Feb 282014
 

By Rob Barnett

Michael Lumb became the second England batsman to make a century on one-day international debut but it was not enough for victory in the first of three format games with West Indies.

The 34-year-old left-hander, filling in for the injured Alex Hales and rested regular openers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, progressed serenely to three figures midway through England’s pursuit of 270 and therefore matched Dennis Amiss’ feat in 1972.

Lumb shared a first-wicket stand of 96 with fellow ODI debutant Moeen Ali, who fell to Dwayne Smith for 44 shortly before Luke Wright went cheaply to Darren Sammy. Ravi Rampaul eventually accounted for Lumb on 106, making Stuart Broad’s side 180 for three from 37 overs.

Michael Lumb follows Dennis Amiss in scoring a hundred on one-day international debut. However, it could not stop West Indies winning

That proved to be the first of four wickets in six overs, two of which went to economical spinner Sunil Narine and included Joe Root for 37, leaving Ravi Bopara – playing his 100th ODI – and Tim Bresnan with too much to do as the Windies prevailed by 15 runs.

Contrasting hundred partnerships, both involving captain Dwayne Bravo, had lifted the hosts to an imposing 269 for six at Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Recovering from 45 for four, Lendl Simmons and Bravo were pedestrian in raising a fifty stand but accelerated somewhat towards three figures. Bravo’s brutal alliance alongside Sammy was stark in contrast. The experienced sixth-wicket duo hit England’s attack to all parts while adding 116 in 10 overs.

The only bowlers to escape punishment were spinners James Tredwell, who was particularly impressive in returning 1-23 from 10 overs, and international debutant Moeen.

They had each struck once in leaving West Indies four down early on after Broad had chosen to bowl first in his maiden ODI as skipper. Bresnan made three breakthroughs, including Simmons for 65 and Sammy for a 36-ball 61, but Bravo was unbeaten on 87.

Match Scorecard/ Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Post-Match Presentation

9.49pm – Windies captain Dwayne Bravo is man of the match for his unbeaten 87 not out and 10 reasonable overs.

He said of his victors: “Congratulations to the entire team. Words can’t explain how they performed today.”

England skipper Stuart Broad said: “Up to 40 overs (of the chase) we were fantastic.”

On Michael Lumb’s ton, he added: “Lumby’s hundred on debut is a huge achievement for him and everyone is delighted for him.”

England Innings

9.31pm – WEST INDIES WIN BY 15 RUNS! ENGLAND 254/6; Bopara 23, Bresnan 14 – Rampaul completes the job as the hosts draw first blood in the three ODIs. The next game is on Sunday at the same venue.

9.27pm – The captain steps up to the plate again to leave England needing 22 from the last over.

9.24pm – Aside from two leg-side wides, Rampaul otherwise holds his nerve and it’s 29 from 12.

9.18pm – A tight over from Dwayne Bravo leaves the equation 37 off 18. Some big hitting is needed from Bopara and Bresnan.

9.13pm – Bresnan tickles Narine for a fine leg-side four, leaving 42 wanted from 24.

9.08pm – With Ravi Bopara and Tim Bresnan at the crease, the former playing in his 100th ODI, England need 50 from 30 balls.

8.59pm – WICKET! Buttler c Holder b Dwayne Bravo 13; Eng 211/6 – Buttler miscues Dwayne Bravo’s slower ball for a catch at mid-off, meaning the tourists require 59 from seven overs.

8.53pm – WICKET! Root c Ramdin b Narine 37; Eng 205/5 – Root clips Rampaul to the square-leg rope via a Dwayne Smith misfield and Jos Buttler reverse-sweeps Narine for four, but Root goes for a conventional sweep and gloves to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

8.42pm – WICKET! Stokes b Narine 5; Eng 192/4 – After Root deposits Rampaul for a one-bounce four over midwicket, Ben Stokes walks across his stumps and Narine clips his leg pole. The batting powerplay yields 21 for two.

8.30pm – WICKET! Lumb c Dwayne Bravo b Rampaul 106; Eng 180/3 – Rampaul surprises Lumb with a short slower ball and the batsman can only chip to cover. England need 90 from 13 overs.

8.21pm – England need 99 from the last 15 overs, at which point the batting powerplay is forced.

8.19pm – HUNDRED! Lumb (109b 7×4 2×6) – The left-hander nudges Sammy for a quick single to cover, becoming the second England batsman to make a century on ODI debut.

8.15pm – Slowing as he nears three figures, Lumb creeps to 99. Meanwhile, bowler Sammy is struggling with what appears to be a back problem.

8.06pm – Lumb moves tantalisingly on to 97 when drinks are taken.

7.51am – Lumb strikes three fours in as many overs in the third man region to race towards 90 and keep England needing around a run a ball to win. The 31st over starts with the tourists’ 150 arriving and ends with a fifty partnership for Lumb and Root.

7.42pm – CHANCE! – Lumb plays Sammy to midwicket, who throws at the non-striker’s stumps and would have run out Root with a direct hit.

7.37pm – Joe Root, who registered a ton in Tuesday’s warm-up game, joins Lumb in the middle and England progress to 116 for two from 25 overs.

7.25pm – WICKET! Wright c Dwayne Bravo b Sammy 1; Eng 106/2 – Luke Wright, who faced nine deliveries, tamely pulls to midwicket as a second scalp goes in four overs.

7.14pm – WICKET! Moeen c Narine b Smith 44; Eng 96/1 – The left-hander gets a leading edge and holes out to long-on, ending an excellent opening stand of 96. Lumb under-edges the next ball for four to raise England’s hundred.

7.12pm – FIFTY! Lumb (58b 3×4 2×6) – Lumb becomes the 20th England batsman to make a half-century in his first ODI.

7.07pm – Narine and Darren Sammy string together three tight overs to check England’s momentum. The tourists are still comfortably ahead of where West Indies were at this stage.

6.52pm – DROPPED CHANCE! – Moeen, on 36, cuts Bravo aerially towards point where Dwayne Smith dives to his left but cannot hold a tough opportunity. At the end of the over England are 81 without loss from 15.

6.46pm – Lumb near enough repeats the shot that brought him a maximum off Bravo, this time getting it finer for four.

6.32pm – REVIEW! – Lumb is given out lbw to Rampaul, but immediately reviews knowing he inside-edged onto his back pad. He therefore survives and England keep their review. The tourists reach 53 for none after the compulsory powerplay and Lumb then upper-cuts Dwayne Bravo for a six that landed on the rope.

6.28pm – Lumb and Moeen raise a fifty partnership in the over that Sunil Narine’s spin is introduced.

6.16pm – Lumb, who has played and missed a bit, connects emphatically with a Holder ball for six over long-on. He then takes Rampaul for consecutive leg-side fours.

6.08pm – Moeen picks up a trio of fours, advancing to hit Rampaul aerially through cover before straight-driving and pulling Holder. That’s an impressive statement in his first senior international knock.

5.51pm – REVIEW! – Jason Holder opens the bowling to Michael Lumb, who is being partnered by fellow one-day international debutant Moeen Ali, and is struck high on the front pad. West Indies use their sole review but the ball was going over the stumps so Lumb survives. Ravi Rampaul also starts with a tight over.

West Indies Innings

5.07pm – WICKET & END OF INNINGS! Sammy c Broad b Bresnan 61; WEST INDIES 269/6; Bravo 87 – Sammy chips to cover at the end of an over worth 14. He and Bravo have batted brilliantly in a partnership of 116 that has transformed the hosts’ innings.

5.05pm – FIFTY! Sammy (33b 4×4 4×6) – The burly right-hander belts Bresnan into the stands to bring up his milestone.

5.02pm – CENTURY PARTNERSHIP! – Jordan concedes 21 from the innings’ penultimate over, including a Bravo six over point from a no-ball. This rapid stand has realised three figures in just 56 deliveries.

4.50pm – After two fours – the latter from Sammy’s inside-edge taking the Windies to 200 – come in a Bresnan over worth 16, Sammy smacks Root for two straightish maximums in a set of six costing 23.

4.38pm – FIFTY! Bravo (74b 3×4 0x6) – A captain’s half-century arrives via two through midwicket off Root. Bravo deservedly gets warm applause for his milestone.

4.35pm – With minimum of effort Sammy smites Jordan for six over long-on, which upsets the seamer’s rhythm as he bowls three consecutive off-side wides later in the over.

4.28pm – Darren Sammy announces himself by whacking Broad for four past mid-on before Bravo flicks to the fine-leg boundary later in the over, which is followed by a tight one from Root.

 

4.14pm – WICKET! Simmons c Moeen b Bresnan 65; WI 153/5 – From the penultimate ball of the powerplay Simmons slices Bresnan tamely towards cover and Moeen moves from extra-cover to take a comfortable catch. The fifth-wicket stand was worth 108 and the powerplay 41.

4.09pm – CENTURY PARTNERSHIP! – Simmons uppishly cuts Broad to the boundary to register an alliance with Bravo in the second half of which the Windies have significantly accelerated.

4pm – FIFTY! Simmons (81b 4×4 0x6) – Having driven Moeen past mid-off for four, the right-hander delicately sweeps the spinner for two to raise a patient half-century in an over that yields 10 runs. In the next over Simmons and Bravo profit from width outside off stump with a four each off Jordan.

3.47pm – Simmons flicks Bresnan to the fine-leg rope soon before the batting powerplay is enforced. With Simmons and Bravo set, the Windies need to exploit this.

3.35pm – Much like buses, two boundaries come in quick succession as Simmons cuts Moeen through backward point. The next over sees Simmons and Bravo share a pedestrian fifty partnership that has spanned 16 overs. In the next, West Indies reach three figures.

3.24pm – Excitement in Antigua! Bravo cover-drives Jordan for the first boundary in almost 13 overs shortly before the hosts reach 87 for four with 20 to go.

 

3.15pm – The stranglehold remains in place thanks to a combination of a close field and economical bowling from Tredwell, who has got through nine overs, and Jordan.

3pm – Bresnan and Tredwell continue to keep it tight in the middle overs. Jordan the gets his first bowl today – in place of Bresnan.

2.46pm – Following Bresnan’s maiden to home captain Dwayne Bravo, Simmons raises West Indies’ fifty with a single in the 19th over. Slow scoring is often the norm in the Caribbean, but England are restricting their opponents well here.

2.33pm – WICKET! Bravo lbw Moeen 2; WI 45/4 – It gets better for England as Moeen traps left-handed Bravo in front. The batsman reviewed but the ball was heading for middle and leg when it struck him on the front foot. In the next over Simmons cuts Tredwell for four.

2.27pm – Tredwell delivers a maiden to Lendl Simmons and Moeen Ali’s first international over is a tidy one with just two runs to Darren Bravo coming off it.

2.16pm – WICKET! Edwards b Bresnan 10; WI 40/3 – It’s two wickets in as many overs when Edwards plays on to a full delivery via his pad. This is a dream start for England.

2.11pm – WICKET! Smith c Buttler b Tredwell 24; WI 38/2 – A double bowling change works for England when Smith inside-edges James Tredwell onto his pad and the ball loops towards a vacant short-leg region where wicketkeeper Jos Buttler snaffles the chance. It was initially given not-out but the tourists review and replays show a clear edge.

2.07pm – Bresnan replaces Broad and is soon driven for four past mid-on by Kirk Edwards in the last over of the powerplay, after which West Indies are 36 for one.

1.57pm – Smith pulls Broad past short fine-leg to the boundary for the Windies’ first runs in 22 balls. Later in the over he edges another four between the slips and gully.

1.52pm – WICKET! Powell c Jordan b Root 5; WI 19/1 – The pressure tells as the left-hander drives on the up and Chris Jordan, fielding at short extra-cover, dives low to his right to hold a stunning one-handed catch. That was quite brilliant from Jordan, who could have chosen to play for West Indies instead of England. Root completes a wicket-maiden.

1.47pm – Broad and Root keep the Windies in check, the latter with a maiden to Powell. Broad follows up with a runless over of his own.

1.38pm – Stuart Broad takes the second over and Smith, often a big hitter, elegantly pushes the paceman through extra-cover for four. Root continues and, after Tim Bresnan’s misfield at point spurns a chance to run out Powell at the non-striker’s end, Smith launches the bowler for a mighty straight six.

1.30pm – Part-time spinner Joe Root surprisingly opens the bowling, with Dwayne Smith facing and Kieran Powell at the other end. The over costs just two.

Pre-Play News

1.22pm – While waiting for the action to start, why not read and watch Broad’s thoughts ahead of the series?

1.17pm – West Indies, who are missing Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard through injury, line up as follows: Dwayne Smith, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo (captain), Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul.

1.04pm – ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BOWL – Stuart Broad, England’s Twenty20 skipper who is captain for the first time in an ODI today, calls correctly. Lumb and Moeen are in for Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan, who respectively have thigh and knee problems.

12.50pm – Michael Lumb and Moeen Ali have been handed their ODI caps, meaning they will make their format debuts today.

12.40pm – The toss is coming up in 20 minutes and the game is due to start at 1.30pm. Stay here for match previews and news from the middle.

12.30pm – Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live text commentary on the opening one-day international of three between West Indies and England at Antigua’s Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Click for detailed story

Feb 022014
 
Australia complete T20 whitewash

 By Glen Robertson

George Bailey’s blistering 49 set the stage for a resounding 84-run victory by Australia in the third and final Twenty20 international.

The Australia skipper smashed 49 from 20 deliveries, including 26 runs off the final over from Jade Dernbach, as Australia recovered from a mid-innings wobble to post 195 for six.

England never threatened to get close to the target, with dismissals courtesy of catches on the leg-side boundary all too common – Eoin Morgan’s brisk 34 the only highlight.

Australia’s bowlers were all on form, with each of them taking a wicket, while the fielders were ruthless.

Earlier, T20I debutant Chris Jordan impressed with the ball, returning an economical 1-23, while Stuart Broad took 3-30 as Australia slipped from 130 for three to 139 for six.

Surprise starter Ben Cutting hit 29 from 16 deliveries, including three sixes, while Cameron White shone once again with 41 before their captain stole the show.

Match Scorecard  /  Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Post-Match presentation:

Player of the match George Bailey:  “It’s been very very pleasing. We put in our best performance tonight. Credit to the guys. The key for us has been the starts from Cameron White and Finchy.

“It’s given us a great headache (for Bangladesh World T20) which is pleasing.”

England skipper Stuart Broad, typically booed on his way to the podium, admitted he has enjoyed the banter with the Aussie crowd this winter.

He said: “It’s been good fun throughout the tour. From an English cricket point of view it’s been disappointing but we’ve been very fortunate to play in front of fantastic crowds and against fantastic Australian team.

“We’ve not been at the races these three months but you have to give huge credit to the way Australia have played cricket.”

On the World T20 Broad added: “We’ve got a two-week break at home which will be good to get our minds away from cricket. Then we go to the Caribbean for one-dayers and T20 cricket leading into the World Cup in Bangladesh.

“We’ve got areas to perform. We’re a decent T20 side. We’ve not performed over the past week. When we get together as a group – we get together sporadically – it’ll be good to get together for a decent period so we can work on certain things.

“We need to learn from this week and push forward and we’ll still have a decent chance in Bangladesh.”

England Innings

11.50am – WICKET! Dernbach run out 1; Eng 111; AUSTRALIA WIN BY 84 RUNS –  England are put out of their misery when a mix-up between Jordan and Dernbach leaves the latter stranded in the middle. Christian picks up the ball at deep midwicket and throws to Wade, who has all the time in the world to remove the bails and secure a 3-0 series victory .

11.47am –  A full toss from Muirhead was heaved towards midwicket by Dernbach, where it fell just in front of George Bailey. Jordan then goes over the covers for four. He goes aerially again into the off side for a single from the final ball to keep the strike.

11.45am – WICKET! Broad b Muirhead 2; Eng 104/9 –  The captain is cleaned up by Muirhead, who is enjoying himself out there. Jade Dernbach joins Jordan in the middle.

11.43am –  Chris Jordan, who is looking to go down swinging, gets off the mark with a pull to fine-leg for four as England pass 100 in the 16th over.

11.37am – WICKET! Bresnan st Wade b Muirhead 14; Eng 98/8 –  Australia turn to leg-spinner Muirhead and Bresnan welcomes him by hammering a six straight down the ground. But next ball, when attempting a repeat shot, he is deceived by the spin and Matthew Wade whips off the bails.

11.32am – WICKET! Bopara b Coulter-Nile 4; Eng 92/7 –  When it rains… Tim Bresnan sneaks one past long-on for four before picking up a single. Ravi Bopara then goes for a big one off Coulter-Nile but gets an inside edge that trickles past his off stump and just manages to flick the bail off. It took the crowd a while to realise what had happened, but that piece of misfortune leaves England with just their bowlers to come.

11.26am – WICKET! Morgan c Starc b Cutting 34; Eng 82/6 –  A huge blow as Morgan departs to Cutting after picking out Starc at deep square-leg. The umpires go upstairs to check it carried, which it did, and England are six down and need 114 from 44 balls for an unlikely victory.

11.22am – WICKET! Buttler c Maxwell b Christian 8; Eng 79/5 – Another England player departs after being caught in the deep. Buttler takes on Christian but his mistimed heave, to one of the longest boundaries, is snared by Maxwell at deep midwicket.

11.18am – Morgan goes over the top of the covers for a four, and forces a quick double from the final ball of the innings. He looks in the mood today and England’s hopes are resting on him.

11.15am – Lovely flick over the wicketkeeper’s head from Buttler brings him a first four. England need to start exploiting the short boundaries and Buttler appears keen to do so.

11.10am – WICKET! Root c Cutting b Maxwell 11; Eng 60/4 – After Morgan picks up another boundary, this time a four to deep backward-point helped by a Cutting misfield, Root departs attempting a slog into the leg side where Cutting atones for his earlier error by taking a simple catch at deep midwicket. Jos Buttler joins Morgan in the middle.

11.03am – Morgan lifts the gloom with a big six, over extra cover, off Maxwell. England score 12 runs from the over and are 43 for three after seven. Daniel Christian gets his first bowl.

10.58am – A rare mistake in the field for Australia. Joe Root slaps a lovely drive towards the deep midwicket boundary. Muirhead tries to flick the ball away from the ropes, but can only push it for four. Root and Eoin Morgan need to hang around for a while.

10.54am – WICKET! Stokes c Cutting b Maxwell 5; Eng 23/3 –  Another wicket falls. Stokes, having opened his account at the beginning of Glenn Maxwell’s over with a four through the covers, goes for a big heave but a thick edge loops high into the air, and Cutting accepts his second catch of the innings. England are in a spot of bother.

10.46am – WICKET! Hales c Muirhead b Coulter-Nile 6; Eng 19/2 –  Hales departs in similar circumstances. Nathan Coulter-Nile drops short, Hales hooks to the leg side but James Muirhead takes a running catch at deep square-leg.

10.44am – WICKET! Wright c Cutting b Starc 8; Eng 11/1 –  A short one from Starc is hooked by Wright, but he can only pick out Ben Cutting at deep square-leg. Not the start England had in mind. Ben Stokes is out at three.

10.37am – Wright and Hales pick up five from the opening over from Mitchell Starc. It’s important an England batsman goes big if they are going to end the tour with a victory.

10.30am – Luke Wright and Alex Hales head out to start England’s response.

10.20am – While we have our break between innings, here’s Kate Cross and Sarah Taylor celebrating with the Women’s Ashes trophy.

Australia Innings

10.12am -AUSTRALIA 195/6; Wade 19, Bailey 49 –  Bailey smashes 26 runs from the last over, almost taking him to a half-century. The Australia skipper clubs through wide long-on for four, then heaves Dernbach over long-off and long-on for successive maximums. Back-to-back fours through the covers follow, before a well-run two from the final delivery. England have a tough task ahead of them.

10.07am – That maximum is followed by six more runs from the penultimate over. Australia are 169 for six, with Dernbach to bowl at the death.

10.02am – DROPPED CATCH – Matthew Wade sends one miles up into the air and Ravi Bopara does well to make the ground from deep midwicket, but having managed to get in position he shells the catch. Wade punishes the missed opportunity with a four to fine leg. 

9.57am – CHANCE – Bailey pushed for a risky two, but Stokes’ throw from square-leg was not accurate enough and the Australia skipper was able to make his ground. Jordan finishes with 1-23 – an impressive showing on his international format debut.

9.54am – WICKET! Christian b Broad 0; Aus 139/6 – The skipper continues to lead the fightback, bowling Daniel Christian, who fails to score from his two deliveries. Broad ends with 3-30 and that over could help shift the momentum in England’s favour.

9.52am – WICKET! Hodge c Dernbach b Broad 7; Aus 139/5 – A short one from Broad is hooked straight to fine leg where Dernbach accepts the chance.

9.49am – Hodge picks up his first boundary in fortuitous circumstances, edging an attempted cut close to his own stumps, but the bounce deceives Buttler and runs away to the fence.

9.45am – WICKET! White c Buttler b Jordan 41; Aus 130/4 – George Bailey wastes little time in getting started, picking up a four and a six from Root, but Jordan strikes – his first T20I wicket – as White, chasing one down the leg side, gets the faintest of edges through to Jos Buttler. 

9.40am – WICKET! Cutting c & b Root; Aus 118/3 – What a catch! Broad turns to spin and, with the commentators discussing how Cutting would be eyeing up the short, straight bounadaries against Root he can only nudge down the ground at knee height and the Yorkshireman takes a stunning one-handed take to his left. It’s an important wicket, with Cutting in dangerous form.

9.35am – Stokes returns but is instantly sent straight over long-on by White for a six. Three balls later, Cutting hits the Durham all-rounder over long-off to bring up a fifty-partnership.

9.33am – Cutting goes down the ground to Jade Dernbach, and a diving Joe Root can’t prevent a four. Cutting then flicks the next one away with his elbow, but can’t get a run, before swinging and missing at the final ball. Dernbach has done well so far, with his first two overs going for 12 runs.

9.28am – Cutting shows off his talent, smashing Bresnan over the longest boundary on the pitch. It’s been a very impressive start from the 27-year-old in his third T20I appearance and first in almost a year.. Bresnan’s latest over costs 18 runs and the hosts look set for a good total.

9.21am – MISSED CHANCE – Michael Lumb, on as a substitute fielder for Eoin Morgan, fields well at backward point and has a shy at the stumps with Ben Cutting stranded miles out of his crease, but the throw misses. Cutting responds with a maximum over wide long-on.

9.18am – WICKET! Maxwell c Hales b Broad 14; Aus 65/2 – Maxwell welcomes Broad with another six, pulled high over deep square-leg, but the skipper strikes with his next delivery as Maxwell picks out Hales at long-on.

9.16am – Stokes starts his second over well but Glenn Maxwell picked off a full delivery, smashing it over wide long-off for another maximum. The Australians are taking advantage of the short boundaries. Stokes responds with a snorter, that narrowly misses leg stump.

9.10am – WICKET! Finch c Broad b Bresnan 30; Aus 48/1 –   Two runs after Alex Hales dropped him on the long-on boundary, conceding a six in the process, Finch chips one to Broad at midwicket from a short ball by Bresnan.

9.06am – Ben Stokes is welcomed to the T20 leg of the tour with two huge sixes from Finch, the first over fine-leg and the second down the ground. It had been a good start for England until then. Australia are 41 without loss after the powerplay.

9am – DROPPED CATCH –  Tim Bresnan almost forces an early wicket, but Chris Jordan is unable to take the chance at midwicket to get rid of Aaron Finch. A good first over from the Yorkshire seamer, though. 

8.55am – White sends Broad down the ground for the game’s first boundary, then immediately follows it up with a second, pulling the England skipper through midwicket. It wasn’t a bad over from Broad – he almost found an outside edge from the final delivery – but White produced two lovely strokes.

8.50am – White tries to hit Jordan to one of those short boundaries, but almost plays on to his stumps. It’s a good start for Jordan, with the over costing four runs.

8.45am – Stuart Broad keeps things nice and tight in the opening over, with just three singles conceded. Chris Jordan opens at the other end on his T20I debut.

Pre-Play News

8.38am – Aaron Finch and Cameron White make their way to the middle, while Stuart Broad leads out the England players.

8.34am – We’re minutes away from the start. Early wickets are likely to be key for England, to prevent Australia building the same momentum they did in the opening T20I, when openers Aaron Finch and Cameron White put on a century-partnership.

8.20am – The series might have been lost, but with a World T20 rapidly approaching, skipper Broad is targeting victory in Sydney .

8.12am – AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BAT – Stuart Broad calls incorrectly and his side will bowl first.

Chris Jordan makes his T20I debut, while Ben Stokes is also invovled. James Tredwell and Michael Lumb make way. Luke Wright will open the batting with Alex Hales.

George Bailey confirms two changes for Australia, with Josh Hazlewood and Chris Lynn replaced by Daniel Christian and Ben Cutting.

8am – Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of the final game of England’s tour of Australia. It’s the third Twenty20 in Sydney, with the impressive Stadium Australia our venue.

Jan 182014
 
Pakistan on the back foot

Last Updated: January 19, 2014 9:11am

 

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  •  

    Over 15 – SL 36/1 (Sangakkara 7, Silva 21)

    Silva drives it through to sweeper cover for three runs. Three runs from the over, Sri Lanka lead by 123 runs.

  •  

    Over 14 – SL 33/1 (Sangakkara 7, Silva 18)

    Rehman finishes a maiden, Sri Lanka playing defensively to play out a draw.

  •  

    Over 13 – SL 33/1 (Sangakkara 7, Silva 18)

    Silva glances the ball to fine leg for four, Talha starts his 3rd over over of this spell. The second slip moves to leg slip, Silva then pushes the next ball through midwicket for a couple of runs. Six runs from the over.

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    Over 12 – SL 27/1 (Sangakkara 7, Silva 12)

    Rehman continues, Sanga takes a single through midwicket. Another single to end the over, Sri Lanka 27 for 1.

  •  

    Over 11 – SL 25/1 (Sangakkara 6, Silva 11)

    Sanga takes a single to start the over, he runs it wide of fine leg. Just the single from the over, Sri Lanka lead by 112 runs.

  •  

    Over 10 – SL 24/1 (Sangakkara 5, Silva 11)

    Rehman, who bowled a over before lunch, continues from the other end. A slip, gully, silly point and short leg in place for the spinner. Silva leans forward and glances it to fine leg for a couple of runs.

  •  

    Over 9 – SL 22/1 (Sangakkara 5, Silva 9)

    Talha starts after lunch, a couple of runs to Silva as he drives it to midwicket. A single to end the over, Sri Lanka move to 22 for 1.

  •  

    Over 8 – SL 19/1 (Sangakkara 5, Silva 6)

    Rehman comes into the attack just before lunch for Pakistan. Three dots and then Silva gets a single through point. Sri Lanka 19 for 1 after 8 overs at lunch on day four. The lead is now 106 runs.

  •  

    Over 7 – SL 18/1 (Sangakkara 5, Silva 5)

    A maiden from Junaid the fielders support him well. Sri Lanka lead by 105.

  • Over 6 – SL 18/1 (Sangakkara 5, Silva 5)

    WICKET! Dimuth tries to pull it only to inside edge it on to his stumps, Pakistan get their first wicket. Sanga walks out to bat. Talha picks up his first wicket. Sanga drives it straight down the ground for four, he gets off the mark with a stylish boundary. Sanga takes a single to end the over.

  •  

    Over 5 – SL 13/0 (Karunaratne 8, Silva 5)

    Good ball from Junaid, he angles it away from Silva who is beaten outside off. Junaid bowls it slightly wide and then Silva drives it through the square on the off side for four, useful boundary for Sri Lanka. The lead is now exactly 100.

  •  

    Over 4 – SL 9/0 (Karunaratne 8, Silva 1)

    Talha continues and finishes a maiden, Dimuth blocks it out.

  •  

    Over 3 – SL 9/0 (Karunaratne 8, Silva 1)

    Dimuth plays it with a soft bottom hand, for a couple of runs to deep square leg, and then takes a single there from the next ball. Sri Lanka 9 for no wicket.

  •  

    Over 2 – SL 6/0 (Karunaratne 5, Silva 1)

    Talha starts from the other end, Silva is beaten outside the off stump by Talha. A single to Silva and then Dimuth pushes the ball to deep square leg for a single. Sri Lanka 6 for no loss, lead by 92 runs.

  •  

    Over 1 – SL 4/0 (Karunaratne 4, Silva 0)

    Dimuth edges it between second slip and gully for four, Junaid bowls a good first over.

  •  

    Pakistan 341 all out

    Pakistan are 341 all out, after good knocks from Shehzad and Misbah. Sri Lanka will still feel confident because they lead by 87 runs. They need to bat aggressively if they want to win this test.

  • Over 109.1 – Pak 341/10 (Ajmal 0)

    WICKET! Junaid swats one to deep midwicket and Chandimal takes a good catch on the ropes. Herath picks up his 5th wicket, Pakistan 341 all out and trail by 87 runs.

  •  

    Over 109 – Pak 341/9 (J Khan 16, Ajmal 0)

    Eranga runs in with the new ball to Junaid. A half-shout for lbw, but it was going down the leg side. Junaid comes down the wicket and hits it to long on for a single, lots of intent from Junaid. Pakistan 341 for 9.

  •  

    Over 108 – Pak 340/9 (J Khan 15, Ajmal 0)

    Misbah goes after another one, but is caught in the deep by Chandimal, Herath has the last laugh. A good innings from the Pakistani captain comes to an end, Sri Lanka 1 wicket away from batting again. Junaid starts with a six over long on, starting off with a big hit. The new ball has been taken by Sri Lanka, Herath will finish his over with it. Another big hit from Junaid, gives it everything, but Perera does well to stop the boundary at long off. Another six, Junaid hits his 2nd six in tests over midwicket. A single to end the over.

  •  

    Over 107 – Pak 325/8 (Misbah 63, Ajmal 0)

    Misbah drives it down the ground and shouts two, Ajmal runs hard and they make it. Sanga at long on has to make some ground to stop that. The umpires change the ball, the old ball had its seam coming off. It is not a new ball, just a similarly old one. Three runs from the over.

Show All

Jan 122014
 
Finch swoops in again

By Rob Barnett

Aaron Finch dominated England with a century at the start of a second straight limited-overs series as Australia comfortably won the first one-day international by six wickets.

Finch struck the highest Twenty20 international score, a 63-ball 156, at the Ageas Bowl in late August last year and today fired 121 with another electric display of hitting. His T20I knock began that rubber while today’s came in the maiden game of five.

The powerful right-hander dominated an opening stand of 163, the best ODI partnership at the MCG, with David Warner to make rapid inroads into England’s 269 for seven. Finch went on to become the first Victorian to make a format hundred on his home ground before holing out off Ben Stokes, having smacked 12 fours in his 128 balls.

Aaron Finch becomes the first Victorian to reach three figures in a one-day international on his home ground. He went on to make 121

Warner contributed 65 to the first-wicket alliance, during which Gary Ballance dropped Finch on eight at mid-off. In the over after Warner fell to Joe Root, the impressive Chris Jordan bowled Shane Watson but Michael Clarke corrected the minor wobble by adding 72 alongside Finch. When both went in quick succession the chase was all but complete and victory came with 26 balls unused.

The tourists’ total was underpinned by contrasting fifties from Ballance and Eoin Morgan. Ballance’s 79 in his second ODI was watchful while Morgan’s 50 was typically sprightly. Ian Bell chipped in with 41 from the top of the order and Jos Buttler’s cameo 34 not out gave the innings late impetus.

Clint McKay, leading Australia’s attack in the absence of rested Ashes man of the series Mitchell Johnson, shone with 3-44 from 10 overs. He ousted Alastair Cook, who had won the toss, and Joe Root in the mandatory powerplay before returning to remove Ballance. Australia spinners Xavier Doherty and Glenn Maxwell were economical on a two-paced pitch, whereas England went in without a specialist slow bowler and Stuart Broad, who is sitting out the first two matches with a sore knee.

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11.11am – Unsurprisingly, Aaron Finch is man of the match for his 121. Alastair Cook said: “We were probably about 20 short” before adding “I was very impressed with Chris Jordan and Gary Ballance.” Michael Clarke said: “I thought our batters were outstanding.”

Australia Innings

11.04am – AUSTRALIA WIN BY SIX WICKETS! Aus 270/4; Bailey 17 Maxwell 9 – Bailey launches Stokes for a straight and aerial four before Maxwell pulls Bresnan for two to complete victory with 26 deliveries unused. Stay with ecb.co.uk for reaction.

10.58am – George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell, with plenty of time to knock off the runs, calmly rotate the strike. Another 13 are required from 36.

10.47am – WICKET! Clarke c Cook b Bresnan 43; 247/4 – Jordan completes an impressive 10-over allocation costing 1-50 before Clarke splices a simple catch to mid-off. Australia require 24 from 48 deliveries.

10.35am – WICKET! Finch c Ballance b Stokes 121; Aus 237/3 – The right-hander slices Stokes high to third man where Ballance, who shelled Finch on eight, pouches a tricky chance. That was an awesome, if slightly lucky, innings. Clarke edges four more and the powerplay yields 37, meaning 29 are needed from 10 overs.

10.31am – CHANCE! – An over after Finch drives Stokes for a straight four, Clarke edges Jordan between a diving wicketkeeper and slip for another boundary to move to 38.

10.22am – Rankin concedes two fours from short balls in the powerplay’s first over but Jordan makes the next relatively cheap. Australia need 52 from 78 deliveries.

10.09am – Clarke advances to Bresnan and gets four beyond mid-on during an over that Australia pass 200 in. After a tight Bopara set of six, the batting powerplay has to be taken.

10.02am – HUNDRED! Finch (108b 9×4 0x6) – Finch nudges Bopara for a single to leg, raising an impressive century on his home ground.

9.59am – Clarke hammers Bresnan for a straight four before Finch takes two past point to reach 99.

9.50am – Bresnan is back into the attack but Michael Clarke cover-drives his first ball for four. Finch mimics the shot off Jordan and then clips two to leg, advancing to 97.

9.42am – WICKET! Watson b Jordan 0; Aus 165/2 – The old adage ‘one wicket brings two’ applies when Jordan nips one between Shane Watson’s bat and pad to knock back off stump.

9.37am – WICKET! Warner c Stokes b Root 65; Aus 163/1 – A breakthrough at last! Warner hits spinner Joe Root high and straight, and Stokes does well to hold a difficult catch above his head at long-on.

9.33am – Warner powerfully pulls Stokes to the boundary and picks up two more to leg, heralding the highest ODI partnership at the MCG: 158.

9.25am – Finch and Warner keep the scoreboard, which stands at 144 for no wicket from 25 overs, ticking over.

9.09am – FIFTY! Warner (59b 3×4 1×6) – The left-hander tucks Rankin to leg for two to register his milestone and then pulls for four. This is Australia’s best ODI opening stand versus England. The carnage continues as Finch smacks Bopara back past him.

9.04am – Warner strikes the returning Rankin down the ground for an aerial four to usher the hosts to 116 without loss from 20 overs.

8.53am – Ravi Bopara takes over from Bresnan and begins tidily. Bresnan misfields on the boundary to gift Warner four off Stokes and move Australia to three figures.

8.38am – There’s controversy when Warner, on 22, edges Stokes low to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and starts to walk off. However, the umpires refer it and, with such TV replays typically inconclusive, the batsman is reprieved. England’s fielders are understandably upset. Australia reach 88 for none from 15 overs.

8.34am – FIFTY! Finch (47b 7×4 0x6) – The right-hander straight-drives Stokes into the non-striker’s stumps and the ball deflects to the right of mid-on for four, taking Finch to a half-century.

8.28am – Stokes is on for Jordan, whose direct hit from mid-on turns one into two for Finch.

8.20am – Warner chips Jordan just short of Ballance at mid-on and smites six down the ground to yield 64 from the mandatory powerplay.

8.11am – CHANCE! – It’s harsh to call this a chance given the force that Warner hit the ball back at bowler Jordan, who sticks out his left hand but cannot hold on. Finch then straight-drives Bresnan, who has replaced Rankin, for four to raise Australia’s fifty.

8.06am – The delivery after Warner clips to leg and Tim Bresnan does well to save four, Finch loops a leading edge to square-leg and a diving Ben Stokes cannot get to it from midwicket. Finch then pulls to the boundary as the over costs 11.

8am – REVIEW! – More salt in the wound. Finch edges Jordan for four through a vacant second slip, from where Alastair Cook had just removed a fielder. Next up England review an lbw shout, but the ball was merely clipping the top of leg stump so the not-out decision stands.

7.55am – To rub salt into Ballance’s wound, Finch takes Rankin for two consecutive fours either side of the wicket.

7.50am – CHANCE! – Finch, on eight having whipped four to leg earlier in the over, drives Jordan to mid-off where Gary Ballance shells a regulation head-high opportunity for a catch.

7.44am – Warner cuts Rankin aerially for four through a vacant point region, the sole runs from the over.

7.39am – Chris Jordan, featuring in only his second one-day international, starts with two leg-side wides to Warner but the rest of his over is tidy.

7.34am – Welcome back. Aaron Finch, opening the batting alongside David Warner, scores all four runs from the first over, bowled by Boyd Rankin.

England Innings

6.41am – END OF INNINGS! ENGLAND 269/7; Buttler 34, Bresnan 16 – Buttler short-arm jabs Coulter-Nile for six as another dozen runs follow in the last over. That’s a decent effort from England, who have scored 86 from the last 10 overs.

6.37am – Bresnan launches Faulkner for a mighty maximum over square-leg in an over worth 12. There’s one set of six remaining.

6.33am – Buttler scoops again, this time off Coulter-Nile, and Doherty does well to save four. Tim Bresnan then smashes a full-toss down the ground for four. It’s 245 for seven with two overs to go.

6.21am – WICKET! Ballance c Doherty b McKay 79; Eng 228/7 – Ballance slices McKay towards third man from where Doherty races in and dives but cannot hold on. Having swung four to leg, the left-hander repeats the shot from the start of the over and this time Doherty makes no mistake. That was a fantastically composed knock from Ballance.

6.18am – Ballance smites Faulkner to the midwicket boundary to move into the 70s and Jos Buttler unleashes a trademark scoop just past Haddin for four.

6.09am – WICKET! Stokes b Faulkner 21; Eng 206/6 – A pull gives Stokes four off Faulkner but, repeating the shot at the end of the over, the all-rounder has his bails clipped.

6.05am – Ballance sweeps Watson behind square for for four during a handy over that brings nine. The tourists could do with a few more like that.

5.57am – New man Ben Stokes pulls Coulter-Nile to the midwicket rope as the powerplay costs 24. England are 183 for five with 10 overs to go.

5.47am – WICKET! Bopara c Haddin b Coulter-Nile 17; Eng 173/5 – Bopara opens the face for the powerplay’s first four yet, attempting to do the same, then nicks behind to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

5.34am – England take the batting powerplay, but its first over from Coulter-Nile yields just one. The next, bowled by Faulkner, brings six.

5.30am – FIFTY! Ballance (69b 3×4 0x6) – With Ravi Bopara up and running, Ballance pushes Maxwell for one through cover to bring up a composed half-century in just his second ODI.

5.20am – WICKET! Morgan c Coulter-Nile b Maxwell 50; Eng 145/4 – Morgan attempts a similar shot to his recent four off McKay, but succeeds only in picking out the extra-cover fielder to end a stand of 83.

5.18am – FIFTY! Morgan (46b 5×4 1×6) – Having chipped McKay for four over extra-cover, the left-hander tucks Maxwell for a leg-side single to raise a fine half-century.

5.11am – McKay returns in place of Faulkner and, after a tight two, Morgan fortuitously inside-edges a four. England are 136 for three from 30 overs. Can they double that score?

5.01am – Morgan raises a fifty partnership with Ballance by striking Faulkner over mid-off for four. In the next over Ballance hits consecutive fours, a drive over mid-on and a cut past point.

4.50am – Shane Watson is on so it’s seam bowling from both ends. Ballance and Morgan, who top-edges Faulkner for four to herald England’s hundred, are going along nicely.

 

4.42am – Following James Faulkner’s introduction in place of Maxwell, Morgan – who has been typically busy from the off – launches Doherty for a straight six.

4.36am – Eoin Morgan announces himself with a crisp cover-driven four off Maxwell. Ballance then cuts Doherty for his first boundary. The tourists reach 75 for three from 20 overs.

4.26am – WICKET! Bell b Doherty 41; Eng 62/3 – After Ballance survives an lbw shout from Maxwell because the ball was sliding down leg, Bell attempts to repeat his earlier maximum but fails to connect and is cleaned up by Doherty. That’s a shame as Bell was going well.

4.18am – Bell deftly reverse-sweeps Doherty for four and sweetly slog-sweeps Maxwell for a big six. England are 57 for two, of which Bell has 39, from 15 overs.

 

4.09am – Michael Clarke makes a double bowling change, introducing spin from both ends with Glenn Maxwell and Xavier Doherty. Ballance, playing in his second ODI, gets his first format runs by driving Maxwell for three behind point.

 

4am – Bell, who is now partnered by Gary Ballance, laces a drive back at Coulter-Nile whose ankle inadvertently prevents a certain four. At the end of the over England are 28 for two from the mandatory powerplay.

3.49am – WICKET! Root lbw McKay 3; Eng 21/2 – Root is hit on the front pad by a full and straight McKay delivery. There were two sounds so the batsman reviews, but it turns out the double-noise was the ball striking both pads so Root has to go. ‘Snicko’, which is not being used in this series, latterly suggests a faint inside-edge. England have no review left in this innings.

 

3.44am – McKay and Coulter-Nile continue to keep it tight, getting some swing to occasionally beat the bat.

 

3.36am – Immediately after Root opens his account with one to leg, Bell firmly drives Coulter-Nile down the ground for the game’s first four.

3.28am – Nathan Coulter-Nile begins with a wide before Ian Bell cover-drives him for three and Joe Root faces his first two deliveries. McKay is fortunate to concede just one from the next over.

3.21am – WICKET! Cook c Haddin b McKay 4; Eng 4/1 – On a sunny day in Melbourne Clint McKay starts with an lbw shout against Alastair Cook, who cuts the next ball for four but soon nibbles at one outside off stump and edges behind.

Pre-Play News

3.10am – While waiting for the action to start in 10 minutes, why not take a trip down memory lane and read about England recovering from an Ashes whitewash in 2007 to win a triangular one-day series featuring Australia and New Zealand? Liam Plunkett spoke exclusively to ecb.co.uk about his memories of the triumph.

2.50am – ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS & BAT! – Cook, who lost the first four Ashes tosses, has now won two in a row. He opts to set a target and names the above team that does not include a specialist spinner. Australia have two slow bowlers, Doherty and Maxwell, at their disposal. Clarke said he would have liked to bat first.

2.40am – In 10 minutes England captain Alastair Cook will reveal his team, which won’t include Stuart Broad who is being rested for the first two ODIs. Australia skipper Michael Clarke named his side yesterday as follows: Clarke (captain), David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.

2.30am – Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live text commentary on the first of five one-day internationals between Australia and England, particularly if you are awake in the early hours. The toss at the MCG is set to take place in 20 minutes with play starting half an hour later.

Jan 052014
 
Australia race to Ashes whitewash

By Rob Barnett

Australia romped to a 5-0 Ashes triumph with a 281-run win on the third evening at Sydney.

Set an improbable victory target of 448, England were skittled for 166 inside 32 overs as Ryan Harris led the way with five wickets.

Chris Rogers’ third Test ton earlier aided a score of 276 to all but put the game beyond the tourists. However, the speed of their subsequent demise was unexpected.

Rogers, the leading scorer across the sequence of 10 Ashes Tests, shared a century partnership with George Bailey shortly before reaching three figures. Bailey fell on the hook to Stuart Broad for 46, ending a stand of 109.

Australia celebrate their 5-0 Ashes whitewash, which was completed with a 281-run victory inside three days at SydneyBrad Haddin chipped in with 28 but was one of three scalps for debutant leg-spinner Scott Borthwick either side of lunch, including Rogers caught and bowled for 119, his highest international score. Peter Siddle was last out, caught behind, to give Boyd Rankin a first Test breakthrough.

Alastair Cook nicked Johnson behind early in England’s second innings before Harris had Ian Bell held at gully and Kevin Pietersen at short-leg.

Mitchell Johnson, man of the series for his amazing haul of 37 scalps, and Nathan Lyon stunningly each struck twice immediately after tea, the former ousting Michael Carberry caught behind for 43.

Ben Stokes and Broad counter-attacked with with 32 and 42 respectively, both scoring at more than a run a ball, but man-of-the-match Harris claimed the last three wickets in two personal overs for figures of 5-25.

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5.59am – Victorious skipper Michael Clarke said: “It’s an extremely special occasion.” Speaking about his players, he added: “They rightly deserved the reward of winning 5-0.”

 

Clarke also said: “I think Alastair and the England team deserve a lot of credit. It’s been an extremely hard-fought series.”

5.55am – England captain Alastair Cook said: “It’s tough knowing you’ve played in five games and you’ve been beaten badly in five games. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Michael and his team. Everything we threw at them, they responded.”

5.51am – The player of the series is Mitchell Johnson, who narrowly beat off competition from Brad Haddin. Johnson said: “That’s something I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life.” Of Haddin, Johnson added: “To come back into this team and do what he’s done in this series, he deserves to be up here as well.”

5.48am – Ryan Harris is man of the match for his eight wickets. Harris, who admitted his surprise at taking the award, said: “We didn’t expect 5-0 but we’ve done it so we’re happy.”

Evening Session

England 2nd Innings

5.23am – AUSTRALIA WIN BY 281 RUNS TO TAKE THE ASHES SERIES 5-0!!! – WICKET! Rankin c Clarke b Harris 0; England 166 all out – Boyd Rankin edges at head height to Clarke at second slip, giving Harris a five-for. England were dismissed in 31. 4 overs.

5.21am – Broad b Harris 42; Eng 166/9 – The left-hander swings, misses and has leg stump knocked back. Broad struck four sixes and three fours in his 36 deliveries.

5.19am – The ball after Broad hits four to midwicket, he loops Harris’ bouncer just over David Warner at gully. In the next over Broad flays Lyon for two leg-side sixes, the first moving England beyond 150.

5.10am – WICKET! Stokes b Harris 32; Eng 139/8 – Stokes lifts Lyon for four over extra-cover and Broad slog-sweeps the spinner for a towering six. However, the young all-rounder advances to Harris only to play on. Stokes’ swashbuckling innings occupied just 16 balls.

5.01am – Stokes lays into Lyon in an over that brings four, six, four, nought, six and nought. The first boundary was past extra-cover and the other three down the ground. Broad then slashes Johnson to the cover rope.

4.51am – After a wicketless Johnson over, Ben Stokes top-edges a sweep against Lyon but the ball falls safely in front of the fielder running in from deep backward square-leg. Stuart Broad slog-sweeps Lyon for four, moving England to three figures.

4.43am – WICKET! Borthwick c Clarke b Lyon 4; Eng 95/7 – Borthwick cover-drives his first delivery for four but, next ball, edges to slip – where Michael Clarke dives low to his left for a brilliant one-handed catch.

4.40am – WICKET! Bairstow c Bailey b Lyon 0; Eng 91/6 – Jonny Bairstow edges Nathan Lyon, bowling round the wicket, on to pad and into the hands of George Bailey at short-leg.

4.35am – WICKET! Ballance lbw Johnson 7; Eng 90/5 – Gary Ballance is trapped plumb in front by a ball that keeps low, giving Johnson two scalps in the over following tea.

4.31am – WICKET! Carberry c Haddin b Johnson 43; Eng 87/4 – Two balls after tea Michael Carberry cuts at Mitchell Johnson and edges high to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Afternoon Session

 

4.10am – TEA! England 87/3; Carberry 43, Ballance – Ballance cover-drives Lyon to the rope in the last over before tea. England need another 361 to win.

4.04am – Carberry strikes the returning Johnson for consecutive fours, via an off-drive and a streaky edge over the slips.

3.51am – Harris strikes Gary Ballance on the pad and the ball flies to gully. Australia appeal for lbw and a catch but do not review. If they had, the catch may have been given. In the next over Carberry cuts Lyon uppishly for four.

3.45am – REVIEW! – Carberry plays back to Nathan Lyon’s first ball. Brad Haddin’s excited appeal for caught-behind is turned down and Australia review to no avail.

3.40am – WICKET! Pietersen c Bailey b Harris 6; Eng 57/3 – Pietersen raises England’s 50 by flicking Siddle through midwicket for three before cover-driving four. He then inside-edges Harris onto his leg and the ball loops to short-leg where George Bailey acrobatically dives backwards to hold on.

3.26am – Carberry thick-edges and aerially drives fours off Siddle. Pietersen gets off the mark with three to cover off Harris, who extraordinarily then breaks Carberry’s bat clean in two while the left-hander defended.

3.18am – WICKET! Bell c Warner b Harris 16; Eng 37/2 – Playing on the back foot to Harris, Bell opens the face – only to pick out David Warner at gully in a wicket-maiden.

3.12am – Bell hits Johnson through the off side for four and upper-cuts him for six as England make a brisk response to the loss of Cook. Siddle follows up with a maiden to Carberry.

3am – Ian Bell scores his first run with an off-side single against Johnson. In the next over Carberry punches a back-foot four through the covers off Peter Siddle, who has replaced Harris.

2.49am – Michael Carberry opens his account by sweetly cover-driving Harris for four. Ian Bell plays out a maiden to Johnson.

2.44am – WICKET! Cook c Haddin b Johnson 7; Eng 7/1 – Cook pulls Mitchell Johnson’s first ball for four but ends the over by playing away from his body and feathering behind.

2.39am – England’s pursuit of 448 starts with a tight over from Ryan Harris to Alastair Cook, who gets going with a single to fine-leg.

Australia 2nd Innings

2.27am – WICKET! Siddle c Bairstow b Rankin 4; Australia 276 all out – Rankin has a first Test scalp when Siddle swishes at a bouncer and feathers behind. England need 448 to win.

2.22am – CHANCE! – Nathan Lyon skies Rankin over point but Ben Stokes, running towards the boundary, loses the ball in the sun and a tough opportunity goes begging.

2.17am – WICKET! Harris c Carberry b Borthwick 13; 266/9 – An eventful Borthwick over continues as Peter Siddle opens his account with a single to leg before Harris hits an off-side four and a leg-side six. Michael Carberry caught the latter brilliantly but carried it across the rope. Next ball, though, Harris picks out Carberry in the deep.

2.14am – WICKET! Rogers c & b  Borthwick 119; Aus 255/8 – Rogers gets a leading edge and Scott Borthwick dives forward to end the opening batsman’s innings. Rogers is warmly applauded on his way off.

2.10am – The first ball after lunch Chris Rogers cover-drives a Boyd Rankin loosener for four, advancing to 118 – his highest international score.

Morning Session

1.31am – LUNCH! Australia 248/7; Rogers 114, Harris 1 – Borthwick bowls the morning session’s last over, during which Ryan Harris gets off the mark with a single to deepish mid-off. Australia lead by 419.

1.24am – WICKET! Johnson b Stokes 4; Aus 244/7 – Mitchell Johnson gives himself room to smash an off-side four but, later in the over, walks across his stumps only to have his furniture rearranged.

1.20am – WICKET! Haddin b Borthwick 28; Aus 239/6 – Borthwick is introduced and, immediately after dropping short to be pulled for four, forces Haddin to play on via a low full-toss. The wicketkeeper-batsman is afforded a standing ovation for his crucial runs in this rubber.

1.11am – Haddin plays himself in during a quiet period as Rankin bowls with economy. In the next over Haddin upper-cuts Stokes for four and, having taken a leg-side single that extends the lead to 400, pulls another boundary over mid-on.

12.59am – Rogers and Haddin, England’s two main batting scourges in this series, keep the scoreboard ticking. Stokes is back in place of Broad.

12.46am – Brad Haddin works Boyd Rankin, who has succeeded Pietersen, for two to leg to open his account.

12.38am – WICKET! Bailey c Borthwick b Broad 46; Aus 200/5 – Bailey drives Broad for four but next ball top-edges a hook to Scott Borthwick, who holds an athletic catch at deepish square-leg. That ends a stand of 109.

12.32am – HUNDRED! Rogers (143b 14×4 0x6) – The left-hander cuts Pietersen to the rope to raise his third Test ton. The top-scorer across this sequence of 10 Ashes games gets a deserved standing ovation.

12.30am – HUNDRED PARTNERSHIP! – Rogers gloves Broad for three to fine-leg, taking him to 98. He then turns Pietersen to leg for one, raising the century alliance, and wisely turns down a second run.

12.16am – Rogers expertly late-cuts Pietersen for a delicate four, moving him into the 90s and Australia’s advantage past 350. Broad returns in place of Anderson.

12.09am – Part-time off-spinner Kevin Pietersen, who did not bowl in Tests during 2013, takes over from Stokes with a maiden to Bailey. Rogers then beautifully drives a widish Anderson ball to the rope.

11.58pm – Rogers takes Stokes for consecutive fours, the first guided past gully and the second a textbook straight drive.

11.52pm – Ben Stokes replaces Broad and begins with a tight over. Anderson concedes his first runs of the day, Bailey thick-edging four to third man.

11.43pm – George Bailey drives Broad past mid-off and clips him through midwicket for fours, the second taking Australia beyond 150. Anderson delivers another maiden to Rogers.

11.35pm – Stuart Broad opens the bowling and, after a no-ball, Chris Rogers gets the day’s first run off the bat with a single to leg. James Anderson starts with a maiden to Rogers.

Pre-Play News

11.25pm – As the players head on to the field, they shake hands with legendary Australia seamer McGrath. Each tourist gives a pink England cap to him.

11.20pm – Following day two, England batting coach Graham Gooch talked up emerging all-rounder Ben Stokes, whose talent ecb.co.uk’s Matthew Sherry measures here

11.10pm – This is Jane McGrath Foundation Day, named in honour of Glenn McGrath’s late wife, when the SCG, players and spectators turn pink to raise money for McGrath breast care nurses across Australia and awareness of breast cancer in general.

11pm – Hello and welcome to our blog coverage of day three at Sydney. England need quick wickets to give themselves a chance of victory. Australia are set to resume their second innings in 30 minutes on 140 for four, 311 ahead, with Chris Rogers on 73 and George Bailey 20.

Jan 032014
 
Stokes fires on compelling day

By Rob Barnett

Ben Stokes’ six stunning wickets completed England’s mission of dismissing Australia after putting them in, although it came at a greater cost than had looked likely.

The all-rounder struck twice to leave the hosts 97 for five shortly after lunch, but Steven Smith and Brad Haddin responded with a 128-run stand as the bowlers lost their discipline.

Although Stokes, playing in his fourth Test, returned to oust Haddin for 75, Smith went on to his second hundred of the series. He was the last wicket to fall, for 115, when Stokes got three in an over for figures of 6-99, his first format five-for.

Ben Stokes gets a six-wicket haul that limited Australia to 326, although it could have been less after they were 97 for five

Australia’s 326 all out left the tourists with six overs to bat, in which they lost Michael Carberry to Mitchell Johnson before closing on eight for one.

Alastair Cook this morning won his first toss of the series and opted to bowl first in initially overcast conditions on a green-tinged SCG pitch. Cook announced Test debuts for Gary Ballance, Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin, who replaced Joe Root, Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan. Australia kept the same team throughout the series, the first time that has happened in a five-game rubber.

England started strongly as Stuart Broad bowled David Warner before Chris Rogers played on to Stokes, who then had Michael Clarke held at second slip. On the stroke of lunch James Anderson trapped Shane Watson plumb lbw for 43.

Shortly after the interval George Bailey edged Broad to the cordon, but Haddin counter-attacked to good effect until being caught at first slip after tea. Borthwick took his first Test wicket when Johnson holed out to long-on before Smith reached three figures.

Stokes quickly wrapped up the innings, having Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Smith caught. However, Johnson had the last word when Carberry was held at leg-slip.

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Evening Session

England 1st Innings

7.03am – STUMPS! England 8/1; Cook 7, Anderson 1 – Cook and Anderson see off Johnson to end a compelling day with England 318 behind. Join me tomorrow for the next instalment.

6.59am – Nightwatchman James Anderson, who takes his time between balls, plays out a Harris maiden. There will be one more over.

6.50am – WICKET! Carberry c Lyon b Johnson 0; Eng 6/1 – The ball after Australia fail to spot a faint outside edge behind, Carberry inside edges to leg-slip where Nathan Lyon holds a low chance.

6.41am – Mitchell Johnson has a strong caught-behind shout first ball against Michael Carberry. Marais Erasmus gives it not-out and Australia opt not to review, replays showing the ball only flicked Carberry’s trouser. Johnson completes a testing over.

6.37am – With cloud cover having returned Ryan Harris opens the bowling to Alastair Cook, who punches a wide full-toss through the covers for four.

Australia 1st Innings

6.26am – WICKET! Smith c Root b Stokes 115; Australia 326 all out – Smith picks out substitute Root at mid-on as Stokes gets his third wicket of the over and figures of 6-99. England will have a tricky period to bat this evening.

6.24am – CHANCE! – Lyon edges Stokes low to Anderson, who dives to his left from fourth slip but can’t hold a hard opportunity.

6.22am – WICKET! Siddle c Bairstow b Stokes 0; Aus 325/9 – The all-rounder produces a beauty first up to Peter Siddle, who can only edge behind. Stokes has his first Test five-for and is on a hat-trick, which Nathan Lyon denies with solid defence.

6.19am – WICKET! Harris c Anderson b Stokes 22; Aus 325/8 – Harris’ fun ends as he powerfully hits Stokes on the up to short cover, where Anderson holds a sharp chance.

6.16am – Harris keeps the boundaries coming, pulling Anderson over midwicket and into a delighted crowd.

6.04am – Smith sends another Borthwick full-toss to the boundary as the hosts move beyond 300. Ryan Harris then top-edges and cover-drives Anderson for two more fours.

5.53am – HUNDRED! Smith (142b 15×4 2×6) – Smith lifts Borthwick over mid-on for today’s first six to go to 99 and, two balls later, deposits a full-toss to the midwicket rope to herald three figures. The SCG rises to acclaim his second ton of the series.

5.41am – WICKET! Johnson c Root b Borthwick 12; Aus 269/7 – Borthwick has a first Test scalp when Johnson holes out to long-on, where substitute Joe Root steadies himself to hold a commendable catch. Well done Scott!

5.34am – Scott Borthwick is back into the attack with a tidy over that will boost his confidence. While Smith is into the 80s, Mitchell Johnson has quietly reached double figures.

5.24am – Smith breaks a quiet period of play by smashing Stokes for a straight and aerial four that moves Australia past 250. Anderson immediately gets similar treatment.

5.12am – After Stokes and Anderson send down a tight over each, Rankin is back into the attack in place of the former. But one ball later the debutant pulls up again and, like in the afternoon session, leaves the field. Stokes completes the over.

5.01am – Smith, who opened the face to cut Stokes for four in the previous over, sweetly cover-drives James Anderson to the rope.

4.46am – WICKET! Haddin c Cook b Stokes 75; Aus 225/6 – A huge wicket for England as the right-hander nicks a full delivery through to Alastair Cook, who holds a regulation low chance at first slip. It ends a stand of 128.

4.38am – Brad Haddin smites Ben Stokes for two aerial off-side fours, the first over extra-cover and then over mid-off. Haddin then pulls Broad for four more over mid-on to reach 75.

4.33am – FIFTY! Smith (87b 10×4 0x6) – Steven Smith drives Stuart Broad to the square off-side boundary to bring up a solid half-century in the first over after tea. Boyd Rankin is back on the field but he isn’t allowed to bowl for a while.

Afternoon Session

4.10am – TEA! Australia 201/5; Smith 48, Haddin 59 –  Yet again, Haddin is causing England a headache. Smith is supporting him well.

4.08am – HUNDRED PARTNERSHIP! – Haddin pulls Anderson for four to reach a landmark in his alliance with Smith and to move Australia to 200. It’s been quite a turnaround since Bailey fell.

4.03am – Haddin greets the returning Anderson by leaning back and whacking a one-bounce four over midwicket before Smith cover-drives Stokes to the rope.

3.55am – FIFTY! Haddin (70b 8×4 0x6) – Haddin blocks Stokes, who has replaced Borthwick, for a single to mid-on, completing his fifth half-century of the series in addition to a century at Adelaide.

3.49am – Following a menacing Broad maiden to Haddin, Borthwick concedes fours at the start and end of his second over as Australia go after him.

3.41am – Haddin, having opened the face for three runs, advances to Borthwick and smacks him powerfully back past the bowler for four. The young leg-spinner responds well in the rest of the over.

3.35am – Bad news for England: Rankin needs treatment after the first ball of his ninth over and leaves the field, feeling his left hamstring on his way off. Broad continues the over.

3.28am – After Smith slashes Stokes for four through backward point without foot movement, leg-spinner Scott Borthwick has his first bowl in Tests. Smith clips a full-toss between midwicket and mid-on for four.

3.21am – Haddin flat-bats Rankin over mid-on for four to raise a fifty partnership with Smith that the wicketkeeper-batsman has made 38 of.

3.18am – Haddin strikes Stokes for three fours in an over with a cover-drive, a flick to fine-leg and an aerial pull. Haddin, Australia’s batsman of the series, is threatening again.

3.05am – Haddin cuts a short-and-wide Rankin ball for four and pulls Stokes to the rope. Broad returns to the field after a period off it and Smith streakily edges Rankin high over third slip for four.

2.56am – Boyd Rankin replaces Broad and starts with a tight over that Anderson emulates.

2.46am – REVIEW! – Haddin plays back to Anderson, who appeals for caught behind via pad. There were two noises so England review but there is no indication of an inside edge, meaning Haddin survives on nine. Later in the over Smith takes a painful blow to the glove from a length ball that reared at him.

2.38am – Smith and Haddin shoulder arms to Anderson and are each struck on the pad, but England review on neither occasion with both balls too high to hit the stumps.

2.30am – Following Anderson’s runless over to Steven Smith, in-form Brad Haddin gets going by driving Broad for four through mid-off to herald Australia’s hundred. Later in the over Haddin narrowly evades a fierce Broad bouncer.

2.20am – WICKET! Bailey c Cook b Broad 1; Aus 97/5 – Bailey edges to first slip where Alastair Cook spills the ball but clasps it to his left hand just above the turf. England are right on top here. Broad completes a wicket-maiden.

2.15am – Stuart Broad delivers a threatening maiden to Bailey with bright sun having replaced the morning’s cloud cover.

2.11am – James Anderson bowls the last two balls of the over he started before lunch, George Bailey getting off the mark with a single to leg from the first delivery. 

Morning Session

1.31am – WICKET & LUNCH! – Watson lbw Anderson 43; Aus 94/4 – Smith drives Stokes through point for four before Anderson has a close lbw shout against Watson, who was padding up, although England rightly opt not to review. But next ball Watson is plumb lbw, England’s first of the series, and does not contest the verdict. That heralds the interval and makes it the tourists’ morning.

1.23am – Watson edges Anderson through a vacant third slip and immediately just over gully, picking up fours with both shots. The first would have been a regulation chance and the second was just out of the fielder’s reach.

1.16am – Clarke c Bell b Stokes 10; Aus 78/3 – Stokes, who has twice been no-balled for breaking the non-striker’s stumps, finds an ideal length that forces Clarke to edge to Ian Bell at second slip. That’s a key scalp with lunch approaching. Steven Smith opens his account by driving Stokes to the extra-cover rope.

1.04am – Clarke stays in control of a hook against Broad to get his first four. Watson scores his fifth by driving Stokes, who has taken over from Rankin, down the ground.

12.54am – CHANCE! – Clarke, on two, takes a single off Broad, who has replaced Stokes. Carberry picks up right-handed at point and would have ousted the Australia captain with a direct hit. Watson then clips Rankin to the midwicket boundary.

12.43am – WICKET! Rogers b Stokes 11; Aus 51/2 – Rogers pulls a ball that does not get up and he under-edges between his legs onto leg stump, giving England the relatively early wickets they wanted. Michael Clarke gets off the mark first ball with a single into the covers and Watson then powerfully pulls for four.

12.36am – Stokes sends down a maiden to Watson, who ends the next over with a single to leg off Rankin that raises Australia’s fifty.

12.26am – Big Boyd Rankin is into the attack, taking over from Anderson. Watson straight away plays and misses with a loose cut. Rankin’s second ball is a steepling bouncer that troubles the right-hander, who soon gets off strike with three through midwicket.

12.24am – Carberry keeps Watson to three with some smart work near the rope after Watson cover-drives Stokes on the up.

12.13am – Ben Stokes replaces Broad, and Watson immediately drives through mid-off for four.

12.08am – Rogers and Watson eschew risk in two overs following the breakthrough.

11.56pm – WICKET! Warner b Broad 16; Aus 22/1 – The left-hander pays for trying to drive a fullish delivery with little foot movement, having his off stump clipped. Broad is rewarded for pitching the ball up despite twice being driven down the ground in his previous over. Shane Watson immediately gets going with a cover-driven four.

11.52pm – Anderson keeps Warner quiet with a maiden.

11.47pm – Warner drives down the ground for fours either side of cutting Broad aerially through point for another boundary as the athletic Michael Carberry, diving to his left, cannot get near it.

11.40pm – Stuart Broad shares the new ball and David Warner gets the game’s first runs with two through cover-point. Rogers then opens his account by guiding a four between the slips and gully.

11.34pm – James Anderson opens the bowling with a maiden featuring plenty of movement to Chris Rogers.

Pre-Play News

11.25pm – The national anthems are being sung, England’s first. Not long to go until the action starts.

11.15pm – England also went into the Sydney Test 4-0 down in 2003 and responded with a win inspired in part by Andy Caddick’s 10 wickets, which he exclusively recalls for ecb.co.uk here.

11.01pm – ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS & BOWL – Ballance, Borthwick and Rankin indeed play in place of Joe Root, Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan. The hosts are unchanged, meaning they keep the same team throughout the series – the first time that has happened in a five-game rubber.

10.55pm – The toss is in five minutes. With overcast conditions and a green-tinged pitch looking like favouring the team that bowls first, it should be an important one to win. Can Cook reverse his run of losing the previous four?

10.45pm – Australia, conversely, have the luxury of being able to keep the same team throughout the series. However, all-rounder James Faulkner may well replace batsman George Bailey.

10.35pm – Those three new caps are for Gary Ballance, Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin. Who will they replace? We’ll find out soon.

10.25pm – England are expected to make changes from the Boxing Day Test, in part due to Monty Panesar having a calf problem. Read about the possible alterations and Alastair Cook’s thoughts ahead of the game here.

10.15pm – Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live blog coverage of the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Can England avoid a 5-0 whitewash? Stay here to find out over the coming days. The toss is due to take place in 45 minutes and the start of play is set for half an hour later.

Dec 292013
 
Australia cruise to victory in Melbourne

By Matthew Sherry

Australia claimed a 4-0 lead in the Ashes series as Chris Rogers’ second Test hundred helped secure a comprehensive eight-wicket win 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 took charge via controlled aggression.

The former reached his ton in typical fashion, cover-driving James Anderson for four, and celebrated with expected jubilation.

He would eventually depart for 116, edging Monty Panesar behind, but it mattered little as Watson and Michael Clarke – who passed 8,000 format runs – ended on 83 and six respectively.

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Michael Clarke said: “To be 4-0 up is hard to describe. It is an amazing feeling. The guys have worked exceptionally hard and have the confidence to play with freedom.”

Man of the match Mitchell Johnson said: “I am a little bit shocked. I thought Chris deserved it (the match award). He batted outstandingly. We’re looking forward to getting to Sydney; we’re 4-0 up and want to make it 5-0.”

Alastair Cook said: “It is a tough time when you’re losing games of cricket. In the first half-hour today, we created three chances. You’ve got to take those with a low target. We have got to keep working as hard as we can at our games and it will hopefully turn. The crowd and the support we have make us proud to wear the shirt. Obviously, we’re not doing it justice at the moment but we’re trying as hard as we can.”

An unsurprisingly jubilant Chris Rogers speaking immediately after play: “It does not get better than this, to win a Boxing Day Test and get a hundred on the last day is what dreams are made of. To get a hundred at the MCG, my home ground, is amazing. The crowd were fantastic and I thank them very much.”

Afternoon Session 

3.27am – AUSTRALIA WIN BY EIGHT WICKETS AND MOVE 4-0 AHEAD IN THE ASHES SERIES – Watson, who ends on 83 not out, hits an aerial straight four off Bresnan before finishing the job by whipping Panesar to the square-leg fence.

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 raises 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. 

11.56am – MISSED CHANCE! – Another opportunity goes begging as Cook shells a regulation chance to dismiss Warner off Ben Stokes.

11.45am – 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.

11.38am – 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 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 282013
 
Australia seize initiative on eventful day

By Matthew Sherry

Australia were in position to move 4-0 ahead in the Ashes after an England collapse left a victory target of just 231 at the MCG, albeit the hosts will have to make more than in their first innings to win.

Having dismissed Australia for 204 to claim a 51-run advantage, the tourists initially looked set to build a commanding lead as Alastair Cook struck 51. But after the skipper was trapped plumb lbw by Mitchell Johnson, England lost wickets with regularity.

Michael Carberry was also pinned in front, Peter Siddle the successful bowler, and Johnson ran out Joe Root with a brilliant direct hit before Ian Bell chipped Nathan Lyon straight to mid-off. Kevin Pietersen played well amid Lyon having Ben Stokes held at mid-on and Jonny Bairstow edging Johnson behind.

However, Lyon ousting Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad in the same over left Pietersen with little choice but to attack. His endeavour ultimately brought the spinner a fifth wicket – the batsman holed out to long-off – before Johnson ended England’s innings on 179 by trapping Monty Panesar lbw.

Australia subsequently had little trouble reaching 30 without loss as Chris Rogers and David Warner looked in fine fettle.

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

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Evening Session

Australia 2nd Innings 

7am – STUMPS! Australia 30/0; Rogers 18, Warner 12 – Australia reach stumps without alarm and will require a further 201 for victory tomorrow.

6.53am – Warner clearly isn’t playing for stumps. With Monty Panesar into the attack, he advances and whips four over midwicket.

6.41am – A three followed by an all-run four, one of the great cricketing feats, gets David Warner moving. It’s fair to say Australia are looking to attack in this little period.

6.27am – The first over, sent down by James Anderson, brings just two runs, from the bat of Chris Rogers.

England 2nd Innings

6.13am – WICKET! Panesar lbw Johnson 0; England 179 all out – Johnson traps Monty Panesar plumb in front to bring an end to England’s innings. Australia require 231 to win and move 4-0 ahead in the series.

6.03am – WICKET! Pietersen c Harris b Lyon 49; England 179/9 – Pietersen, who had little choice but to attack, hits Harris straight down long-off’s throat. Lyon has five.

5.53am – WICKET! Broad c Clarke b Lyon 0; England 174/8 – Lyon grabs his second wicket of the over and 100th in Tests as Stuart Broad edges to slip.

5.49am – WICKET! Bresnan b Lyon 0; England 174/7 – Tim Bresnan misses an attempted pull off Lyon and is bowled. England’s lead stands at 225.

5.32am – WICKET! Bairstow c Haddin b Johnson 21; England 173/6 – Bairstow’s cameo comes to an end as he edges a flat-footed drive behind. Johnson has a second scalp and seventh in the match.

5.07am – Two top, top shots from Pietersen as he powerfully pulls and drives Siddle to the fence. In the following over, Jonny Bairstow crunches Lyon over long-on for another six and sweeps four.

4.58am – MISSED CHANCE! – Pietersen edges one just short of slip and for four before seeing George Bailey get his fingertips to a chance – although I am not sure you can even call it that – at midwicket.

4.45am – WICKET! Stokes c Smith b Lyon 19; England 131/5 – A wicket comes at the worst possible time for England, Ben Stokes hitting Nathan Lyon straight to mid-off.

4.33am – Glorious stroke from Kevin Pietersen, who stands tall and crunches Peter Siddle to the point boundary.

Afternoon Session

4.11am – TEA! England 115/4; Pietersen 14, Stokes 13 – Pietersen and Stokes look up for the fight here in the face of some fine bowling. They will need to show similar spirit after the interval.

3.37am – Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes have a boundary apiece, the former driving straight off Lyon and the latter pulling Siddle.

3.15am – WICKET! Bell c Johnson b Lyon 0; England 86/4 – Things go from bad to worse as Ian Bell chips Nathan Lyon straight to mid-off to fall for a golden duck.

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 short as Mitch delivers a direct hit from mid-off.

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

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