could go either way. Day 3 is a massive, massive day. Moving day, as they say in golf. .. Anything over 200 will be a tough target for Aus. to run down and 300+ would be too many I feel. .. as exhilarating as Agar's innings was we now need him to show us that he has something as a spinner. .. if he gets a few wickets that would be fantastic, but at the very least we are going to need him to lock down his end. .. every run is worth it's weight in gold and we can't afford to give away too many freebies.

It should be a gripping 3rd day and the Test will be more or less won and lost today. .. can't see it ending up in a draw, there will be a clear winner here.

Posted by Rowayton on (July 11, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

Lovely to see the English complaining about umpiring decisions - you forgot to mention that, if they were going to give Rogers out for his one, then Root was clearly LBW earlier on. And I have no problem with the Agar decision whichever side it was against - too close to call. My one question is why don't they make umpires make on field decisions on stumpings and run outs, now that we have DRS? Then it would have been the on field umpire who made the eventual decision. As a biased supporter I actually thought the two highlights of the day were the wonderful batting of Phil Hughes, and the look of delight on Nathan Lyon's face in the dressing room as his replacement smashed the England bowlers around. Lyon wins team man of the year award for me.

Posted by warrenwhite on (July 11, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

England edge ahead.. What game are they watching. Very even. England 2-15 pretty even to me. Great day of cricket. Neck and neck, less biased reporting please.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 11, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

@Wombats, If people can take away their own passion & look at it from a neutral stance, I am certain the days proceedings will stay with their memory for a long time. You are 100% correct. How does any other format of this great game invoke this kind of sentiment? The game is afoot, my friend. A contest of sorts has re-emerged. Don't forget our Gabba catch-up later this year.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 22:29 GMT)

Absolutely Remarkable Agar and Hughes you guys deserved to be remembered for ages !!

Posted by RJHB on (July 11, 2013, 22:27 GMT)

So Finn, I thought this guy was supposed to have improved and was going to be the fastest and most lethal fast bowler in the history of the world?? Ahhh-hahahahaha! He was absolute rubbish, Johnson like rubbish! More overblown Pommy hype.

Posted by mikkkk on (July 11, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

So the Australians needed to rely on a 19 year-old-number-11 debutant to overhaul Englands paltry score of 215, I find that odd because they have the worlds best batsmen in their lineup.

Posted by Wallaroo on (July 11, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

What a find. One of the greatest zero to hero stories to be told. Before the Ashes began I was extremely concerned and then when they introduced an unknown I thought we had no chance. So glad I was wrong and very happy to eat humble pie in this instance.

Posted by alarky on (July 11, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

England are 14 runs for 2 wickets in the second innings of this first Ashes test match, and this headline is saying that " England edge AHEAD"? What does this really mean?

Posted by shwantzgobbler on (July 11, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

great cricket all round....love the ashes...heres a suggestion though, if you want to make the ashes more interesting why not involve all the top teams in the world. I sincerely beleive the ashes could be made better by making it a 3 way series between England Australia and New Zealand. Without a doubt New Zealand is the best test team in the world and would improve this competition remarkably.

Posted by PRADEEP1365 on (July 11, 2013, 22:03 GMT)

Looks like we have a new superstar in the making.....

Posted by TenDonebyaShooter on (July 11, 2013, 21:49 GMT)

@JG: fair point, but I remember a test last summer when England gave Broad and Anderson a rest. The selectors then got criticised in certain quarters for complacency, especially when the opposition last man pelted them for 95 runs. At least the result was only three runs worse this time ...

Posted by popcorn on (July 11, 2013, 21:48 GMT)

EVERY Ashes,someone steps up and makes a mark.This Ashes,it's Ashton Agar. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? He deserved a century. Never can understand why sometimes such events like getting out at 98 happens. Agar was nerveless.Boof's materstroke to select him. Phil Hughes is a vastly improved player.Ed Cowan chased a wide delivery for a nothing shot and got out first ball.He will certainly be dropped for the Lord's Test.Usman Khawaja is a shoo in. Enough of this stupid clamour for Michael Clarke to move up to Number 4.Haven't we seen his failures at this position and his successes at Number 5? I was disappointed with Steve Smith's expansive drive that he nicked to the keeper.He was playing so well. His dismissal started the rot.Brad Haddin, where is your so -called expertise playing spin? Shane Watson, you've now got your chance as an opener,make some centuries.The Batting Order for the Lord's Test- Watson,Rogers,Khawaja,Hughes,Clarke,Smith,Haddin,Siddle,Agar,Pattinson,Starc.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

Simply a joy to behold no fear battered with a smile on his face and put two of the best bowlers in the world to shame good on ya mate inspiring cricket

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (July 11, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

@bobmartin... agree 100%... I particularly enjoyed Dar's emphatic shrugging of his shoulders on announcing Trott's dismissal...

Posted by jb633 on (July 11, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

Pretty happy with the day as an England fan despite the obvious last man stand. Obviously at 116-9 I would never have expected Aus to get to what they did but at the same time had you offered me the score at the start of the innings I would have gratefully accepted. For me there is still huge problems with this Eng side and it looks a mere shadow of that which played the last Ashes series. To start with for too long now our bowling attack excluding Jim/ Swann has looked innocuous. We can no longer ignore the fact that our second/third seamer has just not performed as well as they once did. Broad has his moments but they are few and far between. Finn simply leaks too many runs and although he can pick up crucial wickets they often come at a hefty price and he rarely gives the skipper any control. The big worry for me is that there doesn't seem to be too much in reserve. These cracks need to be addressed if we are to compete with SA once again.

Posted by hhillbumper on (July 11, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

Anyone think that Stuart Broad will not be seen again this series?Imagine how well England could have done with a full bowling line up.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 11, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

@Joseph Langford - yer a sport. Goodonya. Trott def NOT OUT....! @bobmartin - absolutely! I liked Agars' knock god knows outstanding - but jeez he was OUT...! stumped on 6! I don't get that - he was out stumped! But you know what - ? - You play your luck - it's the Australian Way. Aus is called the "Lucky Country" for a reason. ATM the difference between the sides is umpire Erasmus....

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 21:29 GMT)

@Joseph Langford

Dofs caps. Exactly right on all points and well said. Nice to find an Aussie with two eyes :-)

What lead do you think England need? I think 180 would be interesting but good for you, 250 difficult and 300 put Australia out of the game

Posted by SICHO on (July 11, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

so the English attack couldn't dismiss a 19 year-old-number-11 debutant, I find that quite odd because they have the "world's most skillful bowler" in their attack!

Posted by bobmartin on (July 11, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Posted by JG2704 on (July 11, 2013, 20:09 GMT) " As for some of the decisions - I think by and large they often even themselves out so I'm not going to add to the tiresome whinges here." Speaking as an ex-umpire I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. Bad decisions don't even themselves out..Whether a bad decision goes for you or against you.. it is still a bad decison.. and two wrongs never make a right

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

Worth noting that Anderson's average has dipped below 30 now, so that's one less weapon for the haters.

Astonishing day's cricket. Brilliant bowling from Jimmy, wonderful counterattack from Aus (Hughes deserves a lot of credit for his selfless batting) Really good to see KP and Cook dig in and apply themselves at the end, sanity restored.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 11, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

@ on (July 11, 2013, 18:57 GMT) - are you sure that the momentum switched back to England after Agar got out. I'd say going from nearly 100 behind with only one wicket remaining to gaining a 65 run lead , the horse bolted as far as the momentum shifted when Aus got near the English total. Probably started shifting when Australia got within 50 or maybe even sooner than that

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

@Chris_P, thats because its never happened before, well, okay Tino ripped them apart too... ha... haaaa!

Just so happy for Agar and Hughes too, whatever the end result of this match and tour, we are seeing a turning point here I believe. Mitch Starc looked far better today too. The young blokes are finally standing up to be counted!

Lots of complaints about the Trott dismissal, but there was also no sign of a noise on snicko, nor any sign of a 'hot spot' from the front on hot spot camera. In any case if the Englishmen are going to review it even when they do nick one (Finn), then Karma is going to come back and bite them. Also noting a hard luck story on Roots account, but he could have reviewed and surely almost did, but he knew he hit, otherwise not refer straight away? Plenty of gamesmanship coming from the English camp with their use of the referral system but it doesn't seem to be in the right spirit of the game trying to second guess on feather edges.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 11, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

Re England - if they are to insist on going in with 4 bowlers every game would it be better not to be picking bowlers who are as injury prone as Broad? I'm a big Broad fan but surely if managing workloads (translating IMO as overresting players , wrapping them up in cotton wool so they're more likely to lack stamina and be undercooked) then they are surely contradicting their own philosophy by picking a player who is prone to breakdown and therefore increasing the workload of the others.

Posted by bobmartin on (July 11, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

I'm sick of reading all this rubbish about Agar deserving his ton.. It was a good knock, helped by some luck from the unpredictable and in my opinion not highly competent umpire Erasmus.. However, Agar got what he got.. In sport, no-one deserves anything...you have to get it... That's the way it goes I'm afraid. As for umpire Erasmus.. I've seen too many of his on-field decisions overturned by DRS to rate him anything other than average.. Even umpire Daar appeared to be mystified at Erasmus's decision to overturn his decision regarding Trott..

Posted by TenDonebyaShooter on (July 11, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

Not a good day for the England "brains trust". These days teams are followed round by ranks of specialists and do masses of reseach about opponents, but having a relatively unknown player picked against them seems to have found England's backroom store out; they seemed to have no plan other than to bounce Agar out. They might claim bad luck at having a bowler injured, but if you pick only four specialist bowlers you take that risk. In any case, why didn't they try to break Agar's concentration by bringing on one of their three occasional bowlers? Easy to blame Finn, but a player uncertain of his place in the side is entitled to expect more on-field direction from his captain, and the defensive fields for Hughes were clearly a mistake. Conceding 163 for the last wicket is the sign of a team with no "Plan B". Cook might score a century tomorrow and Flower come up with some master strokes, but I'd say at this point that they both owe England a few of each.

Posted by cloudmess on (July 11, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

Australia have so far beaten two all-time world records and played with freakish brilliance - and still the match is about on even terms.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 11, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

For me today's second day of the Ashes was an enlightening one. I saw a youngster become a man but within a few minutes, a team fighting for victory, for this means so much more than to win, it's life itself. And when July 21st would have come and gone, we would have seen a team create history once again, not only for winning but for igniting that fire within us that burns and is forever the Ashes!

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

@Greatest_Game oh it was a joy to watch (and I was a bit sad to see him miss out on the century, actually), please don't take my remark as being "sour grapes" or in any way demeaning Agar's innings. What was so great about it was he was clearly just enjoying himself and not worrying about the deficit, the records or anything.

It reminded me of Root, actually, at least when he was in the middle order. He's only had the two innings opening, but it looks like he's gotten awfully tense and serious with the move, which is what I was worried about.

@sarangsrk Actually the issue is that there was evidence (the video from front-on) that he might have (and I stress might, although I think it looked like he did) hit it and without the side-on hotspot (which was a piece of technology that should have been available to the third umpire but wasn't because of technical difficulties), it's hard to say there was incontrovertible evidence he was out.

Not complaining, just explaining the viewpoint.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 11, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

It's always going to be hard to play cricket against 12 players (11 men + Lady Luck herself...) but well done Aus. team for making the most of it. It just wouldn't be top class test cricket if little dramas didn't keep happening, and hopefully both teams will continue bringing the excitement. 3 more days to go in this game! That is potentially a lot of cricket. Still time for certain players to step up to the plate and make their marks in this first game of the series.

Posted by steve2101 on (July 11, 2013, 19:42 GMT)

Another good day but the protocols on DRS do need looking at. It was not right to give one and not the other. England's biggest problem in this series looks like being Cook's unimaginative captaincy. The team seems to be over-briefed with plans but then he can't seem to come up with a plan B when the probabilities produced by the analysts don't work out. Andrew Strauss was exactly the same. As Botham said on commentary, it was embarrassing watching the lack of enterprise on England's part as the record stand progressed.

Posted by whoster on (July 11, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

Can't possibly predict the outcome of this match after what happened today. Agar's innings is a new piece of Ashes history, though it was horrific to watch from an English perspective. He played without fear, and with fine support from Hughes, completely turned the game on its head after England had Aus by the throat. He may have been a touch lucky with the stumping review going his way, but it wasn't conclusive, and fair enough that he got the benefit of the doubt. England should still be slight favourites with Aus having to bat last, but a couple of wickets in the first hour would put Aus on top again. Swann got a few to rip in the morning session, and if England can get a lead of about 200, it'll be a big ask for the Aussies. It'll be hot and sunny for the rest of the Test, and with Starc's footmarks crumbling, and all the Aussie left-handers, Swann will never have conditions more in his favour. At the risk of being proved wrong, an England lead of 250+ should be game over.

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 11, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Ashton batting look more Kapil Dev style batting with long limbs and going for broke every ball.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

I'm English, but was gutted that he didn't get those 2 runs...some of his strokeplay put a lot of the upper order batsman to shame.... Darren, the guy has 3 first class half-centuries, so it wasn't a freak innings at all. Poor display by Erasmus today, but these things happen.....

Posted by SNIFFLEATHER on (July 11, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

The Australian fans will no doubt be rejoicing in the exploits of their no.11, but I believe that they should be more concerned with the top order - rather concerning to say the least. England may yet lose this match, but the series will certainly go their way.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 18:57 GMT)

As an England supporter, I was absolutely delighted that Agar didn't get a century. Imagine the impact on the game if he had. The momentum shifted at that point back to Engalnd.

Posted by PACERONE on (July 11, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Cry me a river you English supporters.Lots of you mentioning the wrong decisions against England.Things are just evening out for previous decisions made in England's favor.This kid batted beautifully and it too a good catch to get rid of him.Scoring as briskly as he was shows that batting is not as difficult as some make it out to be.Yesterday I said that Agar could be a good all rounder and if his bowling starts getting wicket he will be.Gary Sobers started as a slow left arm bowler.He might not get to be as good as Gary but 50% would be good.This Anderson great freak bowling is due to very poor batting.Analise the outs and they could of easily been prevented.

Posted by Shan156 on (July 11, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

@bobmartin, I agree. It was a very poor decision to drop Compton and promote Root up to opening the innings. It is too much to ask of the youngster. I think Compton would have done just fine. Let's see, this match is not gone yet despite Agar's best efforts. More than Agar, I fear Hughes. The guy seems to have matured a lot and values his wicket more highly than in the past. Steven Smith, as I mentioned yesterday, is an irritant but I am more worried about Hughes (after Clarke and Watson, obviously).

Even though England won't admit it, I think they were a tad complacent. What was with all those rash shots yesterday? As Cook and KP showed at the end of the day, this Aussie bowling attack, while good, is not great. It was possible to score runs against them. The key is to play a game of attritition. That is Eng's strength. Keep the fielders in the field for long and make their bowlers tired. Let's hope they learned their lesson.

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

This is turning out to be a mouthwatering contest. AshTon Agar thoroughly deserved a Ashes' Ton on debut. First hour is going to be crucial tomorrow. As of now it seems that Eng have their noses slightly ahead considering that Aussies have to bat last in this match and have to face Jimmy+Swann but the first hour tomorrow may be the deciding factor. Just two days into the series i get the feeling that it will be very closely fought Ashes... Eventhough I am an Indian and a great fan of MSD who is buzy with his bunch of boys fighting somewhere on the Mars for a trophy as important as burning to ashes, I am hooked to the Ashes clashes for last couple of days... It has the hype.. It has the intrest... For last couple of days it has also produced so many twist and turns which makes this game of red leather a fascinating spectacle to watch!!!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

What an extraordinary day of Test cricket, there's no other way to describe it. Also not without it's controversial moments as well. Goodness knows what the third day will bring!

Posted by Shan156 on (July 11, 2013, 18:50 GMT)

Luck has overwhelmingly favored the Aussies this time but it can change. We can still win this. We are effectively 15/2. We need to score at least 300 more to feel comfortable defending, especially now, considering that Aus. do bat deep. We have the personnel to do it. If Ian Bell fails this innings, we need to bring back Compton to open, drop Root down to #5, and drop Bell. May sound harsh on Bell but he except for a 2 year brief period when everything seemed to be going well for him, he has been highly inconsistent and failed whenever we needed him. I have a feeling that Prior may not do well, so Cook (despite his poor record in TB), KP, and Bairstow need to do the bulk of the scoring. I have a feeling that this match is going to go down the wire. Let's hope Eng's experience prevails.

And, well done Ashton Agar. I think he was lucky to be reprieved at 6 but still you have to make your luck count and he did exactly that and much more.

Posted by salazar555 on (July 11, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

The problem with Trott's decision was that we were missing the key camara angle that would have shown a mark on the inside edge or not shown it. I think without that angle the on-field umpire's decision should not have been overturn. Root should have reviewed the decision because he would have been given not out.

Two wickets lost when there shouldn't have been any given.

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

It would have been sweet to complete his hundred but Agar did well to put England on back foot but England struggled to pull back. with KP n cook in the crease I want England to show some fight and at least put a decent total around 200+ (lead) and by the 4th day &this test match could be a cracker of all times:-)

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 18:43 GMT)

No one here can call it a fluke or anything it was pure cricket,no rash shots,just the right modern day cricket,he has bit look of yuvraj singh while playing shots on,on side,he specially placed anderson well,playing in line of the ball,and specially avoiding balls out of reach,he played positively versus swann and finn,finn was short he used that and scored against him and swann wasn't turning he used his feet to the full effect and shown the way to play it, and please no one should forget Hughes contribution in this,he played really well,he played to his strength whenever got opportunity on short off side he scored and rest of the time trusted his partner and played in line defended,gone for single,purely good modern day attacking technically sound cricket.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

Well if Australia win, then man of the match should definately go to Marais Erasmus he really got them out (or not out!) of a hole! Just kidding, Agar may have got a lucky decision but his batting was incredible for a young man making his debut in an Ashes test match. Even as an England supporter was gutted for him that he didn't get his name on the board, was very deserving of a century. From here on my only prediction is that he'll be batting higher up the order from now on!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

Australia can count themselves very luck today. A freak innings by a no. 11 and three key decisions (Agar, Root, Trott) that went against England. I'm backing England to bat all day tomorrow and into day four winning by about 150 runs.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 11, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

Unsurprisingly England fell even further after they surrendered the advantage of the the lead in losing Root and Trott. The latter I would swear was not out and they are saying neither we Root,so DRS needs a tweak to be sharper than at present. The stumping was out of course, but we bowled so badly at Agar. Thankfully Chef and KP righted the ship and it is now limping towards calm. We play first tests so badly. Anfderson and Swann in particular deserve much better. But Australian teams always fight hard and as a side will fell immensely happier after today. Tomorrow is make or break for England and Australia.

Posted by scritty on (July 11, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

Aussies 12th man Erasmus helped them several times today. Agar out twice in one ball when on 6. They only showed the side on snicko once on sky - perhaps they were to embarrassed. Not only was he clearly stumped when on 6 - it was also a snick (i.e he was caught by Prior before he was stumped) Erasmus didn't check for the edge and ajudged a pretty clear stumping as not out.

Then he gives Trott out based on no evidence. Root - well he must have felt something or else he would have asked for a review - so fair enough.

England effectively a bowler down (When Broad finally did trundle in for a couple of overs - he was even worse than usual - and that's saying something!) Looks like a "get the wickets before the ball is 30 overs old" pitch. Then it's wait for the new ball and try again Great knock by Agar - fair play to the lad. But he took three lives to get there while Trott didn't get one!

Posted by wnwn on (July 11, 2013, 18:25 GMT)

Marius Erasmus has made 2 awful decisions that have changed the course of the test match. Firstly, Ashton Agar should have been given out stumped as he had nothing behind the line and then Trott was wrongly given out when there was a clear inside edge which was proven by the big deviation and noise as the ball passed the bat.

Posted by Stark62 on (July 11, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

Agar looks like another Steve smith!!

He is a batsman who can bat at no. 6 or 7, plus can bowl spin (although better than Smith in the bowling dept.).

I don't think Aus need him that much but rather a quality spinner, especially considering the wickets in England seem to be dry and will start cracking from day 3.

Posted by landl47 on (July 11, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

This test is full of surprises. After Smith and Hughes played well, the Aussie lower order rolled over like my cat when he wants his belly tickled. Then along comes Agar and plays a brilliant innings- not just for a #11, not just for a 19-year old, but for anybody. I don't know what Finn was trying to do or why Cook let him try and do it, but otherwise England bowled well; Agar was just better. I think no-one, including the England fans, would have begrudged him 2 more runs. Don't forget Phil Hughes, too- that was far and away the best he's ever batted in an Ashes test.

Fabulous entertainment; then England lose two quick wickets and Aus are right on top. Cook and Pietersen had to stay in and we had the other side of test cricket, a grim struggle by two sides not giving away anything. The batsmen held out to the close of play, so it all starts again tomorrow. Just like yesterday, I have no idea who is on top, but I do know who won the day- Ashton Agar.

Posted by sarangsrk on (July 11, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

Highly impressed with this young man. He doesn't look nervous at all and surely very talented with bat. Only if the top order can handle the new ball, 4th innings chase might not be as daunting as it is looking. On another note, whats wrong with English commentators like Gower, Botham, Nasser. For Trott's dismissal, they are arguing whether there was an inside edge and 3rd umpire should not have overturned Aleem Dar's decision. If there is no evidence of inside edge, how can 3rd umpire overturn or are these commentators suggesting that all of a sudden, DRS and technology have become unreliable. Its good to be patriotic but not defensive. Grow up guys!!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 11, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

We saw a new page in the history of Hot Spot written today. For the first time the camera needed for the successful judging of Jonathan Trott's first ball was out of action. Because, as the official excuse goes, it was still being used to show Root's wicket, who himself was unluckily caught strangled down the leg side and controversially so in itself. Amazing. England can still win without this, Agar deserves credit for his freak innings sure, it's great to see any youngster come in with nothing to lose. But James Anderson. Jimmy Anderson. Reverse swing, outswing, or seam, he played the starring role in the day. 5 wickets of the most awesome bowling ever witnessed since the days of Akram and Botham. The video of the wicket of Michael Clarke must surely have notched up viral status already online, it will be replayed time and again for years to come.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 17:49 GMT)

@RandyOZ on (July 11, 2013, 17:16 GMT), I think that you're being too hard on Haddin. Yes, he failed with the bat but he is far from alone there. He did miss a catch in the first innings that he probably should have at least got a glove on but it was a tough one and he would have done well to hang on. Apart from that, I think he's done really well. That "chance" of KP in the second innings was no chance at all and I doubt anyone would have got a glove to it never mind caught it. In the first innings the Aussie bowlers were spraying it all over the place and Haddin was making diving saves every other ball. As for the umpires, I think that they've had quite a good game overall. There have been some 50/50 decisions that I don't think anyone could really complain about either way. The only genuine blemish I think is Trott's dismissal. Anyone with eyes could see that he edged it onto his pad from the regular front-on replay so where's the conclusive evidence to overturn the decision?

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 17:37 GMT)

What is this between Australian players selected primarily as bowlers, coming down the order and getting out when agonizingly close to a hundred. Mitchell Starc remember had been dismissed for 99 during their recent Indian tour. Now it is Agar.May be in the next test it would be the turn of Siddle to get things right and get a ton.

Posted by AussieSam on (July 11, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

I suspect that a lot of aussies went to bed a while ago when they realised england were planning on scoring at 0.5 rpo but i have enjoyed this contrasting session. This is why i love test cricket; we've seen almost everything in this match including something no one has ever seen. Yesterday was like a red ball ODI, this morning like a T20 and now we've seen some proper test cricket with two great batsman digging in against some accurate line and length bowling. Really enjoyed strauss's commentary with holding and also bumble was on fire this morning.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

Be rest assured, this is no fluke from Ashton Agar. Guy has a reasonable batting average in his short first class career, with a best of 71*, which may well be surpassed today. He batted at no. 7 in his last first class innings, in the tour match v Worcestershire. The only explanation fathomable for his coming out at no. 11 today is because it's his very first Test match!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Agar of Australia played tremendously a deputant came down at the last wicket and made a good partnership with Phil Hughes of over 150 and pulled on the innings more than lunch time. His game was a pleasure to watch. That is cricket. He is a teenager. He just missed century by two runs. His play worth more than his score that too at a critical juncture. Allm the best to him

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 11, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Haddin continues his terrible form with both bat and gloves, all highly predictable. The umpires are having a shocker this games as well with both teams getting a few rough decisions.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 11, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

A freak but wonderful innings from Agar, he was up against 2 seamers only of course and he won't get away with it again, but all cricket lovers can applaud such an innings. Aus 117-9 after Anderson's predictable magic, they ended u with 280, which yesterday was exactly how much I said England should have got for a par score.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 11, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

@ H_Z_O. Point taken. "Vastly," in terms the Test experience of Root, Bairstow, & others, is unquestionably hyperbole. I plead guilty.

I was writing of the excitement & joy of witnessing this innings, & thinking of the "average" of the 1st class, ODI, List A, T20 etc experience of all 21 other cricketers. My intent was not to diminish any player in this match, but rather to recognise and applaud the performance of a young man whose play reflected Kiplings words, "If you can keep your head when all about you, Are losing theirs…" (Awful poem, but it makes the point!)

This was a riveting experience, enjoyable as KP thrashing Steyn or Clarke disemboweling the SA attack. I am a Saffa, but who could love cricket and not deeply appreciate those performances - the single gladiator putting the (reputed) best to the sword. When the lone combatant is no gladiator like Clarke, but rather a debutant teenager facing men like Anderson & Swann, the fine details of stats do pale into insignificance.

Posted by bobmartin on (July 11, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

Funny isn't it.. that a team of selectors which seems to pride itself on continuity and not making panicky decisions... have done just the opposite... ditched a player who has had a couple of failures after two centuries.. and in consequence moved a player who's had success at #6 up to open.. then bring in a player with no recent test match form and all this in the opening test of an Ashes series.. Makes you wonder.. doesn't it ?

Posted by Vleis on (July 11, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

@ R_U_4_REAL_NICK: Are you for real that KP should possibly be dropped? Is his current form poor? Yes, he has just scored 177 not out...but also a paltry 49. Does he battle against Oz? Yes, he has an average north of 50 against them...but he's played only 18 test matches against Oz, so still too few to be statistically reliable. Is he an inexperienced junior member of the team? Of course yes, he hasn't even reached 100 tests yet. You know...on second thoughts, you may be onto something there NICK!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

@R_U_AbleToReadAndSpell on (July 11, 2013, 15:49 GMT), I'm saying get a grip because the selectors are not about to panic after one game. Compton made 9 and 37 in his first Test as opener. Were you calling for him to be replaced then? He's just had a shocker for Somerset and his top score in his last four innings for England was 16. I don't see how that's a compelling case to get him back in because Root's had one bad game.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

@Barnesy4444 From what I've seen Agar's bowling needs time. Batting him at 7 and picking Lyon might be just what the doctor ordered. Heck, if Smith's bowling improves you could end up with a left-armer, a leg-spinner and an offie, and still have three quick men. Potential for a lot of variety, especially if Faulkner can bat as well as Agar has done when he gets his debut (matter of time, I'd think).

Hughes was the real performer of the day, though. Batted very well. I've long said his "issues" against swing bowling are mostly mental, attacking too hard too soon. Today, he showed when he bats with discipline and gives himself time, he can bat against the moving ball just fine. You don't bat like he did in South Africa without being a good batsman against pace bowling, and 21 First Class hundreds at 24 is testament to a man who can bat.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 11, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

@Jimmy-Hill-Billy: What bad games but? Compton in the form of his life, and Root settled and performing well down in the lower order - and suddenly the selectors change everything. Why? Don't say "get a grip" just because you don't agree; I'm entitled to my opinions, and I'm not happy moving Root up to open right at the beginning of an Ashes series against a feisty bowling attack.

You're right - the selectors aren't going to budge (surely?) after just one game and my rantings, but fans are entitled to their opinions and whilst knocks like Agar's cannot be forecast, poor selections and odd team strategies etc. do tend to make things go wrong at times...

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (July 11, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

I've always believed we should have 6 batsmen, 'keeper at 7 and 4 bowlers.

But given our lack of batting depth (Cowan and Khawaja not pushing their cases, Warner out of action and nobody else around) maybe we are better off with Haddin at 6, Agar 7 and still have 4 other bowlers? Something to think about.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (July 11, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

Great effort from the OZ bowlers at the start of the ENG 2nd innings, but the HUGE wicket (Cook) is still out there. Enthralling day's play thus far, just when you think one side has the ascendancy the other team responds, seemingly from out of nowhere. I still have ENG in the box seat as AUS will be batting last and Swann bowled very well in the 1st innings - he's only going to become more dangerous the longer the match goes. The world's best WK will chip in with 50+ if the chips are down for ENG. OZ are making a real fight of it thus far (at 9-117, I'd given up any hope of the match making it into 4th day); I hope it continues but ENG have a strong batting line-up and they won't gift us as many wickets this time around. KP is also a notorious danger-man for Australia.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 11, 2013, 15:06 GMT), if Root having one bad game is proof that he's not the right man to open then what exactly are Compton's bad games proof of? If the selectors thought that that change was a good idea then they're hardly going to change their collective mind after just one game. Get a grip!

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

Congrats to Agar.I just looked at his stats in season 2010/2011, his last season in victorian first grade.He averaged 7 with the bat and 42 with the ball, the boy is a fast learner! Since coming to WA he has blossomed, I remember two games last season when he saved matches with great lower order batting.And he is tall, six foot three or four I believe so his bowling benefits from this.

Posted by Peterincanada on (July 11, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

No matter what the result these two sesions have been remarkable. Nobody in Oz cricket has been more villified tan Phil Hughes and Agar's seection raised a lot of eyebrows. It must be so satisfying for those two to bring the team back from the dead and create an opportunity to win.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 11, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

35 runs, at a combined average SR of 27! That is why I DID NOT want Root opening for England against this bowling line-up. Next match: Compton back opening; Root back down in middle/lower-middle at expense of either KP/Bell/Bairstow.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Absolutely Class act from Agar. What an innings. Best I have ever seen from 11 No Batsman. What an fighting spirit. That's why Ashes is famous for. English crowd put their hands together for him. Just incredible. This partnership can make some positives for Lehmann as well as for the team. I saw one interview of Agar and still remember "If you believe , everything is possible." And he has done that today..Good luck Youngman…

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

what an exciting talent. it combined clean hitting, shot selection, deft touch, placement, and a strong defence. Amazing. the best knock for Aust outside of Clarke and Hussey for a long time. The kids a top 6 batsman in waiting - which makes me nervous given how much we need his spin bowling to develop.

Posted by bobmartin on (July 11, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

Whoever said that poor umpiring doesn't alter the course of a test match...unless they are blind or hidebound... should now change their opinion..

Posted by disco_bob on (July 11, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

Australia 117/9 England 98 runs ahead and now England are two down and trailing by 54.. Hardly believable. If Agar's bowling is half as good as his batting then Australia might win this Test. Compton will feel vindicated. Poor captaincy from Cook as well.

Posted by calcu on (July 11, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

Before this match, Eng fans were saying that they will win this series 5-0 and this match easily. Eng are now struggling at 11/2, still 54 runs behind.They are now going to lose this match by huge margin and all the eng fans have disappeared.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Ashton Agar should be promoted at Number 6 or 7 in the next innings looking at his confidence, attacking style of play and proper cricketing strokes. He has impressed everyone, including the englishmen, and looks to be a new hope as a possible all-rounder in the Aussie side.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 11, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

YEAH BOYS!!! This would be an unbelievable upset. It's 12:45 and I haven't moved from my seat for hours. Ashton agar take a bow; phil Hughes take a bow; starc (how I never doubted ya!) take a bow! Even Steve smith can take a half bow!

Before people rip into me over my continuous starc bagging, there's one thing I always maintained: that he will be an absolute gun and currently has the most potential to rip into any batting line up. I just argued that he was too expensive (and we saw what eng did to MJ and we saw what accurate NZ seamers did too England), bird is a superior bowler and that his averages as of yet contradict 'selecting on performance'. I still believe that bird is... But as for the other two, he has been economical in both innings so far and his good action will always set him apart from MJ. Is it just the surgery and bowling pain free? Has worked for swann and bresnan so far.

Eng proving inconsistent and overrated. Comparing the sides on paper makes it even better!

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

@Greatest_Game Now now, "vastly" more experienced? Root's 22 in his 7th Test, Bairstow 23 in his 9th, Smith's 24 but still only playing his 7th. I'll grant you there was some poor batting by some "vastly more experienced men" but I wouldn't say there are 21 of them.

And with the fall of those two wickets before parity, this is Australia's Test to lose. Unless Clarke loses his head as badly as Cook (unlikely), England won't set enough to make the wearing pitch a factor. If Australia bat with discipline, this is theirs.

Posted by lankymanky on (July 11, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

England. Back to the 90s hey. Shocking performance by the majority of the team so far. True aussie grit in the form of Agar and the English wilt in the summer heat. 1-0 Australia almost a certainty now!

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

Well England. 11/2. Starc on a hat trick. England still need 54.to avoid innings defeat. Humble Pie is on the menu.

Posted by Jadejafan on (July 11, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

Well done to Hughes and especially Agar on that last wicket record partnership. It just proves that anything is possible in Cricket. Joe Root is overrated. He struggles when the ball is pitched up. Big mistake by England for dropping Nick Compton.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 11, 2013, 14:39 GMT)

I'm gutted that Agar fell just short of a century on debut, but he'll have another chance in the next innings, batting at no.3!

Posted by Rally_Windies on (July 11, 2013, 14:38 GMT)


Tino Best's 95 , did not last long as the record !

But now , this is the second time in 2 years that a number 11 has gotten into the 90's vs England in England ....

Posted by johntycodes on (July 11, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Gee haddin is a good pick. Terrible performance with the bat making just 1 and dropped a catch down legside because his reaction time is like a 35 year old. Wade is better than haddin at everything and we all know when it gets a little too hard haddin just gives up.

Posted by Pareshan1956 on (July 11, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

The fearlessness of the young! Take a bow, Mr Agar.

Who said test cricket was boring?

And while we are looking at records, when was the last time in a test that the last man was the top scorer for his side?

Posted by AussieSam on (July 11, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

What a session! This match just gets better and better although i was pretty down when it looked like we'd be all out 100 runs behind. Hopefully the rest of the bowlers can step up now and not leave siddle to do all the hard work again. So important as always that we get cook early again as well as trott. Not gonna be easy in these conditions.

I take back everything i said about agar's selection. Maybe we've found our no. 3!

Seriously though as bad as we did batting until the last wicket partnership i have a bit more hope after seeing the line up in action. Watson and cowan just played bad shots, rogers looked good and was unlucky, smith showed he can play the role we wanted from him and hughes proved he might do well in the middle order. I thought he looked fine against swann, he obviously decided to not attempt to go after him and managed to solidly keep out everything swann threw at him. Haddin was just done by a beauty so not worried about him.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (July 11, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Mitty2, Hughes only played one false shot against Swann. That was late on day one where a full ball spun out of the rough and Hughes' drive popped up to a vacant cover. After what he went through in India, facing Swann is a cake-walk!

Hughes gave one edge through vacant second slip off Broad when on 50, but apart from that he was faultless. He even looked good those 17 balls he faced on day one with Anderson swinging it all over the place (yes I stayed up until 3:00 am).

I still maintain he should be at 3. Boof wants centuries and what benefit is there in having a century maker 80 not out because he runs out of partners? Get him in there. This tour he's made 370 runs at 92!

Cowan out, Hughes 3, Khawaja 6.

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

@jacob davids no, it's not agar that has the highest average but it is Shikhar Dhawan

Posted by whofriggincares on (July 11, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

Wish Dharmasena was at Starcs end! More of the ball hitting than Rogers. Right decision in the end though . DRS working as it should.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

Ashes are unpredictable and it proves again by Agar splendid batting.I will love to see him getting some wickets too.Credit to Hughes also he batted very sensibly. No. 11 has given an edge to Aus but this match is far from over. Now pitch is playing good and easy to score.

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (July 11, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

So Aus have a number11 with a Bradman-like average........... and some people dare suggest the batting is weak.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

AC Agar has the best batting average in the world now. It is ever better than that of Bradman

Posted by Chris_P on (July 11, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding. Yes, that & Tino Best last year but I hadn't seen either of them so for me, totally new. I know he isn't a true #11, but it's the best technique I have seen from someone coming in there. Doubt he will ever come in there again too soon. Cheers.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (July 11, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Hughes has scored 370 runs at 92 so far this tour. We are looking for a good number 3, well here he is. He has shown in this innings he can put his head down, see off good bowling, play spin, play swing and capitalise on starts. He is also not afraid to play second fiddle to a 19 year old debutant. A good team player.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Well that was fun!!!

Well done Mr Agar .... first class batting display.

It's not often that you watch one record fall .... but when you see so many tumble including -

- Highest Test Score by a No11 - Highest Test 10th Wicket Partnership

You put a smile on the face of every Australian Cricket supporter.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 11, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Say what you want about England but they know how to get number 11's out in the 90's first Tino Best now Agar. No other country can say they can do that.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

Ooh the agony for Agar!! He was clearly listening when Darryl Lehman spoke to the team about a century per match ... Stellar! And nice going by Hughes as well putting the demons of spin to bed (at least under the bed for now) playing the best off-spinner in the world. The match is now open but is 65 runs enough of a cushion when you consider batting last on a dry and abrasive pitch with reverse swing and spin in play? We'll find out!!

Posted by whofriggincares on (July 11, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

I am gobsmacked. I questioned whether he was ready to impact this game with the ball and that remains to be seen, but that is now a moot point. Never in my wildest dreams did I think he could do what he did with the bat. What we have just seen was very special. Congrats to the much maligned Hughes as well he played superbly. Agars batting was pure ,not many batsmen can hit Swann off his length but he managed to do it with great cricket shots.I am so glad I was able to witness probably the most remarkable innings I have ever seen.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 11, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

To add ,please appoint the 19 y.o as batting 'consultant' for some of the 'specialists' in Aus team. If batsmen can have some of the bowlers in the team as batting 'mates' in nets surely this lad can provide some valuable tips in nets to the 'batsmen'. Surely.

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

Agar is good batsman betterthan any top order.

Posted by lankymanky on (July 11, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

England fan who predicted a big partnership possible causing a lead wen eng were still ahead by 70 odd but finn bowling like a drain. Gutted for Agar, fully deserved his century, but he has totally turned these ashes on their head again with Hughes. Full respect to the two. The huge momentum shift means I think a Oz victory is huge favourite now. The England top 6 have to stand up now! Are any of them better than an aussie number 11???

Posted by sonicattack on (July 11, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Phenomenal from Ashton Agar, richly deserved a century, Australia have a new hero, now England need to come back!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 11, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

What breathtaking cricket we have been privileged to watch . Little classical about it, not oozing class, but a thrill a minute transformed, after 2 rather miserable opening innings, by a 19 year old debutant batting better, and with more confidence and intent, than the 21 other vastly more experienced men in the game.

So much of the ability of a great cricketer lies in the mind, and today we see what an uncluttered mind can achieve. Agar is not a man fighting for his place in a team, or intent on "dominating" at the start of the series in order to gain "momentum," but a young man with a clear head playing, on merit, mediocre to poor bowling, and defending calmly and fearlessly the good balls. As I write he is on 80, and I am willing him on with all my might, for he is out there showing all what it is we love about this majestic game: the unquantifiable satisfaction of a true battle between bat and ball, and the pulsating thrill of a well waged war between David and Goliath!

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 11, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

19 year kid showing Eng bowlers their place.Boy,this could be more embarrassing for Eng than even a - fantastical -W/wash by 'this' Aus team in Ashes. I mean the sense the current bunch of Aussies. By the way there's no shame in getting blanked by the Great Aus side of previous be it any team . Infact ,it would be a honorouble even to compete with them even when beaten.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

@ScottStevo Thought it was out but Rogers was unlucky to be given out so I've got no complaints. And Agar made the most of his luck with some excellent batting and capitalised on some awful bowling. Fair play to the lad.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

@Lester D'souza Don't see why. On this showing and the way Agar bowled, he'd be a better bet as an all-rounder at 7 with Lyon coming in as the specialist spinner. No matter how well Agar's batted, his bowling was nowhere near good enough, though there were signs that with a few matches under his belt he'll get better.

Best bet is let Agar play as a batsman, bowl a few overs a day, but pick Lyon as the frontline spinner. Two spinners with your quicks could be very handy.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 11, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

@Mitty2 The thing I noticed about Hughes facing Swann? He noticed Agar handled Swann very well and kept trying to give the kid the strike against Swanny. So smart, and very much "setting aside his ego". He knew Agar was batting more fluently and his job was just to stick around and not go gifting his wicket away. Think his job is to carry on doing the same, and get a big "not out" at the end of the innings.

Finn was awful, but that wasn't unexpected. I wasn't a fan of selecting both Broad and Finn, personally, because Broad can bowl some awful stuff too, but he bowled reasonably well when he came on, considering. A couple of poor balls in the first over but could have had Hughes if Cook had put a slip in. Very good second over.

Cook was the real culprit though. Terrible captaincy and while his batting has been excellent as captain, I'm not convinced he's tactically astute enough for the role. If nothing else, someone needs to have a word with him, because that was shocking.

Posted by ScottStevo on (July 11, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

@maximum6, you get the feeling that nobody was overly concerned about that stumping at the time - they are now! Looked out to me to be fair, but can somewhat understand the decision. Nonetheless, he's been the best batsman on display in this test so far...by some margin too. Hope he continues after lunch and scores a debut ton! Loving watching Cook scratcihing his head. Terrible captaincy from him with his field settings for Hughes allowing the single. Worse from the bowlers trying to bounce him out continually whilst watching the ball pinging into the fence! All to play for now - and a rejuvinated Aussie line up. My only conern is, this innings has shown there's not to many demons in teh wicket and their are runs to be made out there - and plenty of time. England could still bat us out of contention - and it's not like were not all about spectacular second innings crashes (first innings too for that matter!)

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

the only australian worried now is Nathan Lyon

Posted by Blockee1 on (July 11, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

What a thrilling display by the youngster Agar who was ably supported by Phil Hughes! This of course means that I will have to stay up till the wee hours to watch what I thought was a whitewash. As my wife says... Never write off the Aussies!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 11, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

@Chris_P, I have it was at Headingly in 1981, although England where staring down the proverbial barrel in that game and it was Botham in the second innings.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (July 11, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Great stuff by Hughes and Agar! Now the bowlers will have their work cut out as this is a pretty decent batting track.

Posted by A-Gunnie on (July 11, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

Who is this KID?? He has certainly made a name for himself.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 11, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

Amazing session. I was livid with our batting - and still am considering a number 11 on debut is top scorer - and could only think of an Indian repeat. There will be many commentating on Agar - and he was absolutely amazing - but I think Hughes' innings was most substantial. He still struggled against Swann (who bowled brilliantly all throughout), but yet found a way to let Agar prosper and himself barely give England a single chance. As Mark Taylor said, he threw his ego away and batted for the team - I hope it is a defining innings for his career and for this series. Smith was batting superbly, but still most disappointed that he got out at the stage that he did. But I guess, considering that both got found out against Eng and have been our most criticised batsmen, they should both be very very content.

Beautiful bowling by both Anderson and Swann, however, they're too much better than their back ups (Finn was terrible) and Jimmy averages under 30 now! Cook's captaincy was terrible.

Posted by android_user on (July 11, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

he looks like a proper batsman. a top order batsman would be proud the shots he has played.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (July 11, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

If Agar could bowl he would make a decent allrounder

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 11, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

As an Indian never thought I will root for Aussies, the clear underdogs of this series. Pretty sure England will come back hard. Just hope this innings from Agar puts some spine into the Aussie team.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (July 11, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

England were just so good in reducing Australia to 108-9-itwas incredible and they should have been 150 ahead by now. Why did they not notice that Agar defended with a vertical bat and tried to play batsmen's shots within a very short space of time? The stumping decision went against the normal view and was dubious but for England to fall apart afterwards showed a lack of character particularly from Finn who showed he is not really the right quality yet,at least in thinking. We have all the work to do we should never have had.

Posted by rockyyy on (July 11, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

Ausralia won the 1stinnings battle of this Test , Thats the Bottom line

Posted by Chris_P on (July 11, 2013, 12:58 GMT)

Wow, I haven't ever seen anything like this in test cricket before. It's what makes it the game we love. Great effort by Hughes & Agar.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Incredible composure by young Ashton Agar. Highest score by an Australian no.11 in history and hes only 19. Phil Hughes has shown that he can really bat and support others

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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Australia won by 49 runs
England v Australia at Cardiff - Sep 14, 2013
England won by 3 wickets (with 3 balls remaining)
England v Australia at Birmingham - Sep 11, 2013
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Match abandoned without a ball bowled
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