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England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 4th day

August 4, 2013

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Devashish Fuloria

England were still in danger of following on when the play started on day 4 and they did manage to cross the mark easily. Stuart Broad scored a useful 32 before he decided to walk after edging a Nathan Lyon delivery.

But if Australia thought Broad's wicket was the end of England's resistance, there were frustrated by an eight-over long last-wicket stand between Matt Prior and James Anderson.

England were finally bowled out for 368 and David Warner's dash towards the pavilion dropped a hint that Australia were ready to take England, and probably DRS, head-on.

With only a few minutes to go for lunch, Warner was welcomed to the middle by light boos from the crowd subdued only by the appropriately timed theme music that left the twitterati yearning for a boxing match.

While Australia approached lunch with a cautious approach, the broadcaster used the combination of an engrossing contest at Old Trafford and the new football season as the perfect opportunity to introduce Manchester United legend Gary Neville as a cricket commentator.

While Neville was charming some and irking others with his commentary, England had the first breakthrough when Chris Rogers was caught behind.

Australia needed quick runs, but Michael Clarke chose to send Usman Khawaja, who had a bad encounter with DRS in the first innings, ahead of Shane Watson.

And the DRS was called into service soon after. But it was Warner who's fate was in the hands of the third umpire this time when England asked for a review of a caught behind appeal, off Broad.

Warner did survive, but the inconclusive Hot-Spot incited another wave of DRS criticism.

Meanwhile, Warner, who has been featuring in an advertisement for all-day socks, helped Australia slowly take the lead past 200.

The event of the summer soon arrived, when Warner pulled a short ball towards deep square leg where, to the delight of the crowd, Joe Root caught it.

Khawaja followed Warner when he was bowled by a ripper from Graeme Swann that pitched outside leg and spun to hit the stumps, bringing in Shane Watson and Michael Clarke together in the middle. But Australia suffered another quick blow as Watson played an upper cut into the hands of Kevin Pietersen at third man.

Steven Smith joined Clarke and injected some urgency into Australia's innings with a few big hits, but he outran his captain and ran himself out to push the thoughts of declaration further away.

What followed was a period of play where England slowed down Australia's effort to increase the scoring, while keeping an eye on the clouds.

And Anderson stretched it as far as he could, taking four minutes to deliver three deliveries.

While Anderson, and England, did their best to cut the day short, it was the umpires who took the centrestage when they called off play due to bad light, in the glaze of the floodlights, much to the chagrin of Clarke.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (August 5, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

ah sunil, just as they could warner *was* out and he still reviewed it, and they could see bresnan *wasn't* out and didnt' review it. There's lots of pressure, lots of mistakes, more by the players than the umpires, it's all great drama. But don't blame the umpires for how your team performs.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (August 4, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

I don't think its the hotspot that's been the issue, its the umpiring, take Khawaja's decision, he was not out and all folks both at home and the ground could see it, but third umpiring let us down

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