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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Ashes log: Second Test - Thursday


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The log is over for the day after some explosive cricket in the second Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Rejoin us on Friday morning and stay all day to chew over what is bound to be another captivating day's action.

Andrew Flintoff
1755: Andrew Flintoff, England all-rounder
It was a bit bizarre to score in that way but it was a great effort. I could have gone on to get a big hundred and we could have done with a few more runs overall. But 400-plus is still a good total and gives something for the bowlers. Hopefully now the other bowlers and I will get the ball in the right areas and get a few wickets.

Michael Kasprowicz
1750: Michael Kasprowicz, Australia bowler
I think potentially England could have had more but it was an amazing day of Test cricket. The way the ball kept finding the fence was amazing. It's a good result to already be off the field and be in to bat. The wicket was quite slow and we didn't bowl as well as we could have. As for Glenn McGrath, it doesn't look too good.

1746: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
The covers are on as the showers virtually pass. A potentially really exciting 20 minutes here have gone begging. I don't suppose Australia's openers will be particularly upset. Matthew Hayden was walking backwards to the pavilion almost saying to England's bowlers that he was more than happy to face them. But that's all a bit of bravado.

1742: Alan Parker, Ruskington, via email
I'm informed by my 10-year-old son Arthur the haircuts sported by Shane Warne, Glen McGrath, Brett Lee etc are/is called "Dinner Lady Hair" by the young wags at primary school, since all the "lunch room assistants" have these hi-light/lo-light mullet type arrangements, but are usually matrons in their mid 50s.

1738: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
There's a bit of light rain falling now as the Australian openers come out to bat. Rudi Koertzen and Billy Bowden immediately call stumps for the day in sudden fashion as it gets a tad heavier and send the players off the field. A bit of a grey ending to a colourful day.

1736: Joe, Japan, via email
I am currently working in a tiny village called Yanagida in northern Japan and it's fantastic to hear the BBC coverage of live cricket. England has had a marvellous day of high-scoring batting.

1733: Charlie Senton, London, via email
If England can take two wickets - preferably the two openers - today then I think they have a good chance of taking them out tomorrow fairly early.

1731: Geoff Lawson, Test Match Special
I quite enjoyed that - it's been very watchable cricket. There's still some play to go so England will have their chance to take some crucial wickets before the close of play.


1725: Geoff Lawson, Test Match Special
England past the 400-run mark as Jones just clears Justin Langer in the field with his latest strike. Wow, 400 in a day. The crowd are up on their feet applauding but they should applaud themselves after witnessing such an amazing day's cricket.

1720: John Weager, Worcester, via email
I am currently listening to Test Match Special in Worcester - about 25 miles away - and it has just started raining quite heavily, while the sky is also very dark. Hopefully you will just get a full day in before it reaches you.

1717: Wazeer Mohamed, Guyana, South America, via email
England have approached this game with Australia's game plan, ie to score runs quickly. They are playing Australia at their own game and, if they beat them, it's a marvellous victory.

1712: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
Both teams ought to be satisfied by the close of play. England have a decent score and Australia will have bowled them out in less than a day after winning the toss. The crowd, on the other hand, are more than satisfied. Delirious springs to mind.

1709: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
The spirit of the England batsmen has been much better today. It's not like at Lord's when they looked like startled rabbits in a car's headlights. There's also a good patch of blue sky appearing in the distance over Edgbaston now as the game enters its final hour.

1705: Max, Guildford, via email
I think the total England have at the moment is competitive. It's all up to the bowling and fielding now really. If Harmison, Flintoff etc. can shine and the fielding is as good as the Aussies today (barring the earlier Warne dropped catch), England have a decent chance of taking the match.

1658: mikebaby2005, via email
England could do with these two (Hoggard and Jones) frustrating the Aussies with the bat for, say, half an hour, take any runs they can but have the Aussies huffing and puffing before they come out to bat.

1654: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special It's been a long time since Shane Warne has been treated as roughly as he has been today. When Warne came on Strauss sent a ball in his first over for four and one in the second over for six. The ploy by England was to go after him clearly from the outset.

1647: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
Simon Jones comes out to bat and may fancy his chances of attacking as well out there. His first scoring shot in Test cricket was a six so who knows? There's still 20 overs to go tonight.


1645: Ben Lyle, London, via email
It's all great to watch but yet again the English batsmen have let the bowlers down. Steve Harmison might drag England back into the match but, despite all the sixes, this has been Australia's day. Can't we, just once, bat a day out?

1639: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special Matthew Hoggard is definitely a slogger and effectively devoid of any strokes. But he shows that England are continuing the mentality of taking the game to Australia. He plays against the spin from Warne to pick up three admirable runs. Some nice play from England's tailenders.

1635: John, Leicester, via email
I was starting to think that Ponting's decision to field was up there with invading Russia, but the boys have managed to put the clamps on an England side that was looking to pull away. What a great first day and looking forward to a full five days this time round.

1631: Gavin, England, via email
Why do I feel like singing "it's just like watching Tim Henman"?


1624: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
Of the three lbw appeals Billy Bowden has faced on Warne's bowling in the last two overs, the one that saw Giles given out was probably the least likely to have been given out. I wonder how much Billy thought "I can't give another one not out. Life's too short".


1613: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
Kevin Pietersen is no slogger - he certainly knows how to bat. He's an astonishing striker of the ball. His back-to-back fours moments ago must have left brown burn marks as they scorched over the grass on their way to the boundary.

1607: sanskritsimon, TMS messageboards
England have probably thrown away their chance of bossing this match from the front, which, given the pitch and the bowling, is a shame. I must confess to some doubt as to whether or not Flintoff's batting will improve any further - he will usually get a few runs, occasionally a big score, but there is nothing reassuring about his cricket at present apart from his bowling.

1602: Chris, UK, via email
Geraint Jones - can't catch, can't bat. May as well put me in!

1557: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
You can't afford to take your eyes away from the action for a moment. The two teams are constantly trading blows, and the latest punch to land comes from the fist of Kasprowicz. Injure one Aussie, and another steps into the breach.

1552: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
The shape of the game has changed altogether again but England fans don't have to concern themselves that it's all over. It's never over when Pietersen is still at the crease. And Ashley Giles, who gets off the mark with a boundary, will be doing his utmost to back up his comments in the media this week.


1545: Andy, UK, via email
I can't believe Freddie has done it again. When are the England batsmen going to learn the basics of playing yourself in at the start of each session? Freddie had a big hundred there for the taking and now we'll be lucky to get 400. On this pitch if we can get 400, the Aussies will manage 600

1536: Geoff Lawson, Test Match Special
Flintoff's wicket is a huge letdown. I was looking forward to seeing Freddie Flintoff get a hundred in the most formidable of fashions. I wanted to see him continue where he left off. The bat is draped disconsolately over his shoulder as he trudges off the field. But those kind of wickets happen after a break.


1532: Harry C, UK, via email
When England won the Rugby World Cup, the Aussie fans' sour retort was: "It's all Jonny Wilkinson, you're nothing without him". My reply to that is: "Where is you Glenn McGrath on this fine sunny afternoon"?

1527: David, England, via email
Could it be the Aussies are more a one man team than previously considered. McGrath did the damage in the first Test. Looks like they need him now.

1522: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
Tea (and sympathy) comes not a moment too soon for Australia. They started the afternoon session very well, but ended it hoping McGrath's injury was a bad dream as Flintoff and Pietersen cut loose.

1517: Daniel Warren, via text Merv Hughes - he might be an Aussie legend but he is sat in front of us at Edgbaston and he seems to have had a sense of humour failure. In contrast, I am in very good spirits!

1511: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
The game ends quietly for the session but Flintoff has played supremely. He's taken the Australians on and Pietersen shows his appreciation by grasping Flintoff's hand and giving it a good shake. He knows this has given England a great chance.

1506: Michael, England, via email
To the whingers, stop it, this is about entertainment. No doubt, the purists might say England should consolidate their position but this is just great. If we blow all out for 350, so what, the crowd will have been entertained and there are a lot worse things happening in the world. I'm going tomorrow and I can't wait!

1459: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
It's like a boxing match out there with Lee firing them into both Flintoff and Pietersen. It's a frenetic atmosphere out there and Flintoff races to a half-century to remember.

1457: Phillip, UK, via email
Scoring at one-day international rates is all well and good as long as you don't give away your wicket playing shots you simply shouldn't go near in Test cricket (take note Trescothick and Vaughan). It is criminal against a side as good as the Aussies. Unless Pietersen and Flintoff score big England could be in serious trouble. I can't see the top-order Aussie batsmen giving their wickets away.

1450: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
I think I've seen everything now after that six by Andrew Flintoff. It startled a steward out there who had no reason to think the ball was heading his way. That ball went like an exocet over square leg. In fact, Flintoff didn't even seem to see the ball.

1443: Graham, northern England
Surely someone should start thinking about England's cricketing future and begin the cloning process of Kevin Pietersen and Steve Harmison. Ian Bell is a great batsman but psychologically inadequate at Test match level.

1433: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
This is the pairing English fantasists have been dreaming about. Flintoff and Pietersen both in full flight, both taking the long handle to Shane Warne.

1430: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
This is fantastic stuff, particularly with these two batting. We could be set to witness anything here - it's that difficult to call. Jason Gillespie needs to bowl it into a very precise channel just outside the off-stump, otherwise this pair will have him.

1422: Peter Henderson, UK, via email
The grin on the face of the Aussie beside me at work has reappeared! Please England don't capitulate once more.

1416: Henry Blofeld, Test Match Special
This is almost sadder from an England point of view than what happened at Lord's. England got such a good start and then there were lapses of concentration. Trescothick, Vaughan and Bell's dismissals were all avoidable. You have to feel a little sorry for Bell as he'd only just come in. He got a very good ball, which he had to play but it proved too good for him. It's fascinating stuff. We know Pietersen can handle this pressure but we don't know about Flintoff - this is only his second time against Australia. He does, however, look in terrible form at the moment.

1410: Matt Parker, Melbourne, via email
Can you imagine how it would be if our best bowler was actually fit? Doesn't really bear thinking about for you guys.

1404: James "fat boy" Rose, Australia
Good grief! I'm getting plenty of texts now... [see 1301]


1358: Mark Reeve, Hartlepool, via email
Is it now time to call short Ian Bell's participation in this Ashes series. He has failed in three innings now to get over 20 runs. Am I alone in thinking the pressure is too much for him? He should now be replaced by Paul Collingwood for the third Test.

1350: Oh Ah Glenn McGrath, via email
You England guys are still in a good postion but those two quick wickets have definitely brought us back in the game and lifted us, but I'd feel happy as an Aussie to see the back of Pietersen

1343: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
Two quick wickets and suddenly Australia are back in the game. A good knock from Trescothick but a bad way to get out, planting his feet to a shot he wouldn't have scored off anyway.

1341: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
You need to plug away as a bowler on this pitch. Michael Kasprowicz has done just that and he's turned the game around a bit. He now has another new Test cricketer in his midst - albeit Kevin Pietersen who had such a cracking start at Lord's. Australia will be thinking "we're not doing so badly after all" even if England are scoring at pace.


1336: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
The sun has well and truly broken through the clouds and batting looks like a pleasant thing to be doing right now. I wonder if Ricky Ponting is having any regrets, even with Marcus Trescothick's recent departure.


1330: Bill Frindall, Test Match Special
Marcus Trescothick has his highest score against Australia at present. His previous best of 76 was made on this pitch, while his partnership of 112 for the opening wicket with Andrew Strauss is the highest first-wicket partnership against Australia at Edgbaston. Only one other duo have ever got past the 100 mark in that respect here... and that was all the way back in 1909.

1328: Macca, England
If Vaughan/Trescothick can get to 200+ then I'd be tempted to send Kevin Pietersen in next to exploit tired bowling and a good batting pitch to hammer home the advantage.

1322: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
The power failure looks to be over. The tv screens are back and working and the electronic scoreboard springs back to life. Meanwhile, Jason Gillespie seems to be a shadow of the great bowler we've seen here in the past.

1318: Mad4cricket, TMS messageboards
I don't want to count my chickens just yet but, even if we did manage to win this Test, I can't help feeling it would be a hollow victory. I really doubt we'd be doing this well if the main man was on the scene.

1309: Peter Baxter, Test Match Special
We've had a power cut here but are thankfully still able to broadcast. The England batsmen are on their way out to the middle for the first over after lunch with the score at 132-1. Marcus Trescothick is unbeaten on 77, while Michael Vaughan is one not out.

1301: James "fat boy" Rose, Australia, via email
As a Pom in Sydney the last 10 days have been a living hell and I've been calling everyone "mate" in the vain hope of not being recognised as a Pom. What a difference two hours of quality batting makes and none of my Aussie "friends" are returning my gloating text messages! 450+ here we come

1246: Stuart Marshall, England, via email
Some over that last one before lunch. About time we attacked their frontline bowlers.

1230: Jim Maxwell, Test Match Special
Marcus Trescothick walks off for lunch after already reaching his highest score against Australia, although admittedly they are without their top bowler. All around the ground they're up applauding Trescothick - 13 fours, two sixes and 89 balls for his 77 runs. I've now got to sit down and collect my thoughts especially as England even managed 18 from that last Brett Lee over before lunch.

1226: Daniel Warren, text
Brilliant. I've just arrived after a late train and I'm sat behind the great Merv Hughes. Despite the wicket, England are still going strong. This is the best day of my life!


1219: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
The way England are playing shows they wanted to bat. Australia have given England exactly what they wanted and that must have been a major boost. They've come out with a great sense of urgency. Myself and Aggers were among the last off the field before the game. As the England batsmen passed us there was a tremendous noise.

1213: Nick Brealey, Kyrgyzstan, via email
I'm an England fan enjoying the Test Match Special commentary online in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. There's not a lot of interest in the Ashes out here. Polo with dead sheep is more their thing!

1210: Bill Frindall, Test Match Special
Marcus Trescothick's 50 is the 25th of his career and his fifth against Australia. But his highest score against Australia is only 76.

1205: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
England have all their wickets in hand, Glenn McGrath is in the dressing room and Shane Warne is going for plenty. Could this be England's day? Could this be England's Test?

1158: Hit46, TMS messageboards
I don't think it's totally a question of Australia having nothing without Glenn McGrath. He is definitely their top bowler but England have batted with more application and the pitch has done less than it was at Lord's. These are contributing factors too.

1151: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
Trescothick ends the latest Shane Warne over with a six - a confident way to end that over. He lofts the Australian spinner over his head. After it, Warne pops on his sweater nonchalantly while Trescothick is as phlegmatic as ever. This is confident stuff.

1143: Malesela, Cape Town, South Africa, via email
England must capitalise in the absence Glenn McGrath. I hope England can win this one for us the fans so we can have a good contest this summer.

1130: Mike Selvey, Test Match Special
I'm bemused why Ricky Ponting opted to bowl first even though he may have felt there was a bit of dampness in the pitch and it's a bit overcast. But that is a simplistic way to think of it. This looks a good pitch but it will get dented by the new ball. As the pitch hardens, which it certainly will, that's when you'll get uneven bounce. It will crack and it will crumble and, if you have the greatest spin bowler in history, it seems strange not to be bowling last.

1118: Paul Munds, Ireland, via email
Released from the "McGrath straightjacket", England could get a really big total here. With Shane Warne influence negated by the conditions, suddenly Australia's bowling attack looks a little ordinary.

1106: Jonathan Agnew, Test Match Special
Glenn McGrath is back at the ground now having been to hospital for an X-ray, scans and what have you. In his absence, the fours are coming thick and fast for England. Strauss and Trescothick look in good touch for now.

1058: Kevin Lee, Horsham, TMS messageboards
A bit of fun for the intervals - try and say "Strauss and Trescothick" several times fairly quickly without a gap. It has actually proved to be the best tongue twister I have come across and 100% failure has been achieved by everyone I've tried it on.

1045: Geoff Lawson, Test Match Special
Marcus Trescothick has produced three absolutely delightful drives. We're used to seeing him play that shot but, when Glenn McGrath bowls, we don't see him play it. Brett Lee needs to use the crease to good effect to trouble England, who are clearly happier without McGrath in action.

1038: Mick, Scotland, via email
Australia could replace Glenn McGrath with Mickey Mouse and England would still have no hope.

1034: Brownie, Bahrain, via email
Morale of English expats all over this desert island has risen with the news of Glenn McGrath's injury.

1030: Scott Heinrich, BBC cricket journalist
The crowd, 50-deep outside the ground and unhappy about the long wait to get in, donned a collective smile when news of Glenn McGrath's injury filtered through.

Five Live
1026: Jonathan Agnew, Radio Five Live
The umpires are coming past us. Billy Bowden gives me a little wave. The players are on their way out as well for what is a somewhat chilly day out here at the moment. Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist both look fired up while Michael Kasprowicz looks suitably relaxed despite his late call-up.

1015: Mattfd, TMS messageboards
I have to say i think this is where England may turn this Ashes series around. Without Glenn McGrath, the Australian attack is weakened and the new ball period will be easier. I think England will go on and win this Test and make it 1-1. It's a shame for McGrath - he's a great bowler. But at his age what do you expect?

England captain Michael Vaughan
1007: Michael Vaughan, England captain
We're looking forward to playing here. It's unfortunate what's happened to McGrath but we're actually trying to look after our own performance. Now we hope to put them under pressure immediately.

Ricky Ponting
1004: Ricky Ponting, Australia captain, after winning the toss and electing to field:
Hopefully we can do some damage this morning with the ball. Glenn McGrath has done his ankle in the warm-up. But the pleasing thing is that Michael Kasprowicz took five wickets in our last tour game.

0954: Daniel Warren, via text
Gutted again. The train's just broken down in the middle of Berkshire. The next service is going to get us in even later. And worse still, I'm beginning to make friends with our neighbouring Aussies in that blitz spirit type way!

0950: Matt Malpeli, Malaysia
I'm here in Kuala Lumpur waiting for the first session of play to start. I've got to say news of Glenn McGrath being out aren't all that worrying - his average at Edgbaston isn't very flattering and Michael Kasprowicz is more than enough back-up after his weekend five-for. More pain for England forecast I'm sorry to say.

Five Live
0940: Pat Murphy, Radio Five Live
We still don't know if Glenn McGrath will be fit to play. He is currently having treatment from team physio Errol Alcott. He had been playing a game of touch rugby - a traditional warm-up from the Aussies - and McGrath trod on a stray cricket ball, injuring his right ankle in the process. He was carried off in a great degree of pain. He has had ankle operations in past two years so it's clearly a weak area. If he is out, Shaun Tait will be in contention or Michael Kasprowicz, who I think is probably marginally fancied to take over. Whatever the case, Australia will undoubtedly be weakened if they lose McGrath.

0931: Daniel Warren, via text
It's all change on the train now [see earlier entry at 0924]. News has just come in that Glenn McGrath might be out. Those Aussies aren't quite so sure of themselves now.

0929: Jim Clayfield, England, via email
I'm passionate fan and I believe in our boys. A clear mind is the key - believe and succeed. We have talent all over the park. I know we will win at Birmingham. Bring them on!

0924: Daniel Warren, via text
Gutted - stuck on a train near Aylesbury. I'm gonna miss the start of play and, even worse, I'm surrounded by Aussies at the moment. We're bigging up England's hopes. I hope we're not all out by the time we get there as otherwise I will look quite foolish.

Five Live
0901: Former England Test cricketer Mark Ramprakash, Radio Five Live
Michael Vaughan's injury scare is a bit of a concern but, having said that, his team will be very happy he is fit and ready to lead the troops. The team desperately need him to perform - he's had a lean time this summer. At the moment, the general attitude is that England's confidence has been knocked. They now need to stay strong mentally and bounce back. Australia have again been very vocal in the press this week, which has been the case since they arrived on English soil. But that won't worry England's players too much.

0837: Ricky Ponting, Australia captain
There's no need to get carried away with anything in this series at the moment. The last Test match seems a very long time ago. We have to make sure we do exactly the same things as we did in the first Test and just need batsmen to perform.

The Ashes is one of sport's greatest contests.

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