Graeme Swann
Swann took the wickets of Steve Smith and Phil Hughes to put England four wickets from victory.

England stand on the brink of victory in the first Ashes test against Australia after the tourists were reduced to 174 for 6 in pursuit of 311 to win at Trent Bridge.

Stuart Broad had captain Michael Clarke (23) caught behind and Graeme Swann trapped both Steve Smith (17) and Phil Hughes (0) LBW during the final hour of play on day four to swing the Ashes pendulum England's way.

After bowling the hosts out for 375 in the morning session, with Ian Bell making his 18th test match century, Australia were 111 for 1 as they began chasing down a record fourth innings winning total at Nottingham.

Shane Watson (46) was out LWB to Broad despite a review but Chris Rogers' half-century in his second test match frustrated England's bowlers.

Joe Root took the wicket of Ed Cowan (14) in the final over before tea before Anderson claimed the scalp of Rogers (52) with a slower ball.

Clarke and Smith put on a 37-run partnership spanning 16 overs as Swann struggled to make inroads on a pitch which was visibly degrading but showing few signs of producing vicious turn.

But it was Broad, the centre of controversy on day three, who made the crucial breakthrough as play entered the final hour, as the Aussie captain edged to Matt Prior.

Swann then found some sharp turn and pace to trap Smith plumb, before the very next over the Notts spinner turned the ball from leg stump to end Hughes' innings for a duck.

The dismissal of Hughes will spark further questions regarding the decision review system, which showed the ball was millimetres from being adjudged to have hit outside the line of the stumps.

Brad Haddin (11) and Ashton Agar (1) remain the not-out batsman overnight, the start of an Australian tail which has often proven to be resolute but require steely determination if they're to pull off victory on a fifth day where all three results remain possible.

England resumed day four on 326 for 6 and a lead of 261 runs and it didn't take long for not-out batsman Broad and Bell to reach their half-century and century respectively.

Bell's innings in particular represented his best of his test match career, but the 138-run partnership was soon over as Broad (65) edged James Pattinson to Haddin.

Bell (109) himself then edged off Mitchell Starc to spark a run of three wickets for four runs as Swann (9) swatted Peter Siddle to Clarke and Anderson (0) clipped to Hughes in the same over.

It left Australia requiring 311 to win the first test. To succeed, they need to beat the record fourth innings total at Trent Bridge.

Australia laid the foundations for that record chase by nullifying England's reverse swing as Watson and Rogers put the visitors 84 without loss.

Watson then succumbed to Broad, but Rogers reached his 50 in 104 balls as the momentum swung Australia's way.

Cowan showed little resistance following his first innings golden duck, edging Root to Jonathan Trott as the 22-year-old claimed his first test wicket.

Rogers then clipped straight to Ian Bell at mid-wicket as Anderson took pace off the ball and England wrestled back control.

Clarke and Smith held firm but produced little in the way of headway and when the pair were dismissed with successive balls, their problems with reverse swing came back to haunt them.

Broad sparked the crucial breakthrough when Clarke edged behind to Prior, a little nick that saw to Australia's final review.

Smith soon departed after Swann at last found some turn and pace, the all-rounder being trapped on the crease.

Hughes was dismissed without scoring in similar circumstances to put England on the cusp of victory, needing four wickets on day five to claim the first test while Australia still require another 137 runs.