Ian Bell puts the Three Lions in a strong position at the end of day three.
Ian Bell is on the cusp of a game-defining century for England with the home side finishing at 326-6, with a lead of 261.
However, the big talking point was the non-wicket of Stuart Broad after he appeared to clearly edge Ashton Agar to first slip.
Australia were left fuming as England’s Broad enjoyed a massive slice of luck on the third day.
Broad, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, had made 37, with England then 297 for seven in their second innings, when he edged teenage debutant spinner Ashton Agar.
The ball clipped wicketkeeper Brad Haddin’s gloves and then flew to Australia captain Michael Clarke at first slip.
Australia appealed for the catch but leading Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar ruled in the batsman’s favour as Broad stood his ground.
The tourists couldn’t believe the verdict but ultimately, as they’d already used up both their two permitted reviews in the innings, they had to accept it.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann’s anger on the dressing room balcony was clearly visible after television replays showed Broad had got a thick edge.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, who played alongside Lehmann at Yorkshire, sympathised with Australia.
“The review system was brought in to get rid of the howler, I don’t see why umpire Dar couldn’t have had someone in his ear saying you’ve got that one wrong let’s just overturn that quickly,” said Vaughan, now working as a commentator for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“This has been a terrific game but I think a lot will be talked about that incident, which is sad.”
Earlier on Friday, Australia ran out of reviews when they decided to challenge a not out verdict following James Pattinson’s hugely optimistic lbw appeal against Jonny Bairstow, which replays showed was missing leg stump.
‘Walking’, the practice whereby batsmen gave themselves out without waiting for the umpire’s decision, was once a long-established tradition in English county cricket and ‘non-walkers’ were considered unsporting.
However, the custom in Australian cricket, from even as far back as batting great Don Bradman’s time, has been to wait for the umpire’s verdict.
Despite former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who retired from international duty in 2008, being a noted ‘walker’, few other modern players have copied his lead, particularly now that decisions can be challenged by recourse to technology.
England themselves had been angered Thursday by third umpire Marais Erasmus after the South African gave Jonathan Trott out lbw when the hosts were convinced the batsman had hit the ball and denied them the wicket of Ashton Agar, on six, when they thought the 19-year-old debutant had been stumped.
Agar went on to make 98 – the highest score by a Test match No 11.
England paceman James Anderson, speaking after play Thursday, said Trott’s dismissal was “very frustrating”.
Meanwhile former England captain turned Sky Sports commentator Bob Willis said Trott’s exit was a “staggeringly bad” decision, while the Agar call was “shocking”.
England v Australia
Played at Trent Bridge
Toss won by England
England 1st Innings 215 (P Siddle 5-50; J Pattinson 3-69)
Australia 1st Innings 280 (A Agar 98, P Hughes 81 no, S Smith 53; J Anderson 5-85)
England 2nd Innings (overnight: 80-2)
A. Cook c Clarke b Agar 50
J. Root c Haddin b Starc 5
J. Trott lbw b Starc 0
K. Pietersen b Pattinson 64
I. Bell not out 95
J. Bairstow c Haddin b Agar 15
M. Prior c Cowan b Siddle 31
S. Broad not out 47
Extras (b2, lb13, w1, nb3) 19
Total (6 wkts, 133 overs, 579 mins) 326
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Root), 2-11 (Trott), 3-121 (Pietersen), 4-131 (Cook), 5-176 (Bairstow), 6-218 (Prior)
To bat: G Swann, S Finn, J Anderson
Bowling: Pattinson 28-7-89-1 (1nb); Starc 27-7-66-2 (1w); Agar 35-9-82-2 (1nb); Siddle 28-10-63-1; Watson 15-11-11-0
Australia: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke (capt), Steven Smith, Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin (wkt), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ashton Agar
Match position: England lead Australia by 261 runs with four second innings wickets standing