England on verge of victory in Ashes opener

NOTTINGHAM: England were on the brink of winning the first Test against Australia after more umpiring controversy dogged the Ashes series opener at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
Australia were 174 for six at stumps on the fourth day, still needing a further 137 runs to reach their victory target of 311 after they lost three wickets for three runs late in the day.
No side has made more to win in the fourth innings of a Trent Bridge Test than England's 284 for six against New Zealand in 2004.
But the fact teenage debutant Ashton Agar, who in Australia's first innings made 98, the highest score by a Test No 11, was still there was a warning to Ashes-holders England they had work left to do if they were to go 1-0 up in this five-match series.
Brad Haddin was 11 not out and Agar, promoted to No 8, one not out.
England captured the prize scalp of Australia captain Michael Clarke when Stuart Broad had the tourists' best batsman caught behind by wicketkeeper Matt Prior for 23 off an excellent full-length delivery that saw Australia decline from 161 for three to 164 for six in the space of 18 balls.
Left-hander Phil Hughes, playing back to another sharply spun Swann delivery, just pitched in line before striking the batsman plumb in front of his stumps on the back leg for a duck.
Australia had frustrated England before opener Shane Watson was lbw to a Broad inswinger for 46.
Then to what became the last ball before tea, Ed Cowan edged part-time spinner Joe Root to Jonathan Trott at slip.
Before tea Chris Rogers, playing his second Test five years after his debut, completed a maiden Test fifty off 104 balls with eight fours.
But soon after tea, Rogers tamely chipped James Anderson to Ian Bell at midwicket.
Earlier, Bell's 109 had been the cornerstone of England's second innings 375.
Bell, 95 not out overnight, shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 138 with Broad (65). (AFP)

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