Australia v England, first one-day international, Melbourne, as it happened

Australia win the first ODI against England by six wickets, while England's women close in on victory in their Ashes Test.

12 January 2014 Last updated at 02:52

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As it happened

  1. 1126: 

    So, while you pick the bones out of that one, it's time for us to wrap up. As Cookie mentioned, England face a Prime Minister's XI (captained by Brett Lee, no less) in Canberra on Tuesday, before heading up to Brisbane for the second ODI on Friday, when the TMS team will be on duty once more.

    But before that, make sure you join us tomorrow morning for the final day of the Women's Ashes Test in Perth - there's live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra from 0225 GMT, while I'll be back in this chair for live text commentary as Australia begin on 57-5 chasing 185 for victory. Until then - enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

  2. 1122: 

    More from Alastair Cook: "It's down to the top four to get the majority of the runs - hundreds win you one-day cricket, we haven't done that lately. If you look at the series in Abu Dhabi, the top three or four got hundreds and we had firepower below them.

    "We looked at the wicket today and didn't think it was going to turn. The four seamers were pretty inexperienced - Boyd Rankin had a bit of cramp so he couldn't come back. In hindsight, could we have played a spinner? Possibly. Gary Ballance was very composed, he's got a very good one-day record and has worked hard on his game, and his fitness, on this tour. Eoin Morgan will be kicking himself he didn't go on and get a bigger score today.

    "We've got the Prime Minister's XI match on Tuesday, it's a quick turnaround and we'll have to see how our bodies pull up tomorrow."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Charles Isere: Cook: 20 runs short?? Hello? We lost by five overs at six an over... without a final flourish. I make that 50 short.

    Sahil Oberoi: Was Cook playing in the same match we all just watched? Aus scored 64 runs in the first 10 overs, England 28!

  4. 1119: 

    Australia captain Michael Clarke: "We were a little bit sloppy in the field, our bowlers did well and our batters were outstanding.

    "Our momentum has come from the series we played in the UK. The ODI team is different to the Test team, but we are still full of confidence.

    "We aren't thinking about the World Cup, but this is still fantastic preparation."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Grant Wyeth: England have to battle a gulf in class and form in the ODIs. Oz team just too strong in all departments when at full strength.

  6. 1115: 

    England captain Alastair Cook: "We were about 20 runs short but we didn't bowl in the areas we wanted to. 270 would have been defenable if we'd bowled right. You've got to get yourself in early on - Aaron Finch and David Warner didn't hit out straight away, they built a partnership. We kept building partnerships for 20 or 30 but then getting out. I was very impressed with Chris Jordan and Gary Ballance today. But it's one-day cricket, we've got a lot of talent and firepower in that batting line-up."

  7. 1112: 

    So, the $1,500 prize goes to... Aaron Finch.

    "It's always nice to get a good start to the series, especially at your home ground. The way the wicket was, it swung around early on and you need a bit of luck in one-day cricket but it was nice to set a good platform for the win. When you're batting with David Warner, he gives you a lot of confidence."


    From Chris King: I'm not a Cook basher. I would of given him a rest for the ODIs to protect him. It looks like we will lose every match in this tour. This will destroy the remaining grains of confidence that Cook has left. At the end of the day we are not scoring enough runs to win any match against the Aussies.

  9. 1110: 

    You may want to don a pair of peril-sensitive sunglasses before reading the England bowling figures:

    Rankin 8-0-53-0, Jordan 10-0-50-1, Bresnan 9.4-0-56-1, Stokes 10-0-65-1, Bopara 6-0-30-0, Root 2-0-11-1.

  10. 1109: 

    So, man of the match? Any ideas? A certain AJ Finch, perhaps?

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Let's hope for better in Brisbane. This squad has only been together for six days as a group - they've been totally outplayed today, and one thing they're going to have to look at is playing a specialist spinner, whether that's Danny Briggs or James Tredwell, because there was no variation in the attack. You need specialist bowlers in there who perform for their counties day in, day out. Australia may have left their entire Test bowling attack out, but England have left players out - I think they missed Anderson and Broad today."

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



  13. 45.4 overs: 
    Aus 270-4

    Bresnan to bowl his last over, four needed, will Australia finish it here? Maxwell guides one down to fine leg, Bailey pulls one through a flock of seagulls (not many England players will be wishing they had a photograph of this game) to the mid-wicket sweeper - and Maxwell pulls a two to the same fielder to win the game with 26 balls to spare.


    From James: Too much is being made of Cook and his captaincy suffering in comparison to Clarke. This was the same Clarke that led Australia to consecutive 4-0 and 3-0 defeats to India and England within last 12 months. England have had misfiring senior players and no captain in the world can win games if senior players don't perform. Patience is required to build a new side and cook is young enough still to learn from mistakes.

  15. 45 overs: 
    Aus 266-4 (Bailey 16*, Maxwell 6*)

    Stokes, with 1-56 from nine overs, will bowl out here. Bailey added a single, Stokes brings the total down by bowling a wide - the 10th England have bowled in the innings. Maxwell and Bailey are picking off leg side singles at will, and Bailey smacks Stokes's last ball down the ground for four, to leave only four needed for victory as Stokes finishes with 1-65.

    Text 81111

    From Tony: Feel sorry for Captain Cook?!?!?! Sorry Mr Emburey, but Alastair has been the maker of his own mess! Poor batting, poor leadership.

  17. 44 overs: 
    Aus 257-4 (target 270)

    Bailey hooks Bresnan for a single, Maxwell heaves and misses. Bresnan tries a bouncer, which Maxwell fences at and he swipes a two to third man. Two more singles leave Australia needing 13 from 36 balls.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Thomas Stirk: Yet another Australian gets a hundred, embarrassing the gulf in class this whole tour.

    Tom Scarborough: Stop calling for Cook's head. Aus are on the up and it's a tough time for him but he'll come through. Blame the batsmen.

    Charlie Carr: Clearly some problems in the England camp, whether captain, certain players or management. Changes are needed.

  19. 43 overs: 
    Aus 252-4 (Bailey 7*, Maxwell 1*)

    Glenn Maxwell is the new batsman for Australia - judging by the way he played for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash last weekend (58 from 28 balls against Melbourne Renegades), he could well knock off the 23 runs in very short order. But there are no fireworks as yet, against the recalled Stokes who has changed ends - four singles and a leg bye from the over. 18 more are needed from 42 balls.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner

    "That was some good cricket by Bresnan. He's bowled two or three shorts balls in the over, then went fuller. Clarke took it on, mis-hit it, and popped the ball to Cook at mid-off."

  21. 42 overs: 
    WICKET- Clarke c Cook b Bresnan 43 (Aus 247-4)

    I wonder if Captain Cook is onto Plan C, Plan D or even "eeny, meeny, miny, mo" to decides who bowls at this stage - it really won't make much difference to the result, but the wicket-taking Stokes is replaced by Bresnan. Clarke, looking on course to shepherd his team home here, moves to 43 with a single. Bailey clips a single to the speedy Jordan at fine leg, but Clarke is drawn into a false stroke and is caught by his opposite number at mid-off. 23 needed from 48 balls.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner

    "One has to feel sorry for Alastair Cook. It has been a rough and tumble tour for him. England have had opportunities, but have not taken them. It's been an absolute mauling."

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

  23. 41 overs: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 245-3 (target 270)

    Chris Jordan, who's been out of luck throughout this innings with edges, catches, drops and lbws, charges in for his last over. Bailey plays out three dot balls before he's off the mark with a couple of twos off his legs. And as his last ball hits Bailey on the pads but leaves the umpire unmoved, Jordan finishes with 1-50 but those figures will not tell the tale of an impressive individual bowling performance. But he's lacked support - Australia need 25 from 54 balls.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rob Meech: Muddled team selection but England are too stubborn to admit they got it wrong. Too many bits and pieces players. Is it 1996?

    Simon O: Doesn't Jos Buttler open with Finch for Melbourne. Why is he [batting] number eight for England?

  25. 40 overs: 
    Aus 241-3 (Clarke 42*, Bailey 0*)

    George Bailey is the new batsman, looking on as Clarke edges one past the keeper - no slip in now - for four. Australia need 29 from 10 overs.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a top-quality innings by Aaron Finch. He got on top of the bowlers at the start of the innings, he drove, pulled and was prepared to hit over the top. With Warner, it is one of the most destructive opening partnerships in ODI cricket."

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

  27. 39.3 overs: 
    WICKET- Finch c Ballance b Stokes 121 (Aus 237-3)

    Stokes to bowl the final over of the powerplay, Finch guides a four down past fine leg. But the likely man of the match takes an early curtain call as he tries another ambitious shot, the ball flies off an edge, skies over third man and is caught. The catcher, Gary Ballance, had earlier dropped Finch on eight - so that drop only cost England 113 runs...

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Chris Jordan has had a cracking day with the ball but he can't buy a wicket. He has bowled so much better than his figures suggest."

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

  29. 39 overs: 
    CLOSE!- Aus 233-2 (target 270)

    Jordan continues for his ninth over, straying with a couple of wides before Finch dabs a single. Jordan bangs in a bouncer at Clarke, but the Sussex man's agony continues as Clarke gets an edge agonisingly wide of the leaping keeper Jos Buttler and away for four. It would have been a regulation catch for a regulation first slip, but England's sole slip, Ian Bell, is standing wider than usual - as is the vogue in ODIs. (Come to think of it, considering England's slip catching on the final day of the Melbourne Test, Cook would probably have dropped it anyway).

    Chris Jordan
    Text 81111

    Laurence: Just come back from Australia seeing first hand the tame way we capitulated. This ODI looks to be following the same path. It is not acceptable and we need changes at the top and in the teams. It is no good saying we should stick with the same old captain and coach - it just is not working.

  31. 38 overs: 
    Aus 226-2 (Finch 116*, Clarke 34*)

    Ben Stokes was England's go-to man with the ball at times during the Ashes, he replaces the erratic Rankin but Clarke continues to make hay, guiding a three towards cow corner. Finch gets off 111 by delicately lofting a four over mid-off. Captain Cook shuffles his field - but with 44 needed from 72 balls, insert your own comment about deckchairs on the Titanic...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stuart Man Price: English cricket is being destroyed by over-management, cowardly captaincy and weak-minded players.

    Jack Byrne: Where is the proper spinner in the team? Yet again Cook taking us backwards in all forms of cricket.

    George Davis: Well at least one of our cricket teams is showing some fight...

  33. 37 overs: 
    Aus 218-2 (target 270)

    England's new-look new-ball attack are reunited in the powerplay as Chris Jordan returns for his eighth over. Finch guides a two to the busy Bresnan at third man before chipping a single over the bowler's head. Clarke moves to 31 with a single off his legs, while Finch tries to whip one through the leg side but for now is stranded on 111. 52 more needed from 78 balls.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Hayes: This English attack has absolutely no leader. Some good bowlers and some dross, but no leader with Anderson and Broad both out.

    Andrew Haines: England haven't made a World Cup final since 1992, and they won't be next year on this evidence.

    Mr C Wilde: Looks like England are going to lose again, where is KP when you need someone to blame?

  35. 36 overs: 
    POWERPLAY- Aus 214-2 (Finch 108*, Clarke 30*)

    Time for the batting powerplay - and England turn back to the giant Boyd Rankin, who took a bit of tap early on. And with more boundaries unguarded because of the powerplay fielding restrictions, Clarke hammers a four through the covers and dinking a single to third man. Finch, who's been rather overshadowed by his skipper of late, pulls a short delivery for four. No need to run for that one. A single takes him to 108, but Clarke has dominated this third-wicket partnership - scoring 30 of the 49 they've added.

    Text 81111

    From Andrew: England dropping Finch early on when he was on eight looks more and more costly by the over. England have allowed this game to run away from them.

  37. 35 overs: 
    Aus 204-2 (target 270)

    Clarke aims another big shot at Bopara but it goes off the inside edge to the diving Ian Bell at mid-on. But the Aussie skipper keeps the scoreboard ticking with a two to deep square leg, and a drilled single to the cover sweeper. 66 needed from 15 overs (or 90 balls if you prefer).


    From Chris: Common denominator here is Pietersen, it's all his fault, if he hadn't been tucked up in bed right now he could have scored us some useful runs.

    From Nigel: Cook is a great man, and in form a world class batsman. A captain he is not.

  39. 34 overs: 
    Aus 201-2 (Finch 103*, Clarke 22*)

    Bresnan trots in to Clarke, who gives Big Tim the charge and hammers a cross-batted four through mid-on. The Aussie skipper looks in the mood to finish this as soon as possible - perhaps he has a dinner reservation? More ones and twos are added, 10 from Bresnan's over, and Clarke has 22 from 18 balls.

    And apparently ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones is contesting the "first MCG ODI hundred by a Victorian" stat - he played for a Rest of the World side against Australia in 1996 and hit a ton in a match not recognised as an official ODI.

  40. 1006: 

    We have reached the close in Perth, with England in prime position to win the women's Ashes Test on the fourth and final day tomorrow. Australia, chasing 185 for victory, are 57-5.

    You can hear full commentary on that final day on the BBC Sport website, where there will also be live text commentary.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "That'll be a moment he'll savour for a long time, the first century on your home ground - it does not get much better than that."

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

  42. 33 overs: 
    FINCH 100- Aus 191-2

    Bopara back into the attack with his right-arm medium pace. Clarke pushes a single to bring Aaron Finch back on strike - and he's a Victorian wouldn't you know, he's a hero that man - and a single through the leg side brings up three figures for the local favourite. It's not only Finch's second ODI hundred, it's the first ODI hundred by a Victorian at the MCG. Well batted, sir.

    Aaron Finch

    From Rhiane: So it appears the malaise is not confined to the Test team. Perhaps we should be looking at the common denominator, ie the captaincy.

  44. 32 overs: 
    Aus 187-2 (Finch 99*, Clarke 13*)

    Clarke cracks Bresnan back down the ground for another four, a single brings Finch back on strike, on the verge of a century. A careful dab past backward point brings him two, taking him to 99. Next ball... he leaves alone. And the last ball... is played back to the bowler. Finch has to wait.

  45. 0958: 

    While the players take drinks, a quick look at the bowling figures isn't great reading for England. Rankin has 0-43 from seven, Jordan 1-35 from seven, Bresnan 0-28 (five), Stokes 0-36 (six), Bopara 0-23 (four), Root 1-11 (two). None of them going for under five an over, and if the game were to go the distance (unlikely at this stage, they would still need to find at least four more overs from Bopara and/or Root.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Daniel Murray: Watched an hour of us getting thrashed about the park, popped in the shower for five minutes and missed two wickets!

  47. 31 overs: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Aus 180-2 (target 270)

    Jordan in for his seventh over, Clarke adds a single and Finch is showing no signs of nerves in the nineties as he drives Jordan either side of the wicket for a two and a four. There's an appeal for lbw - more from the keeper and slip than from the bowler - but it's not even signalled as leg byes as Finch runs a two to move to 97. Time for a drinks break.

  48. 0951: 

    England have another wicket and are in control of the Women's Ashes Test match in Perth. It's brilliant work from Sarah Taylor to stump Jodie Fields down the leg side off Jenny Gunn. Australia are 55-5 in their chase of 185 to win.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  49. 30 overs: 
    Aus 171-2 (Finch 89*, Clarke 6*)

    Joe Root the partnership-breaker is replaced by Tim Bresnan, but Clarke is up and running with a four through the covers and the hosts remain in the box seat. Australia need 99 from 120 balls.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    CD: Daddles does indeed still appear, he's just done the "Watson Waddle" across the screen.

  51. 29 overs: 
    Aus 166-2 (target 270)

    Michael Clarke is the new batsman, and here's an attacking move from England, Joe Root dons a helmet to stand at short leg, but the Aussie captain is off the mark with a single.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Beautiful line and length into the doorway of departure. That is a peach of a delivery and Jordan is pumped. That's good reward for his opening spell where he should have had a couple of wickets. But Australia still have a lot of options with Clarke to come in, Maxwell has a good record in one-day cricket and how did Haddin not win the man-of-the-series award in the Tests?"

    So that's a "doorway of departure" to add to the "hallway of hesitation" in the England innings, for your Damien Fleming Bingo cards...

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

  53. 28.4 overs: 
    WICKET- Watson b Jordan 0 (Aus 165-2)

    Stokes is off as England turn back to the pace of Chris Jordan. Shane Watson is the new batsman - a man who can reduce any bowling attack to a quivering wreck (and has done so many times), the openers having set a superb platform. But Jordan strikes as he bowls Jordan through the gate! Does "Daddles" the Channel 9 cartoon duck still appear on Aussie TV?

  54. 27.5 overs: 
    WICKET- Warner c Stokes b Root 65 (Aus 163-1)

    And just as I look up those record ODI partnerships, England have a wicket - Warner skies one high into the Victorian skies, and Ben Stokes takes the catch on the long-on boundary. He departs for 65 from 72 balls, and Root - who had erred with a legside wide earlier in the over - has a wicket. Who needs a front-line spinner?

    England celebrate
    Text 81111

    Brian: It's worth remembering that most sane people see Cook as far too defensive and unimaginative as a Test captain, yet he's also the ODI captain. Staggering ineptitude.

    Steve: I think we can all be pretty sure now, barring weather, there's another 5-0 on the way.

  56. 27 overs: 
    Aus 158-0

    Finch tucks into Stokes as Australia pass 150, to some healthy cheers - this is now the highest ODI opening stand for the Aussies against England. The way they're going, their all-time opening stand (246 by Finch and Shaun Marsh against Scotland last September) may be under threat... Meanwhile, Warner comes to the party with a brutal pull for four, while two more takes him to 64. Stokes has 0-36 from six.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been very impressive how these batsmen have set about the England attack, as soon as the bowlers erred Finch and Warner were onto them in a hurry. There's no sense of urgency as they both like to hit boundaries, but Alastair Cook needs to be a little bit proactive now."

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

  58. 26 overs: 
    Aus 149-0 (Finch 82*, Warner 58*)

    Thanks, Stephan - are England "clutching at straws" here, as Alison Mitchell suggests on TMS, by turning to Joe Root's part-time off-spin after failing to field a front-line spinner? Summariser John Emburey, a man who knows more about spin bowling than most of us ever will, wants James Tredwell or Danny Briggs in the side. But it's not a bad start from young Root as his first over only yields three singles and a two - while Warner would have been run out by yards as a throw just misses the stumps.

  59. 0926: 

    After surviving that hat-trick ball, Alex Blackwell didn't survive the over - she's edged Kate Cross to keeper Sarah Taylor for a duck, and the young Lancashire seamer Cross has 3-7 from six overs. Australia are 40-4 chasing 185 to win the Women's Ashes Test.

    Come to think of it, as a partnership, Cross and Blackwell would walk straight into the Kitchen XI...

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  60. 25 overs: 
    Aus 144-0 (target 270)

    There is a change in bowling, but it's Ben Stokes, rather than Chris Jordan, that replaces Ravi Bopara. The MCG is so vast that, even though the sky is still a cloudless blue, the looming stands cast a darkness that demand the floodlights. One slip, five men saving one, three boundary riders, no pressure. Five from the over, Australia processing to victory. Mark Mitchener is here to talk you through the carnage.

  61. 0922: 

    Dot ball - Alex Blackwell survives the hat-trick ball. Australia are 40-3 chasing 185 to win the Women's Ashes Test as the penultimate day draws to a close.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  62. 24 overs: 
    Aus 139-0 (Aus need 131 from 26 overs)

    If things continue this way, England will suffer a slow death. Who can Cook turn to? Is there a wicket-taker in this side? Chris Jordan looked the most likely in his opening burst, so maybe it's time for another spell from the Sussex man. What about a catcher or two? We've barely seen a grabber since the end of the powerplay. Ah, you read my mind, skipper. Cook posts himself at slip for Rankin to Finch, but, so far ahead are Australia that risk-free cricket wins them this game. Only four off, but the men in green are still miles in front of the required rate.

  63. 0918: 

    England pace bowler Kate Cross is on a hat-trick in Perth after dismissing Meg Lanning and Jess Cameron off successive deliveries. It was the last two balls of an over, so we have a wait for the hat-trick ball. Stand by...

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  64. 23 overs: 
    Aus 135-0 (target 270)

    England may have hoped that a change of format, a change of personnel, would have provided a change of fortune. There's no sign, though, with Finch, the bully, striding down the track to biff Bopara one-bounce for a straight four. The theme from the Addams Family plays inside the 'G. Is this a dark comedy, or horror show for the men in red?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mr C Wilde: Looks like England are going to lose again, where is KP when you need someone to blame?

  66. 22 overs: 
    50 FOR DAVID WARNER- Aus 128-0

    David Warner, a purveyor of England pain in the Ashes, is at it again in the pyjama cricket. A tuck for a couple off Rankin takes him to a seventh ODI fifty, this one off 59 balls with three fours and one huge six. He celebrates by pulling for Rankin for another boundary. At the moment, this is as one-sided as the Test series.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "At the MCG you need someone to tie up an end, go for two or three an over and dry up the runs, but the trouble is that England are leaking runs here."

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

  68. 21 overs: 
    Aus 122-0 (run-rate 5.76)

    England are drifting, going through the motions. How can they make something happen? If they don't take wickets, they will lose this match. Cook may have to be inventive, or find a way to frustrate this pair that are currently scoring so freely. Cutting out fielding errors would be a good start - a Ben Stokes fumble turns one into two at the end of another decentish Bopara over.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's pretty depressing watching this, we're making elementary mistakes like mis-fielding and dropped catches. These are things you have to get right in one-day cricket. I also wonder whether the balance of the side is the right one? Spinners Tredwell and Briggs have been left out, and we have a bits-and-pieces bowler like Root to give the side more depth in batting."

  70. 20 overs: 
    Aus 116-0 (target 270)

    Yep, the crowd are definitely amusing themselves - boos suggest a Mexican Wave has fallen flat or a beach ball has been confiscated. Boyd Rankin, wayward earlier on, returns in the twilight, and starts on a decent length. Warner, though, senses that big Boyd is desperate to go full and takes one step down the wicket to belt straight for four.


    From Neal: I thought the point of the DRS was to correct obviously wrong decisions. Not to correct decisions which every one thought was correct.

    From Keran: Bad decision, but Buttler has not helped himself by wearing white gloves with green stripes. Orange ones for example would have made things clearer.

  72. 19 overs: 
    Aus 111-0 (Finch 62, Warner 42)

    When this Aussie pair aren't biffing it, they are scampering between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking over. A prod down the ground, short single. A cut, two sprinted. Alastair Cook claps his hands to lift his troops, but it all seems a bit flat. The MCG crowd gives a cheer, but they seem to be making their own entertainment. At the moment, it's a procession.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "If these two bat 25 overs, the game is gone, they are such destructive batsmen. But they have been let off as England have bowled five good balls an over and with that other ball Australia have been hitting it for four."

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

  74. 18 overs: 
    Aus 106-0 (target 270)

    Will anything go right for England? A cut from Finch off Stokes, some regulation work for Tim Bresnan at third man made into a complete pig's ear. Slide, nothing on the ball, four runs. Not only does he make that hash in front on the entire England bench, but also a sign that reads "you (expletive deleted) idiot". A bit harsh, but it rather sums up England's tour.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "Let's be clear, Warner would not have walked if he thought for one moment the ball had bounced... And Warner had the best view…"

  76. 17 overs: 
    Aus 98-0 (need 172 from 33 overs)

    So with Australia at 93-0 from 16 chasing 270, England turn to Ravi Bopara. His wobblers could be useful on this slightly two-paced deck, but you also fear that he could go the distance if he gets it wrong. England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles sits on the boundary edge in conversation with David Saker as Ravi starts tidily enough. Five singles from it.

  77. 0850: 

    England have made a breakthrough in the Women's Ashes Test at Perth - Ellyse Villani had smashed 21 from 22 balls before top-edging Katherine Brunt to Natalie Sciver at second slip to leave Australia 28-1 chasing 185 to win.

    There are 28 overs left today, so it could be an exciting final day tomorrow - and as well as the radio commentary, we'll have live text commentary on the last day of the Test.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes


    From Jack Penn: Didn't realise being caught wasn't a mode of dismissal anymore.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James Clouting: Ridiculous. Those decisions always go batman's way. Warner knew that was out and looked embarrassed to turn back.

    Marcus Cherrill: Shocking lack of gentlemanly conduct by the umpires. What happened to a man's word?

  80. 16 overs: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Aus 93-0

    So let's recap, shall we? Dropped catch, failed review, chances going where fielders just were, catches dropping short and legitimate catches being given not-out. This really isn't the post-Ashes new start that England were looking for. As Australia charge on, England can mope over their misfortune with a drink. I'd be asking for the brandy.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Marc Sepetowski: That is an absolute joke of a decision!! What purpose do these third umpires actually serve!?

    Stuart Mitchell: I would walk off the pitch in protest if that was me, that is absolutely pathetic, batsman accepted it, it was out.

    Graham Cooper: I have just turned the cricket off in disgust; pathetic umpiring.

  82. 15 overs: 
    Aus 88-0 (Finch 56, Warner 27)

    The strange thing in all of the fuss was that the umpires didn't need to get involved. Warner was happy with the decision and was on his way. As we have seen so many times, those sort of replays rarely go in favour of the fielding side. Yes there was an element of the ball bouncing, but that bounce looked to be off Buttler's fingers, rather than the turf. In fairness to Warner, he looked pretty glum when he returned, sharing a word with Buttler, who patted him on the back. Prior to all the shenanigans, Aaron Finch had gone to a third ODI fifty with a straight-driven boundary off Stokes.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's so disappointing when those decisions get made, it was a clean catch, Warner's walked then they look at it and say it's not out. Every cricketer in the world knows that was a clean catch."

  84. 13.4 overs: 
    NOT OUT- Aus 82-0

    England might want to pack their kit up and come home now. This really is bizarre and the bottom line is that David Warner is not out. He had initially asked Buttler if the catch was clean and was happy to take the keeper's word. By the time the umpires asked for another look, Warner was close to being off the pitch. As he waited, third umpire Kumar Dharmasena decided the ball hadn't carried. The ball certainly bounced in Buttler's gloves, but that looked to be off his fingers and into the palm. Warner may have got away with one.

  85. 13.4 overs: 
    THIRD UMPIRE- Aus 82-0
    England appeal for a catch

    Have England finally got a wicket? Jos Buttler thinks he's got David Warner caught behind off Ben Stokes. Has it carried?

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I like the way Bresnan has bowled, it's been very full and he has protection on the square boundary so if they want to hit him over the top they have got to take a risk."

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

  87. 13 overs: 
    Aus 76-0 (target 270)

    Speaking of Superman, England are decked out in the red and blue of the man of steel. Red shirts and trousers, blue caps. Perhaps Alastair Cook could have a big 'S' on his chest? S for shellacking? S for smashed all around Australia? S for "sorry I lost the Ashes?" Bresnan is tidy, but singles are available. Australia are 76-0, at the same stage England were 42-2.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Zed: Now THIS is a Powerplay. Cook and Root - specialists in Snailplay - watch & learn!!!!

  89. 12 overs: 
    Aus 72-0

    Chris Jordan ends a decent spell of 0-24 off five to be replaced by Ben Stokes. The Durham all-rounder, red wristband and white bandage, starts on a decent length, but is let-down by Jordan in the field. Even though Finch is well home, Jordan throws at the stumps and hits, with the deflection costing an overthrow. The theme from Superman plays inside the 'G. England could do with him having a bowl.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Zak Millington: Someone ask Aaron Finch what he reckons the lottery numbers will be next week.

  91. 11 overs: 
    Aus 68-0 (target 270)

    The field spreads at the end of the restrictions and Tim Bresnan does a decent job just back of a length to stop this right-left pair from indulging in any freeing of the arms. Four singles from it.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special
    Chris Jordan

    "Jordan's been very unlucky, he should have had a couple of wickets by now. But I like this opening pair, if Finch and Warner can bond together at the top of the order they are going to please a lot of crowds at the World Cup next year."

  93. 10 overs: 
    Aus 64-0 (end of powerplay)

    As the sunlight plays tricks with us - it's now back to bathe the wicket and nothing else - Warner almost drives Jordan to mid-on, but the ball falls short of Ballance. He probably wouldn't have caught it anyway. Warner follows up with a stand-and deliver smash iron-straight for a maximum. The Aussies have had some luck, but their approach probably deserves some good fortune. 64 have come from the powerplay.

  94. 0818: 

    And England have been bowled out for 190 in Perth - Ellyse Perry (5-38) collects her last wicket as number 11 Kate Cross is bowled without scoring, leaving Katherine Brunt four not out. Australia have been set 185 to win the Women's Ashes Test, which would earn them six points in the multi-format series. There are 26 overs left in the penultimate day's play.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  95. 9 overs: 
    Aus 58-0 (target 270)
    Aaron Finch

    Boyd Rankin is withdrawn, replaced by Tim Bresnan. The result, though, is the same, Finch hammering down the ground four then skewing over the off side for three. Finch has the build of a front-row, but he's sharp between the wickets. A pinched two takes him to 43 from only 36 balls.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "That would have been one of the great caught-and bowleds, it was actually behind Jordan by a metre and he might have saved four. Warner and Finch certainly hit the ball hard."

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

  97. 8 overs: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Aus 48-0

    Can we call this a drop? It's a tough school, so yes, we can. David Warner has given it the kitchen sink back at Jordan, who sticks a hand out. If it sticks, it's an absolutely worldie, but the ball is on the turf. Another chance goes begging - I make that one dolly and two-half-chances. You really feel that if one, or both, of these men hang around, then this game could sprint away from England. Already Australia have six boundaries in the powerplay, whereas England managed only two.

  98. 0812: 

    England's women have lost their ninth wicket in the Women's Ashes Test in Perth, with Anya Shrubsole caught behind for seven. Katherine Brunt (4) has been joined at the crease by number 11 Kate Cross - England are 190-9, leading by 184, with just under four sessions of the match remaining.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  99. 7 overs: 
    CLOSE!- Aus 46-0
    Boyd Rankin

    How Alastair Cook would love just a tiny fraction of Aaron Finch's luck. An awkward flick off Rankin results in a leading edge, looping, dropping in the direction of square leg. Ben Stokes scrambles, but just can't get to it. Rankin is unfortunate there, but there's no fortune about the horrible half-tracker that Finch biffs to the fence. Rankin is going at nearly eight an over, which isn't really good enough in an attack of only four frontline bowlers.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Alec Morgan: How is that 'Umpire's call?' There's not much of the ball that isn't hitting.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is where DRS favours the umpire, as a player I'd be annoyed as I'd be relying on the umpire. When you see things like that you wonder before DRS came along, how many umpires were 'not-outers'? I can't get my head around it, to me if the ball is hitting the stumps you are out."

  102. 5.4 overs: 
    NOT OUT- Aus 32-0

    Yep, an umpire's call, the ball only grazing leg stump. Cook might have been keener to review because of what happened in the previous delivery. Then, he moved Ian Bell from second slip, only to see an edge fly where Bell had just been. Bowler Jordan had his hands in the air, Cook was grovelling on his knees.

  103. 5.4 overs: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Aus 32-0

    Now then, England are keen on this. Chris Jordan to Aaron Finch, playing across the line. A bit leggy? Might be a poor review...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Ball: He seemed to be celebrating before the ball even got to him. Absolute dolly.

  105. 5 overs: 
    Aus 28-0 (run-5.60)

    The lights are just start to take effect. Aaron Finch is standing in shadow, but still casts a shadow, thanks to the floodlights. Finch, black sweatband, decent gut, is already making England pay for that Ballance drop. Leggy from Rankin, flicked for four. Short outside off stump, cut to the fence.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was certainly a chance, it was at an awkward height a foot to his right but it was hit firmly and burst through his hands. The chances don't come along often and you have got to take these opportunities."

  107. 4 overs: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Aus 18-0

    Now this is pretty poor. Aaron Finch drives Chris Jordan straight to mid-off, head high, Gary Ballance moving one step or so to his right. It's a dolly, but Ballance never looks like catching it, the ball bursting through his hands and hitting the deck. Ballance looks like he'd rather be anywhere else than the MCG, while Cook ponders how it ended up like this with his hand over his eyes. We've seen plenty of that pose this winter. How costly might that be?

    Text 81111

    Adrian in London: Anyone who saw the recent India v Australia ODI series knows this is going to be over pretty quickly. England have a new coach but the same boring conservative approach. Cook, Ballance, Bell, Root too pedestrian for this format to justify all of them playing. Also open with Buttler or Hales to get early impetus rather than leave it too late.

  109. 3 overs: 
    Aus 11-0 (target 270)

    David Warner has had a shave since the end of the Ashes, the slug that once lived on his top lip has fallen foul of the razor. With Rankin too short, Warner butchers a cut through point for four. Cook, shades now on his cap, gum being chewed, strengthens the square area - there's three men, one shortish for a catch - and Rankin tidies up.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Scott Lennon: Would be more confident if we'd left a Broad or Anderson in there. Lack of experience will see us throw away promising position.

  111. 2 overs: 
    Aus 7-0 (target 270)

    Chris Jordan, the Sussex man in only his second ODI, starts with a decent line for a right-hander. Only problem is, Warner if left-handed and Jordan concedes two wides. England get their wish for right-hander Finch to take strike, with the busy Jordan getting some away shape at a lively 87mph. Slippery stuff, Jordan looks a handful.

    Text 81111

    Stuart, West Mids: If England can keep the first three Australians quiet in the first 10 overs... dare I say it... I think we've our first win of the winter!

  113. 1 over: 
    Aus 4-0 (target 270)

    Two slips for the giraffe-like Rankin, who drops short to allow burly biffer Finch a cut for a couple. When Rankin goes full, Finch forces through the leg side for two more. With the rate this pair are likely to score, England need wickets.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a competitive score but what frightens me is you have Warner, Finch and Watson in Australia's top three, so the game could be lost in the first 10 overs. We have no spinner, but Bopara gives you a bit of variation and it looks like Root will bowl a few overs, but in the modern game 300 is the norm now."

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

  115. 0734: 

    The shadow cast by one side of this vast cricketing bowl has crept right across the square. More of the field is covered by shadow than sunlight. England are out in the middle, led by the uncool Cook. Aaron Finch will be on strike to Boyd Rankin, David Warner is at the other end. Seatbelts on.

  116. 0731: 

    The sky over Melbourne is still a cloudless blue, but the floodlights are already on in readiness for the arrival of night. England captain Alastair Cook is out there with shades on. I hope he doesn't keep them on later, I'm not sure he's cool enough to pull off the shades-at-night look. A Cool XI would obviously be captained by Chris Gayle.

  117. 0729: 

    It's tea on day three of the Women's Ashes Test in Perth - Jenny Gunn was caught behind for 44 just before the interval to leave England 177-8 (a lead of 171) with four sessions remaining in the game. Katherine Brunt is two not out, with only Anya Shrubsole and debutant Kate Cross left to bat.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

    Text 81111

    Neil, Shropshire: 269 would have been England's 3rd highest total in the Ashes. Also, for the first time this winter England haven't lost all 10 wickets in an innings. What's the best way to celebrate at 7am on a Sunday morning?

  119. 0726: 
    England fans at the MCG

    So Australia must chase down 270 to win this first one-day international. History tells us that England's 269-7 is about par at the MCG, but with only four relatively inexperienced frontline bowlers in the attack and the likes of Warner, Finch, Watson and Clarke licking their lips, the Aussies are favourites.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Cox: Still jet-lagged after returning from Down Under! One bonus is I have seen an England team finally show some resolve.

    Bernard Sinniah: Is 269 enough at MCG day-nighter? Feel 30 runs short, key to take early wickets!

    Ian Smith: Finally something to smile about from the England batsmen. Positive regardless of the final result.

  121. 0649: 

    Right, time to take a break, and when the players return for the Australia innings, it will be Stephan Shemilt to talk you through the first part of the run chase.

  122. 0648: 

    England women have lost another wicket in Perth, Danielle Hazell caught behind off Sarah Coyte for four. England are 171-7, leading by 165, with Jenny Gunn unbeaten on 40.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ljizzle: Glad I stayed up to watch the England innings. First time I've been able to say that in a while.

    James: Re: Mark Button (50th over), weren't you happy to wake up after Day 2 of the MCG Test and find we were in a position we could not lose from?

  124. 0645: 

    If you've just woken up, you've missed a pretty good innings by England after a shaky start in which Alastair Cook and Joe Root fell cheaply, but Ian Bell (41), Gary Ballance (79) and Eoin Morgan (50) helped the score along well, while Jos Buttler rounded off the innings with an unbeaten 34 from 24 balls. Clint McKay was the pick of Australia's bowlers (in terms of both economy and wickets) with 3-44 from his 10 overs.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a good score, it has gone from a middling score to a good one. This wicket is not quite as fast a wicket as it normally is at the MCG. There is a game on our hands here, that partnership between Ballance and Morgan set this total up. Morgan made batting look very easy, and Ballance was not quite as comfortable but to his credit he stayed in. It's 50-50, if not more in England's favour."

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

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Alhadeff: End of exams. What better way to celebrate than with some cricket all night.

  127. 50 overs: 
    Eng 269-7

    Coulter-Nile to bowl the last over, Bresnan can't get the first ball away but works a single from the second to get Buttler on strike. NCN digs in a bouncer which Buttler agriculturally clubs for a flat six over cow corner - courtesy of an odd field placing as the fielder was 15 yards in from the rope, and would easily have cut out - or caught - it if he'd been standing on the boundary. Buttler adds a couple of twos, the second with a forehand smash which would not have been out of place at the nearby Rod Laver Arena down the road from the MCG. And a single off the last ball means it's 12 from the over and England finish on 269. Indeed, the average first-innings score from the last 10 ODIs at the MCG has been 264, so England might think they're just above par.


    From Mark Button: Just woke up and for the first time this tour I wake up pleased about an England score.

  129. 49 overs: 
    Eng 257-7

    Faulkner to complete his spell - Buttler and Bresnan can only manage ones and twos early in the over against the left-arm seamer, the score moves past 250, but then Big Tim launches an enormous six over mid-wicket which lands 10 rows back in the stand. And if you know the size of the MCG, you'll know what a big hit that was. Faulkner finishes with 1-68 from 10. And this is England's highest first-innings international score of the tour so far....

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "There is something about those stump-high full tosses, if you bowled six of them in a row you could go for more than 30 in an over but very often you see them take wickets. It's quite a valuable ball, and is actually quite hard to get away as a batsman."

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

  131. 48 overs: 
    Eng 245-7 (Buttler 19*, Bresnan 7*)

    Nathan Coulter-Nile will bowl the 48th (and possibly 50th) over - with third man and fine leg back, knowing Buttler's ramping and scooping skills. He pushes a scampered two, then ramps one over the keeper's head but deep fine leg cuts it off and they run another two. A single takes the adopted Lancastrian to 19, and Bresnan finds the boundary for the first time with a meaty drive past mid-on.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Jackson: Surely after the way Luke Wright has been dominating the Big Bash League, he is due a call up to the one-day side?

  133. 47 overs: 
    Eng 236-7

    Four overs left, how many can England plunder? Buttler pushes Faulkner for a single, Bresnan works his first ball for two before running a single down to third man. Faulkner goes round the wicket in the manner of Wasim Akram, Buttler is slightly surprised by a full toss which he can't work away, but he adds a two and a single so it's seven from the over, and three left.

  134. 0627: 

    Charlotte Edwards has played a captain's innings for England in the Women's Ashes Test at Perth. Batting at number seven because of a knee injury on day two, she has made her ninth Test half century, but has just fallen lbw to Ellyse Perry for 56. England are 162-6, a lead of 156.

  135. 46 overs: 
    Eng 229-7 (Buttler 10*, Bresnan 0*)

    Tim Bresnan is at number nine, a man who's won ODIs for England with the bat before now. Buttler guides a single to keep the strike, and McKay finishes with 3-44 from his 10 overs.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Almost a carbon copy of when he was dropped, he tried to hit it over mid-off but in doing so it skewed off the outside edge. That was slightly the easier catch, but it should have been taken a couple of balls before."

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

  137. 45.4 overs: 
    WICKET- Ballance c Doherty b McKay 79 (Eng 228-7)

    Ballance rides his luck as he's dropped by Xavier Doherty diving forward at third man after swiping one off the edge, Buttler pushes a single through mid-wicket and Ballance lofts his sixth four over the square leg umpire. But Doherty gets another chance as Ballance swings again and gets another big edge, and this time he makes no mistake.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    AADZ: For such a precocious batting talent Buttler is wasted down the order! He is worth worth a try at the top of the order

    Ali Cheyne: Anyone else wondering why, with 10 or so overs to go, we didn't send in the most electric batsman we have?

    Benjaroo Black: Remind me again, Bopara is in the side because?

  139. 45 overs: 
    Eng 222-6

    England need to fire here, but Ballance and Buttler are restricted to singles by some tight bowling from Faulkner, who dives well to field off his own bowling, until Ballance slog-sweeps a rare boundary past the diving Coulter-Nile at mid-wicket. The Yorkshire leftie moves to 74 with a single. Then Buttler steps across to the off side and flicks a four down the leg side.

  140. 0616: 

    Charlotte Edwards and Jenny Gunn are batting England into a strong position in Perth. Their sixth-wicket stand of 82 has taken England from 73-5 to 155-5, a lead of 149. With the Women's Test being played over four days, there are just over four sessions left in the match.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  141. 44 overs: 
    Eng 211-6 (Ballance 68*, Buttler 3*)

    England are certainly batting deep with Jos Buttler - now of Lancashire - at number eight. Clarke is continuing to deploy his bowlers in one-over spells, McKay returns and Ballance guides a single to bring Buttler on strike, and he's immediately off the mark (though no sign of his trademark ramping, flicking and scooping so far). Since Morgan was out, England have only managed four boundaries in 12 overs. Something tells me this won't be enough...

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Banging it in just short of a length, the ball is not bouncing as it normally would. You could almost say it is time for Ballance to get going now as there is batting behind him, but it will be difficult with the ball staying low. When Morgan was going well, 300 was on the cards but England keep losing wickets at crucial times."

  143. 43 overs: 
    WICKET- Stokes b Faulkner 21 (Eng 206-5)

    Clarke continues to rorate his bowlers as after a one-over spell from McKay, the leftie Faulkner returns at the Great Southern Stand End, and Stokes carefully pulls him for four square of the wicket to push England past 200 - something they couldn't always take for granted during the Ashes. A repeat of the same shot brings him two more, but Stokes is clean bowled by the last ball of the over going for a big heave. Send for the Buttler!

    Ben Stokes is bowled
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Callum Derbyshire: So England can score more runs in an ODI than in a Test match.

  145. 42 overs: 
    Eng 198-5 (Ballance 66*, Stokes 13*)

    Stokes pushes the recalled Watson for a single, then Ballance clubs - almost sweeps - his first boundary for 14 overs. The ones and twos keep flowing, but Australia will be pleased they seem to have (largely) dried up the boundaries.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stokes played a very mature innings in Perth, but he still has to mature in certain match situations, he has got to pick his moment when he changes the tempo of an innings."

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

  147. 41 overs: 
    Eng 189-5

    Having picked a batting-heavy side with some inexperienced bowlers and no front-line spinner, I would humbly suggest that England need to "floor it" in the last 10 overs to present a challenging target for Warner, Finch, Watson and co... Clint Mckay returns for his eighth over, but Ballance and Stokes only manage six singles from it.


    From Carel: I don't want to sound like a bore by repeating what many people have said already but I'm going to anyway. This England squad has massive problems, having been bashed 5-0 recently. Their whole set up is too insular. They need someone from the outside to change things. I really don't think Cook should be captain, he's just not cut out for it. And there's a massive problem with the coaching. I would get rid of Gooch as the batting coach.

  149. 40 overs: 
    Eng 183-5 (Ballance 57*, Stokes 7*)

    England have two powerful left-handers at the crease now, Stokes goes after Coulter-Nile with a powerful pull for four, before trying to bash a full toss down the ground but he hits it straight to short cover on the bounce. A single brings Ballance back on strike, he carefully guides a single to third man. That's it for the powerplay - strap yourselves in for the last 10 overs as there's still an explosive Buttler waiting below stairs...

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stokes and Ballance had a nice little partnership in the Test at Sydney, and it will be interesting to see how Stokes gets on here. Stokes has done remarkably well, and his batting showed so much maturity in Perth but his bowling was a revelation. It will be interesting to see how England handle him with all the one-day cricket coming up in the future."

  151. 39 overs: 
    Eng 177-5

    Faulkner is quickly through his over, four singles from it, and so far the powerplay has brought 18 runs in four overs.

  152. 0552: 

    England are continuing their steady progress on day three of the women's Ashes Test. Mid-way through the afternoon session, they have reached 130-5, a lead of 124. Charlotte Edwards has 38 and Jenny Gunn 22.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  153. 38 overs: 
    Eng 173-5 (Ballance 54*, Stokes 0*)

    Ben Stokes, England's new number six in the Test side and one of the few (the only?) bright points of the Ashes series, is their new number seven in the ODI side. Coulter-Nile has 1-24 from seven overs, and as ever, the batting powerplay has brought an England wicket.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "England were looking to push on but that ball from Coulter-Nile was short of a length and a little bit too close for Bopara. He was trying to play it up and over to third man, but he got a fine edge to be caught behind."

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

  155. 37.5 overs: 
    WICKET- Bopara c Haddin b Coulter-Nile 17 (Eng 173-5)

    That was quite a quick drinks break by modern standards... and that was a very delicate dab by Bopara, opening the face to late-cut past the keeper and past the diving third man for four. But when he tries an ambitious uppercut, it's an easy catch for keeper Brad Haddin, England's grinning nemesis during the Test series.

    Ravi Bopara is dismissed
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joe Marshall: Why is Morgan not even considered for Test match purposes? Solid middle order batsmen that keeps the scoreboard ticking.

  157. 37 overs: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 166-4 (Ballance 52*, Bopara 12*)

    It's a different bowler for the fifth successive over as left-arm seamer James Faulkner returns to share the powerplay bowling with NCN. The right-handed Bopara pulls a two and dabs a single to move into double figures, while Clarke shuffles his field for the left-handed Ballance who tips-and-runs another single to rotate the strike. Bopara punches a quick one to mid-off, Clarke can't back up the throw cleanly and they run an overthrow. That drinks buggy which looks like an orange rocket-launcher is back on the field...

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I had a chat to Steven Finn this morning, he's someone I relate to very closely and I gave him his Middlesex debut against Cambridge University as a 16-year-old. You can only get back into the form in the middle, not in the nets. I feel that he has not been given the opportunity to bowl and get out of that lethargic spell he has been in."

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

  159. 36 overs: 
    POWERPLAY- Eng 160-4

    Sri Lankan umpire Ranmore Martinesz (yes, with an "s" and a "z") whirls his arm to signal the batting powerplay, which England have delayed until the last possible moment - as is most teams' habit. And it's another change in the bowling as the speedy Nathan Coulter-Nile returns. Bopara struggles with the extra pace at first, but then guides a single to third man, scattering some MCG pigeons as he does (no doubt to the distress of Bill Lawry).

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a big one to get a hundred in, and Ballance's record suggests he can go on and do that."

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

  161. 35 overs: 
    Eng 159-4 (Ballance 51*, Bopara 6*)

    It's spin from both ends as Watson is replaced by slow left-armer Xavier Doherty, who has remained a regular in Australia's ODI side despite being hit around Adelaide in the early days of his Test career by England in 2010. How long ago that seems now... He keeps it tight with only two singles from an over.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dan Hawkins: In fact Maxwell went from playing T20 cricket for a pub side in Salisbury to playing for Australia in less than a month.

  163. 34 overs: 
    BALLANCE FIFTY- Eng 157-4

    Maxwell has 1-37 from his first seven overs, and begins his eighth with a couple of dot balls to Ballance, who pushes a two off his legs to take him within one run of a maiden international half century. And the single finally comes from his 69th delivery, there's warm applause for his fifty in only his second ODI - a stark contrast to his second-ball duck on debut.

    Gary Ballance
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    JeffH: That was a good knock from Morgan. Let's just hope the wheels don't all go flying off from here.

  165. 0528: 

    England are rebuilding after lunch on day three in Perth through their captain and vice-captain. Charlotte Edwards, on 18, and Jenny Gunn, with 16, have shared a sixth-wicket stand of 30. At 103-5, their lead is 97.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  166. 33 overs: 
    Eng 154-4

    Cap'n Clarke shuffles his bowlers again, McKay is taken off with three overs left in his spell, and it's time for another burst from fellow right-arm seamer Shane Watson. Ballance and Bopara manage some ones and twos, having named such a batsman-heavy side, England will hope to have enough left in the tank for a late onslaught here.

  167. 32 overs: 
    Eng 147-4 (Ballance 44*, Bopara 1*)

    The new batsman is Ravi Bopara, one of several players in this England team (along with Morgan and Buttler) who has been out in Australia playing Twenty20 cricket in the Big Bash League. It's just under seven years since Bopara made his England debut in a one-dayer in Sydney after a humiliating 5-0 Ashes series defeat (sound familiar?), today is his 95th ODI. He's off the mark with a single.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "That's a big wicket, he was taking the game away from the Aussies. He tried to hit it a bit harder, but the bat spun in his hands a bit and it was an easy catch. It has set a platform, and they will be expecting to reach 250 to 260."

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

  169. 31.4 overs: 
    WICKET- Morgan c Coulter-Nile b Maxwell 50 (Eng 145-4)

    And that's fifty for Eoin Morgan, his 20th ODI half century arriving from 46 balls thanks to a single. But only a couple of balls later, he picks out Coulter-Nile in the covers and Maxwell has his man.

    Eoin Morgan is dismissed
    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'd still be looking to bowl majority of balls in that hallway of hesitation but Australia have not used the bouncer that much, and it could be a big weapon."

    "Hallway of hesitation"? Is this a Damien Fleming variation on Boycott Bingo?!

  171. 31 overs: 
    Eng 143-3

    Morgan and Ballance keep pushing the singles against right-arm seamer McKay, who's bowling round the wicket to the two left-handers. Morgan carefully lifts a four over the ring of cover fielders before tapping a gentle single to long-on. He has 49.

    Eoin Morgan

    From Peter: Re: crowd catches. A NZ brewery are running a competition at the NZ v W Indies one day series. Anyone catching a six one handed and wearing a special sponsor T-shirt can win $100,000 just under £50,000 at today's rate. After four matches without a winner a lucky guy caught one at Hamilton.

  173. 30 overs: 
    Eng 136-3 (Ballance 41*, Morgan 43*)

    Time for some off-spin from Glenn Maxwell, the man who made it from South Wilts CC in the Southern League to a million-dollar IPL contract in less than a year. He puts the brakes on a little, four singles from the over, and the MCG stadium DJ celebrates by playing a few bars of the Star Wars theme over the PA. This stand is now worth 74 - is The Force with England?

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "It has not been a free-flowing innings from Ballance, but that was one of the few signs of aggression from him. The pressure's on Michael Clarke, is he going to ring the changes now?"

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

  175. 29 overs: 
    Eng 132-3

    Plenty of fancy dress inside the MCG today, Robin Hood and some Teletubbies are among the fans cheering this increasingly assured partnership as opening bowler Clint McKay - who's already removed Alastair Cook and Joe Root today - returns to the attack. Morgan pushes a couple of well-run twos with a delicate touch, Ballance has to dive to make his ground as McKay gathers George Bailey's throw at the bowler's end. Morgan then aims a flashing cover drive... the ball takes an inside edge and disappears roughly 180 degrees away from where it was aimed, through fine leg for four.

  176. 28 overs: 
    Eng 124-3 (Ballance 39*, Morgan 33*)

    Watson hits Ballance on the pad, but there's an inside edge as the Zimbabwe-born Yorkshire left-hander scampers a single. Fellow left-hander Morgan threads one through the covers just wide of a diving fielder. With a ring of five fielders between backward point and mid-off, Ballance is held in check briefly but then hoicks Watson back over his head for a four which lands just inside the rope at long-on. And it's back-to-back boundaries for Ballance as he cuts Watson - who's gone for 20 off three overs - for another four. Time for a bowling change?

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Morgan is a gifted one-day player, and he helping Ballance out. With his soft hands, Morgan works the ball around, and he's showing why he is in the top echelon of one-day batsmen. This is a good partnership that is building nicely."

  178. 27 overs: 
    Eng 114-3

    Left-arm seamer James Faulkner, the Steven Finn of Australia's Ashes squad (having been 12th man all series), to continue, Ballance adds a single before Morgan lofts a four over mid-off to bring up the fifty partnership. A single takes the Dubliner to 32, he's overtaken Ballance who reaches 30 with a careful single.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Ball: Luke Wright bats, bowls and fields much better than Bopara. It should be a no-brainer to have him in the team.

  180. 26 overs: 
    Eng 107-3 (Ballance 28, Morgan 27)

    Many thanks, Stephan - change of commentator but England are still plodding along as Ballance and Morgan help themselves to some one and twos against Watson. This stand is now worth 45. Steven Finn, the perennial drinks waiter of this tour, brings Morgan a towel at the end of the over.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "While with Morgan everything is easy, with the way Ballance plays it looks a little more mechanical, a bit more manufactured."

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

  182. 25 overs: 
    Eng 102-3

    James Faulkner has an elongated action, front arm thrown out towards the batsman and a double-jointed wrist that looks like every ball could be a slower delivery. Shorter ball, Morgan pulling, getting a top edge over the wicketkeeper for four. Momentum maintained as Mark Mitchener comes in to the live text chair.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Kenny Jarvis: I think everyone is running out of negative adjectives for this tour! It has been an odious few months.

  184. 24 overs: 
    Eng 97-3 (Ballance 25, Morgan 20)

    Indeed it is Watson, coming on to debunk my theory of Doherty bowling his 10 overs in one spell. Moving no more easily in pyjamas than in his whites, Watson already looks like he's bowled 23 overs on the bounce, trudging back to his mark like a man on the way to the gallows. He is, though, on the mark as always. Singles exchanged, before Ballance upper-cuts to third man for a couple.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "There are a few people in the world you would pay to watch, and Eoin is one you can watch all day long in this form - how good is this guy? I can't think of anyone who plays the reverse sweep as good as him, and he hit that six beautifully."

  186. 23 overs: 
    Eng 92-3 (run-rate 4.00)

    Morgan is the first batsman on show today not to have been on the Ashes tour and he looks full of beans. England's run-rate has climbed steadily since he arrived at the crease, though the feistiness is slightly halted by the accuracy of James Faulkner. There's some activity in the crowd as Shane Watson starts to get loose. He looks like he needs winding up.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "For the sake of the series and the game, I don't want to put the mockers on him but Eoin Morgan is in fantastic form. He is hitting the ball so cleanly."

  188. 22 overs: 
    Eng 89-3 (Ballance 21, Morgan 17)

    Still Doherty, who could well bowl his 10 overs on the reel. TV replays compare the slog-sweeps that brought Bell six and his downfall. The maximum was wider of off stump, whereas the ball that bowled him was too straight. Did I say Doherty might bowl his 10 through? Morgan, who has come out full of intent, drives high and handsome for six over long off. Wonderful shot. Dropped in the crowd, though.

    Text 81111

    Liz, Peterborough: Re 15 overs I've long been wary of trying to crowd-catch, as I recall watching Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge around 2003 from an upper tier, Pietersen hit a six and a guy near me ran forward down the aisle trying to catch it, so desperate was he to do so that he very nearly toppled over the edge. And he didn't catch it.

  190. 21 overs: 
    Eng 80-3

    The expensive Glenn Maxwell is withdrawn, replaced by the left-arm seam of the foppish James Faulkner. Faulkner, you probably already know, was in Australia's squad for each of the five Ashes Tests, but didn't get a game. Away support has dropped slightly since the Tests, but there's a song of "Eng-er-land," under the cloudless Melbourne sky.

  191. 0437: 

    It's lunch on day three of the Women's Ashes Test in Perth - England have reached 93-5 in their second innings, a lead of 87. Jenny Gunn has nine, with captain Charlotte Edwards on 15.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  192. 20 overs: 
    Eng 75-3 (Ballance 17, Morgan 7)

    Gary Ballance has been subdued so far, but now he finds the fence with a cover drive of his own off Doherty. There's music played in between overs. A mixed bag, Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits was quite apt when the ball was hooping around corners.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "I had a little chat with (former England and Middlesex team-mate and now the England and Wales Cricket Board's new managing director) Paul Downton in the middle before today, and he said England have got to move forward from here, but we are going to have to wait and see what those changes are."

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

  194. 19 overs: 
    Eng 69-3 (run-rate 3.63

    Eoin Morgan has been playing some Big Bash T20 for whipping boys Sydney Thunder and, in November, turned out in some one-day cricket for Bangladeshi side Gazi Tank. Have bat, will travel. He looks in decent touch, a flowing cover drive off Maxwell finding the cover fence. At 5.80, Maxwell's economy rate is much higher than the rest of the attack.

  195. 17.3 overs: 
    Eng 62-3

    Drinks came on to the pitch as Bell departed, replaced by Eoin Morgan. England do bat long in this game - number 10 Chris Jordan knows how to wield the willow - but there is no platform to launch from at the moment.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was not a great shot, he was looking to a big gap at mid-wicket off the left-arm spinner, he got his foot down the wicket and opened himself up. Now there is a lot of pressure on the middle order to build this innings to allow the big hitters later to build a total."

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

  197. 17.3 overs: 
    WICKET- Bell b Doherty 41 (Eng 62-3)
    Ian Bell is bowled

    A big wicket, and one that goes down in pretty ugly fashion. Ian Bell looked very good for his 41, but we wondered if frustration may get the better of him. He aims a sweep at Xavier Doherty, a swipe a cross the line, but he gets nowhere near it and loses middle stump. The end of a 40-run stand, England right under the pump.

    Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Cook 4), 2-22 (Root 3), 3-62 (Bell 41)

    Doherty's figures: 3.3-0-11-1

  198. 0426: 

    England have lost another wicket in the Women's Ashes in Perth - Arran Brindle has become Ellyse Perry's third victim, trapped lbw for 35. Jenny Gunn is still there on five, and she has been joined by captain Charlotte Edwards (forced to bat at seven after spending time off the field with a knee injury yesterday) - she drove her first ball for four, and is 11 not out, with England now on 84-5 (an overall lead of 78).

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  199. 17 overs: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 60-2

    There's turn, albeit quite slow turn. Still, it looks like England might have done well to pick a spinner. Maxwell, arms everywhere, asks for leg before against Ballance, but that's sliding down the leg side. On the subject of catching things in the crowd, I've never had the chance to do the business at a cricket match, but once dropped a tambourine thrown at a Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Scotty Reynolds: Looks like this game's already over. Off to the beach I go.

    Dennis Edwards: Talk has been about which young players to build a team around. The team should be built around Ian Bell, natural cricketer.

  201. 16 overs: 
    Eng 58-2 (run-rate 3.63)

    Doherty, number three on his back, creeps in around the wicket. He has control of pace and length to keep Bell honest. "Down Dohie," is the cry of Brad Haddin behind the stumps as Doherty fields off his own bowling. Just one from a decent set.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a good passage of play but I think Australia are allowing England to keep the score ticking over with ones and twos, and they are starting to hit a few boundaries now."

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

  203. 15 overs: 
    Eng 57-2

    Catch it in the crowd! Ian Bell thwacks the first six of the series by slog-sweeping Glenn Maxwell over cow corner. I say catch it in the crowd, but this was dropped. My uncle tells a story of vacating his seat, rather than trying to catch an Ian Botham maximum. Have you ever clung on to one in the crowd? Or maybe you've taken a blow from one of the game's big-hitters.

  204. 14 overs: 
    Eng 47-2 (Bell 31, Ballance 6)

    England have finally found the boundary. For the first time in 55 balls, the white leather sphere has enough legs over the lush Melbourne green to make into the padded prism of the rope. It comes from an Ian Bell reverse sweep, Doherty the bowler with the dubious honour. Pop the champagne.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "If there is any day for Ian Bell to make his first one-day 100 against Australia, it is today. It's a big job but he's good enough and he's got the technique."

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

  206. 13 overs: 
    Eng 42-2

    Ooofff, careful there, Ian Bell. First a leading edge just evades bowler Maxwell, then an attempted cut nearly gets a tickle through to Brad Haddin. Three singles worked, a pull shot hauled in on the leg-side fence for two.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's very important to allow Stokes, Buttler and Bresnan, the big hitters, to be allowed to play the big shots. You don't want them coming after 30 overs or so to work the ball around, they need the freedom to play but if they come in too early they will put pressure on themselves."

  208. 12 overs: 
    Eng 37-2 (run-rate 3.08)

    England have neglected to select a frontline spinner, whereas Australia have both of theirs on inside 12 overs. Having said that, runs have certainly come with more ease since Maxwell and left-armer Xavier Doherty have been introduced. I wonder if Michael Clarke will allow this to continue for long? The ball is swinging and he has other pace options in Shane Watson and James Faulkner.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Migs: So Cook and Root play but our best batsman Kevin Pietersen is sent home. Politics over talent...

    Matthew Ball: I know we've lost a couple of wickets but this run rate is almost slower than it was in the Tests.

  210. 11 overs: 
    Eng 34-2 (Bell 20, Ballance 4)

    End of powerplay = get the spinners on. I think that might be one of the things you are taught at captaincy school. Glenn Maxwell is on to bowl his off-breaks around the wicket to this right-left pair, with four men dropping to the boundary to create a few gaps. England able to work the ball around, with Ballance slashing three behind point through the slowish outfield. Other things you learn at captaincy school? Coin-tossing and dealing with a Mark Nicholas interview.

    John Emburey, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "The Australians have been very impressive, but Ian Bell must not get too frustrated. He has to tick the score over and give the strike to Ballance, but at the moment Australia are certainly on top."

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

  212. 10 overs: 
    Eng 28-2 (end of powerplay)

    Bell is swinging like a revolving door in this last powerplay over, but without a great deal of success. He middles one back to Coulter-Nile, which nearly does the bowler a mischief, the end result being a couple deflected off an ankle. Bell is crunching everything, but repeatedly finding fielders. Frustration growing? First powerplay done, only 28 from it.


    From Herbie: Clint McKay looks uncannily like Kyle Mills, the NZ bowler.

    Clint McKay
  214. 9 overs: 
    Eng 26-2 (McKay 2-11 off 5)

    Still McKay, who might do well in a Lee Evans-lookalike contest. Slash through the vacant slip area by Bell, leg bye shunted off Ballance's backside, then a full-blooded pull by Bell. All only bring singles. In nine overs of this powerplay, England have managed only two boundaries.

  215. 0357: 

    England have also just lost a wicket in the Women's Ashes Test at Perth - Natalie Sciver, playing her first Test, has been bowled by fast bowler Ellyse Perry for 23, having added 54 with Arran Brindle who is still there on 31. With England 64-4 in their second innings, they lead by 58.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  216. 8 overs: 
    Eng 23-2 (run-rate 2.88)

    So, like so many other times on this trip to Australia, England find themselves in trouble. Gary Ballance in the new man, watching on as Ian Bell bats out of his crease in an attempt to negate the swing of Nathan Coulter-Nile. Now then, Snicko, which isn't part of the review technology, is showing a noise as the ball passed Joe Root's bat. The ball hit both pads, so it's hard to tell what the noise was. However, it may explain why he was shaking his head as he departed.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I hope Joe Root does not kick a spectator on his way off, but there was no evidence to overturn that. That was a good delivery by McKay in the corridor of uncertainty."

  218. 6.5 overs: 
    WICKET- Root lbw McKay 3 (Eng 22-2)
    Joe Root

    Joe Root's torturous knock is over with a pretty poor review. Clint McKay went full, ducking the ball in and, to the naked eye, it looked a very good shout. Root reviewed fairly swiftly, but it's hard to see why. There was no bat and his middle and leg stumps were being knocked out. Umpire Simon Fry is vindicated by the technology and can give Root the finger once more.

    Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Cook 4), 2-22 (Root 3)

  219. 6.5 overs: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 22-1

    Nothing on Hot Spot. Root looks in myther.

  220. 6.5 overs: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 22-1

    Full, straight, Joe Root pinned on the pads. He's given the finger as Clint McKay screams, but Root thinks he's got some wood on it. We'll have another look.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Woeca: Very familiar from Cook, now where have I seen that before recently!?

    Reillyusa: To draw a football parallel, Cook needs someone to do to him what Pellegrini did to Joe Hart. You have to be cruel to be kind.

    Ivan Platanos: Root does know this is limited overs right?

  222. 6 overs: 
    Eng 20-1

    Clarke's fielding at point is setting example for his side, David Warner now doing the business at cover, Australia buzzing around in their Plymouth Argyle green. Bell pinches a single, then Root is cut in half by an NCN in-ducker. It looks a batting day, but England have been kept in check so far.

    Damien Fleming, Ex-Australia bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Nathan Coulter-Nile's a very good athlete, he's starting to emerge on the international scene and he bowls fast outswingers."

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

  224. 5 overs: 
    Eng 19-1 (Bell 11, Root 3)

    Joe Root isn't finding the gaps just yet. Not great pace from McKay, under 80mph, wobble in and out, Root looking to work it without success. On the back foot, look for a single, cry of "no". Front foot, slide off the face, well-fielded at point by Michael Clarke. You don't see many skippers at point, do you?


    From Simon: KP has got a huge amount of grief for repeatedly holing out in the deep: he never learns does he? Why is Cook not getting the same amount of grief for repeatedly nicking mediocre deliveries to the keeper or slips? Mike Brearley got a free ride as a batsmen because he was a fantastic captain. What's the excuse for Cook? Only that there's no other option?

  226. 4 overs: 
    Eng 17-1 (run-rate 4.25)

    I'm more than comfortable saying that Nathan Coulter-Nile is a very good looking chap. Dark hair, strapping, boy-band type. I wouldn't want him going to the pub with my better half. Speaking of good looking, that's lovely from Bell, giving it the full face to go downtown for four. The Sledgehammer of Eternal Justice has started well.

  227. 3 overs: 
    Eng 9-1

    It's sunny enough for the bright light to reflect off the white wicket and both of these white balls are singing in the sunshine. Back in to Root from McKay, tucking the batsman up, then away and beating a booming drive. Perhaps should have been a wide, but he gets away with it.

  228. 2 overs: 
    Eng 8-1 (Bell 3, Root 0)

    There's some wobble out there. Coulter-Nile (who may have to become NCN at some point today), starts with a wild wide then beats Bell with an away-hooping rozzer. A nice drive brings Bell three, then Coulter-Nile, military haircut, finds Root's edge. Along the ground to slip Shane Watson, who immediately points to the sky and chunters something. Is he ever happy?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mikey Tomlinson: Oh dear Mr. Cook. Anyone else hear that? That's the sound of the tabloids sharpening their knives.

    Chris White: Decided to watch the ODI hoping England would improve and cheer me up. But I'm going to bed now, Cook must be sick of kangaroos.

    Christian Reilly: Who was the last captain to drop himself from the team?

  230. 0326: 
    Eng 4-1

    Joe Root is England's number three. Looking at the Cook wicket again, Dirk Nannes may have been doing McKay an injustice, the delivery just moved enough to take the edge. Nathan Coulter-Nile is the man to take the other new ball.

    Dirk Nannes, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "He cannot buy a run. It held its line, it was not an amazing ball, but he found a faint feather and it was a good catch by Brad Haddin."

    Alison Mitchell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook's one-day series starts as dismally as his Test series finished. You talk about a clean slate, then you nick one behind."

  233. 0.3 overs: 
    WICKET- Cook c Haddin b McKay 4 (Eng 4-1)
    Clint McKay and Alastair Cook

    Here we go again. It's a different game, different kit, different bowler, but a familiar story for England and their captain. It's a decent length on off stump from Clint McKay, Alastair Cook nibbling a thin edge through to the gloves of Brad Haddin. How many times have we seen that over the past few weeks? Cook must be thoroughly fed up of being in Australia.

  234. 0320: 

    Over in Perth, England are 43-3 in their second innings after a decent start to day three of the four-day Women's Ashes Test. Having begun the day on 18-3, Arran Brindle and Natalie Sciver have both made their way to 17 not out, pushing England's overall lead to 37.

    Other news from the Waca is that England captain Charlotte Edwards will bat at number seven, after a spell off the field yesterday with a knee injury.

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  235. 0319: 

    Here we go then, Ian Bell fiddles with his pad then heads for the middle in the company of Alastair Cook. It's Cook on strike, with Clint McKay taking one of the new balls. Quite simply, Melbourne looks awesome. Let's play.

  236. 0318: 

    Alastair Cook on Kevin Pietersen: "It's a hard thing to answer, it is unfair to use individuals as reassurances. We're going to have to let the dust settle, if I gave one player a re-assurance, there are nine or 10 who would also want it and that would be unfair.

    "There has been no ultimatum, it happens because you lose games of cricket and people look for things. Knee-jerk reactions are not what is required."

  237. 0317: 

    Australia captain Michael Clarke: "It's a good wicket to bat on, but it looks a little bit two-paced and we're going to have to bowl well."

  238. 0316: 

    England captain Alastair Cook: "You don't just wipe a line under what happened, but it's a new squad and we'll try to put on a good show. It looks a cracking wicket, you want to make first use of it."

  239. 0315: 

    Ah Chris, you take me back. Mal Loye was the man called up to open the batting in the one-dayer seven years ago. He was bonkers enough to try to sweep Brett Lee. It worked, too.


    From Christopher: Disappointed not to see Mal Loye and Ed Joyce opening the batting.

  241. 0314: 

    A chap who looks a lot like Moby is doing a good job of Good Save The Queen. The 100,000-capacity MCG is nowhere near full.

  242. 0312: 

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Australia are the only nation in the world that change their ODI colours depending on if they are playing at home or away.

    Away matches are usually played in yellow (not gold), while home matches are tackled in green. That's what they sport today, with England in their ketchup red. Both sides are lined-up in the sunshine for the anthems.

  243. 0309:  
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialLISTEN LIVE

    And, as well as this entertaining and informative text commentary, you can also listen to live coverage from both Melbourne and Perth.

    TMS pulls a double shift to provide coverage from Melbourne on 5 live sports extra, online, on digital TVs and via the BBC Sport and BBC Radio apps.

    As for the Women's Test in Perth, you can listen right here on the BBC Sport website.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Gunn: It's a joke Carberry isn't in the ODI team. Do these selectors not watch cricket?

    Carbon: Need to start getting back into a sleep deprivation mode ready for some ODI misery.

  245. 0306: 

    So, with all in order, I'm in the lovely position to ask what you think. Can England win a consolation prize, or is it likely to be more doom and gloom down under? What about the team selected? Are they a bowler light? And what about this Kevin Pietersen saga? Would it be right for England to discard him? Text 81111, tweet using the hashtag #bbccricket or email

  246. 0301: 

    Yes, he might be tucked up in bed back in England, but the spectre of Kevin Pietersen still looms over this England team.

    For once, though, it might not be his fault.

    Neither Test coach Andy Flower or captain Alastair Cook have been able to give guarantees on Pietersen's future, while the man himself says he wants to win the Ashes back in 2015.

    We're in the odd situation that a captain and coach can may survive a 5-0 whitewash, but the leading runscorer may not.

  247. 0259: 

    So England pack their side with batting, just as they did in the summer series between these two sides. There's lots of pace options, but Steven Finn misses out and both Stuart Broad and James Anderson are rested. Also rested is Kevin Pietersen, more on him soon.

    As for the Aussies, that opening pair of David Warner and Aaron Finch contains some biffing, but Ashes pace heroes Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson are all missing. Johnson is rested, but Harris and Siddle don't often feature in the ODI side.

  248. 0257: 

    Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.

    England: Alastair Cook (c), Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ballance, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Tim Bresnan, Chris Jordan, Boyd Rankin.

  249. 0254: 

    So the prospect of defeat by an innings is averted by the flick of the coin. Alastair Cook calls correctly and opts to bat first on a sunny Melbourne day. England have opted to omit a specialist spinner, meaning James Tredwell misses out. Gary Ballance bolsters the middle order.

  250. 0253: 

    But it's not just the fellas that will have our attention on this late Saturday night/early Sunday morning.

    England's women have opened their Ashes defence with a Test match in Perth. They are under the pump, though, Australia striking late on day two to reduce the tourists to 18-3, a lead of only 12.

    Will the Ashes pain never end?

    Listen to full BBC commentary (online only) on the Women's Ashes

  251. 0252: 

    We begin in Melbourne with England having a little history on their side. The last four Ashes winners have gone on to lose the subsequent one-day series.

    Remember England's last 5-0 Ashes whitewash down under? They snatched the triangular one-day bash involving the Aussies and New Zealand thanks to a couple of Paul Collingwood hundreds and a Jamie Dalrymple screamer.

    England celebrate
  252. 0251: 

    On what has been a disastrous Ashes tour for England, victory in the five match one-day series would certainly come under the title 'small consolation'.

    As well the small token of pride to be won, there's also the little matter of a World Cup to prepare for. That shindig in Australia and New Zealand begins in 13 months' time.

  253. 0250: 

    Losing 20 quid and finding a pound. Being dragged to that wedding of a cousin you don't like but finding there's a free bar. Missing out on Glastonbury tickets only to find Mumford and Sons are headlining. Being made to watch Strictly but seeing Ola Jordan dance the Rumba.

    Small consolations.

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Live Scores - Australia v England


  • Australia beat England by 6 wickets
  • Australia: 270-4 (45.4 overs)
  • England: 269-7 (50.0 overs)
  • Venue: Melbourne (MCG)

Australia Innings

View full scorecard
Finch c Ballance b Stokes 121
Warner c Stokes b Root 65
Watson b Jordan 0
Clarke c Cook b Bresnan 43
Bailey not out 17
Maxwell not out 9
Extras 10w 5lb 15
Total for 4 270

Women's Ashes in Australia

England with the Women's Ashes trophy

Reports and scorecards from England's Women's Ashes tour of Australia.

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