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England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, Chester-le-Street, 1st day

August 9, 2013

Bird, Lyon, Swann - a trip to the zoo

Nitin Sundar

With the Ashes already decided, England were expected to indulge in some informed player management. Speculation was that Jimmy Anderson wouldn't be playing at Chester-le-Street, fuelled by his absence at the warm-up session, and Graham Onions' presence.

However, all Anderson rumours were quelled before the toss. England were unchanged.

Australia made a change though, with Mitchell Starc making way for Jackson Bird.

Michael Clarke refused to reveal his side's batting order at the toss. Interesting gamesmanship. Almost.

The hustle and bustle leading up to the start of play subsided once the first ball was bowled. The tone for a day of slow Test match grind was set early in the piece. Bird struck a good rhythm straight away.

Bird's opening partner was tidy with the ball, though you couldn't have said the same about his appearance.

The first boundary came only in the 12th over.

Shane Watson came on early, and began with a couple of wild looseners.

Watson got rid of Root, getting an edge through to Brad Haddin. Australia needed help from DRS to get the decision, and for a change, there were no mistakes in the review process.

Jonathan Trott injected some energy into the England innings.

Trott went on to make 49 off just 60 balls. But even that wasn't enough for some.

Even as Australia began to look flat, Nathan Lyon got into the game. He had Trott inside-edging onto his pad for a catch near the wicket.

Kevin Pietersen charged out to his first ball, and miscued a loft to the leg side. He kept going after Lyon in a clear attempt to hit him out of the attack.

The ploy worked temporarily, before Lyon was brought back. Round the wicket, with his field pushed back on the leg side. Will KP charge out again? Floater, landing on a length and going through straight. Outside edge.

Australia visibly perked up after that. Bird produced a big in-seamer to pin Cook on the crease as he wrongly chose to leave.

England went to tea shaken, and things worsened soon after the break when Bell holed out to mid-off.

Jonny Bairstow reacted to Australia's pressure by going into a shell. He spent a very long time stuck on 12, while Matt Prior was equally inert at the other end.

Prior was out lbw to Peter Siddle, helped by the DRS again. 189 for 6.

And then Bairstow was ruled lbw on the sweep. He reviewed immediately, but replays showed enough evidence for the umpire's call to stay.

It was a steady procession now. Broad was bounced out by Harris. The umpire asked him to wait to check for the front-foot no-ball.

Graeme Swann played a few shots before pulling straight to the deep field. Nine down.

Anderson played some shots as England pushed towards 240, but Australia were in control though they couldn't get the tenth wicket before stumps.

Nitin Sundar is a social media manager at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Nitin Sundar

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by PFEL on (August 10, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

I laughed for a good 5 minutes at Richie's tweet. I wonder if even he has any idea what he's trying to say. Champion of the game.

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Thanks to Nitin for collecting these. This is a wonderful addition to Cricinfo!!

Posted by Agni_25 on (August 9, 2013, 18:35 GMT)

Amazing sense of humor these guys have....

Posted by   on (August 9, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Loved the nosebleed Tweet on KP...Andrew Miller thanks for the laughter

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