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
20

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

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    I have to say, I do feel sympathy for the umpires in this series. They haven't had a great series but far too many people find it far too easy to criticise people doing a very difficult job. It's all very well saying that people should be thrown off the elite panel and that they should be able to do better but these are the best we've got so it's likely that anyone else would do even worse. Most of the armchair critics would almost certainly be doing nothing but guessing in the same situation. I do wonder whether the umpires in this series are feeling the pressure more than usual, given that the pool of neutral umpires for an Ashes series is so small and they are having to back up game after game. It really can't be easy having to concentrate every single ball of every single day. I wonder whether special dispensation can be arranged for the return series to allow non-neutral umpires. There could be an English umpire at one end, an Australian at the other and a neutral in the box.

  • poms_have_short_memories 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_tawde 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...

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • WalkingWicket11 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.

  • 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 .

  • malomay 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.

  • on August 12, 2013, 1:31 GMT

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

  • Moutarde 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.

  • Eight8 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.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    I have to say, I do feel sympathy for the umpires in this series. They haven't had a great series but far too many people find it far too easy to criticise people doing a very difficult job. It's all very well saying that people should be thrown off the elite panel and that they should be able to do better but these are the best we've got so it's likely that anyone else would do even worse. Most of the armchair critics would almost certainly be doing nothing but guessing in the same situation. I do wonder whether the umpires in this series are feeling the pressure more than usual, given that the pool of neutral umpires for an Ashes series is so small and they are having to back up game after game. It really can't be easy having to concentrate every single ball of every single day. I wonder whether special dispensation can be arranged for the return series to allow non-neutral umpires. There could be an English umpire at one end, an Australian at the other and a neutral in the box.

  • poms_have_short_memories 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_tawde 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...

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • WalkingWicket11 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.

  • 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 .

  • malomay 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.

  • on August 12, 2013, 1:31 GMT

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

  • Moutarde 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.

  • Eight8 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.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @Steve Back on (August 11, 2013, 19:58 GMT), I'd agree that Prior is the better wicketkeeper but, while neither have been perfect, I'd say that Haddin has had the better series. That was an excellent take to dismiss Rogers though. Pretty good one to get rid of Watson too. Rogers might consider himself a little unlucky though. He was obviously out when you see HotSpot but, in this case, you can certainly forgive the umpire thinking otherwise. I'm fairly sure that Prior's insistence on a review was based on the false belief that Rogers had edged the ball though, where he actually struck his pad with the bat. The right call was made in the end though, so chalk one up for DRS there.

  • Chris_Howard on August 12, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    You can't criticize Hill for giving Rogers not out. And maybe he thought there was an edge on the Harris one.

    It's time to either dump DRS or commit 100% to it - and that would mean no more "umpire's call". DRS can make the right decisions if it is allowed to.

  • Whatsgoinoffoutthere on August 11, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    Ryan Harris for third umpire!

    This match is not over by a long way. One early wicket in the morning would put a whole different outlook on things.

  • funkybluesman on August 11, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    It was an excellent catch, but you have to call the DRS referral lucky rather than astutely judged. England called for it thinking an inside edge which turned out to be completely wrong, the noise they heard was bat on pad, but got lucky when it turned out it just brushed the glove on the way by.

  • Patchmaster on August 11, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    There was so so so many knockers of Eng before this test, saying that they were now being outclassed by Aus and how Aus were whipping Eng etc etc. Doesn't look like that now eh ?

  • thebrownie on August 11, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge, If english conditions are tough for batsman, why does Anderson have an average close to 30 and every one is comparing him to Steyn ?

  • pat_one_back on August 11, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Cook clearly out of his depth attempting to expand on his role as day & night watchman but what another great save from Bell. The consistency with which Bell has resurrected Eng after top order failings has been the difference between these 2 teams. Since Andersen went quiet in Lords Australia have looked ahead in the bowling stakes and overall, with the exception of Bell haven't performed much differently with the bat, the Lords debacle aside. Aust will need to match Eng with quick wickets in the morning to stay in this match, the fierce seam wasn't around today but it's starting to take turn and with Watson possibly out Aust desparately need their top order to set a platform for a sizeable 4th innings chase.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 11, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Tony Hill had an excellent day otherwise. It was amusing seeing Harris charging off before the decision; he even turned around near the steps to 'check' that everything was alright...

  • on August 11, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Excellent work indeed by Prior, who is the better wicket keeper in comparison to Haddin. Now he really needs some runs tomorrow - this is the area where Haddin has outdone Prior this series.

    Very evenly matched and tense match so far. If England get another 80-100 runs and lead by around 280-300, they will be clear favourites. If, however, Australia do what England did this morning and remove our last few wickets for just a few, they might edge this game. Time will tell. However, we must agree that Australia have left it too late in this series to seriously compete - the urn is already lost for them.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 11, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Prior's catch was unbelievably good, one of the best you will ever see from a wicket-keeper. It just hasn't been Cook's series, we all know how difficult being an opener is in English conditions which is completely difficult to batting in the middle order against a softer ball. Bell just looks like the best in the world right now, the most aesthetically pleasing player to have played the game in many years. His was a great knock, full of textbook flowing shots.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 11, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Prior's catch was unbelievably good, one of the best you will ever see from a wicket-keeper. It just hasn't been Cook's series, we all know how difficult being an opener is in English conditions which is completely difficult to batting in the middle order against a softer ball. Bell just looks like the best in the world right now, the most aesthetically pleasing player to have played the game in many years. His was a great knock, full of textbook flowing shots.

  • on August 11, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    Excellent work indeed by Prior, who is the better wicket keeper in comparison to Haddin. Now he really needs some runs tomorrow - this is the area where Haddin has outdone Prior this series.

    Very evenly matched and tense match so far. If England get another 80-100 runs and lead by around 280-300, they will be clear favourites. If, however, Australia do what England did this morning and remove our last few wickets for just a few, they might edge this game. Time will tell. However, we must agree that Australia have left it too late in this series to seriously compete - the urn is already lost for them.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 11, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Tony Hill had an excellent day otherwise. It was amusing seeing Harris charging off before the decision; he even turned around near the steps to 'check' that everything was alright...

  • pat_one_back on August 11, 2013, 21:21 GMT

    Cook clearly out of his depth attempting to expand on his role as day & night watchman but what another great save from Bell. The consistency with which Bell has resurrected Eng after top order failings has been the difference between these 2 teams. Since Andersen went quiet in Lords Australia have looked ahead in the bowling stakes and overall, with the exception of Bell haven't performed much differently with the bat, the Lords debacle aside. Aust will need to match Eng with quick wickets in the morning to stay in this match, the fierce seam wasn't around today but it's starting to take turn and with Watson possibly out Aust desparately need their top order to set a platform for a sizeable 4th innings chase.

  • thebrownie on August 11, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge, If english conditions are tough for batsman, why does Anderson have an average close to 30 and every one is comparing him to Steyn ?

  • Patchmaster on August 11, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    There was so so so many knockers of Eng before this test, saying that they were now being outclassed by Aus and how Aus were whipping Eng etc etc. Doesn't look like that now eh ?

  • funkybluesman on August 11, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    It was an excellent catch, but you have to call the DRS referral lucky rather than astutely judged. England called for it thinking an inside edge which turned out to be completely wrong, the noise they heard was bat on pad, but got lucky when it turned out it just brushed the glove on the way by.

  • Whatsgoinoffoutthere on August 11, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    Ryan Harris for third umpire!

    This match is not over by a long way. One early wicket in the morning would put a whole different outlook on things.

  • Chris_Howard on August 12, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    You can't criticize Hill for giving Rogers not out. And maybe he thought there was an edge on the Harris one.

    It's time to either dump DRS or commit 100% to it - and that would mean no more "umpire's call". DRS can make the right decisions if it is allowed to.

  • jmcilhinney on August 12, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    @Steve Back on (August 11, 2013, 19:58 GMT), I'd agree that Prior is the better wicketkeeper but, while neither have been perfect, I'd say that Haddin has had the better series. That was an excellent take to dismiss Rogers though. Pretty good one to get rid of Watson too. Rogers might consider himself a little unlucky though. He was obviously out when you see HotSpot but, in this case, you can certainly forgive the umpire thinking otherwise. I'm fairly sure that Prior's insistence on a review was based on the false belief that Rogers had edged the ball though, where he actually struck his pad with the bat. The right call was made in the end though, so chalk one up for DRS there.