Trent Bridge set to host the Ashes

England and Australia will renew hostilities in the eagerly-awaited Ashes series, as the first Test gets underway today at Trent Bridge.

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England close in on victory in first Ashes Test

England require four more wickets to clinch the first Ashes Test against Australia, who were 137 runs short of their target at the close of day four.

The tourists finished the day on 174-6, chasing a target of 311, after Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took two wickets each at Trent Bridge.

James Anderson took the wicket of Australia's top scorer Chris Rogers Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Australia's hopes of salvaging an unlikely victory rest largely on the young shoulders of first innings hero Ashton Agar, who was promoted to No.8 in the Australian batting order and is at the crease on one not out.

Party atmosphere at Trent Bridge expecting a win

Thunderbirds arrive at Trent Bridge Credit: ITV News Central

A variety of fancy dresses can be seen at Trent Bridge today, with England fans hoping for a party, if the team can claim a victory on the pitch.

Supporters dressed as Mario characters Credit: ITV News Central

The outfits have made for a celebratory atmosphere, with fans dressed as famous characters, and even brides.

Two fans arrive in wedding dresses Credit: ITV News Central

Joe Root takes important wicket just before tea break

England head into the tea break with Australia on 111 for 2 on the fourth day of the first Test at Trent Bridge.

The final ball of the session saw part-time bowler, Joe Root, take the crucial wicket of Australian number 3, Ed Cowan, who was caught at slip by Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott.

Joe Root celebrates the wicket of Ed Cowan
Joe Root celebrates the wicket of Ed Cowan Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nottinghamshire bowler Stuart Broad claimed the other wicket of the session, trapping Shane Watson LBW for 46.

This morning, Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell reached his century, eventually falling to Mitchell Starc for 109. That helped England to 375 all out - a lead of 311.

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Bell and Broad guide England towards strong Ashes lead

Ian Bell and Stuart Broad built a crucial 50 partnership
Ian Bell and Stuart Broad built a crucial 50 partnership Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Ian Bell and Stuart Broad put on a vital partnership as England's lead over Australia passed 200 in the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Bell and Broad are currently at the crease building a patient 66-run partnership, putting the hosts on 284-6 in their second innings - a lead of 219.

Bell is England's top scorer in the innings on 71 not out, while Broad is 30 not out.

Lunch update: Trott anchors England innings

Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott is unbeaten on 37, as England head into the lunch break on 98/2 at Trent Bridge.

Captain Alastair Cook won the toss and decided to bat first, but he did not last long in the middle himself. He returned to the dressing room after scoring 13.

Trott in action at Trent Bridge Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Trott then joined Joe Root at the crease, with the pair scoring quickly until Root was bowled by Peter Siddle for 30.

That brought Kevin Pieterson in, who was dropped on 1 by Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Peter Siddle celebrates the wicket of Joe Root Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

But that was the only real scare, and the pair made it through to lunch, with England in a decent position going into the afternoon session.

Read more on the Ashes at Trent Bridge.

England win the toss and bat first

England have won the toss and chosen to bat first, in the opening Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Captain Alastair Cook opens the batting with Joe Root, who bats at the top of the order for the first time.

Alastair Cook in action Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Other selection news sees Steven Finn take the final bowling place for England.

And Australia have sprung a surprise by selecting spin bowler Ashton Agar, to make his debut.

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