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Plays of the day as England retained the Ashes with a watery draw
George Dobell and Brydon Coverdale at Old Trafford
August 4, 2013
Surprise of the day
The 11.30am start took just about everyone by surprise. While more than 17,000 tickets had been pre-sold for the final day, there were fewer than half that number of spectators in the ground when play began. Heavy overnight rain and an uncompromisingly awful weather forecast led most people to believe there would be little if any play and some England players delayed their arrival at the ground until just before 11am. But, somehow, while rain fell all around the north of England, there was a gap in the clouds that allowed play to begin after only a short delay at Old Trafford.
Review of the day I
Another day, another DRS drama. This time it was Kevin Pietersen who was at the centre when he was given out caught behind off Peter Siddle. Pietersen looked unconvinced at Tony Hill's decision and signalled for a referral and while nothing showed on Hot Spot and there was no clear deviation off the bat, there was a noise. Kumar Dharmasena upheld Hill's call and Pietersen was unhappy, but Snicko - which is not available to the TV official - later suggested that he had in fact tickled the ball.
Review of the day II
Alastair Cook made a bid for 'worst review of the series' after he was adjudged leg-before to Ryan Harris in the third over of the day. Replays suggested the delivery, a fine ball that drew Cook forward and nipped in to beat a nervous forward prod, was going to hit the middle of middle and off and the TV umpire had little hesitation in upholding the on-field decision. To be fair to Cook, replays did show that he brushed his front pad with his bat in playing the stroke, which he may have mistaken for a thin edge on the ball. He also consulted with his opening partner, Joe Root, before asking for the review.
Close call of the day
Jonathan Trott, his head falling to the off side as he played across a straight one, was on 9 when umpire Hill turned down a strong leg-before appeal off the bowling of Harris. Australia called for a review, which showed that there was no bat on the ball and it had hit in line. But the ball tracking technology also suggested that, although the ball was likely to go on and hit leg stump, it was only going to do so by less than half a ball's width, so Trott survived on the basis of umpire's call. It made little difference, though, Trott was caught behind down the leg side just minutes later.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: George Dobell
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