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Ashes fairy tale for Ashton Agar

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What a breathtaking day’s cricket. Australia began the day much as they had finished the previous – in all kinds of trouble. Shortly before midday, the Aussies were 117 for 9 and had lost five wickets for nine runs in 31 balls.

Step forward Ashton Agar. The 19 year old, who has only been playing first class cricket for a matter of months was the shock selection of the Test. Hardly anyone knew who he was let alone what he was doing in the Ashes side, and what little information anyone could fathom pointed to his inclusion as a spin bowler. So with him walking to the crease at number 11 – surely the innings was as good as over?

And then the records came tumbling down and the fairy tale was written. Playing with verve, confidence and genuine style, Agar knocked 98 off 101 balls before finally being caught just 2 runs short of his century. Not a single England fan would have begrudged him those extra 2 runs by the time he was finished.

He set the world record for the highest total ever by a no 11 batsman, and his partnership with Phil Hughes (81 not out) was the highest last wicket partnership in history, more than doubling the total of the other 9 wickets.

With Australia now in front, England lost two early wickets – that of Root and controversially of Trott. If Agar hadn’t played a historic innings, the only story today would be about the shocking performance of Erasmus, the third umpire. Having inexplicably given Agar not out early in his innings when he was clearly stumped, he then proceeded to overrule Aleem Dar on Trott’s LBW. Trott clearly got an inside edge, but when the Australians asked for a review, Erasmus gave him out. Dar threw up his hands in disbelief, and with England fuming and the Australians looking comfortable, roll on today’s action

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