Rogers leads Australia’s recovery in 4th test
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP) — Chris Rogers survived a swing-bowling masterclass from Stuart Broad and another contentious umpiring call to underpin Australia’s recovery by tea on day two of the fourth Ashes test against England on Saturday.
The 35-year-old opener moved onto 71 and enjoyed an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 72 with Shane Watson (38), with Australia 148-4 in overcast conditions that were making batting extremely tough on a quick track.
Broad ripped through the top order before lunch and beat Rogers’ edge on numerous occasions after it but failed to snare the opener, with Steve Smith (17) the only wicket to fall in the second session after edging Tim Bresnan to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Rogers could have been given out on 20 but he went to DRS to correctly overturn a caught-behind decision, even though replays showed he could have been out lbw if England had gone down that route instead.
It baffled the crowd at Chester-le-Street — and seemingly England’s players — and was yet another controversial decision in a testing series for umpires both on the field and off it.
The tourists, who are 2-0 down in the five-match series, trail by 90 runs as they seek a win to keep alive their hopes of a 2-2 draw. England has already retained the Ashes, however.
Broad went to tea with figures of 3-41 but will wonder how they weren’t even better after two devastating seven-over spells that had Australia’s batsmen all over the place. He found pace, bounce and startling seam and swing movement, with some deliveries turning into quick leg breaks.
He proved too much for David Warner (3), Usman Khawaja (0) and captain Michael Clarke (6) before lunch and should have had Rogers at the start of the second session, only for Graeme Swann to drop him at second slip when on 49. Rogers was seen laughing to himself at times after being befuddled so many times by the rampant Broad.
Rogers made hay with Watson after Broad went out of the attack and is closing in on his first hundred in his fifth test. His 150-ball innings includes nine fours.
Watson also survived a dropped catch when on 5, with Bresnan missing a one-handed caught and bowled.
Warner and Khawaja departed within two overs after being caught out by late swing on deliveries from Broad, with both batsmen unsure whether to play a shot.
Both did in the end, but the strokes were too late to prevent Warner being clean-bowled and Khawaja being caught behind off the toe of his bat. That left Australia on 12-2.
Clarke also looked uneasy throughout his 18-ball knock, finding an inside edge off Broad that just missed the stumps on his second ball faced before eventually succumbing after edging the rampant paceman high to Alastair Cook at first slip.
At that stage, Broad had taken 3-12 off 27 balls and Australia was 49-3.
England earlier failed to add to its overnight total of 238-9, with Jackson Bird bowling James Anderson on the 12th delivery of the morning to finish with figures of 2-58 in his first innings of Ashes cricket.