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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Ashes log: Fourth Test - Thursday


The log is over for the day - rejoin us again on Friday.

1832: Justin Webb, USA, via email
I think Tait has been fantastic. Great poise for the young gun's first Test. Those wickets were key to evening this match and slowing the run rate. That's a lot of pressure on inexperienced shoulders - cracking effort.

1828: Australia's Shaun Tait, Test Match Special
I was a little bit nervous but after the first wicket I started bowling a lot better and it started swinging a fair bit. It's quite a good batting wicket so hopefully when we've finished our bowling our batters can cash in as well.

1826: England's Marcus Trescothick, Test Match Special
It's been a pretty good day. We need to try and cash in as much as we can tomorrow, but there's a lot of hard work to be done.

1824: Rodney Marsh, Test Match Special
Australia have played some pretty shoddy cricket, as they have all summer, but still England are only two hundred odd for four. Little things like fumbles lower the tone, and Australia have not been used to that over the last few years.


1814: Prabudha Singh, USA
England need to score at least 400 runs in the first innings to force a positive result in this Test match. This ground has been famous for high scoring and the English batsmen need to keep that in mind. There is no reason to throw their wickets away. We've only had 60 overs of play so far.


1807: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
The umpires are meeting and I suggest the topic of conversation is the light. They've offered it to the batsmen and they are both running back towards the pavilion. It's also starting to rain. From England's point of view, it was obvious they were going to take the light. With Pietersen and Flintoff in tomorrow, England have the potential to do some damage. I think we'll be lucky to get any more cricket today.

1800: Ammar Ahmad, Baltimore, USA
Over and over again weather has helped the Aussies; in the last match rain helped them save the macth. This match rain has helped them to disturb the English batsmen's tempo. Lady luck seems to favour the Aussies this series.

1753: Mark, England, via email
England would have won this series by now if they had shown a little more discipline with their batting. Vaughan's dismissal encapsulates the whole England approach - though exciting, they get out to reckless, innocuous shots.

1750: Alex, UK, via email
Unbelievable from Vaughan! All that hard work and 95mph can't get him but 65mph can!

1745: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
For whatever reason, Ricky Ponting brought himself on to bowl and it's worked. It was an innocuous looking ball but Vaughan went for it. It's not hard to lipread what he said to himself when he saw the replay on the screen. That evens the day up, considering England were 105 for no wicket.


1740: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
It is strange that Ponting is not bowling Warne, unless he is thinking that Warne will have a lot to do later on.

1720: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
BBC weatherman John Kettley has sent us a message warning of the possibility of a storm arriving in about an hour.

1719: Tim Hopkins, England, via email
Vaughan and Pietersen should concentrate on getting us through the rest of the day so we can launch an attack with Freddie in the morning!

1714: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
Pietersen is flat on his face. He set off, Vaughan said no and if the ball had hit, Pietersen would have been out by half a yard. He desperately dived through dust and sawdust to try and beat Hayden's throw. This is an unhappy pattern in Australia's cricket at the moment, not taking chances.

1704: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
I would be surprised if we get through to seven o'clock. Even if the rain holds off, I would imagine the light will come into play.

1700: Peter Emuss, England, via email
Now this should be interesting. Pietersen, with a tendency for the occasional irresponsible shot, vs Tait, who's a newbie and occasionally loses his line. Either Pietersen's going to batter him around, or he'll get out playing a silly shot. Or both. Either way, should be interesting.

1644: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
That was a bad miss from Hayden and Vaughan survives. Poor old Kasprowicz. Australia have had their opportunities. It's been a day of fluctuating fortunes, as happens so often in Test cricket. It's a horrible feeling to drop a catch, particularly when you're playing in front of 20,000 people.

1637: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
A bit of luck there for Pietersen. It was drilled straight back at Kasprowicz. It all happened in an absolute flurry and it didn't stick.

1630: Tracey Thomas, USA, via email
My boyfriend was in America during the last Test and had me up at 4:30 every morning to listen to the commentary. He explained all the rules to me and now he's back on the Isle of Wight and I'm listening by myself in Mississippi!!

1625: Jamie, Wales, via email
Cricket is so very zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

1618: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
This is a tricky little time for England. After dominating the pre-lunch session they've lost some quick wickets. They might go into their shell now.

1615: Plattsy, England (temporarily), via email
I love it! I'd never realised the Poms were such an optimistic bunch. The sun comes out and you put the car roof down even and the short sleeve business shirts on - even if it's only 20 deg C. It's day one and like previous Tests you've already sealed the match. Fair dinkum! Sit back and watch a great team quietly go about its business. You'll be wimpering by the fifth day wondering what's wrong with English cricket today. I'm happy to tell you - not enough Aussies here coaching your team. The only spark in recent years has been a South African import!

1613: Andy, England, via email
Anyone else see 200 all out coming on?


1600: James, Scotland, via email
What a first wicket from Tait, but it wasn't a great shot from Trescothick.

1558: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
Tait has his first Test wicket. It was a well pitched up ball, Trescothick drove all round it and he's gone.


1555: Andy, London, via email
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We've only lost two hours' play - there's plenty of time left for either side to win this match, let alone the Oval Test. As for retractable roofs, hell will freeze over before then!

1548: F Ford, England, via email
A quick internet search shows that, statistically, late August and early September are often drier than late July or early August - so the ECB shouldn't be blamed for scheduling the Tests in a time of bad weather.

1543: Alistair, England, via email
Is it time for a Test venue with a retractable roof or something to be built? Looks like this Test could be a draw and it's bound to rain in September. What a let-down if the Aussies keep the ashes due to rain. Maybe, the rules should be changed to allow an extra day.

1539: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
We're starting again in 15 minutes. There's some blue sky and I'm confident we will get some play.

1530: Tom Carroll, UK, via email
It seems to me it's a distinct possibility that the last two Tests could both end up being draws due to the weather. Great scheduling from the ECB could result in Aussies retaining the Ashes! Nice one.


1528: Bill Frindall, Test Match Special statistician
Half past six is the official close of play. It the players are on the field then, they can carry on until seven to use up any unbowled overs.

1500: Cheeky Chappy, UK, via email
"E X Tras" is doing well but the support role from "N O Balls" has been significant in keeping the total ticking over. At the moment "B Adweather" is favourite to most affect the outcome of day one.

1458: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
The covers are coming off. They are going to take tea at ten past three and then hopefully they will start again at half past.

1455: Fordy, UK, via email
Rumours are rife that the Aussie team declined lunch for their now-obligatory rain dance led by an enthusiatic Ponting.

1452: M, Nottingham, via email
I'm in West Bridgford working right next to the cricket ground. Good news - it looks like it's brightening up over the city so fingers crossed!!!! -c'mon the lads!!!

1445: Richard, UK, via email
Never been a great fan of cricket - not too familiar with the stars of the game. Who is this "E X Tras"? He appears to be playing a fine innings. I bet his contribution is frustrating the Aussies!

1440: Martin Clancy, USA, via email
Pity it's raining at Trent Bridge chaps. I am currently at home in Palm Beach waiting for Hurricane Katrina to come ashore... fancy a swap!!!

1440: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
We've just seen a streak of lightning behind the pavilion, although I do think most of this heavy weather is going south.

1425: Stephen, UK, via email
It seems odd as an England fan to be praying for sun, after many, many, many years of praying for rain to stop us getting beaten... long may this continue!


1423: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
The covers are coming on again. There are boos from the crowd. It's not heavy rain, but the umpires have decided it's heavy enough. We've only had 13 minutes play in this session. Play could finish at seven o'clock tonight if it doesn't get washed out.

1417: Ben Smyth, UK, via email
The pitch looks so flat at Trent Bridge that it seems England require as much time as possible to get 20 Australian wickets. With a 130 deficit already, the Aussies will be quicker to the dressing room than a badger to his den every time there's a hint of drizzle in the Nottingham air.

1415: Pete, Colorado, USA
I was walking on campus yesterday and I found a fellow Englishman. He came over to my dorm at 3:30am and we have been drinking since. I think we will be spending some quality time together over the next few days!

1410: Wajahat Anwar, Lahore, Pakistan, via email
We have been watching the Ashes here in Pakistan with great enthusiasm, but why is it always raining in the UK? You won't need your umbrellas when you tour Pakistan in November.

1405: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
The umpires are coming out and we will be under way again in a moment.

1348: Justin, Bermuda, via email
All the English expats here in Bermuda are amazed at how well England are taking the fight to Australia. We're all off down the pub at lunchtime to watch some live coverage!

1345: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
The sun is out and, weather permitting, the start is going to be at ten past two. An awful lot of work is involved in taking off the covers because there are tarpaulins everywhere. But more bad weather might be on the way, so we'll keep our fingers crossed. From England's point of view, this is the worst possible thing that could have happened.

1328: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
The covers are going back on. It does not look good at the moment.

1320: Iain, England, via email
I sense from this log the all too often unfounded feeling of confidence slipping into the England supporters camp. A Test is a five-day event and the last Test proved you didn't have the mettle to finish Australia off. Sit back and enjoy the action for next few days, but, don't be so foolish as to write off the world champs just yet. Plus it is still 1-1 in the series.

1250: David, England, via email
Just had a huge downpour in Derby - just 16 miles down the road. However, it was all over and done within five minutes so let's hope the disruptions to the match today are kept to a minimum.

1246: Jon Eden, England, via email
It's not looking too good on the Met Office radar. Lots of showers spreading west towards Nottingham.

1244: Sunny, USA, via email
Sorry to say Aussie fans but this is a one-man attack. If Warne cannot produce his magic, the Aussies could well be staring at being 600 behind by lunch tommorow!

1243: Brendan Hemming, UK, via email
My daughter got 8 A-stars and an A in her GCSEs today, and the IT department finally came up with my new laptop. Of course England will win!

1240: Paul, Australia, via email
Australia really need to work on the amount of no-balls being bowled. It can make the difference between winning and losing a game. Lee's wicket that was a no-ball is a real example of this.


1234: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special With the last delivery of the morning session, Michael Vaughan hits another boundary and England go in at 129-1 from 27 overs. The session has been played at breathtaking pace - with England hitting 15 fours and a six.

1230: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
Warne throws the ball towards the wicketkeeper and it goes straight at Vaughan, who deflects the ball away with his bat. There will be a time when a batsman gets injured like that.

1228: Bob Clothier, England, via email
Brett Lee must be mortified. What are the chances of dismissing a batsman off a no-ball in consecutive tests? However, with the amount of no-balls he's bowling it could happen again!

1224: Martin Gough, BBC Sport
The crowd, which was silent for the first hour, is really warming up now, with chants of "Easy, easy" greeting Trescothick's pulled four off Lee's seventh no-ball. For once the cries of "no-ball" that greet a Lee delivery are for over-stepping rather than ill-informed references to his bowling action.

1222: Saurabh Wahi, Richmond, UK, via email
How long before Australia start opening their attack with Warne? India did it in the 70's, you know.

1220: Dr James Feelgood, England, via email
Trust Warne to make the breakthrough! I know Vaughan and Tresco can keep us on top, cool heads are required now.

1210: Vic Marks, Test Match Special
Warne has conjured a wicket out of nowhere. It's a freakish dismissal but Australia will take it because they were just starting to wobble.


1200: DO, via email
Judging by the start England have got off to, Warney is going to be doing a LOT of bowling today.

1158: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
That's the first six of the match, an effortless, magnificent blow from Trescothick. Warne threw it in the air and woof! Just listen to the crowd.

1150: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
The 18-over mark is very early for a spinner to come on, but Shane Warne does tend to do that. He's been getting some slow turn, but the batsmen have been able to work him away through the on side.

1150: Steve Norton, UK, via email Michael Vaughan got it right with Tait. Speed probably won't be much use on this pitch. At 6-8 runs an over, let's hope the Aussies keep him on. Without McGrath's discipline and guile, Australia are there for the taking.

1140: Paul Meaden, England, via email
England fans are used to winning, look at the record over the last two years. We are just surprised to see a young team dominating against the Aussies, especially after the McGrath 5-0 comments!

1130: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
With a bit more luck there Kasprowicz could have had a wicket, but it's four for Trescothick and the score is 53 for no loss. The players break for a drink.

1120: Roger Hurcombe, Australia, via email
The teams are certainly well-matched and England have a skipper who has his head screwed on. He knows it's not over until it's over. I want Australia to win, of course. The crowing of some England fans simply shows how unused they are to winning - it's something you have to grow into, and they are at only an early stage!

1115: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
What a moment for Shaun Tait, coming on to bowl on his Test debut. It will be interesting to see how England play him. They won't want to give him an early wicket. He'll be pretty happy with his first over, conceding just two runs, and he gets a slap on the back from his team-mates.

Anonymous, via text
I am watching the Women's Ashes at New Road while listening to TMS. Australia woman are 131 all out. Come on England in all games.

1107: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
A rather frenetic pigeon flies away past the city hall to our right. It was rather chilly this morning and I brought another coat with me. Haven't needed it so far.

1057: Vic Marks, Test Match Special
Apart from the no-balls, it's been a disciplined start from the Australian bowlers rather than a fiery one. It looks like a pretty docile pitch.

1054: Stephen Barton, UK, via email
On my way home from work I always see a group of kids playing football on a small patch of grass. Last week however, the jumpers for goalposts and soccer ball had been replaced by a wicket, bat and tennis ball. It seems England's success is inspiring the youngsters - let's hope it lasts!

1043: Suzanne Braybrook, England, via email
I am a 25 year old female, therefore not in your usual demographic for a cricket fan. However, I have found myself having quite a few sneaky peeks at the score!

1040: Andy Hannath, USA, via email
Up all night in California listening to cricket. Flying to UK Thursday with tickets to Trent Bridge Sunday and Monday. Come on England!

1030: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
There are still big queues of people trying to get into the ground. It is taking time because of the tight security. There must be some frustration out there.

1025: Martin Gough, BBC Sport
To the strains of Jerusalem, two "umpires" appear from the left of the pavilion, shirts untucked. It takes a while to realise they are not Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar but when one takes off the stumps and replaces them with a can of lager it becomes obvious.

1025: Alec Stewart, former England skipper on BBC Radio Five Live
The Aussies have lost McGrath. They've lost the toss. It's terrible, isn't it?

1020: England captain Michael Vaughan, Test Match Special
We can't control Australia's injury problems or selections. We're just pleased to be unchanged again. We're playing well but we must continue to play well. The first day is always important.

1020: Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Test Match Special
There are a few clouds around and it's important we get make the most of the conditions we get this morning.

1010: Tim Gaycrooks, Trent Bridge, via text
In ground with Xavi and Stevie. Just heard on 5 Live McGrath is out! The crowd are going nuts at the news. C'mon England!

1010: Steve Wilson, England, via email
Finally the pendulum swings England's way. We'll name an unchanged side while the Aussies suffer with injuries for once. The Ashes are in touching distance!

1005: Shyam, Nepal, via email
Best of luck for British team.

1005: Kuldip Lal, India, via email
India just can't wait for the fourth Test to start. The country is in the grip of Ashes fever.

1005: Jon Nettlefold, France, via email
The general sentiment after the last couple of matches seems to be to hope for another exciting, drama filled test match. I disagree. I'm hoping that England give the Aussies a right royal thumping from start to finish, which hopefully will be around teatime on Saturday.


0945: Pat Murphy, BBC Radio Five Live
In the past, if you go back to 1989 and the eight series Australia have retained the Ashes, England's best players have been dropping out with injury. I wonder how significant it is going to be that the Australians aren't staying fit this time?


0935: Pat Murphy, BBC Radio Five Live
I've just been watching Glenn McGrath warm-up and it was tentative to say the least so I'm not sure whether he will play.

0900: Martin Gough, BBC Sport at Trent Bridge
Glenn McGrath has just come out to warm up. He looks quite happy, but there is no word yet on whether he is fit to play.

0855: Martin Gough, BBC Sport at Trent Bridge
I've just passed Jack Russell, who was getting his easel out of his car. He might have some dark clouds to paint this morning, but they look quite small and light so far.

0840: David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors
If you'd just visited this planet and somebody had told you Test cricket was boring, I think we've challenged that view. The series has captured the imagination of the country, I've had people coming up to me and asking me difficult questions like 'What is reverse swing?'

0815: Martin Gough, BBC Sport at Trent Bridge
The weather forecast is for a cool day with showers but there is brilliant sunshine at the moment and not a cloud in the sky.

0800: Chris Hollins, sports reporter on BBC Breakfast
We have just been told play will go ahead on time at 1030 BST.

0745: Mike Gatting, former England captain on BBC Breakfast
Australia have gone for the future in Shaun Tait. He has a bit of pace so they are going to have two guys who can bowl upwards of 85-90mph. It's going to be more of a shock tactic that Australia are going for because they feel they have got to grab the initiative back.

The Ashes is one of sport's greatest contests.

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