The Ashes: England v Australia, fourth Test, day one as it happened

England collapse to 238-9 on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test against Australia.

9 August 2013 Last updated at 20:31

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As it happened

  1. 1905: 

    Which leaves nothing else other than for me to say farewell. The Ashes may be secured, but this series remains alive and England's hope of wrapping up victory have taken a early Aussie hammering in the north-east.

    Join us from 0900 on Saturday to see if the home side can recover.


    England batsman Jonathan Trott: "You come to Durham and you always feel you might have a bowl first, especially with a bit of cloud cover around.

    "I think Nathan Lyon bowled well. He bowled around the wicket to a defensive field and tested the patience of our batting. The focus for us now becomes taking wickets tomorrow."

  3. 1900: 

    With TMS leaving the airwaves, I'm left to point you to all the lovely things on the BBC Sport website that will keep you going through Friday evening and beyond.

    Sam Sheringham's match report tells the story of the day, while the thoughts of Jonathan Agnew will arrive a little later.

    And, if it's listening you're after, the BBC Radio 5 live Ashes page has highlights and podcasts to tuck into.


    England batsman Jonathan Trott: "I felt pretty good to get to 49 and then got out but that's the nature of this game. As soon as you feel you are doing well it takes something away from you.

    "Winning the toss and being a 100 odd for one it's disappointing to then go and lose some soft wickets. We have to reassess that and put it right. Generally guys know what they have done wrong. I certainly know personally. It's up to individuals to put it right.

    "Australia also have a better bowling unit than three years ago - the wickets are a bit truer in Australia which is why we haven't got those big scores. We saw today it was a slower and the Aussies bowled well."

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook did well - he's not in good nick, nor is Trott, nor is Joe Root. When you take away his 180 he's had a lot of failures. But Cook and Trott held themselves together, they got runs and that was the important thing. Cook misjudged a good delivery - you can't honestly say Australia bowled England out, we got ourselves out. I've always thought there's an issue with Joe Root at the top of the order - as when you bat up front, you're facing better bowlers than you do in county cricket, and you've got to know when to get a big stride in, and when not to get stuck on the crease. He's 22, he's had a meteoric rise but early on, against good bowlers, he's got problems."


    Australia spinner Nathan Lyon: "We just tried keep it simple as a bowling squad. We tried to hit the right areas and it's worked out pretty well. Credit has to go to the bowlers and the fielders because we built pressure on and got the reward.

    "There's nothing in the wicket so I bowled around the wicket to keep myself in the game and I was able to build some pressure. It's a day one pitch, we built pressure and got rewards. We always speak about batting in partnerships and the need to bowl in partnerships as well.

    "For myself it's about keeping it simple, putting balls in the right area, varying pace and flight. I've been happy with the way I'm bowling. But we've got another long four days ahead of us. We have got to come out tomorrow and get this last wicket and then get our batters in."

  7. 1849: 

    It was left to the last-wicket pair to show the upper order how it's done. James Anderson belted four fours in his late-evening unbeaten 16. With Tim Bresnan, an unbroken 24 has been added by the last pair and it is they who will resume on Saturday morning, hoping to eke out further precious runs.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "England were 100-1 and sitting pretty. Trott got an inside edge to short leg, then Pietersen hit the off-spinner twice over the top, but then opened the face to run it down to third man where you're only playing with the edge of the bat. If the ball's not spinning, hit the ball back where it came from. But we've just been gifting wickets to a non-spinning off-spinner. England's batting against him was pathetic."

  9. 1847: 

    With Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann following, both to dubious strokes, England had lost seven wickets for 65 runs. Lyon, around the wicket virtually all day, was the destroyer-in-chief, claiming 4-42, helped by the miserly accuracy of the seamers at the other end. Harris was the most successful, taking 2-70, with Bird, Siddle and Watson ending with one each.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Bell stupidly tried to hit over the top straight after tea when the team was in trouble and holes out. That was the worst shot of the day. Jonny Bairstow fought well when they strangled England and they were struggling for runs, then what does he do? Try to sweep the off-spinner when he was bowling round the wicket."

  11. 1844: 

    That wobble became a complete topple over, the tone for the evening session set by Ian Bell's suicidal run at Lyon in the first over after the break. After that, England went into reverse, Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior rarely troubling the scorers. Their plan to wait for the new ball failed. Prior pinned leg before Peter Siddle, Bairstow out sweeping at Lyon.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The key to the game was Australia's captain, coach and players for working out a plan for Nathan Lyon to bowl around the wicket. He's an average bowler, he doesn't look as good as Jim Laker or even Graeme Swann, but he's got four wickets with spin - or non-spin as we might say."

  13. 1842: 

    Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen tried to repel the Aussie squeeze in the afternoon session, but both feel to the off-breaks of Nathan Lyon. Then, when Cook misjudged Jackson Bird, lbw playing no stroke for an almost shotless 51, England were wobbling on 155-4 at tea.


    Graeme in Sunderland (which used to be part of County Durham before that Tyne and Wear nonsense), TMS inbox: If the top order don't sort themselves out then we will lose the Ashes down under. Under-performed so far, and then relying on Anderson and Swann to bail them out.

  15. 1839: 

    But perhaps that first session revealed more than we knew at the time. Australia were accurate, England struggling to force the scoreboard on a slowish pitch. It would be theme that continued in the afternoon and evening, only with wickets thrown in.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "I've been out to the middle at stumps and had a look at the pitch. England seem to have got themselves in a hole but I can't see a hole in the pitch. I asked Graham Gooch on the way out if Nathan Lyon's bowled well, and he said he's not turned one all day and bowled slow-medium pacers! Certainly there is nothing looking at this pitch to suggest you cannot get a big score in it."

  17. 1838: 

    The first session looked promising. The home side were watchful, apparently building a solid foundation for the day ahead. Cloud covered Durham, but the ball did little. England's progress was steady, 57-1 at lunch. Joe Root's edge behind off Watson the only blip for Alastair Cook's men.

  18. 1837: 

    What to make of that? Whichever way you look at it, mustering only 238-9 after winning the toss on a pitch holding no demons represents a pretty poor return for England.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia's bowlers have been disciplined but England will be feeling grumpy with themselves having won the toss and batted. It's the kind of pitch where batsmen need to grind it out. If you looked at the bowling figures you'd think it was spinning a mile but Nathan Lyon has bowled shrewdly and waited for England to make mistakes. Any spin bowler would love those figures in the first innings."


    Malcolm Faulkner, TMS inbox: Predictable again by England, so many batsmen out of form or just poor shot selection. The Aussies must be delighted at the prospect of batting against the bowling line-up they hammered for over 500 at Old Trafford. Losing this Test might just make the selectors & Cook show a bit of imagination. How did we manage to go two up?

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia have been outstanding today... England very average but I still think they will win the game..."

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia's fans stand up and applaud as their players leave the field and they've deserved it. England had a late flurry and you never know how vital those runs might be down the line. We've seen some interesting and tough cricket. You wouldn't say England are out of the game by any means even though it's been Australia's day."

  23. 1831: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 238-9

    Nathan Lyon to deliver the final over, Tim Bresnan working a single as more and more fielders are waved in by Michael Clarke. Anderson to cover up? Not a bit of it, the leftie leaning back to smite through the covers for four. Valuable runs for England, the last-wicket pair have put on an unbroken 24 by the time the players head for the pavilion. It has, though, been Australia's day. England close on 238-9.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "The new ball is coming on to the bat which is giving England some useful boundaries late in the day. Although it's not enough to regain what they've already lost in the rest of the innings."

  25. 1827: 
    Eng 233-9 (89 overs)

    Now Bresnan in on the act, hooking Harris to the vacant square leg area for four and taking three to deep mid-wicket. Yet another boundary, this time from the edge of Anderson's bat. Australia conceding runs at the end of the day, one over left for England to negotiate.


    Gary Ritchie, via text on 81111: Surely questions need to be asked about the batting coaching. How many times have England reached 450 or above with Graham Gooch as batting coach?

    Dan in Milton Keynes, via text on 81111: Andy Flower should lock the team in the dressing room and give them the hairdryer treatment. Too complacent about their places in the team!

    Paul in Dubai, via text on 81111: Both Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root have shown they are not up to taking on a mediocre attack. Unless rain intervenes again it looks like a defeat is looming. Will the selectors now realise we should be doing what the Australians have done, and try something different if it isn't working? Now Nick Compton and James Taylor deserve their chance.

  27. 1822: 
    Eng 222-9 (Bresnan 4*, Anderson 8*)

    Three overs left in the day, I'm fairly sure Australia would now not have to bat tonight in they take this final England wicket. James Anderson is England's number 11, facing up to Jackson Bird with three slips and a short leg for company. Have you been watching the rest of the order flounder all day, Jimmy? Don't come out here playing on-drives like that. You'll embarrass them. And again! This time dismissing a half-volley through mid-wicket. Two boundaries for the Burnley Lara.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a good way to bowl to Graeme Swann. Ryan Harris has banged in a bouncer and he's put it straight down the fielder's throat. England have looked naive with the bat and gone from one extreme to the other. There's been echoes of England's innings in Adelaide in 2006 when they were put on the back foot and became paralysed."

  29. 1815: 
    WICKET- Swann c Lyon b Harris 13 (Eng 214-9)

    Counter-attack over, crowd silent again. It's as simple as simple can be for Australia, Graeme Swann hooking Ryan Harris to the static Nathan Lyon at deep square leg. Can you blame Swann for playing a shot like that? Probably not, but that is of little comfort to England.


    Richard in Staffordshire, via text on 81111: Can I refer the England team to the comments made by a Mr S Warne in the national press about being arrogant. Is the bloke right?

    Darren Brackley, via text on 81111: Awful from England. No application or fighting spirit. Negative cricket all series, which I am sorry to say is entirely down to Alastair Cook and his style of captaincy.

    Paddy Singh in Salisbury, via text on 81111: Because England have won the Ashes, and the weather saved them in Manchester, it looks as if they are not bothered winning now.

  31. 1813: 
    Eng 213-8 (Bresnan 3*, Swann 13*)

    Swann blazing now, biffing the returning Jackson Bird through the covers for four. And again! Leaning back to carve through point for another boundary. Counter-attack on? The crowd are more into this, cheering as the shadow of a stand just starts to creep across the outfield.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia have bowled well since tea. They've kept it really tight and not given any easy runs. England have reached 200 but it's been painstaking to watch."

  33. 1808: 
    NEW BALL- Eng 204-8

    Indeed the new ball is taken, the dark red conker thrust into the hand of the hulking Ryan Harris. England may at last see the opportunity to score with the hardness of the new ball. What's this? An attacking stroke? Indeed it is, Swann clipping through mid-wicket for four, drawing a cheer usually reserved for triple-centuries, 10-wicket hauls and Mark Knopfler. More cheers when a Swann pull falls just short of the man at deep square leg. Five off the over, England flying. Sort of.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The question mark after Old Trafford was whether Australia could follow it up with another performance and continue on an upward curve and they have shown they can. Australia will have a great opportunity to get a big innings lead if they can finish off England's tail either this evening or first thing tomorrow."

  35. 1803: 
    Eng 199-8 (Bresnan 3*, Swann 0*)

    Nathan Lyon continuing with the old ball as this Durham crowd watches on in almost stunned silence. Yet another maiden, England being choked. Runs rarer than a dodo's egg, six overs left in the day. I fancy the new ball is on the way...


    Nick in London, TMS inbox: This is possibly the worse day of Test cricket I've ever watched from an England perspective. You can't play that negatively and expect to get anything from it. The pressure mounts, the fielders get on top of you and you get out. PLAY SOME SHOTS… My mum could do better with a rolled up rhubarb leave, never mind the actual stick.

  37. 1801: 
    Eng 199-8 (83 overs)

    Glorious sunshine in Durham, a blue-sky evening that Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan probably thought they wouldn't see when England opted to bat this morning. Swann is down quickly to duck a Harris bumper, then sees one scuttle through. An early sign on uneven bounce on this first-day wicket.


    Marcus Hoot: Another shocker for England's batsmen. Complacency, poor shot selection and worst of all, lack of fighting spirit. This is a batting side in disarray.

    Sownak Bose: Jonny Bairstow doesn't look like a Test level batsman. But then again, none of the England players look bothered today.

    Matthew Rudd: How has Nathan Lyon got four wickets on the first day of a Durham Test bowling around the wicket?

  39. 1757: 
    Eng 199-8 (Bresnan 3*, Swann 0*)

    To labour the point, this pitch looks pretty decent. Slow, but certainly conducive to making runs. England won the toss but have been undone by a combination of good Aussie bowling and poor shot selection. Still, we'll see how good this effort from the hosts is when the Baggy Greens come to bat.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Stuart Broad won't want to see that again on the replay. It's been an honest and workmanlike bowling performance from Australia's attack but nothing more than that really."

  41. 1753: 
    Eng 199-8 (Bresnan 2*, Swann 0*)

    For the record, Australia are yet to take the new ball. Graeme Swann is the new man, he joined forces with Bresnan to dig England out of bother in their warm-up match against Essex. This battle, however, is a different gravy.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stuart Broad is looking at the pitch for that dismissal but it's nothing to do with that - there's no gremlins in it. He's just spooned it straight to point. This is as poor as I've seen England for a long time."

  43. 1750: 
    WICKET- Broad c Warner b Harris 0 (Eng 197-8)
    Stuart Broad is out

    Awful, simply awful. On an afternoon of poor batting, Stuart Broad gets to new depths. Short from Ryan Harris, Broad goes for a horrible cut/force through the off side, but only top edges the ball into the hands of David Warner at point. England are being steamrollered.


    Olly in London, via text on 81111: Jonny Bairstow has an inferior record to Gary Ballance and James Taylor across all three formats. Of those three players Bairstow is the least capable of playing a long innings, and that they are the same age - why exactly is he picked?

    Sam in Salisbury, via text on 81111: How many times does Jonny Bairstow have to fail before he's dropped? Joe Root doesn't look comfortable opening so get Nick Compton in. Bairstow's a walking wicket!

    Neil in Leicester, via text on 81111: Quick check the forecast....pray for rain!

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "England have ground to a halt and the crowd are starting to get impatient as well."

  46. 1747: 
    Eng 195-7 (80 overs)

    Lyon around the wicket to the left-handed Broad, whose wild swipe gets nothing but fresh air. This horror afternoon for England has seen them lose five wickets for 54 runs, three of which to Lyon. That may be the end of him for a little while, though. The new ball is due. Will the Aussies take it? They've been doing just fine with the old one.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Nathan Lyon has four wickets and he's not even spinning it! A bit of drift but that's about it. It must have been that dismissal of Ian Bell that has put the frighteners up England's batsmen thinking they can't go after the Australian attack."

  48. 1742: 
    Eng 194-7 (79 overs)

    Stuart Broad the new man, leaving behind a balcony that houses the glum faces of Alastair Cook and Andy Flower. Nathan Lyon, by the way, now has figures of 4-36. That's an off-spinner with four wickets on the first day of a Test. In Durham. Cameras pick up Bairstow ripping his pads off, staring between his knees to the floor. Good to know that the pros adopt the same pose as a hopeless club player in times of crisis. One over until the new ball is available.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jonny Bairstow reviewed that straight away and said to Tim Bresnan he thought it was missing off stump - it's clearly not. Bairstow hasn't played a shot for ages then tried to hit one across the line - his best shots to spin are down the ground. Why did he play the sweep? The approach of England's batsmen today has been poor."

  50. 1736: 
    WICKET- Bairstow lbw Lyon 14 (Eng 193-7)
    Jonny Bairstow is out lbw

    Bairstow has to go, swiping at the ground as he marches off. Indeed the ball had straightened enough, but a millimetre or so higher and it would have gone over the top. As it is, it was clipping enough of the bail to be 'umpire's call'. Say what you like about the decision, should Bairstow have been playing that sweep shot in this situation? England could be bowled out tonight at this rate...

  51. 1735: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 193-6

    Lyon is around the wicket, has this straightened enough? No glove or bat to save the batsman...

  52. 1734: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 193-6

    Immediate review from Jonny Bairstow as he's given out lbw on the sweep to Lyon. England desperately need this to go Bairstow's way...

    Matt Prior

    Siddle has now dismissed Prior nine times in Tests. Prior has 132 runs off Siddle at 14.66. No other Australian bowler has dismissed Prior more than twice.

  54. 1733: 
    Eng 191-6 (Bairstow 12*, Bresnan 2*)

    Siddle, on the back of that Prior strike, is striving for further inroads, going past the edge of new man Bresnan with a total howitzer, just nipping away. England are in such a malaise that every run is cheered, Bresnan sending the crowd into comparative delirium with a punch for a couple. Is this what the Durham faithful imagined Ashes cricket to be?

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Michael Clarke has a big smile on his face and no wonder. After losing the toss this is shaping up to be a great day for Australia."

  56. 1727: 
    Eng 189-6 (76 overs)

    Remember how Steven Smith was reprieved by an 'umpire's call' at Old Trafford when about 49.9% of the ball was hitting leg stump? This time Prior has gone with about 50.1% of the ball hitting. The result is the arrival of Tim Bresnan. England's defensive plan was OK so long as they didn't lose wickets, but they have failed to move the score on. Australia are all over them.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Michael Clarke and the Australian team will be exceptionally happy with a wicket before the new ball. Watching that live you thought it was going down leg so that's a really good review."

  58. 1723: 
    WICKET- Prior lbw Siddle 17 (Eng 189-6)

    What a good review by Australia producing what could be a huge moment. It looked close on first look and Prior is sent on his way, the ball shown to be clattering the leg stump. England's tail is exposed to the looming new ball, Australia have a big chance of bowling the hosts out cheaply.

  59. 1722: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 189-5

    Prior is a long way back, but it looks like it may slide down. Nothing on Hot Spot...

  60. 1721: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 189-5

    This looks close. Matt Prior given not out lbw by Aleem Dar as Peter Siddle goes wide of the crease. Too much angle? We'll have another look...


    Carl White, TMS inbox: Australia are playing with a real sense of purpose, England on the other hand seem to be leaking wickets, with reckless shot selection, do we want a series win or not? Come on guys... no coasting, let's see some of that cricket stuff we all know you are capable of!

    HOW'S STAT?!
    Kevin Pietersen

    Apart from Ian Bell, England have had only two scores over 67 in the series: Root 180 and Pietersen (pictured) 113 not out. Series runs/averages to date: Bell 387 (average 64.50), Root 258 (43.00), Pietersen 232 (33.14), Cook 196 (28.00), Trott 171 (24.42). And before their current innings, Bairstow had 161 (32.20) and Prior 69 (17.25).

  63. 1714: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 189-5

    Cheers for that rarest of sights, an England run, as Matt Prior pushes the returning Nathan Lyon for a single. Lyon has returned for a couple of overs before the new ball, the breeze ruffling his shirt as he creeps in from around the wicket. Bairstow stays shotless, only 12 from 68 balls for him as he heads for a drink.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "England have lost wickets to loose shots and Matt Prior and Jonny Bairstow look like they are just trying to get through a tough period now. Bairstow in particular will might think about playing shots soon given how many balls he has faced, but you can't always go out there and score at a run a ball. This is about Test cricket is all about and will be good for him."

  65. 1711: 
    Eng 188-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 16*)

    I wonder if Bairstow and Prior have the second new ball in mind? Are they taking the responsibility of facing up the new nut? Another wicket before it arrives and Australia will fancy going at the tail with the hard cherry. Bairstow remains patient apart from when Siddle digs in the bumper. An airy hook, about 20 minutes too late, lucky not to top edge. Only five runs in 10 overs.


    Phil in Euston, via text on 81111: My first bat was an SP as used by the late Tony Greig. The handle snapped off a week after I bought it and was in tears aged 10.

    Liam in Redbridge, via text on 81111: When I was a kid I had the Slazenger V100, with Viv Richards' autograph on it. It was colloquially known on my suburban Brisbane street as 'The Viv'.

  67. 1707: 
    Eng 188-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 16*)

    England's run rate is dropping towards 2.50 an over. Is this the pattern for the rest of the match? The slow nature of the pitch could make runscoring tricky, forcing the pace dangerous. Watson, dragging his body to the crease, probes Prior with a maiden. A few words between Prior and Aussie counterpart Brad Haddin. They didn't look friendly.


    David Morris, TMS inbox: If you compare England's score today with some of the T20 scores this week, it puts their effort into perspective. The cream of the crop at Test match level should be doing far better than the thrill a minute thrashes we have seen. Just not good enough.

    Lorraine Gill, TMS inbox: Our batsmen have not really clicked as a unit since 2011. No-one seems to question Graham Gooch's apparent failure to put this right. Shot selection is awful. Geoff Boycott often says it is up to the batsmen to sort out problems with technique, stance etc. What is the point of a batting coach then?

  69. 1703: 
    Eng 188-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 16*)

    Siddle, the Craig Bellamy lookalike, hurries in with his backside jutting out. Prior manages to angle a single through the off side, with Bairstow soaking up the remainder. England practically in reverse but, crucially, the wickets column is static. For now.


    Lee Cooke: It doesn't matter if you are not a world-class spinner. Put it in the right places on this pitch and you're in business. Give Nathan Lyon some credit.

    Chris Hillier: And to think Ashton Agar was picked ahead of Nathan Lyon. What was Darren Lehmann thinking?

  71. 1658: 
    Eng 187-5 (70 overs)

    The very straight short mid-on reappears for Bairstow as Watson lumbers in under glorious north-eastern sunshine. "Catch" is the shout as Bairstow flashes, but there's no edge. How long can this England pair stay patient? This bowling pair of Watson and Siddle are probably Australia's most accurate, they won't get bored of bowling dots. Who will blink first? Ten overs until the new ball, trumpeter now playing Phantom Of The Opera.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Peter Siddle is on huffing and puffing, and as usual has a lot of effort and energy. If he did come round your house and huff and puff, you suspect he probably would eventually blow it down."

  73. 1654: 
    Eng 187-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 15*)

    Good plan, Peter Siddle. Get off at the same time as the skipper and talk yourself into a bowl. At the moment, we've reached something of a stalemate. England happy to dig in and rebuild, Australia sitting in and waiting for the error. "Come on Pedro" is the cry from an Aussie voice in the crowd. Pedro Siddle sends down a maiden.


    Chris in Earlsfield, via text on 81111: Back in 1995 my mate got a Kookaburra Bubble when I had a Ridgeback. Know how the rest of Hogwarts felt when Harry Potter got his Firebolt. I'll always support the SS Jumbo, the Nimbus 2000 of bats.

  75. 1649: 
    Eng 187-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 15*)

    The revolving door through the Aussie dressing room sees Michael Clarke and Peter Siddle nip off as Shane Watson comes on for a trundle. Greeting Watson is the trumpeter's playing of the theme from Ghostbusters, referring to Watson's spooky night at Lumley Castle eight years ago. England barely moving, but only one slip for Bairstow. One from it.


    Colin in Durham, TMS inbox: Lyon is an average spinner being made to look good by Trott, Pietersen and Bell, they should be ashamed of themselves.

    Michael Tutt, TMS inbox: Today's performance just goes to show that Australia are more than a match for England. Too many of our senior players are not performing. Old Trafford was not a fluke.

  77. 1644: 
    Eng 186-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 14*)

    There's blue sky overhead, with one big white cloud spewing off cotton wool-like little brothers, as if someone has spilled a giant bottle of milk. Ryan Harris, spiky haired and broad shouldered, is on a full length to Bairstow. Our query as to how England would look to rebuild has been answered. It's attrition instead of attack.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's almost as if Nathan Lyon has got today what he really deserved from Old Trafford. It's not spinning off the pitch particularly for him but Matt Prior and Jonny Bairstow have seen their team-mates comes and go so are playing somewhat cautiously."

  79. 1641: 
    Eng 186-5 (66 overs)

    Lyon, spinning the ball in his hand, touching his toes to keep loose, continues to twirl away, with Prior drawing decent applause for a well-run two through square leg. Every so often, the odd brassy note of a trumpet can be heard, but the singing accompaniment is not audible.


    Alex Green: It's like watching England back in the nineties - can't put a partnership together and can't build an innings.

    Will Martin: With the exception of Jonny Bairstow, every batsman has an average of 43 or higher. These aren't bad players, just out of form ones.

    Tim Smith: England could really do with a solid but swashbuckling Matt Prior innings here, and a century partnership at least.

  81. 1638: 
    Eng 184-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 12*)

    Much has been made about Jonny Bairstow's habit of playing slightly across the line, cross-batted around the front pad. The Aussies look to exploit this by posting a very straight short mid on, Nathan Lyon standing in front of non-striker Matt Prior. Not only does that leave Lyon in Bairstow's eye line, but also prevents Prior from backing up too far. It would be very embarrassing to be run out by the man standing next to you.


    Simon, TMS inbox: If Rooty needs a security guard for the nets can someone check to see if David Warner is off the field currently?

    Dave, TMS inbox: I think England would have found more runs this series with Compton opening, Root at six and Bairstow getting his game together at Yorkshire. I think Root might find opening easier in Australia.

  83. 1634: 
    Eng 183-5 (Bairstow 12*, Prior 12*)

    Uppish from Prior, a drive at Lyon sliding off the face of the bat but falling out of the reach of the man at point. The ooohhhs and uuurrraaayyys in the crowd suggest a Mexican Wave is brewing. Maiden from Lyon.

    Nathan Lyon

    David Hoggard, TMS inbox: Is it possible that the alleged ghost in Lumley Castle and Nathan Lyon are one and the same? He looks as if he's been dead for a week. Sadly, not bowling like it, though...

  85. 1631: 
    Eng 183-5 (63 overs)

    Glorious from Prior, greeting the returning Ryan Harris with a thumping cover drive. Crowd awoken, cards showing a big number four waved. A thick edge to third man further darkens the face of Harris, one that seems to be growing more stubble with each passing over. He stands, with hands on hips and glares at Prior, the sort of stare that could turn milk sour.


    Scott Clark: Goodness me! What sort of carnage will there be when some decent bowlers get a chance on this pitch?

    Sam Perkins: When will Englishmen understand when it's appropriate to 'take the game to a spinner...' Because 155-4 after tea really isn't it!

    Matt Beresford: We seem to have two tempos - turgid two runs per over sessions or 'dominating' by losing wickets. Some Test match batting required!

  87. 1627: 
    Eng 173-5 (Bairstow 11*, Prior 3*)

    Bairstow's bat carries the stickers of a Slazenger V12 - old-school in the style of a Gray Nicholls Powerspot or a Kookaburra Bubble. Plenty of cricketers would have had one of those as a first blade. Jonny's retro wand (which could be the title of a children's story) takes a single off Lyon.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special
    Jackson Bird

    "Jackson Bird has been on the money all day. He's shown great control."

  89. 1624: 
    Eng 172-5 (Bairstow 10*, Prior 3*)

    Bird has been tagged as a 'line' bowler, in the Glenn McGrath-mould. For me, he's a different style, doing more with the ball in the air. Deep square leg posted for Bairstow, to whom a single is taken. Two slips and man square on the off side wait for Prior, who is forward in defence. Joe Root heads for a net, flanked by a security guard. Is that really necessary - the guard, rather than the net, that is.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's annoying that England have given their wickets away like Ian Bell did after tea - I don't know whether he had too many cream cakes at the break. Play the ball on its merits. I've never been in the kind of form where I want to just give the opposition my wicket."

  91. 1619: 
    Eng 171-5 (60 overs)

    Lyon, the cross between Ricardo Carvalho and a young John Cleese, has bowled around the wicket to the right-handers for most of the day. Off-spinners are more likely to hit the stumps from around the wicket as the ball pitches and straightens, rather than turning down the leg side. Just a Bairstow single from the over - 30 left in the day.


    JJ in Colston Bassett, via text on 81111: It's official. England cannot bat on a flat track against ok bowlers. Poor effort. Thank our lucky stars the Ashes are safe.

    Gareth in Nottingham, via text on 81111: Another poor batting display, we have our heads in the sand if we don't think we have real problems in that department.

  93. 1616: 
    Eng 170-5 (Bairstow 8*, Prior 3*)

    Jackson Bird has been very impressive today, the Australia bowler to have got most out of this pitch. The ball that trapped the shotless Alastair Cook was a beauty and now he twice goes past the edge of Matt Prior's bat with away-nipping rozzers. Bird, hair like he's just got out of bed, is getting good shape in the odd light created by a mix of sunshine and dark clouds.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    "Four Tests in to the series and laps of the Ashes grounds are becoming a bit like Groundhog Day - the same concessions, the same sponsors' gimmicks, the same drunken men in ponchos. The biggest crowd during the tea interval here was gathered around a question and answer session with former England batsman Mike Gatting, the real marvel being how he had been persuaded to hold court at a time of day when he usually has far more pressing engagements."

  95. 1613: 
    Eng 168-5 (Bairstow 8*, Prior 1*)

    Sunshine in Durham as the zinc-faced Lyon spins one down the leg side, beating wicketkeeper Brad Haddin and conceding four byes. What is England's approach from here? Two natural strokeplayers at the crease, but another wicket could be terminal. Counter-attack, or shut up shop?


    Zido: I think South Africa would beat both these teams at the same time, poor cricket in this series.

    Richard Bowpitt: England's top six misfire again. Only once in this series have they all made double figures.

    Chris Parker: No side has made more than 300 in the first innings at Durham this year, don't worry this isn't as bad as it looks

  97. 1608: 
    Eng 163-5 (Bairstow 8*, Prior 0*)

    That Bell wicket is Lyon's third, the off-spinner currently sitting on 3-28 on the first day of a Test. Matt Prior is the man to join Bairstow for what is now very definitely a rebuilding exercise. One more Aussie strike and the whole England tower could fall. Jackson Bird sharing duties after tea, Bairstow pushing a couple of twos before playing a lovely drive through mid on for four.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "England have given wickets to Lyon. This game, just when you think you've cracked it, can kick you up the backside. England are unravelling, you can't blame the pitch or the bowlers."

  99. 1601: 
    WICKET- Bell c Harris b Lyon 6 (Eng 155-5)

    Ian Bell, what have you done? From the first over after tea, Bell skips down the track and hits Lyon straight to the diving Ryan Harris at mid off. At soft dismissal at the best of times, but given the state of the match that is very, very poor cricket. An awful shot has pushed England closer to the brown.

    Ian Bell

    Fall of wickets: 34-1 (Root 16), 107-2 (Trott 49), 149-3 (Pietersen 26), 153-4 (Cook 51), 155-5 (Bell 6)


    Andy in Tewkesbury, via text on 81111: England's openers need to remember the Ashes are 5-day tests, not 50 over sprints, and dig in for a big score.

    Titus, via text on 81111: Flower needs to admit his error and send Pietersen back to the shires to work on technique and temperament til he EARNS the right to bat in the 'luxury' number four spot!

  101. 1600: 

    So a big session for England is about to get under way. Ian Bell, the Atlas that has held up England's batting order in this series, accompanied by the in-need-of-a-score Jonny Bairstow. Nathan Lyon to bowl his tweakers.


    Mark Jackson: People are focussing on Root/Bairstow but the senior players need to be pushing on, they need to stand up and be counted.

    William Cooper: Our top 6 is not good enough right now. Their reputation is far removed from the reality, big improvement needed.

    Bramantip: Another slow shaky start by England on a decent looking pitch. Down to Ian Bell again? This trend is becoming very concerning.


    If you're off out, don't forget you can follow every moment of the Ashes with the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport app. On the radio app, you can listen live to Test Match Special and download the Aggers and Boycott close-of-play podcasts. Live text commentary, with analysis and insight from our reporters at the ground, is available on the BBC Sport app.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "A muted atmosphere down by the Riverside after Pietersen and Cook fall within 17 balls before tea. In the preceding Ashes series, England dominated through scoreboard pressure, compiling more than 500 four times in six completed innings. In this series they have yet to exceed 400 once, and at 155-4 having won the toss here they are in danger of falling short once again."

  105. 1551: 

    Jonathan Trott seemed in better touch, while Kevin Pietersen looked dangerous without ever threatening to spend a long time at the crease. Both men fell to the off-breaks of Nathan Lyon. Alastair Cook is the England batsman to have spent most time at the crease, but progress was torturous, his vigil ended by an error of judgement against Jackson Bird.

  106. 1547: 

    Thanks Mark. It's been Australia's day so far, one or two quick strikes after tea will have them firmly on top. England, remember, won the toss on a flat pitch with the ball doing little.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Those last two wickets in quick succession, especially with Kevin Pietersen looking dangerous, have really boosted Australia. The game is beautifully in the balance. Jackson Bird has found some really good rhythm. I don't think it's a pitch for the fast bowlers, more for those who nip it off the seam and pitch it up."


    Want to follow the Ashes on social media? @bbcsport on Twitter has all the breaking news and action, while @bbctms provides the match facts and statistics, and @bbc5live brings you the best audio.

    There are also behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram and a gallery of action from the match on Facebook.


    Chris, TMS inbox: I once bowled to Everton Weekes in the middle at Queens Park Oval, during practice for a coming Test match. Frank Worrell called to him "Everton, last six". He proceeded to hit me over my head for three sixes on the trot. I was thrilled.

  110. 1544: 

    While the players take a well-earned cup of tea (or an energy drink or protein shake if they're so inclined), I'll hand you back to Stephan Shemilt for the rest of the day's play.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia have kept things tight and chipped away leaving England's batsmen with a lot to do now."


    Jack Gelsthorpe: Too many starts again from England's top order. All end in failure. Poor. Poor. Poor.

    Nick Weetch: England's batting is constantly showing it is not good enough. When did they last score a big score in the first innings?

  113. 1542: 
    TEA INTERVAL- England 155-4 (Bell 6*, Bairstow 0*)

    Bird has a man out on the hook for Jonny Bairstow, who's yet to score. He drives at Bird, who takes the ball one-handed above his head, and appeals for a caught-and-bowled - surely that was a bump ball? Umpires have a look - and it hit the ground as well as hitting Bairstow's boot. Bird, his wings metaphorically clipped, sends down the last before tea, which Bairstow leaves before walking off. That's 98 runs in the session, for the loss of three wickets.


    Rick in Weymouth, TMS inbox: I was in the Navy on HMS Londonderry in 1984 and visited Barbados. I went with a couple of friends into Bridgetown, went into a big department store and saw Joel Garner there. I had a quick word and asked how England would do against the West Indies. He gave a deep chortle and just said "You is going to get beat man". He was so right.

  115. 1536: 
    England 155-4 (Bell 6*, Bairstow 0*)

    Not long till tea now - TMS will be speaking to outgoing Durham chief executive David Harker about "The Durham Story", to mark the county's Ashes Test debut. Bell is careful in defence before late-cutting a scampered two off the last ball. Probably one more over before tea, in fact.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jackson Bird has probably deserved a wicket today. He's got close to the stumps and plugged away all day. There is certainly a touch of Glenn McGrath in his method in that he hits the seam although not at an excessive pace."


    Tom in Cheltenham, TMS inbox: I was once given a parking ticket to use for free by [ex-Glamorgan wicketkeeper] Colin Metson on his way out from the car park, who had paid for five hours but had only stayed for three. It saved me the best part of £1.60.

  118. 1534: 
    England 153-4 (Bell 4*, Bairstow 0*)

    "Could do with a big score here, Jonny Bairstow," notes Aggers on TMS, as the young Yorkshire right-hander comes out to bat at number six. He sees off the over.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Looking at the way he walked off, that innings was a struggle for Cook, when you're out lbw not playing a shot. Jonny Bairstow's coming out, the game's moving on here."

  120. 1531: 
    WICKET- Cook lbw b Bird 51 (Eng 153-4)
    Alastair Cook is out lbw

    Cook pads up to Bird, offering no shot to one that moves back into him and is out lbw! No review - and Bird has his first Ashes wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 34-1 (Root 16), 107-2 (Trott 49), 149-3 (Pietersen 26), 153-4 (Cook 51)


    Rhys Lewis, TMS inbox: My family and Mike Brearley's clan were the only occupants of a cold west Wales beach in the mid-80s. "Good game, boules," said Mike as me and my father threw a few petanques about. "Fancy a game of beach cricket?" said Dad, only to get a filthy look from a clearly heard-it-all-before Brears in return. "I always preferred Tony Greig anyway," Dad muttered.

  122. 1528: 
    England 153-3 (Cook 51*, Bell 4*)

    Lyon, with 2-22 from his first five overs, finds a hint of turn but Bell is off the mark as he rocks onto the back foot and pushes a two through the covers. In case the TV replay man is busy, he repeats the shot off the last ball of the over and runs two more.


    Martyn in Bristol, TMS inbox: My dad twice stumped a young Allan Border when he played for Downend CC. He said he'd never make it. And with a mere 11,000 Test runs to his name, I think he was right...

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "That's a big wicket for Australia. Nathan Lyon is having a good day so far."

  125. 1525: 
    England 149-3 (Cook 51*, Bell 0*)

    Bird, still looking for his first Ashes wicket, trots in, no express pace but Cook gets lucky when he tries to leave the ball, late, and it hits his bat but rebounds to safety. Maiden over.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think you can see the virtue of Nathan Lyon bowling around the wicket to Kevin Pietersen and keeping him quiet for a few overs. It was not the most devastating delivery you'll see to dismiss a batsman, but KP was perhaps looking for runs which weren't there. Pietersen got after him at Old Trafford so Lyon will have enjoyed that wicket."


    Nick Simmonds, TMS inbox: My grandparents' Golden Wedding party was in the Hotel opposite Lord's during a Test against the Indians. I shared a lift with a chap wearing an Indian blazer. "Which one are you" I enquired? "The first one out this morning" he replied. The door opened and Ravi Shastri walked out of my life forever.

  128. 1521: 
    England 149-3 (Cook 51*, Bell 0*)

    Ian Bell is the new batsman, he sees off the last ball of Lyon's over.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "We didn't even have to go to Hotspot to see a little white mark there... I define a walker as someone who walks every time, not sometimes."

  130. 1519: 
    WICKET- Pietersen c Haddin b Lyon 26 (Eng 149-3)

    Nathan Lyon is back on for another twirl before tea. But Pietersen succumbs nicks one to the keeper, that looked like a faint edge - and he walks without waiting for the umpire's finger to be raised.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "A hard-earned half century for the England captain. He could have been run out in the 40s had David Warner hit the stumps with a direct hit but otherwise Alastair Cook has looked solid."

  132. 1516: 
    COOK FIFTY- England 149-2 (Cook 51*, Pietersen 26*)

    Cap'n Clarke shuffles his seam bowlers in the hope of sparking a wicket as Jackson Bird (who sounds like he should have been the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane) replaces Harris. Business as usual from England as Pietersen pushes a single, while Cook finally brings up his fifty with an edge through third man for four. It's his 32nd Test fifty, his sixth against Australia - and one of his slowest, having taken 153 balls (compared to the 164 he took against Sri Lanka in Colombo last year, and against Australia at Trent Bridge earlier this summer).

    Alastair Cook

    Ian in London, via text on 81111: I spent eight years studying geography with Kenya opening batsman Seren Waters at school and then university. Whilst he was off playing in the World Cup, I was writing his essays. He ended up getting a higher mark than me.

    Tom in Snaith, via text 81111: I once saw Merv Hughes chasing an England fan. I understand he was desperately trying to retrieve his stolen cap. Out of all the Aussies, not the one to mess with.

    Jed in Worsley, via text 81111: I lived next door to the Lancashire legend Jack Bond who led them to great victories in the late 1960s. We drew wickets on our garden gate with chalk and Jack sometimes joined us for a game.

  134. 1511: 
    England 144-2 (Cook 47*, Pietersen 25*)

    Watson has bowled a lot of maidens in this series, but his bowling is uncharacteristically ragged as he offers Cook a couple on the leg side - that's meat and drink to the Chef, who guides a two and a four off his legs. Just under half-an-hour until tea.


    BBC Weather on Twitter: Still a small chance of a shower for the Ashes at Chester-le-Street. Current temperature 19C. Similar tomorrow.


    Kevin in Sandy, TMS inbox: After watching an Worcestershire v Essex Sunday League game in the mid/late nineties I retired to the local McDonalds. Former Worcs spinner, and now international umpire, Richard Illingworth brought his whole family in and plonked himself on the table next to us.

  137. 1507: 
    England 138-2 (Cook 41*, Pietersen 25*)

    Harris charges in from the ghostly Lumley End, the increasingly Pietersen lashes him for fours either side of the wicket, and he's just overtaken Mike Atherton (7,728) to become the fifth highest England Test run-scorer behind Messrs Gooch, Stewart, Gower and Boycott.


    Kyle McGrath: Yet again Jonathan Trott fails to convert a start. Different player to 12 months ago.

    Jonathan Fitter: Unlucky for Trott there. He had just started playing nicely! Ah well, going be fireworks with KP now.

    James Taylor: Decent knock from Trott and think we can forgive him. He and Alastair Cook look like they're finding form which is ominous for Aussies.

  139. 1503: 
    England 130-2 (Cook 41*, Pietersen 17*)

    It feels like the match has slowed down a little here, Cook moves to 41 with a single, Pietersen dabs a quick one to third man and sets off, Warner's throw just misses the stumps at the striker's end, was that Cook's call? Cook didn't even run his bat in - had the throw hit, he wouldn't have even been in the frame. A let-off.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    John Holder, who officiated in 11 Tests between 1988 and 2001 and worked as an umpire assessor until 2011, says the decision review system has made the job harder than ever.

    He told BBC Sport: "You stand there in front of 20,000 people, you've made a decision in good faith and everyone can see you've got it wrong. And then all of sudden you have got to revoke the decision that's got to be humiliating.

    "With the possibility of a challenge from either bowling side or fielding side, the possibility of having to revoke your decision, it has to be tougher than ever."

  141. 1457: 
    England 128-2 (Cook 40*, Pietersen 16*)

    A double change in the bowling as Harris replaces Siddle, Pietersen flicks what looks like a four off his legs, until Bird swallow-dives full-length at fine leg and turns four into two.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If Kevin Pietersen is in that kind of mood where he wants to score all over the park he might smack you everywhere. But he might just offer up that chance and give his wicket away. You can't get runs in the dressing room though. Five days is a long time and the key for England is not to lose their focus on getting a big total."

  143. 1453: 
    England 126-2 (Cook 40*, Pietersen 14*)

    Now Australia make a bowling change - removing Lyon from the attack and reintroducing Shane Watson. That's sweet as a nut from Cook, a lovely off-driven four, which has Geoff Boycott purring on TMS and explaining how his Uncle Algy told him "you can't score runs in the dressing-room"...

  144. 1449: 

    A little snippet of county news - if you remember Surrey's Gareth Batty being involved in a bit of "afters" during their Twenty20 quarter-final with Somerset on Tuesday, angrily clashing with Peter Trego after he'd dismissed him... well, Batty was reported by the umpires for two Level Two breaches (physical confrontation and use of foul language) and has been suspended for two Friends Life t20 games. And by my reckoning, that's him ruled out of finals day.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Trott's continued travails this summer are at odds with his early experiences of the Ashes. In his first six Tests against Australia he scored 605 runs, including three centuries. His average against Australia until this series was thus 86, almost double his overall numbers. Although this Riverside pitch is not like the hard, pacier surfaces where he bagged those tons (the Oval in 2009, the Gabba and MCG in 2010), Trott had looked good - he scored at three times the rate of his partner Cook - but it was the turn from Nathan Lyon that did for him. From seven innings in this series he is now averaging just 24."

    Jonathan Trott
  146. 1448: 
    England 122-2 (Cook 36*, Pietersen 14*)

    It's still Siddle for the time being, Pietersen and Cook take a single apiece from his over.

    A Question of Sport Teaser, BBC

    Remember today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official: Which seven players have scored a Test century at Chester-le-Street? The answers... Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Ramnaresh Sarwan & Marcus Trescothick.


    Andy in Putney, TMS inbox: When I went backpacking for a year in 2007, I was given the challenge of having 500 people photographed wearing my travelling hat. Darren Gough became my first celebrity to wear it when we bumped into him at the Beach Cricket series in Sydney. Whilst we were watching the tournament later on, one of the girls mused, "Why is that man we met from Strictly Come Dancing playing cricket out there?"

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pietersen looks like he's had one of those fizzy drinks, which I won't name. He looks like he's had about eight cans of it."

  150. 1441: 
    DRINKS BREAK- England 120-2 (Cook 35*, Pietersen 13*)

    Lyon to continue against Pietersen - he was hammered around Old Trafford by KP during the last Test, but it looks like Australia will leave him on for an over to see if the batsman perishes to early temptation. Nothing wrong with the first ball, Pietersen drills it past the bowler for four - Lyon switches to bowling round the wicket, and Pietersen steps forward and lofts it over mid-off for four. A single takes him to 13, and it's time for drinks.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    Former Test umpire John Holder says he has been shocked by the number of mistakes being made by the third umpire this summer and is calling for urgent training in the use of technology.

    Holder cited the stumping of Ian Bell in the Champions Trophy final, the decision not to give Ashton Agar out stumped in the first Ashes Test and the dismissal of Usman Khawaja caught behind at Old Trafford as examples of glaring errors by the third umpire.

    Holder told BBC Sport: "The third umpire in some cases is reluctant to overturn the decision in the field. Between this series ending and the start of the next series in Australia, the ICC is going to have to - with Simon Taufel being in charge of the training of umpires - get all the umpires to Dubai and get some more specialist training on the use of TV technology because those three incidents were so obviously wrong decisions by the third umpire."

  152. 1437: 
    England 111-2 (Cook 35*, Pietersen 4*)

    Pietersen nudges Siddle for a single to move England to Nelson (111) and KP continues with some stretching exercises at the non-striker's end between deliveries. Cook takes the opposite approach, happy to block and leave where he can.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "That was a horrific first shot from Kevin Pietersen, dancing down the pitch to Nathan Lyon and trying to hit him over the top. All the textbooks went out the window."


    Steven in Bracknell, TMS inbox: "I worked as cabin crew and during the 2007 World Cup and I shared the hotel in Grenada with the West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland teams. Having breakfast with Brian Lara was a particular highlight, but I preferred lying on the beach rather than the shuttle runs the Pakistan team were completing!"

  155. 1434: 
    England 110-2 (Cook 35*, Pietersen 3*)

    Watchful? Not our KP. He dances down the track to his first ball and takes a big swing at Lyon, smearing it in the air over wide mid-on for two. Who'd be a captain for this man? Very ugly shot. He continues with a single to fine leg.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Jonathan Trott walked off slowly after being dismissed to what looked a pretty innocuous delivery. He was just trying to work it away and just got some bat on it."

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "When you're out of form or our of luck, you go searching for runs when you're close to landmarks. He'd scored 49 and was moving brilliantly, but you've just got to keep relaxing and keep concentrating. I hope Pietersen just plays like he did at Old Trafford - his first 20 runs were very watchful."

  158. 1430: 
    WICKET- Trott c Khawaja b Lyon 49 (Eng 107-2)

    After a single from Cook, Trott tries to force a single off his legs for a half century, but gets an inside edge onto his pads and is caught by the diving Usman Khawaja at short leg for 49.

    Usman Khawaja

    Fall of wickets: 34-1 (Root 16), 107-2 (Trott 49)

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Cook is looking to occupy the crease, Trott is taking the more positive approach."

  160. 1429: 
    England 106-1 (Cook 34*, Trott 49*)

    Do Australia think Trott is vulnerable to a catch down the leg side? There's no leg slip in, but Siddle's line is wide again and Trott helps it on its way for four, before threading a more classical cover drive through for his seventh boundary of the day. With the Warwickshire man on 49, Siddle offers the temptation of a bouncer from which Trott weaves away.


    John Cahill: ‏I once hitched a lift off Farokh Engineer who zoomed along the M1. Dropped me at my door . What a gentleman!

    Marc Humphries: I was in B&Q in Northampton one time, and Devon Malcolm was in the check out queue with turf in his trolley.

    Richard Gibbs: I once sold £15 worth of unleaded to Graham Gooch. Nothing unleaded about his moustache though.

  162. 1424: 
    England 98-1 (Cook 34*, Trott 41*)

    Trott crouches forward and angles the bat to sweep Lyon for four, then takes a slightly risky two and Cook is lucky not to be run out by David Warner's direct hit from the mid-wicket boundary. Trott pushes another three through the covers, having conclusively overtaken his captain this over. He has 41 from 53 balls, Cook has a more pedestrian 34 from 126.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Michael Clarke has a plan for Jonathan Trott - two slips, a tight-ish gully, and then a man at short mid-wicket to shut the door on one of his favourite scoring areas. Trott needs runs as much as his skipper - he's averaging an almost identical 24 in this series - and his struggles have come as a surprise to many. He was the forgotten hero in the last series down under, scoring 445 runs at 89, and judges like Michael Vaughan had him down as the man most likely to top England's scoring charts."

  164. 1419: 
    England 89-1 (Cook 34*, Trott 32*)
    Steve Harmison and Michael Vaughan

    Jim Maxwell and Michael Vaughan have been joined by Durham's ex-England fast bowler Steve Harmison on TMS, and they all seem to be in agreement that this second-wicket pair are digging in for a long stay. Trott pushes Siddle for a single, Cook just avoids edging down the leg side.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The wicket looks slow so the scoring rate is down, plus the boundaries are big and the outfield looks very lush so fielders have to chase everything. To their credit Australia have bowled as full as they can, so they've read the situation well. Michael Di Venuto is Australia's batting coach and he played at Durham for years so no doubt he'll have had a chat with Michael Clarke on how to approach things."

  166. 1416: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- England 88-1 (Cook 34*, Trott 31*)

    Off-spinner Nathan Lyon into the attack, a covering of white sun cream and a bit of facial stubble lends him a slightly odd appearance. Immediately he hits Cook on the pad, it's not out and Australia decide against a review - the ball-tracker shows it would have been "umpire's call" both for impact, and for whether it would have clipped leg stump. Maiden over.


    Matthew on Chongming Island, China, TMS inbox: West Indies were touring England and after close of play during their match with Somerset, Brian Lara was happy to fend off deliveries sent down by Taunton's youngest and finest. My brother did just that and Lara made a beautiful connection, sending the ball directly back in his direction. Like all eight-year-olds he put his foot out to stop the ball, but it ricocheted up and hit him in the head - sending him flying. The doctors did not believe us when we went to hospital, but Lara was a gent about it.

  168. 1412: 
    England 88-1 (Cook 34*, Trott 31*)

    Trott tickles Siddle for a well-run three, that's the fifty partnership (from 101 balls) which the number three has dominated. Cook helps a gentle single off his legs, Trott adds another single to move England's score to 87 which is unlucky for Australians (as it's 13 short of 100) - but not for the hosts as Cook turns a single off his toes to get them off the unwanted score.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    "There's a pleasant little sideshow taking place on the balcony of the press box as London-based artist David Downes works on a panorama of the ground. He has been commissioned by Durham CCC, who are planning to hang the completed work in the pavilion as a memento of their first Ashes Test. Downes, who specialises in paintings of iconic buildings and skylines, expects to be finished by Sunday."

  170. 1408: 
    England 82-1 (Cook 32*, Trott 27*)

    That's better from Cook, square-driving Bird for four - those successive boundaries (albeit in different overs) have woken the crowd from any postprandial slumbers.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special
    Jonathan Trott

    "Jonathan Trott is flying along compared to Alastair Cook. That was a lovely glide down to third man for four. An old school cricket shot - I used to love playing it as well."


    Howard Faulks in Beaconsfield, TMS inbox: In 1975, I was in a hotel restaurant not far from Lord's and on the next table was Geoff Boycott being entertained by a reporter. He insisted on having strawberries for dessert, despite it being too early in the season.

    Did he not ask for a stick of rhubarb?

  173. 1403: 
    England 78-1 (Cook 28*, Trott 27*)

    Change of bowling as Peter Siddle, cricket's most famous vegetarian, replaces Harris and Trott shuffles across his stumps before ultimately deciding to shoulder arms. Siddle keeps it tight for five deliveries but when he offers width, Trott cuts him for four. Trott has 27 from 41 balls - Cook has 28 from 108.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "England have got the brakes on now but it's been hard for Australia to find that wicket-taking ball. It's going to be one of those tough days of Test cricket. I think Michael Clarke will turn to Nathan Lyon pretty soon."


    Jonathan in Sidmouth, via text on 81111: I once played hockey against former Pakistan captain Imran Khan. He was rather good as well.

    Ben in Wirral, via text on 81111: Sachin Tendulkar when he played a season for Yorkshire lived on our street. We went to his house to get an autograph and he was sat watching cricket eating fast food!

    Rob in Truro, via text on 81111: Re: Jez in Retford - Chris Old now works in a supermarket in Truro. Say hi most mornings when he's putting out the newspapers.

  176. 1359: 
    England 74-1 (Cook 28*, Trott 23*)

    Still two slips and a gully in for Cook as Bird begins his 11th over, I wonder what time we'll see any spin today. The Chef plays out a maiden over.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "There's one guy I wouldn't like to face, and that's Chris Tremlett at the Gabba. With the height he's got, it's like facing Harmison."

  178. 1355: 
    England 74-1 (Cook 28*, Trott 23*)

    Trott and Cook exchange singles against Harris, before Trott helps one off his legs for four. - he's only five behind his captain now.


    David Smith TMS inbox: Stood at Old Trafford last week and had a beer with Jeff "Thommo" Thomson whilst watching the last hour of the day's play. Great man! Merv H walked passed at the same time - he didn't stop, though.

    Rob Stewart in Nottingham, TMS inbox: Daniel Vettori had a season at Notts some years ago. As I hurried from the ground one afternoon, I literally bumped into him as he prepared to climb the stairs I was coming down a bit too swiftly. Not remarkable in itself, but I couldn't help chuckling to myself when just seconds later former Notts County, Arsenal and England winger Jermaine Pennant was forced to swerve round me on his bike as I left the ground itself.

  180. 1351: 
    England 68-1 (Cook 27*, Trott 18*)

    The left-handed Cook is watchful against Bird before threading a two through the covers - Cookie wanted three, Trott wasn't so keen. By the look of these boundaries, you wouldn't rule out an all-run four against a tired fielding side.


    Ste Ackroyd, TMS inbox: I walked past Saj Mahmood on a train from Manchester to London after my beloved Oldham beat Liverpool in the FA Cup last year with two bottles of cava in my hand feeling a little the wrong side of merry! I told him to join us in first class as we were going to blag an upgrade. He declined and missed out on a good time (we did however have to pay the standard £15 upgrade fee so he might have been right all along)!

  182. 1346: 
    England 66-1 (Cook 25*, Trott 18*)

    The burly Ryan Harris, whose physique is more of the traditional fast bowler than Siddle (or indeed James Anderson), charges in but is out of luck when Trott cover-drives and the ball goes about 180 degrees opposite to where he aimed at - inside-edging it past the stumps for four.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Siddle wasn't overweight anyway. I think it's just been a healthy lifestyle choice for him; he's dropped about 10 kilos and he's bowling well."

  184. 1342: 
    England 62-1 (Cook 25*, Trott 14*)

    Having re-dug his trench, Trott pushes Jackson Bird for the first run of the afternoon session, while Cook hooks and the pursuing Peter Siddle can't prevent the England skipper's second boundary of the day. "Not even the vegan diet can help him stop that one," notes Simon Mann on TMS.


    Ian, TMS inbox: Turned up at Edgbaston for a net session one midweek evening, walked into the changing rooms which were empty apart from someone in the showers at the far end. I looked down at the kit bag on the floor that clearly belonged to Andrew Strauss, saw his towel hanging above it, and deciding the situation could be too awkward for words, walked out to change elsewhere.

  186. 1338: 

    After another entertaining round of "Ask the Umpire", play is nearly ready to resume at Chester-le-Street. Jonathan Trott is taking guard, so we've got a minute or two to get ready.


    The Club Cricketer: I played in a game where a cat invaded the field and sat at cover. Oppo left cover open. Would I get 5 runs if I hit it?

  188. 1337: 

    Let's not forget, there's another Ashes series starting on Sunday - the Women's Ashes gets under way with a Test match between England and Australia at Wormsley. You can hear full commentary on the series via the BBC Sport website - and also on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra once this (men's) match is concluded.

    Shane Watson

    Dan in Lambeth, TMS inbox: "I was in a pub by Vauxhall a few weeks back before the start of this series and retrieving some cricket gear from a friend when in came a certain Ricky Ponting, joined by Shane Watson. They were somewhat perplexed when I went up to get them to sign my bat as to how I'd managed to produce one so quickly! I wished them both the best of luck for the summer, but not too much in the case for Shane and beat a hasty retreat!


    Former international umpire John Holder on TMS: "I was third umpire when Graham Gooch was given out handled the ball in a Test, flicking it away from the stumps. Had he used the hand holding the bat, he'd have been all right."


    Andy in Market Rasen, via text on 81111: I once stood at the bottom of a slide at a water park and chatted to one Brian Charles Lara about how terrified our respective kids would look as they reached the bottom.

    Jez in Retford, via text on 81111: As a child I was with my dad at Flamingo Land when we spotted Chris Old - being a shy nipper I stood quietly as my father had a chat.

    Tony in Blackburn via text on 81111: My father-in-law was the person who taught West Indies great Clive Lloyd how to drive - a car rather than the cricket stroke - while he played for Lancashire.

    John Holder

    Former international umpire John Holder on TMS: "I was watching a Pakistan-South Africa game earlier this year where Mohammad Hafeez obviously changed direction halfway up the pitch to run in front of the wicket to avoid being run out - he was given out obstructing the field."


    Tim Butcher in Cape Town, TMS inbox: During the 2003 World Cup I sat at a sushi restaurant table in Durban, next to one where Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart were sitting. They did not say a word to me. Mind you, they did not say a word to each other. And each paid their portion of the bill. It had been a long winter of touring.

  194. 1323: 

    If you didn't hear it last night, the draw was made late on for England's domestic Twenty20 finals day. Reigning champions Hampshire will face Surrey, with Essex taking on Northants in the other game.


    Mark Dixon, TMS inbox: I once sat at a blackjack table in a casino in Antigua with Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose. Top night with top guys. Curtly even smiled a couple of times...

    Shahzad Malik, TMS inbox: I once bumped in Waqar Younis with former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif at Alton Towers with their families. Didn't see him on any rollercoasters though.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I was playing in a match against Surrey when Pat Pocock hit the ball straight back at a somewhat hungover non-striker, Sylvester Clarke, and the ball popped up for the bowler to catch. Even better, Clarke stayed under the table for the rest of the afternoon."


    Andy Robbins, at my desk near Horsham, TMS inbox: Talking of close encounters with cricketers, I once saw David Gower at Chester Zoo when I was a kid. I was more interested in He-Man than cricket in those days, though, so I never spoke to him and focused on the animals instead.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "A session to settle English nerves rather than quicken pulses, but Captain Cook will lunch quite contentedly. His 21 runs have taken 90 balls, a reflection of his obduracy as much as his form; the pedestrian pace won't bother him in the slightest."

  199. 1313: 

    You may have a better chance of answering that teaser if you've read the latest of our Ashes ground guides, focusing on Chester-le-Street's international history. (Warning: Contains ghost references)

    A Question of Sport Teaser, BBC

    Today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official: Which seven players have scored a Test century at Chester-le-Street?

  201. 1308: 

    Thanks, Stephan. Ears peeled to TMS - "Ask the Umpire" is in full session with John Holder in the chair.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "If you want to tweet your questions in to John Holder, the hashtag is #askumpire."


    Former international umpire John Holder on TMS: "Batsmen have always had tape on their bats to prolong a bat's life and prevent it from cracking. This is the first time I've ever heard of a problem with tape connected to sharp practices. Maybe the ICC or MCC will have to look into it."

  204. 1306: 

    A the end of a sleepy morning, I will take my leave. Mark Mitchener is here for the afternoon.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a hard working morning for England's batsmen. It's been nice to bowl and if you were a seamer you'd fancy your chances but Australia didn't bowl full enough and straight enough. Nevertheless England's batsmen have had to work hard because their top three are struggling."


    Will Kennon in Manchester, via text on 81111: England have got to stand by Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow and build for the future. Ian Bell had a torrid series in 2005 against the Aussies but where would we be without him now? The likes of Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and KP need to stand up like men and lay the foundations for Root and Bairstow to thrive.

    Ebon in Nottingham, via text on 81111: Exposure to pressure makes an opener. Joe Root has both the ability and the temperament all he needs is time.

    Connor in Nottingham, via text on 81111: Nick Compton's form for England has been pretty patchy, why not get Michael Carberry in and replace Jonny Bairstow at No.6 with Joe Root?

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a good session for Australia even though they only have one wicket."

  208. 1301: 
    LUNCH- Eng 57-1

    Peter Siddle to take us to the break, with plenty of company still waiting for a Trott error. England may have lost only one wicket, but the slow scoring has enabled Australia to keep attacking. Yet another three, this time off Trott's hips, leaves Alastair Cook to complete the formalities. A little applause, then more, as if some sleepers had to be awoken at the end of the session, one that both sides will be reasonably happy with.


    Bruce in Bury St Edmunds, TMS inbox: In December 2004 I was on the same travelator next to Marcus Trescothick at Heathrow en route to South Africa. I attempted a conversation and he was very polite so I asked for his autograph on the only available piece of paper I had which was a Daily Telegraph which inexplicably had a giant picture of a toilet on the front page. Marcus (I like to think we're on first name terms now) signed it with a wry smile but avoided the obvious joke and to my eternal shame I did not.

  210. 1256: 
    Eng 54-1 (Cook 21*, Trott 10*)

    Jackson Bird, the headline writer's dream, returns for a spell before lunch, bowling to Trott with catchers in front of the bat on both sides of the wicket. Trott, looking in decent order, takes a couple through the covers and a single on the leg side. We'll probably get one more over in before the break.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Peter Siddle might be the only vegetarian fast bowler in Aussie cricket history, a lentil-favouring anachronism at a table of raw meat munchers. But he's far from the only sportsman to reach the top without offending Morrissey - Martina Navratilova, 400m hurdles hero Ed Moses, distance running legend Paavo Nurmi and downhill dynamo Bode Miller also shared his dietary diktat. As does Peter Ebdon."

  212. 1252: 
    Eng 51-1 (25 overs)

    Peter Siddle and Alastair Cook are virtually playing the same delivery over and over again. The bustling Siddle, over the wicket, just short of a length on and around the off stump. Cook, shuffling back and across, ball defended as if the bat was a shield. These blokes could make a game of Monopoly last for weeks.


    Tom in London, TMS inbox: On my way home from school in Sheffield I came up behind a nice new black Jag that had seemingly parked in the middle of the road. As I slowly manoeuvred round I noticed the driver was in there. I wound down the window to give him the finger only to realise it was Michael Vaughan. I changed my tune and sped off quickly.

  214. 1247: 
    Eng 51-1 (Cook 21*, Trott 7*)

    Australia's reasoning at posting leg-side catchers for Trott comes from his tendency to walk across his stumps and play off his pads. They want a strength to be a weakness. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, standing back, rolls the ball at Trott's sticks, maybe after a cheeky stumping. If you want to stump someone, Bradley, stand up. Village.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I thought when England won the toss the key to this game is the first morning and getting that platform required to go forward as a team. At the moment England's top three are not in great nick and need to work hard. It's about keeping that wickets column down. For me the runs don't matter so much at this moment in time. They will come later in the day."

  216. 1244: 
    Eng 51-1 (Cook 21*, Trott 7*)

    Billy's trumpet blast is the most activity we've heard from the crowd all morning. The cricket hasn't exactly given them the cause to be raucous. It's been steady rather than spectacular. Peter Siddle is keeping a decent length on Cook's off stump, with England skip missing out on a short one. Another maiden - the ninth in 23 so far.


    Jamie O'Neill: Criticism of Joe Root, but at least he's had an innings this series. Consider Alastair Cook's Ashes runs before calling for Root's head.

    Jon Evans: Alastair Cook and Joe Root opening partnership isn't working. Time for Root to be at six again. Great player, just not working for him.

    Nathan Hawthorne: If an Alastair Cook or Andrew Strauss had made the same scores Joe Root has this series there wouldn't be as much talk. He's young, give him time.

  218. 1239: 
    Eng 51-1 (Cook 21*, Trott 7*)

    An aerial shot of the ground shows just what a picture it is. Perfectly mowed circles on the outfield, trees lining much of the outside, Lumley Castle like a mini Hogwarts. With Watson swinging the ball into his pads, Cook must deal with two men catching square on the leg side - more imagination from Aussie skipper Michael Clarke. As Billy the trumpeter gives us his first north-eastern blast, Cook takes three through the leg side. Plenty of running for the batsmen to do.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    "This ground was built in the mid-1990s so its main buildings are more Brit homes than listed buildings. The Don Robson Pavilion, a three-storey number with a grey tiled roof, dominates the western side of the ground with the team dressing-rooms squeezed in among the numerous corporate boxes. Over on the England team balcony I can see the next man in - Kevin Pietersen -hopping around like a kangaroo on a trampoline."

  220. 1234: 
    Eng 46-1 (Cook 16*, Trott 7*)

    Not only is Trott greeted by a leg slip, but also a short mid-wicket. An edge falls short of the conventional slips and runs for four, with Trott then pushing past that short mid-wicket for three. The Aussies won't mind Trott walking across his stumps to play shots like that, their plans to keep him quiet this series have been pretty successful.

    Joe Root

    Gareth in Farehan, via text on 81111: How many more failures does Joe Root need opening before he gets some protection down the order and Nick Compton gets a deserved recall? Jonny Bairstow's poor form creates an obvious gap.

    Michael in Lancashire, via text on 81111: But for Brad Haddin's fortunate drop in the Lord's Test, Joe Root would presumably be treated like Nick Compton. England's openers are both walking wickets at the moment.

  222. 1230: 
    Eng 35-1 (Cook 13*, Trott 0*)

    White clouds give way to blue sky as Watson, eyes permanently on his toes, trundles in to Cook. The only thing that brings emotion to Watson's face? Going past the edge of Cook's bat. A wishy washy half-drive, the ball nipping away. Very very nearly a smile on Watson's lips.

    HOW'S STAT?!

    Peter Siddle's record with the new ball: in the first 20 overs of the innings in Tests, he has taken 25 wickets at 49.76. Which may explain why he did not open the bowling...

    For more Ashes stats follow @bbctms on Twitter.

  224. 1226: 
    Eng 35-1 (Cook 13*, Trott 0*)

    Finally Peter Siddle is given a trundle. Lips zinced, collar turned up, at number five in the ICC rankings he is the highest-rated bowler on either side. Australia's plan to Jonathan Trott has been to draw him wide of off stump, then straighten the line, which explains the employment of a leg slip. Siddle-like accuracy from Siddle.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Had he been caught on eight at Lord's [when he made 180], as he should have been, Joe Root would have been averaging 11 for the series. He's failing more often than is comfortable."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "If you count up all of Joe Root's scores in this series opening the batting in this series, minus that big innings at Lord's, it's a quite modest."

  227. 1221: 
    Eng 34-1 (18 overs)

    The promotion of Joe Root up to open the batting was a big talking point before the series began - seems a long time ago now. His 180 at Lord's was magnificent, but could have ended cheaply had Australia clung on to an early edge. Without that, his return would have been very modest. Jonathan Trott the new man, playing back the rest of a wicket maiden.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a rare moment where the technology has done the business without much controversy."

  229. 1217: 
    WICKET- Root c Haddin b Watson 16 (Eng 34-1)
    Joe Root

    DRS does its job, overturning what seemed to be a very poor decision from Tony Hill. A little movement away from Root, whose tentative poke only resulted in an edge through to wicketkeeper Haddin. After a relatively untroubled hour, England have lost their first wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 34-1 (Root 16)

  230. 1217: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 34-0

    Mark on Hot Spot, but does that mean anything any more?

  231. 1216: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 34-0

    Australia are convinced here, Joe Root looks in trouble. Surely he's nicked Watson to Haddin...


    Alex in London, via text on 81111: Concerning close encounters, I once bought a drink for Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan in a breakdancing club in Nottingham. They were sadly only there to observe.

    Tom in London, via text on 81111: I went skiing in the Alps a few years back and saw David Gower in the chalet hot tub.

    John in South Shields, via text on 81111: I once helped Dermot Reeve carry his guitar back to his hotel following an after dinner speech. He bought me a pint to say thanks.

  233. 1214: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 34-0

    Peter Siddle has been Australia's best seamer on this tour, but he regularly is forced to endure a long wait before he gets the ball in his hand. He's remains to be called upon as Ryan Harris pulls out a very optimistic lbw shout against Root. That would have ended in a different post code to the stumps.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "We'll hear from John Holder during the lunch interval for our 'Ask the Umpire' feature, you can email them in to - we've thought of some of our own during this series..."

  235. 1210: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 33-0

    Shane Watson switches ends to relieve Bird, the bounce of his gelled blond hair perhaps the only lively thing about him. When Cook plays around his front pad, Watson screams the first appeal of the day, but that's pitched outside leg stump.


    Brian in Ruabon, TMS inbox: I once sat at a table next to the late Tony Greig in a Doyles Fish & Chip restaurant in Sydney. He totally ignored me but the chips were good!

    Ruwan from Letchworth, TMS inbox: My mum and dad helped Sir Garfield Sobers pick out perfume for his wife whilst they were in a duty free once upon a time...

  237. 1207: 
    Eng 33-0 (15 overs)
    Shane Watson and Michael Clarke

    Harris after drinks, beginning hour number two after a steady first 60 minutes from the home side. Australia continue to attack, three slips remain as Root and Cook exchange singles. An airy drive from Root sees him get only fresh air, with the disappointed reactions of the Aussie slips perhaps giving an insight into their characters. Shane Watson slumps his chin to his chest, while Michael Clarke looks high with hands on head. One glass half full, the other half empty?


    Joshua Gregory: Re close encounters I Remember being in the Derby County crowd at Nottingham Forest with former Derbyshire seamer Tom Lungley. He loved it.

    James Middleton: I once held the door open for former Sri Lanka's Aravinda De Silva in the local corner shop when he was playing for Kent.


    Paul Roebuck in Manchester, TMS inbox: I once sat behind Ian Chappell and Richie Benaud on a flight to Hobart. When we were getting our bags from the overhead lockers Richie's bag fell out. He caught it and, quick as a flash, the woman behind me said "ahh, maaarrvellous catch, that". I also nearly ran over Merv Hughes once.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "England are getting some momentum now with a couple of boundaries. Expect Peter Siddle to come into the action shortly for Australia. Looking at this pitch I think he'll get plenty of overs in this Test match."

  241. 1201: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 31-0

    The sun pokes through as Jackson Bird completes the proceedings of the first hour. He's impressed in his first Ashes Test, making the batsmen play more than his Aussie team-mates. Bird to Cook - another maiden, that's four in seven for the Tasmania seamer. With that, we'll have a drink.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    "One of the most striking features of Chester-le-Street is just how vast and perfectly round the outfield is. It takes England 51 minutes to muster the muscle to reach the boundary but, like London buses, once one comes along another swiftly follows. This pitch looks a pearler."

  243. 1157: 
    Eng 31-0 (Cook 11*, Root 14*)
    Alastair Cook drives

    You wait all morning for a boundary, then two come along in as many balls. From the first ball of the returning Ryan Harris's over, Alastair Cook drives down the ground and finds the long off fence. A clip through mid-wicket brings the skip three more - that surely would have been four on most grounds. The boundaries square of the wicket look very long. Question: is Chester-le-Street the most northerly Test ground in the world?


    Jen in South Wales, TMS inbox: I saw Simon Jones on my lunch break the other day. I smiled at him knowingly... forgetting that although I knew who he was, he would have no idea who I was!

  245. 1152: 
    Eng 24-0 (Cook 4*, Root 14*)

    Bird into a sixth over, his long run-up matched by a long, skipping follow through. He can almost shake hands with the batsman by the time he's done. Root hooks for a couple then eases into a flowing cover drive for the first boundary of the match. Warm applause. England's decision to bat first looking better with each passing delivery. Despite cloud, the ball has done little and the pitch is flat.


    Matt in Birmingham, via text on 81111: Whilst at uni, I saw Dermot Reeve and Ian Bell playing pool in the Gun Barrels pub in Selly Oak. They were playing pool, I was getting a drink, we went our separate ways.

    Tom in Paddington, via text on 81111: I once sat on the table near to Stuart Broad in a Hooters bar. Confirmed with shouting "Oi Stuart" before hiding behind a waitress.

  247. 1147: 
    Eng 18-0 (Cook 4*, Root 8*)

    Again it's Watson, who was famously spooked by the Lumley Castle ghost on the Aussie tour of 2005. Root pulls a short ball for a single - England are yet to find the boundary in 11 overs this morning. Crowd sit in quiet concentration, currently more Lord's than Edgbaston. We wait to see the atmosphere of the post-tea booze session.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Cook might not have been immovable in this series so far, but nothing has been able to shift him in the longer term - this is his 94th consecutive Test, which puts him fifth in the all-time stakes. Adam Gilchrist's 96 on the bounce and Sunil Gavaskar's 106 are within reach, as is Mark Waugh's 107, but Allan Border's remarkable 153 Test in row will take some time. 153!"

  249. 1144: 
    Eng 17-0 (Cook 4*, Root 7*)

    Jackson Bird, who has the look of a young Steve Waugh, continues his charge in to Cook. Front elbow high as delivers the ball across the left-hander, greyness settling in the sky as Bird sends down another maiden. Apparently, his mum was in England for the first three Tests but has now gone back to Australia.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street
    Lumley Castle

    "There's not a spare seat in the house for day one of the fourth of the Ashes bashes here at Chester-le-Street. The ground looks a picture, with the greens of the surrounding trees just visible above the one and two-tier stands, and Lumley Castle lurking on the hill-side. As ever, there's a healthy smattering of gold-capped Aussies."

  251. 1140: 
    Eng 17-0 (9 overs)

    The slightly off-colour Harris is replaced by Shane Watson, now occupying the all-rounder's role at number six in the Aussie order. Usually accurate, Watson opens with a very wide wide and follows up with another. There is, however, some swing for Watson, who is already lumbering around like a man at the end of a 25-over spell.


    Dave in Derby, TMS inbox: It infuriates me that people continue to say that anyone who has played the game "always knows when they've hit it". How would you know this? You could be getting countless thin edges and not noticing, it's not like you can review these on Hotspot or Snicko at club level to double check you haven't hit it. Likewise ex-pros playing before the technology era making the same claim have nothing to back this up.

  253. 1134: 
    Eng 15-0 (Cook 4*, Root 7*)

    The Graham Onions debate looks to be divisive. Do you stick with a successful side, even if some members have had the odd bad game, or do you risk tinkering in the search for improvement? First aggression from Cook, a clip to long leg for three, before Bird goes past Root's edge with a trimmer. That's the first ball to swing. Maybe with the lacquer off the new ball, we'll see more movement.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook has been very watchful so far this morning and left a lot of balls. You sense he knows he has to really apply himself, and get through this session. He will want to lead from the front and make his mark on this series, especially after Michael Clarke's hundred at Old Trafford."

  255. 1129: 
    Eng 11-0 (Cook 1*, Root 6*)

    Another man spectating is Graham Onions, the local boy who Cook said was close to selection. I once shared an Italian restaurant with Onions. He didn't speak to me, I didn't speak to him. Close encounters with cricketers. Lovely push from Root brings him a single, a leg bye off Cook's thigh pad, then a hook from a bumper gets Root a couple. Harris not looking the threat he was at Old Trafford.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Three slips, a gully, point, mid off and on, mid-wicket and fine leg in for Cook, that tempting gap left in the cover to draw the drive. The skipper is determined to resist its allure however - in his first 23 balls he has just one run."


    Jed in London, via text on 81111: Huge mistake to bat first. Chester-le-Street has always been a pitch for seamers and there is cloud cover today to boot! No side has scored 400 or more at the Riverside in the County Championship this season. Durham's Phil Mustard says you should always bowl first.

  258. 1125: 
    Eng 7-0 (6 overs)

    Bird gets his first look at Cook as Mitchell Starc watches on. In-out, in-out for Starc this series. An Ashes hokey cokey. Plenty of greenery behind Cook as he waits for Bird, three slips and a gully the hippos looking for a feed. Yet again the ball cannot be persuaded to move off the straight, leaving Cook to deal with the natural angle across him.


    Martin Peters, Gateshead, TMS inbox: Finn was dropped from a winning side for match figures of 2-117, yet Broad and Bresnan keep their places for match figures of 2-138 and 3-139 respectively. Onions and Tremlett must be scratching their heads.

  260. 1121: 
    Eng 7-0
    Joe Root

    I'm sure we'll have plenty of chat about Lumley Castle as this match progresses. It peers over the top of the stand, at extra cover to a right-handed batsman, as Harris runs in. Sun shining brightly as the stubble-faced Harris invites an airy poke from Cook, with England scrambling a bye when Harris is wayward down the leg side. Ball barely moving in the air, meaning plenty are angled across left-hander Cook, but right-hander Root has more to play.


    Henry Phillpotts, TMS inbox: Have Australia started a session in the field without an extra in the first over? Basic skills just not being executed this series...

  262. 1116: 
    Eng 3-0

    Hints of blue as the rakishly thin Bird runs in with his elbows pumping. Very quiet in Durham, the hum you usually hear from the crowd on the first morning of a Test is barely audible. Polite applause as Bird completes a maiden, one in which Root has to cover up on off stump.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "It's been a testing series so far for Alastair Cook; after those 766 runs in the last Ashes series, he has just 145 at an average of 24 in this one so far. So far this morning he has been as cautious as you'd expect on a swinging morning against a tight bowler like Ryan Harris - 12 balls faced, and he played a shot only against the 12th."

  264. 1112: 
    Eng 3-0

    Just to further dwell on the pitch, it looks to have the slowish nature we saw at Trent Bridge and Lord's, rather than the pace of Old Trafford. We've seen plenty of turn throughout the summer, suiting England, and the dryness here suggests we'll get some more. Sun shining a touch brighter now, not much movement for Harris, finally forcing Cook to play from the final ball of his second over.


    Chris Little, via text on 81111: Interesting to see a few people describe the Graham Onions selection as "sentimental". If picking the best bowler in first-class cricket on his home ground, at a time when the England seam attack (James Anderson excepted) look largely toothless is 'sentimental' then there is no hope for anyone! It appears you get a game in this XI if your face fits.

  266. 1109: 
    Eng 3-0

    The angular features of Jackson Bird to share the new ball. Only two previous Tests for the right-armer, but he does a bit with the ball. Three slips, a gully and a short leg for Joe Root, who's off the mark right away with a couple through the off side. Then a genuine edge, but short of the slips. Very good start from Bird, he looks like a man that might camp on off stump.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    "Has anyone opened a sweepstake on how long it will be before Hot Spot is pressed into action today? The much-maligned technology aid has had its low points in the series and been criticised by both teams for failing to detect faint edges off the bat. It seems to have been forgotten, however, that without Hot Spot, England could easily have lost the first Test at Trent Bridge. The nick off Brad Haddin's bat that sealed Australia's fate was so subtle that even bowler James Anderson did not appeal, but when a tell-tale mark showed up on Hot Spot, England's celebrations could begin."

  268. 1104: 
    Eng 1-0

    There are grey clouds overhead as Harris sets off with three slips, a gully and a shortish square leg. There must have been some doubt in Cook's mind as he opted to bat first - it does feel like a bowling morning. We're told the pitch is dry, though, potentially tough for the side batting last. Harris starts with a no-ball, then is wide of Cook's off stump.


    Sam Ashworth: Wish everyone would stop being so negative about England's selection, this attack knocked Australia over cheaply twice at Lord's.

    Ollie Davies: Graham Onions is just a sentimental selection. Stuart Broad has done nothing wrong this series, he has that X-Factor, Onions doesn't.

    Tom Holmes: Stuart Broad has bowled much better than his figures suggest and he has batted well. Graham Onions is unlucky not to get a game ahead of Tim Bresnan.

  270. 1100: 

    As a man in a grey suit belts out Jerusalem, England's openers follow the Australia side, some of whom are sporting long-sleeved jumpers. Alastair Cook is on strike, Ryan Harris - playing a third successive Test for the second time in his career - has the ball.


    Kevin, TMS inbox: A by-product of the DRS debacle is how it has exposed the duplicity of the players. Happy to stand there when they have hit it, toys out the pram when the decision goes against them. What happened to the concept of dissent? And do the players realise how ridiculous they sound when they claim they don't know whether they have hit it or not? Anyone who has ever played knows that when you edge it, you know straight away 99 times out of 100.

  272. 1057: 

    The latest rotation of the four available umpires from the ICC's elite panel mean it's Aleem Dar and Tony Hill walking out today, with Marais Erasmus back as third umpire.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England are 2-0 up and in a good place, but a chunk of their batting line-up still has to fire. They might feel a little bit of a pressure as well. Alastair Cook will want to get some runs certainly. Trott seems to play more shots these days, but he seems to get out more."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Jonathan Trott's had a bit of an unlucky time. He's been caught down the leg side and the technology didn't work for him with that lbw at Trent Bridge."


    Ian Leek, TMS inbox: Surely the best way for England & Australia to refute claims of cheating would have been to present their bats for inspection after the claims were made?

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at Chester-le-Street

    "Not the most straightforward choice for Alastair Cook after Michael Clarke called incorrectly at the toss. It's warm and there's cloud cover, which with the moisture in the air after the early rain suggests some assistance for the swingers. But the forecast improves with every hour, so England will be hoping to make hay as conditions ease."


    Mark Heads: Graham Onions is the man in form, perfect wicket and the current lot proved we struggle to take 20 wickets!

    Ravi Vijh: I feel sorry for Graham Onions. He has been one of the best bowlers for England for a while, yet doesn't get a look in.

    Frederick Callaghan: Good to see Jackson Bird playing for Australia. He's a great bowler and perfectly suited to English wickets.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Chester-le-Street

    Not a ball has been bowled yet but already three large cakes have been delivered to the Test Match Special box. This effort was a personal favourite.

    TMS cake
  279. 1050: 

    Thanks Mark. So England stick with the tried and tested, ignoring the perhaps sentimental clamour to select Graham Onions. Australia have had another dip into the tombola and come up with one more combination to try to halt a run of seven Tests without a win.


    Andrew Ellett, TMS inbox: Onions should have played just to have shaken the established bowlers up a bit. No point knocking on the door, if it's bolted shut.

  281. 1049: 

    Right then, while the rest of you ruminate on England's selection policy, time to hand over to Stephan Shemilt to bring you the opening salvos of the fourth Test...


    Si Lomas: Talking about moving 'plates' on the pitch, hope they're not tectonic otherwise we may have our first Ashes earthquake!

    Another big row over DRS and we may have a volcanic eruption for two...

  283. 1046: 
    Graham Onions

    The results of the first vote are in... and a whopping 90% disagreed with the selectors and said England should have named Graham Onions in their team. Only 10% thought he should be left out.

    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I presume that Siddle, who's been brilliant this series, will take the new ball with Harris. They were excellent at Old Trafford and pretty good at Lord's."


    John Coote: Unbelievable selection. More chance of getting into the Royal Yacht Club than the England XI. It was the time to try others.

    Richard Russell: Once again Cook proves his inflexible approach by not selecting Onions - meanwhile the dynamic Clarke picks Bird to shake it up.

    Ed Startup: Tough on Onions, but not surprised. No room for sentimentality here. England have to pick what they think is their best team

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think England have been very consistent and very loyal to the players they've picked, but I think I would have picked Graham Onions for this one. There are a few cracks in the pitch, Onions plays so well here - if he's not going to play here, where is he going to play? 'Horses for courses' is a bad expression as it implies that Onions can only play here. He's an outstanding bowler, but is perfectly suited for this wicket."


    Matt Johnson, TMS inbox: Is anyone else playing the DRS drinking game today? Whenever the DRS gets it clearly wrong, you have to drink a shot. The decision is whether or not to warn the local A&E that a few people might be turning up around lunchtime with alcohol poisoning.

    BBC Sport advises drinking (and just about everything else) is best done in moderation...

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I heard a few months ago that Monty Panesar wasn't quite right, doing what he did on Monday night isn't the Monty I know, I think the PCA and Sussex need to get involved and help him. England need some experienced back-up for Graeme Swann on that Ashes tour this winter, if Swann's back goes in Adelaide for instance, they can't just throw someone like Simon Kerrigan in there for a Test debut."


    Phil Hinson: Don't scrap Hotspot, disregard it when there is no mark, believe it when there is one. It can still overrule bad calls.

    PhilSlocombe: Perhaps the bats should be edged with pressure sensitive thermal tape which glows hot when hit. Tapegate is just another attempt at Aussie sledging because they are not playing well... they´re scared of what KP can do.


    BBC Weather's Philip Avery: "The Pennines are doing a pretty good job of screening the showers that are in Lancashire at the moment, but there's a 20% chance of rain this afternoon. My greatest concern for the first three days is Sunday - it may be that we see one or two showers."

  291. 1038: 

    England: Alastair Cook (capt), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

    Australia: David Warner, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

    That's as per the team sheet - with Warner opening and Watson at six. Are Australia aiming to field a different batting order in each Test?


    Australia captain Michael Clarke on TMS: "I won four tosses in India and lost all four games. The last Test is gone, it's all about playing good cricket here and we're going to have to bat well. Jackson Bird is a wonderful young talent who's had a lot of success in first-class cricket in Australia, and he's played a couple of Tests."


    England captain Alastair Cook: "It was quite a tough decision to bat first but it looks a dry wicket so we'll try to get a score on the board. We are unchanged, although Graham Onions came close to selection and is pushing his name closer and closer. It's about focusing on this game now. We have two matches and there's always pressure playing for England."

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Starc isn't playing - the Bird is flying."

  295. 1030: 

    Michael Clarke calls incorrectly... ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT.


    bnjmn: Onions should have been playing anyway. Broad keeps his place due to certain friendships. Overrated. Should pick Onions for Broard, no runs, few wickets, blows far too hot & cold to be a fixture in the England team!

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "England are unchanged, which is disappointing for Graham Onions. We think Jackson Bird is playing for Australia, probably in place of Mitchell Starc."

  298. 1025: 

    Time for Test Match Special - with "sun peeping through heavy cloud" as Jonathan Agnew welcomes listeners to "the northernmost Ashes Test of all time". The toss is imminent...


    Andy Baggott: Looking forward to the Ashes-hope Bresnan isn't left out - always the fall guy despite others having much worse figures.

    Jack: When you play four bowlers they have to be the four best bowlers and not worry about their batting. Bresnan isn't in the top six.

  300. 1023: 

    While we wait for TMS... want to follow the Ashes on social media? @bbcsport on Twitter has all the breaking news and action, while @bbctms provides the match facts and statistics, and @bbc5live brings you the best audio.

    There are also behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram and a gallery of action from the match on Facebook.

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Live Scores - England v Australia


  • England beat Australia by 74 runs
  • England: 238 & 330 (95.1 overs)
  • Australia: 270 & 224 (68.3 overs)
  • Venue: Durham

Australia 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Rogers c Trott b Swann 49
Warner c Prior b Bresnan 71
Khawaja lbw b Swann 21
Clarke b Broad 21
Smith b Broad 2
Watson lbw b Bresnan 2
Haddin lbw b Broad 4
Siddle c Anderson b Broad 23
Harris lbw b Broad 11
Lyon b Broad 8
Bird not out 1
Extras 6b 5lb 11
Total all out 224

The Ashes

England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson with the Ashes urn

Squads, fixtures, scorecards, results and reports from Australia's Ashes tour of England