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Live Reporting

Stephan Shemilt and Marc Higginson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    After rain, anthems, runs, wickets and not much sledging, the battle for the smallest trophy in cricket is under way.

    Have England made the most of their first dig on this Cardiff wicket, or have Australia already done enough damage to hold the upper hand? Tomorrow could have the answers, so join us then.

  2. Post update

    And I think that's where we'll leave it, ending the first day of this 2015 Ashes series.

  3. 'Hopefully we can score 400-plus'

    England batsman Joe Root: "I'm happy to be in the position we are in as team. Hopefully we can kick on in the morning. The longer we can keep them out there, the better it is for us.

    "Moeen and Broady are both very capable of scoring big scores - hopefully tomorrow is one of those days where they take it to them and we score 400-plus."

  4. Player's view

    Josh Hazlewood

    Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood, who took 3-70 from 22 overs, on Sky Sports: "The game is fairly level at this stage. Hopefully we can clean them up in the morning.

    "We were good in patches. We kept it tight for periods but we leaked a few runs. When Root was batting he played fantastically and we need to find a plan for him.

    "The wicket is quite slow and nullifies the short stuff but we tried to keep it full and swinging. The Duke ball is good fun - if you get it in the right areas there is always something there. If they get 40 or 50 more I think that's about par for them."

  5. Post update

    More from Joe Root on the pitch, which has been criticised for a lack of pace: "It's a little bit slow. Seeing the first few not carry was a bit of a worry.

    "There's a little bit there - there are a few little indentations which could be helpful when we bowl."

  6. Post update

    And remember, you can have your say on Root's knock and all things Ashes-related on the BBC Radio 5 live Ashes Social, from 20:00 this evening.

    Ashes Social
  7. Player's view

    England batsman Joe Root, who made 134 off 166 balls, on Sky Sports: "I'm really pleased with the way things have gone. I rode my luck at times, especially early on.

    "When they attack, that's the best time to attack them because that's where the gaps are. It's not going to work every time I go out, but fortunately it did today. Hopefully it's the first of a few and not just a one-off."

    On the reasons for his brilliant form: "A bit of luck, a lot of hard work and trying to keep everything as simple and as basic as possible. Things just clicked. Sometimes you've got to be the one who stands up and gets the runs."

  8. Post update

    And that was that. England close on 343-7. A good day? From 43-3, you would think so, but there's a nagging thought that Australia may sell their wickets much dearer on this placid pitch.

  9. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Stuart Broad

    "In the few balls I've seen Broad was watching the ball a bit better and trying like hell to get behind it, that's all you can expect. If he can get through that and the concern he has with fear, he'll make some runs because he has got some talent that lad."

  10. Post update

    Stokes sparkled for 52 before getting a beauty from the improving Mitchell Starc. England might have claimed complete honours had they suffered no further losses, but Jos Buttler's tame pat to mid-on meant Stuart Broad had to accompany Moeen Ali to the close.

  11. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If there are any quicker pitches in the series - which I hope there will be - Ballance is going to have problems because he wasn't looking at the ball, but he got a fifty for his own confidence which was really good.

    "England have done something about not letting the off-spinner, Nathan Lyon, tie them down and I'm not sure they got it totally right. We can't allow him to hold an end all day but there is a difference between stopping him and trying to whack him out the park all the time."

  12. Post update

    But the tea break brought a wicket, that of Ballance, lbw to Hazlewood, ending a stand of 153. Though Root completed a century and found some support from Ben Stokes, Australia would continue to chip away in an entertaining evening session full of runs and wickets.

  13. Post update

    In the company of his Yorkshire buddy Gary Ballance, Root rebuilt the England innings with some off-side play of the highest order. As he unfurled cuts and drives, Ballance, all at sea early on, battled through. 102 runs were added in the afternoon session.

  14. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Haddin should have got two mitts to that catch off Joe Root, he never looked as if he was going to catch it. Root played marvellously from then on, he took the game away from Australia by being busy, didn't try to slog it, orthodox cricket with nice footwork.

    "The Australian bowlers were striving all day for wickets, they bowled a lot of hittable balls with attacking fields even when there was nothing in the pitch and I thought that played into England's hands because there was plenty of room to hit it into the gaps."

  15. Post update

    Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin

    And it could have been even better for Australia. Joe Root, only at the crease for two balls, edges Mitchell Starc behind. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin dives to his right, goes with only one hand and shells the chance. Costly? You betcha.

  16. Post update

    It seems a long time ago that Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to bat. Immediately the pitch looked on the slow side, but that didn't stop Australia tearing into England's top order. Adam Lyth caught at gully off Josh Hazlewood, Cook caught behind from the spin of Nathan Lyon, an out-of-sorts Ian Bell pinned leg before by Mitchell Starc. 43-3, 2013-14 all over again.

  17. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Been very interesting day, lots of incidents I thought England gave the initiative away. It's a brilliant pitch to negate the two fast bowlers of Australia, slow nothingness so it's easier to play the quick bowlers, perfectly prepared for England."

  18. Close-of-play scorecard

    England 343-7 (88 overs)

    Batsmen: Moeen 26* (38), Broad 0* (7)

    Fall of wickets: 7-1 (Lyth 6), 42-2 (Cook 20), 43-3 (Bell 1), 196-4 (Ballance 61), 280-5 (Root 134), 293-6 (Stokes 52), 343-7 (Buttler 27)

    Bowling figures: Starc 19-4-84-3, Hazlewood 22-8-70-3, Johnson 20-2-87-0, Lyon 17-4-54-1, Watson 8-0-24-0, Warner 2-0-9-0

    England won toss

    Full scorecard

  19. Post update

    What to make of all that? There's still time to tweet, text and email your views. We'll be around for a little while longer and Geoffrey Boycott will be here to sum up the day.

  20. Close of play

    Eng 343-7

    Australia leave the field

    And that is that. Broad sways away from the final ball, ending the first day of this 2015 Ashes series. England 343-7, a fine recovery from 43-3. However, Australia will be pretty chuffed with taking seven wickets after losing the toss. See-saw, entertaining stuff. Honours even? Maybe don't judge it until Australia have batted.

  21. Eng 343-7

    Good from Broad. Could have taken a single and exposed Moeen to the final ball of the day. He turns it down so Moeen is still there tomorrow.

  22. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Kendall: Poor from Buttler. Not quite there in Test cricket yet for me. Needs some bigger and better innings.

  23. Eng 343-7 (Moeen 26, Broad 0)

    Hazlewood tests out the middle of the deck, Broad plays it with all the certainty of man groping for his car keys in a dark room. Could have gone anywhere, landed safely on the off side. Three balls to go.

  24. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jan Dekker: All eerily, wearily similar to the last Ashes game at Cardiff. England under-score on placid track..

  25. Eng 343-7

    Another waft from Moeen, a man not playing as if it was the last ball of the day. Australia sprint round and get their wish of six more balls at Stuart Broad. Another wicket here and it really will be Australia's day.

  26. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Andrew Lawton: England have lost some wickets at awful times today.

  27. Eng 343-7

    Mitchell Johnson bowls

    Johnson to Moeen, who plays an awful waft outside off stump and is lucky to survive. I wonder if there's any thoughts of Johnson giving Moeen a single in order to have a go at Stuart Broad? Still the trumpeter in Cardiff, but no much other noise. There's some glum faces on the England balcony. Will we get another over in?

  28. Eng 343-7

    Just a thought. For as well as England have competed, they have lost seven wickets on a pretty sluggish deck. If there's no help for the home attack, how many might Australia rack up on this pitch? 343-7 might not be much cop. Remember, England got 400+ in the last Ashes Test here and needed a last-wicket great escape and some rain.

  29. Eng 343-7 (Hazlewood 21-6-70-3)

    Stuart Broad the new man. Mitchell Johnson is licking his lips, but will have to wait for his chance. One, maybe two overs left in the day.

  30. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Jos Buttler leaves the field

    "Caught mid-on against an opening bowler doesn't usually happen but the lack of pace played into his hands. Buttler was through the shot too early. What that does do is expose the vulnerable English tail."

  31. WICKET

    Buttler c Johnson b Hazlewood 27 (Eng 343-7)

    Josh Hazlewood celebrates taking the wicket of Jos Buttler

    Oh, Jos. That really is a poor way to get out. After surviving that lbw shout off Josh Hazlewood, Buttler can only lob the softest of catches to mid-on, where Mitchell Johnson pouches. It's tame, especially with eight minutes to go until the close of play. Cardiff is stunned into silence. Does that mean it's Australia's day?

  32. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Toby Tarrant: Don't want to jinx him but surely there's no better number eight in Test cricket than Big Mo!

  33. Post update

    Eng 343-6

    YMCA in the crowd as Hazlewood nips one back into Buttler's pads. Big shout, but that's too leggy. No review.

  34. Eng 343-6 (85 overs)

    Johnson again, the fast bowler being spoken to by much shorter David Warner. "Hey Mitch, how do I grow a moustache like yours?" Left-armer Johnson round the wicket to left-handed Moeen. Fetch that! Short ball, Moeen swivelling on a pull for the boundary that brings up the 50 partnership. More short stuff, shorter and faster, Moeen deciding that discretion is the better part of valour. Johnson, 19 overs for 87 runs, gives Moeen a volley of verbals. Not the best day for Mitch.

  35. 'Will Root become an England great?'

    Joe Root

    That's just one of the topics which will be debated on the Ashes social on BBC Radio 5 live tonight at 20:00 BST.

    Mark Chapman and a special panel of experts will discuss the main talking points of an entertaining opening day in the Ashes...

    • Will Joe Root become one of England's greatest ever batsmen?
    • How long do England give Ian Bell?
    • Can Mitchell Johnson perform in English conditions?

    Want to get involved? Call 0500 909 693, tweet using #bbccricket or text 85058.

  36. Eng 339-6 (Buttler 26, Moeen 22)

    The old cliche of the new ball bringing a trickle of runs can be applied here, Buttler driving Hazlewood for a couple then flat-footedly poking an edge wide of the slips for four. Already this stand is worth 45 in only 7.5 overs. Shadows lengthening in Cardiff, we're deep into over-time. Can England make it through without further damage? Mitchell Starc is back out there, asking umpire Marais Erasmus for the time. Is that 'how long before I can bowl?' or 'how much longer do I have to field for?'

  37. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a good day of Test cricket. If England can get through this last 20 minutes for no further loss they'd be very happy with the day. One more wicket brings Stuart Broad to the crease and he might have a few memories from Australia where he seemed to be jumping around the crease. We'll see where he's at with his batting."

  38. Eng 329-6 (Johnson 18-1-82-0)

    Johnson sees the ball swing into Buttler, so posts a leg slip. Buttler sees the ball into his pads, so bullets the new conker through mid-wicket for a couple. When Johnson again errs, Buttler does the same again, much to the delight of a Cardiff crowd that has finally swung into full voice after a very sedate morning. I'm told that the close will be 18:45 or in seven overs' time, whichever comes first.

  39. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    Mitchell Johnson looks on as Moeen Ali picks up some runs

    "England have scored quickly, to go at just under four an over is pretty handy. The way Root and Stokes batted increased the scoring rate and that's what we want to see, good positive Test cricket."

  40. Eng 324-6 (Moeen 20, Buttler 14)

    You know what, this has a very similar feeling to the first day of the 2009 Cardiff Test, when England reached 336-7. They were all out for 435, before Australia racked up nearly 700. We all know how it ended.

    Lovely evening in Wales, plenty of sunshine and a few eyeing a trip to one of the city's watering holes this evening, I fancy. Hazlewood with the new nut, swinging it back in to the pads of Moeen, who pounces on some width with a wonderful cover drive for four.

  41. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There have been a couple of balls that have been a little up and down, which is not a good sign on day one for the team batting last."

  42. Eng 320-6 (Buttler 14, Moeen 14)

    Three slips, a gully and a short leg as Johnson steams in to Moeen. I say steams in, but this sluggish pitch looks likely to nullify his sizzling pace. Johnson is up above 85mph, but the hard, new ball is bouncing twice on the way through to Brad Haddin. When Johnson drop short, Moeen has all the time to hook for a single. That wouldn't have been case on a trampoline at the Waca.

  43. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    Mitchell Johnson looks frustrated

    "It's been a tough day for Mitchell Johnson, who promised so much after the way he bowled against England in Australia last time, but I think he's bowled quite well on a wicket that doesn't suit his style of bowling. I've seen enough to show that if you get on a quicker wicket he is going to be a handful."

  44. New ball

    Eng 319-6

    New ball has been taken, in the hands of Mitchell Johnson. Mitchell Starc is also back on the field. Or is he? He's going off again. Make your mind up, Mitchell.

  45. Not out

    Eng 316-6

    Yep, miles too high, but Moeen won't have liked that. We've had 80 overs, so the new ball is now due. As I said, Australia also get their reviews topped up to two. Daft rule.

  46. Umpire review

    Eng 316-6

    Poor leave from Moeen, but looks too high from Josh Hazlewood. Australia might as well review, they get two more in one ball's time...

  47. Post update

    Sam Sheringham

    BBC Sport at Cardiff

    Moeen Ali hits a shot

    "There's a boozy buzz in the Cardiff air. The Aussie fans, so quiet for so long as Root and Ballance dominated, have found their voice, while England's supporters are cheering every run in this fledgling stand between Moeen and Buttler. Can they see off the new ball and ensure England end the day with their noses in front?"

  48. Eng 316-6 (Buttler 11, Moeen 15)

    The crowd are cheering Johnson to the crease. You know the type, the sort a goalkeeper gets when taking a goal-kick. There's plenty of lubricated fans singing that song song too. The one with the naughty word at the end. Nothing near Buttler's stumps, then a bouncer that the England keeper would need a ladder to reach. That's more fuel for the baying fans, who are cockahoop when Buttler edges for four.

  49. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been good cricket, runs scored, wickets falling. Joe Root has definitely impressed. There has been a lot of people talking him up but he went out there and performed."

  50. Eng 312-6

    With Starc off the pitch, Mitchell Johnson is on. There are 12 overs left in the day, but they have to be bowled by 18:40, I believe. We might lose a couple.

  51. Scorecard update

    England 312-6 (78 overs)

    Batsmen: Buttler 7* (10), Moeen 15* (9)

    Fall of wickets: 7-1 (Lyth 6), 42-2 (Cook 20), 43-3 (Bell 1), 196-4 (Ballance 61), 280-5 (Root 134), 293-6 (Stokes 52)

    Bowling figures: Starc 19-4-84-3, Hazlewood 17-5-57-2, Johnson 15-1-69-0, Lyon 17-4-54-1, Watson 6-0-19-0, Warner 2-0-9-0

    England won toss

    Full scorecard

  52. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Most of this middle order play freely and there is a definite intent to make sure Lyon doesn't tie them down. Moeen is a natural player and they are better doing it their natural way. They'll be conscious the new ball is due and it will be more difficult."

  53. Eng 312-6 (Buttler 7, Moeen 15)

    Mitchell Starc goes to the dressing room

    At the end of that over, Starc went straight to the dressing room. Touch of cramp? Maybe a dodgy hammy? Never mind that, England are continuing the charge, Moeen Ali belting Nathan Lyon over mid-wicket for six. It's been see-saw, even, entertaining stuff. Bodes well for the other 24 days of this series.

  54. Eng 304-6 (Starc 19-4-84-3)

    This game is bang in the balance, England under the pump with the new ball looming. The hosts can take solace from the fact they have a very good batsman at number eight, with Moeen Ali taking guard. Replays of that Stokes dismissal make Starc's delivery look even better, with the send-off doing more than any words could. Moeen is surrounded, maybe with the short ball in mind, but he's away with a couple of twos and a three. 300 up for England.

  55. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Ben Stokes leaves the field

    "That's a pretty good ball with a ball 76 overs old. It moved a long way, even first up this morning you would say that was a good conker, to do it with a 76 over old ball is impressive."

  56. WICKET

    Stokes b Starc 52 (Eng 293-6)

    Mitchell Starc dismisses Ben Stokes

    Bowled him! Mitchell Starc gets Ben Stokes with an absolute rozzer. Pitched up, swinging away, squaring Stokes up and taking the off stump. Starc has not bowled well today, but has improved in the evening and is now doing his bit to put Australia on top. He even gives Stokes a finger-on-lips send-off. Is this day edging back towards Australia?

  57. 50 for Ben Stokes

    Eng 293-5

    Ben Stokes celebrates

    You just wonder how big an impact Ben Stokes might have on this Ashes series. There's a big tradition of England all-rounders making their mark on home Ashes series. Stokes cuts Nathan Lyon to move to a 75-ball half-century, his third in Test cricket. Coming in at a relatively sticky time, Stokes has been true to his attacking instincts.

  58. Dictionary corner

    Text 81111

    Barry Webster asked via Twitter for someone to invent a word that describes what it feels like to drop someone and then watch them make a big score...

    Olly: "Melan-dolly".

    BeauB: How about 'Fumblemare' for a dropped catch that leads to a big score?

    Neil Hunsworth: A drop preceding a century? Gotta be a Fluff Daddy.

  59. Eng 287-5

    This is good from Starc, a series of full away-swingers followed by an in-swinger that dips back in to Stokes' pads. The Aussies think about an appeal, but I suspect there's an inside edge. A good passage from Australia.

  60. Email

    Michael Allen: Just clearing out the portable barbecue ready for the weekend and dropped it on the lawn. Know how Haddin must feel. Just dropped the ashes.

  61. Close!

    Eng 285-5

    Ooofff, half a chance from Ben Stokes, a thick edge off the bowling of Mitchell Starc, flying over Steve Smith at third slip and away for four. That's bounced much more than most have today. A slice of luck for Stokes.

  62. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia's bowling has not been good, there has not been enough discipline and patience on a pitch where it is not easy to get wickets. They have to get it really spot on with the new ball, they don't have a lot of margin for error."

  63. Eng 281-5 (Stokes 43, Buttler 0)

    General view of play

    Still Australia ring the changes in a sun-soaked Cardiff, Nathan Lyon on to tweak his offies at the left-handed Ben Stokes. Round the wicket to the sound of the trumpet, the spindly Lyon takes some advice from gloveman Haddin. What's the keeper said? If it was "Nathan, bowl a wide half-tracker that Stokes can cut for a single", then the plan worked a treat.

  64. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    England side applaud Joe Root as he leaves the field

    Tom Audsley: What an innings by Joe Root there. Best batsmen in the England side by a mile at the moment.

  65. Eng 280-5 (Starc 17-4-67-2)

    Looking again, that delivery was quite wide, with Root reaching for it. He probably didn't need to play, but a man with 134 to his name is perhaps entitled to have a dart. Jos Buttler is the new man with the game back in the balance. Can England get through the new ball and to the close with minimal losses?

  66. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Joe Root

    "It was a bit wide but you can't complain when somebody bats as well as that all day. He got a big slice of luck - it was a terrible drop by Haddin - but he took his chance he gave the innings momentum, he's been busy, not hitting fours and sixes but busy scoring, increasing the pressure on the bowlers.

    "He's got England to a wonderful position. I know it's an easy pitch but all you can do is take the position as it is and play well on it and he's played superbly."

  67. WICKET

    Root c Watson b Starc 134 (Eng 280-5)

    Joe Root leaves the field

    Where did that come from? Out of nothing, Australia have the wicket that so desperately craved, that of century-maker Joe Root. Root has driven so well today, but a drive too many ends with an edge to the hands of Shane Watson at slip. Mitchell Starc is the bowler, but there's not much of a celebration. Still, Australia have a crucial breakthrough before the second new ball.

  68. Unhappy Aussie

    You fly your son from Australia to England, give him a week off school and buy him a replica shirt and he's still not happy...

    Young Australia fan
  69. Eng 280-4 (partnership 84)

    Still David Warner and his, erm, medium-pace. Not much of a moustache on Warner's face. You know that episode of Blackadder when Baldrick balances a slug on his top lip? It's like that. England are milking this, they are well and truly on top. 43-3 seems a lifetime ago. At the minute, the next big challenge is the new ball.

  70. Eng 274-4 (Root 133, Stokes 37)

    Joe Root gets treatment

    Joe Root had a touch of treatment on his back during the break. It seemed to consist of a burly man sitting on him and trying to snap him in two. Ten overs until the new ball, Watson trundling in, puffing out his cheeks as he starts the endless trudge back to his mark. Hint of swing, no pace or bounce, Stokes adding three through mid-wicket.

  71. Post update

    A Question of Sport Teaser

    Earlier, we asked who are the five cricketers whose first name is Adam to play Test cricket for England or Australia?

    Did you get them all? They were Adam Dale, Adam Hollioake, Adam Lyth, Adam Voges and Adam Gilchrist.

    I know what you're thinking... who's Adam Dale? Well, he played two Test matches in the late nineties and took six wickets at 31.

  72. Punter on part-timers

    David Boon

    Ricky Ponting, speaking on Sky Sports, says he hated facing part-time bowlers like David Warner - adding that it made him more nervous than facing the best bowlers in the team. He adds that he was never more nervous than facing his childhood hero David Boon in a game between Australia and Australia A.

  73. Drinks break

    Eng 271-4

    As usual, Warner is greeted by the theme from Rocky. I suspect England fans will never forget the incident with Joe Root in a Birmingham bar. To be fair to Warner, he's bowling straighter than most of his colleagues, well enough to make a batsman nervous about getting out to him. Time for drinks.

  74. Eng 269-4

    What's going on here? A surprise from Michael Clarke, chucking the ball to David Warner. Warner has previously bowled some leg-breaks, but here he's going to bowl some medium-pace.

  75. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Bobbie Hough: Can we just start every innings at 40-3 and get to the bit where Root rides to the rescue? It'd save the emotional turmoil.

    Ben Stone: Beauty of Ashes - each day feels like could go either way. On brink of being a good one for either side depending on next hr.

    Avram Liebenau: Watching #TheAshes with my American cousin who's never seen cricket before, he already prefers it to baseball.

  76. Eng 267-4 (partnership 71)

    Ben Stokes in pain after being hit on the knee
    Ben Stokes hits the ground

    Australia now resorting to dirty tactics, pinning Ben Stokes on the knee with a throw as the England all-rounder completes a single. He hits the deck, but seems OK. Just one slip now for Stokes, with a man almost standing on the track at short mid-off. More leggy stuff from Watson, causing Haddin to dive to take the ball. I wonder if the keeper will be giving his bowlers a rocket later on? "If you can't bowl straight, I'm going to stick this ball..."

  77. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Wonderful day for England, in particular Joe Root. He keeps playing these innings where I think that's the best hundred I've seen - he keeps going up a level. His maneuvering of the ball into the gaps, even his defensive shots look as through they will go for runs. He's got the cut shot, the pull shot, he's got everything covered at this stage."

  78. Eng 265-4 (Root 129, Stokes 33)

    Mitchell Starc prepares to bowl

    Lovely evening in Cardiff now, far removed from the wet morning. Starc strives for the crease as Billy the Barmy Army trumpeter gives us a verse of Waltzing Matilda. Oh, that's village from Starc, down the leg side, giving old man Brad Haddin little chance to prevent four byes. The Aussie seamers haven't been kind to their keeper today. Then again, Haddin did drop Root off Starc.

  79. Scorecard update

    England 257-4 (67 overs)

    Batsmen: Root 126* (156), Stokes 32* (41)

    Fall of wickets: 7-1 (Lyth 6), 42-2 (Cook 20), 43-3 (Bell 1), 196-4 (Ballance 61)

    Bowling figures: Starc 15-3-63-1, Hazlewood 17-5-57-2, Johnson 15-1-69-0, Lyon 14-4-39-1, Watson 6-0-19-0

    England won toss

    Full scorecard

  80. Eng 257-4 (partnership 61)

    Australia have 14 overs to wait until the new ball is available, an hour's cricket that could be a very long time if Root and Stokes remain together. Shane Watson, usually the model of accuracy, goes too wide and is slashed through point by Stokes for four. Watson stares and has his revenge by one that seams back to get Stokes in the bread basket. England won't mind signs of life in this deck - they will have to take 20 wickets to win this match.

  81. How's Stat?!

  82. Eng 253-4 (66 overs)

    More Aussie changes, Mitchell Starc trying his luck from the River Taff End. Despite England's serene progress, Cardiff remains fairly respectful, engrossed in the cricket, rather than having a party in the crowd. There's all summer left to celebrate, no point going too soon. Good from Starc, a toe-seeking yorker forcing Root to jam down.

  83. Yorkshire beat Warwickshire

    Yorkshire players celebrate

    It's all coming up (white) roses for Yorkshire at the moment. Not only have Root and Ballance pulled England back from the brink of disaster but in their absence their county side have notched up another impressive victory to stay top of the County Championship. They have just bowled Warwickshire out for 259 in their second innings to win at by 174 runs at Edgbaston.

    Former England seamer Ryan Sidebottom took 11 wickets in the match for Yorkshire, who now have a 24-point lead in Division One, having played a game less than second-placed Middlesex.

  84. Eng 251-4 (Root 124, Stokes 28)

    Indeed Shane Watson is summoned to trundle his medium-pacers, looking fairly hacked off at the prospect. Then again, I'm not sure I'd be keen to send the leather down at 80mph if my body was held together by piano wire. Watson, harder to mover than a wardrobe, drops short to Root, who cuts for three.

  85. Eng 248-4 (Root 121, Stokes 28)

    Apologies for the odd typo that appears in the scores. I know it causes heart attacks across the nation. Only human and all that. One tweeter, a Dan McCarthy, has just got in touch to point out a mistake, but didn't spell my name correctly. The irony. Stokes down the track to Lyon, four in the air that almost had mid-on interested. When Stokes cuts for another four, it brings up the 50 partnership in only 10.2 overs.

  86. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "What a day, at 40-3 Australia would have been cock-a-hoop. Three or fours later England are in control. The Aussies will be getting tired but the game is still in the balance, there is certainly no room for resting on their laurels for England."

  87. Eng 240-4 (27 overs remain)

    Joe Root hits a drive

    Are honours still about even? Another wicket or two and Australia on top? Anything north of 300 for four or five mean it will be England's day? At slip, Shane Watson goes through the most torturous warm-up routine. He should be ready to go at about lunchtime tomorrow. Watson would be in the Immobile XI, along with Inzamam and Arjuna Ranatunga. Root driving again, giving the man on the cover boundary some work.

  88. Post update

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Poetry in motion from Stokes, lovely sashay down the wicket, and the Aussies have been saved from a wet ball by the TV gantry - it hit that. In a county game it would have been swimming in the River Taff."

  89. Eng 236-4 (Root 117, Stokes 20)

    The trumpeter plays a solo as the retired Ryan Harris sits on the Aussie balcony making his way through an ice cream. Come to think of it, every picture I've seen of Harris since he retired has been of him eating. Enjoy it, Rhino. Stokes down the track to Lyon, chipping over short cover. Here he comes again. It's huge, massive! Straight as you like, another maximum. Lyon is lucky he's not fetching that from the River Taff.

  90. A bit of Fry and Laurie

  91. Eng 229-4 (Root 116, Stokes 14)

    The sun plays a little hide and seek as Root purposely guides Starc between second slip and gully to the vacant third man area for four. The wind blows Starc's shirt as one voice from crowd aims some abuse at Michael Clarke. Unprintable stuff. Australia are forced to drop point deeper for Root, with Starc then spraying the ball down the leg side when Stokes comes on strike. Haddin looks indignant, Clarke puts his head in his hands. Disquiet in the camp? Australia not quite as good as we thought they might be?

  92. Eng 224-4 (Lyon (12-4-24-1)

    The shaven-headed Nathan Lyon spins himself a catch then sets off on his hop, skip and jump run-up. Round the wicket to Stokes, who almost has short leg interested with an inside edge. Just noting what Sam Sheringham tells us below, now is about the time of day when those have been on the sauce get vocal. Not too rowdy, yet. Plenty of chat going Stokes's way from the Aussies, mind.

  93. Post update

    Sam Sheringham

    BBC Sport at Cardiff

    Mitchell Johnson looks frustrated

    It has taken two and a bit sessions, but the Barmy Army have finally felt brave enough to dust off the Mitchell Johnson song. You know the one, "He bowls to the left, he bowls the right, That Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is...."

  94. Eng 224-4 (Root 111, Stokes 14)

    Australia continue to ring the changes, one left-armed Mitchell replacing another. Here comes Starc, over the wicket in the evening sun. Overpitched, Root playing yet another cover drive for four. When the Australia fielders go to sleep tonight, they will have nightmares about endlessly chasing Joe Root drives to the off-side boundary.

  95. How's stat?!

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    Joe Root celebrates

    "Joe Root has scored seven Test centuries before the age of 25. Among England players, only Alastair Cook managed more - nine."

  96. Eng 219-4 (57 overs)

    Indeed it is Lyon, twirling his off-breaks as a lady in the crowd gets stuck into some knitting. I wonder what makes someone think that knitting is an essential part of the gear for a Test match. "Ticket, check. Sandwiches, check. Keys, got them. Ooofff, almost forgot my knitting. I'd have looked silly without that." Decent maiden from Lyon.

  97. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    K_Mehmi88: There isn't a better batsman than Joe Root in the world at present in any form of cricket.

    Kieran Milward: More, just wonderful batting from Joe Root. Present and future.

    Rich: Joe Root is absolutely everything that any aspiring sportsman should aim to be.

  98. Eng 219-4

    Joe Root has called for the physio, taking a couple of pills. It gives Australia time to prepare for the spin of Nathan Lyon.

  99. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "There has been so much talk about sledging but then we get a benign wicket and I don't think there has been anything said by either team."

  100. Eng 219-4 (Root 107, Stokes 13)

    With Stokes at the crease, one would think we are about to find out about the spirit this series may be played in. If anyone is likely to wind up the Aussies, it will be the flame-haired all-rounder from Durham. Also, any battle between Johnson and Stokes all centres around who has the better arm tattoos. There's some ink between these boys. A slash from Stokes, the ball whistles to the point boundary. A perplexed Johnson strokes his mo.

  101. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joe Root celebrates his 100

    Neel: "What an innings by Joe Root!!!! Got England back in game!

    Stuart Mitchell: Roooooooooooooooooot!! GET IN! Haddin must really be Rungretting that drop now.

    Seba Rua: Way to go, Joe! That Root fella, is he some sort of deity? How many times has he saved England's bacon?

  102. Eng 215-4

    Seatbelts. A Johnson bouncer, a top-edged hook from Stokes, six over the keeper's head. I suspect it's about to get tasty.

  103. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "Root has had a little bit of luck, but he's definitely made Australia pay. He hasn't mucked around - he's got on with it. The Australian bowling has helped him but it has been quality batting."

  104. Eng 209-4

    That 118-ball ton is also England's sixth fastest in Ashes cricket. He's not looking like finishing yet, driving Hazlewood through mid-on for four. Looking at his wagon wheel, you can see he's scored about 70% of his runs on the off side - cuts and drives. Remember, he was dropped on nought. A penny for Brad Haddin's thoughts.

  105. 100 for Joe Root

    Eng 203-4

    Joe Root celebrates his 100

    Whatever you're doing, stop. Stand and applaud Joe Root's century. This has been a wonderful hundred, his second in Ashes cricket and made in the most difficult circumstances. Remember, he arrived with the score at 43-3. He goes to a seventh Test ton with a wonderful cover drive, the sort he has played all day long. He punches the air, the crowd chant "Roooooot", then sing 'Hey Jude' with his name substituted in.

  106. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Josh Hazlewood celebrates

    Terry, County Durham: Is that the most subtle commentator's curse EVER? Agnew says 'the balance changes' and next post Ballance changes ... From in to out.

    Dec: The Aussies have un-ballanced us now. Shocking pun, I'll leave.

  107. Eng 199-4 (Root 97, Stokes 3)

    Stokes faces up to Johnson - you may remember these two had a few exchanges during the last series down under, when Stokes announced himself to the world. Johnson in the Welsh sunshine, three slips and a gully, Stokes' feet not moving freely yet. Just thinking about this pair having previous - is there anyone Stokes doesn't have previous with? Johnson, Marlon Samuels, a locker...

  108. Eng 199-4 (Hazlewood 16-5-47-2)

    Gary Ballance looks disappointed

    Gary Ballance will be wondering how he missed that. Hazlewood was coming round the wicket. If anything it swung a touch, but it was pretty much straight. Ballance played slightly across it and replays show it would have clattered middle and leg. Ben Stokes, so explosive, is the new man. You sense this is a crucial time. This pair could take the game from Australia, but another wicket or two would have the Aussies bang on top. Joe Root, remember, is still on 97.

  109. Post update

    Glenn McGrath

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It just angled in with a little bit of swing from round the wicket. I honestly thought they were going to refer that but it was thudding in to middle and leg so it was a good decision not to. He was behind the crease, he didn't look to get forward, but 61 with the form he has been in he'd have been pleased with. So your prediction of 250 is back on!"

  110. WICKET

    Ballance lbw Hazlewood 61 (Eng 196-4)

    Gary Ballance leaves the field

    Australia have the breakthrough! Josh Hazlewood has done the trick and Gary Ballance is the man to go, the end of the huge stand with Joe Root. Facing his third ball after the break, Ballance is pinned in front by a very full ball from Hazlewood, who has been Australia's best seamer. Ballance thinks about reviewing, but then trudges off. It was straight, almost yorker length, hitting Ballance on the back leg. Stone dead.

  111. Post update

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    "It's interesting how the game changes, the balance changes. Michael Vaughan said this morning a competitive score would be 250 - and that seemed a long way away."

  112. Eng 194-3 (Ballance 59, Root 97)

    He still looks like same Mitchell Johnson - dark hair, moustache, prowling run-up. The pace is there too - there or thereabouts of 90mph. The radar has been awry, though. And, apart from pinning Gary Ballance on the arm, the menace has been, well, less menacing. Both he and Mitchell Starc have conceded more than four runs an over. Two slips and gully, loose drive from Joe Root gets only fresh air. Another uppish drive this time gets willow and four through point. Root to 97...

  113. Dictionary corner

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Barry Webster asked via Twitter for someone to invent a word that describes what it feels like to drop someone and then watch them make a big score...

    Brian Rea: How about a 'Downton'?

    Sam Charman: I'd suggest 'Drotted' a portmanteau of 'Dropped' and 'Gutted'. Context "I felt drotted when he made a century".

    Ian Smith: Dropression.

  114. Post update

    By the way, there are 38 overs remaining in the day, so one would suspect we'll be playing until 18:30 BST. The first of those will be bowled by Mitchell Johnson, who's been well below his devastating, 2013-14 best.

  115. Post update

    General view

    Did I say it was grey in Cardiff? Pah! It's cracking the flags. Blue sky, the odd fluffy cloud. New coach Trevor Bayliss sits on the England balcony, unmatching white hat and blue tracksuit as if they haven't quite nailed his kit yet. The players are back out, with Joe Root hunting a hundred.

  116. Dictionary corner

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Just a few minutes ago, Barry Webster asked via Twitter for someone to invent a word that describes what it feels like to drop someone and then watch them make a big score...

    Stephen: Drop and then go onto score big? Droplosion.

    Ewan Grunwald: Distr-caught.

    Steven F. Galloway: Rungret? - as in, boy, Haddin must really rungret dropping Root.

  117. Post update

    Thanks, Marc. At 43-3, it was looking like the start of a long old summer for England. Now, a slightly grey Wednesday in Cardiff is looking their best day of Ashes cricket since, well, when?

  118. Post update

    England in some form of control, then. Don't let this slip, Stephan Shemilt...

  119. 'That's not true - he's the messy one'

    Sam Sheringham

    BBC Sport at Cardiff

    Joe Root and Gary Ballance gain runs

    "Wondering what Root and Balance are talking about between overs? Could be their time as housemates when they were coming through the ranks at Yorkshire.

    "I sat down with them last year for a chinwag and heard tales of oversleeping, practical jokes and dirty dishes. Apparently Root cooks a mean spicy prawn dish, while Ballance is a dab hand at steak, egg and chips. Gents, if you keep batting like this, the restaurateurs of Cardiff will be queuing up to cook you up a treat."

  120. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Barry Webster: Someone should invent a word that fittingly describes what it feels like to drop someone and then watch them make a big score.

    I like it, Barry. There's your challenge this afternoon everyone...

  121. Post update

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Really good session for England, the Yorkie pair of Ballance and Root are together for England doing a wonderful job. Root had that slice of luck and has made the most of it, he has looked in impeccable form.

    "It's the way he's finding the gaps and putting the ball to the boundary. He has been a nice foil to Gary Ballance, who can just bat, try to occupy the crease and wear the opposition down."

  122. Tea scorecard

    England 190-3

    Batsmen: Ballance 59* (147), Root 93* (110)

    Fall of wickets: 7-1 (Lyth 6), 42-2 (Cook 20), 43-3 (Bell 1)

    Bowling figures: Starc 11-3-47-1, Hazlewood 15-5-42-1, Johnson 12-0-55-0, Lyon 10-2-24-1, Watson 4-0-12-0

    England won toss

    Full scorecard

  123. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Gary Ballance in action

    Kendall: Ballance has played perfectly. He knows Root is the form man, he knows he's not in the best nick, but looks after his wicket.

    Luke Pellett: This England team is just so much more likable than the 2013 vintage.

    Jordan Davies: Joe Root and Gary Ballance, good job lads. But remember, a job half done isn't done. So let's go massive.

  124. How's stat?!

    Eng 190-3

    Joe Root has taken it to the Australians today - taking 24 runs off the 18 balls he has faced against Mitchell Johnson.

  125. Eng 190-3

    Joe Root takes tea on 93, with almost a third of those runs (30) coming through the cover region. A sign of a master at work.

  126. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "There was a period before lunch when I felt Michael Clarke over attacked too much. There were too many runs coming quickly when England had been in trouble. If he'd just kept it a bit tighter then I thought it would have been smarter because if the bowlers didn't get it right there was room to pick them off."

  127. Eng 190-3

    Joe Root and Gary Ballance - England's engine room - march off smiling after plundering 102 runs in 29 overs during that afternoon session. England are well chuffed with this, as they might say in Yorkshire.

  128. Tea - Eng 190-3

    Josh Hazlewood is everything which England want Steven Finn to become. He's always in the game and as Ricky Ponting remarks on television, is trying to drag Joe Root forward. That's easier said than done against a back-foot player though. A single for young Joe and that, ladies and gentlemen, is tea.

  129. How's stat?!

    Gary Ballance
  130. Eng 189-3 (Root 92, Ballance 59)

    The Aussies look a little flat out there. Mitchell Johnson's Test bowling average in England is now above 40 (23 wickets in eight matches, which includes two games against Pakistan in 2010).

    David Warner stands with his shoulders slumped at point and Gary Ballance is growing in stature at the crease, working two to long leg.