The Ashes: England v Australia fifth Test day three as it happened

England reach 247-4, still 245 runs behind Australia, at the close of a slow day in the final Test at The Oval.

23 August 2013 Last updated at 20:01

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As it happened

  1. 1915: 

    That's about it from us - after a day which would have tested the patience of all but the most hardened Test match follower.

    We hope to have some cricket to tell you about tomorrow - though the weather forecast for Kennington (which isn't promising) will have a bearing on when - and if - we rejoin you. Until then, enjoy the rest of your Friday.

  2.  

    SteveK: If Bell and Woakes had dispatched Smith's bad balls properly they'd have saved the follow on by now. Yawn!

  3. 1910: 

    As TMS draws to a close, let's draw a positive from an England perspective here - the women's side easily beat Australia by 51 runs in their second one-day international at Hove, which levels the Women's Ashes series (under the new points system) at 4-4.

  4.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "When Alastair Cook was getting big hundreds and we were saying he was Bradmanesque, you should realise that you do have series where you average 25 too. It's going to be up and down for him because that's life. That's cricket. But don't lose any sleep over Cook, he will have more ups than downs."

  5.  

    More from England batsman Joe Root on TMS: "We do look at forecasts but you never know. You have to prepare to play and make sure you are in the right frame of mind when you get out there. We are still in the game and we have to play extremely well to win but you never know with cricket. Things can move along quickly and we are a positive side."

  6. 1907: 

    The other unanswered question about tomorrow's play, however, must be about the weather. Last we heard from BBC Weather, they told us to expect "showers to develop tonight and continue to threaten The Oval throughout Saturday". Has that had a bearing on England's tactics? Only they can say. If they choose to.

  7.  

    England batsman Joe Root on TMS: "It's not easy out there, it's quite slow and I think we played some good cricket out there. We are going to have to work hard again tomorrow and for the rest of the game to keep ourselves in the game. You have to give credit to Australia, they bowled well and we had to work really hard for the runs we got. I enjoy batting with Cookie but it's disappointing that it was the first time we have put on 50 together. We have to improve on that."

  8.  

    Howard Bates in Camberley, TMS inbox: The greatest shame one could experience at a cricket ground? An offensive Barmy Army song must rate highly. So, commission someone to write the "stop moving behind the bowler's arm" song and agree that the Army shall sing it when instructed.

  9.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jonathan Trott got stuck. They invented a good field for him, knowing he hits everything to the on side. It mucked him up and he couldn't score until he finally got out."

  10. 1903: 

    As for Australia's bowlers, Mitchell Starc picked up two wickets, with one apiece for Ryan Harris and Nathan Lyon. Harris bowled well, but is clearly tiring as he puts his injury-plagued body through a fourth successive Test for the first time.

  11.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Joe Root showed us he is making a big effort with his footwork, it was much better. It was a shame he went to sweep the spinner after four balls. That's the result of too much one-day cricket. He needed to play straighter for a few overs. But the selectors will be pleased because he batted well and played some nice shots."

  12.  

    Neil Worrall: Australia need to take 16 wickets to win the match. At this rate that could take another five days. Hardly threatening superiority.

    Lewis Starks: Disgusted with England's slow batting. The Aussies tore our new bowlers to shreds, we give Steve Smith no grief!

  13.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Michael Clarke was saying to KP that nobody likes him, and Kev said the same back. But sledging has been going on for years and you have to rise above it."

  14. 1901: 

    Jonathan Trott's batting was particularly laboured, he took 134 deliveries to score 40. Kevin Pietersen made an even 50 before edging to slip, while that left Ian Bell, calmness personified, to make his way to 29 from 110 balls, while Chris Woakes hit his first ball in Test cricket for four, and is unbeaten on 15.

  15.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "There have been some memorable games at The Oval down the years, but this is not one of them. What hurts is that all the talk before the game was about how they were going to play to win and they wouldn't use it as an end of season match. Talk is cheap, and it's what you dish up what matters. They talked it up but haven't backed it up."

  16. 1858: 

    As we look back at the day, England resumed on 32-0 with Alastair Cook and Joe Root both looking to find some form. Cook was caught behind for 25, but Root pressed on to top score with 68 before he fell early in the afternoon session.

  17.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "So, on a laboured day, England scored 215 runs for the loss of three wickets in 98.3 overs, at a rate of just over 2.1 runs per over. Slow going - the ground was half empty by the times the players walked off. A horrid day, no-one would want to watch that, but sometimes you have to nail it down and make sure you don't lose."

  18.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England stifled Australia, in the words of Jose Mourinho... they have 'parked the bus'."

  19. 1855: 
    Australia walk off at the end of play

    So, if any of you out there are still awake... day three concludes with England still 245 runs adrift, after scoring only 66 in 34 overs during that last session.

  20.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England will be patting themselves on the back. They have been playing for the draw from the start really, but they probably think it is job done."

  21.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia are in front in the game but they still have a lot of work to do to shift this pair currently in the middle. This is one of the slowest day's scoring I have seen in a Test match."

  22.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "A frustrating day for the spectator but England will say they have done what they had to do. If you can't win, you don't lose. We are lucky these days that we don't have days like this very often."

  23. 1852: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- England 247-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 15*)

    So, with 246 on the board, England are exactly halfway to Australia's total of 492, albeit at a much, much slower rate. Woakes adds a single, allowing Bell to face the last two deliveries of day three - which he plays out safely. TMS summariser Phil Tufnell's grateful sigh as the day concludes speaks volumes for its quality.

  24.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Remember what I said about the patience of the fans and the absence of beer snakes? Well, The Oval is now about one third full and there is a pint glass python stretching across almost the entire western flank of the OCS Stand."

  25.  

    Ben Stone: Is is draconian to suggest a lifetime ban to anyone that moves behind the bowler's arm?

    It sounds a reasonable punishment for me if the people moving are stewards or other official employees - they should know better!

  26. 1849: 
    England 246-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 14*)

    A nice off-drive brings the Warwickshire debutant a single to break the deadlock... I guess you'd call that diff'rent strokes for diff'rent Woakes. And we've made it to the last over without going off for light, which not many people had predicted.

  27.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "How about a new rule, if you play more than three maidens out the next over has to go for 10?!"

  28. 1846: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    After a long spell bowling round the wicket, Lyon is back over the wicket to Bell - while once again, the game is stopped. How many times has it happened today? PEOPLE AT THE OVAL, PLEASE STOP MOVING BEHIND THE BOWLER'S ARM! Thank you. Six maidens out of seven, two overs left.

  29.  

    Harry Jeanes: Evidently by those stats (see 1838 entry), Karachi isn't exactly a batsman's paradise.

  30. 1843: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    Smith tosses the ball from hand to hand, the field's up and yes, Woakes plays out another maiden. Five out of the last six overs have been maidens. I wouldn't think you'll miss much if you need to put the kettle on. Three overs left.

  31.   
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Woakes' first 30 balls as a Test batsman more impressive than his first 30 as a bowler. Future Test 'batting all rounder' more realistic?"

  32. 1840: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    The game is dawdling towards a close as Lyon spins down another maiden which is blocked out by Bell. And all eyes turn to umpire Dharmasena at the end of each over, to see if his light meter of doom makes another appearance...

  33.  
    HOW'S STAT?

    If you think England have batted slowly today, by comparison, here's a list of the fewest Test runs scored in a full day's play (with four of the slowest six coming in Karachi):

    95 (Australia v Pakistan, Karachi 1956-57), 104 (Pakistan v Australia, Karachi 1959-60), 106 (England v Australia, Brisbane 1958-59), 111 (South Africa v India, Cape Town 1992-93) 112 (Australia v Pakistan, Karachi, 1956-57), 115 (Australia v Pakistan, Karachi, 1988-89).

  34. 1838: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    A clear indication of the light's deterioration is that with six overs left, Australia have removed Faulkner from the attack and turned to Steve Smith's part-time leg-spin, so we have spin from both ends. Smith serves up one of his trademark high full tosses, but Woakes can only poke it straight to the man at short cover. Maiden over.

  35.  
    HOW'S STAT?

    Lancashire captain Glen Chapple opened the batting today for only the fourth time in 292 first-class matches. In 1993, he opened in the second innings against Glamorgan and scored a contrived 109 off 41 balls (100 off 27) against declaration bowling. He also opened in both innings against Surrey in 2000, scoring 4 and 7. His score today? A seven-ball duck.

  36. 1834: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    Lyon from the Vauxhall End, Bell remains as calm and measured as he has all afternoon, though the crowd sound a little restless. Bell can't beat the infield, that's a maiden over and Lyon has 1-40 from 23 overs. And umpire Dharmasena whips out his light meter of doom... they're staying on for now but as we're past the official close of play, if they go off, that's it.

  37.  

    Martyn Hearne: Ian Bell as elegant a batsman as there is on the planet. His driving is a joy to watch.

    Neale Pye: Just knocked my beer over in the garden of the pub. Light here is a problem.

  38. 1831: 
    England 245-4 (Bell 29*, Woakes 13*)

    Bit of a discussion between Australia's brains trust between overs, but they're going to stick with Faulkner for the time being. Bell sees off five dot balls before threading a three to square cover. Seven overs left.

  39. 1827: 
    England 242-4 (Bell 26*, Woakes 13*)

    Nathan Lyon into the attack - now, has Clarke's hand been forced here? Has he been advised to bowl a spinner so as not to risk them being taken off for bad light? I guess we'll find out next over. Woakes plays out a maiden.

  40.  

    Howard Bates, Camberley, TMS inbox: Test cricket is played at a leisurely pace, that's fine by me. I'm also comfortable with England's desire to avoid calamity. However, I think Cook and Flower have over-thought things. England's lowest risk strategy is for their batsmen all to to play their natural game, operating in their comfort zone with the least risk of error. For Bell, Pietersen and Prior this involves playing a few shots, moving the scoreboard along at around three runs an over. Had England done this, we would already be close to saving the follow-on, and we would have sent to the Aussies the message "we are in charge and we're not frightened".

  41. 1824: 
    England 242-4 (Bell 26*, Woakes 13*)

    Blowers is in his element on TMS with the simultaneous appearance of pigeons on the square and buses on the Harleyford Road, and Clarke shuffles his bowlers again with Faulkner returning at the Vauxhall End - though not before, for the umpteenth time in this match, someone walks next to the sightscreen to delay play. Do these people not know how cricket works? Anyway, Bell unleashes another of his lovely cover-driven fours. England trail by 250 - with 51 more needed to avoid the follow-on.

  42.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Beautiful shot from Woakes, back foot straight drive, he's looked one of the best today in a short period. I've liked his attitude, first ball he saw it there and he hit it."

  43. 1820: 
    England 238-4 (Bell 22*, Woakes 13*)

    Bell pulls Harris for a single, I've been impressed with the way Australia haven't given up in the field - they've made England fight for every run. A helmet is summoned for Steve Smith to go to short leg - although Damien Martyn feels that short-pitched bowling would make the umpires more likely to take the players off for bad light... Woakes is coping fine on his debut, drilling a four back past the bowler, before picking up his first Test single to fine leg. Bell paddle-pulls another single.

  44.   
    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "The crowd haven't been royally entertained but I daresay they understand that England don't want to lose."

  45.  

    Matt Morley: If Woakes is coming in at six he should primarily be judged by his batting. This should be interesting...

    Tom Kirby: I'm about to go for a net on Clapham Common, just down the road. Light ain't a problem.

  46. 1815: 
    England 231-4 (Bell 20*, Woakes 8*)

    Stuart Broad has his pads on, chatting to spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, though he's wearing a royal blue T-shirt rather than his whites, and you'd expect Matt Prior to bat before him. With Tim Bresnan (recently England's "advanced" night-watchman) injured, does that mean James Anderson has to reclaim the night-watchman spot again? Bell adds a single to his score, England are back to rather going through the motions.

  47.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "If you just sit there and let the bowler dictate you're going nowhere because you can always get a good ball and get out. Then you kick yourself and think you should have played more shots and got more runs."

  48.  
    HOW'S STAT?
    Chris Woakes

    Before Chris Woakes, the last England player to hit the first ball he faced in Tests for four was Richard Johnson versus Zimbabwe at Chester-le-Street in 2003.

  49. 1811: 
    England 230-4 (Bell 19*, Woakes 8*)

    A leg bye brings Woakes on strike again, but Harris keeps him contained. A maiden over - 12 left this evening.

  50. 1807: 
    England 229-4 (Bell 19*, Woakes 8*)

    Bell laces a three through the covers, David Warner gives it the full swallow-dive to prevent the boundary. Woakes pulls and misses at Starc, before leg-glancing another four. With eight from 10 balls, compared to Bell's 19 from 71, his innings is positively Bothamesque.

  51. 1803: 
    SOCIAL MEDIA

    Want to follow the Ashes on social media this weekend? @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.

  52.  

    Alexander White, TMS inbox: How can we hope to play day-night Test matches when there is already so much trepidation with regards the light the moment the floodlights are switched on?

  53. 1802: 
    England 222-4 (Bell 16*, Woakes 4*)

    Ryan Harris replaces Siddle as Australia look for another wicket before the close - there are still 15 overs left, but the light may curtail play before we get those in. Bell pushes a single to take England to double Nelson (222), Woakes is hit on the right glove by a rising delivery and the ball reaches second slip on the bounce.

  54.  

    John Mogg, Billericay, TMS inbox: Cook's Test record as captain since his permanent appointment is W7 D4 L1. His series record in the same period is W3 D1 L0. His record as a batsman is up there with the greats. I cannot believe people are complaining about him, whilst he is still young and learning the job.

  55. 1758: 
    England 221-4 (Bell 15*, Woakes 4*)

    Despite England's propensity for putting in night-watchmen earlier than most teams, I can confirm that Chris Woakes is not a night-watchman - he was down at number six on the scorecard, ahead of Matt Prior. And as if to prove his batting credentials, he cover-drives his first ball in Test cricket for four! What a moment for the Warwickshire youngster.

  56.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Woakes' batting is better than his bowling. I think you really need a bowling all-rounder."

  57. 1754: 
    WICKET- Pietersen c Watson b Starc 50 (Eng 217-4)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Yes, it's out, Pietersen jams his bat down, it was close to a yorker but there's no bump ball and KP has to go.

    Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Cook 25), 2-118 (Root 68), 3-176 (Trott 40), 4-217 (Pietersen 50)

    Pietersen's figures: 189 minutes, 133 balls, 4 4s, 0 6s

    Bowler's figures: Starc 23.3-5-48-2

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

  58.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "How can you not tell what happened there from 20 yards away?"

  59.  
    UMPIRE REVIEW

    New bowler, same action as Mitchell Starc replaces fellow left-arm seamer James Faulkner at the Vauxhall End - and makes the breakthrough as Pietersen nicks it to slip. Or does he? Did that hit the ground after he hit it? The umpire's not sure - and calls on the third umpire...

  60.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I can't see the light is going to get better, it's playable but it might be at some stage they will go off. In terms of the cricket I can't see anything changing, England have set their stall out to make sure they don't follow on, it may be a bit disappointing for the public but you've got to give them credit for not throwing their wickets away."

  61. 1752: 
    ON THE MOVE

    If you're off on your travels now for the Bank Holiday weekend, 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.

  62.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Peter Siddle dropped short and it was as if Ian Bell thought he was sick of all this blocking and he pulled it to the boundary. A lovely shot. We've got an hour and 10 minutes of play possible, but if they're off the field at 1830, that will be it."

  63. 1751: 
    England 217-3 (Pietersen 50*, Bell 15*)

    So, the umpires have consulted, but they're back playing at The Oval, with 17 more overs left in the day - though the deteriorating light would suggest that would be unlikely. Bell seems to be seeing the ball OK, he breaks the shackles by pulling Siddle for four - his second boundary from his 63rd delivery.

  64.   
    Ebony Rainford-Brent, Ex-England internationalWOMEN'S ASHES

    "England Women back in the game... 4-4 in the Ashes series. Good bounce back. Sunday a lot to play for!"

  65. 1746: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES
    Katherine Brunt

    Great news for England Women, who have won their first match of this summer's multi-format Ashes series. They have beaten Australia by 51 runs at Hove - Charlotte Edwards top-scoring with 53 in England's 256-6, before Katherine Brunt and Holly Colvin took two wickets each as the Aussies were skittled for 205. Jess Cameron top-scored with 81 for the tourists.

  66. 1745: 
    DRINKS BREAK

    The players are taking drinks, but all eyes are on the umpires who are consulting their light meters - as Aggers points out on TMS, they will have taken a reading when they went off for bad light yesterday, and will go off when that level of light/darkness is reached. Meanwhile, news of an England victory in the other Ashes series at Hove...

  67.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval
    The Oval

    "The Oval crowd are remaining remarkably patient with all this. There is no booing, no beer snakes and nobody is doing congas down the aisle. In fact, but for the odd boozy chant and very half-hearted attempt at a Mexican wave, it's all very civilized. Perhaps, at this most storied of venues, the majority of spectators really are true connoisseurs of Test cricket."

  68.  
    HOW'S STAT?

    Kevin Pietersen's slowest fifty is 134 balls versus India at Lord's in 2011. His slowest Ashes fifty before today was 123 balls at Perth in 2006.

    Batting teams have had 26.6% of LBW review decisions overturned, while bowling teams have only had 19.6% of lbw decisions overturned (including the Pietersen one just now).

  69. 1744: 
    PIETERSEN FIFTY- England 213-3 (Pietersen 50*, Bell 11*)

    Pietersen completely mistimes a pull shot but it disappears off the bottom edge down to the fine leg boundary for his his fifty, from 127 balls - his 32nd in Tests, and his 10th against Australia.

  70.  

    Jon Evans: People are showing how fickle they are. Glad they are not the selectors, it would be a new team every game...

    Scott Pedersen: These strike rates are too low, heaping pressure on the middle order to score quickly, normally starting against the new ball

    Sam: Are people seriously criticising Cook's batting?! Cricket fans have such short memories. 766 runs in seven innings in Aus last Ashes!

  71.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "There are some umpires who you'd not relish being told off by, and I'd include Marais Erasmus in that group, but I think Mr Dharmasena is a very polite Sri Lankan."

  72. 1740: 
    England 209-3 (Pietersen 46*, Bell 11*)

    Well, at least England's approach to batting today is pleasing someone, even if it's Geoffrey. Pietersen pulls away halfway through Siddle's run as someone moves behind the bowler's arm, and umpire Dharmasena goes to give someone a telling-off, on a staircase next to the sightscreen. Pietersen and Bell briefly elevate the run rate with three singles.

  73.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is wonderful batting, beautiful stuff. They are meeting the ball with the middle of the bat. Textbook stuff. England are just determined not to lose. They talked the talk before the game, saying how they were going to go for a 4-0 win, but they made a cock-up with the selection. They should have played a proper bowler."

  74. 1735: 
    England 206-3 (Pietersen 44*, Bell 10*)

    Faulkner begins a new over to Bell, while Ryan Harris is having a chat with the Aussie physio down on the boundary. I'd imagine the two are quite well acquainted, judging by Harris's injury history... Umpires have a bit of a chat, and umpire Dharmasena has a check of his light meter. Ominous.

  75.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think once an lbw is given not out, you're asking a lot for it to be overturned, because of the 'umpire's call' option. And they certainly wouldn't be playing now if the floodlights weren't on."

  76.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia have burnt their reviews now. You are always wondering whether there will be one of those big moments where they don't get a blatant edge once they do that."

  77. 1731: 
    England 206-3 (Pietersen 44*, Bell 10*)

    Pietersen leaves the last ball of the over.

  78.  
    NOT OUT

    Not a new ball, but did that hit him outside the line of off stump? Yes, impact clearly outside, and he was playing a shot, so he's not out, even though Hawk-Eye thinks the ball would have hit the stumps. So Australia have burnt their last review for the innings.

  79.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "It looked like he got a long way over and there is bounce to consider too. This is a big call for Australia."

  80.  
    UMPIRE REVIEW

    That's why Siddle bowled such a short spell - he's changed ends to have a go from the Pavilion End. With the spinner off, the Aussie 12th man runs on to remove helmets and shin guards from the close fielders. But the pattern from the last few overs continues as Pietersen adds a single to his score, and Bell plays defensively... until the light flickers on and he pulls a single to move into double figures. Then there's a big lbw appeal against Pietersen, Siddle beseeches the umpire with wide, staring eyes... and Australia opt to use their last review.

  81.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Chris Woakes is not a Test number six. He started off as a bowler and he has worked very hard on his batting but, being brutally honest, he's not at that standard yet."

  82. 1724: 
    England 204-3 (Pietersen 43*, Bell 9*)

    Change of bowling as Siddle is off after a two-over spell and left-arm seamer James Faulkner returns at the Vauxhall End... maybe he'll create some rough patches for Lyon to bowl at? Pietersen dabs a single to leg, and this game is grinding to a halt like a tape recorder with the batteries running down where the tapes start to plaaay veeery slooowly...

  83.  

    Mick, TMS inbox: Not sure why we're being so critical. England have lost their wickets with more score on the board than Australia's first three. Keep your foot on the throat, boys.

    Steve Wilson: When Shane Watson fell yesterday afternoon with the first ball of the 88th over, Australia had scored 289. England have been barely able to muster 200 runs from 90 overs. Are they batting on a different wicket?

  84. 1719: 
    England 203-3 (Pietersen 42*, Bell 9*)

    Lyon has kept Pietersen under wraps very well here, with his round-the-wicket line of attack, a single takes the Surrey man to 42 from 116 balls. Bell has nine from 44.

  85.  

    Jeremy Evans: To Jon Evans via Twitter [1657]... Dad, when did you start liking cricket? More to the point, when did you learn how to use Twitter?

  86.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a very quiet knock by Kevin's standards. Nathan Lyon has bowled particularly well."

  87. 1717: 
    England 202-3 (Pietersen 41*, Bell 9*)
    Ashes

    Peter Siddle, so often described as a bowler who'll run in all day for you, is giving it everything here for Australia - though Jim Maxwell on TMS is a little surprised we've not seen Shane Watson have a trundle this innings, given that we're into the 93rd over. What looks like another maiden is thwarted when Pietersen pulls the last ball for a single to deep mid-wicket. It even sparks the electronic Oval scoreboard into life again.

  88.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's starting to feel like the weather is beginning to roll in ahead of that terrible forecast for tomorrow. I'm not sure we'll get through to 7pm if it carries on like this."

  89. 1714: 
    England 201-3 (Pietersen 40*, Bell 9*)

    Pietersen inches closer to his 32nd Test fifty with a single, Bell sees off the rest of the over. You're not missing anything here...

  90. 1713: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Another Aussie gone at Hove... Sarah Coyte run out for 16. England moving towards victory, with the Southern Stars needing 91 from 58 balls with only two wickets left. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  91.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "England have never really looked like getting out of second gear all day, against a pretty disciplined attack."

  92.  

    Phil Browne, Worcester, TMS inbox: "Oval 2005... KP started off slow and ended up hooking Brett Lee out of the ground!"

  93. 1710: 
    England 200-3 (Pietersen 39*, Bell 9*)

    Change of bowling as Starc is replaced by Siddle at the Vauxhall End. But at the other end, Bell looks as serene as ever, playing out a maiden. There's another 25 overs of this left today...

  94. 1706: 
    Maasai Warriors

    I wonder what these members of Kenya's Maasai Warriors cricket team think about England's performance with the bat today?

  95. 1706: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Big wicket for England at Hove... Jess Cameron has been bowled by pace bowler Katherine Brunt for 81, leaving Australia 154-7 after 38 overs. They need another 102 runs in the last 12 overs to win. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  96. 1705: 
    England 200-3 (Pietersen 39*, Bell 9*)

    Bell repeats his "single past the square leg umpire" shot from the last over, while Pietersen flicks a single to the other side of the aforementioned official. The crowd are stirred to applaud again as another Bell single brings up the 200 for England - they trail by 292.

  97.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I can only think there must be something in this pitch which is making scoring so difficult."

  98. 1701: 
    England 197-3 (Pietersen 38*, Bell 7*)

    Starc begins a new over to Bell, who's more entrenched than Pietersen, seeing off four dot balls before guiding a single past the square leg umpire - he's only operated in singles since tea.

  99.   
    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Graeme Swann might give Australia a few more grey hairs before this match is out if England can bat well. In Ian Bell, England have got a man in prodigious form at the crease."

  100.  

    Alex B: The people moaning about slow run rate are the same people who will moan when England start attacking & get bowled out for 200.

    Jon Evans: People need to stop whinging. Cook and Root have been out of nick and just trying to safely get back into form. Will be slow.

  101. 1657: 
    England 196-3 (Pietersen 38*, Bell 6*)

    Indeed, it's off-spinner Nathan Lyon to replace Harris at the Pavilion End, again bowling round the wicket to the right-handed Pietersen, who breaks the run of dot balls by helping a two down to fine leg. There are helmeted catchers either side of the wicket at short leg and silly point, but Pietersen guides a single just wide of the bowler. Bell rotates the strike with a single to reduce the deficit to 300, while Lyon then spins one sharply down the leg side which beats Pietersen and keeper Haddin, disappearing for four byes.

  102.  

    Ann Kent, Glos, TMS inbox: I have become very uncomfortable as lunch, the tea break, and the end of play approaches. We so very often lose one or two wickets at those crucial times. It was a relief to get through yesterday's third session but it has happened again today. I almost dread meal times when England are batting!

  103. 1653: 
    England 188-3 (Pietersen 35*, Bell 5*)

    Nathan Lyon is having a stretch in the deep, but for now it's still Starc, while Bell is happy to occupy the crease in the way he's done for much of the series. He allows himself an occasional bat-twirl between deliveries - appropriate given that he's playing at The Oval, home of the famous bat-twirler Alec Stewart. But that's another maiden.

  104.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pietersen has played some of his best innings when it has been heated out in the middle."

  105.  

    Sam Grimes: To James at The Oval (1627): Why buy tickets for a Test match if you're expecting to see Twenty20 batting?

    Chris Duncan: Rob (1636) That's like comparing Claude Makelele and Lionel Messi in football. Two very different roles in the team.

    Harry Northrop: As ropey as Bairstow was. England's batting line-up looks clumsy with Prior at 6.

    Chris Woakes is due to bat at six...

  106. 1648: 
    England 188-3 (trail by 304)

    Pietersen still isn't happy with something behind the bowler's arm - this time at the other end. Can't see if it's an errant policeman this time, though. He uses his feet against Harris but can't seem to beat the fielders, and that's a maiden over.

  107. 1645: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Good news for England where the wickets are falling in the second women's ODI at Hove. The Southern Stars are now 124-6 in the 34th over, needing 257 to beat England and the required rate now over eight an over. Jess Cameron is still there on 61 but only has the Aussie tail to support her. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  108. 1644: 
    England 188-3 (Pietersen 35*, Bell 5*)

    Pietersen forges ahead with a single, but he's not happy with somebody - it looks like a policeman - standing up behind the bowler's arm, delaying play. Should the officer in question arrest himself? Starc serves up a full toss to Bell but he sees it late and can't get it away, then the left-armer responds with a beauty that swings in and scorches between Bell's bat and pad.

  109.  
    WEATHER UPDATE

    The latest from Nick Miller at BBC Weather: "Cloudy, warm and muggy for the rest of today. Expecting showers to develop tonight and continue to threaten The Oval throughout Saturday. The risk remains of some heavy, thundery downpours but there also remains the prospect of drier intervals. How long those drier spells are will determine how much meaningful play there will be, but don't rule out getting some progress in this match."

  110.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "When you've got back to back series you certainly take a bit from this into the next one. I can't wait for the next one, I think we're seeing the making and shaping of an Australian team. This game is getting quite heated and we've had the Broad incident which is all going to create a bit of friction. I don't think there is much love lost between these two teams and it will be which team can cope with the emotions."

  111. 1640: 
    England 187-3 (Pietersen 34*, Bell 5*)

    Harris, who still looks rather tired (playing his fourth consecutive Test for the first time in an injury-plagued career), to continue from the Pavilion End for the fourth over with the new ball, and Bell dabs a gentle single before Pietersen hooks a short delivery for four past fine leg. A single takes him to 34.

  112.  

    David in Bournemouth, via text on 81111: Re George (1326) I am a fan of Carberry but I'm sorry who does he replace? Cook has had a mediocre series but no reason to remove him, Root is starting to come good and I think is starting to justify his place as opener, and Trott has to have a real downfall in batting before I even consider dropping him. He is not a player I would drop, so where does Carberry come in?

    Pete S in Northampton: Would love to see Stephen Fry play for England, the batting may not be elegant but the sledging would be eloquent .

  113.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "We still don't know the make-up of England's batting line-up in that next Test at Brisbane - will it be Bairstow, will it be Taylor, will it be Carberry, who I think will at least be mentioned?"

  114. 1636: 
    England 181-3 (Pietersen 29*, Bell 4*)

    I've never fallen asleep at cricket, but I know people who have... but hopefully anyone who may have been lulled by a mostly soporific session at The Oval will have been woken up by that rather feisty end to the last session. But things seem to have calmed down somewhat as Starc bowls a maiden to the watchful Pietersen.

  115.  

    A.Wood: England and the Oval scoreboard could both use some percussion management, ie, someone give it a good smack!

    Rob Micklewright: When Lara retired in the 2007 World Cup he asked the crowd "have I entertained you?". Will Trott be able to ask the same question?

  116. 1632: 

    And suddenly it's time to resume proceedings, with Mitchell Starc bowling to Kevin Pietersen...

  117.  

    Andrew Askew: England scoring just above half the pace of the Aussies, no desire to chase the win or lack of confidence?

    James Bye: The slow runrate is an issue that began in Dunedin & carried on since. I feel it's Cook's captaincy and not the slow wickets.

    Dave Rooke: England's innings has now lasted half as long as the Australian but have only scored 28% of the runs.

  118.   
    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The rise of Sachin Tendulkar and the IPL in India is a fascinating example of how sport can be a metaphor for a much, much bigger story."

  119.  

    Author James Astill on TMS: "By the end of the IPL season, I was thoroughly sick of the spectacle, and if I never saw another IPL game, it wouldn't bother me. I don't think the players may necessarily really try for their franchise to the extent they might if they were playing in a World Cup final for India, but they know a bad IPL season can affect their value. But I finished the book by walking through the slums and going from hut to hut, heard Ravi Shastri's frenzied IPL commentary coming from every one. Cricket clearly means more to them than it's ever done to me."

  120.  

    Jeremy May: Given the series is long since over, wouldn't it be nice to see both teams really trying to win this and indulge the crowd.

    Tommy Hobson: It may be boring to watch, but at least we haven't lost eight wickets in 100 odd runs.

    Oliver Denne: No qualms about slow scoring. This is about out-of-form guys finding some form, and if it's at expense of run rate then so be it.

  121. 1627: 
    GET INSPIRED

    As part of the BBC's "Get Inspired" scheme, you can watch this video of Michael Vaughan leading a team of England legends including Devon Malcolm and Neil Fairbrother against Cheshire club side Hawk Green - and to find out how you can get involved in cricket, go to our Get Inspired: CRICKET page.

  122.  
    The Oval

    James at The Oval, via text on 81111: You'd be agitated about slow batting for £60 a seat.

    Martin, Enfield: We've batted slowly and lost wickets all series. The Ashes are won, so let's just go for it. Six an over from now on please England, I want to see some fireworks.

  123. 1625: 

    On TMS now, Aggers is talking to James Astill, author of a new book about Indian cricket called "The Great Tamasha". Tomorrow, he'll be sharing a "View from the Boundary" with comedian Paul Merton at lunchtime, and meeting BBC Radio 1's Annie Nightingale, a keen TMS listener, at tea.

  124. 1623: 
    COUNTY UPDATE

    In the County Championship today, it's been a good day for leaders Yorkshire as they've beaten Notts by 10 wickets, while their rivals Middlesex have lost by 56 runs at Derby. Meanwhile, despite Chris Tremlett's 8-96 earlier in the game, relegation-threatened Surrey are 97-6 in reply to Durham's 421, so Chris may have strapped his pads on already as he's due in next. And there's a prospect of a chase at Edgbaston where Warwickshire are 61-0 needing 189 to beat Somerset.

  125.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Aggers has been talking about 'electricity' out on the field after that little tiff between Pietersen and Clarke. There's not much electricity running through the Oval scoreboard at the moment as it flashes a random selection of numbers and letters at us. The reboot fails to have the desired effect and Ian Bell is now the man with no name."

  126.  

    Jack Byrne: Wonder what the lowest score reached is when reaching the second new ball with the least wickets lost?

    James Ryman: Since when has 174-2 warranted such doom and gloom? Bat for 3 more days as far as I care, and send them home with nought!

    Rick Green: Better to win series 3-0 than 3-1 so this is exactly what needs to be done by England - hang onto those wickets lads!

  127.   
    Ebony Rainford-Brent, Ex-England internationalWOMEN'S ASHES

    "I think England are completely in control here, Shrubsole and Brunt swung the ball well and made it look like a different pitch from when England batted. Charlotte Edwards and Heather Knight had a great opening stand which really set the tone."

  128. 1618: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    England appear to be in the driving seat in the second women's ODI at Hove - Australia are 100-3 in the 27th over chasing 257 to beat England, with a lot resting on Jess Cameron who is 54 not out.

  129. 1617: 

    Thanks, Marc. While the players take tea, we're going to take a quick look at what's going on elsewhere...

  130. 1615: 

    I'd love to know what was going on between KP and Clarke there. I'm sure it will all come out in the wash. In the meantime, here's Mark Mitchener to steer you through the evening session.

    Clarke and Pietersen
  131.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "For a quiet afternoon, it really became quite interesting in the last few minutes."

  132.  

    Phil in Sheffield, TMS inbox: If, and it's a big if, England were to declare at 650-ish at lunch on Sunday giving Australia a tough couple of sessions to save the Test, no one will care about the slow run rate now. It's Test cricket, enjoy it!

  133. 1612: 
    TEA- Eng 181-3 (Pietersen 29*, Bell 4*)

    Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke continue their chatter between overs, with the umpires desperately trying to shut the pair up. Earlier in the series, while speaking on TMS, Glenn McGrath said he didn't bother sledging KP because it made him play better. Perhaps somebody should remind Pup of that. I wonder how Chris Woakes is feeling in the dressing room? Just one from Ryan Harris's latest over and the players head off for some tea. And still the words continue as Clarke makes a bee-line for KP.

  134.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "There is a bit going on here. With rain forecast for tomorrow, probably Australia's only hope of winning is to bowl England out and make them follow on, then even if it rains tomorrow they've got Sunday. And you've got Woakes in next at the top of an extended lower order."

  135. 1608: 
    Eng 180-3 (Pietersen 28*, Bell 4*)

    It's taken him 80 overs, but Mitchell Starc has finally arrived at the party. That's why Michael Clarke trusts him with the new nut - he's a genuine wicket-taker. It's getting tasty out in the middle as Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke exchange words, only to be told to go back to their respective corners by the umpires. Both men want the final word and continue their disagreement from the non-striker's end and first slip. Poor Ian Bell is in the middle of it all, trying to play himself in. And he gets off the mark by steering a boundary through the off side.

  136. 1604: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES
    England celebrate a wicket

    England have broken a big partnership in the women's ODI against Australia at Hove - spinner Laura Marsh has removed Southern Stars captain Jodie Fields for 20, after she'd added 63 with Jess Cameron, who's still there on 38 and has been joined by Alex Blackwell. Australia are 66-3 after 20 overs chasing 257 to win. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  137.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That took so long that I'm surprised Trott didn't start raking his guard again. But what a great time for a breakthrough for Australia. When Starc gets his line and length right, he's dangerous."

  138.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't blame Trott in the least for reviewing that, as the umpire took so long to make the decision, there must have been some doubt there."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  139. 1602: 
    WICKET- Trott lbw b Starc 40 (Eng 176-3)
    Mitchell Starc celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Trott

    And he's gone. Replays show that Aleem Dar was spot on, with the ball going on to clean up the leg stump. England's last specialist batsman, Ian Bell, is the new man to the crease.

    Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Cook 25), 2-118 (Root 68), 3-176 (Trott 40)

    Trott's figures: 192 minutes, 134 balls, 2 4s, 0 6s

    Bowler's figures: Starc 18.1-3-42-1

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

  140. 1602: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW

    The Australians immediately take the new ball and Mitchell Starc gets one to nip back into Jonathan Trott. Umpire Aleem Dar gives the batsman out, but the England number three reviews it...

  141.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Jonathan Trott's name is conspicious by its absence from the giant scoreboard at The Oval. Instead, there is simply a blank space alongside his score. The man who wasn't there. In fact, given the rate at which he is scoring, it is almost as if he isn't really there."

  142.  

    Greg, via text on 81111: It should not be a surprise that Test cricket is not hugely popular in some countries. I love the long from of the game but at 27 runs an hour people must be switching off in their droves. Even KP is currently scoring at 10 runs an hour. Already bored with this game.

    Adam Street: To Adam Street (1518). Firstly, congratulations on your name, it has a cool ring to it. But, as a fellow Adam Street, I feel I must state that I don't share your opinion. I need to express this publicly due to the amount of email traffic I am receiving from my friends chastising me on this point. So, as one Adam Street to the other, I would ask you to reconsider your point, you are letting yourself and your fellow Adam Streets down.

  143. 1559: 
    Eng 176-2 (Trott 40*, Pietersen 28*)

    Kevin Pietersen does a little audition for Strictly Come Dancing when he pirouettes down the ground to Nathan Lyon and helps himself to a single. Jonathan Trott also adds one as Australia complete their 80th over, meaning the second new ball is now due.

  144.  

    Frantic Disposition: If we were digging in on a tough pitch, one-all in the series, McGrath, Warne bowling, fair play. But 3-0 up, flat pitch...?

    James Boswell: People bandy around the term "modern Test match" to justify being bored by the proper game! This is fine Test cricket.

    Matt Cooke: The only thing slower than England's run rate today was their over rate yesterday.

  145. 1556: 
    Eng 174-2 (Trott 39*, Pietersen 27*)

    It's that time of year when you hope your mate owns a flat, or even better a roof, near The Oval. There's barbecues aplenty going on as crowds gather all around the ground. Ironic cheers from those in the stadium as Jonathan Trott whips Steve Smith to the boundary. Matt Prior has grown a second beard in the England dressing room since the last one.

  146.  

    Chris Parker: Re Stephen Gould (1525) That's the problem, England's first thought is not to lose. All the greats' first thoughts were win at all cost.

    Jack Dixon: Don't care about RR. Grind it out. Psych edge for winter to send Aussies back without a win after tight finishes

    Anthony Lea: Both Trott and KP looking very uncomfortable out there. C'mon lads...free yourselves, open your minds!

  147.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Apparently Geoff Boycott's Wikipedia entry currently reads, under 'batting style', 'Right-handed rhubarbsman'."

  148. 1552: 
    Eng 169-2 (Trott 35*, Pietersen 26*)

    All of a sudden, the ball is starting to behave like a spinning top - Jonathan Trott and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin both being fooled as Nathan Lyon gets one to grip and the balls runs away for four byes. Eager to get down the other end, Trott flicks a single to mid-on to bring up the 50 partnership from 145 balls. KP ends the over with a single of his own.

  149.  

    Doug, Horsham, TMS inbox: As an England fan you are always deep down worrying about the failings of past teams. For the most part in my lifetime the Aussies have always been the far greater team. Therefore a part of you always feels that at any moment the Aussies will be great and England will just collapse. Thankfully the balance is currently with England.

    Anthony Hart, TMS inbox: Forget Boycott! Anyone brought up on Chris Tavare will feel they are being served a real treat right now!

  150.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Is Woakes down to bat at six? Ahead of Prior? Crikey."

  151. 1549: 
    Eng 163-2 (Trott 34*, Pietersen 25*)

    Oh hello. Steve Smith is starting to land a few in the right place and he rips one past Jonathan Trott's outside edge. The England batsman nods his head and grudgingly admits the bowler did him there. Still the runs continue to come slowly, Trott and Kevin Pietersen advancing their individual scores by one run each as England's deficit is brought down to 329 runs.

  152. 1547: 
    PAKISTAN v ZIMBABWE

    Over in Harare, Pakistan have beaten Zimbabwe by 25 runs in the first of their Twenty20 internationals. Ahmed Shehzad top scored with 70 for Pakistan, while Shahid Afridi took 3-25.

  153. 1546: 
    Eng 161-2 (Trott 33*, Pietersen 24*)

    Nathan Lyon versus Jonathan Trott will never make it on to an Ashes highlights DVD, but it's pretty engrossing at the moment - neither man giving an inch as another maiden is played out.

  154.  

    Will Collins: We're 3 - 0 up, there's no pressure on places and a part timer is bowling. Hit the ball! Watto wouldn't be faffing like this.

    Jamie Rowson: Why are we so agitated about slow batting? I'd rather that we batted slowly and valued wickets than went fast and wasted them.

  155.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "I had a long chat to Richie Benaud about Smith at Lord's, at the start of the series. He told me he'd given Smith advice about where his front arm needed to be to bowl where he's bowling now. The way they're playing the spinners, the most likely dismissal is caught and bowled - the early shot, or the leading edge."

  156. 1543: 
    Eng 161-2 (Trott 33*, Pietersen 24*)

    It was only a matter of time. Kevin Pietersen didn't let Shane Warne dictate to him, so he was never going to let Steve Smith take control. The England batsman decides enough is enough and cracks four straight back down the ground. He adds a single before Jonathan Trott does likewise.

  157.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Since Nathan Lyon came into the side at Old Trafford, he had an iffy first innings there and didn't really get an opportunity in the second innings, but he bowled well at Durham and suddenly Australia look like they have nine of their 11 places secure going into the winter - they just need a number six, and a third seamer to go with Harris and Siddle."

  158. 1540: 
    Eng 155-2 (Trott 32*, Pietersen 19*)
    Jonathan Trott pushes into the off-side

    England continue to deal solely in singles as Nathan Lyon keeps them in a headlock. This is the type of innings that Jonathan Trott will sit and watch in its entirety in his rocking chair. He's loving it out there.

  159.  

    Bill Hannay, TMS inbox: The real difference between the two bowling attacks is that Australia's has been consistently the more disciplined.

    Iain Moss, TMS inbox: My theory is England are aiming to slowly pass the follow-on mark, force Australia to declare their second innings almost immediately, and then turn it up a gear and slog through a relatively slow total to win. Lulling Australia into a false sense of security - it's the cricketing equivalent of Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope.

  160. 1537: 
    Eng 152-2 (Trott 31*, Pietersen 17*)

    Steve Smith wasn't even on the tour a couple of months ago, but now he has Test century to his name, has been tipped as captaincy material by Ian Chappell [0951] and is teasing KP with his little leggies. Dreamy stuff. A single each for Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen as England continue to be pinned down. They've not scored a boundary for 10 overs now.

  161.  

    Kieran: I reckon Trott wants to bat all day today and all day tomorrow. Set up for a daddy hundred for him.

    Michael Roughton: I suggest you Ctrl+V "Maiden over". I sense you will be using it a lot this afternoon...

    Rob Moriarty: If anyone thinks England batting is slow now, should've watched Boycott years ago. Think his avg time per 50 was a fortnight!

  162. 1533: 
    Eng 150-2 (Trott 30*, Pietersen 16*)

    I'm going to be controversial here. I'm pleased Jonathan Trott has cut out the flashy drives outside off stump and the cheeky flicks into the leg side. He became one of the best batsmen in the world, averaging 50, by knowing his strengths and weaknesses and sticking with them. At times this summer, I think JT has tried too hard to look as though he is being more positive and paid the price with his wicket. He should just let KP and the other strokemakers do the flashy stuff. Just one from the over.

  163.  

    Alexander White, TMS inbox: Everyone is talking about how this is a statistically close series but if you go back to 2009 Australia absolutely dominated the averages and lost 2-1. Also, how often does Root hit well timed shots straight to the fielder? So frustrating!

  164.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Of Steve Smith's eight Test wickets, I think four have been taken with a full toss or a long-hop, although he did land one to have Ian Bell caught at Lord's. He landed six in a row this over, which was good to see - we're seeing a cricketer growing in maturity and confidence."

  165. 1529: 
    Eng 149-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 16*)

    Why am I worried that Steve Smith, with just eight Test wickets to his name, has been brought into the Australian bowling attack? KP plays with a straight bat for the entire over... surely it's only a matter of time before he tries to loft one into the stands? Another maiden.

  166.  

    Paul: So how exactly are England trying to win this match?

    The Mighty Mojo: KP is a ticking time bomb at the moment. £10 says he doesn't make it to tea.

    Mike Wren-Kirkham: Watching Lyon bowl like this makes you wonder what the Australians were thinking by picking Agar in the first 2 Tests.

  167. 1525: 
    Eng 149-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 16*)

    If Jonathan Trott or Kevin Pietersen do get a century here, you have to give them credit for their guts and determination. They are slugging it out like two streetfighters against Nathan Lyon and the gang. KP with the only scoring shot of the over, three through midwicket.

  168.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Lyon is getting more revolutions on the ball than we've seen before. And if that throw had hit the stumps, Pietersen would have been out by three metres. The one man you don't take a run to like that is David Warner. That shows you the pressure England are under, if they're having to take sharp singles like that to push the score along."

  169.  

    Stephen Gould, Long Island NY, TMS inbox: This is Test Match cricket - not T20 - and the professional thing to do when your opponents have racked up nearly 500 runs is not lose. As they say in pro boxing when a boxer is grinding out a win against a difficult opponent - look good next time.

  170. 1522: 
    Eng 146-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 13*)

    It always amazes me how a man as talented and innovative as Kevin Pietersen can look so uncomfortable and tortured against innocuous bowlers. He gives himself some thinking time at the non-striker's end as he eases Ryan Harris for a single before Jonathan Trott mistimes a hook shot and the ball crashes into his helmet, dislodging some padding. Just one from the over.

  171.   
    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Pietersen is an absolute picture of discomfort at the moment, he's standing there with his hand on his hip as though he hasn't a clue how to play Lyon here."

  172.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If you're a connoisseur of cricket, you should be enjoying this, as it's a different way of bowling. Well bowled, young man - we talk about him being an average off-spinner, not as good as Graeme Swann, but he's bowled beautifully at Durham and here. You have to take your hat off to whoever thought up the idea for him to bowl round the wicket."

  173. 1518: 
    Eng 145-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 12*)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Better from Kevin Pietersen as he uses his crease to good effect by dropping deep and flicking two into the leg side. That disrupts Nathan Lyon's rhythm as KP rocks forward for a quick single to end the over - narrowly avoiding being run out by David Warner. England now trail by 347 runs.

  174.  

    Adam Street: In response to all the "cricket fans" tweeting in. We have won the series and not lost a Test. Successful teams grind wins out.

    David Forrester: Ridiculous to be harsh on Root, first series opening the innings with an out of form top order (Cook, Trott) he ain't done bad.

    Chris Collins: England need to crack on in this Test would rather win 3-1 being aggressive than 3-0 having been defensive.

  175. 1515: 
    Eng 142-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 9*)

    After watching KP struggle at the other end, it appears Jonathan Trott's timing is beginning to desert him. Australia's clever plans and field placings are reminiscent of Nasser Hussain's England when they knew they were not necessarily as good as their opponents but knew they might be able to outwit them. A maiden over for Ryan Harris.

  176.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval
    A newspaper marking Len Hutton's 364

    "My favourite artefact in the Surrey cabinets was this original newspaper marking the day Len Hutton set a new world record for the highest Test score with his 364 against Australia at The Oval in 1938, surpassing Don Bradman's 334. Time for something similar from KP or the Trottster?"

  177.  

    Jonathan Bundock, TMS inbox: I met an Aussie at a wedding last weekend. He told me that most Aussies harbour a secret fear and admiration of the England team, even if they don't show it. I was surprised to hear this confession. As England supporters, I believe that whilst we speak confidently of beating the Aussies we too have a secret fear of them, knowing that at any moment they could come up with the goods. We just don't like to admit it.

  178. 1512: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 142-2 (Trott 29*, Pietersen 9*)

    Kevin Pietersen's problems against left-arm spin are well documented and it appears we can add off spin around the wicket to that list. He is fidgety in his crease as he almost loops a catch to the man under the helmet before he misses a straight one and a leg-before appeal is rightly turned down. Nervous times for KP.

  179.  

    Alex, TMS inbox: Nathan Lyon took a wicket with his first ever ball in tests. Not a bad one either: Kumar Sangakarra. Perhaps more incredible - in ODI cricket the rotund Inzamam-ul-Haw has a first ball wicket on debut. That wicket: Brian Lara.

  180. 1508: 
    Eng 140-2 (Trott 28*, Pietersen 8*)

    Kevin Pietersen is walking a tightrope here, struggling against the spinner and then almost slicing a catch to point off Ryan Harris. Desperate to be positive, KP latches on to a short ball and pulls a single into the leg side. England being strangled here by some disciplined bowling and clever field placing.

  181.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval
    The Oval honours board

    "The names of Shane Watson and Steve Smith have already been carved onto the list of Oval Test centurions. Just above, there is a nasty reminder for England fans of last year's torment at the hands of South Africa."

  182. 1504: 
    Eng 139-2 (Trott 28*, Pietersen 7*)

    Nathan Lyon, gently chewing gum and with a thin layer of sunscreen across his face, continues to trouble England's batsmen. Jonathan Trott gets off strike with a single in front of square before the spinner gets one to grip and Kevin Pietersen almost edges to the man under the helmet. Instead he gets a single.

  183.  

    Irate in Essex, via text on 81111: Australia are not a good side, it's only because England have been over-cautious and under-par that Australia have stayed a threat. Only when England's back is to the wall (i.e 43-3) is when we play (Ian Bell and the tail) like our true selves. Andy Flower needs to think long and hard about having a winning mentality again, not just rely on a very few star player turns to win or draw a match. The management have treated Tremlett appallingly, he should have played this Test, he couldn't have done any worse than the other two, indeed, he may have even helped himself to a 5-for .

    Dr T: The issue with the slow RR is that England don't have that big a score once the 2nd new ball arrives and wickets inevitably fall.

  184. 1501: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Good news for England from the women's ODI at Hove - after four overs, Australia are 2-2 chasing 257 to beat England. Openers Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning have fallen to England new-ball pair Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, both for ducks - in fact, there hasn't been a run off the bat yet, with wides accounting for both runs on the scoreboard. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  185. 1501: 
    Eng 137-2 (Trott 27*, Pietersen 6*)

    Ryan Harris comes back into the Australian attack and Jonathan Trott walks across his stumps and flicks four down to backward square. He repeats the trick next up, but this time it only brings a single. As Harris tightens up his line and length, KP plays out the rest of the over.

  186.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The only movement here has been a little bit of spin from Lyon, now and again. I like the fact that Lyon is bowling round the wicket to Pietersen, he tied up a few of our right-handers that way at Durham. But he's bowling over the wicket to Trott as if the ball is outside off stump, it's harder for Trott to hit him through the leg side."

  187. 1455:  
    QUESTION OF SPORT ANSWER

    Earlier we asked you this Question of Sport #QSTeaser: Since 2005, seven Australians have played in an Ashes Test in England that have a five letter surname - who are they?

    Well, the answers are: Shane Warne in 05, Stuart Clark, Graham Manou and Marcus North in 2009, Ed Cowan, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc in 2013.

    Well done if you got them all - Manou being a particularly tough one to remember.

  188. 1454: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 132-2 (Trott 21*, Pietersen 6*)

    Lyon whistles through another over, Pietersen adds a quick single, Trott is becalmed for the rest of the over, although he scrambles a single with a firm shovel to mid-on from the last ball of the over. Time for that delayed drinks break.

  189.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval
    Th Oval pavilion

    "I've just had a tour of The Oval's five-storey pavilion, which was first built in 1892 and had a new facade added earlier this year. In among the honours boards, portraits, trophy cabinets and other Surrey memorabilia I came across club president Sir Trevor McDonald hosting a VIP lunch in the committee room and former batsman Mark Ramprakash compering a raffle. Did you know, by the way, that The Oval hosted the first FA Cup final in 1872 and was the venue for England's first international goal and try? Thought you did."

  190. 1450: 
    Eng 130-2 (Trott 21*, Pietersen 5*)

    Michael Clarke is being inventive with his field placings as he tries to get another breakthrough, knowing Chris Woakes is down to bat at number six for England. Jonathan Trott helps himself to a couple through the off side before he flicks one down to fine leg. That's the type of shot which got him out at Lord's. Kevin Pietersen then nicks a quick single despite David Warner's direct hit from midwicket. England reduce the deficit to 362 runs.

  191.   
    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "A noticeable increase in background-buzz volume around the ground with the arrival and aggression of Kevin Pietersen. We've seldom seen vintage KP in this series - even his century at Old Trafford was an uncharacteristically circumspect affair - and on a day when the run-rate has often dropped below two an over, there is much appetite for some sparkling champagne cricket."

  192.  

    Mark Beagan, TMS inbox: Have you noticed that Test Match Special's Ed Smith sounds just like Gary Rhodes, the celebrity chef? It makes me hungry every time he's on.

  193.   
    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I had a chat to a couple of people in the Australian set-up about Nathan Lyon, and the feeling was he wasn't bowling well at the start of the tour, Michael Clarke didn't have a sense of control from him, so he didn't play in the first two Tests."

  194. 1447: 
    Eng 126-2 (Trott 18*, Pietersen 4*)

    Jonathan Trott tries to get things moving by whipping two past backward square, but there's warning signs for the England batsmen as Nathan Lyon gets a couple to spin back sharply into the right handers.

  195.  

    Ian: England are poor when on defensive, we get so bogged down, Don't look for the 1's & 2's, Such a conservative side led by Flower & Cook.

    Marching on Together: Why so much heat on Root? Cook, Trott and Prior are the ones that need to be answering the questions.

  196. 1443: 
    Eng 123-2 (Trott 15*, Pietersen 4*)

    I've just caught sight of a fella watching the cricket from the rooftop of a local building. Sounds uncomfortable? Not really - he's taken the cushion from his sofa up there too and is watching in relative luxury. An interesting field for Kevin Pietersen, with Michael Clarke putting in three slips, a gully and a straight silly mid off to Mitchell Starc. It's working as Australia bowl their third maiden in four.

  197.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a sedate game by England, they're just knocking it around, although I expect Kevin Pietersen won't want to play in that manner for long..."

  198.  

    Anthony, waiting for afternoon surgery to start, via text on 81111: Alternative selection for this Test, Tremlett for Kerrigan as the specialist bowler and Adil Rashid as the batting all-rounder in place of Woakes. His leg-spin my not have set the world on fire but he seems to have a knack of clearing up the tail and has scored 640 runs at 71.

    William in Kent: My Nan was a veggie and she was the best bowls player in the whole village...

  199. 1439: 
    Eng 123-2 (Trott 15*, Pietersen 4*)

    Nathan Lyon whittles through another maiden over quicker than it takes Mitchell Starc to bowl one delivery. How long before KP tries to hit him out of the attack?

  200.  

    Pete Osborn: Soft dismissal there for Joe Root, but he'll only get better. England need to stick with him at the top of the order.

    Phil McMenemy: Serious though, this Lyon wouldn't trouble my 7yr old (with or without a stick of rhubarb) and yet and yet....

  201.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Pietersen didn't over-hit that four but waited for the ball to come to him and got a good stride in, nothing too flamboyant but he got the middle of the bat on it."

  202. 1436: 
    Eng 123-2 (Trott 15*, Pietersen 4*)

    Kevin Pietersen watches another harmless Mitchell Starc delivery go past his off stump and gets a glare from the bowler for his troubles. KP just stares back, knowing he's dealt with bigger bowlers than Starc before now. As if to prove a point, the batsman gets off the mark with an effortless four through the off side. However, he has to rein himself in next up as he chases a wide one. Careful, Kev.

  203.  

    Chris: Root can't win, first he's too inconsistent, then scores too slow when he gets a good score. Give him time!

    Greg Double: Literally cannot wait to hear what Geoffrey Boycott thinks of that Root dismissal.

    Richard Parfitt: Soft dismissal again for Root.

  204. 1432: 
    Eng 119-2 (Trott 15*, Pietersen 0*)

    Just a slip and short leg in place as Nathan Lyon goes over the wicket to Jonathan Trott, who furiously chews gum between deliveries. Six dots as Australia try and build some more pressure.

  205.  

    Penny in Cumbria, TMS inbox: James Willstrop, former world and England number one squash player is not just vegetarian, but vegan. That makes eating out very difficult!

    Oliver, TMS inbox: Arian Foster, an elite running back in the NFL for the Houston Texans, is a vegan. Also studied philosophy at university, writes poetry, is a member of the Green Party and does a 'Namaste' bow after every touchdown.

    Neil in Coventry, TMS inbox: Surely for food-related cricket questions we should ask Cheffrey Boycott?

  206.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I've just been sitting with the players' wives, and Mrs Abi Trott is going through agony watching her husband bat at the moment. She's pacing around, which is quite surprising as she's used to watching cricket - she used to work as part of the administrative team at Warwickshire."

  207. 1428: 
    Eng 119-2 (Trott 15*, Pietersen 0*)

    Mitchell Starc must have the longest run-up of any bowler in this series. He almost races in from the sightscreen. It's not helped him in this match, with his radar about as accurate as Mitchell Johnson's. So far, he's avoided becoming the butt of any Barmy Army songs. Just a single from the over as Jonathan Trott whips a single to leg.

  208. 1426: 
    COUNTY UPDATE

    Chris Tremlett, who many people had expected to play in this Test, has just bowled Durham out virtually single-handedly for Surrey at Chester-le-Street. His figures were 33-5-96-8.

  209.  

    Mark Williams: Former WWE champion Daniel Bryan (@WWEDanielBryan) is occasionally referred to as 'The World's Toughest Vegan'.

    mattoid: Tommy Godwin, all-time cycling endurance record holder, 100,000 miles in 500 days (1939-40); vegetarian, English.

  210. 1425: 
    Eng 118-2 (Trott 14*, Pietersen 0*)

    Aussie offie Nathan Lyon continues his plan of bowling around the wicket to Kevin Pietersen, and the England number four is watchful for the rest of the over. This could be an interesting battle.

  211.  
    WEATHER UPDATE

    BBC Weather's Nick Miller: "No change to the weather plan for the rest of the day - very warm but with more cloud making the sunshine increasingly weak and hazy. Tomorrow still looking like a frustrating day with some dry spells but the likelihood of some heavy and thundery downpours too."

  212.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Root will be disappointed there, he'd done the majority of the work to get to 68, he might have had one eye on a hundred."

  213.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm afraid Root has given it away there. He was looking to dominate, but presented a very simple catch at short fine leg."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  214. 1422: 
    WICKET- Root c Watson b Lyon 68 (Eng 118-2)
    Nathan Lyon celebrates

    Oh dear, Joe. Just when it appeared Root was well set for a second Ashes century, the young Yorkie gets out in disappointing fashion as he top-edges a sweep and is caught at short fine leg by Shane Watson.

    Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Cook 25), 2-118 (Root 68)

    Bowler's figures: Lyon 3.4-0-8-1

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

  215. 1420: 
    Eng 118-1 (Root 68*, Trott 14*)

    Mitchell Starc returns to the Australian bowling attack and Jonathan Trott seems to refocus himself for a new challenge, widening his eyes, smashing his bat into the ground and muttering to himself as the left-arm seamer comes around the wicket. The England number three brings up the 50 partnership with Joe Root by pushing two into the off side.

    Behind the stumps, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson and Michael Clarke share a joke. They look like a trio of naughty schoolboys as they slightly turn their back between deliveries and have a giggle. I reckon they are planning to buy Darren Lehmann a Lasith Malinga-style wig for the end of tour do.

  216.  

    Adam Poole, TMS inbox: Re: Peter Cain at 1343, I'm sure that TV companies will gladly reduce the number of days of live cricket down to 12 from 32. Equally I imagine that the ECB will gladly accept the reduced money from this revised TV deal.

    Steven Howarth, TMS inbox: Re: Peter Cain, Yes, I am sure Cricket Australia and the ECB would give up 40 days of full houses at Test match venues for around 12. It makes financial sense! The Ashes will be played the same way for the next 100 years.

  217. 1414: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES
    Lydia Greenway

    England have made an impressive 256-6 from their 50 overs (given that Ebony Rainford-Brent said earlier they needed at least 230) in the second ODI against Australia at Hove, thanks to good knocks by Charlotte Edwards (53), Lydia Greenway (pictured, 46), Arran Brindle (42) and a late cameo by Natalie Sciver, who made 26 not out from 20 balls. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  218. 1413: 
    Eng 116-1 (Root 68*, Trott 12*)

    There's a lot of Alastair Cook in Joe Root, in the fact he either gets out cheaply or goes big. He's in total command of his game at the moment as he eases two down to long leg off Peter Siddle. That's his lot from the over as England continue to make slow, but steady, progress.

  219.  

    hahahoho: Rod Marsh is sitting next to and talking with John Major at The Oval. Can you think of an odder pair?

    Martin Turner: Isn't Graham Onions another veggie cricketer?

    Simon Bruni: I believe Carl Lewis was vegan.

  220. 1410: 
    Eng 114-1 (Root 66*, Trott 12*)

    Ian Bell, who is due in at number five, is so confident in the abilities of Joe Root and Jonathan Trott, and Kevin Pietersen after them, that he has not even bothered to get padded up yet. One more to the score as Joe Root picks up a single to long leg off James Faulkner.

  221.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special
    Kevin Pietersen is presented with a silver bat by ECB chairman Giles Clarke for becoming England's leading scorer in international cricket

    "Apparently there was an award presented to KP at lunch [for the highest aggregate runs for England in all formats]. I missed it. Apparently Jimmy Anderson, when he had a similar award, wanted it presented in the dressing-room."

  222. 1404: 
    Eng 113-1 (Root 65*, Trott 12*)

    You probably already know this, but Peter Siddle is a vegetarian. Do we know of any other veggie cricketers? Or indeed top-level sportsmen? He's dangling the carrot outside off stump at the moment, trying to beat Root, but the instant he pulls one down, Joe Root swivels and cracks another boundary. Five in total from the over.

  223.   
    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Faulkner came within a whisker of getting a wicket with his first ball in Test cricket when Root edged one just short of the slips. I think former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam got a wicket with his first Test ball."

  224. 1400: 
    Eng 108-1 (Root 60*, Trott 12*)

    Jonathan Trott continues to walk at the bowling, almost being squared up by James Faulkner and edging into the off side. The Aussie all-rounder has a quirky action, almost as if he slumps at the point of delivery and rolls his wrist. It's successful so far as he sends down another maiden.

  225.  

    Del, TMS inbox: Our Ashes victors have the choice to either bask or smear. Let's just assume they're basking, and enjoy it.

    Matthew in Harlow, TMS inbox: That Geoff Capes bowled a heavy ball (would the shot-put action be a legitimate delivery?), also he tossed a heavy caber.

  226. 1357: 
    Eng 108-1 (Root 60*, Trott 12*)

    Jonathan Trott releases some of the pressure which had built up by steering three down to his favoured third man region - only being denied a boundary by some superb fielding by David Warner. Joe Root plays out the rest of Peter Siddle's over as Matt Prior and Graeme Swann do some sun-bathing on the boundary's edge. I hope Matt's got some sun cream on his head, it's a hot afternoon.

  227.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Maiden overs there - you can build partnerships as bowlers. Trott hasn't made many runs in this series, so even though England have won the Ashes, there are little battles going on which can carry on down under."

  228. 1353: 
    Eng 105-1 (Root 60*, Trott 9*)

    A morning spent crouching in the slips seems to be taking effect on Michael Clarke's dodgy back as the Australia skipper does some weird exercises on the deck. He looks like a seal doing yoga. Not Seal the singer that is. Another maiden over sent down by James Faulkner as the tourists try to build some pressure.

  229. 1348: 
    Eng 105-1 (Trail by 387 runs)

    It's hard to believe it's been four years since Jonathan Trott made his debut in that thrilling finale to the 2009 Ashes series. He's become absolutely integral to this England side since. He's getting frustrated today as he struggles to work Peter Siddle for runs, under the watchful eye of former Prime Minister Sir John Major who is observing from the stands. Maiden over.

  230.  
    ASHES VOTE - RESULT

    Voting is now closed.

    We asked: Do you think England can take a first innings lead?

    34% of you said yes and 66% said no

    Thank you for taking part.

  231.  

    Peter Cain, Lethbridge, Canada, TMS inbox: My prediction for the Ashes? After trialing it with the ladies, the stuffed blazers will decide that future Ashes competitions should be one four-day Test and seven-match ODI and T20 thrashes to meet the expectations of the lowest common denominator. Remember, you read it here first.

  232. 1343: 
    Eng 105-1 (Root 60*, Trott 9*)

    I opened a 'physics can of worms' yesterday evening when I suggested James Faulkner hits the bat harder than Chris Woakes. The young left-arm seamer gets us under way after lunch and Joe Root continues where he left off by late cutting four past backward point before driving another boundary straight down the ground. Class. In other news, on the players' balcony, Alastair Cook and James Anderson are swinging about on office chairs.

  233. 1339: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Lydia Greenway has been stumped for 46 in the second women's ODI down at Hove, after a 77-run stand with Arran Brindle, who's still there on 35 and has been joined by rookie Natalie Sciver. England are 207-4 after 44 overs - you can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  234. 1338: 
    COUNTY NEWS

    Derbyshire have been handed a two-point penalty for next summer's 50-over competition after their pitch for a recent YB40 match against Durham was rated as "poor" by the ECB's pitch panel.

  235. 1337: 

    An entertaining chat between Aggers and Stephen Fry on TMS during the lunch-break. Now it's time for the action to resume in the middle - but not before I bring you some more county news...

  236. 1333: 
    TEST MATCH SPECIAL
    Stephen Fry

    Actor and author Stephen Fry, speaking on Test Match Special: "My cricketing hero was Mike Procter. He used to bowl chest on off the wrong foot so I copied him as a youngster. I've never been able to bowl 'orthodox' because of that."

  237.  
    GET INVOLVED

    BennyBoy: This is terribly negative batting from England. RR of 2.1 on a batting track. These fans are getting ripped off.

    George Bentall: Please England, call up Michael Carberry - the man is in great form! Add some attacking instincts to the opening pair.

    John Penn: Re James (1233) isn't Cook the youngest player to get to 7000 Test runs? Can't have been scoring them that slowly.

  238. 1326: 
    COUNTY NEWS

    Derbyshire coach Karl Krikken has confirmed their interest in signing Kent all-rounder Matt Coles. The England Lion, 23, has turned down a new deal at Canterbury and will leave the county at the end of the season.

    Krikken told BBC Radio Derby: "We have spoken to him and his agent but it is early days so we will see. There will be other counties interested. I worked with Matt in India in the winter, he is a hell of a talent and he would be a good addition."

  239. 1323: 
    TEST MATCH SPECIAL

    Actor and author Stephen Fry, speaking on Test Match Special: "We don't have to talk about 1981 or 2005 anymore, Test cricket is producing amazing games these days whether England are playing Australia, New Zealand or West Indies and whether those matches are over three, four or five days."

  240. 1322: 
    TEST MATCH SPECIAL

    Actor and author Stephen Fry, speaking on Test Match Special: "I love Lord's, but there's something particularly special about The Oval. It's not pretty like Adelaide or the MCG but the mind drifts back to memories of Hobbs and Bradman."

  241. 1319: 
    SOCIAL MEDIA

    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.

  242. 1318: 
    ON THE MOVE

    If you're out and about this 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.

  243. 1317: 
    CRICKET UNITED DAY

    Wasim Khan, chief executive of Chance to Shine, speaking on Test Match Special about Cricket United day: "We were inspired by the McGrath Foundation, who hold an event every year at the Sydney Test and we wanted to do something for all three charities [Chance To Shine, The Lord's Taverners and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) Benevolent Fund] over here. This is the perfect opportunity because people want to support us."

    England fans
  244.  

    Will Stebbing, London, TMS inbox: There is much to digest from this Ashes series, particularly how the statistics contradict the scoreline. Ultimately though I don't think it will go down as an epic series. There have been moments of drama and intrigue, disappointingly some of it off the pitch, but unlike 2005, 2009 and 2010/11 the suspense has not lasted throughout the series, retaining the Ashes in the rain slightly sums it up. The positive though is that Australia's stronger than expected performance gives me hope of a real humdinger this winter.

  245.   
    Ebony Rainford-Brent, Ex-England internationalWOMEN'S ASHES

    "It's a fantastic pitch, England will need at least 230 to be competitive. Charlotte Edwards batted brilliantly, she'll be disappointed to get out but two back-to-back half centuries show she's still got an excellent career ahead of her."

  246. 1309: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    With the top three gone, it's Lydia Greenway (26) and Arran Brindle (15) trying to set a good target in the second women's ODI at Hove - England are 167-3 in the 38th over. You can listen to full commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  247.   
    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "With just one wicket lost it is England's session, although the pace of run-scoring has been pedestrian at times and parked at others - only 65 added in the entire session, roughly half of what Australia's top three put on in the morning session on Wednesday. England won't mind - if they bat all day, with Saturday's forecast grim, they will be in a position of safety if far from a winning one."

  248. 1308: 

    Thanks Mark. An interesting first session there, with neither side willing to force the pace. I suspect England's run-rate will naturally increase as Joe Root becomes more expansive like he did in that mammoth ton at Lord's, with stroke-makers like Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell ready to pick up the baton behind him.

  249.  
    ASHES VOTE

    Do you think England can take a first innings lead?

    Have your say by voting here.

    The BBC Sport online vote will close at 1340 BST. Please note that votes are tallied by an external company, which uses IP addresses and cookies to process the results. For more information, read our terms and conditions.

  250. 1306: 

    While Kevin Howells keeps TMS listeners up to date with the County Championship scores, it's time to reflect on a decent first session from England's perspective - and while you listen to TMS's lunchtime offerings, it's time to hand you back to Marc Higginson for the afternoon.

  251.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "There's a real end-of-term feel at The Oval, with the game meandering along and the players seemingly ticking off the hours until they can all go home. How long before the umpires let them get the board games out or hit them with an end-of-series quiz?"

  252.  

    James Smith: If ever an Australian needs to clarify the term 'whinging poms' they just need to print off today's comments.

    Jack: Think Cook will be relieved to get out of the country, as captain outside the UK he gets centuries every match.

  253.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "England will be delighted they have lost just one wicket. I just hope they are looking at the game and thinking of getting up beyond Australia to try and put them under pressure in the second innings. At some point, they need to show Australia they want to get after them. If they can see off Ryan Harris, they should take on Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon. That's when England play better too, when they are positive."

  254.  

    Ray Abis, TMS inbox: Surely England are treating their reply on a flat pitch with unnecessary caution. On the principal of doing next what the opposition least expects, I would send out Matt Prior and then Kevin Pietersen with a licence. If the ploy fails, Ian Bell will refloat the ship.

  255. 1302: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- England 97-1 (Root 52*, Trott 9*)

    Lyon to send down the last over of the morning, Root adds a single to reduce England's deficit to less than 400. Trott drives, gets his head down and completes a well-run three. Root happily picks off another single, and after Trott blocks the last ball before lunch, he characteristically re-marks his guard, even after the other players have started walking back to the pavilion; Joe Root has to wait for him halfway.

  256.  

    Tom, Guildford, via text on 81111: People moaning about the slow run rate need to stop watching Test cricket. We're heading towards lunch on the third day of a Test that we've squandered because of a poor first innings bowling performance; the best we'll probably manage now is a draw from this game. I'd rather it finished 3-0 than 3-1 and the only way that's going to happen is batting through this. Go and watch one-day cricket if you want runs.

    Simon, Rouston: This display by England is embarrassing - when they're 3-0 up they should put on a show for the crowd.

  257. 1258: 
    ROOT FIFTY- England 92-1 (Root 50*, Trott 6*)

    Root guides Siddle off his legs for four to move within one run of his half century - a boundary energetically signalled by some fans who appear to be dressed as Captain Caveman, wielding inflatable clubs. (It could be the Slag Brothers from Wacky Races, whose appearance was later used for Cavey). And the crowd are on their feet again as Root helps himself to a single to bring up his fifty. Time for one over before lunch.

  258.   
    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If you want to bowl Jonathan Trott into form, bowling off-spin at his hip, like Lyon just did, is probably the best way."

  259. 1254: 
    England 87-1 (Root 45*, Trott 6*)

    Lyon skips in to Root, bowling round the wicket, and the young Yorkshireman jogs through for a leg bye as his attempted prod hits his pad. Trott, feverishly chewing gum as ever, clips a two down to deep backward square leg.

  260.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I've seen quite a few football people at this Test match. England manager Roy Hodgson is here today, and yesterday it was Frank Lampard and Mark Schwarzer."

  261.  

    Keith Sloan, TMS inbox: Think Cook should be relieved of the captaincy to see if his batting recovers. After all, he is not compensating with his fielding and other decisions.

  262. 1250: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- England 84-1 (Root 45*, Trott 4*)

    It's a double change as Siddle replaces Starc at the Vauxhall End. Two slips, a gap, a fourth slip and a gully for Root - there's an appeal for leg before as Root tries to whip him through the leg side, but Michael Vaughan calls it immediately on TMS - it was going down the leg side. Root guides Siddle through the covers, it's not going to reach the boundary but they run three. A contrasting evening for the TMS team last night - Vaughan was watching Celebrity Big Brother, Ed Smith was at the Proms.

  263.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I reckon this is the first time Joe Root might have seen Nathan Lyon. He was out by the time the spinner came on at Old Trafford and Durham. However, as I say that, Joe's father has just texted me to say he faced him in the second dig at Manchester. But not for long."

  264. 1246: 
    England 81-1 (Root 42*, Trott 4*)

    Australia turn to spin for the first time in the match - off-spinner Nathan Lyon is going to have a twirl from the Pavilion End, with just over a quarter of an hour left before lunch. Root, who may not have seen too much of Lyon before now, manages a single. Still a pretty pedestrian pace set by the hosts here.

  265. 1243: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES
    England captain Charlotte Edwards

    And down at Hove, England captain Charlotte Edwards has fallen for 53, in the same manner as Sarah Taylor - bowled by Jess Jonassen. Arran Brindle has joined Lydia Greenway, England are 130-3 after 30 overs. You can listen to full commentary of this second ODI via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  266.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "If you look at the series when Jonathan Trott has struggled, it's been when he has been up against a team with three good quick bowlers - South Africa last year and now Australia. It's because he walks at the bowler, he's effectively batting from 18 yards rather than 22 yards. Most other people back away from quicker bowlers to give themselves more time."

  267. 1242: 
    England 80-1 (Root 41*, Trott 4*)

    Trott helps himself to a single against Starc as the camera picks out England football manager Roy Hodgson in the stands (or more likely an executive box). Root guides a loose delivery down the leg side for one, it's signalled as a leg bye.

  268.  

    Tristan: Have to agree that Broad is a lucky lad when it comes to his performances he's a 1 in 7 player, others don't get those chances.

    billybunter3rd: Bairstow five catches behind stumps so far & quick 62 runs Yorkshire. Certain for England squad to Australia & long-term replacement for Prior.

    Paul Keller: What's going on with Trotty? He's looked so woefully out of touch this series it's not even funny.

  269. 1237: 
    England 78-1 (Root 41*, Trott 3*)

    As Aggers on TMS tries to persuade some white-clad Aussie fans to join in the spirit of Cricket United day by buying some blue T-shirts in aid of the charities at lunchtime ("we wear pink when we come to Sydney, after all"), Harris is looking increasingly weary as he sends down a maiden over to Root.

  270.  

    Terry, London, Starving, via text on 81111: Due to the Australia Ashes series immediately following this one, many people seem to be bypassing the celebration of what is a wonderful and comprehensive home series victory against our old foe. They are choosing instead to focus on how the negatives from the series will affect the return fixtures in Oz and it's starting to rile me. On the flip side, it's fish and chips in the work canteen today. Swings and roundabouts.

    Marc, Aberdeen, via text on 81111: Perfect batting conditions, benign pitch, even allowing for a half decent bowling attack, England manage 2.1 an over?! This isn't coastal erosion, it's glacial drift.

  271.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "David Warner is not being booed as much in this match, and he'll feel more settled because he's worked hard to get people back on side. His innings at Durham will have helped, he almost won the game for Australia up there."

  272. 1233: 
    England 78-1 (Root 41*, Trott 3*)

    Still just the three bowlers used by Australia this morning, when they have five front-line bowlers and a couple of all-rounders available. Starc, still bowling round the wicket, adds another wide to England's score, but at this gentle scoring rate, there's a long way to go before they can even think about reaching the follow-on target (293), let alone catching Australia's 492. Trott swishes at one down the leg side, slightly risky when there's a leg slip...

  273.  

    Josh Trownson: And Cook's Ashes ends just as mediocrely as it has been since the first ball he faced.

    James Gulleford: Cook's batting is akin to Atherton, far too slow for modern Tests and his form is terrible at the moment, needs to be looked at!

    Lewis Tumelty: Cook and Root are the most negative openers around! The series is won, give the patient fans a cameo and go after this total!

  274. 1228: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    In the Women's ODI at Hove, Sarah Taylor has been bowled by slow left-armer Jess Jonassen for 32 - Charlotte Edwards is still there on 46, she's been joined by Lydia Greenway, and England are 119-2 after 26 overs. You can listen to commentary via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  275. 1227: 
    England 77-1 (Root 41*, Trott 3*)

    Trott is off the mark, guiding Harris backward of square leg for a scampered two. As well as those two short mid-wickets, there's a leg slip - sort of a third leg slip - in for Trott, as Australia look to block off his main scoring areas through the leg side. But he manages to add a single to his score when he nudges a short ball past that leg slip.

  276.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special
    Mitchell Starc

    "It's interesting that Mitchell Starc has come around the wicket. It does change your action when you do that and maybe it has tightened his shoulders up and the ball is pitching in a better position. It's as if he pushes the ball too far across from over the wicket."

  277.  

    Mark S, Newbury via text on 81111: Is it too late to take part in the Ashes vote - 'Will Cook score his first century?' One chance to win something from this Test.

    Henry, Glos, via text on 81111: Re: Andy in Manc (1214) those two overs from Finn were the nail in his coffin. Cook had no faith in his bowling and he was dropped from home ground Test.

  278. 1223: 
    England 74-1 (trail by 418)

    Starc moves to bowl round the wicket to Root, but there's still not much lateral movement for the left-armer, while Root is also clearly working hard on his foot movement - a couple of times, he hangs back in his crease, before practising the shot he should have played when the ball is gone. A maiden over for Starc, who hasn't been at his best today.

  279.  

    Kieran: Hope Ryan Harris can stay fit for the next couple of years, fantastic cricketer who's been unfortunately blighted by injuries.

    Jack Blackburn: Big problem with this England side is a lack of impetus in the batting. Every innings begins as a metaphor for coastal erosion.

  280. 1218: 
    England 74-1 (Root 41*, Trott 0*)

    Root guides Harris for a single, Trott tries to whip one off his legs but it's straight to one of the two short mid-wicket fieldsmen who are placed there for one of his favourite shots. He's yet to score.

  281.  

    Chris Parker: Re: Graheme Wilson (1206) Are you new here? Have you not heard of the mockers?

    Adam Whittaker: Turned the cricket on and the first chuffing ball I see is Cook nicking one to Haddin.

    Dr Simon Heap: Wonder what the average is for Mr-First-Ball-After-Drinks?

  282. 1215: 
    CRICKET UNITED
    Test Match Special

    The Test Match Special boys have marked Cricket United day - charities Chance To Shine, The Lord's Taverners and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) Benevolent Fund have teamed up to raise funds and awareness - in fine fashion, sporting a splendid array of blue shirts and ties. There is plenty of behind the scenes content on the TMS Facebook page.

  283. 1214: 
    England 73-1 (Root 40*, Trott 0*)

    The Aussies have a spring in their step after that wicket but Starc is still struggling a little with his line, as Root guides him for four backward of point which leaves captain Michael Clarke raising his hand to his head, possibly in exasperation. A single takes Root to 40 and allows him to keep the strike.

  284.   
    Tom Fordyce, BBC chief sports writer at The Oval

    "This has not been a disastrous series for Alastair Cook - he is averaging 30 from his nine innings - but neither will he be satisfied with it. An aggregate of 243 runs is one thing; a highest score of 62 another. He has been vulnerable outside off stump all summer, and it was his undoing once again today."

  285.  

    Phil in Gloucester via text on 81111: Totally agree with Richard in Oxford (1151). Broad had figures of 1-128 off 31 and nothing is said. Woakes takes 1-96 off 24 and is criticised.

    Andy in Manchester: Richard in Oxford - to suggest that the decision to drop Finn was based on two overs is ridiculous. And the rules probably depend somewhat on whether you took 11 wickets in the previous game.

  286. 1210: 
    England 68-1 (Root 35*, Trott 0*)

    Jonathan Trott is the new batsman, seeing off the rest of Harris's over - a wicket maiden.

  287. 1209: 
    WOMEN'S ASHES

    Down at Hove, England are into three figures in the Women's ODI - a half-century stand between Charlotte Edwards (41) and Sarah Taylor (26) has left them 104-1 in the 22nd over.

    You can listen to full commentary on the Women's Ashes via the BBC Sport website.

    Full scorecard

  288.   
    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Wide ball really, Cook having a little poke at it, followed it, he'll be kicking himself because this is a beautiful pitch to bat on, a lovely day for batting. He would have been thinking of a hundred, he did the hard work again and couldn't quite push on through, the story of his series."

    Listen to live commentary on BBC Test Match Special

  289. 1206: 
    WICKET- Cook c Haddin b Harris 25 (Eng 68-1)
    England captain Alastair Cook walks off

    Cook hangs out his bat and nudges the third ball after drinks to the wicketkeeper. There's a brief check for a no-ball, but it's legal and the skipper is on his way. Another wicket for the good doctor, Dr Inksbreak, who was so successful on England's tour of India...

    Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Cook 25)

    Bowler's figures: Harris 9.3-4-15-1

    Full scorecard

    Listen to highlights from Test Match Special

  290.  

    Graheme Wilson: Alastair Cook is a quality player and though his form has varied throughout this Test series his quality remains.

    Robert Allen: Re: Richard (1151). Different pitches and different circumstances in the matches. Broad proved his worth at Durham.

  291.   
    A Question of Sport Teaser, BBC

    Here's today's Ashes #QSTeaser from our colleagues at A Question of Sport:

    Since 2005, seven Australians have played in an Ashes Test in England that have a five-letter surname - who are they?

    There's a very obvious one, but have a think and we'll give you the full list later.

  292. 1202: 
    Spectators watch from an apartment outside the ground

    As ever at The Oval, there are plenty of people sitting on balconies which overlook the ground, on top of buildings on the other side of the road - rather like at Wrigley Field, home of baseball's Chicago Cubs, where there are rows of seats bolted to the roofs of some adjacent buildings.

  293.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Blue is the colour today at The Oval, with plenty of fans showing their support for the Cricket United charity day through their clothing. The Australian tour groups have replaced their ubiquitous green shirts with blue ones for the day, while Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper is planning a rendition of 'Blue Moon' later on."

  294. 1201: 
    DRINKS BREAK- England 68-0 (Cook 25*, Root 35*)

    As the first hour of day three draws to a close, the baby-faced Root continues to play carefully against Starc before whipping a four wide of mid-on, he's racing ahead of his captain here. Time for Radio 4 LW listeners to get the Shipping Forecast, and the players to have a drinks break.

  295.  

    David Beck, TMS inbox: Australia have missed a trick here, they should have been bowling at England all day yesterday in the damp and difficult conditions. In a game they have to win to take anything from the series a declaration yesterday morning at 307-4 would have put maximum pressure on England, all but guaranteed a result and even if they had gone on to lose they would have done so fighting. Darren Lehmann needs to spend more time thinking tactically and less time playing mind games.

  296. 1157: 
    England 64-0 (Cook 25*, Root 31*)

    Harris, playing his fourth consecutive Test for the first time, rounds off a maiden over with a bit of a frown on his face.

  297.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It just didn't look right. The only person who thought it was out was Phil Tufnell, but that's why he's a bowler who used to bat number 11."

  298.  
    NOT OUT

    You know what, that may even have pitched outside leg stump. There's no nick on Hot Spot - and the ball-tracker shows it clearly pitching outside leg stump (so there's no need to even check whether it would have hit the stumps). So a wasted review - just as England wasted one for a caught-behind-that-never-was yesterday.

  299.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia need to be careful with their reviews. When the umpire has given it not out, it has to be going on to hit all of the stump. I'm not sure it was going to really."

  300.  
    UMPIRE REVIEW

    Big appeal from Harris as Cook is hit on the pad, was that going down leg side? It's not out, but Australia signal for a review...

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

Close
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