The stress is getting to Ricky Ponting as England built on the solid foundation of the 157 runs of Strauss and Cook. Kevin Pietersen was happy to support Trottie for once, and made 51, but Ricky freaked as umpire Dar ruled KP not out on 49. The Aussie captain committed the inexcusable lapse of shouting and arguing with Dar after the decision and he and Peter Siddle will probably be censured for unsporting conduct.
Trottie was in his element. He loves playing the Aussies and loves battling his way out of a stress situation. Chuffed by the two early wickets of Strauss and Cook, the Aussies were in danger of getting a toe hold back into the match, but Trott ruthlessly squashed their hopes. He has great survival instincts and I loved his horizontal dive to save himself from a brilliant throw by Ponting. Later on, he badly hurt his leg, but knocked back pain killers and carried on. With amazing discipline and concentration, he was a study in fortitude and nonchalance, as he dug in bigtime.
Bell and Collingwood went cheaply, but when Matt Prior trudged onto the pitch, Trottie had a backup buddie with the right stuff. Together they steered England to an awesome 444, with Trott unbeaten on 141 and Prior still there on 75. It was Boy’s Own stuff. Trottie is now the second highest run scorer in this series after Cook, with a style that is rugged rather than elegant. The lower lip of Mad Mitch was trembling, as Trottie and Prior piled up the runs. England now have a commanding lead of 341 runs, and are in such ascendancy, it would seem that the Ashes are almost theirs.
UPDATE: Ricky Ponting has been fined 40% of his match fee for disputing the umpire’s decision, but he will play in the final Test. He has avoided a match ban. Bumble (David Lloyd) does not agree. Bumble thinks that if you argue with the umpire after a decision, you should be banned from the next game.