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Australia v England - third Test day two as it happened

  1. 0210 Commentary  

    A warm welcome to everyone for day two at Perth. Test Match Special commentary starts at 0215, and we get under way proper at 0230, with Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook aiming to forge a big stand.

  2. Twitter  

    From cyclingtotheashes: "Rumour is that lots of Aussies are turning up at the ground not to watch their team's fightback today, but to sell their"

    How the worm has turned...

  3. Twitter  

    From mprimme: "Dear Australia Cricket Team, Today can you please play like day 1 of the Brisbane Test! Another hat trick (or 2) would be fine, thx"

    Ah, maybe there is the odd Australian supporter around after all...

  4. BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott  

    "Australia will know that if England get away today, the Ashes are gone."


    The pitch is looking very nice for batting. Simon Hughes on Test Match Special has chatted to the groundsman - and he says the best batting days are today and tomorrow. Bat for both days and I think the urn is England's. Scary, but true.

  6. 0222 Commentary  

    As ever, your support on the feedback front is vital, particularly at this unearthly hour. Come 8am, I'll be inundated. Please send texts to 81111 with "CRICKET" in the subject field, e-mail us on or you can tweet me if you like @bbcsport_oliver.

  7. 0225 Commentary  

    Australia mustered just 268 on day one, and if England - currently 29-0 - do not get a considerable lead, travelling fans will be very disappointed. The Aussies have not had a good day since day three at Brisbane - surely they are due one?

  8. Commentary  

    From Martin Petersfield, TMS inbox: "Just read this article - any of our fellow followers want to comment? 'Australia's cricketers may have found the secret weapon needed to wrest the Ashes urn back from England. No, it's not spinner Michael Beer, it's England's Wag's [wives and girlfriends] who have flown into Perth for the third Test after being banned from the first six weeks of the tour.' l think it's wishful thinking on their part and the Aussies should NOT make the mistake of comparing football "WAGS" with their cricket counterparts."

    Where do you stand on Wags? None have been pictured yet, but one presumes they are closeted away in one of the stands...

  9. 0230 Commentary  

    Ryan Harris to bowl the first over of the day, Cook on strike.

  10. 0233 Commentary Eng 29-0  

    Harris starts pretty well, just probing away outside off stump, and beats Cook with his third delivery. The last one is much straighter, and hits his pads, but it's pitching outside leg and probably going over the top - so only a stifled appeal from the Aussies.

  11. BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch  

    On Twitter: "Swam with Alastair Cook this am & then held the lift doors for Mrs Strauss & kids in the hotel: It's a good sign, peeps, it's a good sign..."

  12. 0237 Commentary Eng 33-0  

    Spiteful first delivery from Hilfenhaus, Strauss playing it very uncertainly as it rears up at him. Next two swing into his pads, and each are played confidently through the square-leg region for a couple of runs.

  13. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The WACA
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The WACA  

    On Twitter: "Here we go. At 4.30am, brain was full of pessimism. Smashed double-espresso down hr ago. Now eyes-on-stalks optimism."


    Alastair Cook's cover-drive, the shot the Aussies thought he did not possess coming into this series, races through a gap and the Bedford school-educated Essex man is under way for the day with three. And here's a DROPPED CATCH! Watson and Haddin have watched a ball fly between them. That was either the keeper's or the first slipper's. Someone MUST GO FOR IT.

  15. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Slater
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Slater  

    "That's what is costing Australia. They're missing every opportunity to take a wicket. It was close to Watson, but Haddin should have covered that."

  16. 0242 Commentary Eng 40-0  

    Strauss got four runs for that shot, so instread of being out for 16, he's 20 not out and Ponting scratches a much-scratched chin. Poor old Ryan Harris, the unfortunate bowler. Australia need these wickets so badly.

  17. SMS  

    From Anonymous: "In A & E having fallen flat on face with broken nose & stitches. Good excuse to stay up all night now and see England grind Aussies in to the dust!"

  18. 0244 Commentary Eng 40-0  

    Hilfenhaus sends down a tidy maiden at Cook. He looks in good order today, but so too does Cook, who has been tremendous all series.

  19. Twitter  

    From wildigital: "I think Anderson sums up the WAG issue best - he flies around the round for her and still picks up three wickets."

  20. 0247 Commentary Eng 52-0  

    Ryan Harris, 5ft 10in of Queensland muscle, hurls a bouncer with all his might at Strauss, who elegantly rocks back and pulls him for four. A hint of nonchalance about that shot. The England skipper will be determined to make the Aussies pay for his let-off two overs previously, and a second pull also disappears for four. Third four in the over! Attempted yorker, picked off through mid-wicket, fifty up.

  21. Commentary  

    Well, time for a spot of crowing over that missed catch. Here's Eddie in Coventry, TMS inbox: "A case of the Chuckle Brothers behind the wicket for the Aussies. To me, to you, no, wait, neither of us! Brilliant!!"

  22. 0251 Commentary Eng 54-0  

    Cook nudges Hilfenhaus into the covers for a single, and Strauss nabs a very rapid one into the on-side. Great understanding between these two.

  23. Twitter  

    From TJBAv: "The guy in casualty with broken nose, stiches etc is still having a better start to the day than the Aussie fielders."

  24. 0255 Commentary Eng 59-0  

    Johnson has his first over of the day, and the rhythm is no quite there, which England will welcome. Strauss deals with the first four deliveries quite comfortably, and when the off-stump half-volley arrives it is driven unerringly back past the bowler for four.

  25. Commentary  

    From Dave from Perth, TMS inbox: "I hope after January we have a massive case of clean house in the Australian team. Too focused on tattoos, L'Oreal and KFC commercials to attend to their fundamentals. C Grade stuff that missed chance for Strauss. And if I see another Michael Clarke commercial for anything I'm throwing the television out the window."

    Isn't the L'Oreal tagline "Because you're worth it"?

  26. 0300 Commentary Eng 65-0  

    Hilfenhaus watches on helplessly as Cook unfurls the cut shot that cut Australia to ribbons in Adelaide, oh and Brisbane. Another four for him here...

  27. SMS  

    From Anonymous: "Wags only ever issue when teams are struggling and people are looking for reasons..."

  28. 0304 Commentary Eng 69-0  

    And... the follow-on is saved. Johnson not posing much of a threat at all at present. Cook and Strauss are batting very nicely. Michael Vaughan is calling for one of them to go on and get a big hundred. Confidence oozing.

  29. 0307 Commentary Eng 71-0  

    No sign of Siddle yet, it's still Hilfenhaus ploughing on hopefully. He beats Strauss's outyside edge with the first delivery of this over, and is still getting the odd one to shape into the left-handers, but there's another single apiece here.

  30. 0311 Commentary Eng 75-0  

    The upper-cut is the shot de jour in Perth, or shot de semaine as we saw a lot yesterday as well. Cook plays one of these at Johnson here, and it flies away for another boundary. England scoring fairly quickly.

  31. Twitter  

    From pbeeby: "Agree with Dave from Perth. Aussie Cricket team remind me of English soccer team. Both overpaid, under-performing flops."

  32. 0315 Commentary Eng 78-0  

    You'd have thought Ponting would have given Siddle a go by now. But no, it's Hilfenhaus still. He's keeping up good pace, which is a credit to him, and one of these balls lifts and causes Strauss some problems.

  33. WICKET Cook c Hussey b Johnson 32 (Eng 78-1)  

    Johnson strikes! Drive well outside off stump by Cook, but he can't keep it down, and Hussey pouches the catch.

  34. 0322 Commentary Eng 78-1  

    Now, he scored 62 and is beginning to bowl nicely, That wicket was a bit of a bonus, but what can Johnson do now? Trott will take some shifting, but he is unsettled by a short one which he parries back down the wicket - not miles away from offering a return catch.

  35. Twitter  

    From wisdencric_sam: "Beware the confidence bowler with a wicket and some swing."

  36. 0326 Commentary Eng 78-1  

    Ponting is putting Hilfenhaus to some serious work this morning, and here he holds up Strauss and England with an accurate maiden. He's a very fit man is big Hilfy.

  37. WICKET Trott lbw b Johnson 4 (Eng 82-2)  

    Horrid attempted pull by Trott at a well-directed Johnson bouncer. Fiery stuff, England watch out. Now he edges Johnson, but it scoots along the deck and through a gap in the slips for four. And he's swung one into the pads and that's out lbw!

  38. 0330 DRINKS BREAK  

    Time for a drinks break as Pietersen comes to the crease...

  39. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    "Johnson has hit his straps and bowled fast. He's come out today looking relaxed and has bowled some good areas. I think the runs have done him the world of good. The wicket's bouncing a bit more today, it looks a bit quicker and I think the dive is a dangerous shot today, the batsmen will talk about making them bowl shorter."

  40. UMPIRE REVIEW Eng 82-2  

    With three balls to face in the Johnson over, Pietersen leaves one and defends another. Then there's an lbw appeal, and umpire Erasmus gives him out after a delay. England are reviewing. TENSION, DRAMA!!

  41. WICKET Pietersen lbw b Johnson 0 (Eng 82-3)  

    Oh that's hitting him in front of middle and it would have hit leg. Johnson's got two wickets in this over with pace and late inswing. Fantastic bowling and we have a Test match, girls and boys.

  42. 0339 Commentary Eng 88-3  

    Strauss clips Hilfenhaus for four. Much depends on him now, though England have plenty of batting to come, including Collingwood who's hit four and 42 in his two innings in the series to date. Strauss gets to his half-century with another couple of runs.

  43. BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew  

    "There's real\u00a0tension here, goodness knows what it's like under the duvets back home."

  44. 0343 Commentary Eng 89-3  

    Collingwood is on strike for this Johnson over with the enigmatic quick bowler on figures of 3-21. Selectors looking nuts to have dropped him for Adelaide. No devilish late inswing this time, Colly keeps him out and shovels a single into the off-side too.

  45. 0348 Commentary Eng 92-3  

    What's happened to Siddle? He bowled two overs yesterday, but nothing this morning. Plus, we haven't seen Smith or Watson at all yet. Anyway, Hilfenhaus continues his marathon spell and Collingwood moves to three with a couple of nice runs, and he pushes a single into the covers too. That Johnson spell - three wickets for four runs in 12 balls.

  46. Commentary  

    From Steven Livingston, Glasgow, TMS inbox: "I've not watched any footage of the Ashes this year, not even news clips and then I watch half an hour of it live and England lose three wickets. Needless to say I promise not to watch any more for the sake of the national interest."

  47. SMS  

    From Chris in South London: "Aggers [0343] - my heart's pounding with nerves and my toes are cold under my duvet."

  48. 0352 Commentary Eng 94-3  

    A player of uglier shots has rarely been seen, but Collingwood is a Barmy Army favourite and he safely pushes Johnson off his hip for one to bring Strauss back on strike to Johnson. Lovely, swinging yorker is beautifully negotiated by the skipper.

  49. Twitter  

    From cricketwballs: "Oh, Mitch, when you're good it makes when you're bad all the more painful. You're like an abusive girlfriend who gives me occasional gifts."

  50. WICKET Strauss c Haddin b Harris 52 (Eng 94-4)  

    Harris replaces Hilfenhaus now, and he has struck!

  51. 0358 Commentary Eng 98-4  

    That ball by Harris, with his third delivery of this spell, did not look particularly dangerous - but it was slanted across Strauss, he played at it and nicked it. A tremendous bonus for Australia, and a pretty earth-shattering moment for England. Ian Bell's in now, and he plays a dreamy off-drive for four off his second ball. Nice start.

  52. BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott  

    "I've said all along that although 268 was OK, England should have bowled Australia out for 200, and that may come back to haunt them."


    As though alarmed by a spitting snake, Collingwood flinches suddenly as he evades a very nasty Johnson bouncer. Tremendous spell this, it really is. Big appeal for lbw! Umpire says not out, but it's review time. Oh dear me...

  54. WICKET Collingwood lbw b Johnson 5 (Eng 98-5)  

    And it's not going over the stumps! It's low enough and Collingwood has to go! Late swing, serious pace and it's very hard for England to deal with at the moment.

  55. BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch  

    "This is the Ashes now, game on. And a huge opportunity for Ian Bell to show just what a classy player he is... Johnson's bang up for this..."

  56. 0406 Commentary Eng 98-5  

    Johnson has suddenly turned England's Ashes cocktail party into a grisly struggle and he's still coming at England's batsmen. There's a rare loose one at Prior, but he has to be very careful as he deals with the last two balls of the over.

  57. 0409 Commentary Eng 101-5  

    Harris bowls full again to Bell, and the right-hander drives pleasantly for three as England pass 100. It's hard to quantify the scale of England's collapse isn't it? It would be a minor miracle if they established a first innings lead from this position.

  58. BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes  

    "I haven't 'taken' many wickets while commentating in this series. It's a bit like my playing career, really."

  59. Commentary  

    From Steve, Rochdale, TMS inbox: "The bowling has been excellent from Aus and Johnson, but the batting from us has been poor. All three lbws from Johnson were easily stoppable by playing with a straight bat. Batsmen were lined up wrongly to the leftie bowling over the wicket, and couldn't get pads out of the way. I can hear Boycs' teeth whittling away as I write this!"

    Interesting assesment. Personally, I think you could possibly blame Strauss and Cook for their dismissals, but sometimes you've got to doff you hat to the bowler. Those inswinging balls were lethal.

  60. Twitter  

    From goldman1007: "Expected this from Green Baggies. England need to scrap to 250-ish, then use Swann in 2nd innings to keep oz to a low score."

  61. 0416 Commentary Eng 101-5  

    Another fine over from Johnson, but not quite with the menace of some of the previous ones, which isn't surprising since this is become a long spell. Fourteen minutes to go until lunch, England are going to need some serious batting work from all their lower order.

  62. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    On Twitter: "Will be nice to see Belly get his first hundred vs the Aussies here."

  63. 0420 Commentary Eng 107-5  

    Four leg-byes are very useful in this situation, nice effort from Prior's left pad. Harris's bouncer is pulled, not particularly well, but Prior will collect a couple of runs.

  64. BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes  

    "With five minutes to go until lunch, there's an undeniable odour of Aussie pies coming up from down below us - it's making me hungry."

  65. 0425 Commentary Eng 114-5  

    Australia have announced their preliminary squad of 30 for the World Cup, and it includes Brett Lee. Remember him? That nine-over spell from Johnson is finally over, and we get a look at Siddle for the first time today. Ooh, the three slips will be interested as Siddle curves one past Bell's outside edge. No great movement, but there is a little bit and batting is not always easy out there. Up on his toes, Bell plays through the off-side for three. Horrid last ball, down the leg-side for four byes.

  66. Commentary  

    My colleague Sam Sheringham e-mails in: "Mitchell Johnson has form at the Waca. Two years ago he ran through South Africa with an eight-wicket burst which included a spell of five wickets for two runs. One good omen for England though - having given up a first innings lead of almost 100, South Africa went on to win by six wickets."

  67. 0430 INTERVAL Eng 119-5  

    Bell picks up three runs off Bell, one of those coming when an Australian relay effort in the outfield goes horribly wrong. Prior plays his second unconvincing pull shot. That was hit up in the air, he had no control of it - don't play the shot, man! Lucky single. And it's LUNCH.

  68. 0432 Commentary  

    I have an announcement which is very important. Stuart Broad is on air now, answering your questions that you kindly sent him. So keep the radio on, or the stream or whatever it is you listen to TMS with.

  69. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    "Johnson didn't get any inswing at Brisbane, but he has today, and that's what has caused problems for England. But they've got to be positive - they've still got two\u00a0world-class batsmen at the crease."

  70. Commentary  

    James in Bariloche (Argentina), TMS inbox: "England can still win this Test match, they just need to get a partnership going and last the day and then they can build on it tommorow, come on England! P.S. The BBC text commentary is very useful and the whole thing is very absorbing, thanks."

    You're welcome. I once took a bus from Bariloche down to Esquel, passing through some of the most stunning countryside you will ever see.

  71. Twitter  

    From archkeegan: "From 0-78 to 5-98! Finally as an Aussie fan I can peek out from under the blanket and hope that the nightmare has ended!"

    Well, we'll see about that! And on that note, we're going to have a break in TV Towers. Welcoming you back shortly before the resumption at 0510.

  72. SMS  

    From Joe the snowman from Glasgow: "An extra Christmas present to the person who can sneak into the Aussie changing room during the lunch break and staple a moustache on Mitchell Johnson's top lip. It might just put him off his stride. Thank you TMS for a great service."

  73. Twitter  

    From andmycg_cricket: "We can cover for Broad, but not replace him. Aus would have been kept to around 200 with him in the attack. And his runs at No.8."

  74. 0510 Commentary  

    So here we are after lunch, Bell on 14, Prior 3, and Siddle into the attack.

  75. 0513 Commentary Eng 123-5  

    Slight misfield in the gully, and Prior gets that scoreboard ticking over once again. Bell times his shot through the covers beautifully for three, just a defensive push with no follow-through. And Prior is ALMOST BOWLED by a full toss. Missed off-stump by an inch. Prior looked out-of-sorts before lunch and that's worrying, should be hitting those for four not missing them.

  76. Commentary  

    From Andrew, Mexico, TMS inbox: "Shuddered when reading earlier post: "The Aussies have not had a good day since day three at Brisbane - surely they are due one?". Proving (regrettably) clairvoyant!"

    Yes, and to clarify it was me wot typed that. Seen too many of these series, you see.

  77. 0518 Commentary Eng 126-5  

    Hilfenhaus is the option taken at the other end, and Bell gets himself into a bit of a tangle attempting a pull, which he misses. Bell's fifth consecutive three gets chalked into the scorebook, this one into the covers, and England stay afloat. When will Johnson return though?

  78. Twitter  

    From KennyK:\u00a0"Stuck in Moscow airport. Thought it would be a consolation to follow cricket updates. Now doubly depressed."

  79. Commentary  

    Zeus, Queensland: "Just had a University of Queensland staff Christmas lunch, where a wide screen was showing us getting dismantled and the Aussie cricket fans have finally stopped hiding and are laying into the only Pom in shouting distance, me, whilst fighting to get to the bar. Mind you the king prawns were excellent so musn't grumble."

    Did your parents really call you Zeus? Anyone else know a Zeus?

  80. 0522 Commentary Eng 127-5  

    It's quite surprising Ponting has gone for his two non wicket-takers of the morning, but here we go with Siddle again. Single for Bell, then Prior is able to watch one go outside his off stump. A delivery cuts back into his body and the crowd gasp.

  81. BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott  

    "It\u2019s a good time to bat. The ball is 40 overs old, not too much shine there and it should go softer. It won\u2019t do too much mid to late afternoon. It looked soft, it looked easy when everyone dropped it short yesterday. It sat up quite nicely. It\u2019s just a matter of concentration, just batting."

  82. 0526 Commentary Eng 130-5  

    This ball continues to swing for Hilfenhaus, the Aussies must have worked hard on the shine. Prior hits another of those strange pull shots that always look risky, but in fairness there are a few gaps for him to hit into in the on-side, and he collects a couple of runs.

  83. Commentary  

    From David, Wellington, NZ, TMS inbox: "My wife knows a Zeus - another coach at Paremata-Plimmerton Rugby Club here in Wellington - but he's not a Pom, so there are at least two in the world! PS - not inclined to wear my England ODI shirt to work again as it has obviously been a jinx today."

  84. 0530 Commentary Eng 134-5  

    As news filters through that Johnson is currently off the field - more as we get it - Bell moves to 25 with a sumptuous pull for four off Siddle. That's how to play the shot. CMJ on TMS calls it a "lordly" shot. Great use of that particular adjective. Siddle goes for a fuller length. England are exactly half way to Australia's score - and Johnson returns to the fray.

  85. 0534 Commentary Eng 140-5  

    Prior's best shot today by a mile - a blocked, firmly hit straight drive bouncing over Hilfenhaus's head and disappearing for a boundary. He scampers two more by guiding the ball down to third man.

  86. Commentary  

    From James, TMS inbox: "Well I don\u2019t know anyone called Zeus but I have just had my Xmas lunch and suffered the same fate - where are all the other Poms on Melbourne\u2019s Southbank when needed?"

  87. Commentary  

    From Claire, Phoenix, TMS inbox: "Biting my nails whilst following the text on my laptop. During Mitchell Johnson's spell, I felt like shouting 'tie his legs together!' as my Grandma used to do when watching the wrestling on Saturday morning TV."

  88. 0540 Commentary Eng 141-5  

    Ponting has changed tactics, Siddle is going to bowl round the wicket and short at England's two right-handers. No leg-slip in place as yet. Easy single for Bell, now Prior does get a leg-slip but it's pretty unsubtle from Australia. They're telegraphing their tactics a bit.

  89. 0543 Commentary Eng 141-5  

    Tactics, tactics. If I was Ricky Ponting I'd carry on bowling at the stumps and get wickets the same way they've got them already today. Now Hilfenhaus, with seven men on the off-side, is testing the areas well outside Bell's off-stump.

  90. WICKET Prior b Siddle 12 (Eng 146-6)  

    Siddle switches to over-the-wicket, but it's still short stuff, and one bouncer sails over everyone's heads for four byes. A deathly rattle sounds like a wicket? But no, only Geoffrey Boycott putting his microphone down heavily. Prior is hit by a bouncer now, but he at least gets gloves and bat out of the way. And now he's bowled him! It came off the body onto the stumps.

  91. BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Simon Hughes  

    "There'll be some more chin music now as Graeme Swann's in at number eight\u00a0 - and he 'doesn't like it up him'."

  92. 0550 Commentary Eng 145-6  

    Prior went off-side of the ball and tried to play it carefully down onto the wicket. A little bit unlucky to see it cannon into the stumps, it came off his body, back onto his bat, and then onto his stumps. And that's Siddle first wicket since day one in Brisbane. Swann ducks a bouncer.

  93. 0554 Commentary Eng 149-6  

    Bell continues to play nicely amid the mayhem, whipping Hilfenhaus through mid-wicket for a couple and then pulling him for two more. Anyone set the alarm for about now hoping to see "one hand on the urn" or something? Think again, this is cold hard reality. This is a competitive Ashes series after all.

  94. SMS  

    From Fozzy in bed: "Ah British wrestling, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, glorious days."

    Any Ashes cricketers remind you of wrestling stars? I loved it when I was seven.

  95. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan  

    On Twitter: "Bell is to good a player to be batting at\u00a0six now."

  96. 0558 Commentary Eng 156-6  

    What a wonderful shot that is by Master Ian Bell of the shire of Warwick - a pull shot to a Siddle ball that got big on him but is middled and hit down for four. Swann ducks a bouncer.

  97. 0603 Commentary Eng 159-6  

    This is testing stuff for Swann as Hilfenhaus mixes up the outswingers with some old-fashioned chin music - why is this ball still swinging in sunny Aussie conditions? - then Swann drives a little airily for a couple to move to four. Bell is on 35. Uh-oh, Johnson's coming on.

  98. Commentary  

    From John, TMS inbox: "Fred Truman and Mick McManus. They could have been twins."

    That's three mentions of Mick McManus, a wrestler who apparently screamed when you pulled his ears. Merv Hughes would have made an outstanding wrestler.

  99. 0609 Commentary Eng 159-6  

    Bell clamps down late on that evil swinging Johnson yorker. We don't like them. Australians do. There's a loose one, very wide - more of them please. Almost a quick single to point, but they opt against it. Bell drives at Johnson, but misses completely. That one foxed him because it didn't swing.

  100. SMS  

    From Nathan, tired university student: "Shane Warne - Hulk Hogan anyone?"

  101. 0613 DRINKS BREAK Eng 163-6  

    Bit of room for Swann to free his arms and put Hilfenhaus away through extra-cover for four. That's good, he can bat can Swanny - but he hasn't faced Johnson yet. Hilfenhaus, with five-day stubble in the goatee region and two-day stubble elsewhere, grimaces in frustration as Swann is beaten outside off.

  102. BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew  

    On Twitter: "Great day of Test cricket. Aggressive. Hostile. Ebb and flow. Aussies know they have great chance."

  103. Commentary  

    From Philip, TMS inbox: "Not sure I would want a Boston Crab to be applied by a masked Eddie Hemmings."

  104. 0619 Commentary Eng 165-6  

    The Johnson to Bell battle resumes: A couple travel down the corridor outside off-stump, then here comes that late inswinger again, and it's missed off stump by coat of varnish. This is outstanding bowling from Johnson, but Bell welcomes the straighter ball and collects two to mid-wicket.

  105. Commentary  

    From Carole, TMS inbox: "How about Mitchell Johnson - Wolverine? He has been slicing through England. The umps need to watch for him picking the seam with those razor blade fingers."

    Point of order - no suggestion from anyone at all that anything untoward has been done to the ball.

  106. 0623 Commentary Eng 165-6  

    Pietersen is eating yoghurt. Lots of chicken pox around, a couple of e-mailers mentioning it and my four and two-year-olds both have it at the moment. Onto something more relevant - Hilfenhaus charging in, Swann defending well down the wicket, great stop at mid-off denying him runs. Maiden over bowled.

  107. Commentary  

    From Wasu from Singapore, TMS inbox: "Only Japanese I reckon following cricket on TMS... Caught the bug from my Indian colleagues who aint doing too well today either. My wife's gym trainer is also called Zeus - a through-and-through Malaysian. Go figure!"

  108. Commentary  

    From Andrew, TMS inbox: "You want a wrestler-cricketer separated at birth combo? Look no further than mid-to-late 80s/early 90s Aussie great David Boon and mid-to-late 80s/early 90s WCW great Rick Steiner. Not sure I'd want to call David Boon a Dog-Faced Gremlin, mind."

  109. 0631 Commentary Eng 178-6  

    The deficit is less than 100 now, so I don't think either side will have a very big lead. Exciting Test match in store. Bell slices away a square-drive for four off Harris, Michael Clarke diving in vain from the sweeper position. Harris starting a new spell then - still only four bowlers used by Australia. Lovely square-cut for four, touch of the Robin Smiths about that, and Bell reaches his fifty.

  110. Twitter  

    From England women's cricketer isaguha: "Wow, wasn't expecting to wake up to that score!! I'm guessing Johnson is getting it to swing?!"

    You're right Isa. Swing all day for Johnson, so much for the Kookaburra that stops swinging.

  111. Twitter  

    From DavidHurren: "Didn't Giant Haystacks have something of a WG Grace look, maybe with a less well kempt beard?"

    My colleague Mark Mitchener informs me that a photograph of\u00a0WG Grace's face (and beard) was used in animation as the face of God in the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

  112. 0636 Commentary Eng 181-6  

    Nice shot from Swann for two through the covers off Australia's hero of the hour, Johnson. He is playing within himself, providing important support from Bell. Every run so crucial with a result all but certain here.

  113. WICKET Swann c Haddin b Harris 11 (Eng 181-7)  

    It's full, it draws Swann forward, and he's nicked it!

  114. BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch
    Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch  

    On Twitter: "Alec Stewart is holding me responsible for this collapse for, allegedly, offering Alastair Cook 'technical advice' when we both had a swim this am."

  115. 0641 Commentary Eng 181-7  

    A burble of consensus in the BBC office: Bell needs to bat above Collingwood and go in at five. Now he's got Chris Tremlett for company, who's never faced a ball in an Ashes contest before. He ducks his first ball, he ducks his second, defends the third, ducks the fourth, and survives the last.

  116. 0645 Commentary Eng 182-7  

    Bell takes a single off the fourth ball of Johnson's over as the Fremantle Doctor breezes into town. Two balls for Tremlett to negotiate then: he plays each of them fairly calmly in defence.

  117. 0649 Commentary Eng 184-7  

    Bell takes a single off the first ball, that suits Australia fine - until Tremlett eases Harris away for a single into the covers. No single for Bell off the last over, leaving Tremlett on strike for the first ball of Johnson's next over.

  118. Twitter  

    From iandobbers:\u00a0"Time for Bell to get serious and stay on strike. The last thing we needed after Adelaide was Aussies with their tails up."

  119. 0653 Commentary Eng 186-7  

    Tremlett takes a single off Johnson with a deft flick off his hip, luckily there was no catcher at leg slip or leg gully to collect the catch. Bell inside-edges his drive to fine leg, a bit lucky there, and he goes to 53 and keeps the strike.

  120. WICKET Bell c Ponting b Harris 53 (186-8)  

    Very wide, very full, swinging away, and Bell nicks to second slip.

  121. 0659 Commentary Eng 186-8  

    Anderson gets an inside-edge onto his pad, there's a stifled appeal for lbw, but of course that can't be out. The batsman's all at sea, this one deflects off his pad, possibly a bit of bat too, towards Haddin. Anderson avoids a bouncer - and survives. Not too sure there are too many runs left for England now.

  122. WICKET Tremlett b Johnson 2 (Eng 186-9)  

    Johnson's got his fifth, the classic inswinger, Tremlett's off stick dislodged.

  123. Commentary  

    From Jim, Western Australia, TMS inbox: "Aaah the Poms, world famous for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."

  124. WICKET Anderson c Watson b Johnson 0 (Eng 187 all out)  

    What did I saw about not too many runs? Anderson nicks straight to first slip, Johnson finishes with 6-38.

  125. 0705 INTERVAL  

    Two hideous collapses today, just what you wanted on an epically frozen British winter morning. England were 78-0, before Johnson made it 98-5. They then got back into the picture through Ian Bell to be 181-6, but the last four wickets fell in a right old heap. Australia lead by 81, and we have an early tea on day two.

  126. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Slater
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Slater  

    "What a day - it's been remarkable. Australia needed to stay in the campaign by coming up with some good, tight swing bowling. I know Johnson has been looking to straighten his run-up, but he was the one who put his hand up and turned it around. England are 81 runs shy, and I think that's going to be a huge margin."

  127. Commentary  

    From Nick in Tokyo, TMS inbox: "I can't get hold of the radio broadcast but need to know; why is it swinging so much? Is it the pitch, the weather, or the Australian bowlers? And more importantly, will England be able to do the same?"

    Not sure anyone was expecting the ball to swing consistently throughout the day. The Aussies have kept it in good condition I think, but England couldn't get swing after lunch on day one, and relied mostly on Swann. Bit of a mystery that one.

  128. 0714 Commentary  

    Time for a change of luck for England, and to help facilitate that we're switching text commentators. It will be Mark Mitchener guiding you through the early overs of Australia's second innings. I'll return for the last couple of hours.

  129. 0719 Commentary  

    Morning, everyone - and thanks to Ollie for that introduction. Here's a Peter Moores-style "positive" to note - Steven Finn has now batted 11 times in Test cricket, and has only been dismissed twice. That one not out raised his Test batting average from 6.50 to 7.00. We're even wondering if this game could finish tomorrow, at a push...

  130. Twitter  

    From iandobbers:\u00a0"Looks like I spoke too soon [see 0653]. but at least we have a certain Mr Swann... and if the ball is swinging surely Jimmy, surely."

    I'm sure Jimmy will find some swing - and please don't call me Shirley.

  131. BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew  

    "Phillip Hughes is a dashing swordsman of a left-hander, and with a lead of 81, England won't want him to get going."

  132. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan  

    "Give Hughes no width. Bowl it straight, with the odd short ball, and his technique could be questioned."

  133. 0722 Commentary  

    Australia to begin their second innings. Add 81 to the score for their overall lead.

  134. 0726 Commentary Aus 0-0  

    Jimmy Anderson finds some early movement against Shane Watson, who withdraws his bat at the last minute as one whistles through to Prior. Aggers on TMS\u00a0expects this could be a long session - we could keep going until 1000 GMT if the overs haven't been bowled, and we have another 38 due after this one. Maiden over, Aggers says Jimmy is "bang on the money".

  135. Commentary  

    From Max McLaren, TMS inbox: "Hey Mitch, it's Maxi writing in from Shanghai. Bit worried about that batting collapse, the tail looks long without Broad! Let's hope we get the same early wickets as yesterday..."

    Indeed. I've played cricket with Max, he's a very useful wicketkeeper/batsman, although his globe-trotting has prevented him from turning out for our team in the last couple of years.

  136. 0732 Commentary Aus 4-0  

    Chris Tremlett, England's first-innings bowling hero, to share the new ball. Anderson is in as a wide(ish) leg slip for the left-handed Phillip Hughes. Tremlett is fast and straight, although a fuller delivery is on-driven by Hughes, there's no fielder near it and it just beats the pursuing short-leg Alastair Cook to the boundary.

  137. Twitter  

    From jamiedbrown: "Did anyone really think this would be easy? Much better to win it at MCG anyway!"

  138. 0736 Commentary Aus 4-0  

    Watson again shoulders arms to Anderson when he can, although he's fortunate with one which just fizzes over the stumps. Clearly you have to be careful to leave the ball on length at the Waca... Another maiden for Jimmy.

  139. Commentary  

    From Simon in Singapore, TMS inbox: "Wonder if their batsmen can score more than their bowlers for a change."

  140. 0739 Commentary Aus 6-0  

    Hughes nibbles at Tremlett and runs a single as the ball squirms between Collingwood at third slip and Pietersen at gully. Watson opens his account with a single to fine leg. Cap'n Strauss has a thick layer of sun cream spread over his bottom lip - coupled with the gum-chewing at first slip, it's like he's channeling Mark Taylor (a fine slip fielder himself)...

  141. 0743 APPEAL - NOT OUT Aus 6-0  

    Anderson beats Watson's outside edge with some crafty away swing, then England think they have him caught behind... Watson stands his ground, Umpire Erasmus shakes his head, will England call for a review? Eventually, the DRS is not invoked - and rightly so, as Hotspot shows the ball brushed Watson's right pocket. Great delivery though -\u00a0Jimmy's third maiden over.

  142. 0747 Commentary Aus 11-0  

    Kevin Pietersen pulls his (short) shirt sleeves up, he's either trying to get a sneaky suntan or give his tattoos a more public airing. It won't impress ex-Aussie keeper Rod Marsh, who has had a pop at vice-captain Michael Clarke's tattoos. Hughes scatters a phalanx of seagulls patrolling the short mid-wicket area as he pushes Tremlett for two. Another firm on-drive looks set to bring Hughes four more, but Anderson sprints 70 yards and brilliantly dives to flick the ball back and stop the boundary. Have you ever seen a Test opening bowler who fields better than our Jimmy?

  143. Commentary  

    From Martin Tremlett (no relation), TMS inbox: "Anyone else see an innings total of 600 plus from the Aussies? I sincerely hope not, otherwise my Christmas will be ruined. I think the Barmy Army need a song for a hero today... how about 'We wish you a Merry Chris Trem, we wish you a Merry Chris Trem, we wish you a Merry Chris Trem and a swinging yor-ker'."

  144. 0752 Commentary Aus 16-0  

    Anderson's run of maidens is halted as Hughes nudges a single to mid-wicket, Watson drives uppishly and the tumbling Ali Cook at mid-off dives across like a goalkeeper! England's fielding coach Richard Halsall deserves great credit, whatever he's doing. Watson swings and misses with what Michael Vaughan on TMS describes as "a Robin Smith-style cut". Anderson then fires one in full and straight, but the blond opener whips it off his toes for four through mid-wicket.

  145. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan  

    "Justin Langer has just arrived in the box, and for the first time in about three weeks he's smiling - he can't wait to get on air."

  146. 0756 Commentary Aus 16-0  

    Hughes, "a pocket battleship" according to CMJ on TMS, is on the defensive against Tremlett as the Barmy Army tries to rouse England with a rendition of "Swann Will Tear You Apart". But there's no Joy (Division) for England as when Tremlett induces an edge from Hughes, it falls just short of KP at gully.

  147. 0801 Commentary Aus 30-0  

    Early change of bowling as Anderson (4-3-5-0) is replaced by Steven Finn as England rotate their three seamers. Finn didn't bowl well in the first innings, it's fair to say... his first ball is helped down the leg side for two by Watson. Watson then hooks a short ball... and it sails over the head of Cook, who's several yards in from the mid-wicket boundary, for a first-bounce four. "If he was standing on the rope, that would have been a catch," mutters every England fan watching or following this match. Watson\u00a0leaps off his feet to square-cut another four over point, and\u00a0executes a perfect pull shot for\u00a0his third four of the over, bisecting the two men out in the deep.\u00a0A nightmare first over from Finn.

  148. 0802 Commentary  

    And having failed to make an early breakthrough, I hand you back to Oliver Brett for the rest of the day...

  149. Commentary  

    Injured England seamer Graham Onions on Twitter: "Oh dear."

  150. BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer  

    "That might have been a sign of inexperience from Steven Finn with that first over. Maybe he got a little over-excited bowling short."

  151. 0805 Commentary Aus 30-0  

    Hughes is averaging something like 22 in first-class cricket this Australian summer, so England must fancy their chances of nabbing him early. He gets under a well-directed Tremlett bouncer. Meanwhile, in South Africa, India have been bowled out for 136, Morne Morkel grabbing career-best figures of 5-20.

  152. Twitter  

    From chariscroft: "Been waiting to wake up to bad news on the cricket front. Almost glad it's happened now..."

  153. 0810 Commentary Aus 30-0  

    Watson on strike to Finn. A better over, Hughes missing with an attempted upper-cut. Watson checks a drive to mid-on, and England manage two maidens in a row.

  154. SMS  

    From Anonymous: "Bit worried, the pitch looks a featherbed without Mitchy bowling on it. Although Harris also got more life out of it than we appear to now? How I sometimes wish Flintoff still had two knees."

  155. 0814 DRINKS BREAK Aus 31-0  

    OK, so England make their second bowling change, Anderson having changed ends. He's getting less swing than at least three of the Aussie seamers did with a ball 30-odd overs odd. All very worrying. Just a carefully played single for Hughes in this over, Watson happy to leave a lot outside off stump.

  156. BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer  

    "I think\u00a0Anderson's flight home to see the birth of his baby\u00a0could affect him. The Waca pitch is so hard under foot, it's like running on concrete. He's going to have to bowl\u00a0a lot of overs today so it's going to be interesting to see how things progress."

  157. WICKET Hughes c Collingwood b Finn 12 (Aus 31-1)  

    Good length from Finn, just nips away a fraction, and the edge is snaffled by the man at third slip.

  158. BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Justin Langer  

    "A wicket will often fall just before or after a break\u00a0as a batsman hasn't switched back on, or is distracted by what's about to happen."

  159. 0823 Commentary Aus 32-1  

    All those short balls left Hughes loitering in his crease, and the footwork was not certain when he came forward just then. Now Finn has four balls left to bowl at Ponting, and we're back to the bouncer, and he's hit on the body attempting a pull. Ponting picks up a single and there's plenty of applause for Finn as he completes the over.

  160. 0827 Commentary Aus 32-1  

    Anderson is bending his back, looking for some lift and some swing. England would love to get rid of Ponting cheaply again. Three slips and two gullys lie in wait but Ponting is playing pretty solidly at the moment, hitting a solid drive, but straight to mid-off.

  161. Twitter  

    From wilkido: "Wicket for Finn??? Shows how much I know. Was about to twitter about how useless he is."

  162. 0832 Commentary Aus 34-1  

    After an early blaze of runs, Watson is being kept honest by a much more accurate Finn. A wide half-volley, a big no-ball too, gives the right-hander something to drive, but he can only get one for it.

  163. Commentary  

    From Martin, TMS inbox: "Why are we continually talking about moving our batsmen around? The Aussies, Indians never do. Belly has found a positiion in our order that he gets runs and why would you want to move someone away from their comfort zones?"

  164. 0836 Commentary Aus 34-1  

    Anderson is bowling very accurately at the minute. The wicket has really stopped the flow of runs and we're in for a fascinating period in this match. Watson loses patience and flays at one outside off stump, but misses - and that ends another tight over.


    England appeal for a catch down the leg side. Not out, says the umpire - England are reviewing it.

  166. WICKET Ponting c Prior b Finn 1 (Aus 34-2)  

    Ponting is standing there resolutely, refusing to go, but the video evidence suggests there was a graze on it. And Ponting is finally given out! Ponting still looks furious but he has to go.

  167. 0843 Commentary Aus 40-2  

    Ponting went in exactly that way in the first innings at Brisbane, making just 10 on that occasion with Anderson the bowler. What an important wicket that is, and after Finn's dire first over, who'd have thought it? Clarke in, under a bit of pressure, pulling his first ball for four. This contest is well and truly alive. Two more runs are scampered by the Aussies, their lead is 121.

  168. Commentary  

    From Aliy in\u00a0Bangkok, TMS inbox: "Ponting gone! What's his average for the series so far? Can't be good... Perhaps it'll be another time when 17 wickets go down in one day (let's hope!) But I forget which Eng v Aus match that was... anyone care to remind me?"

  169. Twitter  

    From neil_d_thewest: "Some needle between the sides, Anderson and Johnson have\u00a0been at it, Prior made a gesture to one of the Aussies when out. Good stuff."

  170. 0848 Commentary Aus 43-2  

    Clarke pushes Anderson down the ground for two, and a reminder that we have an hour and a quarter left in the day. England need a couple more wickets really. England have cut down really well on the loose balls that plagued the early part of this innings.

  171. BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott  

    "You can tell it's much harder to bowl people out than it was for England in the first innings. Batsmen who are good front-foot players like Clarke and Watson are getting forward with ease, when they were quite tentative doing it on the first morning."

  172. 0853 Commentary Aus 56-2  

    Good leg-glance for four from Watson, who has played well except for one pull shot against Finn much earlier that almost saw him hole out in the deep. There are lots of serious expressions on the faces of the England players. They cannot afford to allow a partnership to develop. Loose ball from Finn, four more with a leg-glance, this one from Clarke. And a hook shot disappears for another four. Expensive over - this often happens with Finn...

  173. 0857 Commentary Aus 63-2  

    Watson pulls Anderson. He hasn't hit it that one very well, the ball spiralling into the sky, but it lands safely. CMJ on commentary notes that England are "looking a little bit weary" and the lead passes 140 as Clarke carves Anderson off the back foot for four. He's raced to 20.

  174. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    On Twitter: "Great cricket wicket here. Bowlers enjoying it but you get good value for runs if you get in. Makes for exciting cricket!"

  175. WICKET Clarke b Tremlett 20 (Aus 64-3)  

    Tremlett, who bowled tremendously yesterday, is pulled by Watson for a single out to deep square leg. Lots of gulls, long shadows, baseball caps pulled low over the foreheads of those fans in the sunny seats (sunglasses de rigueur). And after that nonsense from me - Tremlett BOWLS CLARKE!

  176. BBC Test Match Special's CMJ
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's CMJ  

    "Chris Tremlett has kept England in the game - it was slightly fortunate as it looked a good ball for the square cut, but the extra bounce of the Waca pitch has done the trick."

  177. 0902 Commentary  

    It was short, but close to the body, and the cut shot wasn't on. Clarke went for it, but the under-edge crashed into his stumps. Australia still in good shape overall, but another wicket or two will change things.

  178. 0904 Commentary Aus 64-3  

    Hussey gets a nasty, spitting delivery, that slams into his gloves. Hussey didn't have a clue about that one, he was searching around for it afterwards. He leaves the last ball of the over well alone outside off stump.

  179. Commentary  

    From Sam from London, TMS inbox: "Hey Ollie, don't know if you go by that... Have yet to miss a ball of the Ashes, and have finally come to the conclusion that Peter Siddle is the spitting image of Professor Green! (you know the white rapper guy)."

    I haven't heard of Prof Green, no. Sorry, maybe I'm too old...

  180. 0909 Commentary Aus 65-3  

    Remember the next batsman is Steve Smith, who is performing a strange role in this match. We haven't seen him bowl a ball yet, and his most important contribution may come with the bat tomorrow. Good shot from Hussey, but no run. He's not off the mark yet.

  181. Twitter  

    From ribs909:\u00a0"Ricky Ponting has only scored 22 in his last four Test innings, his fewest runs in\u00a0four innings for nearly 10 years."

  182. Commentary  

    From Jenny, TMS inbox: "But surely not too old to have heard of Google, Oliver!?"

    True, but no time!

  183. 0913 Commentary Aus 69-3  

    Watson moves to 35 as Tremlett drops short and offers enough width to allow an expansive cut shot for four. England have to keep attacking (three slips still in place) but that means run-scoring opportunities will be there. Australia lead by 150.

  184. Commentary  

    From Chris, Wales, TMS inbox: "England were 71-0 when i fell asleep, just woke up. What the hell happened? Also I've never heard of this Professor Green either but did he get his rapper name from mis-reading the contents of a Cluedo box? I would have gone for Colonel Plum."

  185. 0914 DRINKS BREAK  

    Drinks are being taken, we have 46 minutes left in the day.

  186. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    "Our bowling coach David Saker has played a lot over here, being Australian,\u00a0and taught us how when the ball gets soft, it gets a lot easier to score boundaries. So that's when it's about defending,\u00a0you get your sweepers out and try to force them into playing a false shot - let the mistake come from the batsman."

  187. 0921 Commentary Aus 77-3  

    Anderson hasn't picked up a wicket yet in this innings, and he doesn't look as fresh as a daisy by any means. There are three runs for Hussey here as Finn races along the boundary rope at deep square-leg. Watson pulls into the wide open spaces at mid-wicket for two. It won't be long before we see Swann, I feel. Yet another pull from Watson and the Barmy Army get excited thinking there might have been a run-out there. Nowhere near.

  188. 0925 Commentary Aus 79-3  

    Watson is just 10 runs away from what would be a very valuable half-century. Seem to be a lot of easy singles around for him too. Hilfenhaus and Harris are having a well-earned rest as they discuss the action from the players' balcony. They both bowled well today, though weren't a patch on Johnson. An easy single for Hussey now towards square-leg.

  189. 0930 Commentary Aus 81-3  

    So we finally get Swann into the attack, and Hussey hits him down the ground for a single. There's an adjustment in the field for Watson, and now another delay as a steward wanders across the sightscreen. Very careful play by Watson, with just a single for him off the last ball of the over.

  190. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan  

    "That steward in the orange bib has been at it all day! With 13 wickets falling today, get your beach shorts ready for Sunday."

  191. Commentary  

    From John, Leicester, TMS inbox: "In reply to Sam in London [0909], I have to say that Siddle is actually the twin of Joe Swash from Eastenders. Maybe the three of them could do an amusing comedy trio show, an homage to the Marx brothers maybe."

  192. 0934 Commentary Aus 83-3  

    It's gone a bit quiet for England, not putting a huge amount of pressure on these two, but they're bound to be a little tired after almost a full day bowling yesterday. Strauss does not look particularly worried, chewing gum contentedly, but he needs something magical from his bowlers. Michael Vaughan reckons chasing anything beyond 200 will be "tough" for England. Tremlett is bowling very accurately - great effort across both days from the Surrey man.

  193. BBC Test Match Special's Adam Mountford
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Adam Mountford  

    On Twitter: "Michael Slater on TMS suggests a chase of over 300 should be possible on this Waca pitch."

  194. 0937 Commentary Aus 91-3  

    Hussey has played Swann well in this series, and now he gets one a little bit short and pulls Swann with real venom for four. The left-hander moves to 11 with a couple more runs and there's a quick single into the covers too. Runs coming quickly again for Australia as that lead moves dangerously towards 200.

  195. SMS  

    From Stephen in Pershore: "I couldn't understand the hype from all the experienced cricket commentators eulogising about what a good day England had yesterday. The plain fact is that England did not have a good day, they had Aus on the rack at 69-5 and failed to capitalise. Complacency has set in with the media as well as the team and families should be kept at arms length of professional sportsmen on tour. But all is not lost!"

  196. Twitter  

    From TJBAv:\u00a0"Why do they always employ stewards that have no idea about the game [see 0930]? Someone kick him out of the ground, the idiot!"

  197. 0942 Commentary Aus 95-3  

    We are just over 20 minutes from stumps as Finn gets a final bowl in the day. Peter Siddle is the expected night-watchman if we get a late wicket. Hussey drives to Anderson's right at mid-off and rushes down for a rapid single.

  198. Twitter  

    From BarneyAllen: "All Ashes Tests played in Australia should be played in Perth. Nothing to do with the ground, just I can listen to TMS at work."

  199. 0947 Commentary Aus 105-3  

    Misfield from Trott, this last hour comfortably belonging to Australia it seems, as Hussey cuts Swann for four. Collingwood clasps his hands together and looks high up into the heavens as though in prayer. A quick Hussey single, he has looked buys, busy, busy today, brings up the Australia 100 - and now Watson waits for the spin and knocks the ball down to fine-leg for three. He gets back on strike and works the ball round the corner to reach his 14th Test fifty. Expensive over.

  200. BBC Sport's Ben Dirs
    Contributor BBC Sport's Ben Dirs  

    "I have been saying it, Oliver, to anyone who cared to listen - 'do not start getting cocky - Australia will bite you on the backside'. Did anyone listen? Not enough, baby."

  201. 0951 Commentary Aus 109-3  

    Very Australian, all this positivity when stumps are in sight. You'd expect England to be much more cautious in a similar situation. Possibly only time for three more overs, and here's a big drive from Watson against Finn, but a good diving stop at cover. Watson also misses out on a Finn full toss, but no harm, the Aussies look in great shape.

  202. Twitter  

    From WisdenCric_John: "Prior ran all way from 30 yds back to pat Colly for great stop at short extra. Good team energy, I guess they'd say."

  203. 0954 Commentary Aus 115-3  

    Australia are playing Swann really well today - more beautiful footwork from Hussey giving him three runs and it brings up the fifty partnership too.

  204. BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Michael Vaughan  

    "Monty's just run round the entire ground to deliver a bottle of water. He won't have a clue that the day's play is about to finish!"

  205. 1000 CLOSE OF PLAY Aus 119-3 (Watson 61, Hussey 24)  

    Finn steaming in for what will definitely be his last over today. My Kingdom for a wicket, as Richard III might have said if he was a cricket fan. Instead, Watson's big stride and bigger follow-through gets him a scorching boundary with a cover-drive and the lead reaches 200. Disappointing for England to have leaked so many runs really... Lots of attention on Monty sprinting around the boundary rope with a drink for someone. I've never seen someone run with such a still head. High fives for some England fans from him...

    Well that over took so long, they're calling stumps.

  206. SMS  

    From Phil 'Corky' Corke: "What a day! Gutted for England, but Johnson was too good for us. He has must have an arm like a traction engine."

  207. Twitter  

    From peteloafer: "All that crowing and talk of Aussies in disarray was guaranteed to inspire them - we'll never learn."

  208. Commentary  

    From Ryan, Bristol, TMS inbox: "Anyone with me in stating that there is something mildly comforting about getting that well known uneasy feeling in the stomach due to the knowledge this Ashes will go down to the wire. It didn\u2019t feel quite right watching with all this optimism - however well founded."

    I'm with you on that score, Ryan.

  209. BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Stuart Broad  

    "We need to leave today behind, learn what we can from today, but realise the first hour will be critical tomorrow. It has done a lot more in the first session than it has in the rest of the day. A quick back-bang in the morning, certainly getting Hussey out, then I think we\u2019re in this game, we\u2019ve seen 300-plus chased here in Perth."

  210. BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Geoff Boycott  

    "With respect, I think that\u2019s wishful thinking: Our ball tomorrow morning is 33 overs old, it\u2019s beginning to get softer."

  211. 1017 Commentary  

    With the vagaries of the Victoria Line awaiting me - brand new, hugely expensive trains can't run properly on the TFL software or some such nonsense - I leave you with three vital links.

    Sam Sheringham's match report is one, the TMS podcast (from about 1100) is two, and the day two Ashes highlights are ready right now.


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Live Scores - Australia v England


  • Australia beat England by 267 runs
  • Australia: 268 & 309 (86.0 overs)
  • England: 187 & 123 (37.0 overs)
  • Venue: Perth

England 2nd Innings

All out
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total all out 123
Strauss c Ponting b Johnson 15
Cook lbw b Harris 13
Trott c Haddin b Johnson 31
Pietersen c Watson b Hilfenhaus 3
Collingwood c Smith b Harris 11
Anderson b Harris 3
Bell lbw b Harris 16
Prior c Hussey b Harris 10
Swann b Johnson 9
Tremlett not out 1
Finn c Smith b Harris 2
Extras 1nb 8lb 9

see also
Johnson burst ignites Australia
17 Dec 10 |  England
Third Ashes Test day two photos
17 Dec 10 |  England
Friday's Ashes gossip column
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Jonathan Agnew column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Justin Langer's key moments
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Waugh joins Ponting future debate
16 Dec 10 |  Australia
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Records fall as England draw Test
29 Nov 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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