ICC Champions Trophy semi-final, Centurion:
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Right, that's about it from us - thanks for all your messages. You can read all about the Centurion centurions in
Oliver Brett's match report
- and if this game hasn't put you off cricket for good (which it shouldn't, even a diehard England supporter would have to applaud Watson and Ponting's batting), we'll be back tomorrow for the second semi-final between Pakistan and New Zealand as they look to join the Aussies in Monday's final. That's tomorrow - same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. See you then.
Man-of-the-match Shane Watson:
"My batting couldn't really get much worse after the start of the tournament, but Ricky got me through it and it was good to get us home. It was a beautiful wicket, so we knew if we got going, scoring would be pretty easy"
Australia captain Ricky Ponting:
"We got a bit carried away with the game halfway through their innings as Bresnan and Wright did well, but as a senior player these are the moments you pride yourself on - standing up in big games. The guys have been looking forward to this for a long time and now we've got a couple of days to get ready for the final"
England captain Andrew Strauss:
"When you lose six wickets for 100 runs it's always hard to stay in the game. Credit to Tim Bresnan and Luke Wright, they made sure we weren't totally out of it, but we needed some early wickets and Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting were too good for us. We've played some good cricket in this tournament but Australia were just too strong for us. They've got three bowlers capable of bowling at 90mph which means they can take wickets in the middle of the innings when some other sides struggle. But the batsmen were to blame, to be honest - that was a 300 wicket and we were 40 runs short"
From Gary, Preston, Lancs, TMS inbox:
"It would have been better if England had not qualified for the semi, simply to have their failings exposed for all to see (yet again) and humiliated by the Aussies (yet again). There is clearly a serious problem with the one-day side, and has been for some considerable time. The ECB needs to recognise this and sort it NOW to avoid further humiliation in future one-day series and the World Cup"
And Ponting is now on 12,043 ODI runs, he trails Jayasuriya (13,377) and Tendulkar (16,903).
From Daz, Widnes, TMS inbox:
"We've all seen plenty of defeats for England but this one really hurts, comprehensively outplayed in every department just when we thought we were getting the hang of this one-day stuff"
For the record, Watson finished on 136 with Punter on 111. My "gaffer" Alistair Watkins points out that despite being spanked for 23 runs in his last over, Paul Collingwood still wasn't the most expensive bowler.
Ian Chappell on TMS:
"Right from the start, Ponting looked like a man on a mission. Australia are into the final in very convincing fashion"
AUSTRALIA WIN BY NINE WICKETS TO REACH ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY FINAL 41.5 overs - Aus 258-1
With five needed, Ponting clubs Anderson for a single to bring Watson on strike. Just a single this time as he prods the ball to mid-off. Two more singles bring the score level - can Punter finish it? The field comes up, a fumble in the covers means the Aussie skipper is through for a quick single and Australia have reached the final "in some style", notes Alison on TMS.
41st over - Aus 253-1
As if they aren't on top like a giant crushing a flying ant beneath their boot, Australia take the batting powerplay! England throw the ball to Paul Collingwood, who's been their most economical bowler today. Punter smacks the first ball off his legs for four - the partnership's up to 228, and that's the highest ever second-wicket ODI stand for Australia. The skipper marches on with a single, Watson picks up a short ball and powers it over square leg for six. Another short ball, another six over square leg and that's Australia's highest ever ODI stand for any wicket. Colly tries to take the pace off the ball, but Watson aims an enormous blast over long-on - that's three sixes in four balls, 23 off the over (what did I say about Colly's economy?), Watson's highest ever ODI innings and they suddenly need just five to win.
40th over - Aus 230-1
Watson dabs Anderson for a single to third man, Ponting scampers a quick single of his own, and when Jimmy tries to dig in a short ball, Watson hooks it over the keeper's head for four.
39th over - Aus 224-1
Watson drags Bresnan from outside off stump and it sails onto the hill at mid-wicket for six - a young lad tries to catch the ball but takes a blow on the head for good measure. Three more singles, and England are metaphorically checking out of their hotel already.
38th over - Aus 215-1
Wright's off after going for 18 in his three overs, Anderson returns for his seventh over. After a single from Ponting, Watson brings up his third ODI century in style with a flat-batted pull which sails just over the rope for six. After removing his helmet and lifting both arms in celebration, he keeps the score ticking with a single. This is now the highest ODI partnership for any wicket on this ground.
Alison Mitchell on TMS:
"This has been a masterclass of batting from these two batsmen this evening, but England just seem bereft of ideas"
37th over - Aus 207-1
Ponting exquisitely cover-drives Bresnan for four to bring up his 28th ODI century (and his fifth against England, though it feels like more) from 104 balls. A single to deep cover brings Watson on strike for the last ball - he aims another full-blooded pull shot but fails to connect. 51 needed from 78 balls.
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"This will make me unpopular, but I've never been convinced about Strauss as captain. Great player, but seems to lack imagination when the going gets tough, ie now!"
36th over - Aus 202-1
Ponting hits the ball straight to Shah at mid-on, sends Watson (looking for a run) back and just as well, as Shah's throw knocks a stump out of the ground. Ponting forces a two off his legs past mid-wicket. Even Strauss has to applaud his running between the wickets. Punter helps a single to long leg, he has 95. Watson cuts Wright to third man for one, Punter guides a single through the covers. Watson then unleashes an expert cut shot between backward point and gully for four to bring up Australia's 200 - both batsmen have 96.
35th over - Aus 193-1
The Shah Experiment is ended, and it's Bresnan on to see if he can repeat his heroics with the bat. Ponting moves into the (not likely to be nervous) nineties by hoisting him for six over square leg to move to 90. He rotates the strike with a single, then an imperious cover-driven four takes Watson to 90. Who will be first to three figures? Watson carefully guides a single to third man, Ponting nicks the strike with one to the cover sweeper.
From Raj, Northwood, TMS inbox:
"I wonder if the Aussies will hand England a final insult by waltzing to their target without even bothering with the batting powerplay"
34th over - Aus 180-1
Watson and Ponting continue to push the singles against Wright - two each. Time for a drinks break - possibly the last drinks break of England's participation in the Champions Trophy - and the compulsory ball change. The odds on an England win must be so long at this stage, even Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh might be interested.
From Andrew, TMS inbox:
"Re: the six in the 21st over. I vaguely recall from an 'ask the umpire' session on TMS during the summer that a six had to travel cleanly over the boundary and was just a four if a fielder got a hand to it inside the ropes. Is my memory failing me? Just been to Munich Oktoberfest so probably!"
Your memory is failing you. If the ball goes over the boundary without touching the ground (even if a fielder's hands touch it on the way), it's six.
33rd over - Aus 176-1
Well, Derren Brown need fear not - I'm clearly not a mind-reader, as who do England turn to for the 33rd over? Owais Shah. His first ball is a long-hop which Watson helps to the mid-wicket boundary for four. An exchange of singles allows Watson to have another go - and he blasts four more towards cow corner. A single means that's 11 off Shah's over.
32nd over - Aus 165-1
As I speculated three overs earlier, England turn to the medium-fast Luke Wright as their sixth bowler, and their last real front-line alternative. I don't think, somehow, that we're going to see Owais Shah's little off-breaks tonight. Watson guides a couple through wide mid-on, he adds another two and a single to third man. Five off the over, 93 needed from 18 overs.
31st over - Aus 160-1
Watson aims a full-blooded pull shot against Onions, that was four from the second it left his bat. A single brings up the 150 partnership, Ponting rocks back and swivel-pulls another four. Here's a target for Australia - their highest ever second-wicket ODI stand was Adam Gilchrist and Punter, who scored 225 against England at the MCG in December 2002. If these two stay together, they may pass it.
Simon Mann on TMS:
"If you were batting first here, you'd be thinking in terms of scoring 300 from this position, which shows you how far Australia are in charge. Their Duckworth-Lewis par score here would be 112"
30th over - Aus 151-1
With crushing inevitability, Watson and Ponting barely break sweat as they bundle several ones and twos against Swann, Ponting executing the dab-sweep to fine leg to perfection.
29th over - Aus 145-1
Anderson off, Onions returns for his seventh over. Given that they've got to try something, I wonder if there's some injury preventing Luke Wright from bowling? Or more worryingly, do they not trust him not to get carted around the park in these circumstances? Ponting pulls Onions' first ball for four, becoming the third man (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya) to reach 12,000 ODI runs. Both batsmen momentarily have 67, though Ponting forges ahead again with a single.
From Mark N, TMS inbox:
"Can people please stop going on about flying ants? We're losing this match and it (expletive deleted) hurts!"
28th over - Aus 140-1
Swann has switched to the River End, but England's hopes of making the final are sailing away across the River Styx to Hades at the moment. Watson straight-drives for a single. Ponting lifts one to mid-wicket for one, then Watson hoists a six up onto the grassy bank behind long-off. And Strauss isn't happy with the ball, which is almost entirely green, so Billy B chooses another one for them.
27th over - Aus 132-1
Watson guides Anderson off his toes for a single to long leg - Australia are more than halfway towards their target. After a single from Punter, Watson delicately late-cuts a single to third man.
From Steve Whitehead, Buckinghamshire, TMS inbox:
"Any flying anteaters to be seen?"
Would be nice - a swarm of airborne aardvarks would liven up this game no end!
26th over - Aus 129-1
Australia continue to work Colly for comfortable singles, Watson tries another big hit to long-on but it reaches Shah on the bounce. Ponting also tries a lofted drive, over the man at mid-off for four. He's three short of 12,000 ODI runs.
25th over - Aus 121-1
England need a wicket, simple as, so Cap'n Strauss turns back to the spearhead of the attack, James Anderson. But Ponting keeps it going, forcing a two through the covers. A single brings Watson on strike - Strauss (who looks to have scratched his elbow on something, as it's bleeding) jogs up for a chat with his bowler. Tighter from Anderson (and Colly), but England still need a wicket.
From Kieren, TMS inbox:
"Just thought I'd send through some info on the flying ants... Basically the ants are on a nuptial flight. Winged sexuals (males and females) are produced within the ant colony. When environmental conditions (such as temperature and humidity) are correct the winged sexuals from all of the ant colonies in a specific area emerge and start their nuptial flight. During the flight females might mate with several males. Following mating the females land and chew off their own wings. The newly mated female then attempts to start a new colony by finding (or creating) a safe place to lay eggs. These eggs become the first workers in the new colony. Males don't live for long after the nuptial flight but the females found new ant colonies and, in some species, can live for several years"
24th over - Aus 118-1
Ponting nudges another single - the only trouble he's in is when Watson straight-drives Colly and his firm push nearly hits non-striker Ponting. The skipper forces a single to Wright at third man - he still isn't happy with his bat, which is now heavily taped up. Mind you, he could bat with it upside-down and the wrong way round, and Australia would still probably win at this rate.
23rd over - Aus 115-1
Swann's getting a little bit of turn, but it hasn't troubled the Aussies as Watson drives to long-off to bring up his 10th ODI fifty. Ponting keeps it going, and they add a couple more singles. England need to dislodge this pair - maybe they could bring on that beekeeper from earlier, who was brought in to dislodge those bees from that TV camera?
From Nick, TMS inbox:
"I play at Blackheath, and the flying ants still turn up in August, though they haven't stopped any games for a few years. They are definitely flying ants not termites, but there is a team named after them called the August Flies"
22nd over - Aus 111-1
Ponting and Watson continue to plunder Colly with two singles apiece - can Nelson bring England some luck?
21st over - DROPPED CATCH - Aus 107-1
After a single from Punter, Watson forces a single to bring up Australia's century - then a single brings Ponting his 71st ODI fifty (he also has 27 centuries). Swann tosses it up to Watson, who goes down on one knee and tries to lift it over long-on - but Luke Wright can't hold on and pushes it over the boundary for six! Ooh, that's a bad miss - how important might that be? Swann looks absolutely livid.
20th over - Aus 98-1
Sunil Gavaskar points out on TMS that having played no fewer than seven ODIs against each other in the last month, it's not like England have any surprise bowlers or tactics they could pull out of a hat against the Aussies. Punter works a single to fine leg, Watson helps another one off his legs and Punter nicks the strike. I fear I may start to repeat myself here, but it really is like this. Australia are helping themselves to singles, and England look like they are rather going through the motions I'm afraid.
19th over - Aus 95-1
Desperate for a wicket, England turn to the right-arm off-spin of Graeme Swann. Watson helps a short ball to the mid-wicket boundary but picks out the fielder, Ponting neatly turns a single off his legs down to Graham Onions, who's wearing a sleeveless sweater without a name or number on. Watson guides another single to mid-wicket, Ponting drives one to long-on and it's still Easystreet for the Aussies.
From Arthur, TMS inbox:
"If the flying ants went on strike, would they become the flying pickets?"
18th over - Aus 91-1
Watson late-cuts Colly for a single, Ponting guides one to the cover sweeper. Watson nudges a single off his pads, and the Aussies are firmly on cruise control. Watson has 37, Punter's on 44 and this stand is worth 85.
From Ian following the BBC text commentary in a Zambian Safari Lodge, TMS inbox:
"As a qualified safari guide, and England fan, I feel obliged to point out that 'flying ants' are in fact not ants at all... so all the ant jokes are redundant. The offending creatures are actually termites, so maybe we can persuade them to start snacking on Ponting's bat?"
The TMS scorer and other local press men insist they're flying ants...
17th over - Aus 88-1
The TV camera focuses on a group of children watching the game from the "hill" at Centurion, surely it's past their bedtime? Bresnan bangs in another aerial wide, Watson angles the bat to third man and they jog through for a single. The Aussie pair are taking singles at will here (five from the over, plus that wide), and Bresnan isn't offering much by way of a threat. Umpire Billy Bowden ostentatiously signals a drinks break, and England could need something quite strong here.
From Neil, Broadstairs, TMS inbox:
"Breaking news: Ponting launches new flying ant flavour gum"
16th over - Aus 82-1
More of the same from Watson and Ponting, whose stand is now worth 76, as Colly is milked for three singles.
15th over - Aus 79-1
Ponting tips-and-runs Bresnan for a quick single, Colly is sharply in from backward point, using his football skills to kick the ball at the stumps, and the Sunderland fan only just misses the target. Watson keeps the strike, and apologies for a few gremlins - England aren't batting again. Give the page a manual refresh to wash all your troubles away.
14th over - Aus 77-1
Onions takes a rest after taking 1-33 from six overs and Paul Collingwood takes over with his medium pace. He keeps it pretty tight as ever, just three singles from the over. Meanwhile, Ian Bishop says on TMS that apparently the West Indies are set to pick their strongest available squad for their next tour (after a long-running player dispute saw them take an under-strength squad to this tournament) - they begin a three-Test series in Australia next month, followed by five ODIs and two Twenty20s in February.
From Gilad, TMS inbox:
"I think Phil [5th over] is being a bit harsh on the Aussie batsmen walking off, if I saw a collective of flying Ants I'd hit the Dec"
13th over - Aus 74-1
Bresnan yells an lbw appeal against Ponting but it's pretty high. He and Watson turn a couple of singles, they look in little trouble here and need 184 runs from 37 overs, required run rate is a smidgen under five.
Ian Bishop on TMS:
"It's such a good pitch, with such a fast outfield, that it's just common-sense cricket that Australia need here"
12th over - Aus 71-1
Strauss may be trying the "think like the enemy" tactic to dislodge Ponting as he's patrolling the covers, clapping his hands and chewing gum just like his opposite number does. Watson isn't troubled by England's "bang it in and hope for the best" tactic, powerfully hooking another four. A wide keeps the score ticking over.
From Pete, Suzanne and James, TMS inbox:
"Can't we use the ants? Get them fielding at short leg maybe?"
11th over - Aus 66-1
Bresnan bangs in a short ball to Watson, he pulls it into the air but it lands safely and they run one. Ponting hooks at another short one, Davies leaps to take the catch, is that out? Billy B doesn't think so, and replays are inconclusive. Australia keep pushing the singles, and are well on top of the required run rate. Appropriately, it's Doug Bollinger who carries on some drinks for the Aussie batsmen.
From Chris, Powys, TMS inbox:
"First it's bees, then flying ants; what's next - Pterodactyls?"
10th over - Aus 63-1
Bresnan is now the man at short mid-on as Onions continues. Watson tries to hook a short ball but misses as he swings through nearly 360 degrees. He's then hit on the shoulder by another short ball and they run a leg bye. A Punter two takes him above Smith (see last over), then he forces two more through the covers off the last ball of the first powerplay.
9th over - Aus 58-1
This is normally where England bring on Stuart Broad, but the flaxen-haired Notts youngster is back in the treatment room with his torn buttock muscle, so it's up to Tim Bresnan (and his army recruit haircut) to step up as third seamer after his batting heroics. His first ball is short and Ponting helps himself to a four through square leg. He then gives the Aussie skipper too much width on the off side, Punter says "thank you very much" and belts him for four through point. That puts him level with Graeme Smith as the top scorer in the tournament, on 206. Watson adds a single, not a great first over from Bres.
From Simon, UNH, TMS inbox:
"Sat here in my dorm room at the University of New Hampshire whilst the guy in the room next to me is playing the theme from 'Fame' on the accordion - now I know I haven't slept much for the past few days, but that coupled with a Timmy Bresnan 80 has left me wondering whether this is all a dream"
8th over - Aus 48-1
Punter tapes his bat up just below the splice with the aid of Aussie 12th man David Hussey before Watson turns Onions off his legs for a single. Punter pulls away just before a delivery as a fan throws a rugby ball onto the field at mid-wicket. Honestly. Ponting manages a single, then Watson lets loose with another straight-driven four. He plays that shot well. Shah is brought in at short mid-on, almost in the way of the non-striker, but Onions pings in two bouncers, which are both signalled as aerial wides by Umpire Dar. Watson turns the last ball for two to long leg.
From TrickieDickie, Hollywood, TMS inbox:
"Maybe the ants were woken up by the playing of the National Ant-hems. I'll get my coat"
7th over - Aus 38-1
Great timing from Ponting, who expertly guides the ball betwixt backward point and cover point for four. Then Anderson gives him a free ball down the leg side and Punter helps himself to four more. Bowl straight, Jimmy! Chappelli isn't happy that there isn't a slip in. Punter becomes the first Australian to reach 500 Champions Trophy runs by steering a powerful cover drive for his third four of the over.
From Neil, Ely, TMS inbox:
"Desperately hoping this won't transpire to be another anty-climax for England fans"
6th over - Aus 26-1
Onions keeps it tight against Watson, who then firmly straight-drives him for four.
From Paul, Basingstoke, TMS inbox:
"The Cricket Society played a game at Blackheath in 2001 - where flying ants came up out of the square and caused the game to be abandoned. We were on target for a win when it happened. wouldn't have minded but a couple of weeks prior Blackheath had a game abandoned due to a swarm of bees making an appearance. Don't play there, the wildlife is no fan of cricket!"
5th over - Aus 22-1
Watson nurdles a single off his legs, Ponting takes one hand off the bat at one which rears up at him off the pitch. Then Punter prods into the covers, Morgan completely needlessly throws the ball at the stumps, it misses everyone and it sails away for four! England have just gifted Australia four free runs.
From Phil, TMS inbox:
"We was robbed. Oz should have been declared unwilling to play and the match awarded to England"
4th over - Aus 17-1
Watson nudges Onions for a single, Ponting is on the defensive and England's fielders keep it tight while the Aussie skipper is yet to score. Ponting drives, it's in the air but wide of Eoin Morgan at cover and away for four.
From Dave in Eritrea, TMS inbox:
"The ants are are just the warm-up act, next you'll get the Locusts and top of the bill, Buddy Holly and the Crickets"
3rd over - Aus 12-1
Watson absolutely marmalises Anderson, smashing him back over his head for four. Jimmy strays with a legside wide and then Watson steers a single off his legs, the "Burnley Express" isn't quite operating at optimum capacity yet.
2nd over - Aus 6-1
Captain Ricky Ponting strides to the crease. There are two slips in, but he sees off the over. Meanwhile, here's the first picture of one of the flying ants.
1.3 overs - WICKET - Paine c Davies b Onions 4 - Aus 6-1
Fresh from scoring his first (and so far only) ODI run, Graham Onions takes the second over. Watson turns a single to fine leg, which is where they're hiding Owais Shah at the moment. Onions drops it short and Paine whacks him for four through mid-wicket. But then England "end the Paine" as he gets a thin edge to his opposite number Steve Davies, who snaffles his first ODI catch!
From Mike Bell, Ashford, TMS inbox:
"Hopefully no controversy over the flying ants, as presume the umpires can judge the risk using their flight meters?"
1st over - Aus 1-0
James Anderson takes the new ball against Aussie openers Shane Watson and Tim Paine. I can still spy the occasional ant flying around, but there aren't enough of them to hold up play. Watson opens with a single, Paine brushes a few more dead ants off a good length.
From Angus, Cambridge, TMS inbox:
"Definitely a 'swarm' of flying ants, I reckon
some suggest an 'army' of ants, but in this case it would have to be an 'air force', which sounds far less convincing!"
England are walking out again - the flying ants have been dispersed. No pictures of the flying ants yet - you'll have to make do with something flying, and Ant.
Some of the flying ants have died. Ground staff are now brushing the wings of the dead flying ants off the wicket. This is the sort of thing text commentary was invented for.
From Colin in West London with his fingers crossed, TMS inbox:
"In the seven ODIs that we were beaten comprehensively by Oz, their average score was surprisingly 248! Admittedly not all overs were bowled, but this does give us a fighting chance for once"
Does Duckworth-Lewis have a rule for what happens here? Or should they send for Dr Doolittle?
TMS's expert on the flying ants is Andy their scorer, who's a local - they're definitely flying ants. Ravi Bopara waves a towel to keep them away.
Sorry, that last comment bigging up Clarke, Haddin, Bracken and Symonds was from Kevin in Oz, not Matt in Preston. England's team is out on the field, but so are a huge number of flying ants (they look like moths, but Simon Mann on TMS assures us they're flying ants. (Collective noun for a large number of flying ants, anyone?) The Aussie batsmen take one look at the situation, and after speaking to the umpires, everyone walks off! I can't believe my eyes - FLYING ANTS STOP PLAY!
From Chris, bored in NL, TMS inbox:
"Re: Slow Overs; as a deterrent, should those bowling first, have their batting overs truncated, without any changes to the bowling rules (10 overs per bowler etc)? For the side bowling second, the target gets reduced for every over that they are behind on. (Difficult for the umps & journos I know!)"
From Kevin in Oz, TMS inbox:
"Neil [22nd over], Australia don't appear to be missing Clarke, Haddin, Bracken and Symonds too much. I suggest that any of these four would slot straight into any team at the moment"
Right, as Australia did bowl their overs rather slowly, we've got a truncated break between innings. Keep listening to TMS for an in-depth interview with Andrew Flintoff - I'm going to dash off for a sandwich while you pick the bones out of England's innings. (Oh, and give the page a manual refresh for Australia's target to appear above).
From Steve in Chippenham, via text on 81111:
"Re: Matt in Preston [46th over]. When will people learn that the last batting powerplay is not the advantageous run fest some people think it is. It always costs wickets and is often irrelevant when it is used"
47.4 overs - WICKET - Onions run out 1 - Eng 257 all out
Chappelli on TMS makes a very good point - if England can bat out their overs, they could get Australia an over-rate fine as they're already past the time by which this innings should have ended. Watson sends down a wide to Anderson, who lifts a well-run two over mid-wicket. But then there's chaos as he pushes a single to leg, he wants a second, but Onions hasn't moved and a predictable run-out ensues.
47th over - Eng 253-9
Lee has a slip in for last man Graham Onions, who looks like a rabbit in headlights against the Aussie quick. Lee (and Punter) will hope to finish it this over if possible. Onions pushes a single into the covers, and that's his first ODI run! Well done him. Anderson is cut in half and Lee follows up quickly to prevent a leg bye. Thankfully, Anderson manages to pinch the strike with a single off the last ball.
46.2 overs - WICKET - Bresnan b Lee 80 - Eng 251-8
Bresnan takes a big swing and whacks Lee back for four through long-on! He has 80, and that's England past 250. But it's all over for the Pontefract Powerhouse as he steps back to aim another big blast, and Lee knocks his middle stump over. Bresnan, revealing a short, army-style haircut as he walks off, gets a huge ovation for a great innings.
From Matt in Preston, via text on 81111:
"Didn't even know who Bresnan was until I started following him on Twitter a week ago! Top fella, awesome innings!"
46th over - Eng 247-8
So, with Swann run out off the first ball of the powerplay (credit to Nathan Hauritz for that throw from the boundary, and to Paine for some smart glovework), once more we have England delaying the taking of a powerplay and Jimmy Anderson batting in it. When will they learn?
Anderson is off the mark with a single, Bresnan keeps the strike but that's a great over from Watson.
45.1 overs - WICKET - Swann run out (Hauritz/Paine) 18 - Eng 245-8
Finally, the batting powerplay is signalled - woo hoo. So, there will be a maximum of three fielders outside the circle for the last five overs. Swann steers Watson off his legs, comes back for the second and is beaten by a superb throw from the boundary - Billy B doesn't even go upstairs to the third ump.
45th over - Eng 244-7
No powerplay signalled - so England will have to take it in their last five overs. Swann singles to long-off, Lee has Bresnan swishing and missing. Bresnan then punches the ball to long-on and they run two, he certainly moves very well for a big man. No signs of him cramping up like Graeme Smith did - Bresnan has 75 from 72 balls.
From Andy, Wimbledon, TMS inbox:
"Mitchell Johnson's 1-61 from his 10 overs - pathetic figures from the ICC 'Player of the Year'. Regardless of the number of wickets he's taken this year he didn't mastermind an Ashes win and when the chips were down he failed to produce the goods. Strauss not winning is a travesty - long live King Andrew!"
44th over - Eng 241-7
Siddle in for his last over, Swann guides a single to third man to bring the main man back on strike. Bresnan hooks, safely, and gets a single to long leg. Swann plays and misses, then smartly cover-drives for four. A single takes him to 16, and Siddle finishes with 3-55.
From James Dean, TMS inbox:
"We English are always too good at ruling out any sort of victory at the first sign of trouble. This national habit is often reflected by long periods of mumbling between the English spectators at the game. Yet Aussie supporters will get behind their team, in united voice, wherever they are, if they are on 127 chasing 300 with nine wickets down"
43rd over - Eng 234-7
Still no powerplay - Lee returns and is likely to bowl through from his end anyway. Bresnan jabs a single, Lee beats Swann with an absolute beauty before the Notts spinner laces one through the covers for a well-run three. Bresnan edges, Paine leaps through the air... but it's just out of his reach. Four runs, but nearly a six-for for the baby-faced Tasmanian stumper. Next ball, same shot, again Paine dives and that's four more! Bresnan has 72.
Ian Chappell on TMS:
"I saw Bresnan at about quarter past one and he didn't know if he was playing. But like a typical Yorkshireman, he's batted very confidently. If England stay in for the full overs they could get 270 or 280, but even 250 could put them in with a chance"
42nd over - Eng 222-7
Another stat from Mr Brett - Bresnan's unbeaten 62 is his highest score in professional limited-overs cricket. (He does have three first-class hundreds). Swann opens the face well to steer Siddle for four, a single takes him to seven. Bresnan nicks the strike - he has 63, and England are on double Nelson.
41st over - Eng 216-7
New batsman is Graeme Swann - he's on strike after Bresnan hustles through for a quick single. Can these two put their Twitter duel behind them and forge another handy partnership for England? (You might think that once again, England have delayed taking their batting powerplay when two men were well set - and must now take it with a new batsman in). Swanny is off the mark with a single, then after a couple more singles Bresnan leans back and uppercuts the ball over the keeper for a first-bounce four! Johnson finishes with 1-61 from his 10 overs.
From George, TMS inbox:
"Fantastic stand from Bresnan and Wright. I shall eat lots and swear violently on Twitter in celebration"
40th over - WICKET - Wright c Paine b Siddle 48 - Eng 208-7
Bresnan picks up four more, helping a loose delivery from the recalled Siddle down the leg side for four. Suddenly, Australia need a wicket - and fast. Siddle pings in a wide, a single takes Wright to 48. Bresnan is almost looking the more dominant partner, straight-driving a single. And just as I type that, Wright gets a nick and gives Paine his fifth catch of the day. Wright looks annoyed to miss fifty. By the way, if you're interested in the Olympics, check out
Sam Lyon's live text commentary of the 2016 voting process.
The first city has already been eliminated - I won't spoil it for you, but it's quite a shock.
39th over - Eng 200-6
Johnson in for his ninth over, Wright jabs a single before Bresnan knocks another four through the covers. Simon Mann on TMS reveals that this is now England's highest seventh-wicket ODI stand against Australia, beating the 93 by Kevin Pietersen and Vikram Solanki at The Oval in 2005. (As Simon recalls, Solanki was batting that low down because of the short-lived supersub rule - he replaced Simon Jones after a batting collapse). Bresnan forces another four off his legs, then a single to cover brings up his maiden ODI fity. He gets a standing ovation from the England dressing room.
38th over - Eng 190-6
Bresnan pushes Hopes for a two and a single, then Wright goes aerial - safely - with a four over cover. He adds a single to reach 46, and this stand is now worth 89. And a quick stat, courtesy of the Brettmeister General: England's record seventh-wicket stand in ODIs is 110, achieved by Paul Collingwood and Craig White, in Perth, in December 2002.
From Anonymous, via text on 81111:
"Sitting in my tax lecture wishing I could watch the cricket! Why can't England sort their one-day cricket out?"
37th over - Eng 182-6
The song "Believe" by Cher (the electronically-treated one which sounds like it guest-stars Sparky's Magic Piano) belts out over the PA system as Johnson replaces Hauritz - can England believe they can go on and win this? Johnson sends down an aerial wide, Wright pushes a quick single, Bresnan spanks an off-driven four past the leaping Punter at short extra cover before scampering a quick single off the last ball.
From Angry Dan, Lancashire, TMS inbox:
"Has anybody else noticed several Allen Stanford type moustaches amongst the England backroom staff? Is this an attempt at solidarity with the imprisoned financier, or are they trying to cultivate an image of cunning ruthlessness amongst the dieticians and physios?"
36th over - Eng 175-6
Bresnan is doubled up, grimacing with pain as he's hit in a painful area by Hopes - while one of Wright's sixes in the last over has been measured at 103m, the biggest of the tournament. Two comfortable singles are added, but a better over for the Aussies.
35th over - Eng 173-6
After a single from Bresnan, Wright goes for the big one agains Hauritz, fetching one from outside off stump and slog-sweeping it over mid-wicket for six! That's woken a few of the crowd up. Bresnan reaches 32 (his highest ODI score) with a single, then Wright repeats the shot, hoisting six more over the same fence! Big over for England.
From Tim in Cambridge, TMS inbox:
"In reply to Omer [29th over], how can you say that? The England of old were a formidable force not to be reckoned with. Oh and by old, I mean last week"
34th over - Eng 158-6
Despite having conceded 14 off his only previous over, James Hopes returns to the attack in place of Lee. But Luke'n'Tim keep pushing the singles, Wright aims a more expansive hit towards cow corner and he may be itching to take the powerplay soon. He has 25, Bresnan has 31. Time for the compulsory ball change - the "new" (old), cleaned and whitened ball is brought on.
From capricornRookie on 606:
"To bat out the allotted overs is key otherwise the Aussies have a walk in the park chasing. 240 could put a few jitters in the Aussie dressing room if they also lose wickets early in the chase."
33rd over - Eng 154-6
Watson rejoins the action, while Umpire Billy Bowden calls on Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting to adjust his earpiece for him. Confused? You betcha. Bresnan carves Hauritz for a single to the cover boundary to bring up the fifty stand. Wright cuts a single, two more round off the over. And I'm now being asked if the Ian Chappell pic is actually Bruce Forsyth (or Leslie Phillips)...
From Chris from Bristol, TMS inbox:
"With reference to frustrated Paul from Canary Wharf's comments [28th over], surely what we need at the moment is quiet consolidation, the powerplay brings the field in which stops the singles and means risks are needed to score, leading to wickets"
32nd over - Eng 150-6
Wright and Bresnan exchange singles off Lee to bring up the 150 for England, while Australia have 12th man Adam Voges fielding - the TMS crew think Shane Watson is off the field. Wright does well to dig out a yorker, that's a very tight over from Lee.
From Rhys, Bristol, TMS inbox:
"Bees don't flock, they swarm!"
31st over - Eng 148-6
Hauritz has changed ends, so Wright and Bresnan continue their middle-over-grim-accumulation-of-singles tactic. Three from the over, this stand is now worth 47.
While they take drinks, let me apologise on behalf of an errant photo agency - that Ian Bishop pic earlier was in fact Merv Dillon, as some of you have pointed out. Here's the real Bish.
30th over - Eng 145-6
After Hauritz's three overs for 10 runs, Australia look to break this partnership by recalling strike bowler Brett Lee to the attack for his fifth over. Bresnan steers a quick single to the cover sweeper - just in front of that run-out camera where the bees were flocking earlier in the day [see 18th over]. Wright sways away from a bouncer, but Umpire Dar signals it as a wide. Wright smears a single, Bresnan doesn't look too comfortable against a short ball from Lee but fends it off as the little blue buggy chugs on to signal a drinks break.
29th over - Eng 142-6
Johnson in for his seventh over, he switches to bowling round the wicket as Wright and Bresnan keep pushing the ones and twos. But two good stops by Hussey at backward point stop two fierce square drives from Wright off successive balls.
From Omer Sange, TMS inbox:
"England cannot come up with any excuses in the one-day game. They have always been poor and lack the skills to win [against] the big teams such as Australia"
28th over - Eng 138-6
Another rapid Hauritz over, three singles added. The system here is slowing down a bit, but you're not missing anything exciting.
From a frustrated Paul in Canary Wharf, TMS inbox:
"Please please please please get a message to someone in Centurion, ENGLAND USE YOUR POWERPLAY!! We have no more batters left and these two are in, why is it we have so much experience on the coaching staff but they can't see that they need to use the powerplay!"
27th over - Eng 135-6
More pedestrian stuff from England, three singles before Bresnan pulls Johnson through mid-wicket and it bounces safely in front of James Hopes charging in. Although there's no chance of a catch, Hopes gets himself in the way, it smashes into his chest and they run one. ("Like a third baseman in baseball, you just have to take one for the team there", notes Chappelli on TMS). A single from Wright rounds off the over.
26th over - Eng 130-6
Hauritz is quickly through his over, England plunder five singles.
From Jon, TMS inbox:
"Re: Byron. No pressure and England win? Surely the Ashes were a high pressure situation and we came through (and may I add that's much more important than any ODI stuff)
our problem is that we're so inconsistent"
25th over - Eng 125-6
Johnson returns in place of Watson, and he has a slip in. After a single from Bresnan, Wright gets the edge but it sails past the slip for four. The Sussex man guides a single to the cover sweeper.
From Josh, Supposedly 'working' in Castleford, TMS inbox:
"Re: Byron [23rd over]. Can't really take the tag away from SA at this tournament - we hammered SL and SA when the pressure was on to get through, and SA went out at the first hurdle while hosting the competition"
24th over - Eng 119-6
Our first sight of spin today as off-spinner Nathan Hauritz replaces Siddle at the River End. Wright and Bresnan tap a couple of singles, tidy first over from Hauritz.
From Anna Weeks, TMS inbox:
"In reply to Neil in Bracknell, you take out six of Australia's best players and you're still left with five who are world class. That is half England's problem, they need better talent backing the top players up"
23rd over - Eng 117-6
Paine effects some temporary repairs to his pad (by allowing the 12th man to strap it up with tape) before Bresnan rides his luck against Watson as a bottom edge shoots past the stumps and away for four to fine leg. Wright backs up far too far and is sent back by Bresnan, while TMS summariser Ian Bishop - formerly a fearsome West Indies fast bowler in his playing days - reveals something surprising. He suffers from vertigo, and had to close his eyes taking a cable car up Table Mountain.
From Byron, TMS inbox:
"I thought South Africa were the chokers, I believe England must now carry that tag. No pressure England win, pressure England lose!"
22nd over - Eng 113-6
Wright is off the mark with a single off Siddle, Bresnan forces a quick single past backward point. Wright rotates the strike, Bresnan finds the boundary again with an impressive straight-driven four. A single takes the Pontefract man to 10, and Paine has something wrong with the straps of his pads.
From Neil in Bracknell, TMS inbox:
"We shouldn't really be surprised that England are struggling - we are without our four best players due to injury (Pietersen, Flintoff, Prior and Broad), and for some reason the likes of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott are still excluded. Take out Australia's best six players and then let's see how they do!"
21st over - Eng 105-6
The burly Tim Bresnan, in for his first match of the tournament, replaces Morgan. Let's hope he can put all that Twitter tomfoolery with Swanny and Jimmy behind him. He clubs a loose delivery from Watson for four through mid-wicket, finally there's something for the small pockets of England fans at sunny Centurion to wave their flags about.
From Albert, in a very hot and steamy Mombasa, Kenya, TMS inbox:
"Now that my designated champions India are out, the final will be an repeat of the Aussie v Pakistan semi. I just hope Pakistan will not crumble like they have done in the past"
20.2 overs - WICKET - Morgan c Paine b Watson 9 - Eng 101-6
Morgan swipes and gets a top edge, Paine claims his fourth catch. This is becoming a procession, I'm afraid, but Australia have bowled well.
From eirebilly on 606:
"Let's see if Moggie [Morgan] can take this challenge on. He is a pretty decent striker of the ball but I feel now is the time just to settle it down and play sensibly"
20th over - Eng 101-5
Morgan steers Siddle for a single, there's a half-hearted shout against Wright as he gets an inside edge onto his pad. Wright ducks a bouncer from the effervescent Siddle, who has taken an impressive 2-26 from six overs.
Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop on TMS:
"I can't help but keep my eye on Ricky Ponting - he was animated before play started, he's clapping his hands and encouraging play from cover, and he clearly wants this quite badly"
19th over - Eng 100-5
Luke Wright is the new batsman, he shoulders arms to the last ball of Watson's over.
18.5 overs - WICKET - Davies b Watson 5 - Eng 100-5
Morgan swings at the first ball of Watson's over, Hopes gets his hands to it at third man... and shells the catch, despite having taken a much easier one earlier. They run one. Davies steers a single, he's scored off every ball he's faced so far. A single from Morgan brings up three figures for England - then Davies' innings is ended as Watson knocks over his leg stump. How long will he have to wait for his next international appearance?
18th over - Eng 97-4
Having only played one Twenty20 international previous to this game, ODI debutant Steve Davies is so new to international cricket that he doesn't have a name or number on the back of his shirt. The left-hander is off the mark with his first ball, guiding a three off his legs as James Hopes cuts off the boundary. Morgan squeezes a single to fine leg, then the left-handed pair add two more singles. (And that should have been 91-4 at that wicket... apologies...)
17.2 overs - WICKET - Denly c Paine b Siddle 36 - Eng 91-4
There's a man in a white beekeeper's outfit trying to sort out an infestation of the little blighters who seem to have settled around one of the TV cameras at the ground - but Siddle returns with instant success for Australia as Denly edges to the diving Paine who takes his third wicket of the innings.
From Steve Davies, St Helens, TMS inbox:
"Talk about false hope! I was made redundant on Tuesday so currently frantically job hunting. Opened the BBC website to see 'Steve Davies called into England team'. I thought my problems were over and my old school team performances had finally been noticed... no such luck!"
17th over - Eng 91-3
Watson beats Morgan's outside edge, the Dubliner is still finding his feet at this stage and that's a maiden over.
From Rachel Hunt, Surrey (and lots of other people), TMS inbox:
"Laura [14th over], how about Collingwood & Shah two matches ago. But I know what you mean"
16th over - Eng 91-3
Johnson in for his fourth over, Denly tucks a single to fine leg - he's played the leg glance very well today. Morgan takes a single, Denly swipes at a wide before steering a single to deep cover. Morgan adds another through the covers. And for those of you asking... I'm afraid the TMS audio commentary is only available to those of you in the UK, because the BBC only has UK radio rights for England games played overseas, even though TMS commentary on games played in England is usually available worldwide. That's the situation, please don't shoot the messenger.
From Anna, Manchester, TMS inbox:
"Re: multitasking [13th over]: it only counts as multitasking if you are actually being productive eg ironing, washing, cooking all at the same time! Cricket should be enjoyed on its own!"
15th over - Eng 86-3
Denly steers another four off his legs to take his score to 32, before guiding a single to the cover sweeper. Morgan rotates the strike well, then Denly whips the last ball for a single to square leg. The players take drinks.
14th over - Eng 79-3
Johnson may have been all over the shop with his first over, but he's right on the money again here, bowling to a 7-2 off-side field. Denly is forced to defend, as well as ducking a fierce bouncer, just one single off the last ball. And in other news... batsman Craig Spearman has left Gloucestershire.
From Laura, London, TMS inbox:
"When was the last time England had a high-scoring partnership? Besides Strauss, there's no-one in our batting line up I would trust to consistently manage big scores proved by the fact we never amass big partnership totals"
13th over - Eng 78-3
Denly delicately leg-glances Watson for four, before guiding a single to point. Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar arrives in the TMS box after some travel problems. Morgan is off the mark with a single, Denly guides one to third man.
From Rob, Northants, TMS inbox:
"I've got the live text on my work laptop, downloading music on my phone on the personal laptop and got the cricket on TV in the other room. Who said men can't multitask!"
12th over - Eng 71-3
Eoin Morgan replaces Colly, and the left-hander sees off the rest of a wicket maiden from fellow southpaw Johnson.
From Daniel (a different one), TMS inbox:
"Re 'The Chief' [5th over]. I was stuck in a two-hour training session yesterday called 'Smile as you Dial'. The main issue I had with being there is that I don't use the telephone at all for work purposes"
11.2 overs - WICKET - Collingwood c Paine b Johnson 34 - Eng 71-3
Johnson fires a short ball down the leg side, Colly gets something on it, Paine takes the catch and is that out! Yes - must have brushed the glove. Colly departs for a rapid 34 from 30 balls.
From Rich from Brum, TMS inbox:
"No need to panic boys just keep doing what you're doing, nice & simple. However, you cannot help but feel that at any moment the Benny Hill theme tune will break out around Centurion, then run-outs plus all sorts of ridiculous shots will be unleashed from the locker"
11th over - Eng 71-2
Australia take the fielding powerplay, but make a change of bowling - Hopes is hauled off after one over and the medium-fast Shane Watson replaces him. Three men outside the circle for the next five overs. Colly cracks a single through the covers, as does Denly, then Colly carefully tickles a single to third man. A tidier over from Australia's point of view.
From Daniel, TMS inbox:
"I only found out what the F5 button did because of TMS and now you have auto-refresh - be still my pulsing index finger! Stuck in the office with no speakers on my computer and having a phone glued to my ear - this is not a fun day to read about another England batting collapse"
10th over - Eng 68-2
A double change for Australia as left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson enters the attack - Australia will hope he doesn't get carted around like Hopes did in his first over. He opens with a legside wide, then Denly prods a suicidal quick single - he's out by a mile if Johnson can throw the stumps down - but Johnson's throw is so wild that it sails away for four overthrows! Denly looked like he was giving up on that run, he was so short of this ground - a let-off for England. Johnson bangs in a shorter ball but Colly sees it early and hooks it for four. The Durham man cracks the next ball for four through point, that's the fifty stand. Colly adds another single and Australia's change bowlers have conceded 29 runs in two overs. Johnson certainly isn't bowling like a man who's just been named ICC cricketer of the year - maybe it's like a commentator's curse.
9th over - Eng 53-2
First change of bowling for the Aussies as medium-pacer James Hopes replaces Lee - Colly thumps his second ball back over his head for four, before finding the gap through extra cover for four more. And it's three boundaries from the over for the Durham man as he scoops the last ball for a straight six!
8th over - Eng 39-2
Alison Mitchell joins Chappelli on TMS as Denly is back on the defensive against Siddle, who's bowled very usefully so far. A firm push through the covers brings the Kent man's third four, but that's the only scoring stroke.
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell on TMS:
"I like the look of Joe Denly as he's got a simple technique, as opposed to Shah who moves around a lot. Denly's compact and very uncomplicated, but when a loose ball comes along, he knows what to do with it"
From Snaggleman, TMS inbox:
"In the response to The Chief about Sandpit Brainstorming [5th over], they are 1-2 day brainstorming sessions on a certain topic involving professors from as many different fields as possible. Think I would rather sit with 2 or 3 year-olds in a sandpit and make castles!"
7th over - Eng 35-2
Colly tries to come down the pitch to Lee, but steers the ball straight to Punter Ponting who's in at short cover - he throws the stumps down in a flash, thankfully (for him) Colly got back in time. He breaks a sequence of 11 dot balls with a single through the covers, then Denly scampers a single to nick the strike.
From David Atkinson, TMS inbox:
"I will swap The Chief's 'Sandpit Brainstorming Session' [5th over] for the sales meeting I am in now... We are just about to start a two hour session entitled 'Believe'"
6th over - Eng 33-2
Colly forces Siddle for a single off his legs, Denly fends off a hostile over from the Victorian.
5th over - Eng 32-2
Ian Bishop on TMS feels Lee is getting noticeably less bounce from his end than Siddle... as if to confirm the theory, Collingwood steers a two past mid-on and then blasts a four through the covers. He guides a no-ball to third man for a single, earning Denly a free hit. The free-hit ball is fast and full, but Denly stands his ground to hammer it past the bowler for four!
From The Chief, TMS inbox:
"My boss has asked me to organise a 'sandpit brainstorming session'. Does anyone have a clue what this involves?"
Err... does it mean sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problem goes away? Like the occasional sports governing body likes to do with difficult issues?
4th over - Eng 20-2
Denly plays a very straight bat against Siddle, then powerfully square-cuts him for four. Siddle is getting plenty of bounce from his end, and England are happy to hang in there at this stage.
From Phil, SA, TMS inbox:
"Surely it should be Sidebottom who has the torn buttock muscle?"
3rd over - Eng 16-2
Paul Collingwood is normally a good man in a crisis for England, who gets back to defend his first two balls from Lee.
From Marc in Leicestershire, TMS inbox:
"I've had a bad day. Everything going wrong at work and a house I was going for falling through! Can't help thinking England losing being the third! I'd settle for my car breaking down if it means England win!"
2.4 overs - WICKET - Shah c Paine b Lee 0 - Eng 16-2
Denly nudges a single off his legs to bring new batsman Owais Shah on strike. He edges his first ball... just short of the predatory Ricky Ponting at second slip. But then Shah's gone when he brushes one off his hip and keeper Tim Paine takes a good catch down the leg side. Here we go again...
From Frasat Mirza, TMS inbox:
"I think England will really give the Aussies a run for their money. Aussies are too wobbly under pressure! Come on England!"
2nd over - WICKET - Strauss c Hopes b Siddle 14 - Eng 15-1
The snarling Peter Siddle, named last night as the ICC emerging player of the year, gets Strauss to swipe at one outside off stump and it sails over first slip... for six! You don't see many of those. Strauss carves a well-run three to long-off, Denly is off the mark with a single. Perfect weather at the moment, but my match-report colleague Oliver Brett has found a weather website claiming there's a 25% chance of rain, while even BBC weather reckons that there's a chance of heavy showers later. So keep those Duckworth-Lewis tables to hand. By the way, saintmilly (below) and others on 606 - Sidebottom has a virus. But Strauss perishes off the last ball of the over when he tries to clip Siddle off his legs and he's well caught by the diving James Hopes, who was fielding just forward of square leg.
From saintmilly on 606:
"I worry about our wicket-taking bowlers now Broad is out. I assume that's why Onions is in ahead of Sidebottom - he may go round the park a bit but at least is a wicket-taking threat"
1st over - Eng 5-0
Brett Lee charges in for the first over, Strauss is hit on the thigh pad by one that jags back into him and about five fielders converge on the ball. Believe me, Australia are up for this one. But Lee lets one go a little wide of the crease and Strauss firmly square-cuts it for four, before jabbing a single to mid-off.
If you're reading this on the website, please manually refresh this page and you can see a vote appear on the right-hand side. But I'm not allowed to say any more than that. Andrew Strauss and Joe Denly opening up for England.
Anthem time. It's "God Save The Queen" up front, followed by "Advance Australia Fair". Doug Bollinger, who will be (rather appropriately) carrying the drinks for Australia, really belts out the Aussie anthem with hand on heart. Keep your hair on, Doug...
From Ben Johnson (presumably not the disgraced sprinter), TMS inbox:
"Re: Tim Bresnan tweet: I don't get it, have they said he is banned from twitter or something? I've been following him, Swanny and Anderson all week and I reckon we have found the next TMS commentary team. Brilliant banter, and three genuinely likeable blokes"
Just to clarify for the benefit of a few of you who have inquired, such as Graeme in the TMS inbox - Steve Davies has replaced Matt Prior in the squad... but replaced Ravi Bopara in the side from the last group game. Oh, and Simon Mann on TMS has just said that Ryan Sidebottom has a virus, which is why he ain't playing.
It's a brand new Centurion pitch in action today - it's expected to be quite quick, but there are cracks in it. Here are the full teams:
Andrew Strauss (capt), Joe Denly, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Steve Davies (wk), Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions.
Shane Watson, Tim Paine (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Mike Hussey, Callum Ferguson, Cameron White, James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle.
Umpires are Billy Bowden and ICC umpire of the year Aleem Dar. Tony Hill is on TV replays, Asad Rauf is third umpire, match referee is Jeff "brother of Martin, cousin of Russell" Crowe. I'm joined on match-report duties by Oliver Brett, while we're overseen today by Alistair Watkins.
Aussies are unchanged, by the way.
1303: Toss news
- England captain Andrew Strauss calls "heads" and TV commentator Ravi Shastri belatedly asks him what he's going to do. He'll have a bat (while Aussie captain Ricky Ponting admits he would have done so as well). England make three changes - Davies in for Prior (see below), Stuart Broad (torn buttock muscle) has failed his fitness test so the recalcitrant Tim Bresnan comes in, while Graham Onions is preferred to Ryan Sidebottom in the seam bowling department.
England seamer Tim Bresnan (who had to apologise for some foul-mouthed tweeting banter with Graeme Swann and James Anderson over the last few days) on Twitter:
"Might not be tweeting for a while! Wish us all luck in the semi though!"
Afternoon, everyone. Who'd have thought it? After meeting Australia in no fewer than seven ODIs during September, England are at it again - and this time, there's a place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy at stake. Early news for England is that Matt Prior has failed to recover sufficiently from illness, so the ICC have approved his replacement in the squad by fellow wicketkeeper Steve Davies, who's played just one Twenty20 international for England but could be thrust straight into the action today. We're still waiting for news of whether Stuart Broad will be able to play,
despite his torn buttock muscle.
Test Match Special
will be on air from 1315 BST with ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 LW and via the BBC Sport website (UK users only). If you're outside the UK, I'm afraid them's the rules - TMS has worldwide radio rights for England's home matches but not those on foreign soil. But stick with us here and you won't miss any of the action.