Ashton Agar
Agar fell two runs short of a maiden test century on his international debut.

Ashton Agar stole the show with 98 on debut as Australia took a firm grip of the first Ashes test against England after day two at Trent Bridge.

The 19 year old came in with the tourists 117 for 9 and 98 runs behind England's first innings total of 215 after James Anderson (5-85) and Graeme Swann (2-60) had put the hosts on the cusp of an emphatic lead with five wickets having fallen for nine runs in the morning session.

But Agar hadn't read the script and batted in stark contrast to his position in the order, making the highest total by a No.11 in test history while putting on a world record 10<sup>th wicket partnership of 163 with Phil Hughes (81 not out) before falling two short of his maiden career century.

Agar's pull to Graeme Swann off Stuart Broad ended a virtuoso performance from an international rookie who had previously played just 10 first class matches, but gave Australia a valuable lead of 65 after being bowled out for 280.

The innings firmly swung the momentum back the way of Australia and when Mitchell Starc controvercially took the wickets of opener Joe Root (5) and then Jonathan Trott (0) in successive balls, England were 11 for 2 at the tea interval.

Replays later showed that Root, who held long discussions with captain Alastair Cook before eventually walking, had not feathered Starc down the leg-side.

England also have reason to legitimately challenge the first ball dismissal of Trott, after umpire Aleem Dar's not out decision following an LBW appeal was overturned by third umpire Marais Erasmus after a referral, despite not all the technology functioning properly.

Trott indicated as he left the field that he had hit the ball, and while video technology appeared to concur with such a theory, the available hotspot cameras could indicate no contact.

Alastair Cook (37 not out) and Kevin Pietersen (35 not out) did steady the ship however in the evening session, putting on an unbeaten partnership of 68 to leave England 80 for 2 at the close, a lead of 15 runs heading into day three.

A frenetic first day had seen 14 wickets fall, the most on the opening day of an Ashes series since 2005, but any hopes of a calmer second day were ended inside the first hour on a clear day in Nottingham.

Resuming on 75 for 4, Steve Smith continued his abrasive style, reaching his half century before departing for 53 after edging Anderson to Matt Prior, before the very next over saw Swann bowled Brad Haddin for 1.

Prior produced a spectacular catch to dismiss Peter Siddle (1) before Anderson completed his five-wicket haul with the scalp of Mitchell Starc (0).

James Pattinson (2) was out plumb LBW to Swann as five Australian wickets fell in 27 minutes with England sensing a huge first innings lead.

But Agar, who batted at No.3 for Henley Cricket Club during his spell in the Home Countier Premier Cricket League and survived a stumping chance for Prior when on six, played one of the great Ashes innings, surpassing the highest total for a debutant at No.11 and then by any No.11 in world cricket.

Hughes played with caution throughout as Agar struck 12 4s and two 6s in an inspired innings of 98 from 101 balls, before he pulled Broad, who had bowled infrequently during the morning session after a shoulder injury was aggravated while batting on day one, straight to Swann at deep mid-wicket.

The pair's innings gave Australia a healthy 65-run lead, but before England could reach parity they lost two crucial wickets in successive balls.

First, Haddin caught Root down the leg side after Starc's radar went askew, with replays later showing the 22 year old had made no contact, before Trott was out LBW after a review, a decision seemingly at odds with the video footage.

Cook and Pietersen saw England through unscathed throughout the final session as the home side sought to regain control, building a lead of just 15 before the close to set up an intriguing third day after a whirlwind start to the series.