From Tim H, Harrogate, TMS inbox:
"You know you've been put in your place when Maximus Dessimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, accuses you of a lack of ruthlessness. Poor old Punter."
Yup - that's your lot - stumps are called
. Dreadful first half-hour for England, fantastic for the rest. It's a reverse Cardiff...
From Chris F, TMS inbox:
"Stuck in a 6th Floor office in Hammersmith I can see the floodlights at Lords from my office window with a 360 degree view over London from the others (if I walk round the office pretending I need to speak to people while checking the weather) and I have to say it doesn't look like brightening up anywhere at the moment."
Rain in the air, covers on, and it's a big ask to get play again tonight. I don't mean to come over all Leonard Cohen, but I can't see it happening at the mo. Still - anyone want to discuss the events of the day? 12 wickets down in two and a half sessions, a full house at Lord's agog with excitement.., mind you, everyone's gone home for a pre-weekend loosener/ their tea, haven't they?
My magic spell at the keyboard has come to an end - see you back here on Saturday.
Anon, via text 81111:
"Hmmm you must be a fairly poor batsman when the man with a barely located finger comes in before you..."
AUSTRALIA 156-8: BAD LIGHT STOPS PLAY 1825: Aus 156-8
You know what I said about Siddle and Hauritz not hanging around for too much longer? Well I was right - they've been offered the light and are heading back to the pavilion. Boos ring out around the ground, but it really looks like the setting for a Bram Stoker novel out there right now.
1823: Aus 156-8
Remember, England have not beaten Australia at Lord's for 75 years. Anderson steams in, sniffing more wickets for another five-wicket haul. Siddle has other ideas as he glides three down to third man. But with a injured off-spinner and an gastro-inconvenienced fast bowler at the crease, I can't imagine they will be hanging around for too much longer.
1820: Aus 153-8
This is Valhalla cricket from England as Broad bangs in a short delivery to Haddin, who completely mis-hits his attempted pull, looping the simplest of catches to Alastair Cook at short midwicket for his third catch of the day. Australia are still 74 runs short of the follow-on target, the weather is as gloomy as a winter's day in Moldova and Peter Siddle - whose guts have been fighting a losing battle with a rogue prawn from last night - is the new man at the crease.
1816: Aus 152-8 - WICKET Haddin ct Cook b Broad 28
Oh Lordy - ANOTHER ONE!
1814: Aus 151-7
Plenty of gloom around Lord's - and not just in the Australian dressing room. The floodlights are on and the tourists are still 75 runs short of the follow-on target. Surprisingly, Nathan Hauritz, he of dislocated right middle finger fame/pain from Thursday, is at the crease and playing doughty straight blades to Jimmy Anderson's rockets. Is it just plain cruel to pepper his fingers with short deliveries? Thought not.
Russell Crowe on Test Match Special:
"What I find surprising about this series is the lack of ruthlessness about this Australia team. They look like they are going to be batting a second time."
1808: Aus 150-7
Broad serves up a short delivery for Johnson - and the big-hitting Queenslander succumbs when his top-edged pull lands into the hands of Alastair Cook stationed at deep square leg. Clever cricket from England, although Russell Crowe, currently sitting in the TMS commentary box, isn't too chuffed.
1807: Aus 148-7 - WICKET Johnson ct Cook b Broad 4 1804: Aus 148-6
Haddin punches a picture-perfect front-foot drive through cover off Anderson which usually would glean four runs, but rather defensively, Andrew Strauss has placed a deep cover fielder to strangle the boundaries. I must confess, I don't like that tactic, especially with a 277-run lead and four wickets to scratch off, but have I ever scored three centuries against Australia? No.
BBC Sport's Oliver Brett on Twitter:
"Surrounded by some rather quiet Australian journalists... but let's not gloat yet, Mitchell Johnson can bat, and Brad Haddin's in good touch."
1800: Aus 144-6
A massive shout from the crowd as Stuart Broad raps Brad Haddin on the back leg, but the England appeal is a little more circumspect as umpire Billy Doctrove shakes his head to indicate the ball was too high and would have missed leg stump. Mitchell Johnson is off the mark with a sumptuous boundary, rocking on to his back foot and smearing Broad to the mid-wicket boundary. That ball would have rolled to Swiss Cottage if the boundary hoardings had not stopped it.
Andy, Blackheath, via text 81111:
On bus to Bristol, it's so slow. Happy for play to continue to 19.45, keep it coming, the phone battery must last till then..."
1752: Aus 139-6
Dreamy cricket from England, pressurising North by not allowing him to get off the mark from 13 deliveries. And the frustration eventually gets the better of the Western Australia captain, who bottom edges an attempted pull onto his middle stump, which keels to 20 degrees of the turf. Cue rapture among the men in brilliant white, while countless glasses of chardonnay have spilled on laps across the ground. The very dangerous Mitchell Johnson is the new man at the crease - and the left-hander is beaten by a beauty outside his off stump. Advantage England.
1750: Aus 139-6 WICKET North bowled Anderson 0 1748: Aus 139-5
Considerate captaincy from Andrew Strauss, who brings Flintoff's monumental spell to an end, although Fred probably wants to sleep until next year after his efforts. Stuart Broad returns and the Nottinghamshire seamer sees his fourth delivery thumped back past him by Brad Haddin for four, moving the wicketkeeper's score to 21. That man reminds me of the Black Knight from Monty Python's Holy Grail - does not stop fighting.
1744: Aus 135-5
Hello team, if you wouldn't mind manually refreshing this page
, otherwise you'll think it's Tommy F writing this drivel. James Anderson, arms pumping like the pistons on the Stevenson's Rocket, bowls to Haddin, who flicks three off his legs down to fine leg, while Marcus North neatly keeps his wicket in tact with a series of confident front-foot defensive prods. The expectation for more wickets is so thick around Lord's, you could cut it with a breadknife.
1736: Aus 132-5
Fred again, dander in attack position - lovely scything cut from Haddin for four backward of point. He jabs down at another rapid one and picks up three to midwicket, and North shows bat brand to the concluder.
From Laurie in Tonbridge, TMS inbox:
"Nelson strikes! I vote we commemorate this event in some way, maybe in Trafalgar Squa... Oh."
1732: Aus 122-5
Heavy clouds overhead as Anderson sprints in. North hops and skips and allows himself a small smile as Prior spills behind the stumps to allow four byes away. Sloppiness.
Henry, Hunsdon, text 81111:
"I am the only one jumping out of my seat at the fall of the wickets on a packed commuter train?"
1727: Aus 118-5
Ah look - I'm counting no chooks here, I'm merely stating facts: Australia need another 112 to avoid the follow-on. Make that 108 - crashing cover drive from Haddin for four. There's then a little light relief as an inside edge gets wedged in Haddin's pad - Flintoff and Cook pursue him round the crease like a cricketing version of Benny Hill before the ball is called dead. Fred's steaming in like a Viking to Lowestoft in AD 900.
Anon, text 81111:
"I assume that Nathan Hauritz will not be batting, so does that mean these Aussies are in fact six down?"
1722: Aus 111-5
Nelson's done a double, and England are suddenly clambering all over this match. Anderson served up a full inswinger, and Clarke clipped it straight down the throat of a specially-set short midwicket. Overcast, and the ball has started swinging...
1720: WICKET Clarke c Cook b Anderson 1, Aus 111-5
1717: Aus 111-4
What a delivery from Fred - angled across the leftie at a fearsome 95.1 mph, nipping back and clattering the top of Husselhoff's off-timber. Fred stands, arms aloft - big, big wicket...
Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell on TMS:
"That's a huge wicket for England - that's the best I have seen Michael Hussey bat for a long time."
1715: WICKET Hussey b Flintoff 51, Aus 111-4
Russell Crowe there in the crowd. From the look on his face he's been playing the role of Maximus Beveragios today - but enough of that, Nelson has struck!
1710: Aus 111-3
Onions for his eighth. The Hussar has a swipe - skinny noise, the slips rise as one - shake of the head from Umpire Koertzen. Rudi, a message to you - that came off the pad, so you made a good decision.
1704: Aus 110-3
Three slips in now as Fred roars in, Michael Clarke preparing for a tenderisation. Ouch - if he'd worn that lifter, the bruise would have risen like a bun in the sun. Tickle away from Hussey to go to his half-century - super rearguard effort from a man who'd been under the pump coming into this innings.
1658: Aus 107-3
Katich had a swipe at a short one, the ball went fast and high out to squarish long leg - and Broad came dashing in at pace to take a stunning diving snag inches above the turf. First Ashes wicket for Onions, and how England needed that...
1657: WICKET Katich c Broad b Onions 48, Aus 103-3
What a catch! Oh, what a catch!
1652: Aus 103-2
Fred goes round the wicket. Husselhoff gets out of the way of a steepler but shuffly singles follow. England rather needing a breaker here.
From Jonny Sanger, TMS inbox:
"(Re 1620) 'Anyone in the area fancy bringing Pran and me a sanger or two?' Well, I guess I'm free for the afternoon, and so is my sister, but I'm not sure whether this is something I want to be volunteering for so readily."
1648: Aus 100-2
Useful ding-dong now between Onions and Husselhoff. A ripper outside off almost bends back the off stump, but the next one is a tad wider and is creamed away through the covers with the elegance of early Coco Chanel. Dabber of a single, and then a cruncher of a straight drive from Katich. The partnership creeps up to 90.
1643: Aus 90-2
Hello again - how quickly these interludes pass, particularly when the bloke next to you starts a discussion about whether Mark Cavendish could cycle across the M11 on a Grifter. Fred to rumble in, and that's a nice aggressive line. Sun's gone.
BBC Sport's Oliver Brett on Twitter:
"That session was a damp squib, literally & metaphorically. Can't guarantee we've had the last of the rain either. Too many cakes = toothache."
1620: Aus 87-2
Last over before tea. Wicket to wicket from Onions; The Hussar pulls along the ground to the man at deep midwicket, strolls a single with Katich and then chops away to third man for two more. That's our lot for this arvo, but if rumours are to be believed, we could be going under the lights until 7.40pm. 7.40pm! Anyone in the area fancy bringing Pran and me a sanger or two?
1616: Aus 83-2
Yup - Swannage O'Clock. Little too full first up, driven away with panache by Monsieur Crickette for four through cover. News from Trent Bridge: Steve Harmison has taken 6-20 for Durham. Hmmm.
1611: Aus 79-2
Short from Onions, and that's asking to be spanked - it gets its wish too. Lordy, so does that one. All looking rather too easy for the Aussie pair at the mo. Is that Swanny warming his spinfingers up?
From Paddy in London, TMS inbox:
"I reckon we should give Her Majesty a bowl. President Obama threw the ceremonial first pitch in the baseball earlier this week, so why not HRH?"
1606: Aus 71-2
Bright sunshine now. Broad drops short - Hussey pulls, uppishly, but Cook can't quite get there on the square leg fence. Another bouncer next up, taken one-handed with full-length flying flair by Prior - but that's too short, and Hussey will pull those away all day long. Time for Broaders to take a blow?
1603: Aus 63-2
Whooah - an absolute snorter from Onions, hooping back at pace and ripping between bat and body. Two balls later one goes the other way, and Katich pokes in panicked fashion. Finding his groove, the Durham swinger.
1559: Aus 63-2
Issues for Broady to think about here. Another tickler away off the pads, and then a full wide one that Hussey leans into and breezes through cover for a tasty four. In the crowd, a man in a dark green cagoule squints up at the sky uncertainly before unzipping to the navel.
1555: Aus 58-2
Ouch - Onions drops a fraction shy and The Hussar leans back to swivel-pull through midwicket for four. The remainder are slap in the corridor of what if, however, and a chorus of appreciation rises from the slips. Sun now out; clouds departing.
1550: Aus 54-2
Broad again from the Pavilion End, and that's loose - easy onto the hips of Katich and then The Hussar for strolled ones and twos. Still a lack of fright from the Blond Avenger, and he stalks off to long leg before jamming his tight blue cap onto his perspiring head.
1547: Aus 51-2
Now then - it's time for some Onions action. First two full outside off, slapped straight to fielders; the next straighten but with little menace and the last gets clipped away for one. More to come there, you'd hope.
1542: Aus 49-2
Stuey Broad to polish off his remainder, and there's three angled across Hussar. Few dangers.
Here come the batsmen - if the rain does hold off, you've got to think it'll swing and swoop like a swallow at twilight.
It's dry, although I say that without any confidence of permanence. Just the hover-cover left on now - and even as the words tap into the keyboard, that's coming off too.
Consider this update to be a flashing 'breaking news' graphic rolling across your screen: we're due to resume at 1540. I say due - if that cloud over there leans forward, it'll be all hands to the galoshes.
From Peter in Thaxted, TMS inbox:
"The hovercover looks like something that might of appeared on Tomorrows World or got laughed out of Dragons Den. Did you know that the Government commissioned Tomorrows World to make the Russians think that we were more technologically advanced than we actually were during the Cold War. Could it be that the hovercover did appear on Tomorrows World and in turn prevented WW3? One's mind does tend to wander during the break for rain."
Non-steadyish rain now at HQ. Looking over there it looks bright as a children's TV presenter; over there it's darker than Nighty Night.
Steadyish rain now at HQ. Moody shots on television of raindrops falling into unguarded glasses of wine.
Pran heads off for a rub-down, I ease into the hotseat. Although unless you manually refresh
, that will appear to be contradictory chat.
Tom F is back in the hotseat again, I'll catch you again soon.
AUSTRALIA 49-2: RAIN STOPS PLAY 1456: Aus 49-2
Katich tucks a leg-side delivery from Broad off his hip for four fine runs before Hussey rocks back on his back foot and pulls a short delivery behind square leg for four. Oh dear - the huge hovercover is lurking because the rain is coming down with intent. Umpires Koertzen and Doctrove have had enough - they signal to the dressing rooms as the groundstaff swarm across the outfield like an army of ants devouring a discarded kebab.
1453: Aus 38-2
Nice wheels from Anderson, who reaches 91mph with his second delivery to Katich, but the opener is erudite in defence, presenting a blade as straight as a mathematician's punchline. Katich fends a short ball into the leg side and adds a quick single, but Hussey plays a horrendous pull shot to a ball too full to play with a horizontal bat, bottom-edging on to the base of his pads.
1448: Aus 37-2
News just in - tea will be taken at 1620 BST and play can continue up until 1900, if the weather behaves. Short and wide from Broad and Katich fills his boots with a crisp square cut for four, before punching a back-foot single.
1444: Aus 31-2
Katich completely plays around a delivery outside off stump from Anderson - Kato picks Piccadilly while Anderson goes Bakerloo. A tumultuous "ooooh" accompanies the sound of the ball thudding into Matt Prior's pea-green coloured wicketkeeping gloves. More crowd participation, this time when Katich edges a ball outside off stump attempting to withdraw his bat from the stroke. However, the ball rolls harmlessly across the turf to gully. Decent start for England as a man with a huge bag deposits a pile of sawdust at the end of each bowler's run-up - it looks a bit like the birdseed Wylie Coyote used to try to entice Roadrunner to his death.
England, resplendent in their brilliant white whites, wander out, closely followed by Simon Katich and Mike Hussey, clad in a more traditional Devon double cream-hue whites, a little less strain on the eye. The floodlights are still on and we're set for action...
SuperGav, Exeter, TMS inbox:
"Re Oliver Brett's 'There are so many ex-Aussies in town.' Ex-Aussies? Which nationality has each of them switched to then? Any suggestion?"
I fear Oliver fell foul of the 140-character limit of Twitter, although I like the idea of itinerant ex-Australian cricketers roaming the world looking for a nation to embrace them after their homeland turned its back on them for bowling too short outside off stump.
Huzzah - we have a scheduled start time of 1440 BST
. The groundstaff are slowly dragging damp covers across the immaculate outfield, although one diligent chap is sweeping alarming amounts of water on the edge of the square. However, the Lord's drainage system is absolutely legendary - you could drop the entire contents of the Caspian Sea on it and the pitch would be playable in 20 minutes. Possibly.
Prabudha, on 606:
"What a contrast it has been to day one, six wickets in all of day one and now six wickets in two hours of day two. I'm confident England will be able to wipe out 75 years of agony and beat the Aussies again at Lord's, in this match."
Join the debate on 606
The umbrellas are slowly descending, although the covers - which were whipped on by the efficient groundstaff as fast as Usain Bolt's trousers - remain firmly fixed across the square. A man from Surbiton in the Compton Stand fumbles past a damp copy of The Daily Telegraph and retrieves his third scotch egg of the day.
John Walton, TMS inbox:
"Was just wondering what Ponting's Holiday Camp would be like. In Blackpool, perhaps. A cheerful place, presided over by Baggy Greencoats, featuring gurning competitions (who can produce the most miserable face or gorgeous pout) and ballroom dancing contests to the insistent beat of short-pitched deliveries from Freddie. Enjoy the weather. It's worse here in Lancaster."
AUSTRALIA 31-2: RAIN STOPS PLAY
1408: Aus 31-2
If you wouldn't mind refreshing your page, you'll see a new vote to get stuck in to. The floodlights' filaments are brightening, in complete contrast to the natural light, as Stuart Broad ambles in for his second over. Katich moves to 12 with a flick off his pads, but scores of brollies are being raised - polka dot, corporate, small gazebos the size of Belgium - as palms are upraised - it's rain. And the players are heading back into the pavilion. Not good news, especially for those sat in the uncovered Edrich and Compton stands.
1403: Aus 30-2
Anderson digs in short and Katich's eyes light up like the Oxford Street Crimbo lights, only to completely miss the ball with his attempted pull down the leg side. England's fielders bellow numerous baritone "ooooohs", the reason being the ball was not too far from the left-hander's gloves, not too dissimilar to Phillip Hughes' dismissal before lunch. The umpires congregate and Rudi Koertzen's on the walkie talkie, looks like the floodlights switch is about to be flipped - it's as dark as a Roald Dahl short story out there.
1359: Aus 29-2
Stuart Broad has his first joust of the innings and immediately sees his first delivery swing back into Hussey's pads, although nothing to alarm the left-hander. A gentle maiden to open up with.
1355: Aus 29-2
Hussey eases Anderson's second delivery down the pitch with a gentle, but perfectly timed, push for four. He adds a single before Katich glides a cut past point for three. No post-lunch wobble for the Burnley Express, but the overcast conditions should encourage the ball to move at some stage during this session. You would think.
1349: James Anderson to have first bite in the afternoon session starting at the Nursery End. Mike Hussey, who wears the permanent expression of a man who has forgotten his credit card pin number, will face the first delivery.
"Ding ding" rings the Long Room bell, accompanied by the collective sound of 1000 cava corks popping across the Nursery lawn. The umpires are on their way, although the heavens are threatening to unleash hell at some stage in the next hour or so.
We have an extra 10 minutes for lunch to account for meeting the head of the Commonwealth, although dark clouds, grey of hue and as menacing as a Siddle snarl, ominously loom low over W12, about five miles from the regal confines of NW8.
Dominic, TMS inbox:
"Can someone ask Richie Benaud what the score is?"
Pete (thinking I must've got a digit wrong), TMS inbox:
"Are the rum promotion girls there today? One of them took my number in Cardiff 'for a competition' and hasn't called. Be a good chap and check the rum hut at lunch, would you?"
If you've been following TMS this morning, you'll be fully conversed about Phil Tufnell discussing Her Maj's lunchtime menu. Never one to miss an opportunity, Jonathan Agnew has posted a picture of said menu on his
It's well worth a look, especially considering reader Peter Lewis'
dessert will be "chocolate angel delight with a monster munch garnish".
The players will have to wait for their lunch - both sides have come back out in sharp lines with even sharper blazers to meet the Queen. In the meantime, tune in to Test Match Special for a chat with former England captain Michael Vaughan.
1259: Aus 22-2
Shouts of disbelief from the three slips as Fred whistles one just past Hussey's off-peg. A vicious spitter - 92.5mph - comes next, and then a wonderful near-yorker - 94.2mph, the fastest ball of the match. One more ball before lunch - worn high on his hip by a hopping Katich. That's lunch, and a cracking morning of old-fashioned Test ding-ding.
Josh, Wiltshire, text 81111:
"I still can't decide - are we good or bad at cricket?"
1255: Aus 21-2
Bright sun overhead now, the golden rays thumbing their noses at weathermen and text commentators' talk of snorkels. Katich reaches forward to push a two past the lumbering KP at cover, and we'll have one more before the break. Splendid session.
1251: Aus 18-2
Nice from Katich, slapping high over gully for his first boundary of the day. He's a coat of varnish away from heading back to the hutch next ball, though, wafting at Fred's fastest ball of the day to gasps of pantomime horror from the crowd. Gagghh - so close again, squared up and poking at a conjurer's disappearing delivery from Fred.
1247: Aus 13-2
Hussey now, greeted by the first sunshine of the day. He squeezes one off his pads but is kept on the quacker by a fine diving stop from Cook at leg gully. He's off it now, though, clipping that away for a nervy two. Time for three more overs before lunch.
Cris, near Peterborough, TMS inbox:
"I have noticed repeated references in your commentary about Punter not looking happy. I was just wondering if anyone had actually ever seen him happy?"
1243: Aus 11-2
Oof - replays show that Ponting got nowhere near that with his bat, so the catch shouldn't have been given - but since there was no bat, it should have been given plumb lbw. What a wicket that is for England, the one they wanted above all others. Fred steams in to Katich, and the dander is up here.
Former England seamer Angus Fraser on TMS:
"Having watched a Hawk-eye replay of Ponting's dismissal, the ball would have hit bang on middle stump."
1239: Aus 10-2
Pandemonium at Lord's, and this is why - Anderson sizzles one in to Ponting, there's a double noise and everyone's appealing - is it for lbw or caught at slip by Strauss? Umpire Rudi turns down the ell bee, goes to third umpire to see if the ball carried, and slowly raises his fateful finger. Ponting's not happy - he stares at Rudi incredulously - but he's got to go...
1237: WICKET Ponting c Strauss b Anderson 2, Aus 10-2
HE'S GOT HIM THIS TIME!
1236: Aus 10-1
Ooaargh mk II - what a ball that is from Jimmy, drawing Punter in and then leaving him flailing at nothingness as the ball darts away. Ai-yai-yai - that one nearly does him the other way, diving back in, taking the inside edge and thunking into the edge of the pad.
From Dave, Bangor, North Wales, TMS inbox:
"What does the Queen shout when she appeals? I'm laughing at the idea of her jumping up, throwing her arms in the air and shouting 'Howisone?' at the umpire."
1232: Aus 10-1
Ooaargh - Fred comes round the wicket and nearly bags instant reward, snaking a sneaky lifter past Katich's nervy poke. The Queen watches on, supping a pint of Foster's and cracking open her second bag of crisps of the day. *
* some of this entry may not be true
1228: Aus 6-1
Jim tries to bring Ponting forward - no swing there, and the skipper's off the mark with a push through cover. A straighter one gets him pushing anxiously to mid-on, and there's the in-dipper - jabbed down by Ponting. Busy pre-lunch buzz around Lord's - it's been a gripping morning, and there's plenty of sniff left in this session yet.
1224: Aus 4-1
Fred barrelling in to Katich, angling them across him - he's keeping them tight, but with the ball going down the slope he's going to struggle to bring those back in. Maiden, and Jim will now have a full bending joust at Punter.
From Graham, London, TMS inbox:
"Poor old Siddle, normally he waits for the umpire to tell him not to run off the pitch and not to follow through."
1219: Aus 4-1
Not the best delivery, but do the England players look bothered? Hughes got right inside it, had a hoick and there was just the faintest feather off the glove. Here comes Ponting - plays no shot to an in-dipper, the roof nearly comes off with the volume of the appeal... and Rudi says no. Too high, he says, and he's bang on. Super spice.
1219: WICKET Hughes c Prior b Anderson 4, Aus 4-1
That's down leg side - there's a skinny snick - even the Queen's gone up for that one - Umpire Rudi K's given it!
1215: Aus 0-0
Fred from the Pavilion End, right arm over rather than round the wicket - and that's a brutal snorter that nearly cuts Katich in half. Another whistles past his open bat face, and this is a decent start from England. Not much swing so far though. Hmmm.
1211: Aus 0-0
Fullish one first up, lazy down leg next up. Three slips, gully, backward point, backward shortish leg. Hughes stays watchful against three just shy of a length, and then one is wasted with a shorter lifter that sails miles over his lid. Queen in the house - the monarch, not the operatic soft rock behemoths.
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell on TMS:
"It's Phillip Hughes' home ground, he's thinking 'I've done this before' after Middlesex very kindly gave him a couple of warming up months."
1208: Aus 0-0
Now then - reckon this swing will still be there? Anderson to open the bowling, Phillip Hughes on strike. Heady air of expectation at Lord's...
That last-wicket stand of 47 between Anderson and Onions surpassed the previous best of 45 at Lord's, set by Graham Dilley and John Emburey in 1989, a match which England went on to lose by six wickets. So good and bad, then.
1158: WICKET Anderson c Hussey b Johnson 29, Eng 425 all out
Seven fielders on the off side for Anderson, and he leaves them all stranded with another cavalier crash off the back foot for four. Alas, that's the end of the fun - short lifter, fended off face, Hussey snaffles in the gully.
From Pete in Grimsby, TMS inbox:
"If Onions bumps into an opposing bowler in the middle, is that classed as an Onion Bhaji ?"
Phil in London getting a hammering on the emails for claiming to be overworked while also coming up with detailed statistical semi-anagrams. Les Oignons defends doughtily - three missed, three blocked. Full house in at Lord's, and the enjoyment is starting to flow like the summer ales.
Kaboom! Jimmy flays a short one from Johnson through cover like Clive Lloyd. Kaboomeroo! Four more, this time picked off the hips. And another! This time Johnson goes short and wide, and Jim leans back to upper-cut him high over point for four more. 12 off the over, the partnership up to 41, and the smiles have switched faces.
From Rich, Sutton, text 81111:
"Perhaps the bowler's batting buddies need batting buddies themselves? Either that or we just promote Jimmy up the order."
Three slips and a gully in as bowler-of-the-innings Hilfenhaus canters in. Comedy waft from Onions, and then another - a heave-ho off the outside edge that drops just over a sprinting cover. Partnership up to 29, and here comes Siddle back onto the pitch - twice as pale, hands noticeably shaky.
From G, East Sussex, text 81111:
"Have faith, these two to put on a titanic stand of 20-odd and sneak us up to 400. Jimmy's strong through the covers and Graham massive through point/third man - it always brings a tear to my eye when I see Onions cut."
There are rumours that a few of the Aussies might be struggling with runs of a different sort this morning. Ian Chappell on TMS reckons a dodgy prawn is to blame for Sid's rapid exit left and a similar sprint from Brad Haddin during the warm-up. Silver linings, England supporters. Hello - what a shot from Jim - onto the back foot, blade swinging through, ball disappears to the extra cover fence.
From Phil overworked in London, TMS inbox:
"By no coincidence at all the words "Batting collapse" can be spelt using just four England cricketers' names; Bopara - Bpaa, Pietersen - iets, Collingwood - colg, Flintoff - tnlo."
Siddle's limping off to the pavilion, meaning Australia currently have just two front-line bowlers in their attack. Draw your own depressed conclusions. Another happy slash from Onions, and is that going all the way? It is - cava cricket from England's last pair.
The face of Onions' bat is almost without blemish. There's a mark on it now, though - a dark red stain halfway up the splice as he slashes at Siddle and clears the diving Hussey at gully by a squeaky margin.
From Andy in Dunfermline, TMS inbox:
"Don't panic. Don't panic. This is all a cunning ruse from England to take advantage of the swingy conditions to get Oz in and out super-fast, so's they can wrap it all up in 3 days and have a team picnic on Sunday."
I'm delirious with wicket fever - there is no Monty at Lord's. Onions it is, with the same lid as Monty wore, but that's no excuse. Hops and jumps from Anderson, and a sad-eyed Michael Vaughan watches on from a hospitality slot.
From Ian in Northwood, TMS inbox:
"Simon in Oxford, following James the geophysicist's noble offer to take the Lord's ticket, I'll step up to the plate and look after the GF for you. You're now free to go to Turnberry. Job done."
And so it comes down to Trevor Bailey and Chris Tavare, aka Onions and Jim. Anderson gets off the mark - of course he does - with a pushed single that almost sees Onions run out as he daydreams a dwardle down the track. An air of resigned shock around HQ.
Michael (having a difficult day), Cleadon, Sunderland, text 81111:>
"It's a miserable day up here, my girlfriend crashed her car with me in it this morning, I was late for work, I'm tired but at least my overly relaxed office don't mind me catching up on the live text all day and I can really see Strauss...oh."
Three overs, three wickets, and that was a stinker - a big booming drive aimed at a full inswinger, and Broad's castle is breached. Looking at the replays there was an inside edge, but the feet were rooted. Anyone want to start this morning again?
1113: WICKET Broad b Hilfenhaus 16, Eng 378-9
Jimmy Anderson now, and if we're looking for silver linings, he's got to be eyeing this enormo-swing and licking his Lancashire lips. Oh my giddy aunts - ANOTHER ONE'S GONE!
From James the geophysicist, TMS inbox:
"Simon in Oxford, I will severely put myself out and completely change the non-existent plans I had on Sunday to take the Lord's ticket off your hands. Don't worry, I don't expect any compensation."
1107: WICKET Swann c Ponting b Siddle 4, Eng 370-8
Swanny to the trenches, and he gets off the mark with a clip off the toes for four. Short leg in for the Cardiff hopper. Siddle, a sweatband halfway up his forearm in the style of His Airness, gets dabbed away for a single legwards before a steepling lifter zips past Swann's retreating ears. Another short one - and that's got him, prodded feebly to second slip. Two overs, two wickets...
Former England seamer Angus Fraser on TMS:
"If England do get bowled out cheaply and the ball is moving around, it gives them the opportunity to get some early wickets."
1103: Eng 364-7
If you've just spat your mid-morning cuppa at your PC screen, you're not the only one. That one swung like Tarzan on a vine - starting out wide, dipping back in and banging back the off stump as Strauss shouldered arms. Calamitous start for England, joy unconfined for the tourists. Ricky Ponting's face is in danger of splitting, his smile is so wide.
1102: WICKET Strauss b Hilfenhaus 161, Eng 364-7
Here we go - Hilfenhaus to Strauss - and HE'S BOWLED HIM!
Traditional pre-bell heads-up - could you F5 it before we roll into action? Video scorecard reasons. Reth'pect.
From Simon in Oxford, TMS inbox:
"I need advice. I have, this morning been offered the opportunity to come down to Lord's on Sunday. Another friend has also offered me the chance to go to Turnberry. All the while it is my girlfriends birthday and I should really be with here in Manchester. I am in a severe quandary. Any suggestions?"
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell on TMS:
"We've got to get up to 460 to put the Australians under pressure."
Meanwhile, fresh from regaling his Wimbledon colleagues with tales of his past badminton glories, Radio One Newsbeat's David Garrido has been 'helping' the Barmy Army take on the Aussie Fanatics. David describes his own bowling as "amazing".
You be the judge by checking out his video of the match.
Humid out there at the mo. Could it swing? Wrinkled old purveyors of wobble are sniffing the air like Bisto kids. There's movement in them there clouds.
Having said that, the covers are currently off at Lord's. There's rain forecast - it is the middle of July, after all - but there'll be cricket this morning or my name's Martin McCague.
Morning - all well? Hope you've packed your snorkels...