Second Ashes Test: Australia v England, day four as it happened

England reach 247-6 in their second innings to take the second Test into a final day, but defeat seems inevitable.

7 December 2013 Last updated at 23:28

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As it happened

  1. 0800: 

    And with Geoffrey's final word, that is where we will leave it.

    Rain dances at the ready? At 247-6, that must be England's only hope.

    Join us from 2330 to see if they can get out of this or, more likely, to see Australia go 2-0 up.

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

    "I thought after Brisbane, which was even more unsavoury with Michael Clarke saying he was going to break Jimmy Anderson's arm, the umpires would have stepped in. These umpires hear it but don't step in. The ICC could give stronger views to the umpires and give the players suspensions. Fines of several thousand dollars don't matter to people like Michael Clarke who earns over a million dollars. Suspend them and you get the message over."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  3. 0756: 

    Broad joined Prior to see England through to the close, coming through the fire of Johnson. As the atmosphere thickened, so did the verbals, plenty of chat through the final over. England survive to the final day, delaying the inevitable? Only rain can save them now?

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

    "So we've had two openers and Bell giving their wickets away, and you wonder why we're six down for 247? It's been the story of the series. Bell gave it away to a lollipop bowler. Stokes did OK, there's something about him. There's a good spirit about Stokes but he needs a little polish. He's a very on-side player - bowl outside off stump and he's vulnerable. Prior's got to get more tomorrow - he really needs a half century but it's a good start and I'm pleased for him."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  5. 0753: 

    Matt Prior was more than a walking wicket, joining Stokes to get England through to the new ball. Johnson was wound up, and he wound up Stokes, who edged Harris to second slip. A brave effort ended, but a big future ahead?

  6. 0751: 

    England batsman Joe Root: "We needed guys to get some scores and show a bit of fight. As a team we know we have been under-performing. That is quite evident. We need to front up to the challenge ourselves, make sure we get in a scrap and do the country proud and lets hope that continues tomorrow.

    "I enjoy the battle with Mitchell Johnson - he is trying to do his job for his country and I'm trying to do my job for mine."

  7. 0749: 

    But Root found a willing ally in Ben Stokes, who came through the examination from Johnson. A deserved hundred for Root? No, a tiny error, an inside edge, snaffled by Haddin. Gone for 87, but the number three debate settled.

  8. 0748: 

    BBC Sport brings you all the news and analysis from the first Test throughout the day. Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and chief sports writer Tom Fordyce are in Adelaide, while you can see everything you've missed at-a-glance with our Ashes catch-up.

    In addition, you can hear the Pint-Sized Ashes two-minute review, as well as the thoughts of Aggers and Boycott in the TMS podcast.

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

    "Patience doesn't seem to be a word in Kevin Pietersen's vocabulary - I'd put it on the wall above his peg. Talent has never been a problem for him - when the leg-spinner bowled some rubbish he hit him. Siddle tried to bowl that Glenn McGrath line and length to him in the corridor of uncertainty, but he didn't get himself out today and he got a half century."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  10. 0747: 

    It had to be Peter Siddle, removing his bunny Pietersen. A gap between bat and pad, stumps disturbed. Could Ian Bell continue the good work? His shot was the worst of the lot, hitting a Smith full toss to mid on. The beginning of the end?

  11. 0746: 

    From there, Root and Pietersen showed exactly what England could achieve on this pitch. Pietersen was mainly patient, though even he couldn't resist lofting Steve Smith into the stands as the record for number of sixes in an Ashes Test was broken. Hope in a rearguard is a curious thing. It increases by miniscule increments, ball by ball. It takes only one for it to be blown away...

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

    "When the two opening batsmen hit the ball down fine leg's throat, you wonder what the hell was said in those meetings they had last night. What are the batting coach Graham Gooch and the main coach [Andy Flower] saying? I told Gooch once, it's all right telling people, but are they listening? You're giving them two wickets, of the seven top batsmen. Joe Root played exactly as you should, nose over the ball, when he got some lip from Mitchell Johnson he just smiled and laughed at him. There can only be an argument when two people are talking."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  13. 0743: 

    But it was brainless from Cook, a hook at Mitchell Johnson in only the second over of the day. Equally baffling was Michael Carberry's carbon copy dismissal to fall to Peter Siddle. Root and Pietersen steady the ship, 65-2 at lunch.

    England's Andy Flower and Alastair Cook
  14. 0741: 

    Yep, as Chris mentions, the day couldn't have begun in a more horrible fashion for England and captain Alastair Cook.

    With showers forecast (they didn't actually arrive), Australia declared before play to leave England two days in which to bat. A good start was required...

    Text 81111

    Chris in Daventry: I've just woken up after a terrible nightmare! Alastair Cook played a bonkers hook shot to Mitchell Johnson just five minutes in! I'm too shaken up to check the score - I know Captain Cook is due a good innings so I'll relax and listen to the full day's replay on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra at 11am.

  16. 0739: 

    In fact, England have batted through the day with few problems, bar those of their own making. Mitchell Johnson hasn't looked the same threat on a slowing pitch, the other seamers have been workmanlike and spinner Nathan Lyon has been slightly off-colour.

    England's predicament mainly comes from their shocking performance yesterday, which was followed up by a brainless morning today.

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

    "It's the first time in the series that England have batted through a day, so that's a positive. Joe Root was excellent and showed composure and calmness. Kevin Pietersen played quite well, Michael Carberry was a little bit unfortunate, but Ian Bell will realise he's had a disaster after hitting a full toss from Steve Smith down mid-on's throat.

    "We've seen lots of sledging with Broad and Johnson going at each other, but what's important is that England got blown away on the third day and there's no question that Australia will be going 2-0 up at some point tomorrow."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  18. 0737:  

    Want to relive all the overnight action you've missed? BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will replay the entire day's play from 1100 GMT, and will play highlights from now until then. Also this morning, BBC Radio 5 live brings all the best analysis and reaction on Ashes Breakfast. You can hear both 5 live and 5 live sports extra on digital radio, online and via the BBC Sport app.

  19. 0736: 

    The plusses for England? The battling 87 from Joe Root, the patient half-century from Kevin Pietersen and the bottle shown by Ben Stokes. Even Matt Prior showed signs of getting back to his old self.

    However, Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry and Ian Bell played three awful shots.


    Mark Wetherall: What has happened in six months to England? Full of confidence, back to back Ashes. Anderson rattled the Aussies, along with Broad's aggression. Now Mitch is bowling like a steam train and the Aussies are batting with some confidence. Test cricket aka the Ashes is alive and very exciting.

  21. 0734: 

    We've said before that the gulf between these sides is highlighted by the feeling that England have had an OKish day. That, though, will be pretty irrelevant when Australia wrap up victory tomorrow.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Stuart Broad exchanges words with Mitchell Johnson

    "At least England are having a go and getting stuck back into the Australians, but it's too late. They didn't do this yesterday."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  23. 0732: 
    Eng 247-6

    Even as the players walk off. Broad and Johnson are still sniping at each other. Is this admirable from England, or all a bit silly considering they are taking a shellacking?

  24. 0730: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 247-6

    A feisty final over, one that ultimately ends with England batting into the fifth day. Twice Prior hooks Johnson for four, the second of which is far from controlled. Johnson goes at Prior, Broad - the shrinking violet - gets involved with plenty of chatter himself. Now Clarke and George Bailey are in there, both umpires looking to snuff it out. At the end of all that, England are 247-6, only four wickets left to avoid defeat.

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

    "I think if they get a wicket this over, they'll stay on - if they don't, they'll be walking off."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  26. 0724: 
    Eng 239-6 (one over left in the day)

    Australia call on Nathan Lyon's off-breaks for the penultimate over of the day. I sense that Stuart Broad prefers these tweakers to the thunderbolts delivered by Johnson, Harris and co. As the sun shines enough for the players to cast shadows, Lyon is too short, allowing Broad to cut for four. Eeeesssshhh, you lucky boy Matt Prior, turning around the corner just past Shane Watson at leg slip. He survives. Six balls stand between us and day five.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's really looked inevitable since Cook went in the second over. If you wanted someone to bat for ages and ages to save a game, it was him."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  28. 0720: 
    Eng 231-6 (two overs left in the day)

    I'm told that some rain is forecast for Adelaide tomorrow. Not a lot, but that wet stuff could always swell overnight. That makes it even more significant that England can get through to the close. Does somebody want to tell Matt Prior that? Short from Johnson, Prior on the pull. Top edge...falling short of deep square leg. Did he not see Cook and Carberry get out? One more ticks by, two more to survive.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Adelaide Oval

    "Johnson v Broad pt II brings the Adelaide Oval crowd to a peak it hasn't touched today - rhythmic clapping, rampant booing, pantomime joy and barracking."

  30. 0716: 
    Eng 227-6 (87 overs)
    Stuart Broad

    Broad copping it from both ends, now Harris sticks one up him. Broad, though, is showing some good ticker, playing a lovely clip off his legs for four. A couple of short ones, a missed hook, a fend into the off side. Every ball is a little piece of theatre, the crowd baying for English blood with the hard rock. When Harris goes full, Broad hammers over the covers for four. Three overs remain in the day.


    Ian: So is the BBC ready to take on my view that Johnson is a chucker? If you watch baseball and see how the pitchers throw the ball at huge speed then you will understand the sling action is attractive to those with a good arm but no or little skill. The ICC are stupid for allowing such players into our game, Murali is in the record books but had an unfair advantage over everyone else.

  32. 0711: 
    Eng 218-6 (target 531)

    Stuart Broad is not even thinking about coming forward, and I can't say I blame him. A full one missing by a coat of varnish, then a nice push for a couple. You sure you want to take two, Stu? Ooofff, nasty bumper, fended off. Could have gone anywhere. A waft, play and miss, then another tidy push for two. You feel that Broad could go at any time, but well done to him for surviving. I fancy that he might tread on his stumps, though.

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

    "I'd say they're very close to taking the extra half-hour here. Johnson is going to fancy his chances with Broad down his end."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  34. 0706: 
    Eng 213-6 (85 overs)

    Broad survives his first ball, scampering a leg bye. Still on a pair, then. A Prior single gives Broad another chance, with a single pushed on the off side getting him off the mark. Well done, Stuart, you're off the pair. The only problem is, you now have to play with Mitchell.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Fi: Cook is writing his captaincy resignation letter not his Xmas present list!

    Jbartlettcoys: Why have I been watching this for seven hours?

  36. 0703: 
    Eng 211-6

    Stuart Broad the new man, booed to the crease. He's on a king pair...

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

    "Look where Stokes's right foot is - about 12 inches in front of the batting crease. You're neither forward nor back, you can't play forward from there."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  38. 0700: 
    WICKET- Stokes c Clarke b Harris 28 (Eng 210-6)
    Ryahn Harris dismisses Ben Stokes for 28

    All over tonight? Ben Stokes has been rattled by Mitchell Johnson, and now he falls to Ryan Harris. Angled across the left-hander, a prod forward, edged to Michael Clarke at second slip. Harris gives Stokes a huge roar as he walks off, the Aussies are into the tail.

    Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cook 1), 2-20 (Carberry 14), 3-131 (Pietersen 53), 4-143 (Bell 6), 5-171 (Root 87), 6-210 (Stokes 28)

    Harris' figures: 15.1-3-33-1

    Full match scorecard


    Liam McMahon, Wellington, NZ: England's main problem is Alastair Cook's form, both as batsman and captain. And that all started to go wrong for him, I think, soon after Brendon McCullum disingenuously labelled him "as good as Bradman". That was an irresponsible thing for the Kiwi skipper to say... look what damage it's done to Cook's confidence!

  40. 0700: 
    Eng 201-5 (84 overs)

    I think Ben Stokes has irked the Aussies (who hasn't?) both with the ball and now the bat. As the light improves, short leg George Bailey has his tongue poked at the batsman as he waits for Johnson, who unloads a couple of verbal volleys. Over the wicket, around, back over, a clip fine for one. Johnson stands in the way of Stokes' run and they brush shoulders. More verbals, with umpire Dharmasena physically pushing Johnson away. Ooohhhh, that is a brave leave by Prior, missing off stump by the width of a fag paper.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special commentator

    "There are a few anxious people who run the game here who are really hoping this game goes into a fifth day, as they would have expected that from looking at the pitch."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  42. 0655: 
    Eng 209-5 (target 531)

    Stokes is looking much more solid than Prior, who gets a single to let the Durham man deal with Harris. Shot lad, a straight drive back past Harris for four, holding the pose for the cameras. Pictures of Joe Root show him still looking absolutely gutted. That's no bad thing, his fight and desire have been most welcome today. A Stokes pull for one keeps Prior away from Johnson.


    Alex: I'm just two hours south of Craig (0633) at the University of Richmond, Virginia. I'll trade you the snow that's predicted here in the capital of the South for a Christmas miracle in Adelaide.

    Pete: Re: Caiphus Nkwagatse (0641). Completely agree, Compton's only error was not playing for Yorkshire.

  44. 0651: 
    Eng 203-5 (target 531)

    Aprons on, we're heading into the kitchen. Johnson immediately cranks the gun up to 90, beating Stokes, who, most importantly, is able to defend the straight ones. There are only eight overs left in the day, plus the extra half-hour if the Aussies are granted it by the umpires. How many would England need to have lost for that to happen? Seven? Eight? Stokes, though, is solid. Is he cementing his place?

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

    "This is the sort of day where you would say, if you lose more than three wickets, you're not batting well - and England have lost six. The pitch has been a shocker, really, as it's not done enough for the seamers."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  46. 0646: 
    NEW BALL- Eng 203-5

    Well, I say it will be going to Mitchell Johnson, but it hasn't yet. Ryan Harris has first use of the shiny conker, which should hoop around under this cloud cover. Plenty of catching company for Stokes, who gets a single to fine leg. Prior, floodlights glinting off the stickers on his bat, is beaten by one that moves away. Alastair Cook still has the pen and paper, that letter to Santa must a long one. Here comes Mitchell...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Nick Bruzon: Hey - it's not all doom and gloom. I've woken up and we're still batting. 150s each from Prior/Stokes and the game is ours.

    Caiphus Nkwagatse: England troubles started when they dropped Compton, never change a winning team in pursuit of elegance.

  48. 0641: 
    Eng 202-5 (80 overs)

    Lyon to Prior, who covers up on off stump. Mitchell Johnson makes a couple of hand gestures, pointing from end to end. "Who, me?" Yes, you Mitch. The new ball is available, and I can't think it will be going into any hands other than yours.

    The scorecard
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm not sure the standing umpires would agree to the extra half-hour if it was six down. They probably would if it was seven."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  50. 0638: 
    Eng 201-5 (new ball in 1 over)

    I wonder what Broad, Swann and the rest of the England tail are thinking. One more wicket and they are in the firing line of Mitchell Johnson with the ball at its hardest. Prior and Stokes continue to knock it around, the phoney war is almost over.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "This is the longest innings Stokes has played in the fourth innings of a first-class match. He's never lasted more than 64 balls before now."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  52. 0635: 
    Eng 200-5 (target 531)

    Lyon chews his gum through the zinc on his face, sprinting Australia towards the new ball. Off Prior's thigh pad, caught at leg slip. Nothing doing. We're all waiting for the new grenade.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport at the Adelaide Oval

    On Twitter: If you're waking up in the UK remember that England getting to 200 counts as an official 'moral victory'.

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

    "Smith's bowled some rubbish today, he's taken a wicket with a full toss, but he's bowled one or two absolute beauties. He gives it a good rip, he's just not very accurate."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  55. 0633: 
    Eng 200-5

    Yep, we'll have spin to take us to 80 overs, Steve Smith with his dangerous/filthy leg-breaks. If Joe Root has been the biggest positive for England today, the application shown by Ben Stokes is another. He came through a tough early test and tucks in to sweep, then drive Smith for fours. England pass 200 for the first time in the series.

    Ben Stokes

    Craig, Washington, DC: I'm following England's miserable performance in the library at Georgetown University. This batting line-up is more dysfunctional than the US Congress, and that's saying something. At least England made it past the tea (party).

  57. 0630: 
    Eng 192-5 (76 overs)

    It almost feels like the game is on hold until the new ball arrives, even Michael Clarke is twirling his arms around like he might fancy a spell. Nathan Lyon recalled, Prior takes a couple through the covers. Four until the new nut.

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

    "There is a history of really quick bowlers who've argued that they don't mind playing on slow pitches as they can hit the stumps. Imran Khan, when he played for Sussex, liked to play at Eastbourne where it was slow and low, rather than Hove where it was bouncy."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  59. 0627: 
    CLOSE!- Eng 190-5

    It's dark enough for the glow of the big screen to be enhanced by the gloom. Siddle pumps his arms towards the batsman and juts his backside towards the sightscreen, dropping short for Stokes to pull straight at short leg George Bailey. Take that. Next ball, Stokes clips of his hips, in and out of Bailey's armpit. Bailey a sitting target, but Stokes survives.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Williamlennie: Seeing rain in the forecast for Adelaide tomorrow, that's all I want for Christmas!

    Johnson Ogunniyi: Good on Prior, no pair this time. I think he might just head for a big score this time.

  61. 0622: 
    Eng 190-5 (Stokes 12, Prior 14)

    Still Johnson, probably for the last time before the new nut. Plenty of reverse wiggle to Prior, who fishes for one that goes past the edge. The beaming floodlights loom large in the Adelaide sky - is there any suggestion that the light might fade enough to take us off? I don't think so. Six overs until the new ball and a whole new set of problems for England.

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

    "Root has been the biggest plus by a long way - he bided his time, played Lyon pretty well and waited for the loose ball. Bell might score quicker at three, but my guess will be that they won't change it. I don't think Pietersen has ever hit a long, defensive hundred for England - I can't remember one. England are playing catch-up cricket, so they'd rather Pietersen played a magical innings than a good one."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  63. 0616: 
    Eng 186-5

    Just waking up? It says much about the difference between these two sides when we can say that England have battled reasonably well, yet still find themselves 186-5. Joe Root played very well for 87, Kevin Pietersen was restrained for a half-century, but Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry and Ian Bell surrendered. Australia, who declared just before play, need five more wickets for a 2-0 lead. If you want more on the overnight action, Ashes breakfast has just begun on Radio 5 live.

    Australia dismiss Joe Root

    England one-day all-rounder Luke Wright: Really hope I don't give Matt Prior the kiss of death but really think he will get himself back in form here.

  65. 0614: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 186-5

    Stokes survives. It looked as though the ball had not hit the ground on its way to Chris Rogers via the boot of George Bailey, but replays show that it bounced. Take a deep breath, it's time for a drink.

  66. 0613: 
    THIRD UMPIRE- Eng 186-5

    My word, this would be some way to go. Has Ben Stokes been caught off short leg's boot? We need another look.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special
    Dark clouds gather

    "It's quite dark now, but the rain's gone. I looked at the radar, it passed us by."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  68. 0610: 
    Eng 185-5

    Johnson moves his mo to the end of his run as the floodlights really start to take effect. Light shines off the sweat on Shane Watson's head and the shades on umpire Dharmasena's face, How can he need shades when the floodlights are on? Johnson is once again arching the ball into Stokes' pads, but the Durham man is solid. You sense the game will begin when Prior dances with Johnson.


    Alex Muse: What's this rubbish about dropping Stokes for Perth. You don't pick a guy and then decide he's not good enough one game later. Please no return to the 90s...

    Nick, Moscow, Idaho, USA: Perhaps England could bat in reverse order, starting with Monty and ending with Cook. That way the Australian bowlers get tired out before the real batsmen show up, and the English bowlers will get a chance to rest before they are called up to bowl! Oh, what's that? England have no real batsmen?

  70. 0605: 
    Eng 185-5 (71 overs)

    This is better from Prior, a skip to biff into the vacant leg side for four. Signs of recovery for the England keeper? Might be a bit early for that. Here comes Mitchell...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Daniel Clayton: Carberry, Root, Pietersen and Bell have all scored runs in this test. Inexcusably underdone, but signs that Eng are improving.

    Jed Gore: Will we see the Prior from Dunedin or the first innings version? I can only see the latter...

    We presume you mean Auckland?

  72. 0602: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 181-5

    Prior, wearing his beard well, sweatband on the forearm, is scratchy, but battles on. A single off Harris as Johnson goes through some loosening exercises. Will he have a burst before the new ball is due? Maybe one or two. Harris swings one back to Stokes and appeals. Bat first? It's only the Rhino appealing, nothing doing. It was pad first you know, and smashing into the middle stump. Stokes get a life. In frustration, Harris hurls four overthrows to move England to their highest total of the series.


    Wisden editor Lawrence Booth: Shame for Root, but that was an innings that ought to keep him at number three for Perth.

  74. 0558: 
    Eng 176-5

    Stokes is temporarily shotless against Lyon, but then gets dancing. A biff for nothing, two checked defensive strokes. Excitement around the bat, and what sounds like a Mexican Wave starting in the stands. 11 overs until the new ball, 21 overs left in the day, unless the extra half-hour is requested.

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

    "Not long until the second new ball - you fear for the likes of Broad and Anderson facing the second new nut. I know this dressing-room, you can tell they're low in confidence."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  76. 0555: 
    Eng 176-5 (Stokes 8, Prior 4)

    Before Root fell, Alastair Cook was sitting on the England balcony with a pen and paper. "Dear Santa, for Perth I would like some batting form, Matt Prior's mojo, the old Swanny and 11 sets of guts. Your pal, Cooky". Since Root has gone, the focus has shifted from debutant Stokes to the struggling Prior. Harris examines - out, in, out again. Prior survives. Survival is all we ask for, and can realistically expect.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Adelaide Oval

    "HMS England might be sinking, but in Joe Root's patient, battling 87 tourists will feel that they have at least salvaged something from the wreckage. They're still bobbing around in the lifeboats, but they now have a small bottle of brandy with which to console themselves as the stern disappears into the waves."

  78. 0550: 
    Eng 175-5 (67 overs)
    Nathan Lyon

    Amid the breath-holding of Prior's entry and the Stokes review, we haven't had much time to reflect on that stoic innings of Joe Root. Plenty suggested that he wasn't the man to bat at three, but he showed the fight lacked by a lot of his team-mates. He must have done enough to remain at three now. Prior still looking to avoid a pair, Lyon causing all sorts of mischief from around the wicket. Turn, bounce, Prior eventually biffing his way out of trouble. Relief to get four through cow corner.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Khael Malik: Every time someone gets praised on here his wicket goes in the very next over. Curse!

    Tom Audsley: Go on Stokes, I'd love it if you proved me wrong right now and save the game... I'll even take back what I said about you.

    Neale Pye: For the the fifth time in two Tests I've woken up, looked at phone for score and become depressed. Have decided to sell phone.

  80. 0545: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 171-5

    The players were back in their positions as soon as the replays were shown on the big screen. The ball had flicked Stokes' back pad, but the ball was miles away from off stump. The Aussies have no reviews left, but we are in the 66th over and they get two back after 80.

  81. 0544: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 171-5

    Stokes in the dock again. I'm not entirely sure what for this time, perhaps lbw. Harris the bowler, he's done enough to convince Haddin and Clarke.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Johnson has taken 9-24 against batsmen at number seven to 11 in the order in this series."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  83. 0542: 
    Eng 171-5 (target 531)

    Would whoever has embodied the being of Matt Prior over the past six months or so please depart. We would like the Prior of Auckland back. Prior arrives on a pair and sees off that threat, but almost turns his second ball to leg slip. I suspect Mitchell Johnson my be wound up again soon. The procession could start at any moment.

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

    "Root was magnificent, I'd never seen him walk off so slowly. The way he played today, he'll get many more opportunities to score Test hundreds in Australia. He didn't really do anything wrong there - he got an inside edge and it was a good catch by Haddin."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Root looks distraught - he stayed out there for a long time, not because he was disputing the decision, just because he couldn't believe it. He's done so much hard work, but he's desperately disappointed."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  86. 0538: 
    WICKET- Root c Haddin b Lyon 87 (Eng 171-5)
    Joe Root walks off

    Surely this is the beginning of the end. Joe Root is gone for a very good 87. Playing back to Nathan Lyon, he gets an inside edge on to his thigh pad, with Brad Haddin showing excellent awareness to dive forward to take the catch. Up goes the finger, Root puts his hand to his head in disappointment. He can be proud of his efforts, but it's not enough.

    Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cook 1), 2-20 (Carberry 14), 3-131 (Pietersen 53), 4-143 (Bell 6), 5-171 (Root 87)

    Root's statistics: 264 minutes, 194 balls and nine fours

    Lyon's figures: 18.2-3-60-1

    Full match scorecard

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

    "Root's been outstanding. He's been very patient this morning, then made the most of some good batting conditions in the afternoon. People still have question-marks over him, but now they've plumped for him at number three I think he should stay there."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  88. 0538: 
    Eng 171-4

    Mitchell Johnson has been seen off, replaced by Ryan Harris. That's like getting past the Empire then having to deal with the Daleks. Or some other sci-fi mumbo jumbo. A feature of Joe Root "getting in" is that he plays on the front foot more often and with more confidence. Here he pushes for one.


    Brett, Leeds: Team for Perth: Cook, Carberry, Root, KP, Bell, Ballance, Bairstow, Broad, Rankin, Finn, Monty. The game is up on this tour for England, we all know it. On that basis, we may as well use it to offer some experience to the younger players. We also need to know if Finn really has the mettle to play at this level.

    Martin Crowther: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Prior (wk), Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Rankin, Panesar.

  90. 0533: 
    Eng 170-4 (63 overs)

    Better from Ben Stokes, leaning back to belt Lyon through the covers for four. I think back to the summer, he was picked in the one-dayers as a third seamer and number eight bat. Strange he's now the fifth bowler number six in the order.

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

    "England are strong when they have Yorkshiremen in the team. They've got three in the dressing-room sitting on their bottoms."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  92. 0530: 
    Eng 166-4 (target 531)

    This will probably be Johnson's last over for a little while. Maybe one more, max. He's bowling to Root with a slip, gully, leg gully and short leg. Root, though, who has impressed all day, goes back to play a dreamy back-foot drive through the covers for four. This knock of Root's reminds me of a young Alastair Cook getting a hundred in a losing cause in Perth on the 2006-07 tour.

    Text 81111

    Anvar Tojihojaev in Tashkent: Greetings from Uzbekistan. England's batting collapses this match and last reminds a bit of the collapse of the Soviet Union we were once part of. One was a long, drawn-out, painful experience for millions of people; the other happened in the Soviet Union.

  94. 0525: 
    Eng 162-4 (Root 82, Stokes 3)

    The umpires ask for the floodlights to be turned on to break the increasing gloom. Umpire Erasmus, by the way, has Nathan Lyon's baggy green cap on top of his own hat as Lyon bowls. Frankly, he looks a bit of a buffoon. If I was batting I'd be telling him to get a grip. Ooofff, a Root inside edge just goes past the stumps. Every ball an event here, the Aussies scenting blood.

    Text 81111

    Dan, Leeds: The bottom line here is that Aussies on the pitch and through the media have got in England's heads. The team has been fragmented, resulting in poor batting performances (again) from our top order. We have to learn from these two one-sided games and fight fire with fire, we are a lot better than this" Prior needs to be dropped and Cook has to lead with the bat! If he doesn't then unfortunately he is no worthy captain.

  96. 0521: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 159-4

    Ooohhhh, bat first. Just. Johnson fancies Stokes leg before here, though.

  97. 0521: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 159-4

    We've said that Stokes could have trouble against the Johnson inswingers. Here it is again. Pad first? Bat first? Ump Dharmasena says bat. The Aussies want another look.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Nick Hoult from the Telegraph has just pointed out that Steve Smith has now taken nine Test wickets - and three of them have been Ian Bell."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  99. 0516: 
    Eng 154-4 (target 531)
    Ben Stokes hits past Steve Smith

    Problems for Stokes from both ends. If it's not Johnson's thunderbolts, it's Nathan Lyon ripping off-breaks across his southpaw grip. A half-hearted cut evades the cover fielder, then a gripper goes past the edge. A big test for Stokes. Is he up to it? I'd settle for him not throwing his wicket away, that would mean he's shown more ticker than most.


    Paul Bentinck: It's not just us, the England fans, suffering. An Ashes series has to be a battle between two accomplished sides. Regrettably, there is only one accomplished side steamrollering the other, so no contest. Which makes all the build-up and anticipation a major disappointment. No fun for either set of fans really! RIP this series.

    Andy Hunt, Auckland, NZ: Only the elements are capable of preventing this being a 5-0 drubbing. A really poor effort by England so far.

  101. 0513: 
    Eng 154-4 (58 overs)

    Stokes will struggle against the pace and reverse wiggle of Johnson so long as he is planting the front foot. Half an appeal for leg before - he's hit that but it hasn't carried to gully. That's better from Stokes, a push down the ground brings him three to get off the mark. Johnson usually only bowls in three over spells, and England have now seen off two.

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

    "I'd be shouting to Lyon from short leg, 'if you can't bowl any better than this, I'm not fielding for you!'"

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  103. 0508: 
    Eng 151-4 (Root 74, Stokes 0)

    All terrible gags about Root 66 can be put back in the locker as he rocks back to pull Nathan Lyon for four. I count about eight players and staff in the viewing area in the England dressing room, there's not a smile between them. Quite right too. Root, at least, is looking the part, pulling another Lyon half-tracker to the fence.

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

    "My first impression of Ben Stokes is that he doesn't use his top hand enough. He could play a bit straighter, use some more bend in his right elbow, as he's left-handed."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  105. 0505: 
    Eng 143-4

    It was just after lunch yesterday that Johnson went on his rampage, three wickets in a over, the first of which was Ben Stokes. Left-armer Johnson is looking for the big pad of Stokes, reversing the ball in as Stokes walks across his stumps. There it is...inside edge...just away from short leg. Do we have confidence that Stokes can survive for too long? He comes through this over.

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

    "The only problem which Joe Root has had is the one which slides across him from Johnson - he nicked one in Brisbane."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  107. 0501: 

    Back come the players. Will it be for the final time in this match? The Aussies look excited, limber, lions in the Colosseum. England are the Christians. Caesar Clarke throws the ball to Mitchell Johnson. Good luck, Ben Stokes.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The door is open now, and Australia know that. We've got Stokes, then Prior, then the bowlers - and we know how Mitchell Johnson has done against them."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  109. 0458: 
    Ian Bell walks off

    I notice that the calls for Ian Bell to bat at three have gone quiet all of a sudden.

    Text 81111

    Rob in London: Is there any other team in the world who give their wickets away as freely as England? Haven't seen a "great" delivery bowled by Australia in this match.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Owen Riley: I don't think Bell would have played that shot if he genuinely had any belief England could save this game.

  112. 0455: 

    I suspect Mitchell Johnson is currently prowling up and down outside the England dressing room, pawing at the door, waiting for his chance to bowl at this lower-middle order.

    As Fred Trueman used to say: "dunna close thee gate, you'llst ba needin it soon lad."

  113. 0453: 

    So the chances of saving the game look to be gone (did they ever exist?), can it even be stretched in to a fifth day?

  114. 0444: 

    And while the players take tea, keep listening to TMS for a little feature from Kevin Howells about the new changes to the county season for 2014.

    Meanwhile, it's over to Stephan Shemilt to talk you through the next passage of play.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rick: England's XI for a slim chance in Perth: Bell, Carberry, Bell, Bell, Bell, Bell, Bell, Bell, Bell (wk), Broad, Bell. 12th man: Bell.

    Jed Gore: The only England players from this match that will be in the next Ashes squad are Root, Cook and Broad.

  116. 0442: 

    So, just when England dared to dream of batting through the afternoon session without losing a wicket, the "add two wickets to the score" mantra has struck again - with Pietersen and Bell gone, England are four down and it's very much Australia's session.

    I hate to be pessimistic, but on the evidence of the first innings, it would take a brave person to bet their house on England lasting the day.

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

    "Steve Smith has got a wicket out of nowhere, not for the first time. Getting Bell is a killer blow. He didn't know whether to hit it for one or four. You feel the game is up."

    Australia celebrate Ian Bell's dismissal
  118. 0440: 
    TEA INTERVAL- Eng 143-4

    Lyon to send down the last over before tea - I think we can expect another burst of Mitchell Johnson after the interval. Australia try to rush through the over to get another one in... but Root plays out a maiden and the players walk off.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Reverend Liam Reilly: No excuse to get out to Steve Smith. Awful bowler.

    Maverick: That's it, can't see England batting out the rest of the match with Bell back in the hutch.

  120. 0438: 
    Eng 143-4

    Ben Stokes to the crease - but Australia will feel they have one end open now. Stokes gets forward to his first ball, it nearly spoons up to short leg... His second is also smacked towards short leg at point-blank range where it hits George Bailey's left hand but he can't hold on. I expect once in a blue moon, those will stick, but you can't blame Bailey. It's a wonderful life for Australia as tea approaches...

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

    "Well that's it. He was almost trying to hit it too hard. He could have patted it along the ground. He lost control and his bottom hand came off the bat. That's the tamest dismissal off the lot."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Ian Bell what are you doing? What a sucker blow."

  123. 0435: 
    WICKET- Bell c Johnson b Smith 6 (Eng 143-4)
    Mitchell Johnson dives to take the catch to dismiss Ian Bell

    Mind the windows - Steve Smith is coming on again for a little bowl before tea. Bell cuts a single to the cover sweeper - it's Ryan Harris, who the ball is rather following around at the moment. Root does likewise as Harris is kept busy, so we have Root 66. But Smith serves up a pie of a full toss... and Bell hits it straight to mid-on. I despair, I really do. Rip up your tickets for day 5, folks - England have thrown away another wicket. I can almost hear Geoffrey marking out his long run-up for tonight's podcast already.

    Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cook 1), 2-20 (Carberry 14), 3-131 (Pietersen 53), 4-143 (Bell 6)

    Smith's figures: 4.4-0-33-1

    Full match scorecard


    Simon in New York: Team for Perth: Gooch, Curtis, Gower, Tavare, Barnett, Botham, Russell, Emburey, Fraser, Dilley, Jarvis. At least they know what it's like to be 2-0 down in an Ashes series.

  125. 0431: 
    Eng 141-3

    Lyon tosses it up to Root, who sees off a maiden over. Nothing to see here, please move along...


    Robert Breen: Cook, Carberry, Root, KP, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson and Monty.

    Keep emailing, texting and tweeting us your England XIs for Perth... feel free to include rhubarb-wielding members of the Boycott family if you must!

  127. 0428: 
    Eng 141-3

    We're around 15 minutes from the scheduled tea interval - no sign yet of the light showers we were told might appear, the clouds have remained high above the Adelaide Oval. Root is denied by a good diving stop by Harris at backward point - he moves well for a big fast bowler. Also moving well, to his left, is keeper Haddin who dives smartly to prevent any byes down the leg side. Root guides Siddle off his legs, Lyon puts in the dive at deep square leg and initially stops the ball but it trickles onto the rope before he can retrieve it. A single takes the Yorkshire youngster to 65.


    Andy, watching from the mound: Bring Sam Robson in from the performance squad for Perth and let Cook drop down the order as Vaughan did as captain. Added bonus is - we secure him for England.

  129. 0424: 
    Eng 136-3 (Root 60*, Bell 5*)

    An interesting bowling change - Watson is off after a tight spell, but Nathan Lyon returns. Will Bell go after him early as he did in the first innings, trying to blast Lyon out of the park like a man under a post-hypnotic suggestion? He shoulders arms outside off stump, before Lyon drops it short and Bell has the liberty to crack it for four through cover point.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport at the Adelaide Oval

    On Twitter: Tremlett and Rankin like enormous security guards in high vis vests, supervising drinks break for the boys in the middle.

  131. 0420: 
    Eng 132-3

    There's a short mid-wicket and two catchers in the Reasonably Short Extra Cover area as Siddle runs in to Bell, who's yet to score. Siddle tries a bouncer, Bell goes for the pull (was he watching earlier when Cook and Carberry got out?) but doesn't really go through with the shot and doesn't connect. The Warwickshire man is off the mark with a quick single to backward point, it would have been close if it had hit. And Root must have damaged his bat - he needs a bat change before the last ball of the over. At least they've ended that run of maidens.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jason Drawmer: OK fair play; KP gone. Let's take this performance on for the rest of the innings. Put on a fight. Don't make it easy!

    Chris Harvey (or possibly the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail): OK, we'll call this a draw....

  133. 0415: 
    Eng 131-3 (Root 60*, Bell 0*)

    Watson begins a new over to Root, and suddenly England's warm glow of comfort has been yanked away like a partner inadvertently pulling the duvet off them in the night and leaving them shivering... Not much movement for Watson, but he keeps it right and Root sees off the over. Five maidens on the trot... can we have that Steve Smith back on please?

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "If things had been going for England, that would have gone over the top of the stumps. Pietersen doesn't like that nagging length from Siddle, he wants to do something with it."

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician
    Peter Siddle bowls Kevin Pietersen

    "Peter Siddle has now got Kevin Pietersen out nine times. In this match, he bowled him 40 balls, Pietersen scored 11 runs and got out twice."

  136. 0409: 
    Eng 131-3

    So, just when England were starting to look as though they could resist, a wicket falls. One more, and judging by the performance yesterday, the door to the rabbit hutch could be open, never mind Geoffrey's "add two wickets to the score" mantra. Ian Bell is the new batsman, he defends the rest of the over, it's a wicket maiden.

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

    "He gets his foot forward, but he stands up and leaves a big gap between bat and pad. He gets away with it a lot but, but you can leave a lot of room for an inside edge."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a very good delivery, Pietersen was trying to defend it but it nipped back."

  139. 0404: 
    WICKET- Pietersen b Siddle 53 (Eng 131-3)
    Peter Siddle dismisses Kevin Pietersen for the ninth time

    My word, Siddle's got Pietersen again - an inside edge onto his stumps and he's bowled! The partnership was 111... Nelson strikes.

    Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cook 1), 2-20 (Carberry 14), 3-131 (Pietersen 53)

    Siddle's figures: 8.1-2-14-2

    The match scorecard

    Full match scorecard


    James McQuin: Get Stuart Meaker up from the performance squad for Perth, he's the only Englishman who can bowl Mitchell Johnson pace.

    James in Stoke: Got to keep faith with Prior, If only for the fact he's a top class wicketkeeper. Don't fancy Bairstow behind the stumps. Cook, Carberry, Bell, KP, Root, Stokes, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Panesar.

  141. 0403: 
    Eng 131-2 (Root 60*, Pietersen 53*)

    Watson has no fewer than three men catching on the leg side for Root - a schoolboy-style short mid-on, and a short mid-wicket in the area where Pietersen perished yesterday, and a fairly short square leg. Meanwhile, the burly umpire Erasmus isn't happy with Watson and has a quiet word about his follow-through. Next ball, it looks like Watson has an official warning for running on the pitch - two more and he'd have to be removed from the attack. "Maybe he doesn't want to bowl on this flat pitch!" ponders Boycs on TMS. Root defends another maiden over.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I heard last night that these two teams will not socialise with each other until the end of the series. I think it's a shame."

    Geoffrey Boycott: "Why would I want to talk to the fast bowler trying to knock my block off?"

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  143. 0359: 
    Eng 131-2

    As Geoffrey Boycott on TMS indulges in one of his favourite sports - poking fun at Jonathan Agnew's batting - it seems very calm in Adelaide as Siddle bowls a maiden to Pietersen. Even the England dressing-room looks relaxed, with Graeme Swann clowning around to the delight of his team-mates.


    Joel in China: What exactly is Steve Smith's role in the Australia side? Why is he in there? He is a pretty limited batsman without the required temperament for Test cricket and is a very average fourth change bowler.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The frustrating element to all this is that they shouldn't be in this situation. This is how they should have played in the first innings."

  146. 0354: 
    Eng 131-2 (Root 60*, Pietersen 53*)

    The leg-spin cafeteria is closed for England as buffet bowler Steve Smith is unsurprisingly removed from the attack and Australia turn to the medium-fast seam of Shane Watson, usually their best bet of putting the brakes on the scoring. Root plays out a maiden. And we're halfway through the day in terms of overs - 45 completed, potentially another 135 (in the innings) to negotiate.

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

    "Australia need to get three batsmen, these two and Bell. Then, they would feel they are the homeward stretch. After what happened in the first innings, bowling to the lower order is a different game."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  148. 0350: 
    Eng 131-2

    As we expected, we've seen the last of Mitchell Johnson for a little while, and it's time for another burst from Peter Siddle - who, lest we forget, has dismissed Pietersen more than any other Test bowler. (And he's not even a left-arm spinner...). The Victorian vegan is driven for a single by Root, but nearly snares Pietersen a couple of times when he flicks the ball agonisingly wide of those short mid-wicket catchers. He adds a two to his score.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "This is England's first 100 partnership in six innings since the Durham Test match in the summer."

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

    "I think they have batted very sensibly. They have put the pitch into context, it should be hard for bowlers to get you out. There is some slow turn, but there's nothing for the seamers."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  151. 0344: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 128-2 (Root 59*, Pietersen 51*)

    And that's time for drinks. We've had 16 overs since lunch, in which England have scored 63.

    Kevin Pietersen

    Pietersen's second six of the innings means this is a record-breaking Ashes Test in terms of maximums. He followed that up with another six and the ropes have now been cleared 20 times to beat the previous best of 18 sixes in a match recorded at Edgbaston in 2005.

  153. 0343: 
    PIETERSEN 50- Eng 128-2

    Smith serves up more absolute buffet bowling for Pietersen, who clubs him for another six over mid-wicket to bring up the century stand. A single takes Pietersen to 45, Root helps himself to a single to leg, then Pietersen brings up his half century in style with another six, this time launched over long-off. Smith has 0-31 from four overs. Of all the current international bowlers I'd most like to face as a batsman... Steve Smith would probably be top of the list.


    Emon Khan: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson and Finn. Finn has to play and should have been picked for this Test match. Questions have to be asked about Swann. He has had little impact since his surgery.

    Joe in Lincolnshire: Cook, Compton, Carberry, Bell, KP, Root, Prior, Swann, Broad, Tremlett, Anderson. Pretty controversial but Compton is a player who needs to be in the fold.

  155. 0340: 
    Eng 114-2

    The fourth over of Johnson's spell - will this be his last, given that he tends to operate in quick bursts these days? Root goes for another wide one and misses again - he's not helping England fans' blood pressure doing that - then pushes a two to deep cover. A firm drive past the non-striker brings him two more, while Root threads another two through the covers - six off the over, and has he seen off Johnson for the time being?


    Shivan: Cook, Carberry, Bell, KP, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Panesar. Prior is lacking confidence and Swann is neither taking wickets nor restricting the runs. Ballance deserves a chance based on his county performances.

    Ali Wazir from Amsterdam: Root, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Bairstow, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Finn, Anderson, Panesar. Pietersen as captain.

    Chris Law: Broad (Chris), Atherton, Smith (Robin), Lamb (Allan), Botham, Flintoff, Russell, Broad, Edmonds, Anderson, Malcolm.

  157. 0336: 
    Eng 108-2 (Root 52*, Pietersen 38*)

    Root nicks the strike with a single off the last ball. England need, ahem, another 423 more.

  158. 0335: 

    ...but Pietersen survives for now. Great pick-up-and-throw by Warner.

  159. 0334: 

    Hello, Smith gets another over... Pietersen blasts him in the air over extra cover and miscues it, but it lands safely over Johnson running back and they run two. Pietersen then nearly edges one behind when he fails to pick the length, then straight-drives to mid-on, calls for a single, Warner's throw hits the stumps and the umpires send it upstairs...

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Adelaide Oval

    "The first few signs of probably entirely undue hope from the England supporters on the grassy mound at the Cathedral End - Root and Pietersen have not only compiled England's biggest stand of the series so fat, but have done so looking relatively untroubled.

    "Pietersen is hitting the ball almost exclusively along the deck, while Root is using his feet well to Lyon and deflecting and nudging well against Johnson. These words will almost inevitably trigger the demise of both men, but for now, a brief period of calm for the under-fire England team."

  161. 0331: 
    ROOT 50- Eng 104-2
    Joe Root

    A distinct contrast in the two bowlers operating at the moment - perhaps Michael Clarke is messing with England's minds again as Root, on 49, has to adjust from facing Smith's bag of goodies to Johnson's left-arm pace. He ducks a 93mph bouncer and ignores some trash talk from the bowler, and responds in the best way possible by forcing a two through mid-wicket - that's his fourth Test fifty. Some more words are exchanged between bowler and batsman at the end of the over, this time with smiles on their faces.


    Pietersen's six was the 18th of the match and means the teams have equalled the record for sixes in an Ashes Test. Adelaide 2013 is tied at the top with Edgbaston 2005. Some way to go to beat the Test world record though - that's 27.

  163. 0326: 
    Eng 102-2
    Kevin Pietersen hits the 18th six of the match

    A change of spinners as Lyon gets the hook after a loose last over (he has 0-41 from 11 overs) and Australia turn back to leggie Steve Smith, who had that one over before lunch. "Let's see if he can land a couple," notes Jim Maxwell on TMS - well, his first ball is a typical Steve Smith rank full-toss/pie which Pietersen despatches into the stand at cow corner for six! Three singles take England past the 100 mark, while Root flogs another hit-me ball and only the diving David Warner flinging himself across the mid-wicket boundary turns four into one. 10 from Smith's over.

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

    "What I have liked about Pietersen in this innings is that he has not hit any balls in the air. He's too good to be consistently caught. Just whack it on the floor."

  165. 0322: 
    Eng 92-2 (Root 47*, Pietersen 27*)

    The TV pictures pick out Ben Stokes in the England dressing-room - it looks like he's colouring something in. When he turns the piece of paper over, it looks like headshot photographs of his team-mates. The mind boggles... Johnson begins the second over of his new spell, two slips and a gully in, England hearts are in mouths as Root chases a wide one outside off stump but just fails to get a nick... calm down, young man. Plenty of time still to bat - 52 more overs today. Johnson steps in to have a word with the batsman, and umpire Dharmasena is quick to step in and diffuse any tension. Maiden over.


    Will B: Cook, Carberry, Bell, KP, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Onions.

    Ellis: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Broad, Swann, Bresnan, Anderson.

  167. 0318: 
    Eng 92-2
    Joe Root bats

    Pietersen steers Lyon for a single, then Root tucks into a couple of looser deliveries, guiding two fours - either side of the wicket. A single takes him to 47. Michael Vaughan and Simon Mann on TMS wonder whether Captain Clarke should turn to his own left-arm spin for a trundle, but Clarke's back problems have limited his bowling activities of late.

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

    "It has calmed down. The game looks like normal Test cricket. This is how it should have been yesterday morning."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  169. 0314: 
    Eng 82-2 (Root 38*, Pietersen 26*)
    Peter Siddle throws the ball to Mitchell Johnson

    The six words any England fan (and probably many of their batsmen) dread: "The new bowler is Mitchell Johnson". Hold your breath... The moustachioed warrior - described yesterday by our man Tom Fordyce as having gone from cartoon clown to dark destroyer - comes round the wicket to Root, who is solid in defence. Halfway through the over, he switches back to over the wicket but Root sees off a maiden over... And breathe again.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Obamas Hangover: Bairstow is not an international standard wicketkeeper. Dropping Prior for him would make this nightmare even more hellish.

    Matt Wilkins: Why no Madsen from Derbyshire... first batsman to 1,000 runs last season. All scored batting at three.

    Matt Barnwell: Well on the way to a pair of double hundreds here. Am introducing the wonderful girlfriend to cricket so it must happen right?

  171. 0309: 
    Eng 82-2

    Root guides Lyon for a two square of the wicket, the bearded spinner still has four close fielders around the bat for the young Tyke - two on each side. Root clips a single to deep square leg to move to 38 - and that equals the highest England partnership of the series (62).

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

    "Haddin doesn't do Twitter, Siddle doesn't do Twitter and Harris tweets about once a month. Real men don't tweet."

    If you disagree with Vic, tweet us to let us know. If you agree with him... then you won't be on Twitter anyway. Try sending us a carrier pigeon?

  173. 0306: 
    Eng 79-2 (Root 35*, Pietersen 26*)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Harris charges in, Pietersen steps back as though he's not ready or something was moving behind the bowler's arm, but Harris delivers the "dead ball" and it disappears to the boundary down the leg side as umpire Dharmasena signals dead ball. A curious moment. Pietersen adds a single, Root threads one into the covers - England now only need 452 more.


    Jim Wilkinson: Cook, Carberry, Bell, KP, Root, Stokes/Ballance, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Finn/Monty. If they fancy spin - Stokes and Monty. If all-out pace - Ballance and Finn.

    Andy in Brisbane: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Monty.

    Keep those teams for Perth coming...

  175. 0301: 
    Eng 77-2

    Pietersen comes down the wicket to Lyon, and it looks as through he's eyeing up the long-on boundary but he keeps his bat straight and hammers it for four through long-off, all along the ground you'll be pleased to hear. A single takes Pietersen, playing his 101st Test, to 25.

    Text 81111

    Andrew in St Andrews: My England XI and order for Perth: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Bairstow, Broad, Bresnan, Anderson, Panesar. Drop Prior for the rest of the series, it'll take him a good few months and some county cricket to regain his confidence. Maybe England could even drop Cook to three and use Bell/Root to partner Carberry?

  177. 0258: 
    Eng 72-2 (Root 34*, Pietersen 20*)

    Root drills a two wide of mid-on as Harris continues from the Cathedral End, I wonder what the "gallows humour" is like among the Barmy Army stood in front of the scoreboard today? A sense of the inevitable - England are looking relatively comfortably, but there's still 58 overs left to survive today. And all of tomorrow.


    Mark: Can't believe the negative and spiteful comments regarding the players and staff. Australia are performing way above themselves and England way below. Class is permanent and all that.

    Richard: Sitting in the eastern stand, waiting for some rain. I'd drop Cook down the order. Open with Carberry and Root, bring in Bell at 3, KP at 4 and Cook at 5.

  179. 0253: 
    Eng 70-2 (partnership 50)
    Joe Root

    Lyon is still bowling round the wicket to the right-handed Root, anything pitching outside leg stump takes lbw out of the equation. A gentle single to mid-wicket and that's the fifty partnership - only England's third of the series.

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

    "England might have picked the right team here, with two spinners, though the stats might not back it up - you'd think more wickets might have fallen to the spinners."

  181. 0251: 
    Eng 69-2 (Root 31*, Pietersen 20*)

    Root moves to 31 with a single, Pietersen has been patience personified since lunch. He hooks a bouncer from Harris and that's an easy two to take him to 20... thankfully he decides against a risky single off the last ball.


    Keep sending in your England teams for Perth...

    Mark in Malaga: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes, Broad, Bresnan, Tymal Mills, Tremlett

    Carl: Why drop Stokes? He was the quickest bowler for England and did an OK job.

  183. 0247: 
    OUCH!- Eng 66-2
    Kevin Pietersen takes a tumble

    Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, nose and cheeks smeared in sun cream, to take up the attack for Australia - he'll have a lot of bowling to do so they can rotate their quick bowlers at the other end. And he finds a bit of turn as Root is hit on the thigh pad and is "caught" at short leg. He dabs a quick single into the covers, Siddle's throw hits non-striker Pietersen on the back as he tries to make his ground, and the big man tumbles to the ground. ("He might have got a yellow card for diving there," quips Vic Marks on TMS).

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "England's highest partnership in the series is 62 - Cook and Pietersen in the second innings at Brisbane."

  185. 0243: 
    Eng 65-2 (partnership 45)

    Harris is hiding the ball as he runs in, hinting there's a bit of reverse swing, as Pietersen defends the first ball after lunch. A bit of movement for Harris as KP negotiates a maiden over.

    England, if you're just joining us, have five more sessions - 152 more overs - to survive. Or attempt a theoretical target of 531.

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "I thought Pietersen played really well before lunch. For as much as we criticised him in the first innings, he should be praised for what he has done so far."

  187. 0239: 

    Almost ready to resume after some interesting discussion with messrs Agnew, Selvey, Brenkley and Etheridge on TMS. Plenty to talk about - do keep sending in your England XIs for Perth. It's going to be Ryan Harris taking up the attack for Australia...


    Stephen Brenkley of the Independent on TMS: "Perversely, England may feel they have nothing to lose in Perth as they'll go there 2-0 down and they've only ever won there once."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Raoul Ray: A lot of reactionary nonsense coming from some England fans... Calm down dear... Yes it's bad, a small tweak and we'll come good.

    Peter Hart: Lost interest and listened to some Hendrix - true quality. Dead at 27, but more than this lot will average with Root in the side. I don't often agree with Sir Ian Botham, but he said before the home series that England made a mistake in dropping Nick Compton.


    Former England seamer Mike Selvey on TMS: "Monty Panesar against Adam Gilchrist in Perth in 2006 was one of the crassest pieces of captaincy [by Andrew Flintoff] I've ever seen. Putting a left-arm spinner on to bowl at a left-handed batsman, hitting with the wind?!"


    Dan Porter: As an Essex cricket employee I would love to see Tymal Mills play, speaking to him before he left to join the performance squad, I can assure you he is up for it! He also hurt Cookie in the nets with a short ball, hopefully the fear of Johnson doesn't stem from Tymal in the nets!


    Stephen Brenkley of the Independent on TMS: "I wonder if this team has achieved all it's wanted to achieve. They say they desire it - but do they desire it as much as when they came here three years ago? I think it's achieved everything it's going to, and in terms of batting, bowling and fielding, it's coming down the other side of the hill."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    The Pete: I'm surprised so many people are this shocked by England. It was less than a year ago we got outgunned and outplayed by NZ away.

    Andrew Morris: Seems like most people have lost faith in Prior. Can't blame them. Fail here, and he has to be dropped - bring Bairstow in.


    John Etheridge of the Sun on TMS: "I saw a momentum shift towards the end of the last series - clearly the Australian players are enjoying playing under Darren Lehmann."


    Tim, Manchester: Although they would never admit it, to what extent is this current slump down to a possible feeling of "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt" when it comes to winning the Ashes? Most of this team were in Aus in 2010-11 and have won the Ashes three or four times. Australia are clearly having their 2005 moment and it is clear that England lack the same motivation to win. Perish the thought, but do England need to lose the Ashes to really want to win them again?


    Former England seamer Mike Selvey on TMS: "What we haven't mentioned is the fielding. England have dropped catches in this match which could really have put them into this game. If you're on top, you catch flies, but it's quite worrying - I'd been led to believe that Michael Carberry was the best fielder in England, he's quick over the ground but he's got rock-hard hands and he's supposed to be the Collingwood replacement at backward point. We're not a very good fielding side now."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special


    Keelan Shaw, London: Studying for Medicine exams in January. Usually sport distracts me from my studies but thanks to this tour i think I will do better than I ever have. If ever there was a silver lining I've found one. Not sure the same can be said for the players though.


    Stephen Brenkley of the Independent on TMS: "If they knew Trott was poorly, his selection for the first Test baffles me, as he was clearly not right to play. His going home has had a big effect on the team - they like him enormously, it's a bit like when Trescothick went home in 2006."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jess Vallance: England must be playing an internal game of 'who can get out with the silliest shot'. It's going to go down to the wire.

    Tas 'mania' Hussain: Let's take some inspiration from Johannesburg 1995, where Atherton faced 80 overs for his 185 not out.

    Jonathan Edward Lowe: This Saturday night horror show beats anything that Hammer put out.


    John Etheridge of the Sun on TMS: "I think they'll drop both spinners for Perth, play four quicks, and bring Ballance in for Stokes at six."

    Former England seamer Mike Selvey on TMS: "Monty got a five-for in Perth [in 2006], don't forget."

    Text, tweet or email us with your England XIs for Perth...

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special


    Jim Snipe (an Englishman in Melbourne who has to work tonight with Aussie colleagues): Surely Monty should have opened? Ducking and diving, wearing a few for an hour or so?

    Chris Colman, Bromley: While many of you can't see it, this is a long-term England strategy to reduce Cricket Australia's resources by decreasing the number of tickets sold for 4th/5th days. We can take one pummeling now but we're setting ourselves up for another 10 years of glory.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "In the 1980s, almost every county had one bowler of proper, searing pace, so batsmen got used to playing against them. But they don't seem to be around any more."


    Former England seamer Mike Selvey on TMS: "Mitchell Johnson is almost unique in being the only genuine fast bowler in the world at the moment. Dale Steyn's not as fast as he was, Tino Best maybe. But where have all the fast bowlers gone? Nobody played fast bowling better through the 1980s than Graham Gooch, but he can't seem to instil it in the batsmen. Bell plays fast bowling the way people played fast bowling pre-helmets. He sways out of the way, or watches it go over his head. He doesn't get clattered on the helmet and run through for a leg-bye."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    John S Kirkup: Do they do prosthetic backbones? We need at least 11 sent out to Perth. Feeble is not a feeble enough word for it.

    LJ Davies: Aussie fielders don't need to sledge any more. They can just wait for the collapse and shout "JENGA!"

    Other brick-based games are available.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I was speaking at a supporters' event last night, Graham Gooch had been booked to speak - understandably he cancelled and Phil Neale came instead. He told us the players had a very long meeting after play yesterday." But they did that and the captain got out hooking in the second over."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special


    Stephen Brenkley of the Independent on TMS: "This batting unit is not functioning, and questions need to be asked of them, and the people who coach them."

    Mitchell Johnson bowls

    Former England seamer Mike Selvey, now of the Guardian, on TMS: "Mitchell Johnson has bowled very well and very fast. But he hasn't taken out the top order each time - all he has done is obliterate the lower order, and that's often been the lower order which has taken us from 300 to 400 and beyond. Kevin Pietersen has played well, but got out to three idiot shots."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special


    Matthew Downs: My starting XI for Perth would be Cook, Carberry, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes, Broad, Anderson, Tremlett.

    Andrew: Just spotted the Barmy Army on a beach in Adelaide making an SOS sign on the beach for Collingwood to save us. Don't blame them, sat in England watching it is bad enough. KP and Root need to just forget about the score and just survive, for every Englishman's sake.


    John Etheridge of the Sun on TMS: "England were just stunned by the aggression of Johnson's bowling. They had two left-arm bowlers flown out to prepare them in the nets, but it doesn't seem to have made the slightest difference. When England do well, people talk about Andy Flower's attention to detail, but when they're not doing well it has the feeling of a suffocating regime with so many management staff watching them."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special


    Claire, Birmingham: Our second child was born on Wednesday. When I found out about being pregnant I thought great, all that lovely Ashes commentary to keep me company through the long night feeds. Now I'm not asking for a miracle, just sensible batting so I can at least have some company tomorrow night even if only brief. Let's have a bit of belief, England have mostly got themselves out so they should be able to keep themselves in with a bit of sensible play. Do it for baby Holly, a tired mum and soon to be tired dad.


    Stephen Brenkley of the Independent on TMS: "People are saying 'sack them', 'bring them home' or 'replace them' - but let's face it, these are the best batsmen in England. Something's gone wrong, but there isn't anyone else to come in."

    Listen to the debate on BBC Test Match Special

  212. 0210: 

    Thanks, Stephan. Keep an ear on TMS for Aggers' panel of journalists, it's usually an interesting listen.

  213. 0207: 

    During the interval, TMS will be holding court with members of the written press. After the break, Mark Mitchener will talk you through the afternoon session. I'm off to practice my hook shot.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "Steve Smith bowls some rubbish deliveries but he got one to turn past Kevin Pietersen's outside edge - and that's all you need from your fifth or sixth bowler when you've got runs in the bank, just one wicket-taking delivery."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Marcos Sreeves: Root and Pietersen have played themselves in, rain forecast, pace of the ball slowing. Whisper it quietly, this isn't lost yet.

    Ryan Harrington: As a child, was bored to tears watching Boycott grind out hour after hour. Any chance he could pad up?

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

    "This is more like an Indian wicket than your usual Australian pitch. It's ragging."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  217. 0206: 

    So the story of the session is that England lost both openers, both caught at long leg, both pulling/hooking recklessly. Since then, Root and Pietersen have demonstrated that England are batting on the same pitch as the Aussies. Can they do it for five more sessions?

    Text 81111

    Gareth, Chelmsford: I don't care who plays in Perth but will someone please get Graham Gooch as far away from our batsmen as possible, not sure he should be allowed to call himself a batting coach.

  219. 0204: 
    Eng 65-2

    The comfort of Root and Pietersen makes the shots played by Cook and Carberry all the more idiotic. Johnson's pace and the turn of Lyon will remain a threat, but wickets are still most likely to come through batsman error. Up to now, Root and Pietersen have not errors large enough to be fatal.

    Bowling figures: Harris 5-1-13-0, Johnson 6-3-11-1, Siddle 6-1-11-1, Lyon 6-0-21-0, Watson 3-0-6-0, Smith 1-0-3-0.

    Text 81111

    Robbie in North Yorkshire: Surely Cook would've had it in his mind that Clarke would consider such mind games as declaring late on. We've already seen plenty of similar shenanigans so far during the series from the Aussie captain...

    Tom in Tonbridge: Re: Andy Hardy (0136). Move Bell up to three. To be honest, Root would probably be a better opener than Cook right now.

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

    "This pair look comfortable, proving it's a good batting wicket. They've been watchful and just waited for the bad ball. The seamers are tiring, understandably, but to bat for two days you can't afford any mistakes and England have made two."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  222. 0201: 
    LUNCH- Eng 65-2

    Nathan Lyon recalled to bowl the last set before the break. Oooohhhh, bat-pad from Root, away from short leg. Pulled single, then Pietersen down the ground takes us to the interval. England lunch on 65-2 and this pair have done well. Still, after the gutless surrenders of Cook and Carberry, saving the game remains a dream, rather than a possibility.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack O'Regan: Team for next test should be Cook, Carbs, Bell, KP, Ballance, Bairstow, Stokes, Bres, Broad, Swann, Anderson.

    Andy: Was hoping for an amazing game tonight to keep me entertained whilst at work. Ended up watching the X Men!

    Philip Smith: Just use it as batting practice boys, make Clarke pay for that follow-on decision and just wear out their bowlers!

  224. 0157: 
    Eng 63-2 (Root 28, Pietersen 17)
    Joe Root

    Now then, the all-sorts of Steven Smith's leg breaks introduced before lunch. I said all-sorts? Long hop pulled by Root, then Pietersen in a tangle missing a near full-toss. Huge cheer when David Warner dives to gather a bump-ball - the Adelaide crowd though that was out. That really shows the noise that could come when a wicket falls. I'd be surprised if Smith is the man to take that wicket. It was an over of buffet. One more before luncheon.

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

    "That was nice from Pietersen, I like what I'm seeing with the way that he's been playing. He's got to be positive, but he's just got to make sure he doesn't hit the ball in the air."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  226. 0154: 
    Eng 60-2 (partnership 40)

    This is quite odd. Haddin was up to the stumps for Root, mainly a back-foot player, yet he's back to front-foot man Pietersen. KP, trying to blow a fly away from his helmet as Watson trundles in, first has to deal with a short leg and then Haddin's belated return to the stumps. Pietersen solid in defence, Haddin oohing as if someone has tickled him in his special place.


    Spencer Pattison, Sleaford: In response to Andy's team selection (0136) here is mine - Geoffrey, Carberry, Geoffrey's nan, Bell, Geoffrey's mum, my youngest daughter Jade, me (WK), Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Panesar. At least that batting line up would have a bit of fight, rhubarb or willow!

  228. 0150: 
    Eng 58-2 (Root 26, Pietersen 14)

    A change of angle from Johnson, whose black hair bounces as he stalks in around the wicket to Root. The Yorkshireman looks good on the front dog, but allows some indecision to creep in after a leg gully is posted. Another over ticks by.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Zak Millington: If this is the darkest John in York (0116) has ever seen English cricket, he must only be about six years old.

    Hardik Modha: Those saying this side is the worst seen obviously don't remember the England of the 90s. But change of order and two batsmen needed.

    Marcus Copsey: Sitting in the Barmy Army at the Adelaide Oval. Rain in the air. It's Spitting. 'Singing in the Rain' being sung. A hope?

  230. 0145: 
    Eng 57-2 (23 overs)

    Yep, it's definitely reversing, the shiny side was facing Pietersen as that ball from Watson tailed in. Pietersen, getting a huge stride in, takes one. Brad Haddin dons the helmet to stand up to the stumps. England's batsmen (Pietersen more than Root) will want to get far forward to negate any swing, so Haddin at the stumps may put some doubt in their minds. He may also want to just chirp at Root. 15 minutes until lunch.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matt Collingwood: This England batting line-up looks useless! Bring back Uncle Paul! (He's not really my uncle)

    Daniel Addy: Each night I go to bed hoping to wake up to an England fightback. Each morning I wake up to a neverending Ashes nightmare.

    Robin Potter: Show some positivity, we've got a partnership here and Bell still to come!

  232. 0140: 
    Eng 56-2 (Root 26, Pietersen 12)

    Johnson is hurtling towards Root, still propelling the ball at over 90mph. But, and whisper it quietly, the ball is noticeably losing pace as it is slammed into the sluggish deck. Moustachioed Mitch will therefore look to go full, take the pitch out of the equation, especially if that hint of reverse swing becomes more pronounced. Good from Root, a flick off the hips and a steer behind point both find the fence.

    Mitchell Johnson
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joe Miles: Great festive spirit from Cook & Carberry. They've given the Australians their wickets as presents. Gift wrapped, too!

    Hakesnips: England: what about this simple rule: 'if you need to bat for 2 days to save a game don't deliberately hit the ball in the air.'

    David: Your text feed is ironic, being called "Live" Ashes. They're dead and buried.

  234. 0136: 
    Eng 48-2 (target 531)

    Is it OK to say that, bar those acts of stupidity from Cook and Carberry, England have had few problems this morning? Yes, the ball has turned for Lyon, but the seamers, even Johnson, haven't had much going on. Johnson's pace will remain a factor, but much of the Aussie plan will rely on waiting for batsman error. Avoid those for two days and England will fine, right? Anyway, the Aussies want to bowl dry, so they call on the charismatic Shane Watson. Little happening.


    Nick in Hampshire: Are there substitutes in Test cricket? Can we bring on Collingwood, Atherton and Boycott?

    Andy Hardy: I'm in Perth for two weeks with work, hope to see a fight. Regardless of this result here's my team, any takers? Cook, Carberry, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Stokes, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Finn.

  236. 0129: 
    Eng 45-2 (20 overs)

    It's come to my attention that our key points say "Carberry out pulling". Now, I realise you may be reading this from pub, bar or club on this Saturday night/Sunday morning and may even be "out pulling". I can assure you that this is an entirely different kind of pull, although it was probably more useless. England have seen off Siddle, with Clarke calling gun bowler Mitchell Johnson back into the attack. Johnson v Pietersen has the making of a fiery battle. Men are "on the pull", but Pietersen isn't interested.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tim Phillips-White: Harold Bishop could bowl the England team out at the moment. Especially if he remembers to bring Bouncer.

    Allan Mees: So when exactly does the bush tucker trial begin? "I'm an English batsman, get me out of here".

    Baritone Rogers: Maybe we've just been successful for too long, and have grown fat and proud and decadent. Like the old Roman Empire.

  238. 0124: 
    Eng 43-2 (target 531)

    Another England victory, this time for Joe Root. Nathan Lyon is wayward, with Root collecting twos on both sides of the wicket then punching a full toss through the covers for four. England have sensed their moment to up the rate. The chase is on...

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

    "Pietersen earned that through holding his concentration. When people try to block you up, you've got to be cleverer. He's done all right so far."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  240. 0121: 
    Eng 34-2

    Still gloomy, both over Adelaide and for all England fans. No wind, mind, the flags on top of the big screen lie limp. The Siddle-Pietersen battle of wills continues, with this round won by England. Off stump, off stump, leave, defend. Wide of off stump, hammer through point for four. Do that for two more days and the job's a good un.

    Text 81111

    Huw: A thought: with Australia declaring only 10 minutes before the start of play, Cook would have had to suddenly stop thinking about captaining in the field and start thinking about batting. With his mind not yet in the game after no preparation, he plays an in characteristic shot. Not sure what Carberry's excuse is, though.

  242. 0116: 
    Eng 30-2 (Root 5, Pietersen 8)

    Cameras pick up debutant Ben Stokes sitting with his chin resting in his hands. "England used to smash Australia around both hemispheres, now I get picked we're getting smashed like a plate of poppadoms". Still turn for Lyon, Aussie close fielders singing their approval. Singles nurdled.

    Text 81111

    Gary, Crewe: Trying to work out why I've stayed up for this. At our current rate we just need another 51 batsmen to achieve the draw.

    John, St Albans: As noted by the Mrs - this is sadder than when Bambi's mum got shot.

    John, York: These are the darkest days of English cricket that I can ever remember. Never have I seen cowardice from the national side, I have now. I'm ashamed.

  244. 0113: 
    Eng 28-2 (target 531)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Siddle v Pietersen is the battle of the sweatbands, both men sporting them on the left forearm. Umpire Dharmasena chases away a pigeon to allow Siddle's continued exploration of Pietersen's off stump. Siddle has had more success against KP than any other Test bowler, but the England number four isn't playing the game. Yet.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "As well as batting a long time, there's the importance of putting some overs into the Australian bowlers' legs, before the next Test. Tire them out a bit before the plane journey to Perth."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  246. 0110: 
    Eng 28-2 (15 overs)

    Drinks done in a flash, Lyon around the wicket to Pietersen. This combo of Lyon and Siddle will play on KP's ego. Their plan is to dry him up and induce a rash stroke. Wicketkeeper Haddin has a lid on as he stands up to the stumps, so he thinks it's turning. He's right too, as one spins back into Root's front pad, turning too much to be an lbw consideration. I think I've calmed down a little. Trying not to think of the Cook/Carberry dismissals, I'll get vexed again. has anyone seen my pills?


    Former England opener Graeme Fowler: Play safe and be criticised for getting bogged down. Play shots, get out, and be criticised for being extravagant. It's a hard game.

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

    "I've not had time to watch 9 1/2 Weeks yet. But how fantastic Kim Basinger is for 60."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statisticianHOW'S STAT?

    England have scored more than 400 in the fourth innings of a Test only three times before. They have lost two and drawn one.

    Only one team have won a Test series from 2-0 behind: Australia v England 1936/37.

    Only three teams have drawn a series after going 2-0 behind: South Africa v England 1927-28, England v West Indies 1953-54 and South Africa v England 1956-57.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Baris Agun: A lot of talk before the Ashes about Kevin Pietersen being called an England great. Now is his chance to prove a point!

    Nick Weetch: Quick. Fly Carberry home. He has caught the English batting disease. Spreading like wildfire and I suspect KP is the carrier.

    LJ Davies: Both openers falling in the same idiotic fashion. Come back Nick Compton, all is forgiven!

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special
    Mitchll Johnson dismissed Alastair Cook for one

    "I was asked this morning on BBC Radio 5 live, how I would be thinking if I were Cook and Carberry. I'd have been thinking 'play to drinks', and two of them are already out. Whatever was said in that meeting last night, two of them can't have been listening. It's brainless in this situation."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  252. 0104: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 27-2

    Siddle, the banana monster who could have had a role as the Neighbours school bully as a youngster, bustles towards Pietersen. The lack of pace in this pitch (yes, really) is highlighted by the lack of carry through to Brad Haddin. KP pinches a single to take us to drinks. I don't think that first hour could have gone much worse for England.

    Text 81111

    Rob: Can we just declare, call it a day and get a nice rest before Perth? This is like watching someone drag out a snooker match while needing a few dozen fouls from the opponent.

    Craig in Glasgow: England's shot selection so far in this series has reached such levels of absurdity you're at a loss to explain the reasoning behind it. Feel sorry for the fans that have gone over there. We're going down without a fight.

  254. 0059: 
    Eng 26-2 (target 531)

    So what have you got, KP? Even if England do go on to the seemingly inevitable defeat here, it would be at least helpful for Pietersen to show some guts in this innings. He begins with a lovely drive off Lyon for a couple.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special
    Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew

    "You sense it's inconceivable that England could save the game from here. Carberry was looking so assured until he got out. Geoffrey's just warming up in the back of the box - he's wearing an extraordinary shirt and looks ready for the beach. He may be there by this afternoon."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  256. 0056: 
    Eng 20-2

    Can you tell that I'm wound up? Are you with me? Where's the fight? The thought? One man caught hooking is bad enough, but two? Kevin Pietersen the new man, Michael Clarke immediately placing two men at short mid-wicket. I suspect those two men stand in the corner of the bedroom when KP sleeps at night.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    David: Carberry served up at the Carvery.

    Michael Watson: Don't really help ourselves, do we?

    William Haggerty: This has all the makings of Monty and Jimmy saving a draw tomorrow right? No? Just me?

  258. 0051: 
    WICKET- Carberry c Lyon b Siddle 14 (Eng 20-2)
    Michael Carberry

    Are you kidding me? I really don't know how to break this news to you. A second England batsman is caught out the long leg boundary. Michael Carberry learned nothing from the stupidity of his captain and falls in exactly the same manner. Short from Peter Siddle, pulled towards Nathan Lyon, who takes a very good catch falling backwards. Ridiculous. Carberry hangs his head and trudges off. Don't head for the dressing room, walk straight back to the hotel.

    Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Cook), 2-20 (Carberry 14)

    Siddle's figures: 2.4-0-6-1

    Full match scorecard

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jono Lummis: My last hope is that England pull of the best comeback of all time. Bell and Pietersen are capable. Why not?

    Stuart Mitchell: If we did get out with a draw then yes it would feel like a win, but Cook's form is a worry even if we do get out of this.

    Matthew Ball: Considering current form, this would be a much better opening partnership. Drop Cook down the order.

  260. 0048: 
    Eng 18-1 (target 531)

    Spin for the first time, Nathan Lyon immediately turning his offies from around the wicket past leftie Carberry. Ooohs and aaahs as Carberry drives firmly at silly point, but it's not a chance. Root, remember, holed out to his first ball from Lyon yesterday. He's spared the challenge yet, though.

  261. 0047: 

    Just over a year ago, an astonishing rearguard action helped save a Test at the Adelaide Oval. Set 430 to win in a day and a half, South Africa were 45-4 when Test debutant Faf du Plessis, who had made 78 in the first innings, arrived at the crease and defied Australia with an unbeaten 110 from 376 balls, batting for 466 minutes to force a draw.

    Australia's fast bowling resources were stretched to the limit - James Pattinson had broken down in the first innings, leaving Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle to bowl themselves into the ground in search of victory on the final day. All three had to be replaced for the next Test - by Mitchell Starc, debutant John Hastings, and an out-of-favour left-armer who hadn't played a Test for a year. Mitchell Guy Johnson.

  262. 0045: 
    Eng 17-1 (target 531)

    Just for a second, let's consider the possibility that England could save this game. It would feel like a victory, no? There's something about glorious draws that set Test cricket aside from other sports. Getting home from school to find that Mike Atherton and Jack Russell had saved the game in Johannesburg in 1995 is one of my earliest cricketing memories. Athers remains my hero to this day. Aussies chatting, Carberry looking composed. Adelaide hums. All is calm. For now.

    Alastair Cook

    In his last seven Tests against Australia, Alastair Cook has scored 359 runs at an average of 25.

  264. 0040: 
    Eng 14-1 (9 overs)

    Sun out again, Harris going through the gears to give Root the hurry up. What's wrong with Michael Clarke? Hands on hips, head shaking. Now he's got his head down and he's rubbing his eyes. He does know the state of the game, right? Then again, he is standing next to Shane Watson, who seems like he could suck the joy out of any situation.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special commentator

    "Isn't the stage set for Kevin Pietersen to come in and score 350 to win the game? He likes a challenge."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  266. 0036: 
    Eng 11-1 (Carberry 8, Root 1)
    Michael Carberry and Joe Root run a single

    Michael Vaughan called it, Mitchell Johnson is withdrawn in favour of Peter Siddle. Is there any hope for England? The pitch remains flat and this pair looked decent in the first innings before eventually digging their own graves. Maybe we should hide the shovels? Root off the mark, an inside edge for a single.

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

    "Carberry has been one of the few positives for England from this game. He looks to have good balance and head position."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Benjamin Mills: That's enough Ashes for me for the series #done

    Paul Webster: Words fail me Cook! Well except for ones I can't use on a public forum!

    Matt: Ian Bell must wish he was on the other side, when the captain plays a shot a schoolboy would be embarrassed by. 5-0 looks likely.

  269. 0031: 
    Eng 10-1 (Carberry 8, Root 0)

    Carberry is finally under way with a lovely clip through square leg for four. Harris, who had earlier been persuaded to stay around the wicket, goes back over and sees Carberry follow up with a lovely cover drive for four more. Bar his catching, Carberry has been a minor positive for England in this game.

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

    "It wouldn't surprise me if Johnson was taken out of the attack here. Get Siddle on - Clarke will know with Johnson, he should save him and use him in three-to-four-over bursts."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  271. 0027: 
    Eng 2-1 (6 overs)

    A question is put to me. "If you were at home, how long would you be staying up?". My answer? "I'd have already gone to bed." Joe Root and Mitchell Johnson are having some sort of strange smiling competition. Johnson chirps, choirboy Root smiles back like the Milky Bar Kid. Johnson, in response, gives a maniacal grin that might have got him Jack Nicholson's role in The Shining. Root, zinc across his cheeks and nose, is showing some ticker and a straight bat.

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

    "Despite the weather forecast, overs out of the game might not be good for England - there won't be enough rain to take half a day out of the game, the drainage at these Australian grounds is good as we saw at the Gabba, and it can be disconcerting for batsmen if you keep going on and off, while the bowlers get a rest."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  273. 0022: 
    Eng 2-1 (target 531)

    Aside from being the shot of a club third team player, rather than the captain of England, the other problem with Cook's dismissal is that it takes a huge dent out of his side's very fragile batting. You can make a decent argument for the tail starting at number six. Harris stays around the wicket to Carberry, looking to go as full as possible. Thundering into the pads, but the leftie has got an edge on that. Neither man off the mark yet.


    Matthew Wright, Sheffield: England have got their tactics all wrong. Root needs to be in the middle order with our best, in-form batsman, Bell, batting at three. Cook needed to lead from the front and show some sense. Our batting against Johnson has been pathetic. Our cricket this series has been brainless. Utterly brainless.

    Ben, crying in Cockermouth: I'd just watched the highlights of KP's 227 from the 10-11 Ashes, thinking it'd put me in a more positive frame of mind. By the time I get to the live text, we're one down for a Cook hook? The reason KP could bat so freely then, and won't today, is the extra 147 Cook got. By the way, Johnson was dropped for that match. Night everyone, not even Boycott's rants can make me stay up for this.

  275. 0018: 
    Eng 1-1 (target 531)

    Lots and lots of reaction to that Cook wicket coming in via text, tweet and email. I think you are as dismayed as I am. Johnson, in the murk, pumps his arms towards Root as three slips, a gully and a short leg wait. Root, who often needs to be crow-barred on to the front foot, defends from the crease then leaves a wide one.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jamie Waterhouse: That is unbelievable. Cook is supposed to be our leader and he has just surrendered after three balls.

    Jon Ferguson: Going to see if I can finish this essay before the Aussies finish England. First blood to Johnson...

    Mike Wren-Kirkham: When you need to bat for two days to save a match, what's wrong with the good old fashioned leave?

  277. 0014: 
    Eng 1-1

    The Adelaide Oval, a far from full Adelaide Oval, seems a little stunned. Of all the ways that Cook could have fallen, hooking to long leg was the most ridiculous. It's hard enough to face Johnson, but at least make him get you out without gifting your wicket away. Carberry, the Wesley Snipes lookalike, has managed to keep his composure in ducking and defending Harris.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Mitchell Johnson and Australia celebrate

    "This is men against boys. This is like a men's team playing against an under-12 team."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Adam Tillsley: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!! Have we not learnt anything?!

    Finian Black: Cook just showed why we've lost the Ashes. That was self destruct, our and simple.

    JeffH: That's it, I've officially given up, goodnight.

  280. 0010: 
    Eng 1-1

    I mean, really, what was going through his mind? Hot Spot replays show that Cook got that hook high on the bat, a top edge, totally uncontrolled. Not only have England lost their captain and opener, but also probably their most adept player at batting for long periods. Joe Root the new man, leaving outside off stump.

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

    "If there's any dismissal Alastair Cook wouldn't want against his name, it's getting out caught like that. A brilliant catch by Harris, good thinking by Johnson. Cook would have told England last night that they needed better shot selection, but he's gone and done the complete opposite. Their minds are frazzled."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "That's totally out of character. Alastair Cook? Caught hooking in the second over of an innings, when England are trying to survive? That's not Alastair Cook. That's not how he plays. That's what you're looking for as an observer, when you're looking for problems."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  283. 0006: 
    WICKET- Cook c Harris b Johnson 1 (Eng 1-1)
    Alastair Cook hooks

    It really is hard to express the stupidity of this. England are batting to save the game and their captain has fallen on his sword in the second over. It's that man Mitchell Johnson again, but the scorecard might as well say Cook c Cook b Cook. It's dug in, Cook hooks in the air to long leg, where Ryan Harris takes an excellent tumbling catch. It beggars belief.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia were very crafty this morning, waiting until the last possible moment - 10 minutes before the start - before declaring."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  285. 0003: 
    Eng 1-0 (target 531)

    Rain? The sun is actually just poking through as Harris bundles in to get some shape back in to southpaw Cook. The Barmy Army belt out Jersualem as Cook sets England on the way to their target of 531 with a tickle to fine leg. Harris comes around the wicket to Carberry - slips, gully, short leg and short mid-wicket - defence on the back foot. One down, loads to go.

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "I've written a book on the history of the Ashes, and I don't think there's been a better over bowled in the Ashes than the one in which Johnson removed Stokes, Prior and Broad."

    Watch Simon's daily analysis video on the BBC Sport website

  287. 2359: 

    So here we go, the Aussie are down the steps, a few players touching the Australian flag held by a youngster as they pass.

    Alastair Cook, a short-sleeved shirt hugging his biceps, has strike, with Michael Carberry and his even bigger biceps at the other end. Ryan Harris has the ball.


    From Freddie: Brett Lee bowled at 95mph and he was generally less of a threat than McGrath, Warne or Gillespie. So why are we petrified of Johnson?

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

    "If England lose here, it's getting beyond conservatism - England might have to bat Bell at three in Perth. Australia have talked him up, though they know a batsman is more vulnerable to a ball five overs old than to a ball 35 overs old, so they may want to get him in earlier."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  290. 2356: 

    It may not have been planned, but it's actually a rather delicious tactic from the Aussies isn't it?

    England preparing to field, actually Cook and Carberry, put your mums and dads on. Try to focus the mind on Mitchell's missiles.

    Question. Can you declare with less than 10 minutes to go before play? If you do, is the start delayed?

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    The most sixes in an Ashes Test is the 18 hit at Edgbaston in 2005 (there have been 17 to date in this match). The world record is 27.

    The most wickets in the first two Tests of any series for Australia is the 20 Shane Warne took against England in 1994-95 and Sri Lanka in 2003-04 (Mitchell Johnson has 16 wickets so far). The world record is 27.

  292. 2353: 

    So England have two full days in which to bat, the first of which will begin under cloudy skies. Just a touch of movement on those 94mph thunderbolts, then.

  293. 2352: 

    To wrap up, the Aussies called time at 132-3 in their second innings, with Steve Smith on 23 and David Warner 83. He is denied the chance of a hundred for the greater good.

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

    "It will be partly the weather forecast but it also feels a good time to bowl because it is slightly overcast and there could be some movement in the air."

  295. 2350: 

    Here's a turn up. Possibly because of the showers forecast, Australia have called time on their second innings to have England in the firing line first up this morning.

    It's gloomy in Adelaide, with showers in the offing at some point this afternoon.


    Al Foster: Would it be too much to ask the team selectors to give Finn and Rankin a go on what will be a fast track in Perth and give the Aussies some of their own fast stuff. Rest Anderson and Swann also give Monty the spin place and Bresnan in for Stokes.

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport at the Adelaide Oval

    On Twitter: Eat, bowl, don't shave, repeat. Eat, bowl, don't shave, repeat. The Mitchell Johnson mantra.

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

    "The difference between facing the ball at 86mph and 94mph is immense. You feel that when Mitchell Johnson has the ball in his hand it could all be over quicker than the shake of a lamb's tail."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Adelaide Oval

    "The talk of the Adelaide Oval this warm Sunday morning is all of Mitchell Johnson - not just of his brilliance on Saturday afternoon, but when he might be unleashed again today. Consensus is that Michael Clarke will keep Australia batting for around an hour, giving David Warner enough time to complete his second century of the series before throwing England back into the mincing machine an hour or so before lunch."

Live Scores - Australia v England


  • Australia beat England by 218 runs
  • Australia: 570-9 & 132-3 (39.0 overs)
  • England: 172 & 312 (101.4 overs)
  • Venue: Adelaide

England 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Cook c Harris b Johnson 1
Carberry c Lyon b Siddle 14
Root c Haddin b Lyon 87
Pietersen b Siddle 53
Bell c Johnson b Smith 6
Stokes c Clarke b Harris 28
Prior c Harris b Siddle 69
Broad c Lyon b Siddle 29
Swann c Clarke b Harris 6
Anderson not out 13
Panesar c Rogers b Harris 0
Extras 1nb 4w 1lb 6
Total all out 312

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