Dec 282013
LIVE: Australia v England, 4th Test, Day 4

By Matthew Sherry

Australia looked set to take a 4-0 lead in the Ashes as Chris Rogers hit his second Test hundred at the MCG.

Having resumed on 30 without loss chasing 231, the hosts were aided by some disappointing England fielding as two early chances went down.

However, a moment of cheer came for the tourists when David Warner feathered the impressive Ben Stokes behind for 25.

Rogers, though, found a willing ally in the typically positive Shane Watson as Australia moved to 189 for one.

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Afternoon Session 

3am – WICKET! Rogers c Bairstow b Panesar 116; Australia 200/2 – Rogers’ fine innings comes to an end as he feathers an attempted cut off Monty Panesar behind.

2.45am – FIFTY! Watson (70b 6×4 0x6) – Shane Watson reaches a notable landmark by cutting Tim Bresnan for four.

2.42am – CENTURY! Rogers (135b 11×4 0x6) – What a moment! Rogers reaches his first Test hundred on home soil with a driven four off James Anderson.

2.25am – Glorious from Chris Rogers, who – having enjoyed that reprieve – plays a late-cut to the boundary off Stuart Broad.

Morning Session 

1.33am – LUNCH! Australia 143/1; Rogers 81, Watson 36 – Australia end the session in complete command. They look set to move 4-0 ahead in the series.

1.22am – Misfields are hurting England amid Australia scoring freely. The hosts have racked up over 100 runs in this session for the loss of just one wicket.

1.06am – Monty Panesar is brought into the attack and begins with a solid over that brings Australia just two runs.

12.52am – Boundaries are flowing for Australia as both Rogers and Shane Watson attack to good effect.

12.29am – FIFTY! Rogers (74b 6×4 0x6) – An inside-edged four that only just misses the stumps precedes a two, which brings up Rogers’ fluent half-century.

12.09am – WICKET! Warner c Bairstow b Stokes 25; Australia 64/1 – No mistake this time! Warner goes for an expansive cut but feathers through to Bairstow as Stokes grabs a deserved wicket. 

10.56am – MISSED CHANCE! – Another opportunity goes begging as Cook shells a regulation chance to dismiss Warner off Ben Stokes.

10.45am – MISSED CHANCE! – Nightmare for England as Chris Rogers edges Broad between the wicketkeeper and first slip for four. Alastair Cook spilled a one-handed diving attempt, but Jonny Bairstow should really have dived to collect a fairly easy chance. To make matters worse, the batsman follows up with an upper-cut four.

10.38am – David Warner is off and running, crunching Stuart Broad through the off side for four after James Anderson had begun the day with a maiden.

Pre-Play News 

11.15am – Hello and welcome to day four of the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne. Australia require a further 201 for victory having reached 30 without loss last evening, while England need 10 wickets.

Dec 272013
LIVE: Australia v England, 4th Test, Day 3

By Matthew Sherry

Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry strengthened England’s position in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

With Australia resuming nine down and 91 behind, hopes were high that the tourists could quickly claim a final scalp.

But Brad Haddin, who struck 65, and Nathan Lyon put on a frustrating 40-run stand before James Anderson had the former caught on the pull to end with figures of 4-67.

Australia were subsequently dismissed for 204, surrendering a 91-run deficit which Alastair Cook helped extend by striking 51.

He was trapped lbw by Mitchell Johnson, yet England were in a positive position on 79 for one, 130 ahead, after 26 overs.

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Afternoon Session

England 2nd Innings 

3.12am – WICKET! Root run out Johnson 15; England 86/3 – You cannot keep Johnson out of the game. Root sets off for a quick single and, despite a dive, is well short Mitch delivers a direct hit.

3.05am – WICKET! Carberry lbw Siddle 12; England 86/2 – Australia have a second as Siddle, bowling around the wicket, traps Carberry lbw.

3.03am – Root picks up his first boundary, guiding Peter Siddle through third man.

2.37am – REVIEW! – Johnson thought he had two in three balls after umpire Aleem Dar raised the finger for a Joe Root caught-behind. However, technology showed no edge so the batsman remains.

2.34am – WICKET! Cook lbw Johnson 51; England 65/1 – The captain’s excellent innings comes to an end as he plays all around a straight one from Johnson, opting not to review.

2.23am – FIFTY! Cook (60b 7×4 0x6) – Well, Alastair Cook has picked up where he left off – driving Shane Watson for two boundaries through point in an over to move to 50.

2.18am – Mitchell Johnson is on for a burst after lunch. This will be a key period for England to get through.

Morning Session

1.31am – LUNCH! England 54/0; Cook 41, Carberry 5 – England reach the interval unscathed, although Carberry can count himself lucky after an edge off Watson fell just short of slip. The tourists, though, are in a strong position.

1.17am – Carberry gets his first boundary, powerfully cutting Shane Watson through point for four.

1.05am – Amid his partner’s flurry of runs, Carberry has one off 31 deliveries. He will be targeting a big score following a series of unfulfilled starts in this series thus far.

12.52am – Cook continues to prosper via a positive approach as he late-cuts and drives Nathan Lyon to the fence.

12.37am – Cook is looking in particularly good touch early on, driving Harris down the ground for four.

12.26am – Positive start from Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry as seven runs come from the first over, bowled by Ryan Harris.

Australia 1st Innings 

12.13am – WICKET! Haddin c Bairstow b Anderson 65; Australia 204 all out – England secure a 51-run lead as Haddin top-edges an attempted pull and Jonny Bairstow claims a simple catch.

12.08am – They have enjoyed some good fortune but Haddin and Lyon continue to prosper. It’s all very frustrating.

11.50am – FIFTY! Haddin (59b 6×4 1×6) – Haddin reaches yet another half-century via a single to mid-on.

11.44am – Frustration for England and Anderson as Nathan Lyon edges through the slips and to the boundary.

11.33am – Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been given the first crack. They start with an impressive over apiece, the latter featuring an edged Brad Haddin four that fell just short of first slip.

Pre-Play News

11.26am – Brad Haddin, who’s having a fine series and will resume on 43, holds the key for Australia. The hosts are 164 for nine, still 91 behind.

11.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage of the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne. The aim for England on day three is simple: grab an early wicket and then get runs, runs and more runs.

Dec 272013
South Africa vs India 2013 2nd Test (Day 2) LIVE: Steyn roars back with six-for!

After an entire morning when rain and covers played hide-n-seek, finally the play started with a three hour delay on a murky, gloomy Durban day.

Match Report – South Africa vs India, 2nd Test, Day 2 , December 27 from Kingsmead, Durban

South African bowlers were ‘surprised’ by the brown strip of Durban, which could have come straight from subcontinent, gift-wrapped as a Boxing day present for the visitors. They did have a surprise gift of their own, Morne Morkel, who had made a remarkable recovery aided by oxygen chambers. Morkel, as it turned out, was the most threatening of the hosts. But an increasingly grumpy and lacklustre Steyn hurt their balance, as did yet another spinner who couldn’t quite play the warranted ‘holding role’ against, arguably the best players of spin.

Having lost nearly thirty overs last evening due to fading light, this morning was further bad news for those hoping to catch a glimpse of Kallis on his farewell test. Persistent drizzle played spoilsport all morning, and every time the groundsmen took away the covers seeing the rain relent, it almost mischievously opened the tap again. After three hours (and a complete washout of first session) the game resumed. The bowlers hoped to get a little more purchase from a damp pitch and heavy atmosphere, but quickly saw their hopes evaporate as both overnight batsmen hit a four each and moved along. But then, something stirred in Dale Steyn. Seventy overs (yes, you read that right!) of wicketless toil later suddenly South Africa’s spearhead clicked the higher gear which makes him the best paceman of this era. Pacing up at 140-145ks, and reversing the old ball, he first had Pujara edge behind. Vijay, nearing on a coveted century tried to play him out patiently, even copping some on his body. A fierce bouncer put paid to those hopes, his fend edging behind to DeVilliers. Then there was a first ball beauty to Rohit Sharma, uprooting his stump. Suddenly, from 198/1 India wobbled to 199/4. The hattrick ball was on Kohli’s pads, who whipped it to midwicket fence, but the morning had turned on its head.

Kallis came on in two short bursts from both ends, as did Peterson. Philander took the new ball ahead of Morkel and kept the lid on scoring as well. But it was Steyn, who was clearly leading the pack. Ajinkya Rahane was sconed twice in successive overs, once on the helmet and once on the shoulder, the ball not quite rising as high as expected and skidding on from short of good length. To his credit, when the length was even shorter, Rahane controlled his pull to pinch a four, before repeating the dose against an overpitched one. Kohli, at the other end was playing like a pleasing little innings, resisting but never stagnant and assured in his driving. Together, they put on another important fifty run stand after the strikes. Yet again, just as the partnership was blossoming and the pitch easing out under the baking sun, Kohli fended a short one drifting down the leg-side and DeVilliers pulled off a brilliant grab. India went to tea without further damage.

The post tea session kept up with the see-sawing fortunes of the game, with quick runs flowing for India. Rahane started it first, driving Peterson for four off the first ball of his over twice, before upper-cutting Morkel for another. Dhoni then cut Morkel twice through the vacant gully region for boundaries before he too punished Peterson for another four. Suddenly, a quick fifty run partnership off merely twelve overs had swung the balance again. Out came that man Steyn again (who else?), forcing Dhoni to edge behind as he chased one nipping away from off-stump, while his opposite number Smith safely pouched the nick. Jadeja fell in the next over to Duminy after a totally unconvincing stay and the hosts had clawed back yet again, to have their noses in front. His fifth came shortly afterwards, courtesy a moment of terrific athleticism from DeVilliers, who pouched a Zaheer top edge flying over him at high speed. A gorgeous cover driven boundary later Ishant became Steyn’s sixth victim, who ended his seventy over drought for wickets in spectacular fashion. India wound up for an under-par 334.

South Africa then came out and with a mix of good shots and fortituous edges raced paced thirty in a merely five overs. The introduction of Ishant Sharma slowed down things a touch.

India 334 (Vijay 97, Pujara 64, Steyn 6/100) vs South Africa 37/0 

Player(s) of the Day: Dale Steyn

Disappointment(s)  of the Day: TBD

Image credit: Guardian

Dec 262013
Australia fight hard with bat after Johnson stars again

Sky Sport

Mitchell Johnson has continued his solid form with the ball, taking a total of 28 wickets in this Ashes series.

Chris Rogers recovered from a nasty blow to the head to score a dogged half century as Australia reached 96-3 at tea on the second day of the fourth test against England.


Jimmy Anderson (2-32 ) dismissed Michael Clarke in the only wicket of the middle session after Australia lost opener David Warner and Shane Watson before lunch in pursuit of England’s first-innings 255.

Stuart Broad smacked a short ball into the visor of Rogers’ helmet shortly after lunch, drawing blood near his temple. But after receiving attention on the pitch, the left-hander continued his innings untroubled and was unbeaten on 50 at the break with Steve Smith on 14.

Earlier, Mitchell Johnson (5-63) claimed England wickets to bring up another five-wicket haul. 

He took 3-4 from four overs on to finish with 5-63 in England’s first innings of 255.

The left-arm quick lifted his tally for the series to 28 victims at 14.96.

Johnson struck twice in the second over of the day, removing Tim Bresnan caught at short leg and Pietersen bowled.

It was an awful shot from Pietersen, who had stood firm so brilliantly in the face of his critics on Thursday in four hours of determined batting against tight bowling.

While Pietersen deserves praise for becoming England’s fourth-leading runscorer, moving nine runs past Geoff Boycott’s 8114, his shot selection has once again become a hot topic.

Stuart Broad was lbw to Johnson and Nathan Lyon bowled rival spinner Monty Panesar.

“It’s going all right. I am enjoying it,” Johnson told the Nine Network.

Johnson said the Aussies had bowled well as a group. Pace partner Ryan Harris took 2-47 off 24 overs in a tremendous performance that featured four missed catches


Dec 162013
LIVE: Australia v England, 3rd Test, Day 5

By Matthew Sherry

Ben Stokes and Matt Prior likely hold the key to England having a chance of keeping the Ashes series alive by avoiding defeat today at Perth.

The tourists headed into the fifth day at the WACA on 251 for five, with Stokes having 72 and Prior seven, needing 253 for victory.

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Morning Session

3.05am – You just hope not to get a straight one… Peter Siddle sends a delivery down leg that barely bounces above foot height. Crazy stuff.

2.53am – Well, that one hit a crack. Ryan Harris’ delivery moves at a right-angle away from Stokes, missing the edge by some distance. Later in the over, the left-hander whips through midwicket and reaches 80.

2.40am – It’s tough sledding thus far for these two as Australia cause some problems. Ben Stokes and Matt Prior need to battle through it.

Pre-Play News

2.25am – Many English eyes will be on Ben Stokes, whol played outstandingly to reach 72 last night. He will resume alongside Matt Prior with the tourists on 251 for five.

2.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage from Perth, where the final day of the third Ashes Test is taking place. In all likelihood, Australia will regain the urn today – but can there be a twist in the tail?

Dec 142013
LIVE: Australia v England, 3rd Test, Day 3

By Matthew Sherry

Two early strikes stengthened Australia’s grip on the third Ashes Test at the WACA on day three.

The tourists, who trail 2-0 in the Ashes series, resumed on 180 for four with Ian Bell on nine and Ben Stokes 14. 

But both batsmen fell without real addition to their score, Ian Bell trapped lbw by Ryan Harris and Ben Stokes edging Mitchell Johnson behind.

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Morning Session

3.01am – WICKET! Stokes c Haddin b Johnson 18; England 198/6 – Another wicket falls early as Ben Stokes drives loosely outside off stump and feathers Johnson behind.

2.59am – There’s a sign of what is to come later. A Mitchell Johnson delivery hits a crack and seams a mile past Prior’s edge.

2.41am – WICKET! Bell lbw Harris 15; England 190/4 – That’s the wicket Australia wanted early. Ryan Harris nips one back to Bell, who is hit plumb in front. Umpire Marais Erasmus originally delivered a not-out verdict, which was overruled on review.

2.35am – Six runs come from a first over highlighted by Ian Bell playing and missing prior to clipping four fine off his pads.

Pre-Play News

2.25am – It will be Ian Bell and Ben Stokes tasked with the initial work. The former is set to resume on nine and the latter 14.

2.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage of day three from Perth, where the third Ashes Test is taking place. With England set to resume on 180 for four in reply to Australia’s 385, a special effort is required today.

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