After two very good days for Australia the home team, England, clearly fought back hard on day three. Excepting Ryan Harris'; dispatching of the top three - Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott - the highlights almost exclusively belonged to England. The plaudits are most deserved for Ian Bell, who reached his third century of the series just before stumps - and will resume on day four, on 105*. England already has a lead of 202 runs with five wickets in hand. Complicating that for Australia is that Shane Watson has again gone down with injury (groin/hip), which not only hurts its bowling depth but could affect its second most impressive batsman of the first innings. The outcome of scans on that injury will be keenly awaited.
All the news and views from day three from our team at Chester-le-Street, Chris Barrett and Malcolm Knox, will be posted online well in time for breakfast Australian-time. Thank you for joining us today. We will return at the same time on day four to cover the resumption of England's second innings, to discover just how many runs Australia will need to earn its first win of the series. We will also continue to cover the one-off women's Ashes Test between England and Australia's Southern Stars, particularly whether Sarah Elliott, who went to stumps on 95*, can score her maiden international century
England's Ian Bell celebrates reaching his century against Australia late on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
England's Ian Bell celebrates reaching his century against Australia late on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
The man of the moment. With three centuries already in this series you'd forgive him for getting blase, but no chance of that today.
Ian Bell's first 3 Ashes series: 642 runs at 25.68 (0 100s, 8 50s). His record since the 2009-10 series in Australia: 821 runs at 74.63 (4 100s, 5 50s). I think the fact he had 8 half-centuries showed he had talent, but the way he's able to harness that talent has been brilliant to watch.
STUMPS: England 5-234 after 74 overs, leading by 202, with Ian Bell 105* and Tim Bresnan 4*.
Can't argue with Rodney Hogg here.
All that shit that SKW put on Ian Bell in 2005 series has come back to bit us on the backside, big time.— Rodney Hogg (@RMHogg) August 11, 2013
Steve Smith on to bowl very late in the day. A single from bell pushes England's lead to 200. The score is 5-232, with Bell 104* and Bresnan 3*.
CENTURY!! Ian Bell nudges Bird to mid-wicket for a single to reach another century - his third of the series. Came off 184 deliveries, with 10 fours. So, so easy on the eye too.
CLOSE!! Bell almost caught on 97*. He attempts another late cut but underestimates bounce from Bell, ball travels just high and wide of Clarke to go for two. Moves to 99*.
The aftermath: Bell takes it with a grimace, then with a grin.
England's Ian Bell grimaces on the pitch after narrowly avoiding being struck by a bouncer from Australia's Ryan Harris on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Reuters
Australia captain Michael Clarke looks on as England's Ian Bell struggles to protect himself from a fierce Ryan Harris bouncer on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
Excellent photographic documentation of the post at 3.05am describing Harris' bouncer to Bell.
England's love affair with the nightwatchman continues. Tim Bresnan in again, protecting Stuart Broad.
WICKET!! Lyon gets a vital breakthrough. Bairstow tries to cut him off the back foot but ball is too close to him and edges behind, well taken by Brad Haddin. Gone for 28, with six boundaries. England 5-221, leading by 189.
Some glowing praise, deservedly so, for Ian Bell.
Ian Bell similar to Graveney Barrington Cowdrey . Rock solid defence, excellent concentration and sneaks up on you with the big scores— Rodney Hogg (@RMHogg) August 11, 2013
Bell moves into the 90s by driving the first ball of Nathan Lyon's over, a full delivery, between bowler and mid-off to reach 93*. England 4-214.
Another average start from Bird is punished, with Bell cutting him well behind point to move to 88* and England to 4-209.
Bairstow nudges two off Siddle, a rare non-boundary, to bring up the half-century between he and Ian Bell, off 99 deliveries.
Ryan Harris off, Jackson Bird on.
A sixth boundary for Bairstow, scything Peter Siddle behind point to push him to 26* and England to 4-203, leading by 171. Partnership now up to 48*.
Meanwhile, a very solid first day from Australia in the one-off women's Ashes Test. Sarah Elliott will have to wait until tomorrow to chase her maiden international century.
And that is close of play - Aussies 243/3 - Sarah Elliott 95* and Alex Blackwell 29* - Aussies have the upper hand - blog update coming— Martin Davies (@wmnscricketblog) August 11, 2013
WOW! Brute of a bouncer from Harris, rearing at Ian Bell. The England batsman had to jump to play it, saved from a blow to the helmet grill by having his gloves in front of them, Fortunately ball goes to ground. He actually played it pretty well.
Harris comes around the wicket at Bell, who judges the angle across him to perfection and crunches drive through covers to move to 84*. England 4-199, leading by 167.
Bairstow crunches his fifth boundary already, crunching Harris down the ground to move to 22*.
Another excellent late cut from Ian Bell, off the bowling of Siddle into the huge gap between first and fourth slip. Takes him to 79*.
At Wormsley the Southern Stars' Sarah Elliott has reached 90*, with the visitors 3-234 late on day one of the one-off women's Test against England, with vice-captain Alex Blackwell alongside her on 25*.
England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor looks on as Australia's Sarah Elliott cuts on day one of the one-off women's Ashes Test at Wormsley. Photo: Getty Images
"I have a feeling 13 players didn't want to walk off that field."
- NASSER HUSSAIN, former England captain, on Sky Sports on his belief both teams would be frustrated at this halt in play.
BAD LIGHT: Aleem Dar and Tony Hill elect to halt the match due to bad light. England 4-186, leading by 154, with Bell 75* and Bairstow 18*. They apparently have to get out by 6.07pm local time (3.07am AEST) or it will automatically be stumps.
Another nice boundary from Bairstow, this time a back-foot cover drive off Harris to move to 14*, then pulls the next ball behind square-leg to move to 18*. England 4-186, leading by 154.
The leading edge that felled KP.
Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and England's Kevin Pietersen look on as the latter's leading edge lobs towards cover and is caught on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
Back to the game: England is 4-176 in the 57th over, leading by 144, with Ian Bell 73* and Jonny Bairstow 10*. Ryan Harris bowling in partnership with Nathan Lyon.
A familiar sight, sadly: Watto hobbling off an arena.
Australia's Shane Watson grimaces after suffering a groin/hip injury while bowling on day three of the fourth Ashes Test against England at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
An official update on Watto: seemingly nothing in depth until tomorrow.
Shane Watson has some right hip/groin pain. He'll be assessed this evening to see how it settles. #Ashes— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) August 11, 2013
Positive start from Bairstow, walks up pitch to Lyon and swats a straight ball hard, flat and straight to the boundary to move to 5*. Then repeats it next ball, albeit lower and only just out of reach of Lyon's left hand. Moves to 9* with second boundary, and England to 4-169.
Unconfirmed reports that Ian Bell suffering a bad case of RSI from raising his bat so often in this series.
(Note: not literally.)
England's Ian Bell (right) celebrates reaching his half-century with partner Kevin Pietersen in the last session of day three of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
Ends a partnership of 106 between he and Bell. Jonny Bairstow in now - I'll stick to my "vulnerable" description of the new man.
WICKET!! Out of nowhere Pietersen departs for 44. Adavanced to Lyon and tried to turn into the leg-side but got a leading edge, well taken at cover by Chris Rogers diving forward to claim at shin height. England 4-155.
Decision upheld. Pietersen not only hit outside the line of off-stump but struck more than 3 metres from the stumps, plus it was going to miss, so not right in any way. Australia loses a review.
CHALLENGE. Australia challenging a failed leg-before review by Bird against Pietersen. Looked outside off-stump to me.
Bad news for Australia. Shane Watson has pulled up half-way through an over. Is now leaving the field. Not good...... TV coverage speculates it's a groin injury.
CHANCE!! Kevin Pietersen advances slightly trying to drive Nathan Lyon but misjudges, get slight inside-edge that wrong-foots Haddin, who was braced for outside-edge, and goes to boundary. Was on 39*, now on 43*. That boundary also brings up the century partnership between Pietersen and Ian Bell, from 190 deliveries. England 3-151.
Another fine shot from Bell, on to his back foot to Watson and driving him through cover-point to move to 59*. England 3-147.
Nathan Lyon back on, replacing Siddle.
Another milestone up for Australia's women, on day one of their Test at Wormsley. England about to be able to call on the second new ball.
Australia Women pass 200 for the loss of three wickets at Wormsley. Sarah Elliott has moved on to 76 #WomensAshes— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) August 11, 2013
I suspect "Funky" Miller, the late-blooming Australian all-rounder, may be right.
This is the partnership that will decide this test match. Oz need wickets. These 2 can put it out of reach with this partnership— Colin Reid Miller (@funkymiller379) August 11, 2013
A second consecutive boundary from Bell off Harris, this time close to cover, brings up his half-century. His 53* came off 100 deliveries, with 5 fours. Partnership with Pietersen up to 91, lead up to 108.
Ian Bell cracks a Harris half-volley through cover point with excellent timing to move to 49*. England 3-131.
CLOSE!! Bell tries to drive Harris delivery angled into him, inside-edge flies just wide of Haddin, who was moving to his right but had to move back left late. It would've been a catch but I wouldn't call that a chance. Moves to 41*. England 3-127.
Siddle resumes his bowling spell with Harris.
TEA: England 3-123 after 36 overs, leading by 91, with Pietersen 37* off 56 deliveries and Ian Bell 37* off 75 deliveries, posting an unbeaten partnership of 74*. For that session the home team made 2-99 off 27 overs, enough to give them the points I reckon.
Pietersen turns a full delivery from Siddle off his pads in front of square-leg to move to 33*, and then with the last ball of the session flays a short and wide ball behind gully to move to 37*.
One of the few nervous moments for England in this session, after Pietersen sought a single off Nathan Lyon and was sent back by Ian Bell, but with no harm done.
England's Kevin Pietersen dives to successfully prevent him being run-out by Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
At Wormsley a good period for the Southern Stars, with Sarah Elliott and Jess Cameron each reaching a half-century, ends abruptly with Cameron trapped leg-before the next ball after her milestone by Laura Marsh, for 50 off 97 deliveries with 10 fours. The Stars are 3-167, with vice-captain Alex Blackwell in to join Elliott (53* off 158 deliveries).
Twenty overs since a wicket for Australia. Important fightback from England. That said one wicket could mean a drastic change given it would bring the flimsy (in my opinion) Jonny Bairstow to the crease.
Jackson Bird replaced after another uninspiring spell. Ryan Harris back on.
Just under 20 minutes until tea. England's lead is at 79. Should England not cede a wicket before the break I'd give the session to them.
At Wormsley there's now consecutive half-century partnerships for the Southern Stars, with comeback kid Sarah Elliott (46*) notching one with Jess Cameron (34*) to add to her 70-run stand with Meg Lanning for the second wicket. The Stars are 2-144 in the 61st over versus England.
England's Ian Bell (left) and Kevin Pietersen during their partnership on day three of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AP
Kevin Pietersen really is very tall. Has to stoop just to converse face-to-face with Bell.
Pietersen drags Siddle to deep square-leg for two to not only bring up his team's 100 - 3-100 - but also the half-century partnership between he and Ian Bell. It came off 75 deliveries, with 25 runs from each.
Siddle drops short to Pietersen and is pulled deftly into the gap between deep square-leg and deep backward square-leg to move to 24*.
That's cos it's drilled into us over her to be sun-smart, Didi. I'd highly advise the Barmy Army types who bake shirtless all day to do the same. #bettersafethansorry
Is that suncream on Lyon's face? Has nobody told him they play in Durham?— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) August 11, 2013
Shane Watson off, Nathan Lyon recalled to bowl to his nemesis Kevin Pietersen.
No more sun at Chester-le-Street, but it hasn't had an overt benefit for Australia's seamers.
Fans watch the action under cloudy skies during the third day of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
DRINKS: England 3-85 after 22 overs, leading by 53, with Kevin Pietersen 16* off 17 deliveries (2 fours) and Ian Bell 20* off 30 deliveries (2 fours).
Risky but impeccable late cut from Ian Bell, steers Watson well wide of second slip to boundary. He is an absolute gem to watch. Move to 19*, England to 3-84. That boundary takes the home team's lead to 52.
A little bit of width from Siddle is seized upon by Bell, chopped hard through point to the boundary to move to 14*. England 3-75, leading by 43.
Peter Siddle getting his first bowl of the innings. Ryan Harris rested after a job well done: 3-37 off a 10-over spell straddling lunch, with 1 maiden.
Highlights from the morning session at Chester-le-Street.
Ryan Harris delivers another bouncer but the tall Kevin Pietersen is up to it, with a controlled hook to fine-leg to move to 8*. England 3-65.
Some more swing-conducive conditions expected at Chester-le-Street? Michael Vaughan thinks so.
Clouds arriving in Durham.... Aussies will be delighted... #Ashes— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 11, 2013
At Wormsley the Southern Stars have reached 2-100 in the 47th over, with Sarah Elliott 30* off 104 deliveries and Jess Cameron 7* off 36 deliveries.
With 63* wickets in first 15 Tests - and seven more available in this innings - Ryan Harris is chasing Stuart Clark (68) and Brett Lee (65) for best start from an Australian seamer over that 15-Test period for the past 30 years.
Harris. Causing havoc.
Australia's Ryan Harris celebrates taking the wicket of England captain Alastair Cook (left) shortly after lunch on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: AFP
First bowling change of the innings, with Shane Watson on for Jackson Bird.
WICKET!! Harris again - and it's Trott gone. Gave him a bouncer, Trott tried to hook it but too slow on it, off the glove behind and well taken by Brad Haddin above his head. Gone for 23 off 29 deliveries. England 3-49.
A Bird half-volley on Trott's pads is deservedly, but nevertheless superbly, clipped off hips pads to the forward square-leg boundary to move to 21*. England 2-46.
WICKET!! Alastair Cook drives at a full, wide delivery from Ryan Harris but without much purpose and with little foot movement, edging behind to Brad Haddin. Soft dismissal, that. Gone for 22 off 37 deliveries (3 fours). England 4-42, leading by 10 runs.
Back at Chester-le-Street Jonathan Trott moves to 13* with a boundary off Ryan Harris, turned through the leg-side.
A blow for the Southern Stars at Wormsley in second over after lunch, with their gun bat Meg Lanning departing.
Lanning has been run out for 48 by a missile throw from the boundary from Katherine Brunt - sent back going for the third she was short— Martin Davies (@wmnscricketblog) August 11, 2013
Stuart Broad - deserved all the praise he got this morning.
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball aloft to the crowd after claiming five wickets in Australia's first innings of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Reuters
Jackson Bird continuing. Was a bit underwhelming before lunch. While I know pace is not his strength I'd like to see a bit more oomph from him.
I think he liked that one (Harris, not Root).
Australia's Ryan Harris celebrates his dismissal of England's Joe Root shortly before lunch on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
Also lunch at Wormsley. Good steadying partnership for the Southern Stars against England between Test debutant Meg Lanning (45* off 100 deliveries) and recalled all-rounder Sarah Elliott (24* off 67).
Lunch @WormsleyCricket - Aussies 84/1 - Lanning 45 and Elliott 24 (partnership of 67 so far)— Martin Davies (@wmnscricketblog) August 11, 2013
LUNCH: England 1-24 after 9 overs, trailing by 8, with Alastair Cook 17* off 29 deliveries and Jonathan Trott 5* off 6 deliveries.
A solid technique is not match for a delivery as good as Harris' when you misjudge the line slightly.
Australia's slip fielders follow the path of the ball, oblivious that England's Joe Root has lost his off-stump to a cracking delivery from Australia's Ryan Harris shortly before lunch on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
WICKET!! Seems I've mozzed Joe Root, comprehensively bowled by Ryan Harris. Tried to defend ball angled into him but played inside the line, well-directed ball crunched into the top of off-stump. Goes for 2. England 1-17.
Steady start by England, except one edge by Root off Bird that bounced short of slips. 0-17 in the 7th over. Two maybe three overs after this one by Harris until lunch. Unsurprising that Lyon seems to be warming up.
Meanwhile, at Wormsley the Southern Stars are making steady progress after the early loss of Rachael Haynes.
50 partnership up for Lanning and Elliott. Run rate down to 2 an over though. Australia 68-1. #womensAshes— Raf Nicholson (@RafNicholson) August 11, 2013
Cook feasts on a Harris half-volley directed outside leg-stump, turning it around to fine-leg to move to 8*. England 0-10.
Alastair Cook gets off the mark by driving a pedestrian half-volley from Bird through extra-cover with good power and timing. England 0-5.
England seamer Stuart Broad during Australia's first innings of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street, in which he claimed a five-wicket haul. Photo: Getty Images
Stuart Broad claimed his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests, and deservedly so. Excepting a few poor late deliveries to Harris he could hardly be faulted.
England's second innings about to start, with Ryan Harris to take the new ball for Australia.
A very good first 75 minutes of day three from England. It removed Haddin and Rogers for little impact today and, excepting Ryan Harris with 28, had little trouble with the tail. A 32-run lead should not be a major one in the context of the match. It makes for a very interesting contest.
The Southern Stars have reached 1-52 from 20 overs after choosing to bat first against England at Wormsley, with Meg Lanning 31* off 65 deliveries (6 fours) and Sarah Elliott 6* off 24 deliveries (1 four).
WICKET!! Tony Hill's decision overturned - but players had already begun walking off after they saw the replay on the big screen. Replay showed ball angled in from Broad clearly beat Harris' inside-edge, plumb leg-before. That scalp removes Harris for 28 off 33 and dismisses Australia for 270, with a first-innings lead of 32. Last wicket also gives Stuart Broad a deserved five-wicket haul: 5-71 off 25.3 overs (7 maidens).
CHALLENGE! England referring a failed leg-before appeal by Broad against Harris.
Meanwhile, in South Africa Australia A has made 7-310 in its one-dayer vs India A: Shaun Marsh 96 off 107 deliveries, Glenn Maxwell 93 off 56, Nathan Coulter-Nile 37* off 20, Mitch Marsh 34 off 36.
Three in a row - and the last was the best. Excellent off-drive from Harris to broad half-volley, directing it between bowler and mid-off to move to 28*. Australia 9-270.
Consecutive boundaries from Harris, the latter a full Broad delivery deftly turned off his pads through mid-wicket to move to 24*. Australia 9-266, leading by 28.
Harris pulls Broad well, just wide enough to beat the dive of Bresnan at deep square-leg to move to 20*. Australia 9-262.
WICKET!! Lyon shuffles across his stumps and attempts to turn Anderson into the leg-side but plays down the wrong-line, given out leg-before after ball thuds into his pads. Gone for 4. Australia 9-258.
Lyon gets off the mark inadvertently, attempting to defend Anderson and ball squeezing off his outside-edge and going on the bounce through Graeme Swann at second-slip. Australia 8-258.
Harris cracks a wide Broad half-volley through cover-point to move to 12* and bring up Australia's 250 - 8-250.
Over at Wormsley Meg Lanning is showing she does not have to blaze away as is her limited-overs custom: is 17* off 39 deliveries, with new mum Sarah Elliott 1* off 4 deliveries. The Southern Stars are 1-30 in the 13th over.
Just nine runs added on day three by the resolute left-hander Rogers.
Australia's century-maker Chris Rogers salutes the crowd after departing early on day three of the fourth Ashes Test against England at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
WICKET!! Siddle tries to block ball angled into him from Anderson, outside-edge has just enough carry to reach Alastair Cook at first slip. Gone for 5. Australia 8-245.
At Wormsley the Southern Stars have lost their first wicket, with left-hander Rachael Haynes bowled for 10 by England's Anya Shrubsole. The Stars are 1-17, with Sarah Elliott, back after a two and a half-year international absence, in to join Meg Lanning.
Helluva catch, that!!
Australia's Chris Rogers looks on as England wicketkeeper Matt Prior takes a superb sprawling catch to dismiss him early on day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
Ryan Harris drives an Anderson half-volley straight of mid-off to move to 7* and overhaul England's first-innings total. Australia 7-240, leading by two runs.
Second new ball taken immediately. Jimmy Anderson gets first crack with it.
Australia 7-236 after 80 overs, trailing by 2 runs. With two bowlers in - Siddle and Harris - and the second new ball available a fascinating period beckons.
WICKET!! Rogers gone for a fine 110. He lunged forward to Swann, tried to defend but ball touched his glove on way through to pad, ball bobbled up and Prior brilliantly sprawled forward to catch one-handed just before it hit the pitch. Decision overturned because Hot Spot showed a dot on the glove from the ball. Australia 7-233.
England appealing for Rogers caught off Swann, thanks to a brilliant dive forward from Matt Prior. My gut reaction was out, unlike Tony Hill's. England immediately refers.
England off-spinner Graeme Swann celebrates his scalp of Australia's Brad Haddin in the second over of day three of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street. Photo: Getty Images
Australia's hope that Rogers and Haddin could take it well past England's first-innings total of 238 not not fulfliled, thanks to Graeme Swann's intervention.
Rogers brings up the first boundary of the morning, nudging Swann wide of slip to move to 107*. Australia 6-229, trailing by nine.
Here's a yarn onto one of the Stars' Test debutants, Meg Lanning, who is seeking to trod the same path as David Warner by proving she's not just a short-form specialist: Lanning out to prove a big hit.
WICKET UPHELD!! Delivery beat Haddin's inside-edge playing off the back foot, ball predicted to go on to hit middle and off stump. Gone for 13. Australia 6-224. Big blow by England, considering Australia's conspicuously long tail in this match.
WICKET!! Brad Haddin trapped leg-before by Swann in second over of day three, but the Australian wicketkeeper is challenging the decision. Looked good live.
Rogers survives a strong appeal second ball of the day as Bresnan angled a delivery across him and ball ricocheted to second slip, but Aleem Dar correctly judged it came off his hip as he was square up rather than his outside-edge.
Graeme Swann to start from the other end.
Play about to start. Tim Bresnan will resume his over, which was not finished yesterday due to bad light, and get first crack at Chris Rogers.
Meanwhile, another Ashes series starts today: between the English and Australian women, at Wormsley in England. Southern Stars captain Jodie Fields has won the toss and has chosen to bat first in the four-day Test. Their line-up is as follows.
AUSTRALIA: Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning, Sarah Elliott, Jess Cameron, Alex Blackwell, Jodie Fields (c), Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Sarah Coyte, Megan Schutt, Holly Ferling.
And the day-two view from our chief cricket columnist, Malcolm Knox: From offcut to centre stage, Rogers' innings and career has been defined by patience.
For anyone who was not caught up from the overnight dispatches here's the work of our man Chris Barrett at Chester-le-Street.
Day-two match report: Rogers' century gives Australia the edge over England.
News and reaction: Rogers passed the Test of time before reaching milestone.
Hello and welcome to our coverage of day three of the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia, being played at Chester-le-Street in county Durham.
Rogers steers Australia to dominant position
A maiden century by Chris Rogers gives Australia the edge over England on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at Durham on Saturday.PT1M33S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2rpok 620 349 August 11, 2013
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