Ashes 2013: England v Australia, third Test, day two as it happened

England - replying to Australia's 527-7 declared - close day two of the third Test on 52-2.

2 August 2013 Last updated at 19:07 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1905: 

    I think it's fitting to leave the final word with Michael Clarke, the man who has done so much to put his team in such a strong position in this match.

    From here, surely England's best hope is a draw, but that would still bring the glory of retaining the Ashes.

    For Australia, they need to knock over England twice and defy any potential bad weather, in order to stay alive in this series. We're back at 0900 tomorrow, so join us then.

  2.  

    More from Michael Clarke: "The ball is a lot softer so it will be tougher to get traditional wickets of three slips and a gully. It will be more shorter cover, lbw, bowled. Hopefully Nathan Lyon can continue to bowl like he did this evening because he bowled extremely well.

    "I probably would have liked to declare before tea but I thought the extra 20 runs might come in handy in the second innings."

  3. 1901: 

    As ever, there's plenty for you to get stuck into tonight.

    Have a read of Sam Sheringham's match report and keep an eye out for the thoughts of Jonathan Agnew.

    Also, for highlights and podcasts, head to the BBC Radio 5 live Ashes page.

  4.  

    Australia captain Michael Clarke: "All the boys should be really proud to make over 500 and then come back out in the field and get some early wickets. How good was my innings? Ask me in three more days. If we win then it's a good innings. If not it's a waste of time. It is always nice to make a big hundred but we've got three more tough days to go."

  5.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia will be cock-a-hoop tonight, they've got two wickets, and no matter what Graeme Swann says, even if they bat all day tomorrow, they'll still be 200 behind. He's waving the PR flag and trying to put a positive spin on it, but I'm a realist. Cook needs to stay in and have a long innings, time in the middle and make a score, as he's not made an impact in the series. Prior needs the same, he's had some low scores since he was named as England's player of the year. We can't wait for Bell to get us out of trouble every time, that's not going to happen."

    Listen to Geoffrey and Aggers' review of the day on the TMS podcast.

  6.  

    England spinner Graeme Swann on tomorrow's gameplan: "We will bat all day tomorrow into day four, get a lead then bowl them out. I see you laughing but I don't see why we shouldn't approach this with any fear. We've got some of the best batsmen in the world."

  7.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I was watching the Bresnan dismissal and it was clear as a bell that it hit his pocket. I don't believe what Graeme Swann just said, if he didn't know whether he hit it or not, that's why he's not a batsman. You don't go on noise. What worries me is Marais Erasmus, the umpire. He's had a shocker this series, I'd honestly be more worried about him than by the Australian bowlers. If I were the ICC, I wouldn't defend the indefensible, I'd give him a rest."

  8. 1851: 

    A night-watchman, Tim Bresnan, sent to bat for nearly half an hour. It was too big an ask. An under-edge off Siddle caught by Brad Haddin, not reviewed, Bresnan goes. Replays show there was no contact with the bat. It's left to Jonathan Trott to accompany Cook to the close and it is they who will resume England's huge task tomorrow.

  9.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ali Thomson: We wouldn't be having a discussion about Bresnan not reviewing if we had better umpires out there. Utterly useless.

    James Papadopoulos: I remember David Sheppard and Dickie Bird occasionally getting things wrong, but not this much. Is that a trick of memory?

  10. 1849: 

    More than two hours for England to bat, survival the only realistic hope. Some scares for Alastair Cook and Joe Root, but the new ball seen off. Just when batting was becoming easier, Root fell, nibbling at Peter Siddle.

    Peter Siddle
  11. 1847: 

    But England's misery was not over. Attacking half-centuries from Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc took Australia past tea. Serene progress, only ended when Clarke's abrupt declaration called the in Aussies on 527-7.

  12.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "With 90 overs in the day, I can't see England smashing the ball around tomorrow - there will be scoreboard pressure and Australia will feel they've got a good chance. Michael Clarke played straight, had some superb footwork, he's a quality player."

  13. 1845: 

    Clarke continued untroubled, closing in on yet another Test double hundred. But, at 13 away, 187 would be unlucky for the Aussie skipper, Stuart Broad claiming a 200th Test wicket.

  14.  

    More from Swann: "It's a tough flat pitch and come the morning the ball will be softer. It should be a great pitch to bat on tomorrow - I don't see it breaking up. The main part of pitch will stay true."

  15. 1844: 

    Smith would miss out on the opportunity of a maiden Test hundred, holing out to Graeme Swann on 89. Then came the theatrics. David Warner, the pantomime villain, booed on his way to the crease, chastised even more when reviewing a blatant nick off Swann.

  16.  

    England spinner Graeme Swann: "Bres (Tim Bresnan) thought he hit it, he heard a little noise and assumed it was an edge. So he walked."

  17. 1842: 

    So Australia reinforce their good work of Thursday with another good day today. They resumed on 303-3, with Michael Clarke and Steven Smith going on to extend their fourth-wicket stand to 214.

  18.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "When England get big scores, it's generally because these two - Cook and Trott - have set a foundation. But I liked Michael Clarke's early declaration, and getting Lyon to bowl the sixth over - you wouldn't have got that with Swann."

  19.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "The craters we saw yesterday might have seen a new mining company develop in Manchester. But it has substantially improved. They are nowhere near as deep and from the bowlers' point of view that is good news because they will be comfortable in the landing zone.

    "The pitch is looking pretty good - the surface end to end looks very good. It looks a good pitch to bat on - it's more scoreboard pressure."

  20.  

    Tim, TMS inbox: "I would still much prefer to see Root down the order. As an opener he's had three failures and a 30 and that huge hundred - except that would have been a failure too if Haddin had taken a regulation catch. He might open for Yorkshire, but he's not ready yet to open for England. I would play him instead of Bairstow, and bring back Compton."

  21.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Bresnan wouldn't have been 100% sure he hadn't hit it, Cook wouldn't have been 100% sure he hadn't hit it - but he wouldn't have wanted to waste a review on a night-watchman, he'd have wanted two reviews for tomorrow."

  22.  

    Joe, Thames Ditton, TMS inbox: "All so negative, though you can hardly blame a night-watchman for potentially risking a review but why send him in at all. We are a better batting team that the Aussies so get out there and bat."

  23.  

    Sally Smith: Umpiring? Bring back Dickie Bird. The one umpire every team wanted regardless if England were playing or not

  24. 1836: 

    I agree with Michael Vaughan, any talk of this game being a nailed-on draw is premature. England will have to bat very well from now on to avoid defeat. Any bad weather may be gratefully received and, after all, a draw is enough to keep the urn.

  25.   
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "That Bresnan dismissal is what DRS is for - the technology showed Bresnan didn't hit it, but more fool him, he didn't review it."

  26.  

    Karl, via text: Negativity breeds negativity. England got exactly what they deserved there.

  27.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I've been really impressed with the way Australia have bowled, they've been quicker than the England seamers and Nathan Lyon looks a huge threat. England are going to have to play out of their skins to get a draw from this position, I've already taken the win out of the equation. There are enough dry patches we're going to see high bounce, low bounce and some spin."

  28. 1831: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 52-2

    A long, thin, floodlight-shaped shadow streaks across the wicket, just short of a good length. Nervy from Trott as an edge off Siddle just falls short of the slip. A single allows Trott to lean on his bat as Cook leaves on off stump. England close on 52-2, 475 behind. Just like yesterday, today has belonged to Australia.

  29.  

    Luke Harris: Forget all the talk about the DRS being flawed, they need to look at the umpires in charge of games, have been awful all series.

    Mister Roboto: Cook will be praying for rain before he goes to bed tonight!

    Ben Thapa: Bresnan not reviewing is a vote of no confidence for the application of the DRS, combined with Cook's fear of losing a review.

  30. 1830: 
    Eng 51-2

    Last over of the day to be delivered by Peter Siddle....

  31.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "That Bresnan dismissal a great example of the lack of faith players now have in DRS - he must have known the ball hit his hip yet presumably didn't want to refer it because he thought the man upstairs might not agree with him."

  32.  

    Paul McGrath, TMS inbox: Re: Bresnan dismissal - perhaps following the Khawaja dismissal, England reckoned that even the fact he missed it wouldn't have been enough for Dharmasena to overule?!

  33. 1826: 
    Eng 51-2 (trail by 476)

    How did Bresnan not know that he hadn't hit that? Is confidence in the DRS system so low that he didn't think it would be overturned anyway? Also, would a 'proper' batsman have reviewed that? I think so. I can confirm there will be no more night-watchmen, Kevin Pietersen has his pads on. Far too risky from England, Alastair Cook would have been miles out had David Warner's throw hit. Why are they running those singles at 50-2?

  34.  

    Selly: I still don't get the point of a nightwatchman. Let's bring in a technically less capable batsman into a difficult situation.

  35. 1821: 
    Eng 49-2 (trail by 478)

    What happens when the night-watchman goes? You send in the recognised batsman. Here comes Jonathan Trott. Did England consider using a second night-watchman?

  36.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm not so sure about that. It's hit his back pocket. Why hasn't he reviewed that? As a batsman you should know if you have got a little feather on it. He didn't get an inside edge. Bizarre."

  37. 1818: 
    WICKET- Bresnan c Haddin b Siddle 1 (Eng 49-2)

    The night-watchman plan fails, although it may not be entirely Tim Bresnan's fault. Yes, the pull shot is a poor one for the night-watchman to be playing, Australia appealing as the ball goes through to Brad Haddin. Up goes the finger, with Bresnan consulting Cook over the possibility of a review. Do you use a review on a night-watchman? England think not, but replays show the ball only flicked Bresnan's trousers.

  38.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford
    Fans at Old Trafford

    "The massive temporary stand positioned at the former Stretford End has degenerated into one generic boozy noise. After eight hours on the grog, I'd imagine Wildean wit is fairly thin on the ground. Not so at the end formerly known as Warwick Road, where a man dressed as the Cookie Monster is rousing a still vigorous Barmy Army. A line I never thought I'd write..."

  39. 1816: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 48-1 (Cook 34*, Bresnan 1*)

    Nathan Lyon returns, crowding Bresnan with four catchers. Loopy from Lyon, who appeals on his knees as Bresnan prods outside the off stump. Then an inside edge that evades short leg. Bresnan survives.

  40.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Joe Root

    "We don't want Joe Root to take a massive stride, not a metre out of the crease, just a little movement and to get that head over the knee.

    "If you're going to have a problem as a young player coming into Test cricket then you would rather it be going on to the front foot then going on to the back foot. Otherwise bowlers will target that."

  41. 1812: 
    Eng 48-1 (Cook 34*, Bresnan 1*)

    Tim Bresnan might be about to get some leather-sniffers here. Usman Khawaja is thrown a helmet and told to stand at short leg, joining the four slips and a gully in waiting for a catch. Double bluff from Siddle, keeping the ball full, allowing Bresnan to get off the mark. Andy Flower, surely it's not hot enough for you to need a towel on your head? You look like you're in a nativity play.

  42.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris Parker: Why was Root so defensive on such a good pitch, are we seriously going for the draw already?

    Jack Byrne: England so negative under Cook its unbelievable!!

    Andrew Priestley: Root gone. Cook and Bresnan have to dig in now, can't lose another wicket this evening. Defensive blocks until close will do.

  43. 1808: 
    Eng 47-1 (trail by 480)

    It's all about survival for England as the shadows creep further and further across Old Trafford. Cook is back and across to keep Watson at bay. Ryan Harris, off the field for about 20 minutes, reappears on the boundary edge, standing behind Uncle Fester lookalike Darren Lehmann. Watson has bowled five overs without conceding a run.

  44.  
    David Warner

    Steve, TMS inbox: Not sure booing Warner is the right move... Vaughany is right it will only wind the Aussies up still further!

  45. 1804: 
    Eng 47-1 (Cook 34*, Bresnan 0*)

    England's new night-watchman, Tim Bresnan, is sent in at number three to eat up the remaining half hour before the close. I say night-watchman, but, after doing a decent job at number five at Lord's, maybe Bresnan is there on merit? Or not.

  46.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Root was on the crease rather than forward. If he got right forward then he had a chance of getting something on it. But he likes that back foot. Peter Siddle is just making the ball hold the line - full marks to Siddle he won the battle.

    "It's alright to go back against quicker bowlers but you have to be able to transfer your weight - I say it is like dancing. If you're just a front footer or a back footer then you will have problems."

    Peter Siddle
  47. 1800: 
    WICKET- Root c Haddin b Siddle 8 (Eng 47-1)

    Root is gone, caught behind off Peter Siddle. England had made good progress, seeing off the threat of the new ball, but now Australia will see the chance to make inroads before the close. Good bowling from Siddle, going wide of the crease to draw Root into playing one that he could have left. Just a little feather to the massive mitts of Brad Haddin. Australia cockahoop, England under the pump.

  48.  

    David Phipps in Aston, Oxon, TMS inbox: "BBC weather forecast for Manchester - Sat: Rain at Midday. Sun: Rain all day. Mon: Rain all day. Three day Test - draw looks likely, so England retain the Ashes?"

  49. 1757: 
    Eng 47-0 (trail by 480)

    Shane Watson, looking about as mobile as a mattress, is wound up for another spell before the close. Drifting the ball into Cook's pads, he appeals for leg before, but that has pitched outside leg stump and is missing the stumps. Not a lot going for it. In the crowd, the Cookie Monster leads a singalong. The Cookie Monster was Sesame Street, right? And Joel Garner was Big Bird. Loving the Sesame Street-cricket links.

    Shane Watson
  50.  

    Mike Kett, via text: This game has draw written all over it, I can't see any other result. Bring on the fourth Test. England let down by a lifeless wicket.

    Nigel Goodwin in Derbyshire, via text: Heading for a big draw guys the wicket is doing nothing and its going to be a long drawn out affair with both captains shaking hands lunch time on the fifth day with no result possible.

  51. 1752: 
    Eng 47-0 (22 overs)

    Ryan Harris has finally succumbed, gingerly making his way to the pavilion. His replacement is Peter Siddle, the big-hearted seamer who has been impressive in this series. Poor start from Siddle, though, dropping short to allow Root to pull for four.

  52.  

    Lee Brindle. TMS inbox: England should have played Panesar with Swann to create more pressure on the Aussie batsmen with maidens. The seamers have toiled with little success so far.

  53. 1748: 
    Eng 43-0 (Cook 34*, Root 4*)

    Old Trafford is becalmed once more, the singing of earlier in the innings unheard as Lyon delivers the ball from the encroaching shadow of a floodlight. Lyon has previously caused Cook plenty of problems, but Cook plays his most convincing stroke so far, a back cut through point for four. Boos for David Warner as he retrieves the ball. 11 overs left in the day.

  54.  

    Bernard Anghelides, TMS inbox: "Just a thought... Only three teams have ever lost a Test match after enforcing the follow-on: Australia v England (1894); Australia v England (1981) and... in 2001 India beat guess who?"

  55. 1744: 
    Eng 37-0 (trail by 490)

    Australia have bowled well this evening, but the ball has stopped swinging and England are batting with the increased assurity. As we've said before in this Test, this is very much a "new-ball pitch" - ie. pacers have to make the most of the new ball and batsmen have to get through it. After that, batting becomes much easier. Harris to Root. A maiden.

  56.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Australia have got a good chance here - they've got 500 on the board which creates pressure on England. Cook hasn't scored many runs, Pietersen hasn't scored many runs, so Australia have got to stay in the game and be patient. I'm backing Nathan Lyon for first wicket - I like the way he has started."

  57. 1740: 
    Eng 37-0 (trail by 490)
    Alastair Cook and Brad Haddin

    Harris signals to the dressing room as Root drives Lyon for his first runs in 50 minutes. Are they physios on the balcony? If so, they don't seem too interested in Harris's predicament. In fact, one is having a good root around inside his nose. Dragged up. Cook finally gets a cut shot away, fine past slip for four.

  58.  

    Carl White, TMS inbox: "Superb batting display from the Aussies. England need to climb mountains to surpass 500 AND bowl Australia out quickly AND bat again to win... so a draw might be the only option. Even super Cookie will struggle to pull this one out of the hat! And poor weather forecast over next couple of days, could decide it."

  59. 1737: 
    Ouch!- Eng 30-0

    With Lyon booking in for bed and breakfast at one end, Clarke can rotate his seamers at the other. Back comes Ryan Harris - still no trundle for Peter Siddle. The hulking Harris looks to be a bit sore, he flexes his back before hurling the final ball of the over back at Cook, pinning the skipper. Ouch.

  60.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia pulled a rabbit out of the hat when the picked Ashton Agar ahead of Nathan Lyon. This guy is a much more accomplished bowler and he's getting a bit of bounce and turn to keep Root on the back foot."

  61. 1733: 
    Eng 28-0 (17 overs)

    Nathan Lyon after the break, with Joe Root having a slip, short leg and leg slip for company. Off-stump line from Lyon, looking to spin the ball back into the stumps. Root, a preference for playing on the back foot, only comes forward to defend when absolutely necessary.

  62.  

    Aashish: No demons in this pitch, get past the new ball, come Sunday England will have surpassed the Aussie total. 278 dream on Mr Warne!

    Basra: Cannot see anything other than an English victory. Aussies are 200 light on the deadest pitch to ever see the light of day.

    Tom Rea: It's not a question of england getting 500, its about the aussies bowling england out twice

  63.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook will be a tired man tonight. If he doesn't lose his wicket then he will have been out there - in the field and then at the crease - for the whole two days. That's hard both mentally and physically and as a captain it's even harder because of all the distractions which come with it."

    Alastair Cook
  64. 1727: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 28-0 (trail by 499)

    Starc, perhaps possessed by the spirit of Mitchell Johnson, sends down a very wayward bumper, causing wicketkeeper Brad Haddin to skip over for a flying one-handed take. The 35-year-old would have appreciated that. Just a few empty seats appearing at Old Trafford now. A few early exits? Really? If I'd paid £80 a ticket I'd want to be carried out when they lock up. Time for a drink.

  65.  
    ASHES VOTE

    We asked whether you thought seam or spin would pose a greater threat to England's first innings - 70% of you said spin and 30% said seam.

  66. 1723: 
    Eng 24-0 (trail by 503)

    As the shadows just begin to lengthen, Cook has to scamper to pinch a single off Lyon. Is that David Warner's throw from square leg that fizzes past Joe Root? Easy David, that handlebar moustache doesn't make you any more likely to win a scrap.

  67.  

    Niall Johanson, TMS inbox: Here's my plan for England: train Bell to keep wicket - he has the physique, reactions and temperament for it. Drop Prior, then put Bresnan in the all-rounder's position at 6 and bring in another bowler. Tell me why I'm wrong!

  68. 1720: 
    Eng 23-0 (Cook 21*, Root 1*)

    Mitchell Starc, the squeeze of Australia women's wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy (niece of Ian) returns, with Cook needing another slice of luck to not play on to his stumps. We thought showers might affect play late today, but there's no sign of the wet stuff. Old Trafford is bathed in golden sunshine.

  69.  
    HOW'S STAT?!
    Alastair Cook

    Alastair Cook has now moved past Colin Cowdrey's tally of 7,624 runs to become the sixth highest England Test run-scorer. He's not got long before he should pass Mike Atherton (7,728) to enter the top five, where he will join Graham Gooch (8,900), Alec Stewart (8,463), David Gower (8,231) and Geoffrey Boycott (8,114).

    Cook has a higher average than any of these players - and than Kevin Pietersen, who began this Test only 40 runs behind Cowdrey.

  70. 1715: 
    Eng 22-0 (Cook 20*, Root 1*)

    Oooooohhhhhhh, a snorter from Lyon, hissing like a snake as it turns and spits past Cook's outside edge. Lyon, zinc across his cheeks and nose like a Merv Hughes moustache, gets his first look at Joe Root, with the right-hander needing his pad as a second line of defence. Plenty of help for the spinner, so much work for England to do to make this game and the Ashes safe.

  71.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Joe Root knows he will be a target for the Aussies. When David Warner came out to bat, Root was the one England player who was giving plenty of verbals to him. That's something the Aussie players will have noticed. There will be 11 Aussie voices to deal with as well as the one red cricket ball."

    David Warner and Joe Root
  72. 1712: 
    Eng 21-0 (12 overs)

    Shane Watson looks like a man who needs a bump-start at the end of his run up. His huge frame is a clue to why he has had so many knees problems - there's a lot for those knees to hold up. Root, baby-faced, sweatband on his front arm, isn't interested in playing when the ball is dangled outside off stump.

  73.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "It is game on. Australia have made a good start. Michael Clarke has rung the changes and it has resulted in a couple of early chances."

  74. 1708: 
    Eng 21-0 (Cook 19*, Root 1*)

    Nathan Lyon, Alastair Cook and David Warner and playing their own little game here. Lyon bowling, Cook cutting, Warner doing the fielding at point. When Lyon goes full, he gets some lovely loop. Yet another maiden.

    Nathan Lyon
  75.  

    Ollie Hayward: This is why Clarke is a much better captain than Cook. Cook would never turn to a spinner in the 7th over of a first innings.

  76. 1705: 
    Eng 21-0 (10 overs)

    Friday evening. Just leaving the office for the weekend? Maybe a night out tonight? A barbecue? Trip to the shops tomorrow? Dreading seeing the in-laws on Sunday afternoon? England may need to still be batting then in order to make this game safe. More accurate stuff from Watson, another maiden.

  77.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Nathan Lyon has been given the first opportunity for Australia and has taken it with a maiden over and by finding the edge of Cook's bat."

  78. 1701: 
    Eng 21-0 (trail by 506)

    Nathan Lyon must have had a tough paper round. Aged only 25, he looks much older than his years. The balding spot on the crown of his dark hair gives him the look of former Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho, or maybe Basil Fawlty. Lyon can bowl, though. Twirling in, he almost generates another chance of Cook, with the England skipper's cut shot just falling short of David Warner at point.

  79.  

    Andrew Young, TMS inbox: Re: Chris Lacey [1642]: It may be a lacklustre wicket, but it's a wicket that has now had two days' solid batting on it. 500 is a HUGE ask for England.

  80. 1658: 
    Eng 17-0 (Cook 15*, Root 1*)

    Another early change, with the lumbering medium pace of Shane Watson brought into the attack. Watson, the man for whom bowling looks like the greatest effort, has been accurate for most of the series and starts in just that fashion. Meanwhile, the singing England fans tells us to "stand up if you're 2-0 up".

  81.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rob, via text: Cook needs to show his leadership and go out and get a timely ton. I'm sure the others would follow suit.

    David Taylor, via text: Captain vs captain, Cook needs to match if not better Clarke here to reaffirm England's dominance.

  82. 1651: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 17-0

    A huge chance for the Aussies, Alastair Cook getting a big let-off. As Ben Dirs suggested, it's early spin from the tourists, offie Nathan Lyon finding the edge of Cook's bat from around the wicket. The ball balloons off wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, but Michael Clarke can't get forward in time to take the looping rebound. That one over suggests the former groundsman from Canberra will be a threat.

    Alastair Cook
  83.  
    ASHES VOTE

    What will pose the biggest threat to England's first innings - seam or spin?

    Have your say by voting here.

    The BBC Sport online vote will close at 1715 BST. Please note that votes are tallied by an external company, which uses IP addresses and cookies to process the results. For more information, click here.

  84.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    James Anderson's figures of 0-116 are his worst in Tests, 'surpassing' the 0-111 against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2010.

     James Anderson
  85. 1650: 
    Eng 17-0 (trail by 510)

    Darker now at Old Trafford, a cloud perhaps parked in front of the sun. As some fans in yellow stand to belt out a ditty, Clarke makes another change for Cook, leaving just two slips. As the England skip prods forward to Starc, he's lucky that an inside edge brings a single.

  86.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "Looks like Nathan Lyon is limbering up. We might have a bit of spin sooner rather than later. And why not? Graeme Swann was turning it round corners on day one."

  87. 1646: 
    Eng 16-0 (trail by 511)

    Joe Root gets off the mark with a punch to mid on leaving skipper Clarke, the tinkerman, to martial his troops this way and that when Cook is on strike. With the ball swinging back in to the left-hander, Clarke has dispensed with a slip in favour of a short mid-wicket. Is it fair to say that is the sort of move you don't see from Cook?

  88.  
    GET INVOLVED
    Australia in a huddle

    Chris Lacey, via text: This Australian team haven't become a great side overnight. I fully expect England to make 500+ runs on this lacklustre wicket.

  89. 1642: 
    Eng 14-0 (Cook 13*, Root 0*)

    Starc, dark-haired and loose-limbed, is going very full to Cook, looking for movement in the air. The Aussies will fancy Cook to either nick off or play around the straight one. Close-ups show Cook defending with his tongue poking out. Does he always do that?

  90.  

    Paul, Oxford, via text: In August 1995, Nottinghamshire posted a huge total against Northants only to lose the game by an innings two days later. The score they first posted? 527...

    Paul is right, you know. Check out the scorecard.

  91. 1637: 
    Eng 14-0 (Cook 13*, Root 0*)

    More swing for Harris, just drifting in to the pads of Cook, who tucks through square leg for four. The singing in the ground has been turned up a couple of notches, while the crowd are also making plenty of noise when the ball goes anywhere near David Warner. Are they boos or chants of "Rooooooot"? Cook again through the leg side, Mitchell Starc making a complete Monty of the fielding, but just saving the boundary.

  92.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Mitchell Starc isn't someone who will bowl consistently for Captain Clarke. But he could pick up a flurry of wickets if he gets it right."

  93. 1633: 
    Eng 7-0 (Cook 6*, Root 0*)

    Cricket is an amazing game. For most of the day, batting has looked easier than making a cup-a-soup, but now, with 527 runs to play with, Australia's bowlers are making the ball talk. Movement from left-armer Mitchell Starc away from Cook. Cook, bat like a sliding door, fences with three slips and a gully waiting to be fed, but there's no edge.

  94.  

    Former Australia spinner Shane Warne: Here's my guess at England's first innings total - 278 all out. Agree?

  95. 1628: 
    Eng 1-0

    England have until 1830 BST or 34 overs to bat tonight, whichever comes first. Three slips and a gully for Harris, a shadow cast to his left as he runs in under the Manchester sun. Good from Harris, just swinging back to leftie Cook, who is under way with a single.

  96.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Jonathan Trott

    "Now it becomes a mental fight for the England batsmen. How much will being out in the field for a day and three-quarters affect them? Can they forget about the scoreboard and play each shot on its merit? We all know scoreboard pressure is huge.

    "Any England batsman reaching 30/40 knows they have to do a Michael Clarke. Two or three of them need to get hundreds."

  97. 1625: 

    A huge cheer from the vast temporary stand greets the England openers, with the odd "Rooooot" drone thrown in. The heavy roller trundles off - it has had about as much effect on this wicket as it would have done on the M6. Cook on strike, Ryan Harris to bowl.

  98.  

    Nicholas Green, TMS inbox: I wonder whether the people that wanted a competitive Ashes series still feel the same way now? I don't mind competition, but I think I probably preferred it when we were giving them a hiding.

  99. 1623: 

    One reason Clarke would have wanted England to field after tea would have been to cut down their batting preparation time. Declare at tea and England have 20 minutes to prepare. Declare after tea and the home side have only 10 minutes. Put yourself in Alastair Cook's position. He has been skippering for the best part of two days and now has to go out to open the batting. He heads down the steps with Joe Root. As a first target, England need 328 to avoid the follow-on.

  100.  

    Paul from Cannock, TMS inbox: Thought Australia would bat until all out to prove their batting is on a roll... am surprised at the early declaration.

  101. 1618: 

    Another positive move by Michael Clarke. Would England have been expecting that? Probably not. Remember, Australia have to win this game to keep their hopes of winning the Ashes alive, so Clarke may be looking at the forecast and thinking of his chances of taking 20 wickets. For England, a draw will retain the urn. In reality, if they bat well once, the Ashes should be safe.

  102.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "A few have mentioned the Adelaide Test in 2006 where England declared on 551-6 in their first innings before going on to lose by six wickets. This is slightly different though because in Adelaide you know it isn't going to be affected by the weather. Here in Manchester you never know what is going to happen."

  103. 1614: 
    AUSTRALIA DECLARE

    Now then, this has come out of the blue. Michael Clarke, like a Roman emperor, waves his fingers to summon the batsmen in. Whereas we thought the Aussies might push on to 600, they were simply giving England another 15 minutes to field after tea. Australia declare on 527-7. Over to you, England.

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89), 365-5 (Warner 5), 427-6 (Clarke 187), 430-7 (Siddle 1)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  104.  

    Ross Stacey, London, TMS inbox: Could England have done more? Yes, won the toss...

  105. 1611: 
    Aus 524-7 (Haddin 64*, Starc 64*)

    Just a hint of a chorus from the Barmy Army, but I'd say the evening-session boozy boisterousness is only slightly merry. In truth, there hasn't been too much for England fans to cheer about and, when the hosts do come to bat, it will be a tense, backs-to-the-wall situation.

  106.  

    Seb Gomez: This isn't an attack on Cook but I'm sure the captain should use initiative and adapt to situations. Still a great player.

    Alastair Cook
  107. 1606: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 521-7

    Sarcastic cheers greet the introduction of Joe Root. The Old Trafford crowd clearly think the off-spinner should have had a roll some time ago. From around the wicket, Root immediately causes Starc problems, but the lbw appeal is turned down.

  108.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tim Hodder: This is just what England need: now they cannot rely on the lower order and need to prove they have world class batsmen.

    Kevin Smith: Australian conundrum - need to win; so need to declare, but England can bat three days (two innings) for lead.

  109. 1604: 
    Aus 514-7 (Haddin 63*, Starc 55*)

    Caaaaaattttttcccccchhhhhh! Huge swipe from left-hander Starc, top-edged into the blue Manchester sky. It's flying towards the leg-side boundary, but falls short of Joe Root. We've known for a while that the Australian approach is to attack, and Haddin follows up with a paddle for four. Incidentally, there are 38 overs to bowl in this last session.

  110. 1600: 
    Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc

    Can you imagine beginning a sixth session in the field? That's what the England team have returned for. Graeme Swann has the ball, just the 41 overs so far for him. Mitchell Starc has 54, Brad Haddin 57.

  111.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "The tea interval is the cue for a photo call on the outfield involving a man dressed as a fox, surrounded by a group in red hunting uniforms. At first I thought it was some sort of fox-hunting protest, but I'm told they are on a stag do from Birmingham."

  112. 1554: 

    Could England have done any more? They perhaps haven't bowled as well today as they did yesterday. Graeme Swann has been the stand-out, but very little has happened for the seamers. Could Alastair Cook have captained with more imagination? No overs for Joe Root, surely he was worth a trundle?

  113.  
    GET INVOLVED

    LouLee: Great to finally see some Test cricket batting. Shame that it has come from the Aussies and not from us.

    Michael Brown: Australia have truly found their form on this pitch, if not careful, the Aussies will go on a rampage with the bat.

    William Moore: Before the match everyone was going on about Australia's batting performance. Just look what you have done!

  114. 1551: 

    Thanks Mark. Wondering when the Aussies might declare? My guess is we could be in for a long wait. As for England, it's probably time to forget about the whitewash, but take comfort in the fact the urn will be retained with a draw.

  115.  

    Ben Holman, TMS inbox: I'm wondering when the 'Jimmy hasn't taken many wickets in the last 3 innings, maybe he should be dropped' comments are going to start.

  116.  

    Chris Harvey: Sunday and Monday may well be complete washouts. Australia could need to take 20 wickets by close tomorrow.

  117.  
    SOCIAL MEDIA

    Want to follow the Ashes on social media? @bbcsport on Twitter has all the breaking news and action, while @bbctms provides the match facts and statistics, and @bbc5live brings you the best audio.

  118.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tom, London, via text: Stating the bleeding obvious I know, but today's 'How's Stat?!' figures just reinforce what a cricketer Sir Ian Botham was. How we'd love a similar all-rounder now...

  119.  
    ON THE MOVE

    Follow every moment of the Ashes with the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport app. On the radio app, you can listen live to Test Match Special and download the Aggers and Boycott close-of-play podcasts. Live text commentary, with analysis and insight from our reporters at the ground, is available on the BBC Sport app.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

  120.  

    Steve , Uxbridge, via text: The focus should ONLY be on retaining the Ashes, which we will do with a draw. Only once that goal has been achieved can England consider others, such as winning the series and then - finally - by what score.

  121. 1543: 

    And on that note, with TMS about to speak to Lib Dem MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (after a quick rundown of the county scores by Kevin Howells), I hand you back to Stephan Shemilt for the rest of the day's proceedings...

  122.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It is going to be the job of the England opening batsmen to restore this situation. The bowlers aren't going to do it for them this time."

  123.  

    Jonathan Brook: The Aussie tail is like corned beef in a tin, it looks like it should be really easy to get out, but it often takes ages.

    Chris Watkins: The phrase 'the tail's wagging' can't really be used for this Aussie team - they can all bat! Frustrating.

  124.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    Mitchell Starc's has now scored four first-class half-centuries. His highest first-class score is 99 - in the third Test against India at Mohali in March. Before this match he averaged 27.33 in 10 Tests and 40.66 in 19 one-day internationals.

    Mitchell Starc
  125. 1541: 
    TEA INTERVAL- Aus 507-7

    Umpire Erasmus knocks the bails off, that's tea. 115 runs for two wickets in that session.

  126. 1540: 
    STARC FIFTY- Aus 507-7 (Haddin 57*, Starc 54*)

    Starc may be eyeing up a half century before tea here, slamming a four past the rather exhausted dive of Trott at mid-on to push Australia past 500, and all eyes turn to the balcony... where there's a distinct lack of "come on, fellas" motion from the skipper. After Bresnan strays with a wide, comfortable pull shot brings up Starc's third Test fifty from only 53 balls. A single takes him to within three runs of Haddin, who sees off the rest of the over.

  127.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "When you're thinking the opposition are about to declare you set up your field to make sure you stop them scoring runs. But it may be that Australia want to bat on for another hour or two."

  128. 1534: 
    Aus 497-7 (Haddin 57*, Starc 45*)

    With 140 overs bowled, if Australia don't declare this evening we could even see the third new ball brought out (which would be due at 160). Last man Nathan Lyon is wearing his armguard on the balcony, so it looks like he's planning to bat. Haddin helps himself to a two, and there's a sense that England are just waiting for tea - or a declaration, there doesn't seem to be much energy around the field.

  129.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "Given that England's seamers - James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan - have two wickets between them in 96 overs and spinner Graeme Swann has five in 41, why haven't England given Joe Root a single over today? He did, after all, take the crucial wickets of Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja during Australia's second innings at Lord's."

    James Anderson
  130. 1530: 
    Aus 495-7 (Haddin 55*, Starc 45*)

    Bresnan keeps plugging away, but Starc is finding batting easier than he did bowling in the first Test as he and Haddin help themselves to four more singles. This stand is now worth 65, and we've got 10 minutes until tea.

  131.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a rare event to see James Anderson, who has controlled things in this series, bowling to a field like this. I'm not anticipated Australia declaring when they get to 500, and I think they've got their batting order wrong - Siddle veers from number eight to number 11, but I think he's a number 10."

  132. 1526: 
    Aus 491-7 (Haddin 53*, Starc 43*)

    The tall Starc fends Anderson down to fine leg and scampers back for a second run, a single takes him to 42 and within 10 runs of Haddin - will he overtake the wicketkeeper before tea? Haddin pulls a single - Aggers and Vic aren't anticipating a declaration at 500, but certainly Cap'n Clarke and Coach Lehmann appear to be discussing something behind the sliding door of their dressing-room as Starc nicks the strike with a single.

  133.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "What is it about left-handed Australian tail-enders? In that they tend not to be tail-enders at all, at least not in the strictest sense."

  134. 1521: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 486-7 (Haddin 52*, Starc 39*)

    Tim Bresnan becomes the fourth England bowler with a century against his name as Haddin relentlessly adds another single, while Starc attempts a full-blooded hook shot but can't connect. Bresnan appeals for lbw against his erstwhile Yorkshire team-mate Starc, admittedly a little half-heartedly, but the ball rebounds via Prior's gloves and they scamper a leg bye.

  135.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    Brad Haddin has now scored 12 Test half-centuries - six of which have come against England.

    Brad Haddin
  136. 1517: 
    Aus 484-7 (Haddin 51*, Starc 39*)

    Another England substitute trots onto the field - another Essex youngster, Ben Foakes - and Swann walks off (literally) with figures of 41-2-149-5 as James Anderson returns for a spell before tea, which is due in under half an hour. Haddin adds a single, but Starc shows no such respect for the leader of England's attack as he leans forward and punches a four between the bowler and mid-on.

  137.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "So, should we all forget about a whitewash then? Well, England could actually take their inspiration from Australia, who showed exactly what can be achieved from this kind of position during their 5-0 victory in the 2006-07 Ashes. In the second Test in Adelaide, England scored 551-6 declared in their first innings but only 129 in their second as they lost by six wickets. With showers forecast for Sunday and Monday, however, the whitewash could yet be washed out."

  138. 1511: 
    HADDIN FIFTY- Aus 479-7 (Haddin 50*, Starc 35*)

    Starc moves to 30 (out of this stand of 42 with a single), allowing Haddin, almost the junior partner here, to take strike. He sneaks up to 49 with a single, while Starc cracks another four back past the bowler, which Michael Vaughan on TMS likens to a Matthew Hayden shot. A single takes him to 35, while Haddin quietly reaches his half century, from 74 balls while acknowledging the crowd's applause.

  139.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Starc, Pattinson and Harris can all bat, but Jackson Bird is ordinary. He doesn't flap for long."

  140.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special
    Mitchell Starc

    "We haven't seen much of Mitchell Starc in terms of his batting prowess on this tour so far, but we have seen some of it on TV when he had a couple of good knocks in India. He likes to strike the ball and he's playing nicely so far."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  141. 1506: 
    Aus 471-7 (Haddin 48*, Starc 29*)

    Starc is pretty much dominating this eighth-wicket stand, crashing Swann for back-to-back boundaries before swiping a two to third man and adding a single which mean he's contributed 29 of this stand of 41.

  142. 1503: 
    Aus 460-7 (Haddin 48*, Starc 18*)

    Haddin moves to within two runs of his half century, Starc opens the face and guides Bresnan between gully and point for four, before attempting the same shot and Joe Root just manages to scoop it away from the boundary before colliding with the plastic triangular advertising which covers the rope. Kevin Pietersen leaves the field at the end of the over, to be replaced by Essex youngster Tom Craddock.

  143.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I would be keen to get to 500 if I was Australia - it just sounds better, it feels better, than 480-485. It's a great feeling for the team to get there."

  144.  

    Chris Parker: Re: Rhys in Wrexham [1351]: I think the 40 mins is more for the spectators, by tea everyone is too drunk to be worried about food...

  145. 1457: 
    Aus 452-7 (Haddin 47*, Starc 11*)

    Haddin punches Swann through mid-wicket for another four, the fans at Old Trafford sound like they're starting to feel the effect of today's accumulated beer consumption...

  146.  
    HOW'S STAT?!
    Alastair Cook and Graeme Swann

    Graeme Swann's 17th five-wicket haul in Tests puts him equal third for England with Fred Trueman and Derek Underwood. Only Sydney Barnes (24) and Sir Ian Botham (27) have more.

  147. 1455: 
    Aus 447-7 (Haddin 42*, Starc 11*)

    Michael Clarke is literally (but probably not metaphorically) biting his nails in the Aussie dressing-room as England make their first bowling change since lunch, recalling Tim Bresnan in place of Stuart Broad. Haddin and Starc are still playing positively, getting Australia off quadruple-Nelson figure (old Shep would have loved it) with a selection of singles - Michael Vaughan on TMS has noticed Big Tim getting a bit of reverse swing, and England immediately reinforce the slip cordon.

  148.   
    A Question of Sport Teaser, BBC

    A reminder of today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official: Which six England bowlers have take a five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test since the start of the 2009 series? And the answers... James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann & Chris Tremlett.

  149. 1450: 
    Ouch!- Aus 444-7 (Haddin 40*, Starc 10*)

    Haddin resumes proceedings with a single against Swann, while Starc is still hitting out against the spinner, bashing a four through mid-wicket and then, aiming another big blast, smacks one straight back at non-striker Haddin and it hits him squarely in the unmentionables! Ouch indeed.

  150.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Australia are looking to score as many as they can by tea. The tail-enders are not looking to play for Brad Haddin who can bat. I'm getting the impression Australia are aiming for 460, 470 or 480 and then have a bowl at England shortly after tea.

    "They are thinking that three wickets tonight are more important than 20-30 runs. I'm not saying that's right or wrong but that's the feeling I'm getting about what they are trying to do."

  151.  

    Ollie, Cambridge, via text: Started watching on the televisions in John Lewis, and in the five minutes I've been here I've got Clarke and Siddle. Now doing my patriotic duty and staying for the rest of the innings!

    Ironic that while you've been in John Lewis, Australia have struggled to form a partnership...

  152.  
    HOW'S STAT?!
    Steve Smith

    Stuart Broad is the second youngest player to take 200 Test wickets for England (27 years, 39 days) behind Sir Ian Botham (25 years, 280 days).

  153. 1442: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Aus 439-7 (Haddin 39*, Starc 6*)

    Broad gives Starc a bit of chin music, but the tall paceman sees off a maiden over - we're halfway through day two as the players have earned some drinks.

  154.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford
    Old Trafford

    "This is the view from the media centre balcony where 5 live Sport's George Riley delivers his updates."

  155. 1439: 
    ASHES VOTE

    The results of our vote (drum roll) are in - and only 26% thought Michael Clarke is the best batsman in Test cricket; 74% said otherwise.

  156. 1438: 
    Aus 439-7 (Haddin 39*, Starc 6*)

    Swann begins his 38th over, he has 5-127 and might fancy picking up one or two more wickets if the Aussies continue to play rash shots. (Sadly it's a purely hypothetical discussion whether England would be batting by now if they'd picked Monty Panesar as a second spinner). The left-handed Starc prods a single, Haddin tries and fails to grab another to take the strike.

  157.  

    Darren Wale: Maybe the Aussies have been told to push on quickly?!

  158. 1435: 
    Aus 438-7 (Haddin 39*, Starc 5*)

    Haddin pushes Broad for a single, gets his head down and dashes back for a second but he runs well and beats Root's throw to the striker's end. A single takes Haddin to 39, Starc helps himself to another. And is that the Cookie Monster in the crowd? Never mind a drinks break, when's the cookie break?

  159.  

    Benjamin Pelc: The Aussie Nelson strikes again, Clarke 187, 13 away from 200.

    Harry Hyde: At last! Brilliant of Broad to get his 200th Test wicket for Clarke! This has signalled the end for Australia.

    Chris Lennon: Great innings by Michael Clarke. Glad it's over, mind!

  160.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Some of my Yorkshire captains would have done more than tell me to sit on the naughty step. Brian Close would have given me a bunch of fives. He would have had steam coming out of his ears."

  161. 1429: 
    FIVE-WICKET HAUL- Aus 434-7 (Haddin 36*, Starc 4*)

    And in the general amazement at that shot Siddle played, as Mitchell Starc walks out as the new batsman, we've neglected to mark that it's five wickets for Swann. And Starc has a massive slog too, but at least he connects - swiping the last ball of Swann's over through mid-wicket for four. Are they playing for a declaration?

  162.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Why would you swipe that? That was the top drawer of brainlessness. An absolute swipe. When he gets back to the dressing-room, Darren Lehmann should usher Peter Siddle into the naughty corner and make him sit there for at least 20 minutes. How do you explain that? People in club 4th XIs tomorrow will be playing better shots than that."

  163. 1426: 
    WICKET- Siddle b Swann 1 (Aus 430-7)

    It's still Swann from the (old) pavilion end - and he strikes again when Siddle goes for a village-style heave to leg and is bowled! Aggers and Boycs on TMS are dumbfounded.

    Peter Siddle

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89), 365-5 (Warner 5), 427-6 (Clarke 187), 430-7 (Siddle 1)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  164.  

    John, Kent, via text: At last the Aussies turn up, and true to form English fans panic... Relish a bit of competition please, England can still win or even a draw is fine, even if we lose we are still 2-1 up!

    Neil, via text: At least the Aussies are making this Test a challenge. Good to see Clarke get a decent score for his team and the series.

  165. 1424: 
    Aus 430-6 (Haddin 36*, Siddle 1*)

    Peter Siddle is the new batsman. now, do England have an end to bowl at? He's off the mark with a single, and when Broad tries another bouncer, Haddin swipes a two over the bowler's head.

  166.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was a good ball from Stuart Broad. It bounced a bit and got into Michael Clarke's chest and rib area. But I know who I would rather be - and that's Clarke. He's had a wonderful innings and I'm glad we've seen the best of him. He's top-class."

    Michael Clarke
  167. 1419: 
    WICKET- Clarke b Broad 187 (Aus 427-6)

    Clarke goes! He chops a lifting delivery at about chest level onto his stumps for - as I believed I mentioned last over - an unlucky 187, and it's Stuart Broad's 200th Test wicket.

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89), 365-5 (Warner 5), 427-6 (Clarke 187)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  168.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's a perfect batting pitch. England can't do a lot about this - not with four bowlers. Root can turn his hand and Trott won't trouble the Australians. But they can only do a few overs - they're not a bowling option like Shane Watson. My grandma would score a few runs on here, never mind my mum."

  169. 1417: 
    Aus 427-5 (Clarke 187*, Haddin 34*)

    Swann bowls round the wicket to Clarke, it's not an approach he likes to take but England need to try something... anything... Three singles added to the score, Clarke has 187 - and if 87 is unlucky for Aussies, what about 187?

  170.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "From 129-3, Australia will consider anything short of 480 a disappointment from here. Get that sort of total on the board and Australia's bowlers will have their danders up, especially Nathan Lyon on a turning wicket."

  171. 1413: 
    Aus 424-5 (Clarke 185*, Haddin 33*)
    Michael Clarke

    Australia's exercise in chanceless accumulation continues as Clarke adds a single, while Haddin again pulls out of a hook shot before a controlled pull brings him a single - and that's the hundred up for Broad (0-100). Clarke inches ever closer to that double ton...

  172.  

    Rob, Gloucester, via text on 81111: This feels like the Ashes matches in the 90s, praying for rain two days into a Test.

    It's Manchester. Prayers should not be needed...

  173. 1408: 
    Aus 421-5 (Clarke 183*, Haddin 32*)

    Swann, bowling in sunglasses as ever, has a slip and a leg slip but only two men saving a single and the rest on the fence as Clarke helps himself. The leg slip moves to short leg for Haddin, but he still manages to thread a single past mid-wicket. Jim Maxwell on TMS calls it a "milking exhibition" as Clarke adds another single.

  174.  
    ASHES VOTE

    Is Michael Clarke the best batsman in Test cricket?

    Have your say by voting here.

    The BBC Sport online vote will close at 1430 BST. Please note that votes are tallied by an external company, which uses IP addresses and cookies to process the results. For more information, click here.

  175.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "On an eventful lap of the ground, I had run-ins with medieval knights, Smurfs, Teletubbies and Minnie Mouse, and even got a light showering of beer when I walked through the tunnel underneath the giant temporary stand. Meanwhile, these jokers in Union Jack suits seem to be everywhere."

    England fans
  176. 1404: 
    Aus 418-5 (Clarke 181*, Haddin 31*)

    Clarke and Haddin exchange singles against Broad, that's the fifty partnership in which Haddin has outscored his partner. Clarke is finding the gaps with ease, whipping a two to backward square leg to bring up a score beloved of darts fans - 180. Again, the skipper adds a single off the last delivery.

  177.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Clarke is feeling good in his game and he's controlling the innings. There's always pressure in an innings but you feel it most in the first 20-30 minutes.

    "It's not like you feel like you're going to score big runs, but if you don't then you realise afterwards that something - perhaps you were feeling a little tired - wasn't right. We used to sit around as a batting group and talk about things if they were going wrong. I'd talk to Ricky Ponting, because I'd bat a lot with him, and he would say 'your head's falling' or 'it's your weight'."

    Michael Clarke
  178. 1400: 
    Aus 413-5 (Clarke 177*, Haddin 30*)

    Haddin pushes Swann for a couple then prods wide of slip, he's late setting off - as if waiting for the nod from his skipper - but both batsmen make their ground. Clarke pinches the strike, and a buggy scoots onto the ground - not a drinks break this early, but the ground staff with one of those stamping tools which stamps down on the crease where the bowlers have had problems with their footmarks (though England cheekily try to sneak in an illicit drinks break).

  179.   
    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "These runs between 400 and 500 could make a huge difference if England were to stumble in their first innings. It's a lovely afternoon, there's talk of showers but it's difficult to see where they're coming from."

  180. 1356: 
    Aus 409-5 (Clarke 176*, Haddin 27*)

    The unshaven Broad begins his 28th over, Clarke seems back in his comfort zone, adding a single to his score. Haddin pushes through the covers, barely more than a forward prod but it scoots away for four, out of the reach of the diving Jonny Bairstow. A single takes the keeper to 27, while Broad shows some hostility with a bouncer which Clarke weaves away from.

  181.  

    John, TMS inbox: I live in Brazil where cricket is unheard of but I baulk at the DRS issues - Tennis has Hawk-Eye which nobody challenges, soccer will shortly have goalmouth technology at next year's World Cup (here in Brazil) so somebody at ICC needs to open his eyes and take the final decision out of the hands of an umpire and rely solely on technology. If technology is good technology, use it and stop all this endless, meaningless and divisive chatter about the uselessness of the third umpire.

    I wouldn't mind betting some people will still challenge goal-line technology when it comes into football...

  182. 1351: 
    Aus 403-5 (Clarke 175*, Haddin 22*)

    Single from Clarke, then Haddin drives Swann for a well-run three to bring up 400 for the tourists. The runs seem to be flowing pretty freely since the interval as the sixth-wicket pair milk Swann for singles like the middle overs of a one-day international.

  183.  

    Rhys in Wrexham, via text on 81111: Why or who decided it should be 40 minutes for lunch and only 20 minutes for tea. Was it for 3 x 2 hour sessions or old fashioned big lunch appetites? Do the teams need 40 mins break after just two hours?

  184.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "It is important that Australia bat this session, get to 500 and keep England out there."

  185. 1348: 
    Aus 396-5 (Clarke 172*, Haddin 18*)
    James Anderson

    Stuart Broad, hair sticking up for fine weather, begins from the media centre end - Clarke continues to push the score along, Haddin thinks about hooking a short delivery but realises it's too far outside off stump and pulls out of the stroke. Anderson and Broad have combined bowling figures of 57-11-191-0.

  186.  

    Ian McHugh, TMS inbox: "An exiled Mancunian listening on the Chinese island of Hainan. Characteristically Mancunian drizzle here due to Tropical Storm Jebi, but the quest for the wicket (and a cool beer) is making worthy listening. C'mon England!"

    Let's hope you survive the return of the Jebi...

  187. 1342: 
    Aus 395-5 (Clarke 171*, Haddin 18*)

    Graeme Swann begins the afternoon session, getting one to spin sharply into Michael Clarke's pads before the Aussie captain tucks a two down to fine leg, and is moving ominously through the gears as a single takes him to 171.

  188.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "Smith will be disappointed with the way he got out, but Haddin's been positive to move the game forward and it'll be interesting to see how it goes this afternoon."

  189.  

    Mike Lashmar: Re:Aditya, Bangalore [1333]: it's not the DRS that is faulty, it is human error that is taking centre stage, DRS highlights it.

  190. 1337: 
    SOCIAL MEDIA

    And if you're a Twitterer and want to follow the Ashes on social media, @bbcsport has all the breaking news and action, while @bbctms provides the match facts and statistics, and @bbc5live brings you the best audio - including this morning's wickets.

    And the players are walking out for the afternoon session...

  191.  

    Nigel, Herefordshire, TMS inbox: With all the fuss about poor DRS decisions, why not put it to a public vote - as per X Factor etc - two or three minutes to vote with proceeds towards free eye tests for umpires?

  192. 1333: 
    ON THE MOVE?

    If you're preparing to play Friday-afternoon truant to extend your weekend, don't forget you can follow every moment of the Ashes with the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport app. On the radio app, you can listen live to Test Match Special and download the Aggers and Boycott close-of-play podcasts. Live text commentary, with analysis and insight from our reporters at the ground, is available on the BBC Sport app.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

  193.  

    Nick Reid: Big decision coming up for Clarke. Rain around, has to win Test. Need to press on this session.

    John Andrews: Re: Errol Brown - does than mean that Aggers believes in miracles?

  194.  

    Composer John Altman on TMS: "I was the historical music adviser for the film Titanic - I was responsible for all the music played by the ship's orchestra. I recreated the whole White Star Line playlist that they played on the boat. James Cameron asked me to play the orchestra leader on the film but I turned it down. A friend of mine played the part and he was on set for two years."

  195.  

    Aditya, Bangalore, TMS inbox: Disappointed to see that Steve in Uxbridge thinks that by not using DRS, India meant to "protect their star batsmen". Do you actually believe that the likes of Sehwag, Dravid, SRT and Ganguly would hide behind the veil of rejecting the DRS in order to protect themselves from, of all people, spinners? The only reason why DRS was rejected was because it was far from perfect and not yet ready for the larger stage. The fact that a technology discussion has taken centre-stage in the Ashes is proof enough that there is something inherently not-yet-right with the system.

  196.  

    Composer John Altman on TMS: "I've taken the wicket of four ex-England captains, and Brian Lara, in charity matches. I once got [ex-Manchester United & England defender] Gary Pallister lbw with the first ball I bowled. Clive Lloyd came in, he was dropped first ball and the next four balls went out of the ground!"

  197.  

    Paul Baldwin: As much as I want us to win I do sometimes find the England team irritating, esp. the time wasting, moaning about foot-holes,etc.

    Tom O'Sullivan: I feel bad that Clarke is getting abuse for Warner's review, he was just trusting Warner not to make things worse.

    Phil Collins: Totally agree with others: Why do England baulk at two spinners? Seems crazy, just imagine Swanny and Monty now.

  198. 1323: 

    Aggers reveals he's been trying to get former Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown to come onto TMS for ages - apparently he lives in the West Indies now. (Errol Brown, that is, not Aggers).

  199.  
    Michael Clarke

    OptaJim: In the last two years, Michael Clarke has scored more 1st innings runs (2,236) than any other batsman in both (Cook 2,067).

  200.  

    John in Lytham, TMS inbox: I'd be interested to know if the team think England missed a trick by not picking Finn or Tremlett given the higher bounce and faster nature of the pitch which was well known beforehand. Australia have marginally faster bowlers and it will be interesting to see if it is more to their liking.

  201.  

    Composer John Altman on TMS: "I knew Allan Border and Mark Waugh from their time at Essex, but I got to know the Australian side in the West Indies. When they came here for the 1993 Ashes, Ian Healy invited me into the dressing-room and I became part of their entourage for the series. Looking back, I was so privileged I was the only non-Australian and non-cricketer in the dressing-room when ex-players weren't welcome."

  202.  
    England celebrate David Warner's dismissal

    Ex-Surrey and Notts opener Darren Bicknell: Australia's use of DRS reaches new lows with that David Warner review #brainsofarockinghorse

  203.  

    Composer John Altman on TMS: "I toured with Van Morrison for a while as his musical director and saxophonist, then I was doing film and television work, such as all the Miss Marples with Joan Hickson. But in about 1990 I started playing charity cricket for the Bunburys, and the first ball I faced after not picking up a bat for 16 years was bowled by Dennis Lillee."

  204.  

    Steve in Uxbridge, TMS inbox: All those saying the issues over DRS in this series proves India are right to not accept it are missing the point; firstly, India are either part of the cricket family or not so should accept the decision of the ICC. Secondly, their objections to DRS were to protect their star batsmen from mainly lbw appeals from spinners, so the objections were for their own selfish reasons. With DRS there is no need for independent umpires, and with the elite panel reduced to four for Ashes Teats, surely it is time for the ECB & CA to make representations to allow home and away umpires to stand in Ashes Tests?

  205.  

    Tom Kirby: Why will we never play two spinners? Even when we know we need it! I'm sure Cook would swap Bresnan or Broad for Monty right now.

    Andy Carpenter: How about Clarke to get to 199, given out to a dubious caught behind and there's no reviews left. Oooof!

    Joe G-W: Need at least another 100 to do Clarke's innings justice, then put England in for an uncomfortable session this eve.

  206. 1309: 

    Thanks, Stephan. Composer John Altman joins Aggers on TMS, with a selection of songs in the introduction including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", which he orchestrated.

  207. 1307: 

    And at lunch, I shall take my leave. Here's Mark Mitchener to talk you through the afternoon.

  208.   
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Lunch guest John Altman (NOT the Nasty Nick Cotton one). Remarkable musician/composer & cricket nut. Intro includes one of my favourite songs."

  209.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "We didn't see the magic session that England craved and I think Australia will be happy. Swann was getting the odd ball to turn, but Clarke is still there and I'm sure the Australians will want to accelerate after the break to get to 450 if they can."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  210.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "All very well the England players laughing as they leave the pitch, Anderson having taken seven minutes to bowl that final over before lunch, but they didn't pay 80 quid for a ticket. Those boos were warranted."

  211. 1301: 
    LUNCH- Aus 392-5

    More glorious sunshine as James Anderson runs in for his final over of the morning. In fact, with Kevin Pietersen sent for some sawdust, in may be the last over of the session. Pietersen spreads the sawdust on the front crease, but Anderson isn't happy and rearranges KP's work. With Haddin checking his guard and England somehow losing the ball temporarily, Anderson's over does indeed take us to the break. An even morning, but Australia well on top at 392-5.

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89), 365-5 (Warner 5)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  212.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mike Bell: "That's All Folks!" Another cartoon short from Warner!

    Tom: Warner and Clarke do themselves no favours AND legitimise Broad's decision to stand earlier in the series. Cheers chaps!

  213. 1253: 
    Aus 392-5 (Clarke 168*, Haddin 18*)

    Another man sitting on the balcony is Steve Smith. Shades on, head in hands, he's probably wondering about the shot that cost him a maiden Test hundred. As the Barmy Army tell the world who they are, Australia scamper a single when a throw comes in and deflects off the stumps. Bowler Graeme Swann the angriest man in Manchester.

  214.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That waste of an Australian review by Warner means it is 0-0 in the reviews now. We're back in the 20th century."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

    Michael Clarke and David Warner
  215. 1250: 
    Aus 390-5 (Clarke 167*, Haddin 17*)

    Anderson now hooping the ball around, but Haddin is continuing his cavalier start. A lofted drive over mid on brings him four. Tim Bresnan, perhaps spotting that this is not a good pitch on which to bowl pace, sits on the England boundary. Not sure what the problem is, but if I was him I'd be trying to hide until lunch.

  216.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Freddie Higgs: If the Australians get another tight call and can't use a decision, I don't think England will be the only country booing Warner.

    Chris Jones: The only reason I can think of why Warner would review that is to entertain the panto crowd.

    Robbie Alexander: This is a better start to the day for England, lets kick on now and try and keep the total under 500.

  217. 1245: 
    Aus 384-5 (Clarke 166*, Haddin 12*)

    Field spread for Clarke, with Swann finding some BIG turn. It's becoming clear that it will be tough for the side batting last on this wicket, almost certainly England. Australia have the spin of Nathan Lyon and Steven Smith to turn to, while some fella called Warner bowls a bit of leg-spin. I wonder...

  218.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    In reaching 149, Clarke moved seventh on the list of Australia all-time leading run-scorers. The full pecking order: Ricky Ponting (13,378), Allan Border (11,174), Steve Waugh (10,927), Matthew Hayden (8,625), Mark Waugh (8,029), Justin Langer (7,696), Michael Clarke (7,541 and counting), Mark Taylor (7,525).

    This is Clarke's ninth Test score of 150 of more.

    Michael Clarke
  219. 1240: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Aus 380-5

    Chance, a definite chance for Matt Prior. Difficult, but one you'd expect a wicketkeeper of his calibre to take. Brad Haddin the batsman, inside edging an attempted pull off Anderson. Prior is wrong-footed, first going right then having to move back left. He gets one hand to the ball, but it smacks into his left wrist and goes down. In other news, the ball looks to be reversing.

  220.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "When Jonathan Trott took the catch to dismiss David Warner, Joe Root ran across from midwicket to celebrate with his team-mates and definitely gave Warner a little look as his path took him right in front of the Australia left-hander. As to whether there was a choice word exchanged, I couldn't possibly say. Meanwhile, following the failed review farce, the crowd delighted in waving Warner off the field."

  221. 1237: 
    Aus 378-5 (111 overs)

    Relative calm in that Swann over. The Notts offie has 4-96, but now has two right-handers to bowl at, both good players of spin. Monty anyone?

  222.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "As appalling as that review was by Warner, Clarke has to take some responsibility - how did he not see and hear it took the edge? Further proof that every non-striker has got to be an umpire nowadays."

    David Warner
  223. 1235: 
    Aus 374-5 (Clarke 160*, Haddin 8*)

    In the Warner pantomime, we haven't considered how good a delivery that was from Swann. Delivered from around the wicket, turning sharply to take the edge. Haddin has come out blazing, biffing James Anderson down the ground for four.

  224.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Robin Edds: Worst review in cricket history? Aussies need to get to the root of their DRS issues.

    Si Lomas: Warner that was a disgrace, bigger edge than Broad's! Hilarious though at same time!

    Tom Hurst: For all the problems with DRS this series, the Australians still have NO IDEA how to use it. What was Warner thinking?

  225. 1229: 
    Aus 369-5 (109 overs)

    Brad Haddin the new man, showing his intent by slog-sweeping his second ball for four. Great replays of David Warner being waved off by the spectators. Also, what was Michael Clarke thinking? Surely he knew Warner hit that and should have sent him on his way?

  226.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Absolutely stupid - that's a useless review. Why would he review that? Why would the captain review that? I saw Clarke sort of shrug and say 'let's try it'. Reviewing is not about trying it on - it's to overturn a genuinely bad decision."

  227. 1226: 
    WICKET- Warner c Trott b Swann 5 (Aus 365-5)

    What on earth was Warner thinking? He has smashed the cover off that ball, but was shaking his head as the catch was taken. The review shows the biggest of edges, replays seen around Old Trafford that draw even bigger boos. Warner is serenaded all the way to the dressing room. If it's possible, he's a bigger villain now than when he started his innings.

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89), 365-5 (Warner 5)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  228. 1225: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Aus 365-5

    Absolute theatre. David Warner looks to have nicked Swann, held by Jonathan Trott via Matt Prior's gloves. It looks clear, but Warner wants a chat with Michael Clarke, with all of Old Trafford booing as the review is called for...

  229.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It is a different game if Michael Clarke bats at four and scores. It makes it easier for the team and better for the batsman at the other end. You have got to dictate the terms of the game - and that is what Clarke is doing."

  230. 1222: 
    150 FOR MICHAEL CLARKE- Aus 361-4
    Michael Clarke

    He's had a couple of lives this morning, but Australia skipper Michael Clarke is still going like a train. A dabbed cut for four off Bresnan takes him past 150, with the captain then deciding it's time to dish out some treatment. A stand-and-deliver drive is followed by a savage cut, both for boundaries. England well and truly in retreat, fielders scattered everywhere.

  231.   
    BBC Radio 5 live

    BBC Radio 5 live's George Riley: Watching from just by Aussies dressing room. Big shake of head from Smith as he returns, furious with himself.

  232. 1218: 
    Aus 348-4 (Clarke 147*, Warner 1*)

    Is there a cheeky temptation for England to bowl Joe Root at David Warner? A bit like how India always get Yuvraj Singh on when Kevin Pietersen walks in. Try getting the ball out of Graeme Swann's hand, though. He has 3-85 and rips a vicious off-break past Warner's outside edge. Turn that big on day two will please the Aussies.

  233.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "Bit of pantomime at Old Trafford as David Warner is booed all the way to the crease. Never nice to hear an opposition batsman get a reception like that but if you will go punching England players in bars..."

  234. 1214: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 347-4

    Confession time. I nipped off for a quick comfort break during drinks and left Mark Mitchener in charge. He was at the helm for the wicket, so we can class him as the partnership breaker. Huge relief for England to finally end that stand of 214, but massive disappointment for Steve Smith to miss out on a maiden Test hundred. He swiped at the ground as he walked off, but didn't really get the applause he deserved as the crowd were more interested in booing Warner. His response was a wry smile. Bresnan appeals for a catch behind off Clarke, but ump Erasmus isn't interested.

  235.   
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Smith's an absolute muppet for getting out like that. There are more brains in a chocolate mouse. There's a gimme run to long-on with the man back."

  236. 1209: 

    Boos from around the ground tell us David Warner is walking to the crease...

  237. 1208: 
    WICKET- Smith c Bairstow b Swann 89 (Aus 343-4)

    Graeme Swann from the (old) Pavilion End, to bowl to Smith on 88. A confident push to leg brings him a single, Clarke rotates the strike with a forward prod. Then Smith hits it high in the air, a big slog over mid-wicket.. high into the air and he's safely caught by Jonny Bairstow!

    Steve Smith

    Fall of wickets: 76-1 (Watson 19), 82-2 (Khawaja 1), 129-3 (Rogers 84), 343-4 (Smith 89)

    Scorecard

    Listen to the best commentary clips on BBC Test Match Special

  238.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Anderson didn't pick it up and it was too late for him to dive back in the air. But I still don't think he would have got it."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  239.   
    A Question of Sport Teaser, BBC

    Today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official: Who are the six England bowlers to take a five-wicket haul in an Ashes Test since the start of the 2009 series?

  240.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Russell King, via text on 81111: Re 1121. WG Grace would have said his was the best mo, whether it was or wasn't.

  241. 1203: 
    CLOSE!- Aus 341-3

    All morning it's been clear that a wicket is most likely to come from a batsman error and Michael Clarke so nearly obliges. He aims an ambitious drive at Tim Bresnan, but doesn't get hold of it. The ball loops towards mid off James Anderson, who looks in decent shape to take it but, like Nayim over David Seaman in 1995, it just drops over. After being dropped, Clarke has had another life this morning. Drinks.

  242.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Edward Light: Agree with Michael Vaughan - where's the variation? No Yorkers, no slower balls, bouncers etc. Need some initiative.

    Chris Watkins: Finally, a game where there's going to be significant pressure on our batting line up to produce! Game on.

    Maximus the great: This innings is a perfect example of why England should play five bowlers, prior is more than capable of playing at no6.

  243. 1157: 
    Aus 335-3 (Clarke 138*, Smith 87*)

    The suggestion of a short ball from Broad remains even when Steven Smith is on strike. England might need a little more imagination than simply posting two men deep and banging it in. This deck is looking very, very flat.

  244.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford
    Australians in the crowd at Old Trafford

    "Swann's near miss draws the first cheer of the day from a very subdued Old Trafford crowd. You get the impression that England supporters don't quite know what to do with themselves at the moment. They have become so accustomed to cheering wickets and mocking the Aussies over the past two Tests that the current state of affairs is all a bit confusing and uncomfortable."

  245. 1154: 
    Aus 333-3 (102 overs)

    The prospect of sunshine and showers at Old Trafford gets me wondering about all the things an ultra-prepared spectator takes with them to a day at the cricket. Hat, suncream, shades, brolly, tea towel, radio, binoculars, all crammed into a coolbox full of tuna sandwiches, pork pies, scotch eggs and crisps. You either eat all your food by the time play has started or find a mouldy sandwich two years later.

  246.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Technoboy: Re 1121. Nigel Mansell must surely run Goochy close for best 'tache on an English gent??!

  247. 1149: 
    Aus 333-3 (Clarke 137*, Smith 86*)

    Stuart Broad switches ends, possibly to dish out some chin music to Clarke. The skip, with his dodgy back, is not the most adept at ducking and weaving. Fine leg and deep square leg wait, but no short leg. Yet. Clarke, short stuff in the back of his mind, hangs back and is almost undone by a length ball. We could be in for fiery period.

  248.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    This is Michael Clarke's highest Test score against England. The Australia captain's previous best was 136 at Lord's in 2009.

    He has been involved in seven of Australia's last eight 200-plus partnership. He has shared three with Mike Hussey, two with Ricky Ponting, one with Ed Cowan - and now one with Steve Smith.

    For more Ashes stats follow @bbctms on Twitter.

  249. 1144: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Aus 331-3

    The short-cover trap that England have set for Michael Clarke almost catches its prey. Twice he drives at Bresnan, the first out of Graeme Swann's reach, the second belted at the England spinner. It's head-height, if Swann hadn't ducked he'd have been knocked out. Instead, he throws a hand up, but can only tip the ball over the bar. It would have been some catch and the Old Trafford crowd know as much. A sustained roar is the first sign of life from the stands today.

  250.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "If Australia don't make 500-plus then there is something seriously wrong. This is the kind of pitch where it is so good, and with no movement, you have to try to create something.

    "You need to do something that the batsman won't expect - perhaps go around the wicket and throw down a few bouncers. England are being too orthodox on a pitch where you need to be unorthodox."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  251. 1139: 
    Aus 326-3 (99 overs)

    A bizarre sight, but one we may have to get used to. James Anderson moves the ball for the first time today, appealing for lbw. Movement from umpire Tony Hill too, but it's to point to the stumps at the non-striker's end, which Anderson has disturbed. Thanks to Steven Finn, that's a no-ball. Pretty silly really. Young bowlers are coached to get close to the stumps, but too close now means a no-ball.

  252.  
    HOW'S STAT?!
    Steve Smith, James Anderson and Michael Clarke

    Michael Clarke and Steve Smith now hold the record for the highest fourth-wicket stand for any Test side at Old Trafford. In taking their partnership beyond 189, they bettered Sanjay Manjrekar and Mohammad Azharuddin's alliance for India in 1990.

    For more Ashes stats follow @bbctms on Twitter.

  253. 1133: 
    Aus 321-3 (Clarke 133*, 80*)

    A first change for England, Tim Bresnan replacing Broad with only one slip in place. This ball is now 17 overs old, Australia may feel they have seen off the 'newness'. Hotting up nicely at Old Trafford, hats and shades out, brollies away. For now. Good start from Bresnan, one from it.

  254.  
    ASHES VOTE

    The result of our early vote: 58% of people who replied think England can still win this Test, while 42% have given up any hope.

  255. 1129: 
    Aus 320-3 (Clarke 133*, Smith 79*)

    Shackles broken by skipper Clarke, first with a bit of luck then with a stroke of pure class. A thick edge off Anderson flies between second slip and gully before Clarke follows that up with a Tendulkar-esque back-foot drive. Both go for four, prompting Cook to drop a sweeper back on the off side. Early honours go to Australia.

  256.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special
    James Anderson

    "James Anderson has looked good this morning - it's about him and Broad building a partnership with their bowling. It's a flat wicket so they have got to bowl a straight line and length and build pressure on the Australian batsman."

  257. 1125: 
    Aus 312-3 (Clarke 125*, Smith 79*)

    I seem to remember Jonny Bairstow sporting a pretty special handlebar moustache on the tour of India last year. This is tight stuff from England, Broad straightening his line to Smith to send down the third successive maiden. Three maidens = a wicket?

  258.  
    GET INVOLVED
    Graham Gooch

    Paul Squires: That earlier photo of Graham Gooch reminded me of his magnificent moustache. Was there a better mo on an Englishman?

  259. 1121: 
    Aus 312-3 (Clarke 125*, Smith 79*)

    Close-ups of the pitch show the bowlers' landing areas that have needed to be repaired, areas that caused so much consternation yesterday. There's also those white patches of dead grass that remind me of the fur on the hamster I had as a kid. The footholes outside what would be a left-hander's off stump are already quite large and will come in to play as the game progresses. Anderson to Clarke, a maiden.

  260.   
    Damien Martyn, Ex-Australia batsman on Test Match Special

    "There is still something there on this pitch for the bowlers. It will be interesting when Graeme Swann comes on later this morning to see how much it turns, what tactics he uses and how Michael Clarke plays him."

  261. 1117: 
    Aus 312-3 (94 overs)

    The flags atop of the pavilion that Stuart Broad is running towards are fluttering at right-angles to the poles - a lively breeze. Smith, his bat lifted at about chin high, is not tempted to play at Broad's wide line.

  262.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Akhil Sharma: Crucial for Australia to add another 100+ in order to have any chance of taking this to the 4th Test.

    Ben Priestley: Is anybody else looking forward to Warner's walk out to the crease as much as me?

  263. 1113: 
    Aus 312-3 (Clarke 125*, Smith 79*)

    I'll have whatever Steve Smith had for breakfast please. The right-hander made a sticky start yesterday, but is right into his stride this morning. A glorious cover drive, right from the middle of the middle of the bat screams to the fence. Still no wobble from Anderson.

  264.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "It's the usual pre-match fare here at Old Trafford with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem as the players enter the field. But while England's fielders run out through a guard of honour formed by flag-waving mascots, the Australia batsmen sneak out unnoticed from another door."

  265. 1108: 
    Aus 307-3 (Clarke 125*, Smith 74*)
    Steve Smith

    As Stuart Broad shares the morning duties, Kevin Pietersen is off the field to have some tape applied to his right hand. I'm pretty sure he didn't touch the ball in that first over, so I've got no idea what treatment he needs now that couldn't have been done before play began. Smith chops down to the vacant third man area, Alastair Cook running in treacle to chase. They get three, with Broad's double teapot showing his displeasure.

  266.  
    HOW'S STAT?!

    Michael Clarke and Steve Smith began the second day with the record for Australia's highest fourth-wicket stand at Old Trafford - 174 - having bettered the 173 put on by Neil Harvey and Graeme Hole in 1953.

    For more Ashes stats follow @bbctms on Twitter.

  267. 1104: 
    Aus 304-3 (Clarke 125*, Smith 71*)

    The rain we saw earlier this morning has cleared for now, Anderson is sprinting in under sunshine and fluffy white clouds. Two slips and a gully, but no sign of movement in the air. As Aussie coach Darren Lehmann has a brew on the balcony, Steve Smith inside edges a single for the first run of the day.

  268.   
    Vic Marks, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Anderson was so keen to do well on his first home Ashes Test he wasn't at his best yesterday, Then he started getting frustrated with the footholes. But today is another day."

  269. 1059: 

    The Aussies will resume on 303-3, skipper Michael Clarke unbeaten on 125, Steven Smith 70 not out. It's Smith taking guard as the last strains of Jerusalem are belted out over Old Trafford. James Anderson has the 10-over old ball in his hand. Play.

  270.  
    ASHES VOTE

    Can England still win the third Test?

    Have your say by voting here.

    The BBC Sport online vote will close at 1120 BST. Please note that votes are tallied by an external company, which uses IP addresses and cookies to process the results. For more information, click here.

  271. 1056: 

    Yep, the weather over Manchester looks changeable to say the least. We have sunshine at the moment, but I'd be surprised if we don't get a drop of the wet stuff at some point today. Rain would be particularly unwelcome to Australia. In a match they must win, they have the upper hand.

  272. 1053: 

    Thanks Mark. Got the suncream? Umbrella? Shades? Poncho? Tea towel to dry your seat? You might need the lot today.

  273.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Totum: Lightning struck my train this morning, got thrown off at Tufnell Park, Tufnell was a spinner. It was a sign. Get Swann on.

  274. 1050: 

    Right, with play only 10 minutes away, it's nearly time for the main event - and for that, I leave you safely in the gloves (he is a wicketkeeper by trade) of my colleague Stephan Shemilt.

  275.   
    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia also have David Warner to come in - he will have a licence, like Adam Gilchrist, to throw the cue."

  276.  

    Graham Robinson: Don't change the umpire's call percentage [see Paul Keller at 1030]. DRS should stop howlers, not for close lbw decisions. At 20% they'll review everything.

    Gee-El Tee: Plenty of English supporters now calling for umpire's call to be scrapped. Didn't mind it so much when it saved Bell and Root.

  277.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think England can bowl Australia out for less than 400. They have proved that at Trent Bridge and Lord's. But they need to grab Clarke's wicket early this morning - this Australia team has a habit of collapsing."

    You can listen to TMS on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  278.  

    Ket, TMS inbox: So now with all the flaws from DRS appearing, India don't look so silly anymore! I wonder what those berating them for not accepting the system are saying now!

  279. 1040: 
    TODAY'S FORECAST

    BBC Weather's Darren Bett: "We have seen some showers already at Old Trafford and there is a line of showers close to Manchester at the moment.

    "These look to be moving east so there will be a window of opportunity with sunny spells. But there is a chance of more showers later and if they arrive they could stay around for a while - with the possibility of thunderstorms. But it is going to be hit or miss.

    "Temperatures reached 30 degrees on Thursday but it won't be as humid today - it could go up to about 25 degrees. The outlook heading into the weekend is not too clever either."

  280.  

    Charlie Bennett: Put a digital reviewing expert in and get the third umpire to ask the expert specific questions i.e. was his foot behind the line?

    Rachel T: Yesterday changes nothing. Australia have no hope of getting The Ashes back, they have simply turned up. Which is nice.

  281.  

    Julian Page, TMS inbox: I only watched the highlights on TV yesterday but once again I was amazed that there was no third man for long periods. It would be interesting to know how many runs went through there, certainly Chris Rogers benefited. If bowlers are bowling where they should, isn't it more likely that the ball will go there rather than fine leg!

  282.   
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Michael Clarke yesterday played Graeme Swann as well as any right-hander I've seen, although Hashim Amla played him well last year."

  283.  
    James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen and umpire Marais Erasmus

    Paul Keller: Change the ump's call percentage. If less than 20% of the ball is hitting the middle of the stump it's umpire's call.

    Neil Saldanha: Tired of hearing people say DRS didn't fail, the umpire did. When will they realize that the umpire is part of the system?

  284. 1030: 
    Live now

    "Soul Limbo" by Booker T and the MGs heralds the arrival of Test Match Special - Jim Maxwell welcomes listeners with an audible spring in his step, which may be shared by many Australians after yesterday's scoreboard.

  285. 1028: 
    SOCIAL MEDIA

    if you want to follow the Ashes on social media, @bbcsport on Twitter has all the breaking news and action, while @bbctms provides the match facts and statistics, and @bbc5live brings you the best audio.

  286. 1025: 
    ON THE MOVE

    Don't forget, you can follow every moment of the Ashes with the BBC iPlayer Radio app and the BBC Sport app. On the radio app, you can listen live to Test Match Special and download the Aggers and Boycott close-of-play podcasts. Live text commentary, with analysis and insight from our reporters at the ground, is available on the BBC Sport app.

    Download the BBC Sport website app and download the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

  287.   
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at Old Trafford

    "Morning all. It's a sky of two halves over Old Trafford this morning, with blue to my left and grey to my right. Thankfully, the rain has abated for the time being and with the covers off and stumps in place we're all set to start at 1100 BST. For the first time in the series I noticed a real spring in the step of the Aussies as they made their way into the ground following yesterday's much-improved batting display. England have been out in the middle chucking a rugby ball around but are now gathered in a circle while bowling coach David Saker outlines their plans for the morning session. I would think that removing Aussie skipper Michael Clarke would be high on the agenda."

  288. 1020: 

    Definite sunshine sweeping across this part of Greater Manchester now - as Adam points out, we should start on time.

  289.   
    Adam Mountford, BBC Test Match Special

    The sun is out! TMS on air 1030 and we expect play to start on time at 11.

  290.  

    James Bamford: At the ground yesterday, DRS took too long as did over rate and players moaning about pitch, what was the problem anyway?

    Simon Wright: Why are the Aussies so mad over Khawaja? DRS didn't fail, the umpires did. Same as they did for Steve Smith's lbw. Swings & roundabouts.

    Henry Walmsley: The decision still would have been wrong without DRS, so don't see why people are calling for it to be scrapped.

  291. 1005: 
    Ireland celebrate after beating the Netherlands on Thursday

    Another little tale from yesterday you may have missed - well done Ireland, who have qualified for next year's Women's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh after beating the Netherlands by two runs in a tight finish.

  292.   
    Alison Mitchell, BBC Radio 5 live at Old Trafford

    "After a brief spurt of heavy drizzle, the sun has appeared. Floodlights are on. Oh but the sun has gone again. Bit of blue sky in distance."

  293.  

    Anthony Beckingham: No matter how bad Aus are, I always said Beefy Botham's 10-0 prediction was wrong due to Eng's other cricket enemy: rain.

    Keith Bishop: Scrap umpire's call, if a ball is taking out a stump let alone clipping it, it's OUT, nothing else!

    Dino Ghost-Question: HotSpot should be shelved until a more reliable version is developed. At the moment umpires are justified in not trusting it.

    Tweet us via #bbccricket to join the debate - you're most welcome to discuss topics other than the DRS and the weather...

  294.  

    The Times' cricket writer Richard Hobson: Just seen the England statistician given a security escort from the car park to the dressing room. Truly, the world is going mad.

  295. 0955: 

    Umbrellas are coming down as the Media City tram disgorges a bunch of people who are probably about to start work at 1000 - rain looks to have stopped.

  296.  
    Covers

    BBC Weather's Simon King tweets: "Shower currently at Old Trafford should clear thru shortly and it'll be dry by start of play. Still risk of a few mid-PM onwards."

    Presume he means mid-afternoon, unless the Aussie PM is getting involved again!

  297. 0950: 
    PAPER TALK - FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER

    The Australian quotes opener Chris Rogers as saying that "people's careers on the line" when DRS-related mistakes happen, while Melbourne-based The Age charts how Usman Khawaja's demise "united a nation". Meanwhile, looking ahead to the Women's Ashes, the Sydney Morning Herald quotes Australia women's vice-captain Alex Blackwell, who says pace bowler Ellyse Perry is "raring to go" for the Southern Stars against England after having ankle surgery since the World Cup.

    You can read more from the papers each morning via our daily Ashes gossip column.

  298. 0945: 
    England in the nets

    Some early practice in the nets for England, but it could be a while before they get to put it into action...

  299. 0943: 
    PAPER TALK
    Old Trafford

    "The Day Australia Fought Back" is the back-page headline of the Independent, splashed across a full-page photo of Michael Clarke. And your Times subscription today will bring you ex-England captain Mike Atherton's verdict on day one - while the paper also reports that Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Paul Marsh has called for third umpire Kumar Dharmasena to be sacked.

  300.  

    Ross McDonald: DRS is there to eliminate shockers, but 99.9% of the time it's used in marginal decisions. The players are responsible for that.

    Irshad Bhat: Blaming DRS for everything is just nonsense, it's just officials are so incompetent they just cant handle technology.

    Matthew Stebbings: The umpire's call part of DRS is a vote of no confidence, if the model is accurate enough to be used, then it should be trusted.

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Live Scores - England v Australia

 

  • England drew with Australia
  • England: 368 & 37-3 (20.3 overs)
  • Australia: 527-7 & 172-7 (36.0 overs)
  • Venue: Manchester

England 2nd Innings

Close
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 3 37
Cook lbw b Harris 0
Root not out 13
Trott c Haddin b Harris 11
Pietersen c Haddin b Siddle 8
Bell not out 4
Extras 1w 1

The Ashes

England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson with the Ashes urn

Squads, fixtures, scorecards, results and reports from Australia's Ashes tour of England