Australia relied on the much-criticized Hot Spot technology to make an early breakthrough in the fourth Ashes test as England labored to 57-1 by lunch on the opening day.
Joe Root (16) was initially given not out by the on-field umpire when he edged Shane Watson behind to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, but Australia asked for a review and Hot Spot showed the faintest of nicks.
Captain Alastair Cook was 21 not out and Jonathan Trott unbeaten on 13 as England made slow progress on Friday at the start of a match which it needed to draw or win to clinch a third straight Ashes series.
The English are 2-0 up in the five-match series and have already retained the Ashes.
The buildup to Chester-le-Street’s first Ashes test had been dominated by the controversy surrounding the Decision Review System, with Australian broadcaster Channel Nine claiming this week that silicon tape might have been attached to the edges of bats to 'fool' the technology in light of a string of contentious calls in the opening three matches.
Those claims were angrily denied by both teams, who went on to reiterate their support for DRS, but the flap meant excitement spread through the ground when Australia appealed the Root decision after England had crawled to 34 off 17.3 overs.
Third umpire Marais Erasmus wasted no time in overturning the call of on-field umpire Tony Hill when the smallest of white marks was shown on Root’s bat on the replays. Snickometer confirmed the edge, too.
Root had been the busier of the two openers, with Cook very watchful as he saw off the new ball after winning the toss under brightening skies in the north-east. It made for a dull opening session as England struggled to get the accurate Watson (1-8 off seven overs) or debutant Jackson Bird (0-15 off eight overs) away.
When drinks were taken after the first hour, England was 31-0 after 14 overs.
Trott came in for Root and only got off the mark when he edged Peter Siddle through the slip cordon for four, one of only three boundaries before lunch.
England was unchanged from the drawn third test at Old Trafford while Australia dropped Mitchell Starc for Bird.