The equation as they try to tuck into whatever delights the Nottingham caterers have hastily pulled together is simple – Australia need 20 runs to win, England need one wicket.
Michael Clarke’s Aussies started the day with a mountain – 137 runs – to climb with four wickets in hand.
It became something that’d cast a shadow over Everest when first innings hero Ashton Agar fell to a gem from Jimmy Anderson.
Matt Prior was riskily standing up to the stumps to Anderson to keep Haddin in his crease and they turned down the new ball at the first opportunity – two big calls from England captain Alastair Cook.
When the rough old one didn’t do the job, Cook gave the shiny one the nod when with 117 to defend.
Australia’s Haddin and first inning hero Agar started to score freely as the hard new pill came flying off their repective willows.
But while lightning may strike in the same place twice, fairytales don’t necessarily as Agar fell to a change of length and angle from Anderson.
Coming around the wicket to the teen he pitched one short of length, nipped it away from the leftie off the seam and found the edge. Cook did the rest as the solitary slip and the Aussies were 7-207.
It was a huge wicket after Agar’s tearaway 98 on debut and Anderson celebrated accordingly.
Starc, another of Australia’s better than he has any right to be tail-enders, fell cheaply with just four more runs added the exact same way – caught Cook, bowled Anderson. This time a low one for the England skipper.
It was Peter Siddle who had to do the job with Haddin now and as they prodded and occasionally smashed their way past the 80-to-win mark, Cook showed his slipping skills were human after all, flooring a flyer from Siddle off Anderson – who else?
The vego quick soon gave Cook one chance too many though, and it was the same scorebook entry again as Australia fell to 9-231. This time a diving beauty to his right as Siddle looked keen to take the quick apart.
Finn dropped Haddin on the boundary after the veteran keeper smashed him about, while Pattinson proved he’s just as unworthy of a number 11 tag as Agar.
Showing flair and discipline, he and Haddin made sure the packed crowd at Trent Bridge would get a second session.
Stand by for the next chapter…
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