Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen defends England’s Stuart Broad

Ashes 2013: Kevin Pietersen defends England's Stuart Broad after the hosts finish 261 runs ahead of Australia on day three

Kevin Pietersen has come out in defence of beleaguered England colleague Stuart Broad after his failure to walk having nicked behind, which caused yet more controversy in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

The hosts had a lead of 232 and were starting to put daylight between themselves and Australia when Broad edged the ball to Michael Clarke at slip via Brad Haddin’s gloves – umpire Aleem Dar, however, was unmoved.

Broad momentarily stood his ground before shuffling down the pitch to do some gardening; Australia were up in arms but could do little as they had run out of reviews.

Pietersen, though, felt Broad rightly respected the umpire’s decision even though it was blatantly the wrong one.

He said: “Every single batsman who plays cricket, no matter who you play for, has the right to wait for the umpire’s decision.

“We (England) play hard and we play very, very fair and every single batsman has the right to wait for the umpire.

“Aleem Dar is a fantastic umpire and we respect his decisions. We want to worry about what goes forward and we’ve got a Test match to win tomorrow.”

England – thanks to Ian Bell (95 not out) and Broad(47 not out) – added a further 29 runs to finish the day on 326 for six.

Understandably Australia were close to meltdown after the incident going into the final overs but they are still in touch with England and will be hoping to quickly take the remaining four wickets in the morning.

However, any target over 300 will prove extremely difficult to chase going into the final two days on a pitch that is starting to show signs of uneven bounce.

But it is impossible to make any kind of predictions in a match that has seen momentum constantly switch between the two teams.

“Everybody watching it must be glued to their televisions,” added Pietersen. There is a calm (in the dressing room) but there is tenseness but I think we have got ourselves in good position in this match.”

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