Nottingham - Australia claimed the prize wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook
as England laboured to 157 for four at lunch on the third day of the
first Ashes test at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Pietersen, on 64, dragged a ball from James Pattinson on to his stumps
and Cook fell for 50, a first Test victim for Ashton Agar whose
extraordinary innings of 98 turned the match Australia's way on
Ian Bell, on 20, and Jonny Bairstow, 13, were the not out batsmen at the interval with England 92 runs ahead.
Cook and Pietersen started with the same cautious approach they adopted
on Thursday when they steadied the ship for England after the loss of
two early wickets.
Pietersen drove Mitchell Starc to the cover boundary to reach his fifty,
one of his 12 fours, and looked in the mood to play a long innings.
But he was distracted by a spectator moving in the pavilion and dragged
the next ball from Pattinson on to his stumps trying to force it through
the off side, ending a third-wicket partnership of 110.
Cook's four-hour vigil was over shortly afterwards, the captain edging a
top-spinner from left-arm spinner Agar to slip where Australia captain
Michael Clarke held a fine one-handed catch high to his left.
The Australians were cock-a-hoop and the crowd fell quiet, although Bell
struck one textbook drive to the cover boundary to briefly raise
Pattinson and Starc obtained significant reverse swing and troubled Bell
and Bairstow but the pair survived a few uncomfortable moments to give
England hope of setting Australia a difficult target to chase in the