Ashes 2013: Third test, day three: The verdict

Ashes 2013: Third test, day three: The verdict

Ashes 2013: Third test, day three: The verdict

Updated 4 August 2013, 11:47 AEST

Grandstand brings you expert analysis, player reaction and everything you need to know about day three at Old Trafford.

Kevin Pietersen's first century of this Ashes series helped see England to within sight of avoiding the follow-on in the third Test against Australia at Old Trafford.

At the close of the third day, England was 7 for 294 - still 233 runs behind - after Pietersen had made 113.

Matt Prior was 6 not out and Stuart Broad 9 not out, with England now needing just 34 more runs to make Australia bat again in a match the tourists, 2-0 down with three to play, have to win to stand any chance of regaining the Ashes.

The hundred was Pietersen's 23rd in 97 Tests - but first at this level at Old Trafford - and left him two shy of the England Test century record of 25 held by Alastair Cook.

What the experts are saying:

Geoffrey Boycott

"It’s alright saying at the start that it’s still a good pitch and that someone should make a 100, but we all know the pressure of a big score on the board is not quite the same.

"They’re (Australia) not out of danger, I thought Alastair Cook grafted nicely, it was nice to see the captain get a half century because he’s never really been in the series. I’ve said before you don’t want a captain that’s down, despondent and not in the game.

"If Australia can get him down then it does and can have an effect on other members of the team because he is the leader of the pack and he is one of the best players in the world. It was nice to see him work hard, he had to work hard for it and that’s what I wanted to see.

"I didn’t want to see any flash Harry jobs, I just wanted him to stay there and bat for a period, now next time he bats he might get more, but he’s got to stay in first."

Audio: Ashes Perspective: Geoffrey Boycott (ABC News)

Good day for...

Kevin Pietersen

Possibly one of the most important 100s he’ll make for England not to mention his 23rd. Pietersen made it to 113 exactly a year to the day since he made 149 against South Africa at Headingley (all hell broke loose after that).

He needed a good performance at Old Trafford and his delivery has seen him overtake Graham Gooch, now the team's batting coach, as England's all-time leading run scorer in all forms of international cricket with 13,242 runs compared to the Essex great's 13,190.

Great day at the office.
Mitchell Starc

Normally a little wayward, he certainly rose to the occasion on day three taking three crucial wickets for the visitors.

The paceman got rid of Pietersen before stumps, Alastair Cook for 62 and Jonny Bairstow for 22.

Bad day for...

Shane Watson and the DRS

Pietersen might have been out for 62 when Australia opted against reviewing an lbw appeal from all-rounder Shane Watson turned down by umpire Tony Hill that DRS indicated was out.

Replays showed the batsman would have scored a good 50 runs fewer if Watson’s calls had not fallen on (Clarke's) deaf ears. Deja-vu anyone?

Image of the day

What the players are saying:

Mitchell Starc

"We see three days gone and this wicket’s going to turn a lot and things will happen quickly. I’m sure we’ll see a result but we’re going to have to get three wickets early tomorrow morning.  

"(R.e the follow on) I’m not the captain so it’ll be up to him and the coach, they’ll come to a conclusion there. My job and the rest of the bowlers’ job is to focus on taking three as fast as we can tomorrow morning.

"It wouldn’t be an issue (immediately bowling again), but on this wicket it’s going to turn so we wouldn’t mind bowling last."

Audio: Interview: Mitchell Starc (ABC News)

Kevin Pietersen

"If I'd had surgery I'd have been out for nine months. (It was) a big decision. I think I'll be in rehab for the rest of my career unfortunately. (Surgery wise) Not if I keep being as professional as I've been over the last three-and-a-half months.

"Everybody wants to play in the Ashes. Name me someone who plays cricket who doesn't want to play in the Ashes? It's the big stage. I like performing on a big stage when the team needs me.

"I like to try and stand up to be counted and I think as an English player or an Australian player your career is defined by how you play in Ashes cricket."

Audio: Interview: Kevin Pietersen (ABC News)

Tweet of the day

Just googled Kp's record. Respect ! Great knock

— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) August 3, 201

Your view

@abcgrandstand overall, our bowlers did a great job, TE. Clean up tail, set a target, bowlem out, home in time for cornflakes #abcashes

— The Man On The Hill (@Themanonthehil1) August 3, 2013

Anyone suggesting the 3rd #Ashes test will finish in a draw has no real faith nor understanding of Test cricket. @cricketaus @abcgrandstand

— Stuart Bulmer (@stubulmer) August 3, 2013

yeah @abcgrandstand just praying that there's no Manchester rain.I fear rain could derail OUR growing positive self belief. #ASHES

— Gregory Camilleri (@Greg_Camilleri) August 3, 2013

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