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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Ashes blog: First Test - Sunday

The blog is over for the first Ashes Test. Rejoin us on Thursday 4 August for the second Test at Edgbaston.

UPDATES FROM REPORTERS, COMMENTATORS & FANS...

1805: Roland Wald, Denmark, via email
I think this sums it up: in Test cricket there is a huge gap between the number one and two in the world.

Five Live
1757: Former Australia bowler Geoff Lawson, BBC Five Live
I still see England winning a Test match this series because they took 20 wickets - even with the dropped catches. Steve Harmison was very good and Simon Jones was underbowled and very good.

1754: Freddie Fan, TMS messageboard
This is not the end of the series and certainly not the end of the world. The main reason for the heavy defeat more than the dropped catches was the poor batting display. Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Andrew Flintoff were the main culprits.

1750: howie32, TMS messageboard
Kevin Pietersen has the potential to become an amazing batsman - but he can't do it on his own.

1748: Dave Stocks, UK, via email
I think the selectors got it wrong with the Pietersen question. Instead of Thorpe, they should have put him against Bell who, fine cricketer though he is, has no experience.

1745: Mike Gatting, BBC Five Live
I'd send the England players out to play county cricket. Players like Michael Vaughan need to get into rhythm. It's easy to do nets but you need to play some cricket.

1740: Brian Clibbon, England, via email
Keep the faith. Our lads'll come good! Looking foward to a 4-1 Ashes win.

TMS
1736: Keith Stackpole, Test Match Special
Unfortunately, I think that's the series. At worst, Australia will win one more Test but that would mean England still have to win three Tests to win the series. I can't see that happening.

1729: abitontheside, TMS messageboard
Come on you lot, England are still the second best in the world. They have played some great cricket in the last two years and they deserve a bit more backbone and faith from their supporters. They are a lot better than this game.

1722: Glenn McGrath's dad Kevin, Test Match Special
It's my first time overseas and I've had a very enjoyable time at Lord's. I won't be staying for the whole series, just for the first two Tests, so we'll wait until it's 2-0 and then go home.

1716: Martin, USA, via email
Hoggard should be dropped not only for his performance on the field but for his pre-match comments regarding McGrath, Warne and Australia's lack of ability to bowl England out twice.

1713: C. St.Clair Browne, Barbados, via email
How can you say England are competitive when you cannot score 200 runs in either innings and you are thrashed by 239 runs?

1709: Man of the match Glenn McGrath, Test Match Special
I feel younger than I ever have.

Michael Vaughan
1701: England captain Michael Vaughan, Test Match Special
We gave ourselves enough opportunities in the field to set down a chase of 250, 280. We weren't good enough to take those opportunities. The positive is that we created the chances.

1658: Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Test Match Special
Our bowlers were outstanding. Shane bowled as well this game as I've ever seen. All in all it was a very good team performance led by our two main bowlers. And they were the ones who were being talked about as old and over the hill at the start of the series.

1652: James Ager, England, via email
Even though Pietersen's batting was fine, it was his dropped catches that cost England the match. If he hadn't dropped Clarke, England would've had a much better chance.

1648: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
If ever there was a deserved victory, this was it. England's mental strength is going to be sorely tested now.

ENGLAND: 180 all out JONES C WARNE B MCGRATH 0. AUSTRALIA WIN BY 239 RUNS.

1642: mattfd, TMS messageboard
Warne bowls and KP puts him into the stand against the spin. If we're going down, we're going down fighting!

1633: Jon, UK, via email
I can't believe how much Ricky Ponting looks like George Bush!

ENGLAND 167-9: HARMISON LBW WARNE 0

1631: Merv Hughes, Test Match Special
And that's Kevin Pietersen's second 50 of the match. He's proved me wrong. I thought he might not survive at this level, but his decision-making has been fantastic.

ENGLAND 164-8: HOGGARD LBW MCGRATH 0

TMS
1624: Merv Hughes, Test Match Special
It'll be interesting to see how long Shane bowls for because as the ball gets wet in the outfield, he will become less and less effective.

1618: Bruce Ford, Australia, via email
We could beat England with our B team. They have one good player - Pietersen.

PLAY RESUMES

1612: james "fat boy" rose, sydney, via email
No paid professionals should ever play the shots that Jones and Giles just played. Another week of abuse from the Aussies on the way...

1610: Simon, England, via email
Absolutely shocking, can anyone else see a 5-0 whitewash?

1607: Mike Gatting, Test Match Special
Glenn McGrath is a great bowler so England don't need to be gifting him two wickets like that.

RAIN STOPS PLAY

1601: lilleeisgod, TMS messageboard
This is all over now.

1559: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
That was what they call a silver duck for Giles: a second-ball duck.

ENGLAND 158-7: GILES C HAYDEN B MCGRATH 0

1556: Mike Gatting, BBC Five Live Sports Extra
That wasn't a great shot by Jones.

ENGLAND 158-6: G JONES C GILLESPIE B MCGRATH 6

1543: Jonathan Agnew, BBC Five Live Sports Extra
It's about a third full at Lord's. Where were all these people hiding when it was raining?

1536: PP, England, via email
Here we go, I reckon it will all be done and dusted within an hour. England need changes otherwise the series will be gone before its started.

1524: Mat S, England, via email
It's a big ask, but Pietersen and Jones can potentially save this game. If they keep it simple, defend the straight balls, the bad balls will come.

1522: Pat Murphy, BBC Five Live
Play will start at 1545 BST.

1504: Steve A, England, via email
England threw this Test away with yet more batting collapses and an inability to mop up the tail in the Aussies' second innings. We don't deserve to be saved by bad weather!

Five Live
1453: Alec Stewart, BBC Five Live
There's an inspection at 1515 BST and I reckon by 1630 we'll be seeing some cricket. I'm very depressed. I think the only way England would have saved this game was if it had rained all today and tomorrow.

1445: tobeeornot, TMS messageboard
The rain appears to have stopped and there are a few rays of sunshine glimmering through the clouds, so I am hoping a pitch in inspection is imminent.

1434: Vino, England, via email
People slating Ashley Giles should remember what the King of Spain did last year when his place was under threat! He's no Shane Warne, but unless it's a green, seaming wicket I think he has to play.

1418: Darren H, England, via email
My boss is an Aussie so I'm praying for rain today!

1411: peteagain, TMS messageboard
The only form of the game that England can match the Aussies at is probably Twenty-20, which is like a lottery anyway.

1355: Prasad, India, via email
A spinner in a Test match is not a must. England should look at their team not the Australian team. Collingwood should replace Giles and Graveney should invite Thorpe for dinner.

1350: Brad, Australia, via email
From an Aussie's perspective, I say Giles, Bell and the keeper have to stay!

1341: Paresh Soni, BBC cricket journalist
You can't go into a Test match without a full-time spinner. It would be madness. Giles is still England's best spin bowler.

1336: Ste Middlehurst, England, via email
Collingwood v Giles. Collingwood is a world class fielder who is consistent with the bat and is also known for his swing bowling. Giles the best of a poor to average group of English spin bowlers. Who would you pick?

1331: mightyreturns, TMS messageboard
I doubt we'll see any play today. The forecast is not great tomorrow either. If it rains overnight, that should cause a delay even if it's clear on Monday morning.

1318: Nick Osborne, UK, via email
Wholesale squad changes normally benefit the opposition, but I do wonder why we insist on playing a spinner when we have such a strong pace attack. How about playing Chris Tremlett and going in with a five man pace attack? Vaughan can turn his arm over if required.

1254: cricketmad, TMS messageboard
I doubt very much if the Australian batting attack could cope with their own bowling attack. It's not fair to blame all the England batsmen.

1250: BigDave, Wales, via email
Let's get behind England. We have bowled the Aussies out twice and KP looks quality. They actually look a bit scared when he comes to the crease.

Five Live
1237: Alec Stewart, Radio Five Live
The players will be tucking into one of the best lunches in world cricket. They might have a look at the papers although I'm not sure if the England players will want to look at the sports sections.

1220: judderman6, TMS messageboard
Against a powerful Australia side, Andrew Flintoff is not good enough to bat at six. To me he looks lost and not 100% sure how to bat.

1208: G66, England, via email
Given how poorly most individuals have performed from the England team, to be 264 runs behind the best team in the world is actually a reasonable start.

1200: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
We've been told there's a chance of the rain clearing at 1500 BST.

1158: Clint Wallis, Australia, via email
I really hope this rain doesn't hang around. There's no way England deserve a draw.

1150: Martin Gough, BBC cricket journalist Before calling for change, people should look at specific players and ask whether the person you bring in is better qualified than the person you leave out. In my view, only the wicket-keeping situation qualifies.

1148: Andrew Crowther, England, via email
Vaughan needs to play for Yorkshire in between the tests, get some confidence back.

1132: James Wright, UK, via email
For England to have any chance the selectors need to be ruthless. Read in for Jones, Collingwood for Giles.

1125: bramo2, TMS messageboard
I think Vaughan bowls as well as Giles, although Giles at the moment probably has his nose in front in the batting department.

1117: Russell Skingsley, Vietnam, via email
England's best Ashes performer R. Ain to the rescue.

1106: David Graveney, England chairman of selectors, TMS
I'm only one selector of three, but as far as I'm concerned, Geraint Jones will stay in the team.

1059: Merv Hughes, Test Match Special
Geraint Jones had a bad day on Saturday but if Rod Marsh or Ian Healy had been dropped on the basis of their early displays for Australia, they would never have developed into world class internationals.

1045: Mike Gatting, Test Match Special
If you're playing the world's best team, you've got to match them in all three areas, batting, bowling and fielding. So far we've only done one thing well - that's bowl.

1036: Darryl, England, via email
I have to agree about Warne and McGrath. They don't bowl the easy four ball that all of our attack is prone to at present. Our guys will improve though.

1032: Phillipo, England, via email
Let it rain. The Aussies are too strong for us. Without the elements it'd be all over by lunch.

1027: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
It's a gloomy scene here at Lord's. There are one or two groundstaff out on the pitch pushing water away forlornly.

1020: Te Atatu, New Zealand, via email
The problem for England is that they keep talking themselves up and inevitably collapse. The media need to give it a rest. England will win the Ashes back when McGrath and Warne retire, not before.

START DELAYED DUE TO RAIN

1014: goaussiego, TMS messageboard
A scary thought: even though Australia have the upper hand I still feel there is room for improvement and they can only get better.

1010: John, England, via email
Agreed, Thorpey would have balanced the middle order which just looks weak with Bell in there. He also scares the Aussies just a little.

1007: Gareth Osmond, England, via email
Where is Paul Collingwood when you need him? That's right, scoring 190 in the County Championship. We need him in the team - he can catch as well.

1003: Charlie Schreud, Australia, via email
It'd be a shame if rain ruined the game. But I wouldn't think Australia would need that much play over the next few days to finish it off. The wicket will definitely do something now.

0956: The Beast, UK, via email
Nice to see there are some optimistic Poms out there. Sorry guys, but unless the weather helps you out, you'll be crying into your beers yet again.

Five Live
0950: Allan Lamb, BBC Five Live
Graham Thorpe should have been in the team and we should have left out a bowler. As yesterday's events proved, we are lacking experience in the middle order.

0944: Andrew Tyler, Bradford, via email
I have a ticket for Lord's today, so I am sitting here thoroughly depressed!

0938: Christine Chance, via email
I think KP and Jones can win us the Test if they stay in until Monday and I would like to see KP hit Glenn McGrath all over the pitch.

0926: BBC weather
With just over an hour to go until play is due to start, there is light rain at Lord's.


The Ashes is one of sport's greatest contests.

So over the course of the 2005 series, we'll be doing our best to convey all the colour and banter from the grounds by running a daily blog during each of the five Tests.

You can read updates from our reporters and Test Match Special commentators, but we want you to join in too.

  • Contribute to the general match debate with fellow fans by posting on our TMS message board and we'll include the best posts in this blog.

  • Use the e-mail form on the right if you have specific information which would be of interest to other readers. Otherwise, please use our message board.

  • If you are lucky enough to be at the match, text any observations or things you have spotted at the ground to 81111, putting Ashes at the start of your message, and your name at the end.
    (Texts will be charged at operators standard tariff)

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