Less than a month short of his 36th birthday, Australia opener Chris Rogers showed it is never late to make a start. The left-handed batsman hit a patient maiden Test century in demanding conditions to steer Australia towards a strong position on the second day of the fourth Ashes Test in Durham
When bad light stopped play, Australia were just 16 runs behind England’s total with five wickets in hand.
Rogers survived a swing-bowling masterclass from Stuart Broad and another contentious umpiring call to underpin Australia’s recovery.
The 35-year-old opener enjoyed a fifth-wicket partnership of 129 runs with Shane Watson (68) in overcast conditions that made 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 used 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 are 2-0 down in the five-match series and England has already retained the Ashes.
Broad went off with figures of 4-48 but will wonder how they weren’t even better, after two devastating seven-over spells that had Australia’s batsmen all over the place.