England v Australia, 4th Investec Ashes Test, Durham, 3rd day August 11, 2013

Prior's tremendous tumble

George Dobell and Jarrod Kimber at Chester-le-Street
ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from day three at Chester-le-Street

Catch of the day
It took a fine catch and the influence of the DRS to end Chris Rogers' excellent innings. The over before the new ball became available, Rogers played half-forward to a delivery from Graeme Swann that bounced a little more than expected and hit the batsman's side and ballooned into the air. Sensing an opportunity, Matt Prior raced from behind the stumps and threw himself forward to cling on to a one-handed catch inches off the ground in front of the stumps. With no short-leg in place, Prior was the only man who could taken to the chance. Equally impressively, Prior had the foresight to insist that England used a review when umpire Tony Hill, enduring another rough day, adjudged the appeal not out. To be fair to Hill, replays and Hot Spot showed the ball only brushed the glove, rendering it an excellent DRS call from England.

Ball of the day
At Trent Bridge, James Anderson produced what many people thought would be the delivery of the series to bowl Michael Clarke. Here Ryan Harris produced another contender which, like the ball to Clarke, draw the batsman forward then moved away off the pitch to hit the top of off stump. The unfortunate batsman on this occasion was Joe Root. Perhaps, had he come further forward, the delivery might have been defied, but it was a terrific ball and as close to unplayable as the game has seen to date.

Wicket of the day
Alastair Cook did not make his name as a swashbuckling batsman. Yet here, with the game in the balance and his side 10 ahead and already one wicket down, he attempted to drive a ball well outside his off stump that he would be expected, in normal circumstances, to leave well alone. On a pitch offering the bowlers assistance and requiring patience and determination to survive, it was an oddly reckless shot from the normally calm Cook and only resulted in an edge that was gleefully accepted by Brad Haddin.

Boundary save of the day
It's remarkable how the ball seems to follow out-of-form fieldsmen. Drop a catch at mid-on, get moved to fine leg. Fumble a ground ball there, get shifted to third man. Tony Hill found the same can be true of umpires. It has been a difficult series for Hill and the third morning was no different; he incorrectly gave Chris Rogers not out only to have his call overturned on an England review that saw the ball had brushed the glove before being caught by Matt Prior. And he finished the innings with a not-out lbw decision when Ryan Harris was plumb - this was also reversed on review. So, when the England innings began, Hill was hoping not to be the centre of attention. Alas, he couldn't even avoid the spotlight while standing at square leg, when Ian Bell's hook off Shane Watson brushed the front of Hill's jacket and kept a potential boundary to two runs.

Embarrassing moment of the day
Ryan Harris briefly found the form that once had him labelled an allrounder in Adelaide club cricket. But that was obviously ended when he went back and across to a straight ball from Stuart Broad. Except that Tony Hill did not give it out. What Tony Hill saw that everyone else didn't, we will never know. England reviewed it. The first replay was for the no ball, that was fine, the next replay showed an lbw so obvious that Ryan Harris just walked off. Followed by Jackson Bird and England. By the time every single box had been ticked, and the review had shown the ball only taking part of middle, slightly higher than half way up. Tony Hill gave the out signal. He did so, to an empty pitch and plenty of laughter.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Paul on August 12, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @FFL, even for a fair weathered English fan as yourself, saying Bell is the most aesthetically pleasing player for many years does show a lack of cricket knowledge. Whilst Bell is stylish to watch, he is certainly not in the same league as Mark Waugh, Brian Lara, VVS Laxman, Mohammed Yousaf and even Damien Martyn from an aesthetic point of view. I don't think he is the best in the world, but he is certainly the best English batsman at the moment.

  • Nikhil on August 12, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    There was nothing extra ordinary in Prior's catch. IMO Professionals are expected to take such catches. By the way, that was an insulting gesture by the players towards umpire Hill...

  • John on August 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @thebrownie on (August 11, 2013, 21:58 GMT), because, as has been said many times, Anderson's career figures are heavily weighted by his poor performance early in his career but, more recently, he has been one of the best in the world in various conditions. His ~30 average is not representative of the way he is bowling nowadays, despite the last few matches.

  • Arvind on August 12, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Prior's catch was great no doubt, but how is the DRS call "excellent"? DRS was meant to eliminate howlers, and not to be used strategically to get a wicket. That decision was most certainly not a howler.

  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    i think tony hill had good day the caught behind decision the faint touch was so faint you wouldnt have picked it up with out sinco. also i think referais should be taken out of the hands of players and put in the hands of the umpiers .

  • Mal on August 12, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    To be fair on Tony Hill, DRS was supposed to be introduced to eliminate the "howler".........giving Rogers not out was most certainly not a howler. It's doubtful if Rogers even felt the lightest of brushes of ball on his glove for that one.

  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    What is really amusing about the Harris dismissal was Jim Maxwell on TMS referring to Harris 'walking'!

  • Samuel on August 12, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Seems odd to me that all those people raging at Broad for not walking failed to raise even an eye-brow at Rogers' dismissal. Anyone who things Rogers didn't know that hit his finger needs their head read.

  • Sacha on August 12, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: I don't often agree with you, but Bell's innings and series has been superb. Possibly the difference between the two sides.