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Andrew Strauss
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Ashes: England deserve to be ahead after fine bowling - Andrew Strauss

Bell puts England on top

England have earned the right to be sniffing a first Test victory after impressing with the ball on day four in scorching conditions, says Andrew Strauss.

Ian Bell completed his century on another tospy-turvy day Trent Bridge, and with Australia flying out of the blocks in their chase of 311 for the win, the hosts turned the match on its head with three wickets in 18 balls.

Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad and even Joe Root secured vital scalps to leave Michael Clarke's men still needing 137 to get over the line on the final day with only four wickets in hand.

"It was a brilliant afternoon for England," Strauss told Sky Sports. "They seized the initiative and then had to go again and again. It was quite a nervy day with Australia whacking around the new ball.

"England came back really well and have shown patience and used their experience. In the end they thoroughly deserved to get ahead of this game and are right on the threshold now."

"If the first four days are anything to go by there could still be a few twists and turns in this yet"

Andrew Strauss

Australia were cruising along nicely at 161-3, but in the final hour lost captain Michael Clarke, Steven Smith and Phil Hughes as Swann and Broad cranked up the spin and pace in temperatures reaching over 30 degrees.

"There is still a bit of batting to come and England will have to work hard to get these wickets, but skipper Alastair Cook has had a good day," Strauss added.

"Bringing on Root to get out Ed Cowan just before tea and Bell getting a century earlier in day. The seamers though have had to work incredibly hard. You forget how hot it is out there in the commentary booth!

Rogers makes first fifty

"It's been a good honest day's work for England and coach Andy Flower will know how hard it's been in the heat. Jimmy Anderson was economical, all the England bowlers toiled hard and there was a debut wicket for Root.

"It's been an amazing Test match. There has been so much hype and it has certainly lived up to all of that. It's been a very intriguing game of cricket. It's had ebbs and flows and changes in momentum. It's been exceptional. If the first four days are anything to go by there could still be a few twists and turns in this yet!"

Watch the final day's play from 10am on Sky Sports Ashes HD, the Ashes Events Centre - available via the Sky Sports App - or with a NOW TV day pass.