Fourth one-day international, Lord's:
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AUSTRALIA 221-3 (43.4 ovs) BEAT ENGLAND 220 (46.3 OVS) BY SEVEN WICKETS
Well done everyone, a round of stiff beverages for all. Oh no, I'm on text duties on Tuesday at Trent Bridge, please don't leave me here on my own...
Blimey, I've had toothache less painful than that England performance. But what concerns me are the three further matches to endure now the series is over. If you have tickets for any of these games, maybe we can devise a game to ensure you're entertained while the cricket is going on.
AUSTRALIA 221-3 (43.4 ovs) BEAT ENGLAND 220 (46.3 OVS) BY SEVEN WICKETS 1732: 43.4 overs - Aus 221-3
Nice yorker from Ryan Sidebottom from around the wicket speared into Callum Ferguson's head - but he's only gone and overstepped with the scores level. So Australia have a free hit to win the match, but steely nerves from SiBo, who spears in another no-ball without overstepping. But it's all over a ball later as Ferguson squirts a single to Stuart Broad, whose shy at the stumps comfortably misses.
1728: 43 overs - Aus 217-3
Top trumps from Clarke, who unleashes a thumping drive through extra cover for his eighth boundary of his innings off Stu Broad. Bye bye NatWest Series, until next time.
1724: 42 overs - Aus 212-3
Awful delivery from Sidebottom, short and outside leg stump as Ferguson helps the ball around the corner for four. However, he should have cleaned Clarke up as the New South Welshman walks down the pitch in an attempt to smash him straight back over his head, but manages a weedy inside edge just past his exposed leg stump and past the despairing dive of Matt Prior for four. A single follows and Australia need nine from 48 balls. Even Chris Tavare could see them home from here.
1718: 41 overs - Aus 200-3
Rashid bounds in for his final over of the day as Clarke cuts a double behind point to mark the 200 for Australia. Decent shout for leg before as Clarke offers no shot outside off stump, but the ball wouldn't have straightened enough to clip the top of off.
1714: 40 overs - Aus 198-3
Is that Joan Sims warming up her vocal chords in the distance? Callum Ferguson creates space outside leg stump to hit Luke Wright over mid-off, but succeeds in nicking a huge chunk of willow off the edge of the bat down past the sprawling third man fielder for four.
1711: 39 overs - Aus 192-3
Strauss goes shopping for wickets and invites his fielders inside the circle as Adil Rashid trots in for over number nine. Ferguson is tempted by the bait as he shuffles out of his crease, but doesn't quite get enough wood for a boundary, but enough to add three to his tally. Meanwhile, Michael Clarke brings up a very intelligent half century with yet another four through cover, once again using his feet to the pitch of the ball.
From wacapom on 606:
"Strauss wins the toss, fields first, loses. Strauss wins the toss, bats first, loses. Maybe he should try losing the toss?"
1707: 38 overs - Aus 184-3
Enough of this prissy single scoring, Michael Clarke dispatches a short Luke Wright delivery high over mid-wicket. A man in the crowd finds the best possible use for the Daily Express (complete with the headline "Control Britain's Borders") as a sunhat while umpire Asad Rauf calls quite possibly the most belated wide in one-day history with Luke Wright marching back to his bowling mark. the bowler looks a tad bemused to say the least.
1702: 37 overs - Aus 176-3
Soft hands from Ferguson, who drops the ball stone dead by his feet to run through for a swift single, while Bresnan's bouncers aren't impressing umpire Nigel Llong, who signals wides as Ferguson easily ducks under the rising ball. Bres is not HP, although arguing with the umpire will earn him a swift visit to match referee Roshan Mahanama's office.
From Ray, bored at work and bored with sorry England, via text on 81111:
"Let's hope the next three games are rained off so we only get beat 4-0."
1658: 36 overs - Aus 170-3
After five dot balls, Luke Wright only goes and spoils the prospect of a second maiden with a short delivery on middle stump, eased away to deep midwicket for a single by Callum Ferguson, who keeps the strike.
Glen Young, TMS inbox:
"Who is England's Charles Hawtrey? Do we have anyone who is thin, bespectacled and um, oh it doesn't matter...Oh alright, Sidebottom then."
1654: 35 overs - Aus 169-3
Actually, I've downplayed Bopara's catch, stretching to his left to take a very good catch away from his space. New man Callum Ferguson is greeted with a tasty bouncer first up from Bres, but gets off the mark when an underarm shy at the stumps misses, but no-one is backing up to prevent an easy single. Kind of sums up England's performance today.
1651: 34.4 overs - Aus 168-3 Wicket Ponting ct Bopara b Bresnan 48
Where did that come from? With Ponting all set for yet another half century, he drills a drive straight to Ravi Bopara at short cover, cue huge cheers around Lord's.
1646: 34 overs - Aus 168-2
Broad canters in for over number eight, picked off for three runs by the Aussie senior duo. Sorry, nothing more to report, although four men have stripped to the waist (waist up thankfully), very unLord's.
1642: 33 overs - Aus 165-2
Eh? Maiden over? Well done Tim Bresnan. But a bit like attempting to stop a burst water main with nothing but a plaster, it all seems slightly pointless. A man in army fatigues with an Aussie flag on the arm chats to the jovial Jeff Thomson.
Mal Wallace, TMS inbox:
"Found today's match on the TV and had to double check whether it was live or a replay of the previous three. Impressive consistency."
1639: 32 overs - Aus 165-2
I blame England's red one-day kit, such an angry colour. Go back to calming blue and all will be well again. A strained chorus for "ooohs" as Clarke lands a stroke off Broad just short of Strauss' lunge at mid-wicket as two runs are gleaned from the over.
1634: 31 overs - Aus 163-2
"Bres" - a nickname which conjures memories of my favourite member of the Carry On entourage Bernard Bresslaw - returns and sees his first delivery glanced around the corner off his pads for four by Clarke, taking the Aussie vice-skipper's total to 35. So who would be England's Charles Hawtrey?
Phil West, Pommie in Brisbane, TMS inbox:
"'Slipping from England's grasp'? It was never in England's grasp from the moment we didn't set a decent target!"
1629: 30 overs - Aus 159-2
Lovely sight, a couple adorned with matching headwear tuck into an ice cream, the gentleman doing a particularly fine job nibbling the rim of the cone while managing to keep his ice cream scoop safely perched in the middle. Potentially pistachio flavour, I would hazard a guess, he looks a discerning fellow. The cricket? Three singles from Broad's sixth over.
Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox:
"150 for 2? Call me pessimistic if you like, but if England don't get another 8 wickets or so before Australia score another 70 runs, we are going to be in really serious danger of losing this ODI series."
1626: 29 overs - Aus 156-2
Denied the opportunity to make some sort of empty Cava bottle structure by some overzealous stewards, the Lord's faithful have decided to watch the cricket instead, with each Ryan Sidebottom delivery greeted with a rousing rendition of "wooooaaaaaahs". Fat lot of good that does.
From LucianoMessio on 606:
"Are England taking the mick? People pay to watch these games and what do we do? Get skittled out for a shocking total, show no passion or fight, and then throw the ball to Owais Shah. Just because we won the Ashes doesn't mean we should take our foot off the pedal, we need to be the best at all formats."
1620: 28 overs - Aus 153-2
Nice touch from Brett Lee, who has donated his five-for white ball to the MCC museum - you can see the projectile on the MCC's Twitter feed. Meanwhile, Ponting moves to within seven of his 68th one-day half century with a mis-hit lofted drive for four off Wright over the outstretched hand of Ryan Sidebottom stationed at mid-off. Punter and Pup concur mid-way through the over, probably to discuss party venues to celebrate a one-day series win. Punter at China Whites?
1615: 27 overs - Aus 149-2
SiBo returns and sees Michael Clarke squirt an edge beyond the grasp of captain Andrew Strauss at first slip for four, cue skyward glances. This game is slipping away from England's grasp faster than a buttered up eel.
1611: 26 overs - Aus 142-2
How Graham Onions must be wishing he was up at the Riverside alongside his county team-mates rather than acting as a substitute watching this codswallop. Luke Wright bustles in with verve and enthusiasm but cannot penetrate fortress Clarke or Ponting. Clive, below
, good description. The one I like is "onion-flavoured ice cream", even Heston Blumenthal would say a prayer or two at the porcelain altar after eating a few chunks of that stuff.
Clive in Vienna, TMS inbox:
"Durian smells and tastes like damp socks. How the locals call it the 'King of Fruits' I just don't know. King of Gross more like...."
1607: 25 overs - Aus 138-2
Gorgeous stuff from Clarke, who once again uses his fleet feet and caress a full Adil Rashid delivery through extra cover for four, the kind of shot you could happily take home to mother. With singles and doubles haemorrhaging all over the place, Australia need just 83 runs from more balls than they need.
Geoff's right about everything, TMS inbox:
"On the first cloudy day in Madrid since May(?), it's no consolation to hear what a great day's weather is gracing the fourth consecutive thrashing."
1603: 24 overs - Aus 128-2
Luke Wright and his brand of fast-medium bowling is introduced and sees Ponting land a leg glance just short of Tim Bresnan stationed at short mid-wicket. Non-plussed, Punter rocks back and crashes the next ball out to the leg-side boundary, happy to nudge and nurdle his way to Australia's fourth successive one-day win.
1559: 23 overs - Aus 125-2
The fleet-footed Clarke skips down the track and lifts Rashid high above his head for four, spoiling what had been a tidy over. On a slight tangent, anyone ever eaten a durrian fruit? And enjoyed it?
1556: 22 overs - Aus 120-2
Punter chips Owais Shah with a lofted cover drive, not one of his most convincing, but with enough willow to add his fourth boundary to stealthily move to 34.
1554: 21 overs - Aus 114-2
The Newcastle Brown will be flowing in Chester-le-Street tonight as Durham celebrate their second successive county championship victory after a central contractless Steve Harmison bowls Nottinghamshire's Mark Ealham to confirm the victory. Not half as much excitement in London as Australia add four more runs, all singles off Rashid.
1551: 20 overs - Aus 110-2
After a little word in the ear from captain Ricky Ponting, Paine gifts his wicket away with a pre-meditated paddle sweep, top-edging a simple catch to Prior. So rather than chiselling the middle order door wide open, England have wedged a gap which could turn into a hole with the fall of some quick wickets. Tidyish over from Shah, who sees new batsman Michael Clarke get off the mark with a cut through point for a single.
1547: 19 overs - Aus 108-2 Wicket Paine ct Prior b Rashid 51
Paine brings up his half century with his least convincing stroke of his innings, a tentative prod past slip for two, but his innings is brought to an end three balls later as he attempts a needless paddle sweep, top-edging into the gloves of Matt Prior.
1541: 18 overs - Aus 104-1
You know when your team selection isn't quite right when you toss the ball to Owais Shah in the 18th over. The part-timer is nudged here and there as the Aussie duo bring up the 50 partnership in as many balls. Even I would fancy scoring runs against this bowling attack.
1538: 17 overs - Aus 100-1
Rashid continues as a languid Ponting drive for a single brings up the Australia century. About as easy as the Beano bumper Christmas crossword right now for the tourists.
1535: 16 overs - Aus 98-1
Fresh from his two-week break, and fielding numerous questions about his future from the braying Aussie press corps, Ponting adds two boundaries to his tally off Bresnan, one through square leg while a fine leg glance evades the onrushing fine leg. Cheese and wine for the Aussie skipper.
From Tim, via text on 81111:
"Mark my words, Rashid will win the match for us"
1532: 15 overs - Aus 88-1
Much better from Adil Rashid, who stymies Paine's run-scoring from his third over, conceding just two with a drive through mid-off.
1529: 14 overs - Aus 86-1
The wheels are rapidly coming off England's prospects of hauling themselves back into this series. Soon after preventing a good three runs with smart sliding stops on the boundary from Ponting and Paine cuts , Eoin Morgan has just made a rudimentary fielding error at point, gifting Ponting a boundary. As the golden sun belts down over NW8, this is all too easy for the tourists.
1525: 13 overs - Aus 74-1
Encouraging drift for Rashid, who seems to have banished first-over aberration. Paine descends down on one knee - almost before the bowler has released the ball - for a pre-mediated paddle sweep before adding his fifth boundary as with a fine edge from another rank leg-side long hop. Oh dear, the bandages of Rashid's bruised confidence are unravelling at knots.
1521: 12 overs - Aus 65-1
Bresnan bustles up to the crease and maintains his line and length, restricting both batsmen before Stuart Broad's lazy misfield in the deep allows the Aussie duo to run through for a double. It's all about wickets now.
1519: 11 overs - Aus 61-1
A huge cheer greets the arrival of Adil Rashid, whose third delivery is something a seven-year-old boy would be embarrassed about, a horrible short and wide delivery way outside leg stump helped around the corner by Tim Paine for four. The keeper did well to get willow on that. Oh dear, the leggie has lost control, sending down successive long hops on leg stump before provoking a round of "oooohs" as the outstretched right hand of a diving Luke Wright is deflected and well stopped by Broad, a save which prevents three runs.
1513: 10 overs - Aus 51-1
"Hello Punter, have summa that," says Bres with a snorter which rears alarmingly off the pitch, forcing the Australia captain to remove his top hand from the blade. Bres shuffles a couple of steps down the wicket, gives Ponting a good ol' Pontefract stare before milking his deserved applause.
1510: 9.4 overs - Aus 51-1 Wicket Watson lbw Bresnan 26
The burly Tim Bresnan is summoned but cannot prevent Tim Paine from flicking two off his pads to bring up the Aussie half century. Bit of an overexcited lbw appeal from the bowler and keeper as Paine is struck in front, but the ball would have happily clear the stumps at distance. But Bresnan has Watson trapped in front - and this time it's definitely out.
1506: 9 overs - Aus 47-0
Oh dear, this is all too easy for the Aussie openers as Tim Paine smashes his third four in five deliveries, this time off a rank long-hop outside off stump through point, to move to 17. Broad looks utterly aghast, an expression which doesn't change much as Paine skips down the wicket to steal the strike at the end of the over.
1502: 8 overs - Aus 41-0
Ouch! Ryan Sidebottom takes a horrible blow to the back of the ankle as a throw comes in from the deep. SiBo takes evasive cover as the call comes in but forgets to watch the path of the ball. The Paine continues as the Aussie wicketkeeper smears two successive pulls to deep square leg four boundaries.
1457: 7 overs - Aus 32-0
Wallop - stand and deliver time for Watson, who murders a short Broad delivery over midwicket for his fourth boundary. Nice riposte from Broad, who lands a yorker right at Watson's feet following a wide, but not quite with the express pace of fellow blond Brett Lee. Meanwhile, Paine is scratching around like a pen-pusher attempting to flirt with the office lovely.
1453: 6 overs - Aus 23-0
Watson, who looks the very definition of an Aussie surf dude, tucks a couple off his hips to Sidebottom, playing with the confidence of a man whose team are on the cusp of a 4-0 series win.
1449: 5 overs - Aus 20-0
Broad opts to go wider of the crease, but gets his line wrong as the openers run through for a leg bye. Broad sees a decent appeal for leg before turned down by umpire Nigel Llong, replays suggest the ball would just shaved leg stump. And to rub the Maldon sea salt into the open wound, Watson tucks into a short delivery, hoisting it high over mid-wicket's head for his third boundary.
1444: 4 overs - Aus 14-0
Another tight SiBo over, although Paine doubles his tally to 2 while Watson eases another single. It's all a bit easy for the Aussies right now. Give the openers a size four bat to even things up.
Mark Townsend, TMS inbox:
"I'm stuck in the office photocopying whilst my girlfriend Lucy is at Lords. Some things are just unfair. Hopefully I'll be out in an hour or so. Mind you, I'm not sure England's performance is helping the time pass as quickly as it should."
1440: 3 overs - Aus 12-0
Watson goes expansive attempting to cover drive a Stuart Broad leg cutter, but the ball beats the outside edge of the bat, leaving the bowler flummoxed in his follow through. Lovely angles from Watson, who pierces the gap between first and fourth slip with an open blade and sees Adil Rashid mistime his dive at third man to concede a boundary.
1437: 2 overs - Aus 8-0
Ryan Sidebottom, who has, to my knowledge, never bowled wearing an Alice band for England, has Tim Paine prodding outside off stump, a delivery which prompts hollers of approval from his team-mates. He keeps it tight and concedes just a solitary single from his opening over.
1433: 1 over - Aus 6-0
Tub-thumping start from Shane Watson, who eases Stuart Broad through midwicket for four. The Notts seamer attempts a couple of cutters outside off stump, but the opener judiciously opts to shoulder arms as the ball thuds into the mitts of wicketkeeper Matt Prior before pinching a single - and the strike - from the final ball of the delivery.
Australia ready to begin their reply - Shane Watson and Tim Paine opening the innings, Stuart Broad taking the first over in the absence of the rested James Anderson.
From alfie on 606:
"Once Strauss goes it is downhill all the way. Truth is there are no other undisputed international class bats on show: Denly is just starting, jury still out on Bopara, Shah is seat-warming for KP at best, Morgan I'm afraid doesn't look quite up to it - and Collingwood resting today - at least his critics can now see why we still need him at 5. Bell could surely do no worse, and eventually Trott will come in, but for now we must just grin and bear it, and hope for some bowling magic"
From Nick from Ilminster, via text on 81111:
"Once again, England have managed to press the self-destruct button after a promising start, when are the selectors going to admit that Bopara, Prior, and co just are not up to this level of one-day cricket?"
Have yourself a merry little manual refresh and you'll see Australia's target appear above.
I'm off for a scoff, see you back here in about 30 mins or so.
From eirebilly on 606:
"That was one of the best spells of bowling in a powerplay that I have ever seen. Excellent stuff by Lee."
Take a bow Brett Lee, an absolutely sensational spell of fast bowling touching 96mph on the speedgun, peppering the feet of England's batsmen with a series of reverse-swinging yorkers, each delivery like a lightning bolt to the toes. The New South Wales seamer finished with figures of 5-49.
1338: 46.3 overs - England 220 all out Wicket Sidebottom bowled Johnson 2
It was inevitable - Sidebottom is castled by Mitchell Johnson attempting to run the ball down to third man, probably not advisable for a number 11 to play that shot. So from 96-1 in the 19th over, England have folded like an amateur poker player without seeing out their full quota of 50 overs.
1344: 46 overs - England 218-9
New man Ryan Sidebottom is royally cheered as he bats away a 94mph missile from Lee for a single, although Tim Bresnan probably wasn't one of those. Lee oversteps with his last delivery - time to unleash the Dilscoop? Only if you want to get acquainted with your dentist Timmy boy. Instead, the Yorkshire swinger takes a couple of steps to leg and smash a full toss through extra cover for four. That's the end of the powerplay - 46-4 from their five overs.
1338: 45.3 overs - England 212-9 Wicket Rashid bowled Lee 4
Another exocet targeting Rashid's toes cleans up the leg-spinner's middle stump for his fifth wicket of the innings. What an incredible display of devastating, world-class fast bowling.
1336: 45 overs - England 211-8
TV replays suggest Shah was correct, but replays don't save batsmen from the walk back to the hutch. Shame, as Shah was set for some pyrotechnics. New man Tim Bresnan risks a streaky double, but makes his ground without causing too many potential cardiac arrests in the England dressing room.
1332: 44.1 overs - England 206-8 Wicket Shah ct Ferguson b Watson 39
Shah is caught at midwicket off a Watson full toss, but stands his ground because he believes the ball was above waist high. But square leg umpire Nigel Llong doesn't agree with the batsman's assessment and points his finger skywards to confirm the wicket is good.
1331: 44 overs - England 206-7
New man Adil Rashid probably wasn't surprised to receive a 94mph yorker at his size eights, but he somehow manages to squeeze the last ball of the over, set to dismantle his off stump, past the right hand of Tim Paine for four. That last ball was 95.2mph, Lee is just warming up.
1327: 43.3 overs - England 202-7 Wicket Broad bowled Lee 2
Lee steams and missiles a 93mph yorker right at Wright's toes. And he's only gone and done it again with a ball 0.6mph quicker to dislodge Stuart Broad's leg stump. "That's good wheels," says Phil Tufnell on TMS. Wheels? That's a comet.
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"The ICC should make England have to qualify for the World Cup, no team this pathetic should be allowed to gain entry into an international sporting event!"
1323: 43.1 overs - England 200-6 Wicket Wright bowled Lee 12
Wright is cleaned up by a 93mph yorker. No shame in that.
1322: 43 overs - England 200-5
Shah takes a couple of steps down the track and flat bats a high full toss from Shane Watson through extra cover for four, while Wright squirts a full delivery through point for the second boundary of the over. The Sussex all-rounder brings up the double ton with a hardy front-foot drive to long-off. "We want welly, we want welly" chants someone not sat in the Mound Stand.
Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox:
"Regarding the anonymous text on the likelihood of batsman getting out on 'Nelson', I have now run a detailed statistical analysis of the whole of this match to date, and the surprising finding is that there is a 100% chance of it occurring, with a 100% confidence level. I should add that the sample size for the study was rather small at n=1, and further high level funding from the Economic and Social Research Council for a follow up study should be sent to me, Paul, c/o Lancs."
1317: 42 overs - England 190-5
It's welly-time! Wright whacks a slower Brett Lee delivery straight back over his head for four, while Shah pounces on a shortish delivery past midwicket for four. Blimey - just seen a side angle of that stroke and the Middlesex man was about four inches from stepping on his stumps, but full marks for using every square inch of the crease.
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"Re: Robin (TMS inbox) at 1246 - Yeah, except Morgan is Irish and therefore his name is spelled Eoin. Not Owen. Why is he playing for England anyway? It's like the big four in the footie. We'll have him just so you can't."
1311: 41 overs - England 179-5
Still nothing to get excited about as Wright and Shah add three more to the total, but neither is given a chance to launch a small assault by the unforgiving Mitchell Johnson. Umpire Rauf has just signalled the batting powerplay, which means only two fielders are allowed outside of the 30m circle in the following five-over period.
1307: 40 overs - England 176-5
That was special from the Tasmanian stumper not only to cleanly collect a full delivery down the leg side with a batsman obscuring his vision standing up to a fast bowler, but to have the presence and nous to whip the bails off in an instant with the batsman off balance. Brings back memories of Jack Russell stumping Dean Jones standing up to the wicket to Gladstone Small all those years ago in Australia. I've just wiped a tear away from my sepia-tinted eyes... New man is Luke Wright, no doubt team orders are to give it the lusty blade.
1303: 39.4 overs - England 174-5 Wicket Morgan st Paine b Bracken 13
Morgan attempts to cut two deliveries too close to cut outside off stump to Nathan Bracken. Tim Paine take a bow - the Aussie wicketkeeper cleans up Morgan's stumps with a quite breath-taking stumping to a leg-side wide as Morgan attempts to turn the ball down to fine leg.
1259: 39 overs - England 172-4
Johnson finds a bit of curve but his line is wrong as Shah guides a ball off his hips for a single. A streaky outside edge from Morgan past a vacant backward point area sees the left-hander glean a couple. Still no sign of when the batting powerplay will be taken, I would imagine it would be in the next couple of overs though. Surely?
1255: 38 overs - England 165-4
Watson drops short, allowing Shah to free his arms and pull for four beyond the dive of Mike Hussey patrolling the leg-side boundary. It's Shah's turn to dive with yet another ill-judged single - he would have been run out by a distance had Callum Ferguson's throw from point rattled into the stumps.
1250: 37 overs - England 159-4
Blimey, a flowing front-foot straight drive for four from Eoin Morgan off Mitchell Johnson is greeted as if Keith Richards has just played the opening chords to Satisfaction at Wembley Stadium from the Lord's faithful. An encouraging over for England, but I think it's time for the long handle soon with six wickets in hand.
From Trevor, Bradford, via text on 81111:
"What odds do we have on a run out? Shah has been worryingly quiet - it must be about due!"
1246: 36 overs - England 152-4
Ponting mixes up his bowlers once again, turning to Shane Watson for his fifth over. Morgan doubles his tally from his 12th delivery with a cut down to third man, but the square-shouldered Queenslander keeps a tight grip on the runs as Shah can only add a single from the remainder of the over.
Robin, TMS inbox:
"Is this the first time 2 English batsmen with names beginning with O have batted together?"
1242: 35 overs - England 150-4
Fresh from plundering Matt Prior, Punter promptly tells the fast bowler to clear off for Nathan Hauritz to finish up his spell of 10 overs. A huge appeal for a catch behind the stumps from wicketkeeper Tim Paine is turned down with disdain by umpire Llong, although Shah wears an expression of utter indifference. Just one of the over, ending a quite sensational spell from the off-spinner who couldn't bowl at the start of the summer.
Wrenkt7Oz, TMS inbox:
"Watching Brett Lee in the last couple of matches, as an Aussie, one can only look back at the final two tests and think longingly 'if only...'"
1236: 34 overs - England 149-4
Clever captaincy from Punter. After seeing the ball banana like a Central American plantation, he summons Mitchell Johnson, who has a huge lbw appeal against Morgan turned down by umpire Asa Rauf. Replays suggest there was contact with the bat, but was it bat first? Either way, the flame-haired left-hander is off the mark as the Middlesex duo add three runs to the total.
1231: 33 overs - England 146-4
Not content with dismantling Prior's furniture, Lee wants a piece of new man Eoin Morgan, who just about manages to get his willow on his first delivery. Lee, who purportedly gained 10kg in raw muscle during his long injury stint, goes around the wicket and nails the Middlesex man inside his crease for the remaining three deliveries.
From AusCricketFan on 606:
"Best captaincy all series! Gives Lee two overs with the old ball before it gets changed to see if it's reversing... Only takes one ball!"
1226: 32.1 overs - Wicket England 145-4 Prior bowled Lee 29
Brett Lee cleans up Matt Prior with a vicious reverse-swinging yorker. No shame in that dismissal Matty boy.
1225: 32 overs - England 145-3
Prior drops to one knee and Dilscoops Bracken over his shoulder for four, much to the delight of the Lord's faithful. Prior opts for more conventional shot making, but not half as successful as he collects a single.
1221: 31 overs - England 138-3
Nathans Hauritz and Bracken are representing for the Nathans this afternoon, any Nathans out there? Hauritz rattles through his over and concedes just two. Lines tighter than a thesp in tights.
1218: 30 overs - England 138-3
Dreaded middle overs time, you can hear the cellophane being ripped from the triple packs of M&S sangers, along the kids attempting to unsuccessfully wipe the orange residue of Wotsits off their fingers. Five singles and we're back to Nathan Hauritz.
Richard, Inducting new students at the University of Leeds, TMS inbox:
"Ronglish is about more than just phrases. You need years of experience to be able to sum up complex situations so that everyone can understand with phrases like, 'Well either team could win, or it could be a draw'. Or for the Strauss dismissal you could use the ultimate 'Big Ron' mixed metaphor. For example, 'Strauss was treading on dangerous water there, he gambled all his eggs and sliced the ball when he had it on a plate. The rest of the England will have to pick their heads up off the ground as they've got a lot to carry on their shoulders now'."
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"Is it just me or has Nelson  in all forms struck a lot more than usual this summer? I know normally there is nothing statistical to suggest Nelson is deadly for a batsman, but both sides appear to be trying to revive the wariness of it."
1215: 29 overs - England 133-3
Cardinal sin from Hauritz, who bowls a front-foot no-ball, my old coach would be turning beetroot if that was me. However, his riposte is excellent, right in the blockhole and Shah's improvised drive can only add an extra run.
1212: 28 overs - England 129-3
Clarke drops wide, allowing Prior to open his body up and cut through point past the onrushing Mitchell Johnson on the offside boundary for four, the crowd loved that. Four more singles and someone has cranked up the defibrillator.
1209: 27 overs - England 121-3
Nathan "Nate Dogg" Hauritz goes around the wicket to Shah and almost snares a bat-pad catch, only there's no bat-pad fielder in place. After another encouraging start for England, it's all getting a bit staid.
1206: 26 overs - England 118-3
Clarke rifles through his overs as Prior scythes a couple through point before Shah manages to double up with an edge in the third man region.
1202: 25 overs - England 112-3
A bit needless really, especially with Strauss batting so well. Hauritz once again tosses up a tempter, plenty of flight and entices the England skipper to attempt a slog sweep over midwicket, but the ball bites off the track and the deviation causes the ball to cannon off the top edge of the bat high into the air and straight into Bracken's hands. England have not hit a boundary since the 16th over, which tells you something about how well Bracken and Hauritz have been bowling. In comes Owais Shah, only Mr Creosote is more averse to running than the former Middlesex captain. Anyway, he gets off the mark with a single.
1158: 24.4 overs - England 111-3 Wicket Strauss ct Bracken b Hauritz 63
Urgh, ugly dismissal as a Strauss mow is top-edged straight into the hands of Nathan Bracken at short third man. And on Nelson too.
1158: 24 overs - England 110-2
Sensing there's something in the pitch for the tweakers, Ponting tosses the ball to the buzz-cut pate of Michael Clarke. The left-arm spinner drops short, allowing Strauss to smash the ball over midwicket but straight to the fielder on the boundary. Still, no boundaries for England as four more runs are added to the total.
1154: 23 overs - England 106-2
Decent few overs for Australia of late with Bracken and Hauritz strangling the boundaries. Strauss unleashes the one-knee sweep, but fails to find willow as the ball bites off the pitch and turns past his edge into Tim Paine's gauntlets. Just two from the over.
1151: 22 overs - England 104-2
Good over from Bracken, who pins Strauss inside his crease before nurdling a quick single behind point. Prior nicks the strike from the very last ball of the over with an elaborate one-handed drive as his left hand goes flying off the bat for a single.
1148: 21 overs - England 102-2
Bracken is finding turn and bounce, England may regret omitting Graeme Swann today. Prior just about manages to jam his bat down in time to prevent a turning delivery from castling his stumps for a single. Over on the radio, a bellicose Angus Fraser has stormed off to find London mayor Boris Johnson to vent his spleen about the planned engineering works on the Jubilee Line.
1146: 20 overs - England 100-2
Bracks, headband curtailing his flowing blond locks, beats Matt Prior with a delivery which bites off the turf and shave the outside edge. Still, another single brings up the three figures and England have the foundations for a decent five-bedroom detached with an ample-sized garden of a target for the Aussies.
1141: 19 overs - England 96-2
The TV replays vindicate umpire Llong's decision, the ball just struck Bopara in line with the off stump and would have happily damaged middle and off. Nervy start for new man Matt Prior, who drops a forward defence just short of Cameron White at first slip. Nice riposte from the tweaker.
From ajit_1989 on 606:
"England remind me of New Zealand. They have a trusty captain each (Vettori and Strauss) and one naturally gifted batsman (Pietersen and McCullum) and this barely masks a lack of quality throughout the rest of the ODI squad."
1138: 18.3 overs - England 96-2 Wicket Bopara lbw Hauritz 26
Ravi attempts to sweep a straight delivery and misses, prompting a huge appeal from Hauritz, upheld by umpire Nigel Llong.
1137: 18 overs - England 95-1
Keeper Tim Paine opts to stand up to Strauss to keep the England skipper routed in his crease to Nathan Bracken, who has a towel dangling from his waist like a tapas waiter. Strange. Strauss works a run through square leg - soon doubled as Mitchell Johnson misfields, although the man possesses a throwing arm which could dent bank vaults from 50 metres as Bopara just about makes his ground as the throw arrives at the bowler's end.
From devonFRATTONiser on 606:
"Strauss seems to be the only England batsman with any backbone in this ODI series. Without Freddie and KP, England's one day batting has been a bit like a sherry trifle without the sherry."
1133: 17 overs - England 91-1
Hauritz, who snared Strauss from around the wicket in the second one-dayer at HQ a few days ago, attempts to repeat the trick - and nearly has the England skipper as he skips down the track for an almighty hoik, but completely mistimes his stroke. Good over from the off-spinner, conceding a couple of singles.
1127: 16 overs - England 89-1Ian, below
, are you my mate Graeme in disguise? Strauss unleashes the big gun and marmalises Watson through square leg past the diving boundary fielder for his eighth boundary and bring up another one-day half century. Strauss is looking like a man booked in for bed and breakfast here, while Watson squares Bopara up with a ball that holds its line on off stump. Time for a beverage.
1123: 15 overs - England 84-1
Time for tweak as Ponting turns to Nathan Hauritz. He temptingly tosses up his first couple of deliveries before Bopara plants his front foot to the pitch of the third delivery to spank it through extra cover for a handsome four, the kind of stroke that would make a cricket coach go weak at the knees. Fresh from his boundary conquest, Bopara nearly makes a complete horlicks attempting a quick single, only to see his captain firmly planted in his crease with absolutely no intention of running.
Ian, Spain, text 81111:
"Whilst we're on the subject of classic Ron Atkinson/Ronglish how about 'little eyebrows' or 'spotters badge'? Get them into you commentary!"
1120: 14 overs - England 80-1
A smattering applause greets Bopara's very fine leg glance for four off Shane Watson, shuffling across his stumps before adding a single through square leg. A dab behind square from Strauss brings up the 50 partnership from 55 deliveries. It's all looking good for the hosts right now. Cue some sort of monumental disaster. Apologies in advance.
1115: 13 overs - England 72-1
A quick glance in the stands reveals the venerable Stephen Fry without some sort of electronic device in his hands. He's lost quite a bit of Terry Waite lately. On the pitch and England continue to rotate the strike as Johnson is milked for three runs without too much bother.
1112: 12 overs - England 69-1
Bopara manipulates the ball around the park to add three to his tally, with Strauss adding another run to take his score to 42. Tina, below
, I think what piqued my interest was Strauss using his feet against the fast bowling, very unEnglish, especially from a player who was dismissed as only a Test player a few years back.
Tina, puzzled, Shrewsbury, TMS inbox:
"Please describe what you mean by 'sexy batting'. I am having a hard time picturing it!"
1107: 11 overs - England 65-1
Strauss once again finds himself in all sorts of bother attempting to pull a sharp Johnson delivery (over 90mph), looping an edge high into the air but into safety at square leg as Ricky Ponting desperately attempts to close down the yards. However, more good running between the pair and five runs are added from the over.
1102: 10 overs - England 59-1
Shane Watson ambles in for his first joust of the day and sees Andrew Strauss obliterate his first delivery over midwicket for four. Lovely shot, opening up his body to create the extra leverage to go aerial. A well-run single sees five taken from Watson's over. Encouragingly, Bopara looks composed, like a man settling down for a long session at a Chinese all-you-can eat buffet.
1057: 9 overs - England 54-1
Nasty bouncer from around the wicket from Lee as Strauss just about gets enough willow to evade the outstretched right glove of the diving Tim Paine to race away for four. Brutal delivery, Strauss attempted to pull but realised he had about as much chance of middling the ball as Jordan has of replacing David Dimbleby as the host of Question Time. Lovely, wristy Tendulkar-like flick off his pads from Bopara as full Lee delivery on his toes is guided fine for four.
1052: 8 overs - England 45-1
More sexy batting from Strauss, who takes a couple of steps down the track and punch Johnson through midwicket for four. The England skipper nicks the strike when drives straight back at the bowler, who cannot collect cleanly to prevent the single.
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"Re: 1013, I'm not sure if you can dent bone china that easily. It can definitely be chipped or smashed though."
1047: 7 overs - England 39-1
Another front-foot aberration from Lee, who oversteps again as umpire Nigel Llong circles his right index finger for the second time. An attempted slower ball yorker morphs into a full toss to Bopara, which loops over the head of mid-on to safety for a couple. Hands on head from Lee, who sees a Bopara edge fall just short of Ricky Ponting at second slip a couple of deliveries later.
1043: 6 overs - England 35-1
Ponting rings the changes after Bracken's profligate second over, with Mitchell Johnson wanging it down from the Nursery End. He somewhat unfairly sees Strauss collect four with a thick inside edge through square leg for four, while Bopara gently drops a single into the leg side for a single.
From matt-h88 on 606:
"I like the team selection, but we desperately need Bopara, Prior and Shah to find form."
1039: 5 overs - England 29-1
No foot movement from Denly as he drives from his crease to a tempting Lee delivery outside off stump, edging straight into White's breadbasket. Out trots Ravi Bopara, who leaves his first delivery outside off stump well alone.
1036: 4.5 overs - England 29-1 Denly ct White b Lee 11
Better over from Lee, who snares Denly with a simple slip catch at first slip for Cameron White.
Andy, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"RE: 9:59 - Loving the reference to the Big Ron commentary classic "the reducer". How about coming up with a few cricketing equivalents of your own though, eh? A six could be a clobber or a thin edge a tickler. You need to start earning your money rather than living on other peoples' former glories."
1032: 4 overs - England 28-0
Denly and Strauss are England's seventh one-day opening partnership in 12 months. plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose
, excuse the missing accents. Strauss tucks in to a Bracken buffet, dispatching two short and wide deliveries outside off stump for four, along with a cheeky flick of his pads after advancing down the track for the third boundary of the over.
1028: 3 overs - England 15-0
Corker from Lee, who bisects Denly with a delivery which cuts back off the pitch. More no-ball antics from Lee, who oversteps with his fourth delivery as the umpire signals a free hit. Horror from the Sydney paceman, who sends the ball well wide of the white guidelines and the next delivery is smeared high over second slip's head for four by Denly. Had Ricky Ponting got his hands on the ball, he would have probably ended up by the boundary rope.
1022: 2 overs - England 9-0
Strauss doubles with tally with another dab off his pads for a single off Nathan Bracken, of whom my colleague Ben Dirs believes has stolen the hair of the late Farah Fawcett. Who was the last fast bowler to wear a headband? Answers please via the TMS inbox
, the 606 website
. Lovely, angular, punchy straight drive from Denly, who picks up three as Mitchell Johnson misses the ball attempting to slide at mid-on.
1018: 1 over - England 5-0
Strauss opens up England's account with a languid flick off his pads for a single down to fine leg, exposing Denly to his first delivery in one-day international cricket at Lord's. And what a start - he neatly tucks a delivery straying on his pads through midwicket with a mirrored David Goweresque elegance for four.
Absolute horlicks of organisation from Transport for London with the closure of St John's Wood, making life a that more annoying for all paying spectators, hence lots of empty seats around the ground. Out trot Andrew Strauss and Joe Denly, with Ravi Bopara dropping down the order. Wonder whether that will dent his bone china-like confidence a little further. Brett Lee to bowl the first over.
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Joe Denly, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wk), Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Stuart Broad, Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan, Ryan Sidebottom
Australia: Shane Watson, Tim Paine (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Mike Hussey, Cameron White, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Nathan Bracken
Can't say I've missed Punter's dulcet tones, but he says there's a bit of grass and a decent breeze to assist the seamers first up. Glorious day at cricket HQ. As expected, the Aussie skipper returns in place of James Hopes. Blimey it's early, I haven't wiped the vestiges of my blueberry muesli (my colleague next to me is attempting to wean his ladyfriend off the cowburgers onto the little blue superfoods) and already they've tossed up and discussed tactics for the day.
So less than eight days after he was crocked by an Owais Shah reducer in football practice before the second one-dayer at The Oval, Denly returns with his knee patched up after some TLC from the ECB medical team. Shah's effort was almost as good as Josip Simunic's "tackle" on Aaron Lennon which led to England's penalty in the 5-1 win over Croatia on Wednesday.
Hello. Pay attention at the back. News of the toss - England have won and will bat first
. With no Paul Collingwood and James Anderson, England welcome back Adil Rashid
, at the expense of Graeme Swann, with Stuart Broad
returning in place of the rested James Anderson. But hold on to that bacon sandwich - Joe Denly
is back and plays instead of Paul Collingwood. How's about that to kick off proceedings.