THERE was no shortage of action on the morning session of the fourth day of the fourth Ashes Test at Durham Emirates ICG today, writes Gary Foster.
In a battle of wills, momentum swung one way then the other as both sides tried to take the momentum.
England resumed on 234-5 this morning, with Ian Bell unbeaten on 105, and looking to put on a substantial total.
But Australian bowler Ryan Harris had other ideas, and one the tourists had taken the new ball, the seamer spiced things up.
Two wickets in two balls from Harris, saw Bell depart for 113.
The ball stayed low on the England batsman, and an inside edge carried the ball on to his stumps.
That brought Matt Prior to the crease, but his stay was a very short - his very first ball a peach from Harris, moving off the seam to send his off-stump cartwheeling for a first-ball duck.
The Aussies and Harris - on a hat-trick - in particular had their tails up.
But hearty batting from nightwatchman Tim Bresnan, saw England regain the initiative.
The bowler weighed in with an excellent 45 before falling to that man Harris courtesy of a relatively tame caught and bowled.
Stuart Broad played a couple of lusty boundaries but his stay at the crease was brief, making just 13.
Graeme Swann provided Bresnan with company as the pair put together a decent partnership.
The spinner got a slice of luck when Steve Smith dropped him from what looked a fairly regulation catch.
Just how costly that will be for Australia remains to be seen, but Swann’s unbeaten knock of 30 was definitely of value to the home side.
Jimmy Anderson was the last man to caught behind off the bowling of Nathan Lyon for 0.
Harris finished with excellent figures of 7-117 of 28 overs, as England were all out for 330 - a lead of 299.
By lunch Australia had reduced the target needed 288 to win with Chris Rogers not out 5 and David Warner unbeaten on 2, although there was a slight scare for the former when Anderson went up for a lbw appeal.
The umpire gave it not out, and England’s appeal was turned down after a DRS review.