Ashes 2013: England in control against Australia in first Test

England took three late Australia wickets to assume a commanding position going into the final day of an enthralling opening Ashes Test.

Chasing a target of 311, a record score to win a Trent Bridge Test, Australia were going well on 161-3.

But in a potentially decisive twist in the final hour, England removed captain Michael Clarke, Steven Smith and Phil Hughes in the space of 18 balls to reduce the tourists to 174-6 at the close, still 137 runs adrift of the finish line.

England had earlier added 49 runs to their overnight total to post 375 all out, with Ian Bell completing his 18th Test century and Stuart Broad scoring 65.

Broad, the subject of a major controversy over his decision not to walk on Friday,followed up with an impressive display with the ball, breaking Australia’s 84-run opening partnership and removing Clarke for 23 in the closing stages of a sweltering day in which England had toiled for long stretches without reward.

Pitching the ball up to Clarke, Broad drew a faint edge from the Australia captain and wheeled away in celebration as Matt Prior took the catch.

The festivities were put on hold as the umpires verified that the ball had carried into Prior’s gloves and were delayed still further when Clarke called for a review. But when Hot Spot showed the smallest of marks on his bat, the skipper had to go.

The dismissal of Australia’s leading batsman marked a total shift in the momentum of the match as Smith was trapped right in front of his stumps by Graeme Swann, who had previously bowled 22 wicketless overs.

Two overs later, Australia were six wickets down as Hughes – who scored an unbeaten 81 in the first innings – was struck on the back pad after missing a spinning delivery from Swann and given out on review.