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ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day at Lord's
George Dobell, Dan Brettig and Jarrod Kimber
July 21, 2013
Features : A chasm yawns wide
Guest Column : Payback not so much fun after all
Features : The rotting of Australian cricket
Matches: England v Australia at Lord's
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of England and Scotland
Drop of the day
Players with great debut seasons often have second season blues when the opposition work them out and they struggle to adapt. Ashton Agar has sped that up, and his second Test is already the blues. In this Test he was run out by his partner, took no wickets, and had to hobble around the field with a hip injury. The only moment he could pull it back was an easy caught and bowled opportunity that he didn't see. It bounced off his chest. As if in disgust, but more because of trying to keep a batsman at one end, all the fielders walked to the boundary. Ashton still smiled. He only stopped smiling when Tony Hill refused to believe in Hot Spot.
Badge hit of the day
"Hey Aussies, want a representation of what we are doing to you" is not what Stuart Broad said when he was bouncing Michael Clarke. But by bowling a bouncer and bouncing of the badge of Clarke's helmet, that is exactly what he did. Clarke plays short pitch bowling fine when his back is okay. When his back is not working, he's a human piñata. He looked much like the statue of him that may never be built if Australia keep playing this way.
Ominous moment of the day
It probably looked worse than it was. Three balls after playing and missing at a delivery that spun prodigiously out of the footmarks and beat the outside edge, Chris Rogers left one from Graeme Swann that went straight on with the arm and hit off stump. It was a dismissal that encapsulated the problems of a left-hander trying to play Swann on a worn, dry wicket offering him copious assistance: any stroke was fraught with danger, but Swann's drift and natural variation made leaving the ball dangerous. Roger's dismissal was also yet another example of Swann striking in his first over.
Let off of the day
Had Matt Prior been able to complete the stumping opportunity he had against Clarke when he had scored just 2, Australia would have been 38 for 4 and in danger of imploding without meaningful resistance. Swann, enticing Clarke down the pitch with a well-flighted delivery that dipped sharply and defeated the batsman, must have thought he had his man but Prior fumbled the chance and allowed the ball to bounce off his legs and Clarke to regain his ground. He went on to score 51 and add 98 for the fourth wicket with Usman Khawaja. It made no difference to the end result, of course, but it did prevent a degree of humiliation.
Non-referral of the day
As if working to a Police Academy script, Shane Watson made a handsome start before clumping his front pad down the wicket and allowing the ever-so-accurate James Anderson to hit it with a ball headed for the stumps. England's appeal was vociferous and the umpire Marais Erasmus' finger was raised. As ever, Watson wandered down the pitch and pondered whether or not to review. To widespread amusement, he declined, continuing his walk past the non-striker Rogers and Erasmus to the Lord's pavilion.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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