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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Cricket

Ashes: Ashton Agar sparkles on debut after Australia collapse
Reuters
Nottingham, England, July 11, 2013
First Published: 19:36 IST(11/7/2013)
Last Updated: 10:04 IST(12/7/2013)

Australia number 11 Ashton Agar made an astonishing 98 on debut to lift his side to 280 all out on the second day after another enthralling session of the first Ashes test against England on Thursday.

Australia collapsed to 117 for nine before 19-year-old Agar and Phil Hughes shared a last-wicket partnership of 163 to give the touring side a 60-run lead over their hosts.

Agar's innings was the highest score by an Australian number 11 in tests and Hughes provided solid support to the debutante.

England fast bowler James Anderson earlier produced an inspired display of swing bowling as Australia, after resuming on 75 for four, lost five wickets for nine runs and the hosts looked poised to lead by around a hundred on first innings.

Steve Smith and Hughes comfortably survived the first half hour and the former became the first player to pass fifty in the match.

He had moved on to 53 when he tried to drive Anderson through extra cover and nicked a catch to wicketkeeper Matt Prior, sparking a stunning collapse.

Graeme Swann produced a ripping off-break to bowl Brad Haddin for one, Peter Siddle edged Anderson through to Prior and Mitchell Starc went the same way for a duck.

James Pattinson was trapped lbw by Swann for two and Australia were reeling.

But Agar showed composure in only his 11th first-class match, driving Swann over long-off for six and pulling Steven Finn for two fours as the last-wicket pair brought up their fifty partnership off only 60 balls.

Agar reached his half century with a two off Anderson, getting to the landmark off exactly 50 balls including one six and seven fours.

He dispatched Swann for another six over long-on and Hughes joined the party after passing his fifty, smashing Stuart Broad for three fours in an over.

England took the extra half hour before lunch but they could not capture the final wicket, Agar and Hughes brought up their century partnership shortly before the interval and left the field to a standing ovation from a disbelieving crowd.


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