Australia won the toss and elected to field first in the 4th Test of this return ashes series with Australia already having won it. Bairstow's selection over Prior meant he and his late father David become the first father and son combination to have kept wickets for England. As expected Panesar came in for the retired Swann. Australia retained their winning combination.

England started off cautiously, with both Cook and Carberry being on the defensive mode. The 1st breakthrough for Australia came in the 17th over in the form of Cook who was caught at second slip, an indecorous prod from Cook that seemed to betray the muddled state of mind he had got into with his batting, gulled into hanging his bat out and a thick edge flew to Clarke. Like a man reaching for another chocolate late on Christmas day, Cook couldn't resist temptation there. Siddle thus did the trick, on his home ground, a place where he loves to perform. Out came Joe Root at No. 3 with England at 48/1. Part-time bowler Watson got the 2nd breakthrough as he followed the outswinger with the inswinger which completely did Carberry in who shouldered arms and saw the ball clip his off stump. Another start not built on for him. That was some terrific skill on show from Watson. This meant the arrival of the out of form Pietersen. A bowling change from Captain Clarke after the 42nd over did Root in who got 24 runs of 82 balls. Ryan Harris was the man Clarke turned to break this growing stand betweem Root and Pietersen. Harris did just what he wanted and got Root with his 1st delivery. It was a lovely outswinger. Root had been making half-promises and forget-me-not motions at balls outside off all innings and finally he got something on one, pulled on to the front foot, bat dangling away from the pad and a thin but audible nick sailed through to the keeper. In came Ian Bell, hoping to avoid another England collapse in this series which he almost did by facing 98 deliveries for his hard fought 27 runs. It was Harris again who got the breakthrough for Australia. The ball was in the channel outside off, Bell played and got a thin edge to Haddin. Stokes came in and went back after not much time as he was did in by Jhonson's fiery pace. It was in the right area, just holding its line on a good length as Stokes prodded at it indeterminately and a healthy edge flew to Watson at first slip. In came England's new No. 7, Jonny Bairstow. But as it has been with Prior, Bairstow also couldnt do much and got clean bowled to a Jhonson delivery after making just 10 runs. Bairstow wasn't up to the challenge, couldn't learn his lines quickly enough and the ball clattered into the top of off. Excellent delivery it was from Johnson, just a little movement back in, ugly gap between bat and pad and cleaned him up. Bresnan came in with the fall of this wicket and helped Pietersen see the day through with England at 226/6.

As has been the case for much of the series, England's early momentum ebbed away, their scoring rate dipped and that kept Australia in the hunt. Two misses off Pietersen may yet hurt them but, with the ball only nine overs old, Harris, Johnson and Siddle will crank it up again in the morning, eager to mop up those final four wickets.
 





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