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Test Match Special podcast | Blog
Australia, 12 Jan - 13 Feb 2007



SECOND ONE-DAY SERIES FINAL, SYDNEY:
England 246-8 (50 overs) beat Australia 152-8 (27 overs) by 34 runs

England won their first major overseas one-day tournament since 1997 as they beat Australia by 34 runs on an absorbing rain-hit night in Sydney.

Paul Collingwood top scored with 70 in a total of 246-8 while Liam Plunkett picked up three wickets for 33 runs.

Bad weather interruptions - and the loss of regular wickets - meant Australia's target was adjusted twice.

They ultimately needed 211 from 33 overs and finished on 152-8 from 27, Brad Hodge top-scoring with 49.

THE ACTION AS IT HAPPENED

By Pranav Soneji

Text the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on 84040 (from the UK only)

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

Thanks to everyone who tuned in today to witness one of the greatest turnarounds in one-day history. It's made me excessively excited about the forthcoming World Cup. Over and out team.

"I love it I love it I love it! C'mon England, I'm going dancing in the streets!"
Bandicoot Ben

1200 GMT: Freddie Flintoff is urging his team-mates to head down to the England fans, where he bows down in a 'we're not worthy' fashion. Paul Nixon goes one better and jumps in the throng, he is clearly loving this - and why wouldn't he? I doubt the bloke ever imagined he would be celebrating scenes like this when he hopped on a jumbo at the start of the year.

1150 GMT: An announcement confirms ENGLAND HAVE WON BY 34 RUNS, much to the delight of the England fans singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again.

1148 GMT: More protracted tedium, surely they can't play at this hour? Bit similar to The Oval at 2005, only slightly less euphoric.

RAIN STOPS PLAY

Wicket
27th over: Australia WICKET 152-8 - 59 to win
Two big hits from Brett Lee sees eight runs off Colly's bag of allsorts, with a single off a highish full-toss. Bracken's picks up two with a chip over mid-on. We've got rain and the umpires are conferring - the covers are coming on and it's past the 10:30pm cut-off point, so....this could well be it. We'll wait for confirmation.

Wicket
26th over: Australia WICKET 141-8 - 70 to win
After launching Dalrymple deep into the Bill O'Reilly stand for a massive six, Brad Hodge finds the hands of Ian Bell on the edge of the circle at cover. Surely that's it, game over, the fat lady has sung, that's the end of that chapter etc. Certainly the remaining Aussies think the same, oh yes, we can see you leave...

Wicket
25th over: WICKET Australia 133-7 - 78 to win
After dispatching Colly for a four, Brad Hogg tries to do the same again but flails to the buckethands of Andrew Flintoff at mid-wicket. Brett Lee walks up to the wicket (or wackit, if you're Judith's grandson).

"After Ricky Ponting's dismissal my three-year-old grandson phoned me to say 'Grandma - England they do have another wackit!'
Judith Poole

24th over: Australia 125-6 - 85 to win
Brilliant fielding from Monty on the boundary and nifty footwork from Ed Joyce saves England a run as the Aussie duo run through for three. Another three runs collected off that Dalrymple over.

23rd over: Australia 120-6 - 91 to win
"Yorkers or slower balls Colly" muffles Nixon through a large protruding gumshield. And his bowler serves him well, keeping the ball up to the bat making runs hard to come by. The SCG is virtually empty, but the flags of St George are waving about all around the place.

22nd over: Australia 118-6 - 93 to win
The man of the moment Dalrymple dusts himself down for another over of tweakers. However Hodge isn't willing to give up the fight just yet and cuts a short delivery down to the third man boundary. Another four runs are added from that over. I hate using horrifically stereotypical clichés, but you can never write off the Aussies until the last wicket. Port Elizabeth in the 2003 World Cup anyone?

Wicket
21st over: WICKET Australia 109-6 - 102 to win
Shane Watson is brilliantly caught by Jamie Dalrymple at point, diving full stretch with one hand for what can only be described as a snorter of a pouch off Paul Collingwood's bowling. Most definitely a candidate for catch of the series.

Earlier in the over third umpire Daryl Harper is involved in the action after a very smart stumping from Nixon. It's a tight call needing all sorts of angles but Harper decides Watson's foot was just behind the line. But only just. Watson tonks a wide long-hop for four to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Batsman scores 100
20th over: Australia 103-5 - 108 to win
The 100 comes up as Watson scythes Dalrymple over point. Lots of singles to deep fielders, but the 20th over is bowled - we have a game.

19th over: Australia 95-5 - 116 to win
Watson dispatches Monty's first ball back over his head into the stands for six. He edges the next delivery down to the third man boundary. It's entertaining, especially with England keen to keep the action ticking over. Thirteen off that Monty over, but it doesn't look like England are too concerned.

18th over: Australia 83-5 - 128 to win
Unsurprisingly Jamie Dalrymple and his off-spin is introduced into the attack. Nixon thinks he has Shane Watson caught behind, but umpire Ian Howe is not interested. One run off that over.

17th over: Australia 79-5 - 130 to win
We are back - and Monty is racing through his overs, running back to his mark after every delivery. On the other hand Brad Hodge is in no hurry.

Lots of emails about how the Duckworth/Lewis works. If you like lots of Xs and Ys and brackets and all sorts of mathematical symbols, you might find this interesting:

1041 GMT: Another revision on the D/L method - Australia need to score 211 off 33 overs.

1035 GMT: The covers are coming off - slowly.

1024 GMT: England need to bowl at least 20 overs for the match to count as a result. That's another 3.4 overs.

RAIN STOPS PLAY

17.2 overs: Australia 79-5 - 146 to win
Monty Panesar manages to squeeze two deliveries before the rain starts lashing down. All you amateur weatherpeople, see what you've done? The players run off for the fourth rain interruption of the game. Stick the kettle on, I'm sure we'll be back on again soon.

16th over: Australia 79-5 - 146 to win
More tough bowling from Flintoff, leaking two runs from that over, including a leg-bye.

There are lots of worrying emails about impending rain showers in the TMS inbox.

15th over: Australia 77-5 - 148 to win
A good over for Australia as all-rounder Shane Watson strokes two gorgeous off drives off Saj Mahmood through the covers for four.

14th over: Australia 69-5 - 156 to win
More tough bowling from Andrew Flintoff, who is asking more than a few questions of Hodge and Watson.

13th over: Australia 67-5 - 158 to win
Tidy over from Saj Mahmood, which is blighted when Watson dispatches his last ball - a slower ball - on leg-stump for three runs.

Wicket
12th over: Australia WICKET 63-5
Angus Fraser has just Murrayed Mike Hussey big-time after lauding his judgement skills, he only goes and needlessly chases a wide ball outside off-stump, which he edges to the safe hands of Andrew Strauss at first slip. If you're English, start thinking about getting yourself down to the local off licence for a bottle of champers. A nasty bumper from Flintoff flies off Shane Watson's gloves into the leg-side. Is this really the same England side that began this tournament in such dire fashion three weeks ago?

11th over: Australia 63-4
Hodge paddles a short Plunkett delivery to the mid-wicket boundary, but a thick inside edge saves him from a certain lbw shout. And to compound Plunks' anguish, Hodge hits two consecutive boundaries - one through cover and the other a clip off his legs.

10th over: Australia 51-4
Flintoff introduces himself into the attack and immediately keeps tight line to Mike Hussey and Brad Hodge. Paul Nixon is right in Mr Cricket's ear (not literally, although would make great TV) ensuring that he hears every word of his chat.

9th over: Australia 50-4
Hodge nudges a single but Joyce's throw from point is wild and it flies for four over-throws, despite the dive of Mahmood. But another good over of swing bowling from Plunkett.

8th over: Australia 45-4
Just as Geoff Lawson implores Saj Mahmood to pitch the ball up, he promptly drops short and Brad Hodge fills his boots with a pulled four to the mid-wicket boundary. Hodge nicks a single off the last ball of the over.

Wicket
7th over: Australia WICKET 40-4
Plunks could have had Brad Hodge for a duck but Paul Collingwood drops a tough chance at fourth slip. However all that is forgotten as Michael Clarke edges a perfect outswinger into the grateful mitts of Paul Nixon. Mr Plunkett, take a bow.

Wicket
7th over: Australia WICKET 39-3
Would you believe it, the very first ball after the rain break and Plunkett produces a superb inswinging delivery which beats Adam Gilchrist all ends up. I'm not going to get carried away on hyperbole, but that could well be the clincher for England. Please don't make me eat my words.

0928: The players are back on and the action is ready to resume. Plunkett resumes the bowling.

0924: Australia's adjusted target courtesy of Jack Duckworth and Lennox Lewis is 227 off 41 overs.

"Your online scoreboard and commentary are excellent but with Duckworth/Lewis likely to play a part in this match is it possible to display the Duckworth/Lewis comparison somewhere on screen and keep it updated?"
Lester Manners

Lester, we would love to, but since no-one in this office has a mathematics Phd or a real passion for statistical mathematical models, that might be a little difficult. We'll try our best though.

0914 GMT: The groundstaff are beginning to remove the covers.

"I would be seriously thinking about playing Pietersen at three or as a floater. If England get off to a good start then send him on, but if they don't start too well send in someone like Ian Bell with Pietersen coming in at four."
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS

0905 GMT: If you thought scoring wasn't easy in Sydney, Pakistan are currently 26-3 off 14 overs at an overcast Newlands in Cape Town.

0858 GMT: Rejoice! The rain has abated, according to the sages in the TMS box. The covers are still on though, so don't dance around your computer screen too much.

"I think they have got the biggest wicket in Ponting."
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS

"If one has observed a flock of galahs in a field, they can make a tremendous racket. Hence a certain soap character's frequent pleas to indivuals to "stop goin' on like a pack of flamin' galahs!"
Phil, Hemel Hempstead, UK (soon to be Brisbane, Oz)

RAIN STOPS PLAY

It is absolutely belting it down with rain at the SCG, so Chris' weather prophecies are spot-on. The covers are coming on, this could be a long break I'm afraid.

"Big rain shower in Randwick, maybe this one will find its way to the SCG."
Chris, Sydney

6th over: Australia WICKET 39-2
There are dark clouds all around the SCG now, with 14 more overs needed before this counts as a valid match. Australia just a little behind the Duckworth/Lewis par score at the moment as Mahmood slots in some impressive slower balls to Gilchrist, who top-edges down to fine leg for a streaky single.

Wicket
5th over: Australia WICKET 35-2
Ponting edges a belter of an outswinger from Liam Plunkett and Strauss takes a fine, low diving catch to his right at slip. The England players are going absolutely bananas and it takes a few authoritative words from Andrew Flintoff to quell the excitement. The SCG crowd can't quite believe what they're seeing and they are keeping their mouths firmly shout.

Wicket
4th over: Australia WICKET 32-1
Mahmood engineers the breakthrough with a slower ball that Matthew Hayden guides straight to Paul Collingwood standing at short mid-off, or the Hayden position as the rest of the world calls it. Exactly what England needed, especially after a frenetic first three overs. Ricky Ponting gets off the mark with an exquisite on-drive passed the despairing dive of Monty Panesar. And he helps himself to another couple with a pull towards the mid-wicket boundary. Hands on heads when another Mahmood slower ball is nicked, but falls short of Andrew Strauss at first slip.

3rd over: Australia 25-0
Shades of Clive Lloyd from Gilchrist, who slaps Plunkett off the back foot through cover for a rocket of a four, Gilly is getting in the mood for some Calypso cricket ahead of the six-week jaunt to the West Indies next month. He slaps an aerial cut over Jamie Dalrymple for two before a fortuitous edge flies over Paul Nixon's head for another boundary. An ominous start for England.

2nd over: Australia 12-0
A steady start by Mahmood, bit of seam movement which will encourage him as the light begins to fade. The one blip of the over is a shortish delivery pulled off the front foot by Hayden for three.

1st over: Australia 8-0
Unfortunately Liam Plunkett's first delivery is nothing like the one he clean bowled Adam Gilchrist with a week ago in Sydney, rather it slides unconvincingly down the leg-side for a wide. And the second ball is exactly the same. Gilchrist gets off the mark with a tasty looking drive, but the outfield has definitely slowed since Joyce and Loye began England's innings. A high top-edged hook falls safely out of the reach of Saj Mahmood.

AUSTRALIA INNINGS

Wicket
50th over: WICKET 246-8
An emotional over for Glenn McGrath, his last ever appearance in an Australia shirt at his home ground. And would you believe it? He's only gone and dismissed Paul Nixon with his final ball. Mr Script Writer, take a bow. But still, eight runs off that over as England finish on 246 off their 50 overs.

49th over: 238-7
Bracken pegs back any attempt at an all-out assault, mixing up slower balls with yorkers.

Wicket
48th over: WICKET 234-7
Another run out, this time it's Jamie Dalrymple after a complete mix-up with Paul Nixon, who had no interest in a second run while Dalrymple was steaming down the pitch screaming for a second. A simple decision for the umpires. A good over from McGrath, frustrating for England especially as 250 looked on the cards three overs ago.

Wicket
47th over: WICKET 231-6
Nathan Bracken is Ponting's man for bowling at the 'death' and he doesn't let his captain down, bowling a series of low full-tosses and blockhole deliveries. And he delivers the breakthrough when Collingwood attempts to reverse sweep Bracken down to third man, but succeeds in paddling the ball round to Adam Gilchrist. But another assured innings from Collingwood.

46th over: 225-5
Colly smashes Watson straight back over his head, but his hopes for a boundary are dashed as Brad Hodge comes round to collect. Seven runs and the tension is mounting. England probably have their noses in front at this stage.

45th over: 218-5
Lee finishes his 10 overs with a tidy over, keeping the ball up in the blockhole and making big runs difficult. However, five runs are added to the total.

44th over: 213-5
Dalrymple gets off the mark with a sweep off Hogg, who adds a run to the extras with a wide. Two singles from Collingwood keep the score ticking along. Apparently the record chase under lights at the SCG is 260, so any score in that vicinity and we could be on for a corking second half.

Wicket
43rd over: WICKET 209-5
Flintoff stands back and smashes Lee through cover for four but the speedster has his revenge when he snaffles a powerfully struck return catch to dismiss Flintoff for 42. Lee shakes his fingers to reiterate to his team-mates just how hard Flintoff struck that shot. I wouldn't have got in the way of that bullet so fair play to Brett. He had 0.4 seconds to react.

Batsman scores 50
42nd over: 202-4
Collingwood brings up his 50 brilliantly sweeping Hogg behind square for four. He collects another two with a similar shot. There are more than a few concerned faces in green out in the middle. This could be an interesting last 10 overs.

41th over: 195-4
Mike Hussey is back in the attack and Freddie can smell blood. He duly swipes Hussey to the mid-on boundary for the first four in 10 overs and collects another three runs to take England five runs from 200. Things are picking up for England.

40th over: 187-4
Four runs from Hogg's over, the usual nudges, deflections and paddles. One thing to note, it is very quiet in the crowd. They haven't really had much to shout about, but still, it's a prestigious one-day final so you'd expect some sort of banter from red-faced beered-up locals... including my mate Phil, who has just text me to say he is doing exactly that at the SCG.

39th over: 182-4
Bracken is back in the attack and does exactly what his captain wants and slows down the runs with a tight line outside off-stump. England collect three runs with the field spread.

"Simon from Brisbane, a galah is a bird, a grey and pink parrot-type bird and I'm surprised you haven't seen one since they like to graze in pairs on grass by the wayside. Perhaps you're eyes are on the TV too much?"
Fioncam

38th over: 179-4
Another six runs, this time off Brad Hogg. Flintoff is playing an uncharacteristic innings, nudging and nurdling rather than boshing and bashing. But it's exactly what England need right now. And the pitching is turning, great news for Monty (and to a lesser extent, Jamie Dalrymple).

37th over: 173-4
This is seriously strange cricket. If this wasn't England most people would've switched off an hour ago. It really isn't pretty but somehow it's compulsive viewing. Thirteen runs have been scored in the last two overs, but you wouldn't think so the way England have been playing. Watson is looking equally stumped.

36th over: 167-4
He doesn't look he can read what Hogg is contriving, but Flintoff is somehow managing to pick up runs without looking particularly assured. A massive heave-ho narrowly misses his leg-stump, but a useful over for England as add seven to the total.

35th over: 160-4
Shane Watson is back in the attack and sees more quality running from Collingwood, who really is on song right now, picking up two when most would've been content with a single. What England would have given to have the Durham man in this form alongside Kevin Pietersen at a stage like this. Four runs off that over.

34th over: 156-4
Three runs off that Hogg over. It's not exactly riveting viewing, but the tension is making it very interesting indeed.

33rd over: 153-4
A boundary would be a real bonus at the moment, but neither man can get McGrath to the rope. However the scoreboard is ticking along, Collingwood is a master at turning ones into twos. Flintoff also picks up two with a cut down to third man.

32nd over: 148-4
'George' Hogg is a key man in this passage of play. He's getting the ball to turn but his line isn't quite right, conceding two consecutive wides. Both Flintoff and Collingwood nurdle singles.

31st over: 144-4
Three singles from a tight McGrath over. It's pretty tense, the balance is probably in Australia's favour but a couple of big overs could change the complexion. On comes the drinks spaceship to give the crowd something to look at.

"C'mon Colly. Another ton will do very nicely. Surely the best Geordie all-rounder since Ant and Dec?"
Marc Smith

Don't start that one Marc, we had a deluge of emails stating that Collingwood is from Shotly Bridge in Northumbria, not from Newcastle. Even though he supports Sunderland.

30th over: 141-4
Hogg is a funny one, he looks like how I would imagine an extra from a Just William novel to look, but batsmen genuinely seem to be stumped by what comes out of his hand. Anyway, four of that over, a sweep for two from Colly, a single from Fred and a leg-bye.

29th over: 137-4
If you want me to say Freddie's looking good, tough. A thick outside edge from the England captain runs to the boundary off the last ball of Lee's over. He won't care, it's four. A wide from Lee and a single from Collingwood add two more to the total.

"I moved from Lewisham to Brisbane three-and-a-half years ago and have yet to work out what a galah is, or why it happens to be 'flaming'. Can anyone help? Is it like a 'Flaming Moe' (off the Simpsons) and I'm supposed to drink it?"
Simon, Brisbane

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

28th over: 131-4
'George' Hogg has Flintoff utterly bamboozled with his wrong'un. The Chinaman has a decent shout for leg before turned down before dissecting Gilchrist and Hayden for four byes, which looked as if they came off the edge of Flintoff's bat. But at least Collingwood looks assured, he picked up three runs earlier in the over.

27th over: 124-4
England's most productive over of the match, largely thanks to Collingwood's excellent strokeplay and clever placement. Brett Lee isn't doing himself any favours with his no-balls, not that Andrew Flintoff gives two flamin' galahs.

"Getting really dark here in Randwick - they'll be off in less than five minutes."
Chris Sydney

Wicket
26th over: WICKET England 114-4
just when it was safe laud how well the ginger pair ran between the wickets, up pops Mike Hussey to run out Ian Bell attempting a very ill-advised single. Mr Cricket's throw is made the more impressive considering he only had at least five yards to run, one stump to aim at while throwing off balance . England's promising start has well and truly hit the buffers. Andrew Flintoff makes his way to the crease. Five runs off Brad Hogg's first over.

25th over: England 109-3
Now this one will scoop an enterprising spread-better some serious cash - Mike Hussey is introduced into the bowling attack bowling some serious dibbly dobbly. But despite his lack of pace, neither Collingwood nor Bell manage to smash him to all parts. England pick up four runs, largely thanks to two wides. Wonder what's going through Punter's head to pull that one out of the bag...

24th over: England 105-3
The red-head boys keep the score ticking along, Collingwood picks up three with a clip for two and a single, while Bell picks up a run.

23rd over: England 101-3
Six runs off that Watson over thanks to excellent running between the wickets. Bell picks up two down to fine leg while Collingwood picks up three with a lovely cover drive for three. But he had to scamper for the last run thanks to an accurate throw from Matthew Hayden in the deep.

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

"Sorry Chris, ESPN is showing Reading v. Aston Villa right now in Singapore. Please don't raise our hopes in this way!"
David Moreton, Singapore

22nd over: England 95-3
Collingwood picks up Bracken from outside off-stump and whips the ball through mid-wicket for a industrious three. Bell adds a couple more with a pull in the same area.

21st over: England 89-3
Nothing of real note from that Watson over, two singles, one each for Bell and Collingwood, moves the score along. Collingwood is sporting a pink batting handle a la Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds, who both have the same colour in aid of a Breast Cancer charity. Assume Colly is doing exactly the same.

"Shame about Loye. The only rival to Trigger from Only Fools and Horses as the man who can utilise his sweep the most."
Marc Smith

Wicket
20th over WICKET England 87-3
Andrew Strauss' winter of discontent continues, this time edging Bracken to Gilchrist. Not good for the Middlesex man, whose seat on the plane to the West Indies is looking very wobbly. Strauss' demise sees Friday's hero of the MCG Paul Collingwood to the crease. He gets off the mark with a tight single to Mike Hussey, whose direct hit is queried to the third umpire, but he's well home.

Wicket
19th over: WICKET England 85-2
Mal Loye calls for a suicidal single when Bell nudges the ball to Matthew Hayden at short third man. The Queenslander hits the sticks with Loye a good three feet out of his crease. Up goes Steve Davis' finger and down goes Loye's head, who will be steaming. Andrew Strauss comes to the crease and gets off the mark thanks to a mis-field, picking up two runs. Another mis-field from Brett Lee sees the left-hander pick up an all-run four as the rain slows up the outfield.

0530 GMT: The players are out again. Order has been restored.

"Kerry O'Keefe just discussing Nixon in the break, about how much he thinks the wicket-keeper has contributed to England's revival because of his up-beat attitude. None of this moaning 'I did my best' from him. There, and you all thought it was Colly was the saviour!"
Fiona, Sydney, where it's raining and sunshiny at the same time

"With Mal Loye at the crease, running between the wickets dries up. Bell and Collingwood ran the Aussies ragged last time and this contributed greatly to their emotional disintegration in the field."
Randal Suttle

"For all those watching in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, ESPN are showing the England game live right now. I'm in India, so the India game is on another channel. Come on England!"
Chris, Mumbai

0521 GMT: The covers are coming off, so it's just a irritating little shower that has disrupted play.

"Just got into class for the first day back after holidays. Only five students showed up, so I sent them away, allowing me to concentrate on the cricket..."
Mohammed (from England), United Arab Emirates

18.3 overs: England 79-1
Two balls into Watson's over and the rain is back. The covers are slowly coming on as the players run off to the comfort of the changing rooms.

18th over: England 79-1
Another slog sweep for four from Loye, this time off Nathan Bracken, which bounces twice before hitting the rope. But despite the big shots, Loye isn't making the most of the potential singles on offer. He is trying, but it's not coming off. However, his 45 is his highest score of the series.

17th over: England 75-1
Loye launches McGrath's fifth ball into the stands with - you've guessed it - a slog sweep to a delivery on off-stump. A tremendous and brave shot, especially when you consider Loye was smacked on the chin for his troubles playing the same shot off McGrath when the two teams last played each other at the SCG. Pidge is not best pleased. A good over for England, three singles means nine runs off that productive over.

16th over: England 66-1
Umpire Ian Howe signals another powerplay. Nice start from Bell, who scampers through for a single with a lovely off-drive to Mike Hussey. A juicy wide half-volley is dispatched to the boundary by Loye, who goes down on one knee, Clive Lloyd style. And he does exactly the same again, only this time he scoops a ball pitched outside off-stump over mid-wicket for an easy single. It's every schoolboy coach's nightmare, not that Duncan Fletcher is too concerned. A wide adds another run to England's total.

0458 GMT: The players are back out on to the pitch a full two minutes before play was scheduled to start. So for those who can't be bothered to scroll down, Mal Loye is about to face Shane Watson for the first ball of the 16th over.

"Channel 9 over here in Oz is showing Gilchrist's 'lazy' ton in Perth. Got to give themselves some encouragement at a time when they have to win."
Richard, Gold Coast

0454 GMT: As long as 45 minutes are not lost, there will be no reduction in overs. To those in Singapore, is the India v Sri Lanka game any good? My colleague Oliver Brett has just informed me India have ripped through the Sri Lankan top order and the tourists are 64-4. That will keep my old man happy.

"Tom in Edinburgh gets Popper's theory on falsification at 3am. I get maternal mortality in Ethiopia on a very soggy Saturday night in San Francisco. Rain stopped play you could say.
Richard, California

There is a tremendous line in late-night essay writing throughout the cricket-loving world. Here's an essay question: Should England persist with the likes of Mal Loye and Paul Nixon for the Cricket World Cup? Discuss.

"Am glued to the text coverage whilst at work on a long night shift. My colleague has decided to have a nap and is snoring so loudly that the blinds are rattling."
Paul, Bournemouth

0446 GMT: Play will resume at 1600 (Australia time, not GMT thankfully, that will be 0500).

"Colombians think that cricket is a silly version of baseball. They also think baseball is a silly game so no support for me watching the text updates over here!
Gavin, Bogota

0439 GMT: It's stopped raining and the umpires are out, but hold them horses because there's still plenty of mopping up to do before the covers come off, which sounds vaguely saucy.

"Certainly in this part of the world they need the rain desperately - not that our listeners in England will be thinking the same."
Former Australia international Geoff Lawson on TMS

"Just sat down to watch the game and the TV company is showing the India v Sri Lanka game. Bang goes my day on the settee."
Andy, Singapore

"10.30pmish here in Mexico and I am ready with tacos and beer while trying to explain to my Mexican friend what I am doing watching a text update on cricket! I will explain what cricket is to him after a case or two of Corona, it's going to be a long night regardless."
Robin Kropacsy, Mexico City

"I'm told the outfield here drains very well indeed."
TMS commentator Simon Mann

Rain to stop play in the next hour? More like next minute, but thanks for the warning Andy. It's a bizarre scene as there is bright sunshine beaming down on the SCG, but the rain is coming down at a decent rate.

"Just thought I'd mention that on the rainfall radar there is a heavy shower heading towards Sydney. I wouldn't be surprised if rain stops play sometime in the next hour. Hopefully won't last too long though!"
Andy, Leicester

15th over: England 59-1
A super tidy over from McGrath, including a few snifters rapping Bell on the gloves, prompting the Warwickshire man to wave at the dressing room for more gloves. Apparently it's humid in Sydney, not that I'd know freezing my bits off in west London. Bell steals a single off the last ball of the over.

14th over: England 58-1
Shane Watson replaces Brett Lee and bowls a series of juicy half-volleys outside of-stump which Loye fails to dispatch. However Loye then smashes two consecutive shot balls for fours through his favoured leg-side. Not the best start from Watson, who also added to the extras with a wide.

13th over: England 49-1
Adam Gilchrist decides to stand up to Glenn McGrath, no doubt he would not have done that five years ago. Nothing of real note until Bell produces an on-drive you could quite happily hang in the Tate Britain and admire for hours for four.

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

"Abigail, the cricket channel 95 is a straight feed from India, hence the humorous but tediously repetitive Bollywood-style adverts between overs. There is a satellite feed you can tap into if you have a dish so head down to Singapore Cricket Club and watch it at Stumps sports bar."
Peter J Salt, Singapore

12th over: England 45-1
Bell nicks another single down to third man before Loye goes aerial between mid-on and mid-wicket for another four not off the middle of the bat. Not pretty, but I don't think Mal Loye is one for aesthetics.

"Gin and tonic, malt loaf and an essay on Popper's theory of falsicationism, at three in the morning? It must be Test Match Special time - come on England!
Tom, Edinburgh

11th over: England 39-1
The first powerplay is signalled as McGrath steams in to Bell, who nudges a single down to third man. Loye is looking strangled. He just can't seem to drive the ball very well and keeps mis-timing or hitting the ball into his pads. Frustrating viewing, especially with the field up.

10th over: England 38-1
Loye mis-times an uppish cover drive, but manages to get two runs for his industry. But he almost runs out Ian Bell the very next ball when he hits to Brad Hodge at deepish cover but declines a single which Bell thought was very much one. Ian Chappell on TMS isn't too keen on Loye at the top of the order, he would rather have Ravi Bopara in the side.

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

"Starhub in Singapore have only gone and put India v Sri Lanka on live instead of Australia v England!! Clearly, who ever schedules the programming is from the subcontinent. I'm fed up and launched a formal complaint. All those in Singapore who agree please complain also! Call 1633. I am cancelling my subscription."
Abigail Luscombe, Singapore

Wicket
9th over: WICKET England 36-1
Ed Joyce tries to pull McGrath but the ball gets a little too big on him and loops the ball up to Brad Hodge, who takes a very good catch at mid-wicket. Shame as Joyce could have built the ideal platform for a big score. Ian Bell, fresh from his 65 at the MCG, gets off the mark with a cut to third man, challenging Nathan Bracken's arm and successfully completing the second run. But McGrath has the final say when Bell tries to pull a ball that really wasn't there to pull and misses it completely.

8th over: England 34-0
Bracken drops short and Joyce yet again rocks onto his back foot to crack the ball through mid-wicket for another fine boundary. The Irishman/Englishman steals the strike with a tickle down to third man off the final ball of the over.

7th over: England 29-0
The under-fire Glenn McGrath is in the attack and sees Loye milk six off his first over with a mis-timed pull through mid-wicket for two and a well-timed forcing drive off the back foot behind point which yet again races for four. Pidge is officially not happy.

6th over: England 23-0
Bracken regains a measure of control with an accurate over probing outside of Joyce's off-stump. Excellent line from Bracken, who has probably been Australia's best bowler in this series. With hair like his, he could easily be the lead axeman in any faux-metal EMO band. Fall Out Boy? My Chemical Romance? Any thoughts welcome.

5th over: England 23-0
The Loye slog sweep gets another outing against Lee and he misses yet again, but no stickers on the body this time. The TMS team are speculating on whether the shot is pre-meditated or whether Loye picks the ball. Probably a bit of both. However a nice orthodox drive through the covers makes its way to the boundary for four. But Loye absolutely determined to spank a Lee bouncer to the leg-side boundary off his front foot and yet again completely misses the ball. More no-balls from Lee, another two to add to the extras.

"It would be interesting to see how the Ashes would have unravelled were they to have started today! England look supremely confident right now."
Manmeet Mangat

4th over: England 17-0
Loye gets off the mark with an ugly pull, but it's effective as it races to the boundary. It was airy, but what do I care? It was four. Loye guides the ball down to third man to pick up an easy single. Decent start from England's openers.

3rd over: England 12-0
Lee drops short on his fourth ball and Joyce rocks back and whips the ball behind square for four. Lee oversteps and adds another extra to the score. The outfield is like lightning.

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

2nd over: England 7-0
Nathan Bracken partners Lee with the new ball. A good looking Joyce drive through the covers races to the boundary, beating the dive of Mike Hussey. The Middlesex left-hander looks in top nick and takes a single into the covers. However Loye isn't looking as assured - a stifled appeal from the Australians when the ball brushes his thigh pad.

"'Awooga'" was John Fashanu's catchphrase on Gladiators. Ponting looks like Popeye, 'ahhhhhh ga ga ga ga ga'"
Stuart, Calgary

1st over: England 2-0
Brett Lee takes the new ball and his first almost ends in farce when Brad Hogg's bog standard throw to the keeper completely misses Adam Gilchrist and runs down to fine leg, but Mal Loye at the non-striker's end isn't watching and misses out on the overthrow. Joyce turns the second ball into the leg side for a quickly taken single. Loye goes for a slog sweep, but misses and wears yet another bruise to add to his collection on his torso. Mrs Loye must be wincing. Lee completes his over, the other run coming from a wide earlier in the over.

0314 GMT: England openers Mal Loye and Ed Joyce have walked out onto the SCG, only to find the Aussies are nowhere to be seen. Turns out Ricky Ponting is giving his a Churchillianesque (is that a word?) rousing team-talk.

"I can't wait for the game to get underway. It beats bloody online shopping for Valentine's lingerie at 3am, at least I hope so..."
Jay, Southampton

"Come on England, let's be professional and do the business - give the fans a little bit of the 'Awooga spirit' before the World Cup!
Rookie

Anyone have a Scooby Doo as to what 'Awooga spirit' is?

Email the BBC Sport website and the TMS team on TMS@bbc.co.uk

"I think Ponting also bares a striking resemblance to Ian Hislop (of Have I Got News For You and Private Eye fame). Has anyone ever seen Ponting, Bush and Hislop in the same room? I rest my case.
Jeremy Greig

"The pitch is a little dry and the spinners could come into the game later on. The lads are confident, we've one three games on the bounce and we want to make it one more."
England captain Andrew Flintoff

0301 GMT: Just had a look at the BBC Weather forecast for Sydney and almost fell off my chair when I saw it was minus six, only to realise it was Sydney, Canada. However Sydney Australia could see thundery showers, so fingers crossed the rain keeps away from the SCG.

No fingernails left since Friday, wonder how to get through another thriller. Holding my remote control, ready to turn off the telly anytime an English wicket falls.
Vic, Adelaide

0253 GMT: England have won the toss and will bat first.

0250 GMT: I'm hoping today's one-dayer will be more entertaining than the two Six Nations matches yesterday afternoon, anyone else have the misfortune of watching tedium with an oval ball yesterday?

0246 GMT: Both teams are unchanged from Friday's line-up.

"Gearing up to watch another match throughout the night here in Dallas, Texas (I think my wife enjoys having the bed to herself three times a week!). Let's just hope the boys can focus and withhold any Aussie backlash. 'Punter' Ponting really does look like 'Dubya' doesn't he!? I just hope he is as fallible!"
Nick, Dallas

0239 GMT: Freddie Flintoff's beard is up against the likes of Johnny Depp and serial womaniser Russell Brand for the Beard Liberation Front's 'My Hairy Valentine' beard award. Surely victory at the SCG for Fred and its curtains to captain Jack Sparrow and his Channel 4 bed-hopping mate.

0235 GMT: Morning, afternoon, evening wherever you may be - well well, who would have thought it would ever come to this? The first team to beat those ever-so-hard-to-beat boys in 'Canary Yellow' for 14 years on home soil. Certainly not my taxi driver, who was more concerned about how the widening of the congestion zone would increase traffic in central London zzzzzzzz. I've got more important issues to worry about at 2am.

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