Number 11 Agar Breaks Record in Ashes Test of Swinging Fortunes

England holds a 15-run lead after day two of the opening Test of the Ashes series against Australia, which was rescued by record-setting teenage debutant Ashton Agar.

Agar scored 98, the most runs by a No. 11 in Test cricket history, and also teamed with Phil Hughes for the highest 10th-wicket total as Australia made 280 in response to England’s first-innings 215. The host then reached 80-2 by stumps last night to nose in front at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

“It’s been a great day,” Agar, a 19-year-old making his Test debut, said in an interview with Sky Sports. “It’s probably the best day of my life so far.”

Australia lost five wickets for nine runs in the first hour after starting the day at 75-4. Steven Smith was caught by Matt Prior off James Anderson for 53 and Brad Haddin was bowled by Graeme Swann four balls later on one.

The wickets continued to fall as Anderson claimed Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, and Swann trapped James Pattinson leg-before-wicket to leave the visitors at 117-9.

England then believed it had Agar stumped for six, though third umpire Marais Erasmus ruled otherwise as television footage was inconclusive. The teen responded to the reprieve by combining with Hughes to give Australia the lead with their final-wicket stand of 163. He eventually went for one big hit too many and Agar’s 101 ball innings ended when he holed out to Swann at deep midwicket off Stuart Broad.

“We wanted to finish them off quickly, but all credit to the two guys who stuck in there and gave us a hard time,” Anderson, who led England’s bowling with 5-85, told Sky Sports.

Root Caught

Agar’s 132-minute onslaught included 12 fours and two sixes as he broke the No. 11 record of 95 runs set by Tino Best of the West Indies against England in 2012.

England got off to shaky start, losing Joe Root and Jonathan Trott to consecutive deliveries from Mitchell Starc in the eighth over as the hosts slumped to 11-2.

Umpire Aleem Dar originally ruled against Trott’s first ball lbw. The call then went to the umpire decision review system and Erasmus overruled Dar, though the heat detection camera that would have determined whether the ball hit Trott’s bat first didn’t capture the ball.

Trott clearly believed he had hit the ball and was unhappy as he left the pitch. Britain’s Press Association reported that the England and Wales Cricket Board has asked the International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugalle to seek clarification on the review process.

England captain Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen then steadied the innings with a 69-run partnership to see out the day’s play. Cook has 37 runs and Pietersen 35.

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