The Ashes: England v Australia, Fifth Test, The Oval, day two

How the action unfolded as England reach 32-0 at the close after Steve Smith makes an unbeaten 138 in Australia's 492-9 declared.

22 August 2013 Last updated at 20:18

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As it happened

  1. 1946: 

    The good news for England's batsmen is that the sun is set to shine all day tomorrow. It's time for us to sign off now, but be sure to join us tomorrow for another fascinating day of Ashes cricket. Thanks for joining us today. Good night.

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

    "Root's young, he'll get better, but you can't play up front and have seven failures out of eight, with one innings where he got away with it early on before he made 180. He made a hundred against New Zealand at Headingley, but that was in the middle order. Tomorrow needs to be a batting day for England."

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

    "Root is making as big an effort as he has all series to get his left foot forward to the pitch of the ball. He's finding it a big effort, but at least he's trying, and the most important thing for England is they've survived with no wickets down. I don't think Australia bowled too well, too often they bowled short or at the batsmen's pads, and they didn't move the ball enough."


    Jack Willows: It's hard to believe that this is just about to become the second highest first-wicket stand for England's openers this series.

  5. 1940: 

    Australia batsman Steve Smith on TMS: "I was a bit nervous after getting out for 89 at Old Trafford but I had a chat with Hads and said with Trotty bowling I thought I'd give it a go. I'm very happy to get the hundred under my belt, I feel like my game's going OK at the moment, I'm probably leaving the ball better than I have done before. The pitch is still pretty good, while the ball is still hard it will be important to take a few wickets in the morning. I didn't really think about the over-rate, I was just trying to get as many runs as I could."

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

    "Talk's cheap. I judge people on what I see in the middle. It started for England with the poor selection, and that comes down to the captain and the coach as they have the biggest say of all. It would be nice if, at the end of the match, they put their hand up and say they've got it wrong. With 500 on the board, I don't think they're going to be in the position where two spinners will make a different."

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

    "The field placing was disappointing, England knew Australia were going to declare, but it's poor cricket when a team is bowling five overs in half an hour, the ICC don't try to defuse it, and the umpires are at fault for not enforcing it. And I'm not just blaming England - teams in England's position are allowed to carry on like that, next time it'll be Australia, South Africa, West Indies or whoever. A deliberate slow over-rate is not good for the game."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I can understand why Cook didn't bowl Kerrigan today, but he would have got up this morning and been desperate to bowl, but he wasn't given the chance."

  9. 1936: 

    That left England with a difficult 20 or so overs to negotiate until the close of play but Alastair Cook (17 not out) and Joe Root (13 not out) were barely troubled as they steered the Three Lions to 32-0 at the close, a deficit of 460 runs.

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

    "From England's point of view, Broad bowled a touch too short, Anderson was excellent, Swann bowled well although the captain kept him out of the attack for ever, and I can't understand why. He bowled Woakes, a brisk medium pacer, he eventually got one wicket (Faulkner) but he got a guy caught on the boundary, he might just as well have been halfway up the motorway."

  11. 1935: 

    Then, after tea, the Australians went through the gears. Debutant James Faulkner smashed a quickfire and selfless 23 while Ryan Harris helped himself to 33 from 27 balls as the England bowlers toiled. When the declaration eventually came at 492-9, the hosts were firmly on the back foot.

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

    "From an Australian point of view, it was an excellent day's cricket - Steve Smith got his hundred, he doesn't have the technical play of someone like Ian Bell but he's effective. He plays the swinging ball very late, and played James Anderson as well as just about anyone. Congratulations to him, and if I were Australia I'd encourage Michael Clarke to use his leg-spin more."

  13. 1933: 

    Australia began the day on 307-4, with Steve Smith unbeaten on 66, and the gutsy Australian batsman played magnificently well to score the first Test century of his career - three figures being brought up with a six. At the other end, Brad Haddin chipped in with a determined 30 from 57 balls to offer steady support.

  14. 1931: 

    While Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott review the day's play, let's recap ourselves. It was a long morning as the rain fell and the players took an early lunch, play eventually getting under way at 1430. James Anderson struck early to get rid of nightwatchman Peter Siddle for 23, but the Australian lower order was in determined mood...

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The England openers were off there like rats up a drainpipe, although it was nearly half-past seven in any event."

  16. 1928: 

    Australia might have missed out on three balls there, but Michael Clarke still has a word with the umpires. Smiles all round for the rest of the Aussies though. Steve Smith is beaming as he makes his way back to the changing room. And rightly so.

  17. 1927: 
    CLOSE- Eng 32-0 (Cook 17*, Root 13*)

    Peter Siddle just never gives up, busting a gut to make a late breakthrough and nipping one past Joe Root's outside edge. And that's likely to be the final play of the day as the umpires check the light halfway through the over and take the players off. And with that comes the close.


    Bingley Dave, via text on 81111: Is it just me, or is Joe Root's helmet a touch big for him?

  19. 1925: 
    Eng 32-0 (Cook 17*, Root 13*)

    It's always nice to end a day's Test cricket with some physics chat. England seem to be in control now, Alastair Cook helping himself to an easy two into the leg side as Ryan Harris bustles, muscles and limps through another over.


    Sean in Essex, TMS inbox: To contradict the physics teacher (1911), angle comes into it, surely? If Faulkner is getting a more direct hit on the bat it will hit it harder than a glancing blow? And the tighter length might come into it if more pace is taken off at the last minute by Woakes's line?

    Arif, Lampeter, TMS inbox: I've always wanted to say this - the physics teacher is wrong! The radar measures speed out of the hand, not at impact. Faulkner clearly bowls a "heavier ball" which does not decelerate as much off the pitch, thus hitting the bat with greater force.

    Russell in Cambridge (Chemical Engineer), via text on 81111: Re 19:11. No, not just on the mass and the speed of the ball, but also on the mass and speed of the bat - simple thermodynamics - for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sorry, but I've only added to the geek nature of this.

  21. 1921: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 30-0 (Cook 15*, Root 13*)
    Peter Siddle appeals

    Play is held up while a man dressed entirely in black, Johnny Cash-style, casually walks up the steps next to the sightscreen. He's told to get out of the way by fellow spectators and it appears he might have interrupted Alastair Cook's concentration as the England skipper is almost pinned in front by Peter Siddle. Luckily for England, and perhaps the afore-mentioned chap, the ball was not going on to hit the stumps and the appeal is turned down and no review called for. Just a Cook single from the over.


    Josh Davies: Re 1900: Faulkner looks a bit like Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal to me. Probably just me, mind.

    Will Barker: James Faulkner reminds me of Kevin Bacon a bit.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Wasps used to get me a lot at the old Hampshire ground at Southampton [Northlands Road]. By this time of year, they'd get a bit doo-lally and flew up my trousers and stung me about three or four times on my legs, so I had to tuck my trousers into my socks."

  24. 1916: 
    Eng 29-0 (Cook 14*, Root 13*)

    They are having a good chat about wasps in the Test Match Special commentary box. As you're about to find out, Tuffers has had his issues with the little stingers down the years. Mitchell Starc continues to leave Brad Haddin diving all over the place behind the stumps as he struggles to find the right line and length. Just an Alastair Cook single in the over.


    Gareth, via text on 81111: Re James Faulkner [1900], in the photo you supplied he looks a bit like a young Michael Atherton.

    Adrian in Wiltshire: Re James Faulkner - is it Terry Hall from the Specials?

  26. 1911: 
    Eng 28-0 (Cook 13*, Root 13*)

    Fetch that, Peter. Joe Root creams Siddle through the off side for four to move into double figures but the bowler responds with an absolute jaffa to end the over - Root almost nicking off in the corridor.

    Australia 492-9 declared - full scorecard


    A physics teacher in Surrey, TMS inbox: Re: 1843 - sorry to be a geek but GCSE physics tells you that the force of a ball on the bat depends purely on the mass and speed of the ball. If Faulkner is bowling the same speed as Woakes then they hit the bat just as hard...

  28. 1907: 
    Eng 24-0 (Cook 13*, Root 9*)

    Mitchell Starc has adopted the 'scattergun approach' tonight - spraying it all over the place. He needs to be careful, I believe the 'Mitchell Johnson song' is easily transferrable to young, dark-haired Australian left-arm pacemen. He's certainly keeping old man Haddin busy behind the stumps as England play out another over with relative ease.


    Chris, Lincoln, TMS inbox: The Aussies haven't yet twigged Kerrigan is our answer to Agar. Not a bowler, but a batting ringer sneaked in at No 10 - bound to make 98+.

  30. 1903: 
    Eng 22-0 (Cook 13*, Root 9*)

    We've got another 10 overs to bowl tonight, but the slow over-rates during the day mean we're unlikely to get all of them in before the 1930 cut-off time. Peter Siddle begins to bend his back as he searches for something extra from the pitch and he almost tempts Joe Root into a loose shot as the young Yorkie goes on the hook. Maiden over.

    The Oval pavilion
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it may be time for Nathan Lyon to have a little trundle with his off-spinners that don't always spin."


    Chris, St Petersburg, TMS inbox: We often talk about the mental toughness of the Aussies, but isn't a lot of this down to the fact that they know that if they have a bad session, or make a shaky Test debut, it is unlikely that legions of their home fans will be queuing up to criticise/sneer/volunteer an opinion as to who should be playing instead? The fickleness we display is a little embarrassing, and not a little damaging.

  33. 1900: 
    Eng 22-0 (Cook 13*, Root 9*)
    James Faulkner

    James Faulkner reminds me of somebody famous, but I can't think who. Any ideas? He's certainly got a presence about him as he continues to trouble Alastair Cook by bowling slightly short of a length. The debutant recovers well after his first ball of the over is pulled for four by the England skip.


    Rachel T: It would be funny if Woakes and Kerrigan got their revenge with the bat.

  35. 1856: 
    Eng 18-0 (Cook 9*, Root 9*)

    As he has done with good effect throughout this series, Peter Siddle is delivering from different points on the crease but Joe Root punishes him with a four to the boundary when the bowler drops short. So far so good from England, but I wonder if they are drawing lots in the dressing room for the nightwatchman position? That would be the last thing Simon Kerrigan needs.


    Gus Pingu, Capel, Kent, TMS inbox: Following on from Geoffrey's suggestion [of penalty runs for slow over-rates], if there was a space on the scoreboard updating the number of penalty runs due for slow overs as they happened, over-rates would no doubt magically improve.

    Kev in Leicester, TMS inbox: The umpires should have the power to penalise the fielding side one run per ball for every ball below the target over-rate at the conclusion of the innings or the end of the day (whichever is first). Providing they allow for rain delays and ensure the batsmen aren't slowing the game down this would speed the game up.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    James Faulkner charges in

    "I saw Faulkner bowl a lot for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, he bowled round the wicket a lot to the right-handers, but didn't seem to swing the ball back into them."

  38. 1852: 
    Eng 14-0 (Cook 9*, Root 5*)

    Joe Root is beginning to grow in confidence, helping himself to an easy single off James Faulkner who then tests Alastair Cook with a yorker which the England skipper digs out well. The debutant is beginning to win this little battle as he gets one to seam past Cook's outside edge. Cue hands-on-heads from the three-strong Aussie slip cordon.


    Neil Morris: Woakes's bowling figures stack up against most, and the lad can bat. Too early to dismiss him.

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

    "You can see that between the fourth and fifth Tests, Root has worked on the balance on his front foot, but it's important he doesn't lunge. You're never going to get a massive stride in at this level, it's all about the transfer of weight."

  41. 1848: 
    Eng 13-0 (Cook 9*, Root 4*)

    Golden-arm himself, Peter Siddle, is given a chuck as Australia try and blow a hole in the England batting order. He's bob on straight away, squaring up Joe Root with one which wobbles on the seam before young Joe pushes a single wide of extra cover. Steady stuff from England.


    Mark Williams, TMS inbox: The worst example of time wasting I witnessed was here at The Oval in 1979. India were chasing 430-odd to win and looked like doing it, Gavaskar approaching 200. Brearley was captain and had Bob Willis walking back almost to the pavilion and taking seven minutes to bowl an over.

  43. 1843: 
    Eng 12-0 (Cook 9*, Root 3*)

    The muscular James Faulkner, with his whippy chest-on action, is given his first over in Test cricket and he almost takes a wicket with his first ball when Joe Root pokes tentatively outside off stump. The opener recovers his poise to get off the mark with three past backward point before Alastair Cook sees out the rest of the over. Faulkner, by the way, is clocking similar speeds to Chris Woakes but he seems to hit the bat a little harder and bowls a tighter length.


    Steve in Tring, via text on 81111: Chris Tremlett has 5-50 today for Surrey at Durham. What might he have done on his home ground against Australia?

    Dave, Berks: If Australia had bothered to blood a few young guns when they were whipping England 5-0 maybe they wouldn't be in the mess they're in now....well done selectors for giving a chance of a Test environment to the youngsters.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "England have faced six overs, from which they've probably only had to hit seven or eight deliveries."

  46. 1838: 
    Eng 9-0 (Cook 9*, Root 0*)

    The shadows lengthen over The Oval outfield as Alastair Cook gratefully watches four deliveries through to the keeper before he prods back a couple of straighter ones to play out a maiden over. A third in a row for Ryan Harris.

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

    "I would have had no problem if England had said they wanted to experiment with Kerrigan ahead of the winter series. But they came out and said they would be playing their strongest team and trying to win 4-0 - and it was clear that England, yesterday, weren't the team they were in Durham last week when they were fantastic."

  48. 1834: 
    Eng 9-0 (Cook 9*, Root 0*)
    Alastair Cook

    Australia will be happy with the way it has panned out - Mitchell Starc being able to test out Alastair Cook's perceived weakness against left-armers while Joe Root is being worked over at the other end by Ryan Harris. Cook finally takes a single to expose his younger partner to Starc and mighty young Joe watches two wide ones sail harmlessly by to see out the over.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "It's 6.30pm in late August but the light is actually better than it has been at any point today. England are therefore set for a testing final hour against Australia's quartet of quicks."


    Leo, positive England fan, TMS inbox: What's wrong with experimenting with a team once you have won a series and you are facing a tough series in Aus? Especially as Monty seems to be out of the picture, they should try out a new spinner, and we have a lost a batting all-rounder in Bres. Let's focus on the good stuff!

  51. 1830: 
    Eng 8-0 (Cook 8*, Root 0*)

    Ryan Harris doesn't get the headlines of Jimmy Anderson, but he's equally as dangerous when the ball is swinging - getting one to straighten and then nip past Joe Root's groping outside edge. Another maiden for rhino, and it's now 12 deliveries without scoring for young Joe. But he's still in there scrapping.


    Gareth, Lancashire exile, via text on 81111: It strikes me as very poor man management to introduce a bowler into the team, watch him suffer an attack of the yips, then leave him out there and isolated while the world and its mother smugly criticises. He didn't select himself, but I bet I know who's suffering right now.

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

    "For my mind, the umpires are weak when it comes to over-rates. In my day, they would say to you 'listen captain, when the batsman's ready, I want you to be ready to bowl'. And when it's a 60-40 lbw, they would remember, if you weren't playing to the spirit of the game."

  54. 1826: 
    Eng 8-0 (Cook 8*, Root 0*)
    The Baggy Green

    To a man, the Australian fielders are proudly wearing the Baggy Green cap. It's good to see this young team maintaining such fine traditions of their predecessors. Alastair Cook continues to be positive as he clips two into the leg side, but he curses himself when he chases a harmless floater outside off stump. Mitchell Starc is encouraged and continues to hang the cherry in the corridor.


    Jon Sellors: Is captaincy instinctive or can it be taught? Time for a captaincy coach/mentor for Cook?

    Jeremy Evans: England tactics show indecision. What do they expect? Woakes & Kerrigan to come in on debut and take 5-fers?

  56. 1822: 

    England Lions have beaten Bangladesh A by 191 runs after bowling the tourists out for 176. Chris Jordan was the pick of the bowlers with 4-38, while the last wicket was taken by the part-time off-spin of Michael Carberry, who bowled last man Al-Amin Hossain with his fourth ball. Earlier, Carberry made 146 and James Taylor 106 not out in England's 367-3.

  57. 1821: 
    Eng 6-0 (Cook 6*, Root 0*)

    We could get another 20 overs in tonight, after this one, as Ryan Harris bustles in and instantly begins to probe outside Joe Root's off stump. The young Yorkie is in determined mood, leaving well and getting forward to those on a good line.


    Andy Bryan, TMS inbox: Tremlett 5-50 today, Compton 83 not out. Might have been useful contributors?

  59. 1817: 
    Eng 6-0 (Cook 6*, Root 0*)

    Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc is given the new nut and he immediately tests Alastair Cook with some short stuff - the first one being pulled for two before the England skipper helps one down the leg side for four. A sloppy start from Starc. Michael Clarke has placed three slips in as head coach Darren Lehmann takes a seat on the boundary next to a photographer.

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

    "We know Joe Root's got talent, but he's not shown it - if he had been caught on eight at Lord's, he would have had eight failures. He needs to use his feet."


    Graham in Redhill via text on 81111: Why all the negativity? 3-0 up, and Ashes in the bag. Some of the tripe on here today suggests we find the concept of winning a sin and that we long for the days of past whippings?

    Mat, on a train to Hants, via text on 81111: Are we 3-0 up or are they? I thought it was 1989 again for a minute.


    BBC Sport's Tim Peach: Sweepstake: How many night-watchmen do you think England will use before close of play? Opening with Anderson and Bresnan?!

  63. 1812: 

    While survival is the most important thing tonight, it's also imperative Joe Root doesn't get bogged down like in previous Tests. Alastair Cook will hope to lead the way with some crisp early boundaries to seize back some initiative.

  64. 1811: 

    While the Australians warm up in the outfield, the umpires watch the heavy roller go over the pitch. This is a dangerous period for England. Lose two or three wickets and they are really up against it.


    Ade, via text on 81111: With a bit more luck with the toss, the weather, and the odd decision here and there, it's absolutely no exaggeration to say Australia could be comfortably ahead in this series.

    Phil in Windsor: England are yet to bat well collectively, it needs Cook and Trott to bat well a la Smith and Watson. And Pietersen and Root to get good knocks or this could be humiliating.

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

    "I don't think the light's going to get better, there's been rain around, the ball's moved around when it's been new and I think Harris is going to move it. My experience tells me the momentum is with Australia, as when England bat normally we lose one or two wickets."

  67. 1809: 

    Look away now England fans. Here are the final bowling figures: Anderson 29.5-4-95-4, Broad 31-4-128-1, Swann 33-4-95-2, Woakes 24-7-96-1, Kerrigan 8-0-53-0, Trott 3-0-12-1.


    Martin, Maidenhead, TMS inbox: My first Test match was at The Oval 10 years ago, South Africa 484 all out in the first innings and England still won by nine wickets thanks to a double ton from Tresco (read Cook this year), a hundred from Thorpe (see Ian Bell) and a quick-fire 95 from Freddie (Prior?) as we responded with 604. Been every year since and you could say I'm something of a lucky charm. Two Ashes series victories, witnessed that run-out and that spell from Swann and Broad. Am I going this year, you ask? No, Surrey changed the sales to a ballot and my luck ran out. So if England are to win I may need to happen across some tickets.

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

    "I enjoyed Jimmy Anderson's bowling, he deserved a five-wicket haul, while Broad bowled superbly yesterday and his figures don't do him justice. Woakes got his one wicket - caught halfway down the motorway, wasn't it? - and Kerrigan wasn't bowled at all. What a good selection that was. Woakes and Kerrigan have combined figures of nearly 1-150. So you only had three bowlers, and that's why Australia have scored nearly 500. And when the opposition score 500, you're in trouble."


    Howard Horner: Broad has done what he always does - one great performance in a series surrounded by utter mediocrity. Where's the consistency?

    Simon Hardy: Talk earlier was whether this team is stronger than 2005 winners. These are like watching paint dry compared to Flintoff et al!

    Anthony Lea: How can the over-rate be allowed to drop like this. £80 per ticket. £250 for a family of four!

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I find it very strange that we've had every form of slowing the game down by England, the umpires are there to police the game but they've done nothing. And Nathan Lyon has gone out and not faced a ball, and Australia have declared after scoring one extra run - I can't explain it. Unless Clarke had enough of England moving their nine boundary fielders by half an inch."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  72. 1803: 
    Steve Smith

    Strange scenes as Australia send Nathan Lyon out to bat, only to declare within one ball when Steve Smith takes a single. The number five ends on 138 not out. A marvellous knock.


    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23), 6-385 (Haddin 30), 7-422 (Faulkner 23), 8-446 (Starc 13), 9-491 (Harris 33)

    Bowler's figures: Anderson 29.4-4-94-4

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "If it's been a difficult afternoon for England's bowlers, it's been an even more disappointing for the one who hasn't delivered a single ball. While Chris Woakes has had the chance to turn his nascent Test fortunes around, Simon Kerrigan has been left high and dry on his eight overs from Wednesday. You can understand Alastair Cook's thinking - why call for a man for a man who went at more than eight an over; the ball has been swinging more than turning - but Kerrigan cannot prove his worth without being thrown the ball."

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jimmy Anderson deserved that, it will be one of his stranger caught-and-bowleds, as everyone was on the boundary and he had to take the catch at deep extra cover."

  76. 1801: 
    WICKET- Harris c&b Anderson 33 (Aus 491-9)
    James Anderson

    A fourth wicket of the innings for James Anderson as Ryan Harris heaves high into the off side and, realising everyone else is on the boundary, the Burnley Express scampers to extra cover to take a terrific catch off his own bowling. Great commitment.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23), 6-385 (Haddin 30), 7-422 (Faulkner 23), 8-446 (Starc 13), 9-491 (Harris 33)

    Bowler's figures: Anderson 29.4-4-94-4

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special


    Akeel, Nottingham via text on 81111: It's embarrassing seeing England play like this, we should be asserting ourselves and showing some intent.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Normally, Michael Clarke thinks in terms of overs left in the day. Australia are going to have to field for about 20 overs."

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "How slow can Cook go with his team and bowlers in the field. Five overs in half an hour just not on in the modern game. The ICC need to change the rule and understand you have a paying public who spend hard earned money and want to watch a full day."

  80. 1757: 
    Aus 486-8 (Smith 136*, Harris 30*)

    This is like watching an Ashes Test of yesteryear as Ryan Harris steps away and carves Stuart Broad through the covers for four. It's just slogging now as Harris almost falls over in getting a bottom edge for two down to third man. For the second time in the over, England start working on the ball - only to get booed by the crowd.

    After two shots at fresh air, Harris manages a couple into the leg side and he ends the over with a chipped single down the ground. Still no declaration as Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann stand on the balcony like two holiday-makers surveying the scenery from their hotel room.


    Mike Stephens: To chuck the ball to Kerrigan when Watson was seeing it like a football and not give him a few overs today is a disgrace.

    Steven F Galloway: Australia remembering how to bat in time for the Oval dead rubber - just like us in the 90s!

    Thomas Lawlor: I think I will open a shop selling Stuart Broad teapots.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "This has the look of it being the last over, possibly... no, they're going to keep going, though Phillip Hughes is running out with a bit of information. He offered a drink, but it wasn't taken."

  83. 1751: 
    Aus 477-8 (Smith 134*, Harris 21*)

    Mind the windows, rhino. Ryan Harris is dealing in maximums at the moment as he cracks Graeme Swann back over his head for a sixer. Or a 'dorothy' as Jim Maxwell labels it. Eleven more runs added as 12th man Phil Hughes runs on with a message. Last over?

  84. 1745: 
    Aus 466-8 (Smith 134*, Harris 12*)

    Steve Smith's happy to let the tail-enders give it some long handle here, taking the singles which will help him towards a red-inker (not out). Stuart Broad is a bit grumpy now, sending down a bumper to Ryan Harris who ducks under and then swivels on the next short one and takes a single down to fine leg. Four more added to the score...


    Andy Greenwood: If England bowl and field any slower we will go backwards in time and take Tea again...

  86. 1742: 
    Aus 462-8 (Smith 132*, Harris 10*)

    Ryan Harris, built like a rhino, smashes his bat into the ground as he waits for Graeme Swann to send down a twirler - and he deposits the England spinner into the stands with a meaty blow for six over long on. It's carnage out there as another nine runs are added to the Australian scorecard. Clarke's still loitering on the balcony.


    Paul Byrne: To be fair to the England team, only 2 Aussies have really scored runs - 300 between them.

    Ian: How demoralising must it be for Kerrigan to just stand in the field watching. It only takes one ball to turn his Test around.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "If I were Australia, I'd pull out now, for the sake of another 20-30 runs and giving away some cheap wickets, I think you'd want to get England in now."

  89. 1737: 
    Aus 453-8 (Smith 130*, Harris 3*)
    Stuart Broad (right)

    Stuart Broad continues to do his thing, sporting a very dirty brown stain on the front of his whites. "Has he dropped his coffee down himself," quips Phil Tufnell on TMS. It might take two hot washes to sort that one out!

    Runs continue to flow for Australia as Ryan Harris and Steve Smith helps themselves to singles in the vast and seemingly sparsely populated outfield. Michael Clarke is poised on the Aussie balcony. Either he's waiting to declare or he's just teasing England openers Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Finally, at 5.30pm on the second day of the Test, we have evidence of the sharp turn that England were clearly expecting from the start when they picked two spinners. The crowd have been a bit flat today, but this little burst of runs and wickets is proving something of a late-in-the-day livener."

  91. 1733: 
    Graham Onions

    If you're a fan of England seamer Graham Onions, you may want to watch this video on the BBC Sport website in which he explains how frustrated he is that a broken finger cost him the chance to play in this Test - and expresses his hopes of getting on the winter tour.

  92. 1732: 
    Aus 448-8 (Smith 127*, Harris 1*)

    Alastair Cook has the look of a man who is wondering if he has left the oven on at home as he tries to stem this Australian assault. Ryan Harris, who knows how to club a few boundaries, is the new man to the crease and he takes a single to get off the mark.


    John Monks: Awfully kind of England to play some of Australia's batsmen into form for the winter tour. How sporting...

    Khalil Ismail: Not sure what England management see in Woakes. Bowling clearly not up to being third seamer. Better off with Finn or Tremlett.

    Fraser West: Woakes will be better as a fourth seamer because his batting is good enough to bat at six.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "I don't think you really count these sorts of wickets, you've got tail-enders in who are throwing the bat."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  95. 1728: 
    WICKET- Starc b Swann 13 (Aus 446-8)
    Mitchell Starc

    "Let me at them, skip. I'll put these young uns' in their place." I imagine that's how the conversation played out between Graeme Swann and Alastair Cook as Mitchell Starc goes for one shot too many and is bowled by that wily old offie from Notts.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23), 6-385 (Haddin 30), 7-422 (Faulkner 23)

    Bowler's figures: Swann 30.2-4-73-2

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special


    Seething Steve, Warrington, via text on 81111: Might be worth sending Alastair Cook on a man management / captaincy course. His field placings and ideas are bordering on the poor side of average, his message to Kerrigan is you ain't good enough mate. Let him have a few psych sessions with Mike Brearley, he might learn something!

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "I think Smith's very happy that he's being offered a single to get Starc on strike, as Starc's looking good. And why are England always looking at the state of the ball? Just get on with it."

  98. 1725: 
    Aus 444-7 (Smith 126*, Starc 11*)

    The muscular Mitchell Starc seems to have substituted his bat for a club - it's stand and deliver as he hammers four straight down the ground. He then glides down to the non-striker's end with an effortless single into the leg side. Chris Woakes is cannon fodder at the moment. Australia have really taken the game by the scruff of the neck here - 13 coming from the over as Steve Smith ends with a swat over midwicket for four. Is this tennis or cricket?


    Matt Cooke: Ashes fantasy football Siddlesborough, Waughsall and Swannsea.

    Sam Ashworth: Pietersenborough United.

    Charles Towning: Agnewell's Old Boys (Newell's Old Boys)

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think they actually used to employ a bird of prey here to keep the pigeons away. It used to live somewhere up in the pavilion and would emerge now and again to scare the pigeons off. There must be 20 pigeons pecking away out there, they must have put some seed out during tea."

  101. 1720: 
    Aus 431-7 (Smith 121*, Starc 3*)

    It's a one-day field now as England try and slow down the rampant young Aussies. Stuart Broad is not enjoying the onslaught - glaring at Graeme Swann down at fine leg as Mitchell Starc gets off the mark with two. A bouncer follows and it is chipped into the leg side but there's nobody about to catch it. Frustration for the bowler.


    Tom Mills: Everybody needs to leave Kerrigan alone. He's only bowled 8 overs in Test cricket. Get him back on and see what he can really do.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "It's been a while since we've seen two centuries on the same Australian scoresheet, so there are some positives to take. We've seen a lot of potential from Steve Smith in one-day cricket but he's now grabbed his Test spot, and the way he's batted yesterday and today, he's shown some fighting spirit and that's what Michael Clarke and Darren Lehmann will want."

  104. 1716: 
    Aus 425-7 (Smith 118*, Starc 0*)

    It's tin hat time now. The Aussies are going after everything as Mitchell Starc marches to the crease to join centurion Steve Smith. I reckon Michael Clarke fancies 450 before he gets England out there.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Your first Test match wicket is a special moment, Woakes has been toiling away yesterday and today, so he'll be pleased. A nice little cameo by Faulkner. Unless Smith really comes off quickly, I think they might declare at 450 as they'll want 20 overs tonight."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  106. 1712: 
    WICKET- Faulkner c Trott b Woakes 23 (Aus 422-7)
    James Faulkner

    Chris Woakes takes his first Test wicket - but it's not how he would have dreamt it. James Faulkner, playing a superb cameo, top-edges a pull to the square leg boundary where Jonathan Trott takes a superb catch over his shoulder. A nice little 21-ball innings from the debutant there.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23), 6-385 (Haddin 30), 7-422 (Faulkner 23)

    Bowler's figures: Woakes 22.3-7-80-1

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "This is like Twenty20 batting from Faulkner. Maybe Michael Clarke has overs in his head - perhaps he wants 20-25 overs at England tonight. I'd be putting a third man in here."


    Martin Wigham: Ashes Fantasy Football: Trottenham Hotspur.

    (And he's a Spurs fan)

    Mike: Crewe Agnewxandria.

  109. 1708: 
    Aus 417-6 (Smith 114*, Faulkner 19*)

    James Faulkner certainly has the build to be an imposing Test match all-rounder - he's in the Freddie Flintoff mould with his blond hair and wardrobe-like physique. He's got some ticker too, slapping Stuart Broad's first ball after tea for four. He adds a single before Steve Smith keeps things ticking over with one down to third man.

    Are we witnessing some acceleration? I think so, as Faulkner steps away and thrashes four through the covers before slicing another boundary down to third man. He ends the over with a scampered two.


    Stephen Cummins, TMS inbox: You might be interested to know that this year the theme of my friend's Fantasy Football league is Ashes Legends. Some of the better examples of team names are: Boycottagers (Fulham), Gilchristal Palace (Crystal Palace), Goochelsea (Chelsea), STRAUSShampton (Southampton), Werder Bresnan (Werder Bremen), Atherton Stanley (Accrington Stanley), Bellton Warnederers (Bolton Wanderers).

    Any more for any more?

  111. 1703: 
    Aus 401-6 (Smith 113*, Faulkner 4*)

    The fresh-faced Chris Woakes gets us under way post-tea, with a little pat on the bum for encouragement from his skipper. Steve Smith continues where he left off with a single down the ground before the Australian 400 is brought up courtesy of an overthrow. Sloppy from England. Perhaps keen to show he has got some wheels, Woakes tests James Faulkner with a bouncer which the all-rounder ducks under before slapping the final delivery of the over for an easy single.

    Mark Butcher, Ex-England batsman on Test Match Special

    "The worry with England's men today is that we've got a five-man bowling attack, apparently, but we've only seen three proper bowlers and Jonathan Trott today."


    Robert Allen: Have a feeling the Aussies will push to get 450 lead and then give us 15 or 20 overs tonight. Could have us 3 down.

    Josh Hobbs: Disgusted with England's selections in this match. Tremlett would have got at the Aussies, instead we picked a couple of pups.


    David in London, via text on 81111: The Aussies batsmen are now getting the 'big daddy' runs. Looking for our top order to do the same when it is their turn.

  115. 1657: 

    Good luck to the England Women tomorrow. The men are back out on the field, ready for the final session of this rain-shortened day. We can go on until 1930 BST tonight, which means the next two-and-a-half hours are pretty crucial.

    Mark Butcher, Ex-England batsman on Test Match SpecialWOMEN'S ASHES

    "People who haven't seen the game in the last three or four years would think hitting over the top was a problem in the women's game, but there were some great ball-strikers at the World Cup who could hit the ball long distances on slow Mumbai pitches. England have got players like that, I just think it was the mindset on Tuesday which prevented them."

    You can hear full commentary of tomorrow's Women's Ashes ODI at Hove via the BBC Sport website.

  117. 1656: 

    England batter Lydia Greenway on TMS: "It was a great achievement by Jenny Gunn to become England's leading wicket-taker in the last ODI, hopefully she can keep going for many more years."

    You can hear full commentary of tomorrow's Women's Ashes ODI at Hove via the BBC Sport website.

  118. 1655: 

    England batter Lydia Greenway on TMS: "The new format for the Women's Ashes [with all matches in all formats counting] has made it interesting, but Australia left us to chase 250 in 40 overs in the Test match and I think it would have been silly to give it a go when there's six points at stake."

    You can hear full commentary of tomorrow's Women's Ashes ODI at Hove via the BBC Sport website.

  119. 1654: 

    England batter Lydia Greenway on TMS: "It was quite a slow pitch on Tuesday, and when the field's up it's hard to get the ball through. But we've addressed in our meetings how we need to hit over the top, and hopefully we can put that right tomorrow at Hove, where hopefully it will be a bit quicker."

    You can hear full commentary of tomorrow's Women's Ashes ODI at Hove via the BBC Sport website.

  120. 1653: 

    As you might have guessed from Mark Butcher's comments below, the TMS team are talking about the Women's Ashes during the tea break. Here's some views from England's Lydia Greenway...

  121. 1651: 

    It appears the England Lions are firmly on course for victory in their second one-day match against Bangladesh at Taunton. Michael Carberry and James Taylor both scored brilliant centuries in England's 367-3 and Bangladesh are now 117-4 after 26 overs - Chris Jordan taking 2-32 and David Willey and Boyd Rankin picking up one wicket each.

    Mark Butcher, Ex-England batsman on Test Match Special

    "England lost to Australia at the Women's World Cup and it was pretty much the same in Tuesday's ODI at Lord's when they never got ahead of the run rate, didn't manage to hit over the top and perished."

    You can hear full commentary of tomorrow's Women's Ashes ODI at Hove via the BBC Sport website.

  123. 1649: 

    Steve Smith is the sixth Australian to reach his maiden Test 100 with a six. The others are: John Benaud (1972), Ian Davis (1976), Greg Matthews (1985), Andrew Symonds (2006) and Mitchell Johnson (2009).


    Alun Jones: Steve Smith is no Ian Bell when it comes to technique! Looks like a gorilla batting! Still, congratulations on maiden ton!

    Chris Smith: This is the same Steve Smith who Boycott said if he can get a Test 50, anyone can? 112 n/o Good work Geoffrey.

  125. 1648: 

    The England bowlers have copped some tap in this innings. Their bowling figures, Jimmy aside, make for miserable reading: Anderson 29-4-89-3, Broad 26-4-88-1, Swann 30-4-71-1, Woakes 21-7-71-0, Kerrigan 8-0-53-0, Trott 3-0-12- 1.

  126. 1646: 

    Thanks Mark, excellent stuff again. What have I missed? Not much from an England point of view, but well done to Steve Smith - in a similar situation, I'd love to think I'd try and hit the bowler back over his head when one meaty hit away from a maiden Test ton in the Ashes. Dreamy stuff.

  127. 1644: 

    So, with Australia sitting pretty at 397-6 and 36 overs left in the day, while Kevin Howells rounds up the county scores on TMS, I hand you to Marc Higginson for the rest of the day.


    Andy Johnstone: Is England's tactic to give the Aussies false hope only to crush them ruthlessly next time out in Aus?

    Ledden: Would the Aussies of old have played two debutants against "the old enemy" with a chance to go 4-0 up?

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England have bowled badly today. They had a great opportunity when they came out and the ball was swinging. They've missed a trick."


    Bruce in Suffolk, TMS inbox: I think it's a stroke of genius by the England camp allowing both Watson and Smith to get hundreds. It almost certainly guarantees their participation in Australia later this year which will suit England just fine.

  131. 1640: 
    TEA INTERVAL- Australia 397-6 (Smith 112*, Faulkner 1*)

    Job done, and partnership broken, Trott takes his cap with figures of 3-0-12-1 and Stuart Broad returns at the Vauxhall End, I'd guess it might be the last over before tea? Smith adds a two and a single to his score, and a quick check establishes that yes, it's time for tea after a lengthy session. Another awaits...

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval
    Steve Smith hits a six

    "At 24 years old, Smith is not quite a young dasher. He is also three years into an often truncated Test career. But he is the youngest Australian to score an Ashes ton since the great Ricky Ponting at Headingley 16 years ago."

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it shows how poor England's display with the ball has been when Jonathan Trott is nicking in with wickets. You wouldn't be happy with that as a bowler."

  134. 1635: 
    Australia 394-6 (Smith 109*, Faulkner 1*)

    Anderson begins his 29th over, having taken 3-88 from his first 28, Smith carefully guides a single to fine leg. There are three slips in for the new man Faulkner, while in overcast conditions, Alastair Cook is balancing not one, but two pairs of sunglasses on his cap. We're about five minutes from tea.


    Neil Murray, TMS inbox: Bit of a newbie to cricket, but a few people have claimed that Chris Woakes isn't good enough for Test matches and is more of a one-day bowler. I'm confused. If he's prone to dropping short and gets smashed around the park in a Test match, surely he'd be absolute cannon fodder when batsmen are really going after the ball?

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "James Faulkner is a decent batsman and he wobbles the ball around a bit. He's seen as an all-rounder of the future, he's taken a lot of wickets for Tasmania albeit in helpful conditions. He's not express pace but he can move it both ways. And, the main thing, he's got a toughness about him."

  137. 1631: 
    Australia 393-6 (Smith 108*, Faulkner 1*)

    Buoyed by his fifth Test wicket, there's an extra spring in Trott's step as he begins his third over - and he even has the rare luxury of a second slip. Faulkner is off the mark with a single, while another fluent cover drive brings Smith three more.

    And some county news... having tried to sign Nick Compton and Jos Buttler, Warwickshire have succeeded in making a signing. They've taken Richard Jones on loan from Worcestershire for the rest of the season.


    Julian Barrell, Surrey, TMS inbox: So we've selected two spinners and have three fit seamers, yet we find Jonathan Trott is required to bowl before the opposition have 400. Bizarre.


    Gandhi: Trott's had more impact with the ball than with the bat this series..

    Alex Storey: Penny for Kerrigan and Woakes' thoughts...

  140. 1627: 
    Australia 389-6 (Smith 105*, Faulkner 0*)

    Anderson is still nagging away here, beating Smith's outside edge before the centurion responds with a cover-driven four. As many have observed, Steve Smith isn't always pretty to watch at the crease, but that was right out of the MCC coaching manual.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval
    Steve Smith

    "Now that's how to go to your debut Test ton. Jonathan Trott might not be the most testing of bowlers to face in the nervous nineties, but his dismissal of Brad Haddin shows he still needs to be treated with respect, and Steve Smith deserved the applause he received from the generous Oval crowd. His technique might not be a thing of beauty, but his eye is good and his determination unarguable."


    John Morris: Steve Smith - such an odd batsman who can look formidable and hopeless from game to game. Sort of sums up Australia currently.

  143. 1623: 
    Australia 385-6 (Smith 101*, Faulkner 0*)

    Bowling all-rounder James Faulkner, who looked quite impressive in the Champions Trophy, is the new batsman. He's a right-hander from Tasmania.


    Matthew Hobbs: All Eng have achieved is to boost Australia's confidence ahead of return series and expose weakness of back-up options. Initiative surrendered.

    Matt Daloisio: So England are choosing to bowl Trott (a part time bowler) over Kerrigan (future of English spin bowling). Interesting.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Brad Haddin will be disappointed with that. He was trying to take the game to Jonathan Trott but it wasn't short enough to cut, he's been suckered by the part-time bowler. But it's a good partnership he put on with Steve Smith, they got Australia out of a tricky situation."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary from The Oval

  146. 1622: 
    WICKET- Haddin b Trott 30 (Aus 385-6)
    Brad Haddin is bowled

    ...but then Trott strikes as Haddin chops onto his stumps. The part-timer makes the breakthrough.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23), 6-385 (Haddin 30).

    Bowler's figures: Trott 1.5-0-8-1

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Steve Smith has got talent and now he's learning which balls to leave alone. He wasn't even in the original tour squad but he's ended up playing in every match."

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "What a way to get to a century. It was a lollipop from Jonathan Trott and Steve Smith took it on. Jim Maxwell, sat next to me, enjoyed that one. He got to his feet and raised his arms in the air."

  149. 1621: 
    SMITH 100- Australia 385-5 (Smith 101*, Haddin 30*)

    Smith, on 94, goes for a big heave-ho against Trott... and that's his hundred! He brought it up in classic style, smashing a six over long-on, and he removes his helmet in celebration as the century is warmly applauded around The Oval. Smith then nurdles a single to short fine leg...


    Dan Clifford, TMS inbox: Would Chris Woakes or Simon Kerrigan even been considered if they were at an unfashionable county such as Gloucestershire? I believe not and probably rightly so in this case.

  151. 1618: 
    Australia 378-5 (Smith 94*, Haddin 30*)

    Haddin guides Anderson through mid-wicket for three, Anderson's response is to bang in a bouncer to Smith - now, his bouncers aren't as easy to hit as Woakes's, but Smith manages to pull it for a single, putting him one shot away from the magic three figures. (As if to goad him into playing a false shot, the TV director shows the daft shot he played to hole out on 89 at Old Trafford). But Haddin has arguably been the dominant partner of this stand, whacking another four through the covers.


    BBC Weather's Nick Miller: "Shower clouds still approach The Oval from the west. So far play has continued through what rain they have produced but I can't rule out a heavier one during the remainder of play. That said, the gaps between the shower clouds will get brighter helping it to feel warmer."

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Steve Smith has done the hard work and now his reward is Jonathan Trott trundling in. He's played nicely."

  154. 1613: 
    Australia 370-5 (Smith 93*, Haddin 23*)

    It's still Warwickshire right-arm seam from the Vauxhall End - but the medium-fast Chris Woakes (0-71 from 21) is replaced by the distinctly medium-paced part-timer Jonathan Trott. Prior summons his helmet so he can stand up to the stumps, while there's a slip and a short extra cover in catching positions. Haddin pokes a single to bring up the fifty partnership. I wouldn't like to see Woakes's face if Trott gets a wicket here... but Smith sees off the over.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "For the first time today, the clouds over The Oval have parted and the sun is doing its best to have a little peek at Steve Smith action. The various bars and eateries around the ground have been doing a roaring trade during the lengthy rain delay and judging by the number of empty seats, one or two people still haven't returned from their sorties to nearby pubs. Meanwhile, up in the posh seats, the fifth meal of the day has just been served."


    Jay: Is it just me who's getting the impression that England are taking this match too lightly? Not the sign of ruthless champions. The intensity from England seems really low. The series may have been won but they don't want to give the Aussies any confidence.

  157. 1608: 
    Australia 369-5 (Smith 93*, Haddin 22*)

    Haddin plays and misses at Anderson, before pushing a quick single into the covers, the throw is high and wide when a direct hit may have left the Aussie gloveman struggling to make his ground at the bowler's end. Smith opens the face to guide a four through backward point - he's up to 93 which is his highest Test score. Seven away from a century which - considering the way many of his team-mates are batting - could probably cement his Test place for years.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "When you see Chris Woakes dropping short like that, you really do see his limitations. Steve Smith hammered that to the boundary and Stuart Broad didn't need to run after it because the steward on the boundary fielded it for him. The steward is sat facing the crowd in case anybody takes their clothes off or something like that."

  159. 1604: 
    Australia 364-5 (Smith 89*, Haddin 21*)
    Steve Smith

    Haddin knocks Woakes off his legs for a single, then Woakes serves up a short delivery which - at his pace - is easy pickings for Smith to pull through mid-wicket for four, I'm afraid.


    Robert Jones: What an awful review. England's reviewing has gone to pot of late.

    Richard Powell: Prior is like the little boy who keeps crying wolf! Ridiculous waste of a review.


    Andy, Block 6, via text on 81111: There's a bloke next to me with a homemade placard saying 'pointless DRS review'. He called that before the Anderson replay was shown on the screen.

  162. 1600: 
    Australia 359-5 (Smith 85*, Haddin 20*)

    Anderson keeps it tight at the Pavilion End, one or two fans are sheltering under their coats, I just hope the rain stays away. Just a Haddin single from the over.


    Luke in London via text on 81111: Just cannot understand England's selection. They should be making a statement to Australia about the upcoming series. Tremlett worries them and should be playing. As if to say this is what is coming your way in the next few months.

    Al, via text on 81111: Can you ask Surrey why they have killed their wicket? No pace or bounce, which makes dynamic cricket.

  164. 1555: 
    Australia 358-5 (Smith 85*, Haddin 19*)

    Smith takes a fresh guard against Woakes, playing out a maiden over. Smith is 15 short of his maiden Test century... while Woakes is still hunting that first wicket. He has 0-66 from 20 overs, with seven maidens.


    Cabbage Man: Who knew Boycott could defy science and mathematics with his knowledge and pure refusal of the speed gun [1515].

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

    "Jonathan Agnew has just pulled out footage of him dismissing Viv Richards in 1984. Who'd have imagined Aggers could get the great man out with his 75mph swingers? In fact, looking at it, I think he did him for pace. Amazing. Although I think in this era, Viv might have reviewed it."

  167. 1551: 
    Australia 358-5 (Smith 85*, Haddin 19*)

    That review cost us three or four minutes of our lives which we'll never get back... anyway, Haddin celebrates by glancing a four down the leg side.


    And it was an unwise review - the ball hits the back of Haddin's left thigh, clearly missing the bat by a couple of inches. Forget unwise, make that a ludicrous review. But the game is delayed while the ball-tracker has to check for the lbw. Not only is the ball missing the stumps, the impact was outside leg stump, which should tell you where that ball was going...

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

    "It's a strange review by England. In fact, what are they reviewing? Lbw or caught behind?"


    Jonathan Trott (for it is he) lays down some sawdust on the bowling crease as Smith keeps plugging away with another single against Anderson. Haddin has an almighty one-day slog, hitting the ball straight into the ground, then there's a hint of a strangle down the leg side - Anderson doesn't look too convinced, but Cook signals for a review...

    'SIT DOWN'
    Kevin Pietersen

    BBC Sport's Tim Peach: From a friend in the stands at the Oval: "Kevin Pietersen has just told some fans to 'sit down and shut up'"

  172. 1544: 
    Australia 353-5 (Smith 84*, Haddin 15*)

    Woakes resumes proceedings, with two slips and a gully in. Haddin straight-drives but Broad moves round well from mid-on to make a sliding stop. There's not much - if any - lateral movement from Woakes, but Haddin can't get him away and that's a maiden over.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Woakes looks like a bowler who will give you half a dozen decent overs in the dead bit of an ODI. Which I guess he will do again."

  174. 1539: 

    If you're wondering why they've been taking a drinks break and not tea, the delayed start means tea won't happen until 1640 BST, with the final session running from 1700-1900 (and up to 1930 if the overs haven't been bowled).

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It looks as though Australia are picking on character, which teams sometimes do after they've had a period without success - Smith's technique is not polished, but he's got some runs at crucial times."

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

    "Steve Smith has got to get a hundred now. He's had a couple of nineties - he played a stupid shot to get out on 89 at Old Trafford. That was a muppet shot."


    Olly Bretton, TMS inbox: Is this a training match? Why is Jimmy taken off so early in each spell when he looks by far the most dangerous bowler? These conditions are made for him. I can only think that both batsmen gave a sigh of release when Woakes was brought on after only four overs. We need to skittle them and we've taken our best bowler off. Confused.

    He was taken off so he could come back on at Broad's end...

  178. 1536: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Australia 353-5 (Smith 84*, Haddin 15*)

    Anderson has switched to the Pavilion End to replace Broad. Smith and Haddin nudge a couple of singles to leg, this stand is already worth 33. And after Haddin's towel-and-eye-drops break last over, it's time for an official drinks break.


    Nick in North Manchester, TMS inbox: I think Geoffrey is being a bit harsh on both Woakes and Kerrigan. A batsman has a nervous debut, he scratches around for 20-30 balls, then out for single figures and nobody says too much. There's no hiding place for a bowler, he's expected to bowl a second, third or fourth spell, but if a batsman like Watson really goes after them, it's hard to recover. It really is easier for batsmen.

  180. 1532: 
    Australia 351-5 (Smith 83*, Haddin 14*)

    Woakes is still striving manfully for that first Test wicket, beating Haddin's back-foot defensive stroke again, and the Warwickshire youngster raises his eyes to the heavens as he follows up that fuller delivery with a half-volley which Haddin smacks past the non-striker for four. Then KP comes over to speak to umpire Aleem Dar - has he spotted a damp area in the outfield?

    Haddin swipes another four over backward point, and at the end of the over, 12th man Phil Hughes (one of the few non-playing Aussie squad members not to have gone home injured) dashes on with a blue towel for Haddin to wipe himself down. Jackson Bird (who we were told earlier is going home) runs on with some eye drops for Haddin.

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

    "Steve Smith looks like a club player at times, he isn't aesthetically pleasing. What I will say... when it is moving about he plays the ball late and he digs in and fights. I'd use his leg-spin more too."

  182. 1525: 
    Australia 339-5 (Smith 83*, Haddin 6*)

    Haddin fends one off down the leg side, Prior scampers to retrieve the ball and the batsmen trot through for a leg bye. Smith square-drives Broad for four, will today finally be the day he makes that maiden Test century? He helps another four leg byes down to fine leg when Broad's line strays.

    Meanwhile, you may have heard Aggers mention on TMS that tomorrow at The Oval, it's "Cricket United" day - with fans urged to wear something blue in support of three cricketing charities which will be featured - a bit like the "pink day" at the SCG each January, in aid of Glenn McGrath's cancer charity. Even the players will wear a special logo on their shirt collars, I believe.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Can Chris Woakes bowl quicker? I'm not sure, but perhaps he can learn how to move the ball about a bit - but that might be harder."

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

    "I think that knee injury is still bothering Kevin Pietersen. He's not moving too freely in the field when the ball comes to him."

    Jonathan Agnew adds: "I wonder how much of the one-day series he'll play in."

  185. 1520: 
    Australia 334-5 (Smith 79*, Haddin 6*)

    As Australia begin the 101st over of their innings, they're still on for the time being, in fact the sun's come out as Smith drives at Woakes, it just beats the dive of Kevin Pietersen at mid-off and it's away for four. Smith sways away from a bouncer, which is signalled as a wide.


    Alun Jones: Haddin is looking in about as much form as Matt Prior. Come on Jimmy, let's skittle these boys now!

    LJ Davies: Big boss not in, boss off sick, means I can finally listen to TMS at work without having to hide headphone wire in my sleeve.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Who's the wally with the brolly?" comes the shout from the back of the press box. No, former England coach Steve McClaren hasn't been spotted at the cricket, but somebody in the OCS Stand has just taken the plunge with their umbrella and it has started a bit of a domino effect in the adjacent rows."

  188. 1515: 
    Australia 329-5 (Smith 75*, Haddin 6*)

    It's still Broad from the Pavilion End, Haddin rotates the strike with a leg bye while Ian Bell, England's designated "shiner", is feverishly shining the ball on his flannels between deliveries. Smith is beaten by a beaut of a delivery as he plays defensively, and even the batsman gives an approving nod. Smith moves to 75 with a single, and the bad news is that there may be rain in the air...

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

    "Chris Woakes is a typical English seamer. If the ball is seaming about, he is in the game. If the pitch is flat - as most Test pitches are - you have to bend your back. He might measure 88mph on the speed gun, but I don't believe that. How fast were Malcolm Marshall, Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee if Chris Woakes is bowling at that speed? Jimmy Anderson is one of the best fast bowlers in the world, along with Dale Steyn, but I'd only class him as fast-medium."

  190. 1511: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Australia 327-5 (Smith 74*, Haddin 6*)

    Anderson is off after only four overs and England turn to their third seamer, the medium-fast debutant Chris Woakes. Haddin is hit on the pad, and England appeal... but it clearly looked like it was going down the leg side, and there's not even any discussion about using up one of their reviews. Haddin guides a single to fine leg, not a bad first over from Woakes, he won't often have overcast weather conditions assisting him like they are at the moment.

    A Question of Sport Teaser

    Today's Ashes #QSTeaser was... Who are the 10 players to make their Test debut for England since 2000 that have the letter K in their surname?

    The answers: Ian Blackwell, Rikki Clarke, Alastair Cook, Simon Kerrigan, Robert Key, Amjad Khan, James Kirtley, Liam Plunkett, Marcus Trescothick and Chris Woakes.

  192. 1506: 
    Australia 326-5 (Smith 74*, Haddin 5*)

    Still three slips in for Broad, who fires in a bouncer, Smith takes evasive action and Prior can only get a hand to it as the batsmen run a bye. It wasn't too far away from plunking Smith on the helmet - Watson was hit on the head by Broad yesterday, but admitted it helped him get through the 90s. Haddin adds a single off the last ball of the over.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "It's tough when you have been sat in the dressing room all day wondering when you will get out there. After the sunshine yesterday, it's dark at The Oval, there's been plenty of rain and the ball is seaming all over the place."

  194. 1501: 
    Australia 324-5 (Smith 74*, Haddin 4*)

    Haddin is off the mark, steering Anderson through mid-wicket for four, but then it's a moral victory for the "Burnley Express" when he finds Haddin's edge and the ball bounces just short of Captain Cook at first slip. Haddin looks relieved to see off the rest of the over.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Australia will be thankful they don't have to face Chris Tremlett in these conditions."


    Jack Organ: Steve Smith was in Hyde Park on Sunday relaxing in the sun while I was being gently let go by a girl I had started seeing.

  197. 1457: 
    Australia 320-5 (Smith 74*, Haddin 0*)

    Broad, from the Pavilion End, is also finding a bit of movement and Smith is lucky to survive as he plays a back-foot defensive prod and the ball nearly trickles onto the stumps. A maiden over means Broad has figures of 22-3-79-1.


    Jimmy Anderson has now dismissed Peter Siddle 10 times, making 'Vicious' his most frequent victim.

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "The heavy grey clouds may have wrecked the morning session, but they have created near perfect conditions for England's swing bowlers. It is warm and sticky around the Oval, and with sufficient shine still on the new ball Anderson and Broad can attack with brio."

  200. 1453: 
    Australia 320-5 (Smith 74*, Haddin 0*)

    Brad Haddin, chewing gum as usual, is the new batsman, in his familiar position of number seven (having been listed at six but protected by the night-watchman), and he sees off the over.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "What an outstanding ball, it pitched on middle and swung away to take off stump. James Anderson probably wished he had saved it for Steve Smith rather than the night-watchman. It was great swing bowling and it's a tough situation for Australia now the ball is swinging around."

  202. 1451: 
    WICKET- Siddle b Anderson 23 (Aus 320-5)
    Peter Siddle

    Siddle goes, bowled by Anderson as he tries to force the paceman through the leg side. That ball pitched on middle stump and swung to hit the top of off stump, almost a perfect example of outswing bowling.

    Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Warner 6), 2-118 (Rogers 23), 3-144 (Clarke 7), 4-289 (Watson 176), 5-320 (Siddle 23)

    Bowler's figures: Anderson 20.4-4-59-3

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special


    Mike Collins, TMS inbox: Re: 1433... The toss solution seems simple. The teams toss only once at the beginning of the series. The team winning the toss has choice of whether to bat or bowl in the first match, then the team losing has choice in the second match and so on. At least that way the most advantage any team is ever going to get is choice in one extra match.

  204. 1449: 
    Australia 319-4 (Smith 73*, Siddle 23*)

    Siddle waits before piercing the off-side field, it looks like they're going to run two but Smith calls him for a third so the batsmen have changed ends for the first time today. Smith, facing Broad for the first time this afternoon, manages a single off the last ball.


    Sam Evans: At least this rain is making my day five ticket look even more promising.

    Sufjan Stacey: Surely Smith can't pass up the opportunity of a maiden Test ton twice?

    Tom Coldman: A Broad super-spell would go down well here.

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Steve Smith has looked good, he's started where he left off last night. It's a big innings, he needs to know he has earned his place in the team for the first Test down under. He's scored some runs this summer, but he's not totally sure of his place yet."

  207. 1443: 
    Australia 315-4 (Smith 72*, Siddle 20*)

    Smith doesn't look entirely secure against Anderson, who gives him a bit of a working-over, but that's a maiden over.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Peter Siddle is a marvellous cricketer, I'd always have him in my side. He gives you 100% - that should be a given, but you sense you don't always get that from some players."

  209. 1438: 
    Australia 315-4 (Smith 72*, Siddle 20*)

    Stuart Broad spreads a large bundle of sawdust on the bowling crease before walking back to his mark. His first target is night-watchman Peter Siddle, who smashed 18 from 15 balls last night but will now be hoping to be an awkward object for England to dislodge. Broad finds a bit of bounce that has Siddle groping at thin air, while Prior then denies England a run with a smart stop down the leg side. Siddle adds a two to his score, he has 20.

    And some news from the Aussie camp - fast bowler Jackson Bird will return home later today for further assessment and treatment on a lower back injury. Though as (a) he's not playing in this match, the last of the Test leg of the tour and (b) he's not in the one-day squad, it's not of enormous consequence.


    Paul Casey, TMS inbox: Does anyone else think that the toss has far too much say in the result of a match. I can't think of another sport where it has such a huge outcome on the final result. Would Murray have won Wimbledon if he had to serve first?

  211. 1433: 
    Australia 313-4 (Smith 72*, Siddle 18*)

    Steve Smith runs Anderson down for a two between the slips and gully to get Australia under way, before glancing a four through the same region. Meanwhile, Brad Haddin, next man in, is padded up on the balcony, sitting next to the bespectacled Chris Rogers who is wearing a rather dirty pair of white socks.


    BBC Weather's Nick Miller: "Whilst this drier spell should allow the teams to take to the pitch, we are not out of the woods yet because the rainfall radar shows some more showers approaching London from the west. We may currently be in what we in the weather world call a 'sucker's gap'."

  213. 1429: 

    This session will be two hours 10 minutes long - tea will be between 1640 and 1700, with the evening session between 1700 and 1900 (with an extra half-hour to bowl the 63 overs we have left. James Anderson to begin proceedings with the new(ish) ball, which is only eight overs old.

  214. 1427: 

    It may be play starting at 1430 rather than 1100, but that doesn't stop England's resident "Jerusalem" singer, whose voice booms around The Oval as the crowd applaud the entry of the umpires and players onto the gladiatorial arena.

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

    "The change in Ian Bell was in 2010 in South Africa. His innings at Cape Town helped England get a draw and he got a century in Durban. He's scored three centuries in this series and has not been named man of the match once, yet he'll be the man of the series. He has the best technique in the England team and his innings at Trent Bridge this summer was a defining one. England were losing that match when he walked to the crease."

  216. 1424: 

    England are lurking at the bottom of the staircase to the dressing-rooms, they're ready for play to resume.

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

    "If England do win this match, after losing the toss, it will really flatten Australia. They will be wondering how they can beat this England side. The next four days are important."

  218. 1422: 

    England Lions have finished pummelling Bangladesh A - James Taylor hit the last two balls of the innings for six to finish on 106 not out as the Lions made 367-3 from their 50 overs. Of the other batsmen, Michael Carberry made 146, Jos Buttler a breezy 47 from 23 balls, and Ben Stokes 23 not out from nine balls. Opener James Vince (28) may feel he's missed out. Bangladesh nearly had a centurion of their own - left-arm spinner Elias Sunny just missed out on three figures, taking 0-95 off nine overs.


    Darren Warburton, TMS inbox: The Aussies must think that we can manipulate the rainclouds - on both occasions when they are whacking us, the Good Lord of Cricket in the sky sends in the cumulonimbus!

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "4-0 is 4-0 - you can't spin that, but if Australia only lose 3-1, they can go back and think 'well, we only lost narrowly at Trent Bridge and the rain stopped us at Old Trafford."

  221. 1418: 

    If you're just joining us, we're preparing for a belated start of play at 1430 BST, though we're not sure how many overs will be remaining. If you've been with us since the scheduled start at 1100... well done to you. If you've been with us since 0900, then you really are "hardcore".

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "I'd like to report roars of delight from the stands as the covers were removed, but since the majority of spectators have deserted the stands for adjacent bars and boozers, it was more of a smattering of applause. Which is just as well, seeing that the covers came back on almost immediately."

  223. 1415: 

    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.


    Harry Sharp: I still don't quite understand why it takes so long to get back out after rain. If it's fine now, get out there as soon as.

    K: Bring The Ashes back to Durham, lovely up here!

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The selection also went against the grain with the way the team has been over the last few years, as they've always played three seamers and one spinner. I don't think they'd have made the change if the series was 1-1 going into this game, I'm sure Tremlett would have played."

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

    "I think the omission of Tremlett for this Test shocked everyone because I can't see what in this pitch made them pick two spinners, because the pitch looks hard and dry, just like the other pitches in this series."


    Rich Law: ‏Re: Jez Denton (1354), it's amazing to think three of the top six in that list are playing in the current Test team.

  228. 1407: 

    Now we've got a start time, if you're off out for the afternoon, 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 the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It does mean that the close of play will be 1900 - which can be extended to 1930 if they've not bowled the overs. But if they're not on the field at 1900 and one second, they can't come back on after then. The lights are on, and we're getting ready for some cricket."

  230. 1404: 

    Play will start at 1430 BST if there is no more rain.


    Jonny Hill: Almost sunny in Dulwich. Can we delay the start a bit though? I've just bought a pint.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The sheets were taken off, the covers came off, the umpires came out... but now the wheeled covers are coming back on and the umpires are walking back, though I don't think it's raining heavily as I can't see many umbrellas up around the ground. Perhaps it's only precautionary - it looks like the umpires are delivering a message to the dressing-rooms. Hopefully it's a start time."

  233. 1400: 

    Uh-oh.. umpires (first, second and fourth) are out in the middle to inspect, but the covers are going back on...

    The Oval

    Kevin in Oxford, TMS inbox: A team (based on form this series) that will strike fear into the heart of no-one... Root, Warner, Cowan, Khawaja, Hughes, Bairstow (wk), Woakes, Faulkner, Starc, Finn, Kerrigan.

    Craig Kieswetter

    James Carson: I don't get why Kieswetter doesn't get another shot in the T20 squad, He has scored more runs and better average than Carberry?

    Jeff Dummett: How is Kieswetter not in the ODI/T20 squad? Top runscorer in T20 without getting to finals day!

    Kieswetter has played 46 ODIs and 25 T20s - he can hardly say he's not had a fair chance? Whereas Carberry got one Test and was never picked again?


    Jez Denton in Banbury, TMS inbox: Ian Bell has scored 20 tons in 158 innings, a conversion rate of 12.7% which puts him sixth on my list of England batting greats.

    1. Sutcliffe 16 from 84 innings 19.0%; 2. Hobbs 15/102 14.7%; 3. Cook 25/171 14.6%; 4. Pietersen 23/169 13.6%; 5. D Compton 17/131 13.0%; 6. Bell 20/158 12.7%; 7. Vaughan 18/147 12.3%; 8. Strauss 21/178 11.8%; 9. Cowdrey 22/188 11.7%; 10. Boycott 22/193 11.4%; 11. Gooch 20/215 9.3%; 12. Gower 18/204 8.8%.

  237. 1354: 

    Inspection coming up. The drainage is pretty good at most Test grounds these days, so I'm guessing here, but we might be told of a potential start time, with the large caveat "if there is no more rain"...


    Marc Sepetowski: Having read 'Penguins Stopped Play' I think they should hold an Ashes Test match in Antarctica. Nothing stops play there!

    What would Geoffrey Boycott make of the uncovered penguins though?

  239. 1345: 

    Hooray! So news of an inspection in about 10 minutes' time. Cross your fingers, ladies and gentlemen.


    BBC Sport's Patrick Gearey at The Oval: Rain stopping, looks a little brighter around the Oval. Covers being peeled off and inspection at 1.55. Time to get the mops out.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "It has stopped raining at The Oval, although curiously the umpires are under brollies as they come out to take a look. The verdict appears to be positive though as they are starting to peel back the outer covers. Up here in the press box, the debate has turned to how far you would slide if you were to dive head first onto the slick, wet covers..."

  242. 1342: 

    Looks like Nick (below) and I have just jinxed Michael Carberry - he's out for 146 from 133 balls in the England Lions v Bangladesh game. James Taylor is still there on 72 not out, he's been joined by Jos Buttler, and the Lions are 258-2 in the 42nd over.

  243. 1340: 
    Stuart Broad and Matt Prior on the balcony

    The players look as frustrated as the fans as the rain continues to fall...


    Nick Harding: Carberry must play in the ODI's & Twenty20s! He's by far the most feared one-day batsman at the moment!

    He's still going, he's now 145 not out with 10 overs left...

  245. 1334: 

    On Test Match Special now, there's another chance to listen to Aggers' "View from the Boundary" interview with Aussie comedian Adam Hills from the Chester-le-Street Test.

    And if you didn't hear the chat with Simon Kerrigan's former club coach Lance Hall on TMS earlier, you can read on the BBC Sport website about how he feels Kerrigan's self-belief will allow him to bounce back from a disappointing first day to his Test career.


    Tim in Marlow, TMS inbox: Re: Lancs CCC brollies (see 1111). Having read the comment I thought that a Lancashire brolly would look very good in my umbrella stand at home, alongside two wooden tennis racquets from the 1960s and a Mike Gatting-endorsed cricket bat. So I went to the Lancs website, and guess what? They don't sell umbrellas. Gutted is not the word. Well, it is for Mike Gatting.

  247. 1329: 

    Jonny Bairstow isn't the only England player making an impact in the County Championship today. Chris Tremlett has taken the first two Durham wickets to fall at Chester-le-Street, and has bowling figures of 8-2-9-2 - those of us who remember his father Tim bowling for Hampshire will not be surprised to see the Tremlett name next to such economical figures. Durham are 82-2.


    BBC Proms director Roger Wright on TMS: "Our son goes to Bedford School and has the same singing teacher that Alastair Cook had there."

  249. 1327: 

    Kevin Howells is rounding up the county scores on TMS - at Trent Bridge, Jonny Bairstow was last out for Yorkshire, making 62 as they were bowled out for 407. In reply, Notts have already lost England T20 batsmen Alex Hales and Michael Lumb, who have just fallen to ex-England (and ex-Notts) left-arm swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom, both for ducks.

    The Point

    BBC Proms director Roger Wright on TMS: "It was quite a shock when The Point [the large red conference centre] first went up at Old Trafford, but the ground had been in quite a state and it's great to have Test cricket back there."


    Matthew Vernon: What's that? Rain delays in London? Funny that, bright and sunny up north. Seems Old Trafford isn't alone this summer after all.


    BBC Proms director Roger Wright on TMS: "I remember watching Lancashire in that Gillette Cup semi-final against Gloucestershire in 1971 which ended at nearly 9pm. It was dark, you could see the train station and the lights from the pavilion. But in those days you could see all the international players like Clive Lloyd, and that's obviously gone from the county circuit in terms of international players. I saw Lloyd nearly hit the ball into the sea at Scarborough once."

  253. 1316: 

    If you're just joining us while you grab a bit of lunch, I'm afraid we've not had any play so far today - it started raining not long before the start of day two, and while not heavy, the rain has been persistent enough to keep the covers on for the last two-and-a-half hours. Lunch was taken early at 1230 BST, so they're through that, and as more than an hour has already been lost, we're losing overs all the time, though time can be made up tomorrow.


    OptaJim: Of the seven batsmen to be dismissed lbw more than once in this Ashes series, six play for Australia. Tactic.

  255. 1316: 

    We usually talk about players trying to impress the selectors with a knock like that for the Lions - but the way the England team is run these days, if you're in the Lions side, you're effectively only one step away from the team already. Messrs Woakes and Kerrigan are the latest players to have come up through the conveyer belt of Lions and Performance Programme squads.

  256. 1314: 
    Michael Carberry

    Down at Taunton, Michael Carberry has reached his century for England Lions against Bangladesh A, getting to three figures from 109 balls. At the other end, little James Taylor is also filling his boots, he's unbeaten on 41 with the Lions 179-1 in the 35th over.


    Jason Williams: Composite XI: Cook, Rogers, Bell, KP, Haddin, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson.

    Alexander Hardy: Composite Ashes XI would have to be; Cook, Rogers, Watson, KP, Clarke, Bell, Haddin, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson.

    Tom Holmes: Looking at runs/wickets, the team has to be: Rogers, Root, Watson, KP, Clarke, Bell, Haddin, Broad, Anderson, Swann, Harris.

  258. 1309: 

    Thanks, Higgy. (He will indeed be back, though he's about as unlike the Terminator of any of my colleagues). We're vaguely optimistic of play based on Nick Miller's last weather update - but we do need the rain to stop so the mopping-up operation can begin.

    The voice you can hear now on TMS is Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms, who's speaking to Aggers about attracting a younger audience to classical music.

  259. 1307: 

    Right then, it's time for me to sign off for a while. Hopefully there's brighter skies ahead as I pass the live text baton to Mark Mitchener. I'll be back later.


    BBC Weather's Nick Miller on TMS: "There was always the possibility that the overnight rain would cling on - unfortunately, that's what has happened. Looking at the radar, there's been a narrow stream of rain running across The Oval, but it's dry north and south of it. The persistent rain has eased a bit, there may be some gaps in it and some drier spells, I can't rule out more light rain or even a few more showers in the afternoon. Tomorrow is still looking like a full day's play, but rain is forecast for Friday evening and the Met Office has issued a yellow warning for Saturday so it could be quite heavy. Sunday is looking drier though there may be showers in the vicinity."

  261. 1303: 

    Just like Jonny Bairstow for Yorkshire [1259], Chris Tremlett is enjoying some success in county cricket after missing out on selection for this final Test at The Oval. The big man has taken two wickets for just seven runs from as many overs against Durham.


    PtheP: Just a couple of stops from The Oval and the sky's a distinctly lighter shade of grey.

  263. 1259: 

    Jonny Bairstow scored 62 from 70 balls for Yorkshire on his return to the County Championship, boosting the White Rose's first innings total against Nottinghamshire to 407 all out. In reply, Ryan Sidebottom has dismissed England T20 duo Alex Hales and Michael Lumb for ducks to leave Notts wobbling on 20-2.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "The rain is still falling here at The Oval but there are brighter skies in the distance, suggesting a dry spell may be on the way. Meanwhile, the super soakers are busy sponging up the outfield and spurting out copious amounts of water just the other side of the boundary. No inspection until the rain stops - time to get out the board games."


    David Hatchley: I'd love to know Michael Vaughan's reason for picking Trott at 3 in his Composite XI [1142]? More ducks than fifties!

    Edward Poole: Cook (based on this series alone) isn't in there on merit, but more the least bad of the openers... Clarke as captain.

    LJ Davies: My best 11: Root, Rogers, Trott, Bell, Clarke (c), Haddin (wk), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson. I like five bowlers.

  266. 1254: 

    England Lions opener Michael Carberry continues to dominate the Bangladesh A bowlers at Taunton, moving to 84 not out as the hosts reach 155-1 after 31 overs in the second one-day match. James Taylor is also in fine form, hitting an unbeaten 35.


    James Attenborough: It always makes me wonder why countries across the world with better climates than ours don't play cricket?

    James Addis: No rain here in sunny Southampton. About time we had an Ashes Test!

    Mike Bell: Warm and sunny today in Manchester. Heaven knows why we try to play these big matches in the wet and chilly south...

  268. 1249: 

    Lord King, former governor of the Bank of England, speaking on Test Match Special: "I'm involved with Chance to Shine and we've achieved our target of getting two million children playing the game, and one million of those are girls. We've achieved that with two years to spare."

  269. 1243: 

    Lord King, former governor of the Bank of England, speaking on Test Match Special: "A slow bowler has the benefit of being the only type of bowler who can beat a batsman in flight. Even if it isn't spinning, you can still take wickets. You should always toss it up, knowing that it only takes the batsman to miss it once to take a wicket."

  270. 1241: 

    Lord King, former governor of the Bank of England, speaking on Test Match Special: "I was a left-arm spinner by trade. I once took 7-49 in 1965 and a five-for in 2003 - the longest gap between two five-wicket hauls in history I reckon."

  271. 1239:  
    A Question of Sport TeaserQUESTION OF SPORT

    Today's Ashes #QSTeaser: Who are the ten players to make their Test debut for England since 2000 that have the letter K in their surname?

    We'll publish the answers later. No cheating!

  272. 1236: 

    While the players take an early lunch, why not check out an excellent feature which remembers one of England's first ever sporting heroes, Cuthbert Ottaway. He was England's first football captain and once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace.

    Ottaway - who was also a barrister and died at the age of only 28 after "catching a chill on a night out dancing" - had quite a sporting CV. Find out more about him on the BBC cricket pages.


    John Traynor: If Flower & Cook have ruined Kerrigan then the Lancs members should march on Lord's brandishing the umbrellas of indignation.


    Paul Heaton, TMS inbox: I have just been looking at the comments regarding future players in the system and as a coach at a local village club I believe the best junior players in the clubs aren't the ones which always go on to represent the counties because a lot is down to cost. From my own experience if you can pay to go on the coaching courses then this is the only way to get a chance to represent your county.

    I believe that every club should be able to nominate a batsman and bowler from each age group for a trial (this is then on ability) to be accessed by ECB coaches at a one-off session free of charge. The best players are then selected to go onto further sessions at a cost. This would then a least give the chance for the better players only to progress to the next level.

    Mark Butcher, Ex-England batsman on BBC Radio 5 live

    "If you ask any of the players involved in county cricket, while they enjoy Twenty20 cricket, they realise their bread and butter is the four-day game. Those who deride county cricket don't realise how important it is to the England team. However, England success is not everything for country cricket, it should be trying to work hard to get the general public involved more too."

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I remember playing against Surrey at The Oval once and I got Ian Ward out down the leg side, Mark Butcher edged me to slip and then Graham Thorpe fell over a yorker. I got the cream of Surrey cricket out in the space of a few balls."

  277. 1225: 

    Lance Hall, Simon Kerrigan's former coach in club cricket, speaking to Test Match Special: "He's always had self-confidence, he will back himself to the hilt and people at Lancashire will tell you how if things aren't going well at one end, he'll say "Get me on at the other end".

    "The England guys can help him, but once he steps into the spotlight, he's on his own. His close friend, who was our first team captain, spoke to him last night and he said apparently it just wasn't coming out right.

    "Everybody has bad days in their career - it's just unfortunate that his bad day has come at the beginning of his [England] career. He has such self-belief that I know he will come back from it. He just has to get back on the horse."

  278. 1223: 
    Simon Kerrigan

    Lance Hall, Simon Kerrigan's former coach in club cricket, speaking to Test Match Special: "He didn't start as a spinner. It came out of his frustration with the ECB bowling directives that he could only bowl four overs at a time and then couldn't bowl for an hour and a half - he wanted to be involved. He used to bowl spin in the nets just to have a break, but decided the best way forward to him was to bowl spin so he could bowl as many overs as possible."

  279. 1221: 

    Lance Hall, Simon Kerrigan's former coach in club cricket, speaking to Test Match Special: "The main comment that's been coming from his friends is that it's not the debut he'd have dreamed of when he went to bed. Besides the birth of my son, it [the debut] is probably the proudest moment of my life.

    "He's not a nervous individual, never has been - I met him when he was 12 and he was always in your face, to the point of being a pain in the backside. He was very forthright in his views."


    Benjamin Watts: Statistically the best composite Ashes XI: Cook, Rogers, Watson, Bell, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson.

    James Tooze: Why pick Cook in the composite XI? Below average with the bat and uninspired captaincy.

    Alexander Hardy: Scott Borthwick has real potential in terms of who might succeed Swanny in a few years' time. Good with the bat too.

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

    "The state school system is a bit of a concern to me - although Chance to Shine are doing a wonderful job and have got two million kids from state schools playing cricket, if you look at the make-up of the England team now, the majority have been privately educated."

  282. 1213: 

    The Test Match Special debate has turned to the future of cricket. Michael Vaughan is worried that not enough children are being exposed to the game and former India batsman Rahul Dravid was particularly eloquent on the subject when he spoke at the ESPNcricinfo for Cricket event in London earlier this week.

    "Test cricket, an older, larger entity is the trunk of a tree and the shorter game - be it T20 or ODIs - is its branches, its offshoots," Dravid said. "Now to be fair, it is the branches that carry the fruit, earn the benefits of the larger garden in which they stand and so catch the eye. The trunk, though, is the old, massive, larger thing which took a very long time to reach height and bulk. But it is actually a life source: chip away at the trunk or cut it down and the branches will fall off, the fruit will dry up."

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

    "I think England will always produce decent batsmen and seam bowlers, it's just whether they're going to be able to replace Graeme Swann in a couple of years - that's a concern."

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "It looks to me on this tour as if Rod Marsh and Darren Lehmann are picking the Australia team, while [chief selector] John Inverarity is just floating around the side."

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

    "I don't believe in selectors, I think we're still in the dark ages having selection panels - Andy Flower's the boss, he should have a scouting network which can look at players but reports back to him, rather than him being told who's been picked. In a world of modern technology, you can see every ball that's bowled, every shot that's played."

  286. 1206: 
    The Oval

    The floodlights are on at The Oval, it looks like the middle of November. Not the height of summer.


    Steve Lockett: Ian Bell could be England's greatest ever. He has 20 centuries to his name and only 93 Tests.

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

    "If you're going to give guys debuts, you've got to tell them the day before so they can adjust to it, unless someone falls over and there's an injury on the morning of the match. If [as has been reported] Kerrigan was told at 9.30am on the morning of the match he was playing, that's not long enough. I also wonder if there's a question-mark over Jonny Bairstow now, as he's been dropped by England three times in quite a short space of time."

    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "Classic English drizzle at the Oval - the sort of stuff almost invisible to the casual eye, barely thick enough in the air to wet the skin, but enough to spoil our sporting fun. News of the early lunch of little importance to the many punters who, somewhat bored, have already broken into their packed lunches."


    Rob Ward: Here is my Composite XI... Root, Rogers, Watson, KP, Bell, Clarke, (all have tons) Haddin, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson. 6/5 split, surprising at 3-0!

  291. 1159: 

    Some news coming out of Pakistan is that the country's cricket board have sought the advice of a neurologist to examine batsman Umar Akmal, who spent a night in hospital after a seizure on a flight to Jamaica last Wednesday. Akmal, who was playing in the Caribbean Premier League at the time, was asked by the PCB to return to Pakistan and was subsequently ruled out of the limited-overs leg of the Zimbabwe tour.

  292. 1155: 

    The rain continues to fall and an early lunch will be taken at 1230. I'm not sure what the players will think about that. I've just been given some stick from my colleagues for cracking open the rainy day cookies before midday.


    Nick Goldsmith, Manchester, via text on 81111: I have to disagree with Michael Vaughan's composite Ashes XI (1142) I think you are too heavy on England players, bearing in mind how close the series has been except for Lord's. My team would be: Cook, Rogers, Watson, Pietersen, Clarke, Bell, Haddin, Broad, Swann, Harris, Anderson.

  294. 1152: 

    BBC Weather's Nick Miller: "Improvement will only be slow I'm afraid. Further rain at times up to lunch. Gradually better this afternoon but showers will still threaten. Still expecting a full day tomorrow - dry and hot."

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "The man who would have slept best last night would have been Monty Panesar. He must think he has a chance of going to Australia now [after Simon Kerrigan's struggles]."

    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "For me, England need to get Tremlett involved, hitting the deck hard as Michael Clarke was struggling to play the short ball yesterday. Presumably he's going to Australia - but is Woakes or Kerrigan going to Australia? It would be interesting to see what side they would have picked if they needed to win this Test to win the series."

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

    "England were brilliant at Lord's and Australia didn't produce a performance, but the other three games have all been close. When you lose by 14 runs like at Trent Bridge, you look at the small margins - and if Australia had won at Old Trafford, I think they'd have got closer to England at Durham, and it could have been 2-2 coming into this Test. Australia lost 4-0 in India and have played well here, but it affects you psychologically if you just can't win games."

  298. 1147: 

    England Lions have made a solid start to their second one-day match against Bangladesh A at Taunton. They are 75-1 after 14 overs, with Michael Carberry 36 not out and James Taylor unbeaten on 5. James Vince is back in the hut for 28.


    Abhishek Ranjan: You missed one name in the best innings...Brad Haddin in the first Test....

    (the 71 rather than the 1 presumably?)

    Oliver Palmer: Bell's greatness already established if only due to his beautiful strokeplay and that this series will be called "Bell's Ashes"

    Ed: Agar at Trent Bridge. Unexpected source, some great shots, changed the game a bit, everyone was pleased for him.

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

    "If I had to pick a composite XI from this series I'd go Cook, Rogers, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Clarke, Haddin (wk), Broad, Swann, Harris and Anderson."

Live Scores - England v Australia


  • England drew with Australia
  • England: 377 & 206-5 (40.0 overs)
  • Australia: 492-9 & 111-6 (23.0 overs)
  • Venue: The Oval

England 2nd Innings

View full scorecard
Cook lbw b Faulkner 34
Root c Haddin b Harris 11
Trott lbw b Faulkner 59
Pietersen c Warner b Harris 62
Bell run out (Starc) 17
Woakes not out 17
Extras 2nb 4lb 6
Total for 5 206

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