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Ashes: Australia v England, day one as it happened

  1. 2248 Commentary  

    Happy new year everyone, I trust you all saw\u00a02011 in with style. Having spent most of December dossing on the sidelines, it's actually quite a relief to get back in amongst it, I'd started feeling a little bit emasculated, not to mention a little bit dirty - time to start giving something back. And having sat through all five days of the Brisbane Test, a few wickets might be nice...

  2. 2258 Commentary  

    News reaches me that Shane Warne is presenting new cap Michael Beer with his baggy green, while fellow debutant Usman Khawaja will receive his from former skipper Mark Taylor. England are expected to be unchanged from Melbourne.

  3. Twitter  

    Chris Holt: "Dear darts, please back off to a corner in the pub, it's time for the Ashes..."

  4. Twitter  
    Graeme Swann: "Howay the lads. Waking up to see the Toon have won is mint. Discovering I've knocked over a glass of water onto my iPod is not so mint."
  5. 2305 Commentary  

    Australia's new skipper Michael Clarke has won the toss and he's decided to have a bat. Left-arm spinner Michael Beer is in for the Aussies alongside fellow debutant Usman Khawaja, the first Muslim to play for his country...

  6. Commentary  

    Australia: PJ Hughes, SR Watson, UT Khawaja, MJ Clarke (capt), MEK Hussey, BJ Haddin (wk), SPD Smith, MA Beer, MG Johnson, PM Siddle, BW Hilfenhaus

    England: AJ Strauss (capt), AN Cook, IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, PD Collingwood, IR Bell, MJ Prior (wk), TT Bresnan, GP Swann, JM Anderson, CT Tremlett

  7. 2310 Commentary  

    If England win this Test, it will be only the third time since Bodyline they have won three in Australia in the same series, and one of those was in 1978-79, when Mike Brearley's team shellacked a Packer-depleted Aussie side 5-1...

  8. 2311 Commentary  

    Cloudy morning in Sydney and the covers are poised - showers not unexpected, but it is expected to develop into a steamer this afternoon - ballsy decision to bat by Michael Clarke.\u00a0In a recent poll, a remarkable 91% said they did not want Clarke to take over as skipper if and when Ricky Ponting bows out for good, which is roughly what Nicolae Ceausescu's approval rating was just before\u00a0he was led away\u00a0to a Romanian forest and executed by firing squad.

  9. SMS  

    Graeme, Sunderland: "Australia go for Beer instead of Bollinger. I went the other way on New Year's eve and it ended badly for me..."

  10. 2320 Commentary  

    Well done to those who have emailed in to point out Usman Khawaja is not the first Muslim to play for his country - I meant, of course, that he is the first to play for Australia. Lots of pink in the build-up to this match - it's been dubbed the 'Pink Test', which is all to do with the McGrath Foundation, which raises money for and awareness of breast cancer. Players are out and we've got all sorts of gubbins and national anthems and stuff before play kicks off in 10...

  11. 2323 Commentary  

    Every New Year brings hope and despair in equal measure. The most depressing thing I've heard so far in 2011? "Why do women feel the need to cut their hair short when they get to a certain age? I hope I die before I have to." Bleak. That said, why do women do that? Don\u00a0Bradman's grandaughter Greta bellowing out the Aussie national anthem\u00a0- a lady.

  12. Commentary  

    Dan Lucas in the TMS inbox: "Most depressing Christmas present? My Oz Clarke wine guide, in which he'd drunkenly scrawled: 'To Dan, you have a hot mum, cheers! Best, Oz Clarke'."

  13. Commentary  

    Probodie in the TMS inbox: "Re: the comment about women feeling the need to cut their hair - it's because we dont want to look like the sad old men with mullets! Remember Beefy? And, of course, some of us have always had short hair. Come on England, let the Aussies have it."

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

    "I was caught practising my sprinkler dance the other day in front of the Opera House but I'm not sure I'm tempted to do it in public yet."

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

    "If England win the series, you have to go out into the middle and do it - that's what you've said."

  16. 2330 Commentary  

    Players are out and about - Phil Hughes sprinting onto the pitch and flailing his bat about as if chased into an amphitheatre by a wild animal - and it will be Jimmy Anderson to bowl first...

  17. 2334 - Aus 1-0 Commentary  

    Watson on strike and Anderson almost goes over on his left ankle with his second delivery, which doesn't end up being his second delivery because he doesn't let go of it. Could have been nasty, but isn't. Three slips and a gully in for the right-handed Watson... deary me, Pietersen gets them off the mark with a piece of dopey fielding, flinging the ball to the\u00a0right of Prior behind the timbers. \u00a0

  18. Commentary  

    Dave from Churtt CC in Farnham in the TMS inbox: "Brownie, our club's overseas player from Melbourne, describes Michael Beer as a gobby so and so who can't turn a ball if his life depended on it. For good measure he took him for 22 in an over."

  19. SMS  

    From actor Sam Troughton (brother of Warwickshire pro Jim): "The sprinkler dance was performed at the Capulet Ball during the RSC's production of Romeo and Juliet last night. Come on boys!"

  20. 2340 - Aus 4-0 Commentary  

    Tremlett shares the new ball with Anderson and his first ball is a peach, cutting back off the seam, sawing Watson in half and skimming the top of middle. Tremlett really is a brute of a man, like an overcooked sausage bursting out of its casing. Sweet stroke from Watson, easing\u00a0through the covers for a couple, but he follows up with a rather ugly drive that results in a thick inside edge. \u00a0

  21. Commentary  

    Simon in Siberia (-38 degrees) in the TMS inbox: "Another Test match, another early morning Aeroflot flight. Rather looking forward to seeing the score in\u00a0five hours in Moscow. More so than the in-flight breakfast."

  22. 2345 - Aus 5-0 Commentary  

    Hughes off the mark with a tickle off his hip for one as the SCG crowd continues to grow. Anderson not getting it to do much at the moment, despite the cover overhead,\u00a0but there\u00a0is just the one run from the over.

  23. 2350 - Aus 9-0 Commentary  

    The first boundary of the match comes from the blade of Hughes - decent shot that, an on-drive for four. Wildly optimistic lbw appeal from Tremmers, that pitched a foot outside leg. Simon (see below), I'd wager whatever Aeroflot serve up for breakfast it trumps a \u00a33 mini-pipe of Pringles and a \u00a35 chicken caesar wrap. Criminal.

  24. Commentary  

    Lenny, Fazakerley, in the TMS inbox: "I imagine Trem as a musclebound lag in Shawshank Redemption, sticking to the rules, pumping iron and biding his time."

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

    "You'd think it might be the first Test of the series the way they're sparring with each other out there."

  26. 2353 - Aus 10-0 Commentary  

    One for Watson with a nudge into the off-side before Anderson locates the shoulder of Hughes' bat only for the ball to squirm to gully, all along the ground. Lenny (see below), if Tremmers is a musclebound lag, pumping iron and biding his time, then Collingwood is the wise old lifer, resigned to spending the rest of his life inside and\u00a0doling out advice\u00a0to the new\u00a0punks in woodwork classes.

  27. SMS  

    Eddie Filsak, Northants: "What's going on? 20 mins of play and Aus still have all 10 wickets. The boys should be ashamed. I'm off to bed. Hmph."

  28. 2356 - Aus 13-0 Commentary  

    Tremlett gets another to nibble back off the seam and Watson, driving,\u00a0is beaten all ends up and is very nearly castled. Watson works off his hip uppishly for one before Hughes nurdles to leg for a single of his own. More in-movement from Tremlett but Watson got a good stride in - good over that from the Surrey quick, he's\u00a0performing like\u00a0a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

  29. 0000 - Aus 13-0 Commentary  

    Strangled lbw appeal from Anderson but Watson hit the cover off that and it was going over. Umpire Bowden unmoved, eyeing Anderson with something like contempt. Another appeal next ball but this time it was curving down leg before Watson is beaten by a ball that holds its line. Another testing over, England getting closer...

  30. Commentary  

    Jeremy in the TMS inbox: "Taking on the prison analogy, KP is undoubtedly the Steve McQueen character, all moody and cool behind his mirrored shades, perpetually trying to escape, railing against authority, spending plenty of time bouncing a ball against the wall in solitary."

  31. 0005 - Aus 13-0 Commentary  

    Ripper from Tremlett, getting one to jag away from the left-handed Hughes. Another appeal from Tremlett, although no-one really seems to know what for - the ball arcing down leg before ballooning to third slip, Umpire Dar having none of it. Bit of width from Tremlett and Hughes throws the sink at it - and is beaten...

  32. Commentary  

    Nicky in Brussels in the TMS inbox: "My three lovely fluffy chickens killed a wood pigeon yesterday. I feel it's an omen for England finishing off the series - what else could it mean?"

  33. Commentary  

    Steve, Falklands, in the TMS inbox: "Trotty would be the tobacco-chewing sage of few words, nesting away a small fortune, the gains of his poker-playing prowess, secreted in a rubber glove in the cistern of the latrine he shares with cell-mate Belly, who is blissfully unaware of the wealth amassing in their humble abode."

  34. 0010 - Aus 14-0 Commentary  

    Anderson gets one to duck back into Watson and is worked fine for a single before Hughes, dabbing tentatively,\u00a0is beaten outside off. Nicky in Brussels (see below) - how do three chickens duff up a wood pigeon? I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble visualising this.

  35. 0013 - Aus 14-0 Commentary  

    Watson in two minds whether to go forward or back and he gets an inside-edge that very nearly carries to Cook under the lid at short-leg. Michael Beer is\u00a0one of two Aussie debutants today, and one of the most bizarre selections since Silvio Berlusconi picked his\u00a0dental hygienist to run for regional office - the slow left-armer has 16 wickets from seven first-class matches at an average of 43.31. To be fair to Berlusconi, his dental hygienists usually have better figures than that.

  36. Twitter  

    American babysitter Ashley Kerekes: "I can't believe I'm really here! #gettheashestotheashes #wedidit"

    Ms Kerekes was flown from Massachusetts to Sydney after attracting thousands of followers thanks to her @theashes Twitter handle.

  37. 0017 - Aus 16-0 Commentary  

    We have a bowling change - Bresnan on for Anderson, whose first spell was five overs for five runs. Hughes is squared up as\u00a0Sir Boycs mentions uncovered pitches for the first time this Test match\u00a0 -\u00a0as he got some sort of deal with uncovered pitches? If so, he's ruddy raking it in. Good over from Bresnan...\u00a0

  38. Commentary  

    Dan, Grand Cayman, in the TMS inbox: "Re 1210 - Simple -\u00a0one holds\u00a0the wood pigeon\u00a0down, one duffs it up and the other keeps watch."

  39. 0021 - Aus 17-0 Commentary  

    Jim Maxwell on TMS informs us that Khawaja is the first Aussie to make his debut at number three since Justin Langer against the West Indies at Adelaide in 1993. Just one leg-bye from\u00a0Tremlett's over, a leg-bye, and he's now bowled six overs for nine runs. Bit of Swanny before lunch? I think it's likely...\u00a0

  40. 0025 - Aus 28-0 Commentary  

    Watson moves to 10 with a glide to third-man for three before Bresnan hits the spot just outside the off-stump and Hughes is beaten all ends up. Good comeback from Hughes, on his home ground, clipping through mid-off for four, and he follows up with four more, piling into a wide one. Well done to Adam for being the first person this Test match to ask whether my name is really Ben Dirs, which reminds me...

  41. 0028 Commentary  

    The following\u00a0are actual excerpts from an email recently found in the BBC website's general inbox:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I was disgusted recently to discover my eight-year-old daughter reading the BBC's ball-by-ball cricket commentary, authored by one 'Ben Dirs'... this is\u00a0the sort of\u00a0puerile joke\u00a0I thought the\u00a0BBC would be above... the kind of thing I would expect to find in The Sun... I shan't be reading again...

    Yours sincerely, Mr R Robinson

    PS. If indeed that is his real name, please send my condolenses.\u00a0

  42. 0030 - Aus 31-0 DRINKS BREAK  

    Tremlett still ploughing that line outside off and Watson very nearly has a nibble at that. Tremlett then gets one to move both ways before testing out Watson with a bumper, which the batsman plays with aplomb. Three for Watson with a clip through mid-wicket before Hughes edges just short of gully - that's drinks, Australia surviving...

  43. 0040 - Aus 38-0 Commentary  

    Bresnan with a strangled lbw appeal against Watson - decent stride again - before Watson is squared up,\u00a0but he picks up two to gully...\u00a0Anderson\u00a0back on and he over-pitches and is\u00a0laced through mid-off for four. Anderson gets one to nip back at the left-handed Hughes and rap him on the thigh but there's one more courtesy of a tickle of the hip...

  44. 0043 - Aus 43-0 Commentary  

    Hughes with a punch into the covers for a couple before Bresnan digs one in and hits the splice of Hughes' bat. Signs that Hughes is in, there are three more\u00a0courtesy of\u00a0a florid-looking straight drive. Michael Slater on TMS suggesting Hughes is playing for his Test career here, and he may well be right.

  45. 0048 - Aus 43-0 Commentary  

    Hughes with a couple of lavish leaves, he looks like he means business, and that's a maiden over from Anderson... still looking a little dank in Sydney, and still quite a few empty seats, which I have to say I'm absolutely astonished by.

  46. 0051 - Aus 45-0 Commentary  

    Watson pops his head out of his shell, driving through point for a couple, but quickly reels his neck in again, just the two from the over. Anderson to continue...

  47. Commentary  

    Paul in Lancs in the TMS inbox: "Re: Nicky in Brussels and his killer chickens, I would respectfully suggest the word 'augury' might be preferable to 'omen'; while omen and augury both now mean the same thing, the derivation of augury, being the practice in ancient Rome of divining the future through the observation of the action of birds, makes it more apt for use in the context of armed poultry combat."

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

    On Twitter: "Anderson struggling. Went over on his ankle in his first over. Looks like he is protecting it. Have a big pain killer. Jim."

  49. 0056 - Aus 46-0 Commentary  

    Anderson switches to around the wicket but loses his line, sending one down leg. Better from Anderson, a bumper which Hughes ducks underneath, before the Aussies pick up a leg-bye. Good leave from Watson, the ball nipping back and skimming his timbers. Glacial progress from Australia, shifting at about two runs an over - and here's Swanny...\u00a0\u00a0

  50. 0100 - Aus 50-0 Commentary  

    Hughes with a rather wooden defensive stroke from Swann's first delivery but that's short from Swann and Hughes is like a rat up a drainpipe, twirling through backward-point for four - that's the Australian fifty...

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

    "The SCG's a good place to play spin on the first two days because of the bounce, the ball just sits up. Swann's got to work hard on his accuracy. But if Australia get a big score then the pitch will deteriorate and that will give Beer and Smith a chance."

  52. 0103 - Aus 52-0 Commentary  

    Funny old stroke from Watson, dabbing to gully with both feet off the ground, before Anderson gets one past the batsman's blade. Watson nicks the strike with a nurdle off his pads. Paul in Lancs (see below),\u00a0these chickens who murdered the wood pigeon, who said they were armed?

  53. 0106 - Aus 53-0 Commentary  

    Short from Swann and Watson tucks him to leg for one. Strauss is off for the second time today, not sure what's up with him, so we've got Morgan on as a replacement. Slip and a short leg in for Hughes, as well as a short extra-cover, as Hughes steers through point for one...

  54. 0110 - Aus 54-0 Commentary  

    Slow old start but let no-one tell you it's not enthralling - as George Foreman liked to say about boxing, cricket is like jazz\u00a0- the better it is, the less people understand it. The Barmy Army trumpeter lashing out a spot of Rocky as Hughes turns Anderson round the corner for one and that was a tidy over from Anderson\u00a0but nothing more...\u00a0\u00a0

  55. SMS  

    Fozzy in Burton: "It was a big toss and I fear we will miss a lively bully like Stuart Broad. We're a bit nice."

  56. 0113 - Aus 54-0 Commentary  

    Bit of turn for Swann but it's slow turn, the batsmen able to watch it onto the face of the blade. Swann slipping into his groove, that's another maiden - Watson now has 19 off 70, Hughes 31 off 81, that's Old Skoolie...

  57. 0118 - Aus 54-0 Commentary  

    Tremlett rolled back into the attack, three slips in for the right-handed Watson.\u00a0Tremlett gets one to jag back into Watson's midrift and mines that corridor of uncertainty for the rest of the over.\u00a0Anyone got any snoring\u00a0cures, other than a swift kick in the jaffers?\u00a0\u00a0

  58. Commentary  

    Jeff at The SCG in the TMS inbox: "Even if the chickens were armed (or more aptly, winged), how would they pull the trigger?"

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

    "On the first morning the best shot is the leave, and Watson's done it particularly well."

  60. Twitter  

    From ftcricket: "Something very old-fashioned about this.. Is that Woodfull and Ponsford out there? #ashes"

  61. 0125 - Aus 55-0 Commentary  

    Swann varying his flight to Hughes, spearing in a quicker one before giving one some air. Lots of chirping from the close fielders but Hughes\u00a0smothering Swann's work well. While conceding Tremlett is bowling well, Michael Vaughan on TMS reckons it's "pretty bowling" - "pitch it up and tempt Hughes into the drive," he adds... Tremlett gets a couple to dart back at Watson and there's a leg-bye, five minutes to lunch...\u00a0

  62. Commentary  

    Paul, Bridgend, in the TMS inbox: "Aussies definitely up for a scrap this time, we'll do very well to win this one. Cure for snoring - move the missus to the spare room, you won't hear her from there."

  63. 0129 - Aus 55-0 Commentary  

    Watson's best shot has been the leave this morning, and I mean that most sincerely, there hasn't been enough of it from the Aussie batsmen this series. Another maiden, one more over before lunch - and we're going to get 30 overs in a session, which in modern Test cricket is a miracle of loaves and fishes proportions...

  64. WICKET Hughes c Collingwood b Tremlett 31  

    GOT HIM! Hughes fencing at a rising delivery from Tremlett and Collingwood takes a simple catch above his head\u00a0at third slip - bigger than jungle, and jungle is massive...

  65. INTERVAL  

    And that's lunch - would have been Australia's session were it not for that wicket just before the break, but with only 55 on the board and debutant Usman Khawaja next to come, England will be buzzing - I repeat, buzzing... see you in 40...

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

    "If England get it right this afternoon and continue to put this Australian batting line-up under pressure, they will feel they can bowl them out today. There's enough in this pitch to produce some good deliveries."

  67. Commentary  

    From Simon in the TMS inbox: "I was thinking this morning as I caught a bus through Zurich about how much my journey reminded me of Ben Hilfenhaus. You know exactly what you going to get, what time it will arrive and where you will be delivered - with nothing happening in between."\u00a0

  68. Commentary  

    Briony from Havant in the TMS inbox: "Re snoring - Sadly everything that can be kicked has already had the living daylights knocked out of it. Tonight it's the twitching that's really getting to me. If I could administer a well placed kick, roll him over and whisper in his ear that England have got a wicket - now that might do the trick."

  69. 0210 Commentary  

    ... righto, players are back out and we'll have a restart in a couple of minutes...

  70. 0213 - 61-1 Commentary  

    Usman Khawaja on strike, and he's on dayboo... Tremlett slides onto his pads and Khawaja is off the mark immediately with a dab to mid-wicket for two. RIPPER! Short from Tremlett and Khawaja shellacks him to the mid-wicket fence. Nothing wrong with that shot, nothing wrong at all... \u00a0

  71. 0217 - Aus 67-1 Commentary  

    Born in Islamabad, hammered into shape in New South Wales, the left-handed Khawaja\u00a0has played 27 first-class matches, has six tons, 10 50s and a lofty average of 51.70. In short, don't be surprised by that pull shot in the previous over, the boy can play. Watson leaves - again - he now has 19 from 88 deliveries... make that 23 from 89, Watson clips Anderson off his toes for his first boundary. One more for Watson with a nurdle to leg and Khawaja picks up one more with a nibble to leg. The radars suggesting heavy rain is on its way...

  72. 0220 - Aus 75-1 Commentary  

    Tremlett locates the edge of Khawaja's bat only for the ball to fall a couple of feet short of Swann at second slip. Give the batsman the benefit, that was played with soft hands. Two more\u00a0courtesy of a thick outside edge, although an educated one,\u00a0and there's another four - Tremlett floating one up on his pads, Khawaja clipping him through\u00a0point. Two more for Khawaja through gully, he's 15 off eight, only nine runs behind Watson.

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

    "Khawaja looks quite calm. There's plenty of adrenaline there but he's looking terrific at the moment, though it's very early days. By reputation, he's a proper Test-style player who plays the ball on its merit."

  74. 0225 - Aus 79-1 Commentary  

    Pietersen with a spot of Hollywood fielding at gully, tumbling to his left before backhanding the ball to Collingwood, before Umpire Bowden has a little word in Anderson's ear, presumably about running on the pitch. Four more for Watson courtesy of an wristy upper-cut over Swann at second slip, Australia have suddenly come over all macho having been rather bookish before lunch. Anyone still up? Only it's suddenly become more interesting...\u00a0

  75. 0229 - Aus 79-1 Commentary  

    A shot of Khawaja's mum in the SCG crowd, rocking back and forth and apparently muttering some prayers, as if she's watching Usman\u00a0make his way to the gallows. That's a maiden over from Tremlett, Khawaja becalmed...\u00a0\u00a0

  76. 0234 - Aus 83-1 Commentary  

    Short from Anderson and Watson's piled into that, tugging him over mid-wicket for four. A few Red Bulls in the Aussie dressing room at lunch? Good comeback from Anderson, getting one to nip back and\u00a0rap Watson on the pad, but it was missing leg stump. Yorker from Jimmy but Watson plays it well, jamming down on it - the partnership now 28 from 33. "Massive front coming in from the west," says Jim Maxwell on TMS, "maybe reaching us in an hour or so..."

  77. SMS  

    Martin, Warrington: "Re. Anyone still up? I'm not sure what me and my friends will do come the end of the Ashes. Currently in a\u00a0four-way text conversation whilst enjoying a coffee and a crisp butty (that's a sandwich for anyone south of Brum). When else can you enjoy such simple pleasures at 2.30am?"\u00a0

  78. BBC Test Match Special's Jim Maxwell
    Contributor BBC Test Match Special's Jim Maxwell  

    "Australia are aiming to revitalise their team with the introduction of Khawaja. I got a message from Geoff Lawson, who was quick to point out that Khawaja is a graduate from the University of New South Wales, which is where Lawson studied and coached quite a lot."

  79. 0243 - Aus 84-1 Commentary  

    Khawaja edging nicely at the moment, if you know what I mean - dropping his hands on it again and the ball falling short of Swann at slip. Nice use of the feet from Khawaja and a text-book drive, although no run for it. Sir Boycs reckons Khawaja looks well-organised, and Sir Boycs saying\u00a0a batsman\u00a0looks well-organised is the cricketing equivalent of getting a blessing from the Pope.\u00a0

  80. 0246 - Aus 89-1 Commentary  

    "We had to be better players in my day, we had uncovered pitches," says Boycott, before\u00a0pointing out he lived in a terraced house with a toilet 20 yards down the\u00a0road and never owned a mobile phone or computer... talking... talking... talking...\u00a0Short and wide from Tremlett and Khawaja flashes him to the third-man boundary...

  81. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at the SCG
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at the SCG  

    On Twitter: "Storm on its way, the radar-watchers tell us - less than an hour and closing fast. Khawaja scoring like lightning, Watson thunder-thighed."


    Bresnan back on and he angles one into Watson's pads and is turned away for one. Another erudite edge from Khawaja for two before the umpires come together for a chat - murky out there, they're coming off for light...

  83. Commentary  

    John in the TMS inbox: "One of the 1948 Aussie tourists (I now forget which) once told me that all of the tour party had to be able to ballroom dance in order to fulfil the social obligations of the tours. He believed the footwork required for the quickstep was a crucial ingredient of batting skill."

  84. 0258 Commentary  

    Boos and jeers as players leave the field and this could be a protracted break, what with some wicked weather heading in from the west. We've had it all from Sir Geoffrey today, Bradman, Hobbs, uncovered pitches, but you have to say he topped it all by giving his outside toilet an airing.\u00a0Players are coming back out, lights are on - this light stuff remains a complete mystery to me...

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

    "Khawaja's start reminded me a little bit of David Gower, who famously pulled his first ball in Test cricket for four."

  86. 0303 - Aus 96-1 Commentary  

    Chris Tremlett to continue, he's got two slips in for Watson and Collingwood as a sort of fourth slip. Not much zip in this deck, so it's all about staying patient for the bowlers. Too straight from Tremlett and Watson flicks him away for four\u00a0through mid-wicket -\u00a0authoritative stroke, and ominous for England.

  87. 0308 - Aus 98-1 Commentary  

    Inside edge from Khawaja, decent ball from Bresnan, wobbling off the seam. Width from Bresnan but Khawaja doesn't quite get it, skewing through point for a couple. Khawaja has a very low grip, his bottom hand touching the blade, and a high back-lift, almost Lara-esque. He's looking classy enough so far.

  88. 0312 - Aus 101-1 Commentary  

    Well, well, well, time for a bit of Colly and his wobblers... at his pace the ball is swinging, and captain Strauss will hope it nibbles about a bit off the seam. A short mid-on posted and a short extra-cover but Watson leaving alone... Watson plays an iffy cover-drive, the ball landing just short of Swann at short extra, before swatting Collingwood down to third-man to bring up the Aussie ton.

  89. 0315 - Aus 101-1 Commentary  

    Looking pretty grim out there, more Salford than Sydney at the moment. Fairly vociferous lbw appeal from Bresnan against Watson but they don't refer it, which is just as well,\u00a0it was missing by a foot. Collingwood to continue...

  90. 0319 - Aus 105-1 Commentary  

    Collingwood saunters in and he's serving up some\u00a0sweet deliveries among the lollipops - Khawaja squared up before finding himself beaten outside off. Khawaja's mum still hasn't calmed down, I hope for his sake he doesn't clock her...

  91. WICKET Watson c Strauss b Bresnan 45 (Aus 105-2)  

    Watson's a goner! Lunging forward to Bresnan and edging and Strauss taking a safe one at first slip. What a funny old player Watson is - almost never fails to make a start, very rarely finishes off the job...

  92. 0325 - Aus 108-2 Commentary  

    Nervy old start from stand-in skipper Clarke, reaching outside off-stump, but he's off the mark...

  93. Twitter  

    SaintFrankly: "Is Jeanette Howard off to a rave after the day's play? That lime green floro jacket! Did she borrow it from Dwayne Bravo?"

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

    "So much speculation of who should be the captain but this is a wonderful opportunity for Michael Clarke to stamp his authority on the role."

  95. 0329 - Aus 108-2 Commentary  

    I'm told there were a fair few boos from the Aussie contingent as Michael Clarke made his way to the middle. These Aussie fans are a fickle bunch - score a ton and win the match and he'll be led from the field in a sedan chair. Anderson still not making the ball talk, despite the cloud cover, maybe he did do himself a mischief in his first over...

  96. 0332 - Aus 111-2 Commentary  

    One for Khawaja with a clip to leg before Bresnan tempts Clarke with a short one outside off but the Aussie skipper decides against having a go at it. One for Clarke with a nurdle to leg before Khawaja carves through point to steal the strike. I'm taking a blow, here's Ollie Brett for a bit...


    Low grip, high back-lift - there's just a little tinge about Brian Lara in this Khawaja lad, though one of his early attacking shots was also reminiscent of Sanath Jayasuriya. He's been more watchful of late, however. And RAIN HAS STOPPED PLAY after five dot balls from Anderson.

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

    \u201cI\u2019m being optimistic but I think it\u2019s only a passing shower and I feel we\u2019ll see more play today.\u201d

  99. 0341 Commentary Aus 111-2  

    So, confirmation that there will be no play for a while, at least until this rain clears away and the groundsmen have got the ground into shape. Khawaja is 26 not out, his New South Wales team-mate and new skipper Michael Clarke is on 4, in a total of 111-2 from 47.5 overs. Early tea is presumably being taken now.

  100. Commentary  

    Brendan Bennett: "I didn't even pick up on the alternative meaning behind your name, I had to read it\u00a0seven times. Does that make me mature?!"

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

    "Shane Watson doesn't believe he can make big runs because he keeps getting out in the 50s and 60s. It's not just about technical proficiency, it's about mentally being able to overcome your flaws. Watson's going through a phase that Ian Bell went through. He actually had the talent to make big hundreds but had to believe that himself and then convey it on the field."

  102. Twitter  

    Lee Blake: "Cure for snoring: Quit smoking, drinking, lying on your back, being pregnant, being overweight and being a child. Sorted."

  103. 0354 Commentary  

    Some people reckon this rain band is 15 minutes long, others three hours. If the latter is true, we won't get any more play today, otherwise they can probably tack on about an hour and that would mean it could go on until 0730 GMT. Lots of imponderables really...

  104. 0358 Commentary  

    On Test Match Special, which is certainly not thinking of going off air yet, the debate rages on about Shane Watson's mental frailty or otherwise. Michael Vaughan reckons he got a "really good ball" today from Tim Bresnan and that his former Yorkshire team-mate deserves some credit.

  105. BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at the SCG
    Contributor BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at the SCG  

    On Twitter: "Might need to talk amongst ourselves for a while here. Suggestions for a nickname for Usman Khawaja?"

    Confirmation, by the way, that tea is being taken

  106. Commentary  

    Ellie, London, in the TMS inbox: "Sat with a few friends who I have recently converted to cricket and they are moaning that today so far is 'dull' - they have been ruined with England's exciting opening mornings so far this series! But this got me thinking - I'm actually quite glad England haven't had it all their own way this morning. Feels better for us to have to 'work' for the Aussie's wickets, rather than them hand them over on a silver platter! Anyone else feel this way?"

  107. 0410 Commentary  

    For those interested in women's cricket, England are currently playing the second match of their tour against Western Australia in Perth - you can keep up to date with how they're getting on here.

  108. Commentary  

    Anon (cos I\u2019m supposed to be working), Hong Kong, in the TMS inbox: "World record set in Hong Kong on New Year\u2019s Day -\u00a01111 Chinese dancing lions. Poor old Shep would have been hopping in his grave."

  109. 0413 Commentary  

    The umpires have called an early tea, with the covers covering the whole square now... conflicting messages coming in from all parts of Sydney, some saying it'll be clear in 20, some saying there'll be no more play today...

  110. Commentary  

    Mike, Oxford, in the TMS inbox: "Now sitting in a caf\u00e9 near the SCG. First cricket match attended by my other half... She compared the day to watching emulsion dry, and then drew the line at getting wet! We've just booked tickets at a cinema round the corner for the The King's Speech! Please send my apologies to the Barmy Army high command! Drizzle Cake anyone?!"

  111. 0435 Commentary  

    Still raining apparently, although more lightly than before... I'll let you know...

  112. Commentary  

    Peter in the TMS inbox: "Ellie clearly doesn't remember the years of clubbings and drubbings at the hands of Warne et al. Easy wickets? Yes please."

  113. 0450 Commentary  

    ... covers are off and we've got the tractor and rope skimming water off the surface, we'll be resuming at 0505 GMT apparently...

  114. Commentary  

    Colin in Singapore in the TMS inbox: "Regarding Ellie's charmingly sporting approach, I personally don't care how the wickets fall, easy or hard, it's the misery on their faces I enjoy."

  115. 0500 Commentary  

    I should remind you this is Ben Dirs back on commentary, many thanks\u00a0to Ollie Brett for standing in...

  116. 0504 Commentary  

    Colin in Singapore (see below), the misery on a beaten Australian cricketer's face is perhaps only beaten by the misery on a beaten American golfer's face in the Ryder Cup. Or perhaps my brother's when I pipped him in the\u00a0Fifteen to One\u00a0Christmas special a few year's back... players are out, play in a couple...

  117. 0505 - Aus 111-2 Commentary  

    The sun trying to burst through as Anderson bowls the final ball of his over, which is blocked by Khawaja...

  118. 0510 - Aus 111-2 Commentary  

    It's Bresnan to continue to Clarke... not much happening in that over, Clarke remaining vigilant. We have a possible 36 overs left today and a new stumps time of 0730 GMT, although it's highly unlikely we'll get that far, what with the light and rain swirling about...

  119. 0513 - Aus 112-2 Commentary  

    Khawaja looks to pull a ball of good length and the ball squirts to square-leg for one, they're off Nelson. Three slips in for Anderson to Clarke as the Aussie skipper shows the maker's name, driving straight, but for no run.

  120. WICKET Clarke c Anderson b Bresnan 4 (Aus 113-3)  

    Khawaja dabs to mid-wicket and scampers one as Parky regales his pals with tales of a thousand interviews up in the stands... CLARKE GONE! Wide from Bresnan and\u00a0the Aussie skipper slashes straight to Anderson at gully.

  121. 0521 - Aus 116-3 Commentary  

    Not a clever shot from Clarke, it was there to be trolleyed, just not to the man at gully. Mr Cricket is next up the ramp,\u00a0truffling around at the crease before taking guard, and his first ball is edged just short of Swann at second slip... Hussey beaten next up but he's off the mark with two to third-man. Pivotal times...

  122. 0525 - Aus 120-3 Commentary  

    Talking of Parky, you know what my nan said to me once? "Don't that Rod Hull look ill... but that emu never looks any different." True story - they say people are getting more stupid, but she made your average modern 'chav' look like Gore Vidal. Short from Bresnan and Khawaja swings him away for four to move to 33. Good riposte from Bresnan,\u00a0pitching\u00a0on middle and getting the ball to\u00a0leave the left-hander.\u00a0\u00a0

  123. 0529 - Aus 123-3 Commentary  

    More streaky runs for Hussey, who opens the face and runs Anderson between third slip and gully for three. Another peach from the Burnley Express, the ball pitching outside leg and spitting past the edge of Khawaja's bat. Looking grim again, looks like we've got more weather\u00a0sweeping in.\u00a0

  124. 0534 - Aus 129-3 Commentary  

    "Here in Singapore it's hosing it down at the moment," emails Mal in Singapore, overlooking the fact Singapore is 4000 miles way from the SCG. Khawaja square-drives for four\u00a0- a little uppishly - and he's still looking classy...

  125. 0537 - Aus 130-3 Commentary  

    Hussey with another edge, this time the ball bouncing through the despairing dive of Strauss at first slip. Huge appeal as Anderson goes through Hussey like a dose of salts, but Strauss decides not to refer it, and rightly so, he was nowhere near it.

  126. SMS  

    Angie, Warminster, texting in the dark, beside a snoring Aussie husband: "Just dreamt Swanny came round for tea but all my hugest, comfiest, most dreadful apple-catching knickers were drying on a clothes horse in front of the fire. Swanny was a true gent\u00a0and didn't comment on my gigantic drawers. Quite relieved to wake up."

  127. 0540 - Aus 130-3 Commentary  

    Bresnan nagging away at Khawaja on and around the off-stump but Khawaja is keeping his head, he looks a very clued-up kid... floodlights on full beam but it's still looking very dank...

  128. Commentary  

    Richard in the TMS inbox: "Watching from Lords Bar & Grill in Koh Samui, 'The Home of Cricket in Koh Samui'. Suspect the the MCC has not sanctioned this place."

  129. Twitter  

    AfterGrogBlog: "Coincidentally, or not. Khawaja, the batsman who has batted best, is the batsman with least exposure to batting coach, Justin Langer."

  130. 0545 - Aus 134-3 Commentary  

    Tremlett back into the mix - he offers Hussey width and is twirled through backward-point for four. Tom emails to inform us it has stopped raining in Singapore. Cloudy in Salford and 0 degrees... is it ever thus?

  131. WICKET Khawaja c Trott b Swann 37 (Aus 134-4)  

    Swann back on for his second spell. Long mid-over conversation between Strauss and Swann before Khawaja comes down the pitch and flicks to leg to cries of "I like that!" from Prior behind the stumps. Swanny's done it! Khawaja sweeping, top-edging, caught by Trott at square-leg. Pretty ordinary, that, but good pressure from England, kettling the debutant...


    ... Khawaja is followed from the field by Hussey and England's XI, rain has stopped play again...

  133. 0554 Commentary  

    Nice work from England there, getting men round the bat and forcing Khawaja's hand. His old dear almost looks relieved as she claps him from the pitch, thought the poor woman was going to spontaneously combust...

  134. 0615 Commentary  

    Still raining at the SCG - lighter than before, but it's going nowhere. An interesting aside - has anyone else noticed that text speak is seeping into the spoken word among Britain's youths? The other day I heard someone on the train announce to their buddy that they had found something so amusing they were "lol". WAFW.

  135. 0625 Commentary  

    Want my advice? Get some kip or go and do some grouting or something, I don't reckon we'll be out again this morning, it looks horrible out there. I will, however, keep you up to date with the situation...

  136. Commentary  

    Jon in the TMS inbox: "Re: txt in speech. My friend's mother thought 'LOL' meant 'lots of love'. She wrote her an email: 'Your gran just died LOL'."

  137. Commentary  

    Rachel in the TMS inbox: "True about how youth today are bringing text into talk. Apparently if something is 'cool', you can now say 'that's really book'. The reason for this is that on most predictive text dictionaries, 'book' comes up as the first suggestion when you press the corresponding digits."

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

    "Australia will want their tail to wag and I think 280-300, if they get it, will be a good score"\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0

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

    On Twitter: "Think England could have bowled better. A foot fuller that's all"

  140. Twitter  

    Paul Johnson: "I am learning so much about the youth speak today. Just tried the book one, it worked! Dubai is sunny with some clouds though."

  141. Commentary  

    Anon in the TMS inbox: "Sir, there is a comment on the live Ashes website at 0554 saying a relation of Khawaja was about to 'self combust'. Please remove this as it is highly offensive."

  142. Commentary  

    Justin in Dubai in the TMS inbox: "Morning Ben, I had to look up your 0615 acronym \u2018WAFW\u2019. Was relieved to discover on Google that it was a (somewhat cryptic) reference to Waltham Abbey Festival Week. But you\u2019ll have to be patient, I\u2019m afraid, as it doesn\u2019t start until June."

  143. 0655 Commentary  

    News reaches me that it's absolutely lobbing it down at the SCG, chances of more play receding faster than Shane MacGowan's gums - in fact, it's off for the day. We will restart at 2300 GMT tomorrow, minimum overs required 98...\u00a0similar forecast to today, however...\u00a0

  144. 0658 Commentary  

    That's a wrap folks, see you all tomorrow night for more of the same...

  145. Commentary  

    Chris, Kabul, in the TMS inbox: "Sir, there is a comment around 0103 from Michael Vaughan suggesting the Australians have a chance in this match. Please remove this as it is highly offensive."

Print Sponsor

Live Scores - Australia v England


  • England beat Australia by an innings and 83 runs
  • Australia: 280 & 281 (84.4 overs)
  • England: 644 (177.5 overs)
  • Venue: Sydney

Australia 2nd Innings

All out
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total all out 281
Watson run out (Pietersen) 38
Hughes c Prior b Bresnan 13
Khawaja c Prior b Anderson 21
Clarke c Prior b Anderson 41
Hussey c Pietersen b Bresnan 12
Haddin c Prior b Tremlett 30
Smith not out 54
Johnson b Tremlett 0
Siddle c Anderson b Swann 43
Hilfenhaus c Prior b Anderson 7
Beer b Tremlett 2
Extras 2nb 3w 11b 4lb 20

see also
Fifth Ashes Test in photos
02 Jan 11 |  England
England on top in rain-hit Sydney
03 Jan 11 |  England
Australia select Khawaja and Beer
02 Jan 11 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
02 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Justin Langer column
31 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
02 Jan 11 |  Cricket
England seal win to retain Ashes
29 Dec 10 |  England
England crash to heavy Ashes loss
19 Dec 10 |  England
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

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