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Australia v England - 4th Test day two as it happened

  1. 2255 Commentary  

    Evening, everyone. If you've spent the last 24 hours flat out after a few too many glasses of sherry with your Christmas lunch, then you won't believe\u00a0what happened on the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. England won the toss, stuck the Aussies in, rolled them over for 98 and had reached 157-0 by close of play.

    The good news for England is that going\u00a0into day two\u00a0they're one or two good days away from retaining the Ashes. The bad news - Aggers has just tweeted that it's raining...

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

    On Twitter: "Rain blown through. Play starts 2330."

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

    "Never mind all this talk of Shane Warne making a comeback - Australia don't need a leg-spinner, they need some batsmen, so maybe they should bring back Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer."

    You can read Justin Langer's verdict on day one on the BBC Sport website. He doesn't pull his punches.

  4. 2311 Commentary  

    As well as JL's verdict on Australia's "nightmare" day, there's the usual goodies for you to peruse - Jonathan Agnew's column on the most one-sided day of Test cricket he's ever seen, Tom Fordyce's blog on Australia's seasonal generosity and the TMS podcast rounding up day one, featuring Aggers and Geoff Boycott.

  5. Commentary  

    From Chris Murtagh, TMS inbox: "What is the (new) Australian version of lbw? Lost, Beaten and Walloped!"

  6. SMS  

    From Callum, 17, London: "Just read 'JL's verdict' as 'JLS verdict', and wondered when the\u00a0BBC started employing popular boybands as cricket analysts... Come on England!"

    Callum, you'd be surprised at the number of cricket fans in the music industry... Lily Allen, Tom Chaplin from Keane and Harry Judd from McFly have all been guests on TMS in the last year or two, while older fans will probably know that the likes of Mick Jagger and Tim Rice are cricket devotees too!

  7. 2326 Commentary  

    Pathetic. Humiliating. A disgrace.

    No, not\u00a0my bosses'\u00a0verdict on this text commentary (well, hopefully not), but the sort of language being used in the Aussie morning papers about yesterday's performance at the MCG. You can check out our daily Ashes gossip column if you want to wallow more in Australia's grief, while BBC Radio 5 live's Mark Pougatch has retweeted a great picture of Punter on the Herald Sun front cover.

  8. 2329 Commentary  

    Right, the players are walking out to begin day two. Let battle commence!

  9. 2335 Commentary Eng 158-0  

    Peter Siddle, who was possibly Australia's best (= least worst) bowler yesterday, takes up the attack. He only gave up 13 runs in 10 overs yesterday, but he's facing Alastair Cook who's 80 not out and targeting his third hundred of the series. A gentle pushed single off the final ball gets England under way.

    And a quick request from the Football League Show - if you're texting in on 81111, please put the word "CRICKET" as the first word of your text, as we share the inbox with the FL Show, and it's being bombarded by both football and cricket texts at the moment.

  10. BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell  

    "If England can get through to lunch without loss then they'll have pretty much made sure of retaining the Ashes."

  11. 2340 Commentary Eng 158-0  

    Ryan Harris takes up the attack from the other end, he was bristling with aggression yesterday but like the rest of his team-mates, bowled without success. But Cook is the measure of patience as he plays out a maiden over. Ricky Ponting is still noticeably fielding one-handed to protect his fractured finger.

  12. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG  

    On Twitter: "MCG about 1/10 full. Aussie public don't seem entirely convinced that their boys can turn this one around. From coliseum to county ground."

  13. 2343 Commentary Eng 158-0  

    The sun is shining - no likelihood of four days of rain to save Australia here - as Siddle charges in to Andrew Strauss, facing for the first time today. The England skipper, with plenty of time on his hands, doesn't play anything he doesn't have to and another maiden ensues.

  14. BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell  

    "My father always told me to stay away from giving marital advice."

  15. 2346 Commentary Eng 159-0  

    Ali Cook nudges a single to fine leg - only two runs from four overs this morning but there's been nowt in it for the seamers - as Aggers notes on TMS, "the ball hasn't gone past the bat."

  16. WICKET Cook c Watson b Siddle 82 (Eng 159-1)  

    Australia's first breakthrough as Cook nudges Siddle\u00a0to Shane Watson at first slip. Is it too late for the worm to turn?

  17. Commentary  

    From Tony Vincent, TMS inbox: "Can you please get Boycs to forecast doom\u00a0and gloom again? It worked last night."

  18. 2353 Commentary Eng 161-1  

    Jonathan Trott takes guard in his idiosyncratic manner - there's a leg slip in for him. Rather like Kevin Pietersen, he looks keen to get off the mark at the first opportunity, and does so with a push through the covers for two.

    Meanwhile, TMS scorer Andrew notes that Cook's series average has dropped to a mere\u00a0115.4 - having already pointed out that yesterday was only the second time a side fielding first had ended day one of a Test with a first-innings lead and all 10 wickets in hand. Top stat!

  19. 2357 Commentary Eng 163-1  

    Cap'n Strauss picks up his first runs of the day, nudging Harris for two. Vast numbers of empty seats at the MCG - maybe the Melbourne Aquarium has a two-for-one offer today? (It has a dead scary bit where you walk through a\u00a0tunnel and sharks and things swim over your head).

  20. SMS  

    From Simon, Bournemouth: "Better bowling from the Aussies already today, do you think Punter made them sit up all night and watch videos of Jimmy, Tremmers and Bresnan!"

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

    On Twitter: "Aargh. Put commentator's curse on Cook. Sorry."

  22. 0001 Commentary Eng 163-1  

    Siddle still bowling a tight line against Trott - and completes a maiden that gives him figures of 14-6-16-1. Six runs added from seven overs this morning/evening/night/whatever.

  23. Commentary  

    From John, Huddersfield, TMS inbox: "Re: 2357 -\u00a0Mark, the Melbourne Aquarium is not unusual in that respect. You can walk beneath large fish swimming overhead in both Hull and Singapore."

  24. 0005 Commentary Eng 169-1  

    With the vast dimensions of the MCG playing area, it's no surprise we saw plenty of threes yesterday - and Strauss steers another to take his score to 69. Trott, facing Harris for the first time, whips a two off his legs through mid-wicket. A single rounds off the over - CMJ on TMS notes that "England are being made to work for their runs today."

  25. WICKET Strauss c Hussey b Siddle 69 (Eng 170-2)  

    After a single from Trott, Strauss tries to force Siddle to leg, it loops up off the shoulder of the bat\u00a0and he's caught at gully!

    (Rather like Tremlett's dismissal of Watson yesterday, if you saw that).

  26. Commentary  

    From Damian Scannell, TMS inbox: "We had a BBQ in Sydney yesterday, my Aussie mate Steve arrived, I handed him a bottled beer, he asked 'Have you got an opener?', I replied 'I have got two great ones, what about you?'. Definitely my sweetest comedy moment ever."

  27. 0011 Commentary Eng 170-2  

    Kevin Pietersen gets a few boos as he walks out ("that's all right, it means they're frightened of you," says Geoff Boycott on TMS) to join Trott. There's a short mid-on in, crouched next to the non-striker, for KP, but only two slips and a gully - even though, incredibly,\u00a0all TWELVE wickets in the match have fallen to catches behind the wicket! Siddle keeps it tight, KP is yet to score.

  28. SMS  

    From Sam in Portsmouth: "Shouldn't we be trying to get quick runs so there's still wickets to be had on a third day wicket getting the Aussies out again?"

  29. 0016 Commentary Eng 171-2  

    Harris is replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus, but Trott is watchful in defence. The Warwickshire man prods a single into the covers, Harris charges in and throws down the stumps at the striker's end but Pietersen had easily made his ground.

  30. SMS  

    From Margaret, Trearddur Bay, Anglesey: "Were Peter Siddle and the chief Orc from Lord of the Rings separated at birth?"

  31. 0020 Commentary Eng 172-2  

    A slightly worrying sign as umpire Tony Hill whips out his light meter before the start of Siddle's new over - but we're carrying on for the time being, although I can see plenty of people wearing woolies and hoodies, huddling for warmth at the MCG - having been there four years ago, I can attest to how cold it was on Boxing Day 2006! Trott jabs a quick single, KP gets an edge... which falls agonisingly (for Australia) short of the two slips. He's yet to score.

  32. SMS  

    From Stewart in Worcs: "Declare now! Bowl them out for 98 again in optimum bowling conditions and retain the Ashes by tea!"

  33. SMS  

    From Pete, Amersham: "My wife has just pointed out that no wonder the umpire thinks it is dark [see 0020], he has his sunglasses on. She also thinks bowlers should hold their own jumpers, but she has a point here."

  34. 0023 Commentary Eng 175-2  

    A beautiful spell from Siddle so far this morning, but can the Aussies keep it tight at the other end? Hilfenhaus bowls, Trott tickles a single down the leg side, KP is nibbling outside off stump but can only poke the ball straight to backward point. He's finally off the mark when he clips a two off his legs.

  35. 0029 Commentary Eng 188-2  

    Trott prods a quick single to Punter, who's still fielding one-handed to protect his fractured finger, but swoops at cover as the England pair make their ground. A perfect straight drive brings KP four, which gets the Barmy Army going - it's England's first boundary of the day. Pietersen then clips one just out of the reach of the diving Steve Smith at mid-wicket, that's four more. A single allows Trott to join in the fun, blasting Siddle for three through the covers - that's England's best over of the morning.

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

    On Twitter: "Get your Boycott Bingo card ready - 'As my uncle used to tell me, you can't score runs in the pavilion'. And we're looking back at England's last Ashes win down under during the lunch interval with guests including Frances Edmonds and Gladstone Small."

  37. 0032 DRINKS BREAK Eng 188-2  

    "There's a very chilly wind out there," notes Aggers on TMS as he notices the number of people reaching for coats and fleeces at the MCG. That's a maiden over from "Gentle Ben" Hilfenhaus to Trott - and time for drinkies.

  38. SMS  

    From Jim C, Birmingham: "How many of the 22 on show here would get in a World XI? I suggest three at most."

    I think plenty of your World XI would come from the current South Africa v India Test...

  39. 0040 Commentary Eng 193-2  

    Mitchell Johnson replaces Siddle - now he's had a funny series. Wicketless and runless in Brisbane, dropped for Adelaide, unplayable swing bowling in Perth, and plenty of tripe yesterday. He's possibly what I've heard described as a "WWF" bowler - he may serve up wides, wickets\u00a0or fodder (or any combination of the three). Anyway,\u00a0Pietersen helps himself to a single, then Trott has to fend off a lifter before pushing a couple of twos. England lead by 95.

  40. Commentary  

    From Michael Gaudern, TMS inbox: "Mrs Edmonds [see Adam Mountford's 0032 tweet] once gave my godmother a signed team sheet of the England team that won the Ashes in\u00a01986. Very nice lady."

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

    (to Vic Marks) "I gather our respective wives are on a tram, heading to the sales. That'll cheer you up."

  42. 0043 Commentary Eng 193-2  

    Hilfenhaus finds a bit of movement against KP, although there's only one slip and a gully in - even though as I mentioned earlier, all 12 wickets have fallen to catches behind the wicket. Maiden over.

  43. 0048 Commentary Eng 193-0  

    Aggers has noticed it's started raining... while in the background, Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper delivers his first fanfare of the day. That's better from Johnson, he bowls a tighter line and\u00a0sends down a maiden over to Trott.

  44. 0051 Commentary Eng 196-2  

    While Johnson signs a few autographs down at fine leg, KP defends well against Hilfenhaus, but when the seamer strays onto leg stump, Pietersen flicks a well-run three off his legs.

  45. SMS  

    From Phil, Glastonbury: "I've just consoled my antipodean mate Emily: 'Don't worry, Australia is still the best in the world at... Aussie rules football'!"

  46. 0056 Commentary Eng 200-2  

    Johnson, short-sleeved shirt showing off the tattoos which virtually cover his right arm, is pushed wide of mid-on for three by Pietersen. Meanwhile, a shot of the England dressing-room shows next man in Paul Collingwood biting his nails. Not really surprising, that. Johnson digs in a bouncer, Trott doesn't quite hook it cleanly but it reaches the man at long leg on the bounce for a single which brings up 200 for England.

  47. Commentary  

    From Sam Robinson, Wirral, TMS inbox: "Have to disagree with Margaret [0020] - it was Joe Swash from whom Peter Siddle was separated at birth!"

  48. 0100 Commentary Eng 204-2  

    Trott cracks Hilfenhaus through mid-wicket for two, an attempted slower ball is signalled as a wide and then Trott guides a single to fine leg. The lead is 106.

  49. 0105 Commentary Eng 206-2  

    While CMJ explains to Michael Vaughan on TMS how he managed to lose a tooth while eating cereal this morning ("wrap it up for the Tooth Fairy tonight," advises MPV), Trott is knocking it around well, whipping Johnson for another single to fine leg. If anything, Pietersen is playing the supporting role here at the moment - Surrey's new signing hooks a single to fine leg. Still no swing of note.

  50. Commentary  

    From Matthew, London, TMS inbox: "Re: Jim in Birmingham [0040]; my current World XI: Graeme Smith (c), Sehwag, Kallis, Sangakkara (wk), Tendulkar, Hussey, Laxman, Swann, Zaheer Khan, Anderson, Steyn. That's\u00a0seven from the SA/Ind match,\u00a0three from Aus/Eng and only one from the remaining Test playing nations. A fair reflection on the current condition of Test cricket?"

    Sangakkara doesn't keep wicket in Tests much these days, but a good XI nevertheless...

  51. 0108 Commentary Eng 206-2  

    With lunch just over 20 minutes away, Hilfenhaus sends down an uneventful maiden over to KP. He has 0-37 from 16 overs.

  52. 0112 Commentary Eng 210-2  

    With the weather still chilly at the MCG, Michael Vaughan on TMS dons a cardigan as Trott threads Johnson through the covers for two, before a single takes him to 25.\u00a0KP hooks, but it lands short of the man at fine leg and they run one. Today's attendance so far: 58,800 (compared to 84,345 yesterday)...

  53. SMS  

    From Jane from Halifax: "Blessed son has tweaked his mother's aged telly so that I can catch TMS. Now hearing CMJ, Aggers and curmudgeonly old Boycs in bell-like quality. Hurray!"

  54. 0115 Commentary Eng 210-2  

    It's clearly a day for fancy dress at the MCG - a couple of lads are dressed as Shane Warne, while there's one bizarre character dancing around\u00a0in a giant John Howard (ex-Aussie PM and cricket fan) mask. Hilfenhaus keeps it tight against Pietersen, that's another maiden over and the second new ball is nine overs away.

  55. 0119 Commentary Eng 219-2  

    Our first sight of spin on day two as young leggie Steve Smith comes on for a trundle before lunch. Trott gets forward well and sweeps a single. KP, eyes lighting up at\u00a0facing an inexperienced spinner,\u00a0is down the pitch to take on "Tintin" Smith straight away, and blasts the blond youngster for four through long-on! He then takes aim at long-off and whacks another first-bounce four.

  56. 0123 Commentary Eng 219-2  

    Trott plays and misses at Hilfenhaus, we haven't seen the ball beat the bat much today (if at all). Maiden over, now, will KP take on Smith again?

  57. 0125 Commentary Eng 219-2  

    KP tries to force Smith to leg, but can't connect fluently. Suddenly, he's back in his shell, playing a couple of defensive shots and a miscued cut - and that's a maiden!

  58. 0129 Commentary Eng 222-2  

    Will this be the last over before lunch? Hilfenhaus steams in to Trott, who nudges a single which brings up the fifty partnership from 115 balls. KP guides a two off his legs, and we'll get one more in. Richie Benaud will be loving this score (as would the late David Shepherd) - 222-2.

    And for those of you who have e-mailed in to complain about the length of the Shipping Forecast on BBC Radio 4 Long Wave, you can hear uninterrupted cricket on BBC 5 live sports extra, via the BBC Sport website (for UK users) and (according to Harry Blanchflower on the emails) installing a radio application on your iPad apparently does the trick too.

  59. 0132 INTERVAL LUNCH - Eng 226-2  

    Trott is watchful against Smith, eventually pushing an all-run four to one of those astonishingly long MCG\u00a0boundaries at mid-wicket. That's lunch - England have scored 69 for the loss of two wickets in this session, and lead by 128.

  60. 0135 Commentary  

    Keep an ear to TMS during the interval - as Adam tweeted earlier, they will be looking at England's last Ashes win in Australia, with the guests including ex-England pace bowler\u00a0(and 86/87 hero) Gladstone Small, and writer Frances Edmonds, wife of ex-England spinner Phil, who also played in that series.

    We're going to take a break on the live text - but we'll be back in good time\u00a0for the resumption.

  61. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG  

    On Twitter: "Funny old atmos at the G - jumpers on, England accumulating rather than murdering, Aussies on defensive. MCG = Muted Cricket Ground."

  62. 0151 Commentary  

    Some interesting views on TMS\u00a0from Frances Edmonds on Wags (of which she was one) and the demise of the traditional England fancy dress Christmas\u00a0parties...

  63. 0200 Commentary  

    A few nominations in the TMS inbox and on the texts for the "World XI" which Jim in Birmingham started earlier:

    Nick, Manchester: Smith, Sehwag, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kallis, ABdV, Prior/Haddin/Dhoni (wk), Swann, Johnson, Steyn, M Morkel.

    Adeel, Birmingham: Sehwag, Cook, Amla, Tendulkar, Kallis, Hussey, Dhoni (capt/wk), Swann, Johnson, Anderson, Steyn.

    Chris: Tamim, Sehwag, Kallis, Tendulkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Dhoni (capt/wk), Mathews, Swann, Steyn, M Morkel, Anderson.

    Nick, Oxford: Sehwag, Tamim, Amla, Tendulkar, Kallis, Sangakkara, Dhoni (capt), Swann, M Morkel, Steyn, Anderson.

  64. SMS  

    From Rob in Halifax: "Could the MCG also be called 'Many Caught Glancing' due to the style of the fallen wickets so far?"

  65. BBC Sport's James Pearce
    Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    On Twitter: "Rain again at MCG. Covers on. Hopefully just a shower."

  66. Commentary  

    Former England pace bowler Gladstone Small on TMS: "I keep seeing Dean Jones at these Tests in Australia, and I like to remind him how I had him stumped in a Test once, by Jack Russell."

  67. 0210 Commentary  

    Australia taking the field - that shower must have been, erm, just a shower.

  68. Commentary  

    From Ben, London, TMS inbox: "Extras have now scored more than\u00a0nine of the Aussie batsmen."

  69. 0215 Commentary Eng 235-2  

    With four overs until the second new ball is available, Shane Watson takes up the attack after lunch, and Kevin Pietersen unleashes a "perfect four" through square leg - it had two fielders chasing all the way, but beat them to the rope. After a half-hearted appeal for lbw, KP nudges a single to fine leg, and another loose one down the leg side is helped on its way for four by Jonathan Trott.

  70. SMS  

    From Greg in Belfast: "Ricky Ponting is possibly thinking of the MCG as being 'My Cricketing Graveyard'."

  71. 0218 Commentary Eng 236-2  

    Leg-spinner Steve Smith to continue the attack. A single takes Pietersen to 36, but that's a reasonable over from the youngster.

  72. Commentary  

    Here are some more World XI nominations from the TMS inbox:

    Stuart, Swindon: Cook, Smith (capt), Kallis, ABDV, Hussey, Bell, Haddin (wk), Swann, Zaheer Khan, Steyn, Anderson.

    Tom, Sydney: Sehwag, Smith, Amla, Tendulkar, Kallis, AB, Sangakara (wk/capt), Broad, Swann, Steyn, M Morkel.

    Scott McGinn: Smith, Cook, Amla, Kallis, Tendulkar, Pietersen, Prior (wk), Swann, Tremlett, Steyn, Anderson.

  73. 0222 Commentary Eng 237-2  

    Two overs to the new ball - Watson keeps straying down the leg side, KP flicks a single off his legs. This day's play is struggling to hit the heights of yesterday - but then, it would take a superhuman effort to match the entertainment of Boxing Day.

  74. 0225 Commentary Eng 240-2 - NEW BALL AVAILABLE  

    Australia are a little ragged in the field as KP and Trott plunder three singles from Smith's over. So, will the new cherry enter the fray?

  75. Commentary  

    From James Wheatley, Yorkshireman on tour, TMS inbox: "On a tour of Neighbours' Ramsey Street near Melbourne with the girlfriend, wondering if the Aussies could do with a few bouncers! Boom boom."

    I remember they used to play cricket in the opening titles of Neighbours, back in the Mrs Mangel days (about the last time I watched it). And didn't Shane Warne make a guest appearance in it recently?

  76. 0229 Commentary Eng 246-2 - NEW BALL TAKEN  

    Ben Hilfenhaus returns to the attack, KP smashes the first ball of the over back past the bowler for four, and the second new ball is then taken. Pietersen defends the sphere nouveau, taking a two off the last ball of the over.

  77. 0234 Commentary Eng 251-2  

    Ryan Harris - a lookey-likey for fellow square-jawed Aussie sportsman Mark Viduka, according to my match-report colleague Pranav Soneji - will share the new ball, and Trott has a stroke of luck when he inside-edges past the stumps and the ball disappears to the fine leg boundary for four. A single takes him to 41, while KP has 45.

  78. SMS  

    From Sam, Hastings: "It occurred to me this morning that the Australian team wouldn't be getting a Christmas telegram from the Queen for reaching 100."

  79. 0238 Commentary Eng 254-2  

    Trott guides Hilfenhaus for\u00a0a two and a single, he's up to 44. KP drives fiercely, Hilfy deflects the ball onto the stumps but thankfully Trott had kept his bat firmly grounded.

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

    On Twitter: "James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, joining Aggers during the tea interval today. At 0410 GMT. Should be interesting!"


    Harris spears in one which goes straight through Trott, who is beaten outside off stump as he tries to force the ball to leg. Geoff Boycott on TMS is purring at Harris bowling in his favoured "corridor of uncertainty". Trott stabs a single, KP straight-drives for four to reach 49, then Haddin appeals for a catch behind and Australia invoke the Decision Review System!

  82. NOT OUT  

    Now, did that brush KP's pad? There's certainly nothing on his bat on Hotspot, the ball looked to go between bat and pad. And there's clearly enough doubt for the third ump to signal "not out", and Ricky Ponting isn't happy, having a right go at umpire Aleem Dar. He really harangues Mr Dar - Punter, just accept the decision and move on. I hope the match referee is watching this, as Punter may well end up losing a chunk of his match fee if he continues to harangue the officials like this. He then goes over to have a whinge at the other umpire, Tony Hill! Sorry, Punter, but that's disgraceful. You may have a fractured finger but you should hang your head in shame.

  83. 0244 Commentary Eng 259-2  

    That was the last ball of the over, by the way.

  84. Commentary  

    From Simon T, Colchester, TMS inbox: "Who would the World XI play against?"

    Good question. Maybe the Daleks could get a team together?!

  85. 0249 Commentary Eng 261-2 - PIETERSEN FIFTY  

    More and more replays (and Hotspots) are shown - but whether the technology got it right or wrong (and there was enough doubt for the batsman to get the benefit of the doubt), you do not harangue the umpire for that long after a decision, whether you're Ricky Ponting at the MCG or Joe Bloggs on the village green. Even Jim Maxwell on TMS, an Aussie, says "you accept the umpire's decision".

    Back in the game, Trott adds a single, and Pietersen clips one off his legs to bring up his half century, to the delight of the Barmy Army. But not the Australian crowd, many of whom boo him.

  86. 0252 Commentary Eng 262-2  

    The Barmy Army are in fine voice as KP nurdles a single. Harris is giving it all he's got, but Australia have to be careful not to lose their focus after the Punter/Dar spat.

  87. SMS  

    From David: "Ricky Ponting's behaviour was a total disgrace over that review, he is one very desperate soon-to-be-ex-Australia captain."

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

    "Ponting's clearly under pressure, but you can't behave like that."

  89. WICKET Pietersen lbw b Siddle 51 (Eng 262-3)  

    Peter Siddle into the attack, KP trapped back on his crease and he walks off\u00a0before the umpire even raises his finger. The atmosphere at the "G" is quite electric.

  90. 0259 Commentary Eng 263-3  

    Paul Collingwood is the new batsman, under a bit of pressure to say the least. The Victorian crowd roar on local boy Siddle, Colly nearly plays onto his stumps but scampers a single as the ball squirms away from leg stump. The crowd has now grown to 64,500.

  91. SMS  

    From Paul, Nottingham: "Ponting should be banned for the next Test after that disgraceful outburst. Missing his last ever Ashes Test would be fitting punishment."

  92. 0302 Commentary Eng 267-3  

    Harris has an lbw appeal turned down against Colly, that looked close but they don't call for a review... "He's got lbw written all over him at the moment," observes Aggers on TMS, but the Durham man edges the last ball of the over for four past gully. England lead by 169.

  93. 0304 Commentary  

    While we all calm down over Punter's outburst, here are some more World XI shouts:

    Mohammed Kotwal: Sehwag, Smith (capt), Amla, Tendulkar, Pietersen, Kallis, Dhoni (wk), Swann, Asif, Steyn, Anderson.

    Jalil, Dubai: Cook, Sehwag, Amla, Tendulkar, Kallis, ABDV, Sangakkara (wk), Swann, Anderson, Steyn, M Morkel.

    James in Ayr: Sehwag, Cook, Kallis, Tendulkar, Pietersen, ABDV, Dhoni (capt), Swann, Anderson, Steyn, M Morkel.

    Matt from Northamptonshire: Smith (capt), Cook, Amla, Kallis, Tendulkar, ABDV, Prior (wk), Swann, Broad, Steyn, Anderson.

  94. 0308 Commentary Eng 270-3  

    Trott pushes Siddle to leg, Punter gives chase and sends in a return from the long-on boundary, Trott goes for a dodgy third and has to dive for the crease at the bowler's end. It goes up to the third umpire... and it's too close to call. In one frame, Trott is short of the crease and the stumps are intact, in the next frame Trott is home but the stumps are broken. Third ump's verdict... NOT OUT! Punter may well explode.

  95. Commentary  

    From John Hatch, TMS inbox:\u00a0"I\u00a0was at Sydney when Jack Russell stumped Dean Jones off Gladstone Small [see 0210]. The ball bounced and Russell took it on the leg side, fingers up. Jones was so astonished he shook Russell by the hand."

  96. 0313 DRINKS BREAK Eng 277-3 - TROTT FIFTY  

    Trott punches Harris for a single to bring up his half century, then Colly off-drives and Punter (not fielding in the slips because of his fractured finger) is a ball-magnet at the moment, it's following him around the field. They run three. Trott pushes the last ball before the drinks break for three more. Hopefully the drinks cart might bring Punter some cocoa to calm him down a little.

  97. BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell  

    "I've got no idea what Ricky Ponting was doing arguing like that. You can question a point of law but you can't dispute a judgement call. It's not the first time he's argued with umpires, but it may well be the last. If I was Pietersen, I'd have told him to go jump in the lake - and I think a suspension would be in order as the ICC have got to get tough about this sort of thing. If the ICC don't punish him, the board should, the Australian captain shouldn't be allowed to behave like that."

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

    On Twitter: "Sorry Ricky - you can't behave like that. Correct decision made by Dar, and endorsed by DRS. Only Haddin appealed in the first place."

  99. 0321 Commentary Eng 281-3  

    Siddle, Australia's best bowler by a distance today (and not just because he's taken all three wickets), resumes proceedings. Trott has to defend well, before Siddle strays with his length and a short-arm jab brings Trott four through mid-wicket.

  100. Commentary  

    From Ben Sington, TMS inbox: "Usual Ponting sportsmanship. Disputing decision. Breaking batsman's concentration. KP should have been on front foot. I hope this is the end of Ponting. He is the biggest whinger of them all and should be fined."

  101. WICKET Collingwood c Siddle b Johnson 8 (Eng 281-4)  

    Mitchell Johnson into the attack in place of Harris, his first ball is wild down the leg side. He bangs in a short ball to Collingwood, who hooks and it's straight down the throat of the man at long leg. That's 10 scores in single figures from his last 12 innings. Oh, Colly...

  102. BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell  

    "Collingwood is lucky to still be in the side, it's ludicrous that he's batting ahead of Bell."

  103. 0328 Commentary Eng 283-4  

    Trott moves on to 58 with a single, new batsman Ian Bell pulls his first ball for one.

  104. SMS  

    From Nick, Oxford (a different one): "It's really sad to hear Punter behaving like that. He's a great player and has been a great skipper. Go out with your head high, not playing gutter cricket!"

  105. 0333 Commentary Eng 283-4  

    Siddle beats Bell's outside edge as he tries to play a back-foot defensive shot, and the local hero tests Bell in various ways as he completes a maiden over. Siddle has 3-39 from 21 overs, with seven maidens.

  106. 0337 Commentary Eng 284-4  

    Umpire Tony Hill grabs a rogue plastic bag which had drifted onto the pitch before Johnson continues - still no swing for the left-armer, who looks a different bowler than the left-arm demon England faced in Perth. (I tell you what, if this World XI chose Perth as its home ground, I think Johnson would be an automatic pick). Trott nudges a single, Bell looking solid, tea due at 0410.

  107. Commentary  

    From Shar, High Wycombe, TMS inbox: "Re: 0225, Shane Warne was on Neighbours ages ago, it's been at least five years since he was on because that was before I went to university to do my undergrad and I'm now doing a masters."

  108. 0341 Commentary Eng 286-4  

    Trott clips Siddle for a double through square leg, the Victorian paceman may be tiring slightly. "Wherever you are in the world, England are in a good position," notes Michael Vaughan, who is surprised that Australia have "fed" Trott so many runs on middle and leg.

  109. WICKET Bell c Siddle b Johnson 1 (Eng 286-5)  

    Johnson drops it short, Bell hooks and gets a top edge just like Collingwood... and is caught by Siddle just like Colly was! Great catch though, he really had to run in from fine leg.

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

    "There have not been many great players in the history of the game who have been able to walk out and play the hook shot from ball one - possibly Ponting in his prime. Ian Bell will be very disappointed with that."

  111. 0347 Commentary Eng 286-5  

    Trott hooks and misses as he's joined by Matt Prior, who is yet to face. England lead by 188.

  112. 0351 Commentary Eng 289-5  

    Siddle (who's had a hand in all five wickets - three as the bowler and two as the fielder)\u00a0is surprisingly replaced by Hilfenhaus. Prior is off the mark with a single, Trott steers a two to reach 63.

  113. 0352 Commentary  

    Some more "World XI" nominations:

    Will Smeaton: Smith, Tamim, Amla, Kallis, Tendulkar, Dhoni, M Morkel, Broad, Vettori, Swann, Steyn.

    Daman: Amla, Sehwag, Kallis, Tendulkar, Pietersen, ABDV, Dhoni (capt/wk), Swann, Zaheer Khan, Anderson, Steyn.

    Farhan, Edinburgh: Cook, Smith (capt), Amla, Tendulkar, Hussey, Bell, Haddin (wk), Broad, Swann, Anderson, Steyn (Mohammed Amir if he wasn't banned!).

    Ben, Spalding: Strauss, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell, Prior (wk), Bresnan, Swann, Tremlett, Anderson.

    Mick: Strauss, Smith, Sangakkara, Hussey, Tendulkar, ABDV, Swann, Morkel, Johnson, Anderson, Steyn.

  114. 0357 Commentary Eng 294-5  

    Two men out on the hook for Prior, who can expect some chin music from Johnson - who bangs in a horrid delivery which is called as an aerial wide. When he does find the edge, it goes past the slips for four.

  115. Commentary  

    From Rob, Bangkok, TMS inbox: "As a village umpire\u00a0I can tell you since the review system came in, things have got worse! No-one is ever out now - especially lbw. Review system continues at village level in the bar after the match but ad nauseum now. So understand how Aleem Dar feels about Punter's goings on."

  116. 0400 Commentary Eng 294-5  

    Trott gets forward well to Hilfenhaus - with tea in 10 minutes, Trott is re-scratching his crease as usual. Maiden over.

  117. SMS  

    From David in Kenya: "England in danger of not capitalising on yesterday's performance; a lead of 300+ is needed to ensure no huge fourth innings task is required."

  118. 0404 APPEAL - NOT OUT Eng 295-5  

    As if he's trying to replicate the bouncer that removed Colly and Bell, Johnson is banging the ball in all over the place, but when Prior tries to push the ball into the covers, he edges behind to Haddin and is given out. But Prior stays at the pitch after Umpire Dar calls him back - it may have been a no-ball. And the TV replays show... it was a no-ball! And Prior stays! Astonishing scenes - Punter may lose the plot completely here!

  119. 0408 Commentary Eng 301-5  

    Prior guides a single to leg, while Aggers praises Mr Dar for his decision to recall Prior. A single takes Trott to 64, and Prior pours salt into Australia's latest wound by crashing a cover drive for four, which Punter has to chase. England now lead by 203.

  120. 0411 INTERVAL TEA - Eng 304-5  

    This should be the last over before tea, as Australia fiddle with the field long enough to ensure we'll go past 0410. After a single from Trott, another lovely cover drive from Prior brings him two runs and ends an enthralling session. England lead by 206.

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

    "I think Ponting feels everything's gone against him in this series, so I can understand his reaction - he's showing the passion he feels. The pitch is giving assistance to the bowlers if you bowl in the right areas - England are in a dominant position but Australia have bowled well and if they restrict England to a 250 lead, you never know."

  122. 0413 Commentary  

    I think I need to get my breath back after that session - plenty to talk about and reflect on, but pin your ears back to listen to Aggers and Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland on TMS...

  123. SMS  

    From Richard Jenkins, West London: "Disappointing from England. In danger of giving the Aussies a sniff. I was expecting much, much more from the batting."

  124. Commentary  

    From Stewart, Yorkshire: "Awesome umpiring, well done Mr Dar!"

  125. 0431 Commentary  

    Some fascinating chat between Aggers and James Sutherland about Ponting, free-to-air television listing and ticket prices. If you missed it - or Frances Edmonds and Gladstone Small at lunch - then you can listen back to the entire day's\u00a0TMS coverage\u00a0on the BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK. Teams are ready to resume after tea.

  126. 0435 Commentary Eng 311-5  

    If you're just waking up and joining us then you're very welcome, we've had a very eventful afternoon - and while you can always scroll to the bottom of the page and "catch up" with events as they happened, broadly speaking Australia have battled back today but England are still in the box seat, despite several moments of controversy.

    Mitchell Johnson with the first over after tea - Trott is immediately back in business with ones and twos, while Prior hooks at a short ball and gets a top edge which flies safely over the slips for four.

  127. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at The MCG  

    On Twitter: "Summary of Cricket Aus boss James Sutherland's chat on Punter strop: Sorry officer, I saw nothing. Wengeresque display."

  128. 0440 Commentary Eng 312-5  

    Geoff Boycott on TMS reckons Prior's wicketkeeping has got better but his batting has regressed - shades of Geraint Jones about four years ago? Ben Hilfenhaus, who's bowled 25 wicketless overs in this innings, resumes his spell, and Trott knocks a single to move on to 71.

  129. 0445 Commentary Eng 313-5  

    Johnson keeps it tight against Trott, before having a long con-flab with skipper\u00a0Ponting. "I can't remember the captains I played with taking so long to talk to the bowler," notes Boycs on TMS. Trott helps a single down to fine leg, the game has calmed down somewhat since the afternoon session.

  130. 0448 OUCH! Eng 317-5  

    Trott plays a straight bat to Hilfenhaus, before leg-glancing a ropey one down the leg side for four. "When he's not swinging it, he's quite an ordinary bowler," notes CMJ on TMS. Then, there's a slight comedy moment as Trott falls over after he's hit on the inside of his left\u00a0knee. He looks in agony, rolling over like a Premier League footballer looking for his opponent to be yellow-carded. Physio Kirk Russell comes running on to examine Trott. "If he'd been a horse they'd have shot him," comments a distinctly unsympathetic Geoff Boycott.

  131. 0452 Commentary Eng 317-5  

    Trott finally gets up, grimacing, and Hilfenhaus completes the over.

  132. 0456 Commentary Eng 321-5  

    Prior pulls another short ball from Johnson, rolling the wrists well and they run a single to fine leg. Trott leans over to the off side and cover-drives the left-armer for three, although he holds his knee again after completing the third run. The lead is 223, and Ponting is rather looking around for inspiration.

  133. SMS  

    From Joe in St Albans: "England are showing their weakness to the short ball which they have never dealt well with and Australia are exploiting this. Definite work still needed with Flower."

  134. 0501 Commentary Eng 328-5  

    Trott chisels Hilfenhaus for a single, he has 80 from 179 balls and has anchored England's innings today. Prior pulls... and top-edges over the keeper for four, before pushing a two past mid-on.

  135. 0507 Commentary Eng 337-5  

    Harris replaces Johnson, after the inevitable long chat with Punter to set the field. Trott feels his knee again after playing a defensive stroke - and while Harris tries to suggest to the umpire that the ball may be going out of shape, the TV camera reveals that England have Ian Bell still padded up, ready to come on as Trott's runner if need be. But there's no need to run when the Warwickshire man fluently on-drives Harris for four. Trott chisels a single, then Prior swipes a four through gully to bring up the fifty stand.

  136. BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Ian Chappell  

    "I wouldn't be calling for a runner this close to a hundred, and I think Trott's just given a signal to indicate that he doesn't want one."

  137. 0511 Commentary Eng 340-5  

    Single from Trott - there's a big contrast between these batsmen as Trott is carefully accumulating runs like a latterday Chris Tavare, while Prior is slicing and flashing like a fencing instructor. A single takes him to 26, Trott plays a tennis-style forehand smash towards mid-on to take him to 87. England lead by 242.

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

    "I've made a bet with Shane Warne that England won't bat again. He says they will - and whoever loses buys dinner. He said it wouldn't cost me much if he won as it would be a McDonalds or pizza."

  139. Commentary  

    From Harry, Egypt, TMS inbox: "Bad planning (from my wife who does these things without telling me) means that I am on a bus from Cairo to Sinai and currently just driving past the pyramids at Giza. Wonders of wonders, the bus has Wi-Fi so I am able to follow your excellent commentary on my iPad. Sadly no pictures as would loved to have compared Punter's tirade with the one from the bloke who just tried to sell me a camel ride."

  140. 0515 Commentary Eng 340-5  

    Harris (0-70 from his first 20 overs) offers little trouble to Trott, who is not tempted to play anything he shouldn't. Maiden over.

  141. 0519 Commentary Eng 347-5  

    Michael Clarke to turn his arm over with his orthodox left-arm spin - it's his first bowl of the series, having started the series with what the Aussies call a "crook back". Clarke, bowling in a sleeveless sweater, tosses it up and both Trott and Prior help themselves to ones and twos - seven from the over.

    Meanwhile, Ian Chappell on TMS refers to match referee Ranjan Madugalle as "the hanging judge" - not a good omen if Ponting gets summoned to the headmaster's study after play. "I'd ban him," admits Simon Hughes.

  142. 0523 DRINKS BREAK Eng 347-5  

    Australia persist with Harris even though Peter Siddle, who's been Australia's best bowler today, hasn't bowled since the 95th over and we're now in the 112th... Prior plays out a maiden, and he and Trott (who now averages 88 against Australia) reach the latest drinks break unscathed.

  143. SMS  

    From George from Market Drayton: "People are talking about England looking uncomfortable with the short ball and looking vunerable, and yet we lead by 200+,\u00a0I wish we always looked so vunerable."

  144. 0527 Commentary Eng 348-5  

    More unthreatening stuff from Clarke as play resumes... exactly why is he bowling when Siddle's skulking down at third man? Single from Trott, he has 92.

  145. Commentary  

    From James, TMS inbox: "After being snowed in London last week, managed to catch a flight to New York with the fam for Christmas. I am now snowed in my hotel in New York having to refresh my screen every 10 seconds for Ashes updates and read up on pointless facts on some of the English boys: did you know that this is now in fact Trotty's highest score in a Test after fielding first?!"

  146. 0531 Commentary Eng 348-5  

    Trott continues his immaculate defence against Harris, who has a bizarre slip cordon - a first slip, a third slip and two gullys. Maiden over.

  147. 0533 Commentary Eng 352-5  

    If you're just joining us, I can recommend the "Ashes Highlights" you'll be able to hear on BBC 5 live sports extra after the close of play, as we had a couple of particularly juicy incidents in the afternoon session. Prior and Trott milk Clarke for two singles apiece.

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

    "We wish we were waking up and today was Boxing Day - Australia knew they had to fight back today and they've worked really hard, the wicket's not offering a lot and the outfield's not as fast as it usually is so it's been a really tough day."

  149. 0538 Commentary Eng 354-5  

    Harris looks to extend his sequence of three successive maidens, which is ended when Trott squirts a single through the covers. Prior rotates the strike to move on to 32, this stand is now worth 68.

  150. 0541 Commentary Eng 354-5  

    Clarke's part-time spin is replaced by Steve Smith's slightly-more-full-time spin (apparently Cricket Australia have been insisting that he's been picked more as a number six batsman than for his bowling). The lively\u00a0young leggie serves up six dot balls to Prior, he has 0-39 from 12 overs (with three maidens).

  151. 0545 Commentary Eng 365-5  

    A two takes Trott to 97, then he flicks a four through square leg and hoists his bat to the heavens to celebrate his fifth Test century (three of which have come against Australia). Well done him - he gets a bit of helmet-badge-kissing in for good measure. A slightly streakier four past gully and a strike-pinching single take England's lead to 267.

  152. SMS  

    From a tired but happy Alex in Shrewsbury: "I've had another night of interupted sleep by checking the\u00a0TMS commentary every hour or so. With England looking good for a 300+ lead, my money is on Simon Hughes dining out Warney style tonight."

  153. 0547 Commentary Eng 367-5  

    Trott and Prior steer Smith for a couple of singles. And finally the good folk of Victoria have something to cheer about as belatedly, Peter Siddle is set to return to the attack...

  154. 0552 Commentary Eng 371-5  

    Siddle,\u00a0from the\u00a0Northern End,\u00a0is right on the money straight away - after five dot balls, he only strays with his final delivery which Prior thumps through point for his fifth four.

  155. 0557 Commentary Eng 378-5  

    Single from Trott, then Smith switches to bowling round the wicket to Prior - while Phillip Hughes is kitted out with the "full monty" of a helmet, shin pads and box to field at short leg. Prior shovels a couple of twos before a delicate dab to third man brings him two more.

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

    "It's OK to experiment at 378-5, but I'd prefer Smith as a young leg-spinner to keep it simple and bowl over the wicket, bowling on middle and off and spinning it away from the right-hander, while bringing slip into play. If I came back in another life, I'd love for someone to teach me how to be a leg-spin bowler."

  157. 0602 Commentary Eng 384-5  

    Trott cuts Siddle for four before inside-edging a two backward of square. Australia appear to be losing heart somewhat in this session.

  158. SMS  

    From Steve, at MCG: "Great chants here in Melbourne for Trott - 'he's got more runs than you' to entire Aussie team."

  159. 0605 Commentary Eng 388-5  

    A couple of singles bring the Trott-Prior axis their century stand - Smith is wheeling away, but this is like the middle overs of a rather dull one-day international where the batsmen are happy to dab four runs and over while never looking in any danger of losing their wickets.

  160. BBC Test Match Special's Vic Marks
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Vic Marks  

    "I think that discovery of the no-ball just before tea was the last straw for Australia."

  161. Commentary  

    From Salim, TMS inbox: "A lead of 300 may not be enough, the ball is not doing much on this wicket now. As much as I would like to see England win, Australia can still win this match. Australia can post 500+ and make England chase 200+ on a deteriorating wicket on the fifth day."

  162. 0610 DRINKS BREAK Eng 388-5  

    Plenty of heart and effort from Siddle, but Trott's unswerving patience ensures another maiden over. Probably the last drinks break of the day...

  163. 0612 Commentary  

    If you're wondering, the official close of play is 0630 GMT - but they've still got 13 overs to bowl, so we're likely to need all of the half-hour "overtime" and finish at 0700.

  164. 0617 Commentary Eng 393-5  

    Prior begins the "home straight" of day two with a single,\u00a0Trott despatches a half-volley for four with a fluent on-drive. England lead by 295... and if Australia were to win this Test, it would be a new\u00a0world record - as the highest first-innings deficit overturned to win a Test is 291 by Australia against\u00a0Sri Lanka\u00a0at Colombo in 1992.

  165. 0620 Commentary Eng 400-5  

    Prior turns Siddle off his legs for a well-run three which takes him to 48, before a marvellous cover-driven four, right off the middle of the bat\u00a0takes Trott to 125 and England to 400. Rather like yesterday, if you're just waking up in the UK and supporting England... look at the scoreboard and begin the working day with a smile on your face!

  166. 0623 Commentary Eng 404-5 - PRIOR FIFTY  

    Prior latches onto a loose delivery from Smith and smashes it through mid-wicket for four to make sure of his 16th Test fifty. And it's fair to say that from the email reaction his comment has produced, I think Salim at 0610 is on his own with his theory that England may not have a big enough first-innings lead...

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

    On Twitter: "Brand new behind the scenes photos now available at the TMS flickr site. Includes a sneak peak at Lawry and Benaud in the Channel 9 box."

  168. 0628 Commentary Eng 405-5  

    Australia's rotation of their bowlers may be fast approaching "shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic" proportions, but Johnson returns to fire in a couple of bouncers at Trott. You never know what you're going to get with Johnson - Trott angles the last ball for a single to third man.

  169. 0631 Commentary Eng 415-5  

    Trott and Prior help themselves to a single and a four each from the increasingly ropey Smith, who has 0-71 from 18 overs. The Barmy Army are loving it, Australia, er, aren't.

  170. 0636 Commentary Eng 425-5  

    The fours continue to flow as Johnson bangs in a short ball to Prior and he edges it over the slips for four. A single takes him to 62, then Haddin half-heartedly appeals for a catch behind against Trott, high\u00a0down the leg side. The Barmy Army jokingly suggest Australia should call for a review, but they decide against it. And as if to rub Australia's noses in it, replays suggest that Trott may indeed have gloved it... Prior late-cuts another four, while Michael Vaughan on TMS laments Australia's lack of sportsmanship as they didn't applaud Prior's fifty.

  171. 0641 THAT'S A RECORD Eng 427-5  

    Smith takes a rest, Shane Watson is recalled to the attack. Trott helps himself to two with a pull to fine leg, and this is now the highest sixth-wicket Test partnership by England at Melbourne, beating the 140 by Patsy Hendren and Maurice Leyland in 1929. Today's attendance: 67,149.

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

    "Ricky Ponting's going to get an interesting reception as by the time he bats tomorrow, the ground will probably be a third full, with plenty of England fans there and I think the reception will be quite frosty. As I said yesterday, a lot of the Aussies will be batting for their careers."

  173. 0646 Commentary Eng 432-5  

    Australia have a fly slip in as Johnson prepares to bowl short at Prior, who tries to force the left-armer to leg - and scampers the first leg bye of the innings. Trott shovels one down to fine leg, and a comedy\u00a0misfield by Hilfenhaus lets a\u00a0four through and\u00a0has the Barmy Army in stitches. This stand is worth 146, England lead by 334.

  174. BBC Sport's James Pearce
    Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    On Twitter: "Barmy Army beginning to sound more like a football crowd. 'You're getting sacked in the morning' they chant at Ricky Ponting."

  175. 0650 Commentary Eng 437-5  

    Michael Vaughan on TMS describes Australia's increasingly ragged bowling as "cannon fodder" as Prior whacks Watson for another four through backward point, before exposing some tiring fielding as the Sussex stumper pushes a quick single to mid-wicket. "The stares and the glares have gone from Australia now," notes Aggers.

    Just over 10 minutes of play\u00a0to go - and you'll be able to hear Ashes highlights on BBC 5 live sports extra from 0700, while Mark Pougatch will host an Ashes phone-in on BBC Radio 5 live from 0900, with Mike Gatting as his special guest.

  176. 0655 Commentary Eng 439-5  

    Prior dabs Johnson for two to third man - that's 100 up for Johnson, who has 2-101 from just over 23 overs. The left-armer slings down an awful delivery which barely hits the cut strip and is taken by Haddin fully in front of first slip, but Umpire Dar is unusually lenient to Johnson and doesn't signal a wide. (Perhaps he's heard that Johnson's girlfriend Jessica Bratich\u00a0is a national karate champion?!)

  177. 0659 Commentary Eng 442-5  

    A combination of Australia's faffing around between overs and Jonathan Trott's idiosyncratic crease-marking should ensure that this is the final over of the day. Trott, who's been hobbling a bit ever since getting whacked on the knee a couple of hours ago, guides Watson for a single to take his score to 139. Prior reaches 75 with a two. Michael Vaughan on TMS mischievously suggests that Usman Khawaja will make his Test debut at Sydney next week... and Umpire Dar, walking in from square leg, reaches the bowler's end in time for them to get one more over in.

  178. 0704 CLOSE OF PLAY Eng 444-5  

    Johnson to bowl the last over, and it looks as though he's going to bowl a foot outside off stump with seven men on the off side. Trott won't have anything to do with that. When he does pitch one on the stumps, Trott defends it and Johnson pretends he's going to aggressively throw at the stumps, earning him a pantomime villain-style "boo" from the Barmies. A two off the last ball takes England to 444 - old Shep would be proud. They lead by 346. And that, as they say, is that.

  179. SMS  

    From Geoff D: "It's no surpise that Punter's expression resembles a bullfrog with a stinging nettle caught under its lip. Two consecutive bad days at the office and little or no respite to look forward to in the coming sessions."

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

    "I think England would have hoped at the start of play that they'd bat through the day and be about 350 ahead - and so it's proved."

  181. BBC Sport's James Pearce
    Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    On Twitter: "When the Queen talked about power of sport to unify, she can't have been talking about Ashes. Tension rising every day between these teams."

  182. 0714 Commentary  

    You can now hear the Ashes highlights from today on BBC 5 live sports extra - while as I mentioned earlier, there's an Ashes phone-in with Mark Pougatch and Mike Gatting on BBC Radio 5 live from 0900 GMT, and the TMS podcast will be available later. Pranav Soneji's match report is just going up, and you'll be able to read the usual columns and blogs\u00a0from Aggers, Justin Langer and Tom Fordyce in due course.

  183. 0725 Commentary  

    Right then, time to bid adieu once more. Thanks for your company, your emails and texts (including the World XI nominations) - if you can stomach another night of live cricket as England look to tighten their grip on the little urn, I'll be back in this chair tonight at about 2300 GMT, ready for the start of play at 2330. Until then, it's a bank holiday in the UK so please "bank" some sleep ready for day three!

    PS Keep an eye on the BBC Sport website to see if Ponting gets called to explain himself to the match referee...

Print Sponsor

Live Scores - Australia v England


  • England beat Australia by an innings and 157 runs
  • Australia: 98 & 258 (85.4 overs)
  • England: 513 (159.1 overs)
  • Venue: Melbourne

Australia 2nd Innings

All out
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total all out 258
Watson lbw b Bresnan 54
Hughes run out (Trott) 23
Ponting b Bresnan 20
Clarke c Strauss b Swann 13
Hussey c Bell b Bresnan 0
Smith b Anderson 38
Haddin not out 55
Johnson b Tremlett 6
Siddle c Pietersen b Swann 40
Hilfenhaus c Prior b Bresnan 0
Harris did not bat 0
Extras 2w 1b 6lb 9

see also
Ponting hit with fine after row
27 Dec 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
27 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Justin Langer column
27 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Trott ton stretches England lead
27 Dec 10 |  England
Form down to hard graft - Trott
27 Dec 10 |  England
Fourth Ashes Test in photos
27 Dec 10 |  England
Clarke backs under-fire Ponting
26 Dec 10 |  Australia
England crash to heavy Ashes loss
19 Dec 10 |  England
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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