England take sensational win
Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard steered England to a sensational three-wicket victory against Australia after the home side had stuttered in their chase of the 129 runs needed to win on the fourth day of the fourth npower Test at Trent Bridge, and England now lead the five-match series 2-1.
Giles hit the winning runs after Aussie leg spinner Shane Warne had taken three crucial wickets and ripped out England`s top order and reduced the home side to 57 for 4 following Australia's second-innings of 387.
Andrew Flintoff had combined with Kevin Pietersen at the fall of England`s fourth wicket and the pair produced a partnership of 46 as England whittled down the runs needed to win amidst extreme tension.
The home side lost wickets at regular intervals and Hoggard and Giles came together with 19 runs needed and three wickets remaining for the home team.
Hoggard lifted the tension when he drove a Brett Lee full toss to the boundary and next over Giles finished the job with a leg-side brace from Warne who took 4-29 and Lee claimed 3-51.
Trescothick and Andrew Strauss made a flying start to the run-chase as they put on 32 quick runs for the opening wicket as Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz took some punishment.
Trescothick in particular looked in fine touch and raced to 27, prompting Ricky Ponting to replace Kasprowicz with Warne.
The move reaped instant dividends for the Aussies as Warne had Trescothick caught bat/pad by Ponting at silly mid off from his very first delivery to leave England on 31 for one, with 97 runs still needed.
Warne then struck again to dismiss Vaughan (0), inducing a leading edge to Matthew Hayden at first slip.
Strauss (23) and Ian Bell momentarily stopped the flow of wickets and the scorecard read 57 for two when the Middlesex opener glanced Warne to slip and Michael Clarke held a low catch and Warne had taken 3-7 in 29 balls.
Bell (three) followed one ball later, this time to Lee, when he hooked the paceman straight to Kasprowicz running in from the fine leg boundary as England faltered on 57 for four.
Pietersen and Flintoff got together and amassed 46 crucial runs before Lee returned to the attack and dismissed Pietersen (23) caught by wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.
Flintoff and Geraint Jones took them to within 18 of victory before Lee got one through Flintoff's (26) defence and bowled him.
Jones tried to finish the game quickly and advanced down the wicket to Warne but smashed a catch to Kasprowicz at long off with 13 needed to win before England got home.
Earlier, Stephen Harmison picked up three vital wickets to help bowl out Australia as the hosts look to go 2-1 up in the five-match Test series with one to play.
The Aussies resumed on 222 for four, still 37 runs behind England's first-innings total of 477 after being forced to follow on.
Michael Clarke enjoyed his fare share of luck and offered a half-chance in the sixth over of the morning when he came down the wicket to left-arm spinner Ashley Giles and struck Ian Bell at silly mid-off via a leading edge.
He then edged between wicket-keeper Geraint Jones and slip Marcus Trescothick in Giles’ next over, the 75th of the innings, and endured a scare in the 77th when he set off for a single and was sent back by Katich as Giles’ throw whizzed past the stumps at the bowler’s end.
However, Clarke got to his second fifty of the series, from 134 deliveries, when a mishit off Giles through midwicket earnt two runs.
England captain Michael Vaughan responded by taking the new ball with Australia 248 for four, having added 26 runs without further loss in the first hour.
The pair eventually took Australia past England's score and moments later brought up the century partnership.
The tourists were two ahead when Hoggard got one to swing away from Clarke (56) and his prod outside off stump found the edge to be comfortably pouched by 'keeper Jones.
By lunch Australia had reached 270 for five and a lead of 11 runs.
Their advantage was pushed up to 18, as Gilchrist (11) looked to attack the England bowlers, but Hoggard struck lbw to send Australia's wicket-keeper packing and leave the total on 277 for six.
Katich brought up his half-century with a leg glance for four off Hoggard, the batsman's first boundary of the day.
He plodded on to 59 when Harmison rapped him on the pads and umpire Aleem Dar raised the finger.
Brett Lee should have followed him back to the pavilion after edging Harmison behind, but Jones put down the chance diving to his right.
And Lee had a second reprieve when Jones missed a run out opportunity. Lee and Shane Warne ran for a quick single, while most of the England fielders were appealing for lbw, but Andrew Strauss threw the ball in only for Jones' gloves to dislodge the bails before the ball reached him.
At the other end Warne was in attacking mood and hammered two sixes and five fours on his way to an enthralling 45 from just 42 balls before advancing down the wicket to Giles and being stumped by Jones.
That left Australia on 342 for eight and a lead of 83.
Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz increased the Aussie advantage to 114 when the latter fell to Harmison for 19, caught behind.
With only Shaun Tait left, Lee decided to go on the attack and struck several lusty blows, some rather fortunate, as the score raced up to 387.
However, while Tait was on strike England fancied their chances and Harmison clean bowled the young pace bowler for four when he walked across his stumps and had his middle peg knocked back.
It left Lee unbeaten on 26 and England with 41 overs left in the day to register a memorable win as the players went to tea.
Prior to the start of play it was announced that pace bowler Simon Jones would be unable to take to the field.
Glamorgan seamer Jones was off the field for most of Saturday afternoon having treatment to his right ankle.
England had hoped he would recover sufficiently to play his part in helping the hosts claim a key victory in their battle to regain the Ashes, but after treatment overnight Jones was still deemed unfit to take to the field at the start.
His absence left England with four full-time bowlers - Harmison, Flintoff, Hoggard and Giles - to try and dismiss Australia and push for victory.
Jones’ absence from the field yesterday (Saturday) caused controversy, with Australian captain Ricky Ponting becoming involved in a row after being run out by substitute fielder Gary Pratt of Durham.
Ponting issued a statement shortly after his dismissal, saying: “I no doubt let myself down with my reaction and for that I apologise to those who see me as a role model.
"My frustration at getting out was compounded by the fact I was run out by a substitute fielder - an issue that has concerned us from the start this series and one that we raised prior to the series.”
But his apology has not saved him from possible punishment by the International Cricket Council, whose match referee Ranjan Madugalle has called a disciplinary meeting at the end of play today (Sunday) after the umpires reported the incident.