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  1. Cook falls for 85 two overs before close
  2. Buttler 33*; two wickets for Lyon
  3. England follow on with deficit of 332
  4. Fifth Test, The Oval, day three
  5. England lead 3-1 in five-match series

Live Reporting

By Marc Higginson, Mark Mitchener and James Gheerbrant

All times stated are UK

Get involved


Right, that's all from us for today, join us tomorrow to see if England can fight their way out of trouble. Until then, goodbye.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

John M Butt: Cook is the only player that should be selected for the next Ashes. The rest of the team can't bat or bowl on a flat wicket.

Paul Morgan: Not quite sure why England are taking this to a fourth day. Quit now boys. You've won already.

Simon Goodall: Has Ian Bell ever opened for England? Can't do no worse, and might change his luck.

Close-of-play scorecard

BBC Sport

Simon Mann

BBC Test Match Special

"Australia have worked hard today - they've worked their way through this England batting line-up."

Player reaction

Australia bowler Peter Siddle on Sky Sports: "I've been carrying a few drinks which has been disappointing, I would have liked my chance, but I didn't bowl as well as I could in the tour matches. I've been feeling good. Pressure is key - that's what I've been able to build for the team. My plan was to get it going across Alastair Cook, and it was a good battle. The follow-on is always hard, it was a long day today, but Pup asked us what we wanted to do, and he wanted to have a real go at winning this Test match. It gives us a good opportunity at winning this Test match."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

On Jonny Bairstow's dismissal when he was given out caught off short leg's helmet:

"How many cricketers - or golfers - actually know the rules? The umpire didn't get it, the third umpire didn't get it. But all I'd say to Jonny was that he didn't need to nick it. Stokes's shot wasn't very good either."

Player reaction

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on Sky Sports: "We're up against it, but we've just got to keep fighting and hang in there. The captain showed that for most of the day. Everyone's very disappointed to come here and play as we have. I've had a tough series, it's been tough mentally when you keep finding ways of getting out, but you've got to keep scrapping. I'm really happy with the way my keeping's gone - I feel there's been a progression. It would be great if we could get out of this, and a bit of rain would be great."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Adam Lyth is vulnerable - even though he's from Yorkshire, he's not making runs and averaging 14. He may get saved because England have won the series, and because there's nobody making a case to replace him. His feet didn't move at all - you transfer your weight forward or back with footwork. It was always going to be tough for whoever came in as you're stepping up from county cricket which is not as tough as international cricket."

It's hard to see a way back for Adam Lyth - he ends the series with 115 runs from nine innings at a meagre average of 12.77.

Who will be opening the batting with Alastair Cook in the UAE? Alex Hales? Moeen Ali? Nick Compton?

Jonathan Agnew

BBC Test Match Special

"Adam Lyth can't say he's not had a fair run - he's had seven Test matches."

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"It was the right ploy by Michael Clarke to put Smith on - but for me, Lyon should have got him out of his comfort zone, or teased him by tossing it up and bowling into the rough. He knows Smith hardly ever bowls and might bowl a full toss or two, but he might get you a wicket."

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Evan Samuel: Top knock by the skipper - good enough to make my ticket for tomorrow worthwhile, anyway!

Jack Blackburn: Four days in a Test match? There's a novelty.

Can the rain save England?

It looks like they might have to survive the first two hours' play tomorrow before the weather has a say...

BBC Weather
BBC Weather

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Australia deserve to win - England have not helped themselves. The bowling on the first day was fairly inspid, lacking energy, then the batting yesterday was pretty awful. Today it's been about Alastair Cook - he's shown you've got to get your head down and play to the situation. It's a pity none of the others could play like him."

Review of the day

Well, let's be honest - barring a miracle, Australia are on the brink of victory in this fifth and final Ashes Test. They started well, mopping up England's dismal first innings for 149 by taking the final two wickets of Mark Wood and Moeen Ali. And then, to the surprise of no-one in particular, they enforced the follow-on.

It was a last chance for under-pressure opener Adam Lyth and I'm afraid to say he flunked it, caught - yet again - in the slips for 10. His time in the side is surely up. But he was far from the only batsman to fall cheaply, as Ian Bell and Joe Root also perished for low scores.

Jonny Bairstow showed plenty of fight but was eventually done for by the excellent Nathan Lyon, who then cleaned up Ben Stokes in the very same over. A battling fifty partnership between Alastair Cook and Jos Buttler briefly gave England hope, but when Cook fell for 85 just before the close, the writing was on the wall...

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

Elgan Evan Alderman: Katich, Ponting, Smith. The Ashes curse of the Ozzy part-timer.

Garry Cairns ‏Well I hope Andrew Foster's proud of himself. #mockers

Close of play

Eng 203-6 (trail by 129)

Mitchell Starc is called back into the attack to see if he can nip out Mark Wood before the close. He sends a heat-seeking toe-cruncher right at the base of the stumps, but Wood somehow jams the bat down on it. And that is that. England survive, but they are staring defeat in the face.

Simon Mann

BBC Test Match Special

"Buttler has shown some stickability in this innings."

Eng 203-6 (Buttler 33, Wood 0)

The new man is Mark Wood - yes, England have sent out a nightwatchman to protect a number eight. Buttler, playing by far his best innings of the series, moves into the 30s with a flick through midwicket off Lyon for four.

Simon Mann

BBC Test Match Special

Alastair Cook
Getty Images

"The two main innings Cook has played in the series are going to be in defeats."


Cook c Voges b Smith 85 (Eng 199-6)

Steve Smith celebrates

Yes, that does say 'b Smith'. It's a brilliant move from Michael Clarke on his swansong, bringing on Steve Smith with his part-time leggies and somehow snaring the previously imperturbable England captain. Cook props jadedly forward, gets a thick inside edge onto his pads and is snaffled by the excellent Adam Voges at short leg. Bonus wicket for Australia, death knell for England.

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Alastair Cook

Andrew Foster: The Chef deserves a ton this series, come on Alastair.

Eng 192-5 (trail by 140)

There's a man wandering round the Oval terraces carrying a cheeseboard. Only at the cricket. Cook nudges Lyon down to long leg for two.

Jim Maxwell

BBC Test Match Special

"It has been a torpid day of Test cricket, but the captain's still there and the ship's still afloat. You can be certain there will be cricket tomorrow judging by the way these two are sticking to the crease."

Eng 190-5 (Starc 13-3-32-0)

Mitchell Starc, like so many of his colleagues in the Australia bowling line-up, has flickered only intermittently in this series. Devastating in the second innings at Trent Bridge, but so far at the Oval, wicketless and pretty ordinary. Buttler eases him off his pads for two.

Eng 187-5 (Cook 80, Buttler 22)

Alastair Cook

Six overs left. Hang in there everybody. This one is like so many others this evening: Lyon to Cook, Cook cuts for one, Lyon to Buttler, Buttler blocks. The out-of-form England keeper has only one thing in his mind: getting through to the close.

England beat Australia (sort of)

Amid the wreckage of this Test, we bring England fans some good news...

England Under-19s have beaten Australia in the last over of a thrilling one-day international at New Road to

draw the series 2-2.

Chasing 295, the hosts

won by four wickets with two balls to spare, a chase built around opener Dan Lawrence's 106.

Earlier, Caleb Jewell hit 106 and Jordan Gauci 93, sharing an opening stand of 196 in Australia's 294-6.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Alastair Cook

Ian Bradley: Grim affair all in all but been a pleasure to watch the defiance of Cook, you shall not pass.

Eng 186-5 (trail by 146)

Mixed bag from Buttler against Mitchell Starc: he plays a nice positive stroke to work two off his legs, then the very next ball plays a horribly tentative forward prod and is lucky to see the edge drop short of the slips.

Scorecard update

England 182-5 (72 overs) - following on, trail by 150

Batsmen: Cook 79*, Buttler 18*

Fall of wickets: 19-1 (Lyth 10), 62-2 (Bell 13), 99-3 (Root 11), 140-4 (Bairstow 26), 140-5 (Stokes 0)

Bowling figures: Johnson 13-2-51-1, Starc 11-3-25-0, Lyon 22-5-45-2, Siddle 16-10-14-1, Marsh 10-4-28-1

Australia first innings 481: Smith 143, Warner 85, Voges 76

England first innings 149: Moeen 30; Johnson 3-21, Marsh 3-30

Eng 182-5 (M Marsh 10-4-28-1)

I break off from the cricket to bring you news of the romantic saga that had us all on tenterhooks earlier. Before tea the TV cameras showed a banner hung from a flat overlooking The Oval, with the message "BEX - WILL YOU MARRY ME?" We were understandably keen to find out whether the proposal had been accepted. Now there's a new banner, which says "WE DON'T KNOW, SHE'S IN THE MALDIVES." So the mystery continues, but we hope to be able to bring you a definitive update on Bex's marital at some point during the ODI series.

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Alastair Cook swishes at a Mitchell Marsh outswinger and is lucky not to get an outside edge.

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"From a spin bowler's perspective, if there's a player like Jos Buttler who can reverse-sweep me for six in a one-day game who then changes the way he bats in first-class cricket, I'm over the moon. Especially when he clearly has defensive flaws in his technique."

Eng 177-5 (Cook 79, Buttler 18)

Meanwhile, over at the Met Office, developments of a decidedly meteorological nature. Apparently, there's a weather warning being issued for London on Monday. Could the English weather, so far an absent friend, be about to make a late arrival at the Ashes party? England need to hang in there to make it that far, but they're doing a decent job at the moment, continuing their steady accumulation with three runs against Mitchell Starc.

Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Jos Buttler's strike-rate is the same in Test cricket as it is in first-class cricket which tells me it's not just in this arena in which he doesn't use all of his shots. He hasn't toned it down for Test cricket."

Eng 174-5 (trail by 158)

Mitchell Marsh bowls
Getty Images

Reckon this is a good move by Australia: Mitchell Marsh is back into the attack to nibble a few medium-pacers past the outside edge in the evening gloaming. Buttler isn't biting at the moment: he watches the first set of six go by.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Ed Stockton: Pretty torturous ordeal following the Test online. That run rate is just crawling.

Thanks Ed...

Eng 174-5 (Johnson 13-2-51-1)

The shadows lengthening at the Oval now but there's no slackening of Mitchell Johnson's pace: the arrival at the crease of an out-of-form batsman has awakened the fire-breathing monster in Mitch and he's wanging it down at 90mph. Tasty. Buttler, to his credit, doesn't duck the examination, and flicks him through midwicket for two.

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Nathan Lyon's dismissal of Ben Stokes was great bowling to a poor player of spin. When you first go into bat, no matter how aggressive you are, surely you don't hit the ball if it's not going to hit your stumps and is turning away."