Nottingham, July 13 (IANS) Ian Bell and Stuart Broad put on an unbeaten seventh-wicket stand of 108 runs as England stretched their lead to 261 on the third day of the first Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge here Friday.
Bell was batting on 95 and Broad on 47 as England reached stumps at 326 for six in the second innings.
Broad must be thanking his stars as his edge, when on 37, deflected off the gloves of wicket-keeper Brad Haddin and into the hands of Michael Clarke at slip, was not picked up by umpire Aleem Dar.
It looks like England will have a tricky chase as England failed to capitalise on the 110-run third-wicket partnership between Alastair Cook (50) and Kevin Pietersen (64).
Things were evenly balanced till the tea, when England were struggling at 230 for six with a lead of just 165. But they came back strongly after the break and scored 96 runs in the last session to take a stranglehold.
Resuming the day at 80-2, England had a good first hour as Pietersen ran to his half-century while Cook occupied the crease.
But just 10 runs after they had passed the century mark, Pietersen's middle stump was uprooted as found an inside edge while driving James Pattinson through the covers.
Cook became debutant Ashton Agar's maiden Test wicket when he edged to Clarke at slip immediately after he passed the fifty mark.
Agar also claimed for Jonny Bairstow (15) , who did not wait for the umpire's finger to go up, as he turned and walked back to the pavilion straight after edging Agar behind to Brad Haddin to leave England on 174-5.
Matt Prior (31) started aggressively by hitting the new ball for a Astring of boundaries but misjudged a pull off Peter Siddle and looped a relatively simple catch to Ed Cowan.
Bell and Broad then put on a rescue act with their 108-run stand that took England to safety.