CHESTER-LE-STREET, England, Aug 9 AAP – England defended their agonisingly slow scoring rate and poor shot selection on day one of the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street.


The home side scored at just 2.64 runs an over to be 9-238 at stumps.

England captain Alastair Cook took 164 balls and 231 minutes to make it to 51, the third slowest half century of his career.

Jonny Bairstow took it to a whole new level when he went 64 minutes without scoring and was eventually out for 14.

England spent 15 overs moving from 183 into the 190s.

Jonathan Trott actually picked up the pace to score 49 from 60, but his 73-run stand with Cook went to waste when he tried to lazily flick Nathan Lyon off the pads.

When Kevin Pietersen fell at 3-149, England went on to lose 6-75.

England were their own worst enemy with Trott, Pietersen, Ian Bell and the tail guilty of reckless shot selection.

Trott defended England’s slow scoring, crediting Australia for bowling well and putting them under pressure.

“At the beginning of the series everyone said the Australians have got a good bowling line-up, and that’s true,” he said.

“We’ve made it difficult for their batters and they’ve made it difficult for us.

“It’s about trying to squeeze every run out of the game and apply as much pressure as you can.”

England have already retained the Ashes, but Trott admitted Australia have the momentum after drawing at Old Trafford and taking the ascendancy at Chester-le-Street.

However, Trott believes 250 is a par score at Durham, where the biggest total all county season has been 339.

England spearhead James Anderson has a better average at Durham than at any other English Test venue and Trott believes his side can quickly regain momentum.

“It ebbs and flows over a long series. We’ve got to try and wrestle it back tomorrow like we have done in the past,” he said.

“Test match cricket is five days. You can’t go out there and give your wicket away, you hang in there and wait for your time and you have to earn the right to score runs in Test cricket.

“Australia bowled pretty well and set good defensive fields and made it difficult.

“Two hundred and fifty I think is the average score around here at Durham.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a serious concern but I’d say we’re disappointed that we got ourselves into a good position then got ourselves into a bad one.

We’re not too sure what a good score would be first innings on that wicket.

“Batting first was the correct decision, getting ourselves to about 150 for two, and as a group we’re pretty disappointed that we’ve ended the day behind.”

Trott said England’s performance was “uncharacteristic”.

The South-African born No.3 scored two big hundreds in the last Ashes series, but averages just 24.42 this series.

“I’ve been able to get three good starts and haven’t gone on. But that’s cricket,” he said.

“There’s no divine right (to score).

“Things haven’t gone my way but I’ve still got full confidence I’ll be able to do that hopefully in the next innings.”

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