Australia v England, third Test, day four as it happened

England end day four of the third Ashes Test on 251-5 against Australia in Perth, chasing an improbable 504 to win.

16 December 2013 Last updated at 01:59

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As it happened

  1. 1021: 

    "Don't worry, we'll still lose tomorrow," says Geoffrey Boycott. He's probably right, but there will still be a few romantics who think England can do this. I'll be back to talk you through the defeat/victory* in the early hours. Thanks for your company tonight and goodbye for now.

    *delete as applicable

  2. 1020: 

    BBC Sport brings you all the news and analysis from the third Test throughout the day. BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and chief sports writer Tom Fordyce are in Perth, 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 round-up, as well as the thoughts of Aggers and Boycott in the TMS podcast.

  3. 1019: 

    Don't forget that BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will replay the entire day's play from 1100 GMT, and will play highlights from the close of play until then. And each morning, BBC Radio 5 live brings all the best analysis and reaction on Ashes Breakfast from 0600 GMT. You can hear both 5 live and 5 live sports extra on digital radio, online, and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app and BBC Sport app.

  4. 1019: 

    England batsman Ian Bell: "There are a few cracks in the wicket but apart from that it's a good surface, it was a disappointing morning for us. We didn't set our usual standards and I hold my hands up for that, we let ourselves down in the field but I think we put a lot of that right later on. Me and Stokesy were trying to be as positive as we can, hopefully we can continue in the same way in the morning.

    "Since we've been here Stokesy has looked a real batsman, everything about him looks as though he'll have a great future with England. Matt Prior hasn't had a great eight or nine months but we know he'll look to fight tomorrow."

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

    "Ben Stokes played really well. When he pulled the short ball, he pulled it down. Full marks to the kid. When Lyon bowled at him, he tried to whack sixes and got away with it. How do you discipline him when Pietersen plays that way time and again? But, don't worry about that because we'll still lose tomorrow."

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

    "You could see it coming with Kevin Pietersen. Brad Haddin turned to Clarke to say something, and they brought long on up to mid on. Pietersen took the bait and got away with it, a mishit for three. His brain was scrambled. He won't play in a careful, controlled manner. It's a selfish as you can get. You wonder what Andy Flower and Graham Gooch are saying to him. Are they strong enough to say something to him?"

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

    "Australia are on top and grasping their opportunities. England have not been able to nail them, the confidence isn't there. After lunch, it was a real struggle. Ian Bell played quite well but got over-confident."

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

    "It was obvious this morning that England were holding Anderson and Bresnan back for the new ball, but Australia smashed Swann and Stokes all around the park. That gave them the momentum so that, even when Anderson got the new ball, Bailey plundered 28 and demoralised England. Australia were about 40 minutes ahead of schedule and got Cook with a jaffa."

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

    "There will be optimistic England fans thinking they can get these runs, but it has never been done before and the tail will have to face the second new ball. It will be late in the morning or just after lunch that Australia regain the Ashes."

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

  10. 1009: 

    It all means England finished the day on 251-5 - still another 253 runs away from a seemingly impossible victory. Let's see what the TMS lads think about it all...

  11. 1008: 

    Michael Carberry and Joe Root briefly dug in before being dismissed, and Kevin Pietersen was out caught on the long-on boundary after scoring a brisk 45. Ian Bell also looked good in making 60 before being caught behind. England's only major bright spot was young all-rounder Ben Stokes, who finished the day on 72 not out - his maiden Test half-century.

  12. 1006: 

    That meant Australia set England a mammoth 504 to win the match, and the tourists' chase started in the worst possible fashion when Ryan Harris bowled an absolute jaffa to Alastair Cook and rearranged the captain's timbers from the first delivery of the innings. It was mayhem, in the words of Jonathan Agnew.

  13. 1004: 

    While we await some reaction from the Test Match Special team to the day's play, let's recap on the key events of the day. First of all, Australia came at England like a bull in a china shop in the morning session - Shane Watson smashing a century and George Bailey equalling the world record of 28 runs in a single Test over as the Aussies piled on 134 runs in 17 overs (102 balls).

  14. 1001: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 251-5 (Stokes 72*, Prior 5*)
    Australia wait for a decision

    Four men around the bat for Nathan Lyon's final over of the day. Matt Prior gives everyone of English persuasion a scare when he almost snicks behind to Brad Haddin, but the Sussex gloveman deals admirably with the rest of the over and manages to drive through the covers for two from the final delivery. And that's it. Close of play in Perth and England only need another 253 runs to win on the fifth day!

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook 0), 2-62 (Carberry 31), 3-76 (Root 19), 4-121 (Pietersen 45), 5-220 (Bell 60).

    Bowling figures: Harris 10-1-51-1; Johnson 15-3-52-1; Lyon 15-2-49-1; Siddle 18-6-56-1; Watson 9-1-31-1.

    Match scorecard

    Full match scorecard

    Text 81111

    Ed in Guildford: I genuinely feel England could pull this off, if Stokes stays in. Matty Prior has survived long hot days before whilst being positive, he did it at Auckland in the 3rd Test match.

  16. 0958: 
    Eng 249-5 (target 504)

    Pure theatre inside the Waca as Mitchell Johnson is given one last hurrah for the day. The Aussie left-arm quick is cheered all the way to the wicket but Ben Stokes is determined to be around for tomorrow and digs out a vicious yorker. A fast over, a maiden over, six more balls left before it's all over (for the day).

    Text 81111

    Matt in Marlow: England team should forfeit the next 2 Tests along with their first-class flights home. 45 days by sea should give time to reflect.

  18. 0953: 
    Eng 249-5 (Stokes 72*, Prior 5*)

    Nope, it's actually trial-by-spin time. Nathan Lyon is given a twirl as we approach the close of play. There are three close catchers in for Ben Stokes but he manages to nick a single into the leg side. At the end of the over, Monty shuttles on a couple of drinks and is swiftly told to get back to the dressing room by the umpires.

  19. 0950: 
    Eng 247-5 (target 504)

    Stokes, bandage a permanent presence on his front arm, sweat glistening on the back arm, continues to impress, pinching two on the leg side off Siddle with some good running. A repeat dose then a full toss biffed to mid-wicket for four. Prior on strike next over - Johnson time?

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

    "Ben Stokes has been brilliant, really good to see a young player come in and do so well. I wonder what the odds would have been before the series for him to be England's first centurion. He's a long way away from that at the moment but he's done very well today."

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

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Hobbs: The series in a microcosm. Utterly needless shot when well set. Feel sorry for fans who shelled out to go to Aus for this shambles.

    Toby Weiniger: Just as the optimism starts to creep in as looks OK everything is snatched away and suddenly it goes from bad to worse.

  22. 0944: 
    Eng 237-5 (Stokes 61*, Prior 4*)

    On every disastrous Ashes tour, England have generally found a top prospect for the future. Players like Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan spring to mind. Is Ben Stokes the next great hope? Imagine the options he could give England if he nails down that number six spot. Do Durham have any more stars they can give up? Matt Prior gets off the mark with three through midwicket and Ben Stokes plays out the rest of the over, picking up a single at the end of it.

    Bowling figures: Harris 10-1-51-1, Johnson 14-2-52-1, Lyon 13-2-45-1, Siddle 17-6-46-1, Watson 9-1-31-1.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stokes has played well he has been very watchful, he's a steady cricketer who can bowl at the high 120s or 130s - he's a typical English all-rounder you know what you're getting day in day out."

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

    Text 81111

    Adrian in Ashford: The most noticeable thing for me is that England just don't seem to be enjoying their cricket at the moment. They couldn't have fun in a tub of foam balls dressed as clowns on Christmas Day.

  25. 0940: 
    Eng 233-5 (target 504)

    Now would be a good time for Matt Prior to belt a quickfire century. Wishful thinking perhaps, but the England wicketkeeper badly needs a decent knock. He might take his lead from Ben Stokes, who is getting full value from his strokes when the Aussies drop short. In fact, Stokes has been playing that well he's broken his bat! No panic - Chris Tremlett is on hand with a new one. Remember him? The new bat obviously has a good middle as Stokes leans back in his crease and pushes Peter Siddle through the covers for four.

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

    "As soon as it went upstairs to the third umpire you could see the confidence in the faces of the Australia players. The body language from Ian Bell was worrying, he had a look of guilt on his face. "

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ian Bell's dismissal was so close, there obviously must have been a little noise for it to show up but it was a tough one to call. That was a good referral by Michael Clarke, the way they went up in the slips it can't have been a big one. The DRS is causing more controversy than it was meant to, I used to love it but the more I see it in action the more I don't like it. I know technology is the way of the world and where the game is going but I'm not sure it works."

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

  28. 0931: 
    50 FOR BEN STOKES- Eng 228-5 (Stokes 56*, Prior 0*)
    Ben Stokes

    At least Ben Stokes is still giving the Barmy Army out in Perth something to cheer - the travelling supporters adapting the 'Hokey Cokey' to mark the Durham all-rounder bringing up his maiden Test half-century with a straight drive for four. He adds another, more unconvincing, boundary with a top edge over the wicketkeeper.

    Stokes's fifty: 69 balls, nine fours

  29. 0928: 
    WICKET- Bell c Haddin b Siddle 60 (Eng 220-5)
    Peter Siddle celebrates after dismissing Ian Bell

    Is England's game up? Ian Bell falls on his sword as Snicko shows he got a faint edge behind to Brad Haddin. The Aussies jump for joy and Bell drags himself off the pitch.

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook 0), 2-62 (Carberry 31), 3-76 (Root 19), 4-121 (Pietersen 45), 5-220 (Bell 60)

    Siddle's figures: 16-6-41-1


    Full match scorecard

  30. 0927: 
    Eng 220-4 (target 504)

    Another late cut over the slips brings four for Ian Bell, who follows up with a sumptuous chip over the covers to the boundary before lobbing another couple back over the bowler's head. He then tries to cut over the slips again and Brad Haddin excitedly takes the catch behind the stumps. The umpire says it's not out but the Aussies review...

    Text 81111

    Steve in Wycombe: The whole team, Bell aside, appear to have eaten at the top table for far too long. The Aussies have the hunger. The behind the scenes man management needs to be looked at - too many sound bites for the press but no real change on the pitch.

  32. 0922: 
    Eng 210-4 (Bell 50*, Stokes 48*)

    When the Aussies do have their inevitable Ashes-winning party, I can't imagine Shane Watson will be doing too much dancing. The lumbering all-rounder looks like he is being punished with every delivery - and his mood is not helped when Ben Stokes plays another classy shot through the leg side which brings four. Twelve overs left in the day...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Sam Wilson: Let's pray it's a TV series - Saved by the Bell.

    Hugh Thomas: Movie titles for this series? The great escape. Endless optimism to the last.

    Jim Black: A film that sums up the Ashes 'Gone In Sixty Sessions'. Or a lot less the way things are going...

  34. 0918: 
    Eng 206-4 (target 504)

    Ian Bell is doing a bit of gardening in his crease and discards a chunk of pitch the size of a cricket ball from the batting crease. They're going to need to build a bridge for the players to get from one side of the pitch to the other at this rate. Peter Siddle is landing a couple on the cracks and, when one spits, Ian Bell does well to play the ball into the ground. Maiden over.

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

    "England desperately needed someone to hang around the crease when it was looking so dire earlier. There's still a long way to go, we thought at one point England might collapse in a heap when everything that could go wrong was going wrong but they have fought back and if they can get 50 more runs they will be in good shape."

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

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Wilson: Not selecting Panesar and Onions was a mistake - their game-saving batting is awesome.

    Seamus Leonard: This small partnership between Bell and Stokes has literally been the most satisfying part of the Ashes thus far.

    Jim Coldwell: Vital now that Stokes & Bell stay at the crease. Then, who knows what can happen on the final day. Come on, England.

  37. 0911: 
    FIFTY FOR IAN BELL- Eng 206-4 (Bell 50*, Stokes 44*)
    Ian Bell

    Ian Bell brings up the 39th half century of his Test career by tickling Shane Watson for a single down the leg side. England's session run-rate, which was getting up towards six an over earlier, has been slowed down by Watson - who ends his over by inducing a rash stroke from Ben Stokes and the ball flies off the edge and over the gully fielder for two runs.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "This has been quite a free scoring second innings from England, they probably feel that there's a long time left in this game. Stokes has been good at the crease and he's looked solid throughout. They've played well and they're keeping it simple but there's still a long way to go."

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

  39. 0906: 
    Eng 203-4 (target 504)
    Ben Stokes

    There are plenty of glum faces on the England players' balcony - all four of the England batsmen to be dismissed looking on and banking on Ian Bell and Ben Stokes to save them from further embarrassment. So far so good in that respect as Ben Stokes plays back a maiden to Peter Siddle.

  40. 0903:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveYOUR CALL

    Just starting on BBC Radio 5 live, there's a special Your Call phone-in debate discussing the Ashes series. You can watch it live via the studio webcam on the 5 live website.

  41. 0902: 
    Eng 203-4 (Bell 49*, Stokes 42*)

    Seagulls graze on the Waca outfield and I wouldn't be surprised if birds of prey were circling above, waiting to pick at England's batting carcass. Ian Bell is still fighting though as he caresses four in front of square. Shane Watson does manage to get one to land on the Waca craters and it almost sneaks through the batsman's defences, but the tourists continue to hold firm.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Alex Turner: I'd say Brief Encounters sums up the series for England's batsmen.

    Sam Crabb: Groundhog Day - everyday seems the same in this series.

    Oliver Jones: One flew at the batsman's chest.

  43. 0857: 
    Eng 199-4 (target 504)

    I hope I'm not being too premature in thinking England will now survive the day, but we are heading into the final hour of the fourth day's play. Ben Stokes can only dream of growing a moustache as impressive as Mitchell Johnson's, but he's standing toe-to-toe with the Aussie quick at the moment - tickling a leg-side delivery for four before being denied another boundary by a diving stop at mid-off.

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

    "If you're going to play a shot get it on the deck, there's no point hitting it for six. It's Pietersen's ego he thinks he'll hit it over the top and he'll keep doing it unless someone stops him in the dressing room. What would people like Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough would do?"

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

  45. 0852: 
    Eng 194-4 (Bell 45*, Stokes 38*)

    "Hello is that Perth town hall? Yep, it's Boof here. Can we rearrange our party until tomorrow?"

    Ben Stokes is batting superbly out there, pulling Ryan Harris to the boundary as Rhino drops short. He's back in line for the next couple before helping himself to a couple at the end of the over.

  46. 0847: 
    Eng 187-4 (target 504)

    Thanks Sam, although I'm not so sure I'm as graceful as Ian Bell. I certainly wouldn't try to hit the spinner for six with long-on back though. Mitchell Johnson continues to pound his way towards the wicket but he hadn't counted on some good old-fashioned north-east grit. Straight bats all the way as Ben Stokes plays back five dots before hammering a short one to the boundary. Class.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Paul Webb: Film titles - The Good (Australia), The Bad (England's bowling) & The Ugly (England's batting).

    Alex Norton: The Man with the Golden Duck.

  48. 0843: 
    Eng 183-4 (Bell 44, Stokes 28)

    Stokes's lovely little knock gathers pace with a cover drive for four off Harris. Then he pulls a single to take his score to 28. With 20 overs remaining, I'm going to take my leave and hand over to Marc Higginson to guide you to the close with the grace and finesse of an Ian Bell late cut.

  49. 0839:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveYOUR CALL

    From 0900 GMT today on BBC Radio 5 live, there will be a special Your Call debate discussing the Ashes series. You can watch it live via the studio webcam on the 5 live website.

    Text 81111

    Steve in Reading: Surely the most appropriate film title is Dumb and Dumber!

  51. 0838: 
    Eng 177-4 (target 504)
    Ian Bell

    Bell pushes into a gap on the off side to bring up the fifty partnership. Then he scatters the seagulls with a pull shot for four. Just thinking, if Bell somehow plays a match-winning innings here, do they reopen the Sports Personality of the Year vote? (Bell came last by the way.)


    Richard in Durham: Do you think the problem with this England side is too much rest? People are left out of a lot of ODI and T20 games and the focus seems to be 100% on Test cricket. Does this put too much pressure on Test cricket? Maybe the players need to play more limited-overs games to let them express themselves so they can knuckle down more in the Test side. It sounds like an excuse and a cop out but maybe there is something in it.

  53. 0835: 
    Eng 170-4 (Bell 36, Stokes 23)

    I think Andrew Samson has officially mockered Ryan Harris with that stat attack. Bell's just taken him for 15 off an over. Two short balls sit up nicely and he pulls them both away through midwicket for four, then Bell helps another bumper over the slips and it goes for six!

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "In the 42 Tests since Ryan Harris made his debut, Australia have won 10 and lost five of the 18 he has played and won eight and lost 11 of 24 when he hasn't."

    Text 81111

    Paul in Birmingham: Something tells me that the Ashes 5 disc DVD compilation will be going straight to the 'bargain bin'!

  56. 0830: 
    Eng 155-4 (target 504)

    Mitchell Johnson is signing autographs on the boundary. What a far cry from the days he was getting pilloried by the Barmies in Sydney and there was hardly an Aussie in the stands. Stokes goes aerial to Lyon - is this a chance? - no, Harris can't get back from mid-on.

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

    "Mitchell Johnson is not slow and Ben Stokes looks like he has all the time in the world to play the pull shot. I can't tell you how hard that is."

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

  58. 0825: 
    Eng 152-4 (Bell 20, Stokes 21)

    Bell uppercuts the first ball after drinks over the slips for four. And Stokes's salvo continues with a powerful pull shot for four. Imperious from the Durham man.


    Pete in Kempsey: Film titles - How about (Australia is) No Country for Old Men.

  60. 0821: 

    A pause for much-needed refreshment. Still 25 overs remaining, but we won't go beyond 10:00 GMT unless Australia have enough wickets to force the extra half hour.

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

    "There are naughty boy nets, and the equivalent could be to send this team out to play at the MCG in front of 100,000. It might do more harm than good to throw the kids into that. But it might also work the other way because they are fresher and keener."

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

  62. 0819: 
    Eng 143-4 (target 504)

    Five dot balls from Lyon then a lovely straight drive from Stokes for four runs.

    Just seen Broad again, limping back from the nets. He won't be allowed a runner either, poor fella.

    Oh, and here's another choice image. Cook and Pietersen sitting side by side on the England balcony, both with folded legs and turned slightly away from either other.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stephen Ault: If we lose in Perth it makes it 3-3 for 2013 - Melbourne becomes the decider!

    Hugh Moxon: You can complain about our batting but our bowling has been awful too, where are Swann and Anderson hiding?

  64. 0816: 
    Eng 139-4 (Bell 15, Stokes 13)

    Super shot from Stokes, driving Johnson very straight just past the stumps for four. Then a pull shot in front of square to the midwicket fence when David Warner fields typically sharply and makes them hurry through for the second run.

  65. 0812: 
    Eng 131-4 (target 504)

    Stokes against spin. Let's see how he gets on, with two slips and two close catchers in place. He's very calm and cautious, letting almost everything pass by the bat.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Michael Nunns: Popular to slag off KP but you can't have it both ways. Aggression has paid off for Aus but we all insist on 11 men digging in.

    Ben Pathe: What brainless cricket from KP. We are meant to be battling to save a Test match and making it hard for the opposition.

    Simon Booton-Mander: I think it has become very obvious that Pietersen cares for nothing but himself.

  67. 0808: 
    Eng 124-4 (Bell 13, Stokes 6)

    Just seen an incredible overhead of the pitch. There are so many cracks around the crease that Stokes looks like a man standing in the middle of an earthquake. Good batting though from the Durham all-rounder as he pulls a chest-high bouncer for two then ducks a slightly higher bouncer from the next ball.

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

    "Kevin Pietersen is a brilliant cricketer and it was a good option to be putting Nathan Lyon into the stands when the field was up. But when the field was put out, he should not have been trying to take on the man at long-on."

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

  69. 0805: 
    ASHES CATCH-UP- Eng 126-4

    Anyone just waking up? Here's what you've missed. Australia went all-out attack this morning, plundering an amazing 134 runs from 17 overs, including a world record-equalling 28 off one James Anderson over. Michael Clarke then declared to set England an improbable 504 to win and Alastair Cook was promptly bowled for a golden duck. Three wickets have since fallen to leave Australia within six more scalps of regaining the urn.

    A colleague has just affected his best South African accent to imitate KP's stock defence: "That's just the way I play". It is almost as if he cannot accept that there are match situations that require a different approach.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Lloyd Hibbins: I think if the winter Ashes tour was a movie title, it'd be Oz the Great and Powerful.

    PFJ Oliver: One flew over the cuckoo's nest...but was caught at long on!

    Derek Mathieson: Movie title - 'They were expendable'

  71. 0800: 
    Eng 124-4 (Bell 11, Stokes 2)

    Here's an encouraging sight. Stuart Broad has just been caught on camera heading off to the nets. Dear oh dear. Stokes tucks Siddle away for a couple through midwicket.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark: Pathetic from Pietersen. We needed a fighter not a showman. Woeful again from the England batsmen.

    Richard Wilkinson: Giving it away... hang your head in shame.

  73. 0757: 
    Eng 121-4 (target 504)

    Ben Stokes sees out the last four balls of the over.

    I'm intrigued. Two overs before the wicket when England fans saw the "6" graphic, were you pleased or worried? For me, it was a clear sign that Pietersen was going to start taking risks, and these days once he starts taking risks, more often than not he comes a cropper.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was a very well-judged catch from Ryan Harris. It's a big blow for England - they needed Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell to bat for a very long time."

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

  75. 0753: 
    WICKET- Pietersen c Harris b Lyon 45 (Eng 121-4)
    Australia celebrate the dismissal of Kevin Pietersen

    Didn't I tell you it was a bad sign when Pietersen starts looking for gaps in the field? He tries to smash Lyon into the stands again, but it doesn't have the legs and Harris takes a fine catch on the long-on boundary.

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook 0), 2-62 (Carberry 31), 3-76 (Root 19), 4-121 (Pietersen 45)

    Lyon's figures: 7.2-2-29-1


    Full match scorecard

  76. 0752: 
    Eng 121-3 (Pietersen 45, Bell 10)

    Pietersen, with his bat gun-barrel straight, drives Siddle beautifully down the ground to move to 42. While the bowler returns to his mark, Pietersen starts looking around the field for gaps, which is never a good sign if you ask me. There's a bit of chat between KP and Siddle before the over is out - I think Pietersen is accusing his nemesis of clocking his path.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stephen Warburton: It's like the John Cleese movie Clockwise...once the lingering hope disappears, things feel better. We are way past hope!

    Anyone fancy suggesting a movie title that sums up this Ashes series?

  78. 0747: 
    Eng 114-3 (target 504)

    Pietersen shimmies down the track and launches Lyon over long-on into about row P of the stands. Then a shout of "catch it" as the ball loops away on the leg side, but I think it only struck his pad.

  79. 0743: 
    Eng 106-3 (Pietersen 32, Bell 9)

    Bell - who had been a bit stuck on six - picks up three through the leg side with a gentle deflection past short leg.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dan Marchant: I'd play Moeen for Stokes if conditions suited. His off-spin is coming on and he is one of the best batters in the County Championship.

  81. 0739: 
    Eng 103-3 (target 504)
    Kevin Pietersen

    Pietersen swipes Nathan Lyon for four just inside fine leg. Clarke brings the field in again to tempt Pietersen. He fails to connect fully with an ugly cross-batted drive, then finds the boundary with a much more aesthetically-pleasing lace through the covers.


    Darren Freeman: Bell's highest score is 235 and Pietersen's is 227, so all they both have to do is equal that and we win! Easy!

  83. 0736: 
    Eng 95-3 (Pietersen 24, Bell 6)

    Oohs and aahs straight away as Bell cuts and very nearly edges through to Braddin. Bell, ginger goatee visible through his visor, leaves the rest of the over well alone, despite the last ball whistling past his off stump.

  84. 0733: 

    Right then, 37 overs left today, or two and a half hours. Whichever comes first. Peter Siddle to open up after tea...

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

    "I'm sympathetic to the England management team. This group of players is looking jaded and has been on a long journey together. But how, after winning 3-0 in the summer, could the selectors really say they needed to freshen things up?"

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

  86. 0729: 

    It's been a curious knock from Kevin Pietersen so far. He was gifted a start by a juicy Shane Watson half-volley and had largely avoided risk until he took on Lyon in that last over before tea. His approach after the interval will have a large bearing on where England are at the end of the day, not to mention how many KP-bashing emails/texts/tweets we receive. Whatever you think of him, one thing is for sure, when KP is at the crease you never quite know what is going to happen. Stay tuned...

  87. 0728: 
    Marlon Samuels and Shane Shillingford

    News from the International Cricket Council - West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford has been suspended from bowling in international cricket, while all-rounder Marlon Samuels, another off-spinner, has been specifically banned from bowling his quicker deliveries.

    The pair were reported to the ICC by the umpires during a recent Test in Mumbai (Sachin Tendulkar's last), and independent biomechanical analysis has shown that Shillingford's off-break and doosra, and Samuels's quicker ball, all exceed the 15 degrees of toleration permitted for elbow extension.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stuart Mitchell: England team post-Ashes fall-out: Cook (c), Carberry, Root, Robson, Bell, Stokes, Bairstow, Anderson, Broad, Finn, Panesar.

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "From a neutral's point of view, it's been great to see how Australia targeted England's senior batsmen. Once they had ground them down, they went after England's senior bowlers and they just had no answer."

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

  90. 0723: 
    A replica Ashes urn

    Good morning everyone. Ready for the final push? England have seven wickets intact as they look to see out the last session and take the match into a fifth day. For Australia, the Ashes are so close they can almost sniff them.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Adam Davies: Four sessions to go. KP and Bell, as senior batsmen, must bat at least two of them. They are good enough. We have a glimmer.

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

    "It was a good afternoon for Australia. The pitch is still playing good. There's no great seam or swing, or turn. It's just hard work for the bowlers and if you bat well there are runs. Australia know, however, that over time if they keep the pressure up they will take wickets."

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

  93. 0715: 

    It's time to me to hand over to Sam Sheringham for the first part of the evening session. Hopefully, for England's sake, they will still be three down when I return to see us over the line.

  94. 0712: 
    TEA- Eng 95-3 (Pietersen 24*, Bell 5*)

    England make it to tea without any further loss, despite Kevin Pietersen rising to Michael Clarke's bait and hitting over the infield. If he had got out there, I dread to think about the backlash. The rash shot brings him three runs.

    Bowling figures: Harris 7-1-23-1, Johnson 9-2-22-1, Lyon 5-2-12-0, Siddle 9-3-20-0, Watson 4-1-8-1.


    Full match scorecard

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Hawkes: These events started in England as we felt sorry for the Aussies. No such such qualms for them, don't just win, destroy careers.

  96. 0709: 
    Eng 90-3 - target 504

    Kevin Pietersen emphasises Geoffrey's point (below) by slapping a Ryan Harris half-volley through the covers for four. Otherwise, a pretty tidy over sent down by Rhino.

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

    "The good thing from England's point of view is that Australia haven't kept Kevin Pietersen quiet. It's when he gets tied down and frustrated that you think he will do something daft."

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

  98. 0705: 
    Eng 86-3 (Pietersen 17*, Bell 4*)

    Nathan Lyon decides to come round the wicket to the two right-handers and Kevin Pietersen goes on the sweep, bringing him a single. Ian Bell is more circumspect as he plays out the rest of the over patiently.

  99. 0702: 
    Eng 85-3 - target 504

    As 7am alarm clocks ring around the country, it's my job to bring you quickly up to date. Basically, England have had a shocker. Australia piled on 134 runs in just 102 balls in the morning session - Shane Watson scoring a century - before declaring and setting England 504 to win. Alastair Cook fell to a first-ball jaffa from Ryan Harris and he is joined back in the pavilion by Michael Carberry and Joe Root. Out in the middle, Ian Bell plays out a maiden to Ryan Harris.

  100. 0658: 
    Eng 85-3 (Pietersen 16*, Bell 4*)

    There are plenty of youngsters on the grass banks at the Waca, relishing their new-found heroes' charge towards the Ashes. They almost have more to cheer when Kevin Pietersen gloves a vicious rising delivery from Mitchell Johnson behind but the ball beats a diving Brad Haddin and runs away for four. That boundary brings up his 2000th Test run against Australia.


    Tim Burland: I'm in Tokyo and have 3 boys all home from school/nursery school with gastroenteritis. As they'll be off for a few more days and at a loose end, I'll make them available for England.

  102. 0654: 
    Eng 77-3 - target 504

    As Joe Root disconsolately dragged himself from the middle, David Warner gave him a wave as part of his send-off. Peter Siddle is still probing away outside the off stump - just a couple of singles for England to cheer.

    Text 81111

    From Laurie in Lytham St. Annes: I love your editorial optimism. I'm trying to imagine the wonderful circumstances where Broad will NOT be "required!"

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

    "These are England's best two batsmen, but neither of them have set this series alight."

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

  105. 0649: 
    Eng 76-3 (Pietersen 11*, Bell 0*)

    Ian Bell strides to the crease and immediately looks troubled by Mitchell Johnson, who seems to get an extra yard and improved radar in the immediate aftermath of a wicket. Is this England's last hope of a match-saving partnership?

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

    "I think he hit the ground and thought he might have trapped it into the floor. He reviewed it in the hope he might get lucky because he didn't get lucky in the first innings."

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

  107. 0645: 
    WICKET- Root c Haddin b Johnson 19 (Eng 76-3)
    Mitchell Johnson dismisses Joe Root

    Root's a goner. Replays prove that the England batsman got a nick on the ball at the same time the bat hit the ground and a wide, full ball does for the young Yorkshireman. It was a decent catch by Brad Haddin too.

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook 0), 2-62 (Carberry 31), 3-76 (Root 19)

    Johnson's figures: 7.3-1-15-1


    Full match scorecard

  108. 0644: 

    Mitchell Johnson floats one wide of off stump, Joe Root chases it and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin takes the catch. Root is given out but immediately reviews it...

  109. 0641: 
    Eng 76-2 (Root 19*, Pietersen 11*)

    For the optimistic amongst us, there are 44 overs left in the day for England to survive. KP helps himself to another couple through square as he tries desperately hard to rein himself in against his nemesis Peter Siddle.


    Alastair: If we're going to be known for good planning why don't we try 11 Boycott-trained batsmen to plan for Melbourne's 5-session bat-out. Would like to see an exhausted Watson trying to prise out Nick Compton batting at no. 11 on the 5th evening.

  111. 0638: 
    Eng 74-2 - target 504

    Mitchell Johnson, his jet-black barnet bouncing on his way to the delivery crease, is brought back into the attack and there is brief alarm when Kevin Pietersen calls Joe Root through for a scampered two and gets back just before Brad Haddin breaks the stumps. Four in total from the over.

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

    "Everything about Carberry's game has looked really good. He could play for three or four more years, certainly until the next Ashes series. I think he has earned the right to have a run in the summer, although he will be frustrated that he hasn't gone on to convert those starts into really big scores."

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

  113. 0632: 
    Eng 70-2 (Root 18*, Pietersen 6*)

    Cries of 'oohs' and 'aaghs' from the Australians as Shane Watson lands the ball on a crack and it pops up and takes a wicked deviation towards the slips. Two from the over as Kevin Pietersen and Joe Root trade singles.

  114. 0626: 
    Eng 68-2 - target 504
    Peter Siddle

    The tall, gangly and cherubic Joe Root continues to frustrate the Aussie bowlers - plodding on with all the dogged resistance of a certain G Boycott. He continues to frustrate 'Vicious' Siddle. Maiden over.

  115. 0623: 
    Eng 68-2 (Root 17*, Pietersen 5*)

    I'm not sure if there has been a word muttered in the England dressing room this afternoon. Every time the cameras pan to Andy Flower and Graham Gooch they look ever more fed up - if that's possible. Do you reckon they've enforced a 'fingers on lips' policy on the naughty players? Shane Watson continues to bowl tasty offering outside off stump and Kevin Pietersen almost chases one on its way to the keeper. One from the over.

    Text 81111

    From Jo in South Wales: I'm 7 months pregnant and on crutches. If England need me I'm available to fly out to Oz at a minute's notice.

  117. 0618: 
    Eng 67-2 - target 504

    I don't imagine Kevin Pietersen has too many nightmares, but if he did Peter Siddle would figure pretty highly in them. The Aussie quick has dismissed KP 10 times in his career and, so far, the England batsman is refusing to take the bait - playing extravagant leaves outside off stump. When he does decide to unload, he demolishes the stumps at the non-striker's end with his signature flat-batted pull shot. Maiden over.


    Alan Orpin, TMS inbox: My name is Brother Optimisti and I'm a monk from a very closed order in Sussex. The last time we were permitted to listen to the wireless, Australia were 134-6 on the first day in Brisbane and of course we've heard nothing since. By my calculations, it is now the fourth day in Perth, and I'm assuming that England are on the brink of winning or retaining the Ashes...

  119. 0611: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 67-2 (Root 17*, Pietersen 5*)

    Pietersen's first ball ... hold your breath. Half-volley on off stump - driven for four. He couldn't have asked for a better way to get off the mark. A brief moment of alarm as the ball hits a crack and deviates onto Pietersen's pad before he works a single through midwicket.


    Neal Kinsey: Kevin Pietersen your ego needs you.

  121. 0607: 
    ASHES CATCH-UP- Eng 62-2 (Root 17*, Pietersen 0*)

    Just waking up? I'm afraid it's Groundhog Day in Perth as England look on course for another defeat and seem hours away from surrendering the Ashes urn. In the morning session, Australia piled on 134 runs in 17 overs - ending their innings after George Bailey had smashed James Anderson for a world-record-equalling 28 runs in one over. Alastair Cook went first ball to Ryan Harris and now Michael Carberry is out. A maiden over for Nathan Lyon, and now it's time to see what KP has got...

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "If he wasn't out lbw, he was caught. A good piece of bowling by Shane Watson in his first over back in this spell."

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

  123. 0602: 
    WICKET- Carberry lbw b Watson 31 (Eng 62-2)
    Shane Watson celebrates after dismissing Michael Carberry

    Can Shane Watson's day get any better? After bludgeoning a quickfire century this morning, he's now helping himself to a wicket - coming round the wicket to Michael Carberry and crashing one into the opener's pads. Aussie delight.

    Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Cook 0), 2-62 (Carberry 31)

    Watson's figures: 1-0-1-1


    Full match scorecard


    Neil Elson, TMS inbox: Crying in to my early evening beer here in Auckland. Disappointing that England have not had this Aussie team under real pressure, interesting to see how they would react. In my view this is a reverse of the summer with an above average team beating a below average team. Both would get cleaned up by South Africa.

  125. 0557: 
    Eng 61-1 - target 504

    Our first look at Nathan Lyon, and Michael Carberry doesn't take too long to get a feel for the off-spinner as he charges down the track and edges through the slips for four. The opener is beginning to get a reputation as a solid batsman who then plays the strangest of shots.

  126. 0554: 
    Eng 55-1 (Carberry 25*, Root 16*)

    I can't really remember ever seeing such noticeable and wide cracks on a cricket pitch. I'm sure a few of you guys have played on worse. I know there's an annual Boxing Day game held in Bury between Tottington St Johns and Brooksbottom which is regularly played in snow. Let me know other examples. If you have pictures of the said pitch, even better. Out in the middle, Joe Root plays back a maiden to Peter Siddle.

  127. 0550:  

    Test Match Special's lunchtime items - Alison Mitchell's report from Stuart Broad's old Melbourne club Hoppers Crossing, and Jonathan Agnew's interview with ex-Australia coach Mickey Arthur - are now available on the TMS podcast page.

  128. 0549: 
    Eng 55-1 - target 504
    Michael Carberry

    Joe Root is pulling Michael Carberry through for some good, positive singles as he tries to rotate the strike. Michael Carberry then plays out the rest of Mitchell Johnson's lung-busting over.

    Text 81111

    Tony in Telford: How could it get worse for England? 500-3 and the umpires call the game off for bad light or a dangerous pitch.

  130. 0544: 
    Eng 54-1 (Carberry 25*, Root 15*)

    It's all very tense at the Waca as England do their level best to show some fight - Joe Root striking three through the covers before exchanging singles with Michael Carberry. That's the 50 partnership up.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ash Gardiner: Out batted, out bowled, out sledged, and to top it all off we were out Movembered.

  132. 0542: 
    Eng 49-1 - target 504

    I wonder if the Aussies have secretly got a function room booked for tonight? The intent they showed this morning suggests they fancy a party in Perth this evening. Joe Root and Michael Carberry are determined to delay any possible celebrations as they continue to dig in - the latter happy to see an edge land short of the slips after Mitchell Johnson gets one to spit off a crack in the pitch.

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

    "Mitchell Johnson doesn't actually move the ball. It is just pace straight across you, so if you can get those feet moving you can cope. I can think of plenty of bowlers who I faced who were better skilled at making the ball do a bit."

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

  134. 0536: 
    Eng 48-1 (Carberry 24*, Root 10*)

    "Absolute perfection," purrs Geoffrey Boycott in the TMS commentary box as Michael Carberry expertly drives Peter Siddle through the covers for a morale-boosting boundary. He follows up later in the over by pulling a short one to the boundary. Carbs has worked too hard in his career to get to this point and roll over.


    Salim in Toronto, Canada: I think the way things can get worse for England is for people to beat up on a team that is down. Where is the loyalty? There have been teams in the past that have enjoyed dominance for a few years and then have had to rebuild. Credit to Australia for working hard and executing their plans to perfection.

  136. 0531: 
    Eng 40-1 - target 504

    The smiling assassin himself - George Bailey - goes under the helmet at short leg as Mitchell Johnson returns to the attack. The left-arm paceman's run-up is imprinted on the Waca pitch, while his metaphorical boot marks are on England's throat. A couple of singles as England continue to look relatively untroubled. For now.

  137. 0527: 
    Eng 38-1 (Carberry 15*, Root 9*)

    Nice idea, Mike [see Tweet below], but I'm struggling to think of too many beaches in England which may provide solace for supporters in the middle of December. You're more likely to be blown away by the wind quicker than England's batting. A rare moment of cheer for England as Michael Carberry drives hard outside off stump and the ball races away for four through the gully region.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket
    Australia in a huddle

    Mike Bell: Now do what Australian fans did when they were awful. Affect total disinterest. We don't care, don't want to watch. Gone to beach.

  139. 0522: 
    Eng 33-1 - target 504

    Michael Carberry is digging in for now - dealing expertly with some up-and-down seam bowling from Peter Siddle before breaking the shackles with a gentle shot into the leg side which brings two. It results in Siddle going round the wicket and the England opener stands firm once more.


    R Williams: Time to think again about central contracts? Where do Anderson, Swann, Prior go to recover? They play Tests and nets. How do they get back in a groove? How does Jonny Bairstow build a career carrying drinks in Australia, then off to Sri Lanka? Golfers and tennis players go out and play, compete, because that's how you get good! Let these guys play county cricket at least to learn, find form, and maybe even relax and enjoy.

  141. 0517: 
    Eng 31-1 (Carberry 9*, Root 9*)

    The broad-shouldered, top-heavy Ryan Harris continues after lunch but, luckily for England, there's no magic balls landing on a length just yet - Joe Root taking a single before Michael Carberry watches a relatively wide delivery hit a crack and shoot along the ground to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Another single follows.


    Bertie in Cambridge, TMS inbox: Way things can get worse for England: the media blows a game of cricket out of all proportion, the public denounces the players as traitors and the ECB reacts with knee-jerk, wholesale changes, plunging English cricket into another dark age. Alastair Cook retires to Bedfordshire, where he establishes a successful career in animal husbandry.

  143. 0513: 
    Eng 29-1 - target 504

    Australia have three slips and a gully in for Joe Root as Peter Siddle bustles in with all the fire of a man desperate to taste Ashes series success for the first time. Four leg byes and a single from a tidy over.

  144. 0509: 
    Eng 24-1 (Carberry 8*, Root 7*)

    Joe Root and Michael Carberry make their way to the middle, trying desperately not to look at the cracks on the Waca pitch. Peter Siddle has the ball in hand. Let's play.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Lots of you warming to the theme of ways things can get even worse for England...

    Paul Jomo 79: AVB gets fired & fancies his luck managing this motley crew. Spurs have lost by a few cricket scores lately!

    Andrew Easter: Get worse? Jimmy Anderson, requiring a single for a quite remarkable century, plays on to his own stumps with England at 502-9

    Ian Campbell: Ways it can get worse for England? Anderson, Prior & Bresnan remain in a team coached by Flower & Gooch.

  146. 0506: 

    In case you are just waking up, it's been another chastening morning for England. They conceded 134 in the first 17 overs of the day as Shane Watson racked up a century before George Bailey equalled the most runs in an over in Test cricket when he plundered James Anderson for 28 runs. Australia declared after that final assault, and Ryan Harris bowled Alastair Cook with a jaffa from the first ball of England's innings. The tourists are 24-1 after being set 504 to win.

  147. 0502: 

    Hello everyone, Marc Higginson checking in for live text duty. I'm struggling to think of many reasons to be cheerful for England. But at least they haven't lost a wicket in the last half hour!

  148. 0436: 
    Mickey Arthur

    I don't know about England, I need some time to regroup after that crazy session. While we're gone, have a listen to the upcoming Mickey Arthur interview on TMS, while Alison Mitchell has been to visit Hoppers Crossing on the outskirts of Melbourne where Stuart Broad used to play.

    Don't forget you can follow the cricket via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, and the BBC Sport app which now supports larger tablets for UK users - the iPad, Android tablets and Kindle Fire 8.9" devices.

    Text 81111

    Amir: I have never in my life seen such a demoralising England performance. If someone had said to me before this series England will lose the Ashes I perhaps would have understood how (expecting it to be a close loss). But the performances in this series I just do not understand. Yes, well done Australia, but where are you England? People say the Ashes are on the line, but I seriously believe careers are on the line too. If nothing changes this will be 5-0. But, so far England have shown more cracks within their team than this pitch.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Australia's slip cordon celebrate

    "What a morning this has been. Australia have now declared four of their six innings in this series, it just shows how dominant they are. I knew Australia would come out and attack, but to score 134 in 17 overs is incredible. After watching catches go down and fumbles in the field, it was almost inevitable England would then lose a wicket. Their challenge now is to bat out the day because the Aussies have their sights on a party in Perth tonight."

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

  151. 0430: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 24-1

    Nathan Lyon bowls the last over before lunch with men surrounding Carberry, chirping away. It's a maiden, meaning England have a crucial 40 minutes to regroup and somehow devise a plan for how they are going to survive the rest of the day and beyond. Rumours that they have started digging a tunnel at the back of the ground in preparation for a Shawshank Redemption-style escape have not yet been confirmed.

    Bowling figures: Harris 3-0-13-1, Johnson 3-1-7-0, Lyon 1-1-0-0.


    Full match scorecard

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Watkins: Ways things could get worse for England: We carry on playing the same side every match and don't drop anyone. Serious but true.

    Mickey Arthur

    TMS on Twitter: "During the interval we talk to former Australia coach Mickey Arthur and we visit a place in Melbourne where Stuart Broad will be among friends."

  154. 0427: 
    Eng 24-1 (Carberry 8, Root 7)

    Johnson - dare I say it - hasn't quite found his line this morning and is just below the 90mph mark. Nothing a hearty lunch won't fix. Root leaves anything outside off stump and tucks away a couple through the leg side.

  155. 0423: 
    Eng 22-1

    Enjoying Tom's suggestions for how things can get worse for England. Can anyone suggest any more?

    Leg stump from Harris and efficiently dispatched by Carberry to the square leg rope. "He just needs to bat for another 10 hours," quips Michael Vaughan.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket
    Australia celebrate the dismissal of Alastair Cook

    David Meacock: Real mental disintegration stuff for England. This could do more damage than the Taylor/Waugh/Ponting years combined.

  157. 0420: 
    Eng 18-1

    A Johnson bumper beats everyone for five wides. Root reaches for a ball way outside off stump and is lucky not to nick it.

    The England players and coaches in the dressing-room have the demeanour of men surveying the aftermath of a car crash.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Waca

    "Ways this can get worse for England: 1. The series is extended to 10 Tests. 2. Mitchell Johnson discovers the elixir of perpetual youth. 3. All future Ashes Tests in Australia are scheduled for the Waca."

  159. 0415: 
    Eng 13-1

    Four slips and a gully poised as Harris walks to his mark. Carberry gets his score ticking with a four, worked off his toes to square leg. Harris soon finds his line though, and beats Carberry's outside edge.

    There is a big yellow duck on the scoreboard alongside Alastair Cook's name. I wonder where the England captain is now. Sitting in a cold shower quietly sobbing, perhaps?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    David J Chapman: I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

    Jack O'Regan: I'll defend Cook for the wicket, that was a top delivery. I won't defend his captaincy, which has been pathetic.

    David Mills: Lost for words at what England are producing here! Pure and utter dross is as close as I can get! Lowest point in 29 years?

  161. 0410: 
    Eng 9-1

    Four byes down the leg side as Root steps across and is actually almost bowled. Michael Vaughan reckons the cracks are getting wider by the half hour. Carberry hasn't faced a ball yet. And I'm sure he'd love to keep it that way!

  162. 0408: 

    Breathe again. The ball pitched a fair way outside leg stump so Root survives. Somehow.

  163. 0407: 

    Johnson pins Root right back in front of stumps. The umpire says no. Clarke has a think about it then chooses to review. I think this pitched outside leg stump.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statisticianTHAT'S A RECORD
    Alastair Cook is bowled

    "That was Alastair Cook's first first-baller in Test cricket - and he's the first man to get a first-baller in his 100th Test."

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

  165. 0406: 
    Eng 5-1

    I thought Harris was struggling with a knee injury! Cook's mind must be scrambled but I reckon that ball would have got most people out. It really was a peach of a delivery.

    Root receives some friendly encouragement from Warner as he comes out to bat. A good riposte from England's number three as he cracks an overpitched ball through the covers for four.

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

    "I can't remember a worse session for England, as a player and spectator. I'm lost for words - I can't believe what I am seeing."

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

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "That swung in, straightened and hit the top of off stump. Just when you think it can't get any worse for England. It could be over before lunch."

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

  168. 0400: 
    WICKET- Cook b Harris 0 (Eng 0-1)
    Ryan Harris

    You are not dreaming. This is really happening. Cook is bowled by the first delivery of the innings and it is an absolute pearler from Ryan Harris. It swings and moves away a fraction before clipping the top of off stump. This is devastating from Australia.

    Full match scorecard

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "England are demoralised, they are down and wondering where their next run or wicket is coming from. They need nothing short of a miracle to get out of this."

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

  170. 0357: 

    So, how on earth do England recover from that? How does Alastair Cook clear his mind of those horrors in order to bat on a pitch with more craters than the moon? Anybody else worry that this is all going to be over very quickly?

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "This Australian team are not mucking around today - they have their foot on the throat of the England team and they are not going to take it off."

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

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statisticianTHAT'S A RECORD

    "There were 28 runs in that over, which equals the record for an over in Test cricket - shared by Brian Lara who did the same against Robin Peterson, for West Indies against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2004."

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

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's great cricket - give Australia 10 out of 10 because they didn't have to play like this. They want to dismantle England and they have done just that. I don't think I've ever seen James Anderson destroyed in this manner."

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

    AUSTRALIA DECLARE- England target 504

    And Bailey's assault is the cue for Clarke to declare, setting England an extremely nominal target of 504.

    Bowling figures: Anderson 19-5-105-0, Bresnan 14-3-53-2, Stokes 18-1-82-2, Swann 27-8-92-1, Root 9-1-24-0.


    Full match scorecard

  175. 0349: 
    Aus 369-6

    Slow hand claps from the crowd as England waste time between the overs. Then the mother of all onslaughts from Bailey.

    First he clips Anderson over the slips for four, then piles on yet more ignominy by clattering him over his head for a huge six.

    Another four follows - then another six. And then another. One over long-off and one over long-on. No less than 28 runs off the over and the sight of their newest and least secure Test batsman effortlessly creaming our best bowler for six three times in an over just about sums it all up for me.

  176. 0342: 
    WICKET- Haddin c Swann b Bresnan 5 (Aus 340-6)
    Graeme Swann catches Brad Haddin

    More Keystone Cops stuff from the England team as Bailey is let off in comical fashion as Bell and Anderson both leave the ball to one another, only for it to land in between them. Haddin then heaves into the off side, where Swann does at least hold on to the chance to give the luckless Bresnan a wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 1-157 (Rogers 54), 2-183 (Warner 112), 3-223 (Clarke 23), 4-301 (Smith 15), 5-331 (Watson 103), 6-340 (Haddin 5)

    Bresnan's figures: 13.4-3-52-2

    Full match scorecard

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The worrying thing for England is that these cracks on the pitch are just where the Australian bowlers will land the ball."

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

  178. 0338: 
    Aus 339-5 (Lead by 473)

    Brad Haddin - aka Braddin - is the new man with a very defensive field in place. And it doesn't take him long to start to smear, stepping away and launching Anderson with a flat bat over mid-on for four. Mitchell Johnson is the next man in. How England would love to land one on that precious left hand of his.

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

    "Ian Bell had his back to the catch which was dropped, he didn't know anything about it. It serves Shane Watson right - he should have run the run!"

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

  180. 0330: 
    WICKET- Watson run out (Bresnan) 103 (Aus 331-5)

    Let me explain this one. Watson skies the ball into the air and shakes his head. Ian Bell contrives to drop it, but Watson isn't concentrating and bowler Bresnan picks up the ball and throws down the stumps at the non-striker's end to run him out.

    Fall of wickets: 1-157 (Rogers 54), 2-183 (Warner 112), 3-223 (Clarke 23), 4-301 (Smith 15), 5-331 (Watson 103)

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

    "It's a very fine hundred and a fine performance from Australia this morning. They've come at England and piled the agony on. That's the sixth hundred scored by an Australian and England haven't got one."

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

  182. 0324: 
    WATSON 100- Aus 331-4 (Lead by 465)
    Shane Watson celebrates his century

    What a catch! Oh no! Bresnan - at long-off - leaps like a salmon to take an incredible catch but his momentum takes him over the rope and gives Watson a six.

    Ooh la la, Jimmy lands one on a crack and the ball flies miles over Watson's head for five wides.

    Watson - on 98 - then tickles Jimmy to the fine leg boundary for four to bring up a brilliant attacking hundred off 106 balls. This morning he has 76 from 41.

    Watson's stats: 165 minutes, 106 balls, 11 fours, five sixes


    Ray Clark: "Carberry, Root and Stokes have been a positive for England going forward into the future. Stokes has stepped up to Test level well. Stokes along with Root will be better players in the long run after this and seem to be the only ones with any fight. Time to start rebuilding - some of the senior players look like they know they are going to get a tap on the shoulder.

  184. 0319: 
    Aus 313-4

    Watson throws everything at Stokes, missing the first one, then connecting to send one over extra cover. Stokes lands one on a crack and sees it move away sharply. England's innings could be an absolute horror show.

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

    "This is George Bailey's forte - it's like one-day cricket now and he's such a good player in that format, as we saw in India. However I don't think he has the technique to last in Test cricket."

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

  186. 0315: 
    NEW BALL- Aus 308-4 (Watson 86, Bailey 5)
    Shane Watson and James Anderson

    Jimmy Anderson bowls one ball with the old ball then calls for a new one, which umpire Billy Bowden theatrically displays to all corners of the ground. Anderson immediately finds some swing to snake one past Bailey's outside edge. Bailey opens the face and gets four, prompting to Cook to send his third slip back to third man.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Marcos Sreeves: It's hard to tell if the cracks in the England team or the enormous gaping cracks on the pitch are worse.

    Edward Pearce: These cracks will become too dangerous - game abandoned. England go on to record famous wins at Melbourne and Sydney. Simple.

  188. 0310: 
    Aus 303-4 (Lead by 437)

    The new ball is due at the end of this over so not a bad time to bring new man George Bailey to the crease. He gets away with a single to leg.

    By the way, after the wicket, KP didn't take too kindly to the attentions of Spider Cam and gave it a good soaking with a squirt from his water bottle.

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

    "Jonny's got good hands and is a quick mover. The bowlers just need to try different things and although a wicket doesn't stop the flow of the game, it keeps everybody's heads up a little. It just helps the psychology of the team."

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

  190. 0306: 
    WICKET- Smith c sub (Bairstow) b Stokes 15 (Aus 301-4)
    Steve Smith

    Smith tries to clear the ropes but gets a top edge and picks out Jonny Bairstow, who takes a clean catch in front of his face at deep midwicket.

    Fall of wickets: 1-157 (Rogers 54), 2-183 (Warner 112), 3-223 (Clarke 23), 4-301 (Smith 15)

    Stokes's figures: 16.1-1-75-2


    Full match scorecard

  191. 0304: 
    Aus 301-3 (Watson 84, Smith 15)

    Watson drills down the ground, but there's a man at long-on so it's just a single. Root manages to keep them to ones by bowling a line outside leg stump. Swann, sportingly, dives full length at short fine leg to stop a four.

    Shane Watson

    Jim Snipe: Re: not applauding Watson. He is a very unpopular person with many English fans and players. He is constantly sledging the opposition, ridiculing them and performs like a spoilt child when he gets out.

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

    "Australia's senior players have targeted England's senior players and they have hit the tourists at their core."

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

  194. 0300: 
    Aus 297-3 (Lead by 431)

    After the feast, the relative famine as Australia take just the two singles of Stokes. Swann is coming off, to be replaced by ... Joe Root. Take one for the team kid.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Australia have now scored 32 sixes in the series, which is a record for them - one more than they scored against India in 2000-01."

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

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

    "This is such clean striking - every ball is flying into the stands. Watson has scored 53 runs in 25 minutes. He could get 100 in an hour at this rate."

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

  197. 0256: 
    Aus 295-3 (Watson 82, Smith 12)

    This is getting embarrassing, especially for poor old Graeme Swann, and Watson is doing a bit of a Gilchrist. He smashes three sixes and a four to bring up fifty runs inside half an hour. One of the sixes is gleefully caught by a man in the crowd in an Aussie rugby shirt with a cigar in his mouth.


    Ed: Think this series is a lot like 2005 in reverse. Back then we had big plans for big Aussie players and made the likes of Hayden and Gilchrist look ordinary, Aussies have done the same to us here. Hard to change your technique mid-series, even for the very best...

  199. 0252: 
    Aus 273-3 (Watson 60, Smith 12)

    Watson is in one-day mode now, heaving Ben Stokes through midwicket for four. That brings up the Australia 400 and means the hosts have now scored 1,000 more runs than Australia in this series. Make that 1,004, Watto helping Stokes round the corner for four more to fine leg.

    BBC Radio 5 live
    The Waca pitch

    On Twitter: Another crease crack shot, including the legs of Mark Pougatch and Michael Vaughan's brogues.

  201. 0248: 
    BROAD UPDATE- Aus 264-3

    News just in. Stuart Broad has no fracture, will continue to receive treatment and will bat if necessary.

    Smith pushes into the covers, sets off and turns back and Watson would have been run out by a direct hit.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Come on England, let's see some applause for Shane Watson - he's done well. It's as though England have made a conscious decision not to applaud but that's not the way to play cricket. It makes me cross."

    Michael Vaughan adds: "England are getting a lot wrong on this tour. It's about respect - you don't have to clap for long."

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

  203. 0246: 
    WATSON FIFTY- Aus 259-3 (Lead by 393)

    Watson drives Anderson for a single to bring up his 22nd Test fifty. There's no applause from the England fans, which seems a touch harsh. Smith smears one over the top for two. Australia are looking to build their lead as quickly as possible here.

  204. 0241: 
    Aus 256-3 (Watson 49, Smith 6)

    A better over from Swann features one ball that hits a crack and goes sideways. Not exactly what England wanted to see.

  205. 0239: 

    A quick trawl of fourth-innings scores at the Waca reveal some pretty decent efforts in recent years. Have a gander:

    Australia 322 all out v South Africa in December 2012

    West Indies 323 all out v Australia in December 2009

    South Africa 414-4 v Australia in December 2008

    Australia 340 all out v India June 2008

    England 350 all out v Australia in December 2006

    South Africa 287-5 v Australia in December 2005

  206. 0238: 
    Aus 256-3 (Lead by 390)

    I'm hearing whispers that the Aussies are a bit concerned about Ryan Harris's knee and may bat on a bit longer to give him more time to rest. After a Smith single, Watson contrives a bizarre way to hit a four, getting an under edge that bounces over Matt Prior's head en route to the rope.

  207. 0234: 
    Aus 249-3 (Watson 43, Smith 5)

    Swann opens up from the Prindiville End, with 10 overs to go until the second new ball. And Shane Watson makes his intentions clear with a brutal assault. After three dots, he smacks two fours - one over cow corner and the second down the ground - and then a six back over the bowler's head.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm going for a Ryan Harris hamstring, a Mitchell Johnson intercostal and England to knock 400 off and we'll head to the MCG for Boxing Day..."

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

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Sam Heaton: England fans need perspective. We stuff the Aussies in three out of the last four series, now we're a disgrace because we've lost one?

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Let's give some credit to the England supporters out here. They won't have seen consecutive hot days like this for a very long time. They are red, sore and pretty down in the dumps but they are fronting it up again today."

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

  211. 0227: 

    We're almost set for the start of play on another scorching day in Perth. Shane Watson will resume on 29 and Steve Smith on five. How many runs will Michael Clarke want before he decides to declare, or will he just do it at lunch regardless of the exact score and give his team five sessions to bowl England out and win the Ashes?

    Don't forget to get in touch with your hopes and fears. Text to 81111, tweet via #bbccricket, or email


    And if you didn't hear last night... Andy Murray was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year with 404,470 votes, more than half the total votes cast. Ian Bell came last with 5,626.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Guy Evans: All the signs were there in NZ that this England team weren't very good. Australia were a rabble start of summer hence 3-0. Not now.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the Waca

    "So England's Ashes have come down to this: trying not to lose too badly. It will all be over at some point in the next two days; the only question is whether the firing-squad assemble late today or if the condemned men can enjoy a last hearty dinner."

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

    "There are cracks running down the pitch like a snake and they are wide cracks. You can see them in your visuals while you are batting. You could take your guard, ask for middle stump and lose your bat down a crack.

    "I've been around the England players this morning and they look completely shot, dumbstruck as to why this has happened. Somehow they have to try to get it into day five, but knowing that the likes of Johnson and Siddle are bowling to win the Ashes, this could be England's hardest day so far."

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

  216. 0220: 

    BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew says England face a fight to avoid a 5-0 whitewash.

    "I usually leave the headline-grabbing predictions to others, but even I am struggling to see how they will not get an absolute caning," said Aggers.

    Meanwhile, chief sports writer Tom Fordyce said yesterday was the most miserable day of a miserable tour.

    "After 1,576 days in metaphorical possession of the urn, England are about to cede it in a fashion that few expected, even if the potential headlines ("Ashes Thrashes", "Pomnishambles") should come as no surprise," wrote Tom.

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

    "England have got to just play as well as they can and that will help them get in a better frame of mind for the next match. If England allow the wheels to come off completely they will be in freefall."

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

  218. 0212: 

    Much has been made of England's horrific third day in Perth, with legendary all-rounder Sir Ian Botham telling Sky Sports that Alastair Cook's men are in disarray and "the wheels were well and truly off".

    Respected cricket writer Scyld Berry said the third-day struggle was England's most demoralising this century, while former England captain Nasser Hussain told each player to ask himself if they have the "pride and the bottle" to take on Australia.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm looking forward to today. It's a bit of a token gesture to suggest England will hand over the urn. The real one is safely locked away at Lord's, though when I played for Middlesex in 2004 I snuck into the Lord's museum and took the real urn. It's in my trophy cabinet at home!"

    "It's not there yet. The game is not up from Australia, and England have not lost yet."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra - we hope Glenn is joking...

  220. 0210: 
    Stuart Broad

    There's no update this morning on the fitness of Stuart Broad, who is awaiting the results of a scan after being hit on the right foot by a Mitchell Johnson yorker.

    Broad, who will not bowl again in the match, spoke to the media last night with crutches and wearing a protective boot and was optimistic about his chances of playing in the final two Tests.

    "Even if there's a small crack there and my symptoms aren't painful, I see no reason why I can't continue to play," said Broad.

    "I've got 10 days until Boxing Day. I see no reason why I can't get myself back in the frame for the Melbourne Test."

  221. 0206: 

    As those movie titles suggest, the Ashes defence has been painful viewing for those of an English persuasion. I feel sorry for the thousands who are flying out for the fourth and fifth Tests. Let's hope we're not talking about the Melbourne Massacre or the Slashing in Sydney.

  222. 0205: 

    Yes, welcome brave souls to our coverage of the fourth day of the third Ashes Test in Perth. Could this be the day Australia rip the urn from England's ever-weakening grasp? The hosts will resume their second innings on 235-3, a whopping 369 runs ahead.

  223. 0200: 

    It is not a trilogy that will have England cricket followers flocking to their multiplexes. In fact, in terms of pure horror it's right up there with Nightmare on Elm Street. After the Slaughter at the Gabbatoir and the Adelaide Annihilation, this is officially the Walloping at the Waca.

Live Scores - Australia v England


  • Australia beat England by 150 runs
  • Australia: 385 & 369-6 (87.0 overs)
  • England: 251 & 353 (103.2 overs)
  • Venue: Perth

England 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Cook b Harris 0
Carberry lbw b Watson 31
Root c Haddin b Johnson 19
Pietersen c Harris b Lyon 45
Bell c Haddin b Siddle 60
Stokes c Haddin b Lyon 120
Prior c Haddin b Johnson 26
Bresnan c Rogers b Johnson 12
Swann c Smith b Lyon 4
Broad not out 2
Anderson c Bailey b Johnson 2
Extras 6w 13b 13lb 32
Total all out 353

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