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Summary

  1. Bad light curtails play with Australia 287-3
  2. Clarke (15) gets guard of honour in final Test
  3. England win toss & field (lead series 3-1)
  4. Aus: M Marsh/Siddle in for S Marsh/Hazlewood
  5. Anderson out for unchanged England

Live Reporting

By Stephan Shemilt and Marc Higginson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    And that is where we shall end proceedings for today. In a series that has been played on fast-forward, it's almost like someone has the slow-motion button.

    Still, it's nicely poised and (how often do we say this?) the first hour tomorrow could be quite important.

    Join us then.

  2. Post update

    England's Ben Stokes on Sky Sports: "We've only got them three down but on another day we could have bowled worse and had them five or six. Australia played better than at Trent Bridge but there were a lot of positive things from us. The pitch is quite slow so it was hard to get anything out of it. The eye is still on the prize for 4-1, we bowled fantastic with the new ball so hopefully we can take three or four with the second one."

  3. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Peter: If the situation was reversed, we'd be calling this a dead rubber and not to place too much emphasis on the performance.

  4. Day one review

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "When you put someone in to bat, you've had more than 80 overs to them and you hear them say they'd be happy with five or six down, that's not a putting-in pitch. Australia did play better than before, they did play a few airy-fairy shots. I thought this morning they'd get 420 - but when they come to bat in the third innings, that new ball at the beginning will be important."

  5. Player reaction

    England all-rounder Ben Stokes on TMS: "We thought the pitch might have had more pace, but as a whole we bowled pretty well and might have had them five or six down on another day. Australia batted the best since they've batted since Lord's, but we put the balls in the areas we wanted to."

    On the guard of honour for Michael Clarke: "It's something we discussed, you've got to pay respect to someone who's played as well as he has, so it was a no-brainer."

  6. Post update

    The only one to miss out was captain Michael Clarke. Playing in his final Test, Clarke was given a guard of honour by the England team, but that was where the generosity ended. Clarke feathered a Ben Stokes lifter behind to depart for 15.

  7. Day one review

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Rashid should have played three Tests in the West Indies, and we would have won all three, but Alastair Cook didn't have confidence in him, and I know that for a fact. It's a very quick outfield here, but not like Edgbaston and Trent Bridge where the ball went through at pace."

  8. Post update

    Most of the Australia top order have contributed, through a combination of patience, leaving the ball, pouncing on anything loose and a bit of luck. Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner shared 110 before Rogers edged Mark Wood, while Warner did the same to Moeen Ali to miss out on a century. Steve Smith, on the ground where he scored his maiden Test ton, sleeps on 78, his stand with Adam Voges worth 101.

  9. Post update

    Australia opener David Warner on Sky Sports: "Very good day for us, a good toss to lose. We knew it was going to be tough conditions, for us it was about leaving and respecting good deliveries. Me and Chris [Rogers] left well which put us in a great position. The England bowlers bowled well but I felt it was our day. To come out and show what we're made of was fantastic from our top order."

  10. Day one review

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If Moeen Ali was a fully fledged spinner, I would have expected him to bowl more. England can get away with it in England where the pitches seam as we've four seamers with Stokes as an all-rounder. And they're very happy to have his runs at number eight. But in the UAE and India where the seamers can't do the job, they're going to need to find a spinner."

  11. Text 81111

    Phil in Fareham: This morning the grass was long and it was overcast. Mike Atherton, Shane Warne and Ian Botham - pretty knowledgable all three - said 'bowling wicket'. Michael Clarke said he would have fielded too....poor Cook can't do right for doing wrong.

  12. Day one review

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a strange day, as everything happened quickly in the last two games while today went along a little sedately. The pitch was slowish, I've seen them quicker here and they had more time to play the ball. Two or three edges didn't carry, and more or less everything went Australia's way. England tried like hell, but didn't really get into the game.

  13. Post update

    Swann is right about one thing, though. It seems an eternity since Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to bowl first. I wonder if he's regretting that call? If it's any consolation to the skipper, Michael Clarke wanted a go in the field too. England have bowled well, but Australia have produced perhaps their best batting of the series. The 600+ at Lord's was in conditions so friendly to batting, but it's been spicy here.

  14. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Fox: Surely Steve Smith can't just wonder off of his own accord? So unsportsman like.

  15. Post update

    It may have seemed like a month to Graeme Swann, but Australia have still bumped along at 3.70 an over. You could say that's normal Test cricket, but if anything that's still on the speedy side.

  16. Close-of-play scorecard

    Australia 287-3 (79.4 overs); England won toss

    Batsmen: Smith 78*, Voges 47*

    Fall of wicket: 110-1 (Rogers 43), 161-2 (Warner 85), 186-3 (Clarke 15)

    Bowling figures: Broad 15-3-43-0, Wood 18-5-41-1, Stokes 16-5-59-1, Finn 20.4-2-78-0, Moeen 10-1-49-1.

    Full scorecard

  17. Close of play

    Aus 287-3

    Adam Voges and Steve Smith

    The players will not return this evening, so that is your lot. Incidentally, they went off 25 minutes before the cut-off. I reckon they wasted at least 10 minutes earlier on not playing in when the sun was shining.

  18. Bad light stops play

    Aus 287-3

    Alastair Cook

    The boos around The Oval tell us the players are going off for bad light. Steve Smith can't get off quick enough, while Alastair Cook questions Aleem Dar, perhaps mindful he had a new ball in his mitts in two deliveries' time.

  19. Aus 287-3

    Australia fans in the crowd have something to cheer and wave their flags for as the hundred partnership between this pair is reached with a cheeky single off Smith's body. All round, you have to say this has been a good effort by the Aussies. Conditions have not been a million miles away from Trent Bridge, when they were blown away for 60. A more battling approach has got them on top in this match. Hang on, umpires having a word...

  20. Look into the light

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia are playing a day/night Test match soon and this is good practice for them, full lights on, you can see the shadows from every player, which used to be when they went off!"

  21. Aus 285-3 (79 overs)

    Adam Voges

    Now then. Is this a chance? Adam Voges pulling Ben Stokes past the dive of Jonny Bairstow at square leg. On second look, it's actually miles away from Bairstow, who would have needed the arms of Inspector Gadget to reach that. The trumpeter continues his bid to raise spirits as it gets ever darker. I suspect England would bite your arm off for rain or bad light at the moment. I would too.

  22. Text 81111

    Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke

    Peter: Amid all the (deserved) adulation of the last few weeks, can we now officially say the decision at the toss was horrendous?

  23. Aus 280-3 (Smith 77, Voges 43)

    Steve Finn charges in as the trumpeter shows himself, Ben Stokes going through so pretty rigorous shoulder stretching exercises. A touch of trouble for the Durham all-rounder. As he's done so many times today, Finn goes past the outside edge, Voges hanging the bat out to dry and lucky not to get an outside edge. The trumpeter, by the way, is playing The Final Countdown. To what? The new ball?

  24. Post update

  25. Aus 275-3

    Yep, didn't take long to come to that decision, no matter how loudly the crowd cheered when Root took the catch. On we go.

  26. Third umpire

    Aus 275-3

    A smidge of excitement here. Joe Root holds Adam Voges, but most think it is a bump ball...

  27. Aus 275-3

    Perhaps there's some fans inside The Oval reading the live text, because the strains of a serenade are heard as Ben Stokes comes into the attack. Decent stuff from Stokes, testing Voges outside the off stump. It's getting darker again, the floodlights once again taking full effect.

  28. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Steve Elsom: Next time the Aussies are over here it's simple... don't play any Tests in London.

  29. Aus 275-3 (Smith 76, Voges 39)

    Steven Finn

    The soundtrack to this evening session is chatter form the crowd. Private conversations. A day at the Test can often be a time to catch up with those you haven't seen for a while. Or an excuse to hit the bar with those you see too much of. I can remember only one song of support from the England fans during the whole day. Still Finn, looking for Voges to play around his front pad, which he does. The result is an inside edge for a single. England have bowled reasonably well, but they would have wanted a much better return than 275-3.

  30. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Steve Harris, Scarborough: Um, Mr Harrison... if you want cricket to appeal to a wider audience, how about actually playing some? Just a thought.

    You can listen again to Aggers' lunchtime chat with ECB chief executive Tom Harrison via the TMS podcast page, and read more about ECB plans to discuss cricket as an Olympic sport on the BBC Sport website.

  31. Aus 272-3 (Smith 76, Voges 36)

    Mark Wood

    Still Wood round the wicket. His presence in the attack at this moment leads me to think he might not take the new ball and it could be entrusted to Ben Stokes. Good bustle from Wood, pace still in the high-80s. Is that a chance? Joe Root dives in the gully. It bounced a long way in front of him and was actually a decent stop, saving four.

  32. Post update

  33. Aus 271-3 (74 overs)

    Steven Finn

    It all feels a bit of a phoney war at the moment, as if the real evening entertainment will begin when England are given the new ball. Finn to namesake Smith, who goes very hard at a full ball to get a thick edge past second slip Ian Bell for four, then swivels on a short ball for a single. Large number of empty seats in The Oval. Local watering holes doing an increasingly brisk trade, I fancy.

  34. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark Jones: It was Billy Paul (17:56). It was the first song at my wedding - we're divorced now. Thanks for the reminder.

  35. Aus 264-3 (Smith 71, Voges 35)

    Interesting change of angle from Mark Wood, who comes round the wicket to the shuffly Steve Smith. Interestingly, Smith's shuffle becomes less pronounced when facing the ball delivered from round the timbers. The Smith Shuffle. Wasn't that a hit for Bob & Earl?

  36. Aus 264-3 (Smith 71, Voges 35)

    Billy Paul

    Adam, your mention of Mrs Jones makes me think of the song Me and Mrs Jones. Was that by Billy Paul? Mixed stuff from Finn, with a leg-side delivery punished by Voges, then the same batsman edges for four.

  37. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Baby Moeen

    Moeen Ali

    Adam Kynnersley: How many signatures do we need before Mrs. Jones will accept Moeen as the baby's name?

  38. Aus 256-3

    It looked close to the naked eye, but the ball-tracker shows it will go down as one of the all-time bad reviews. People will write country music about how bad it was. Missing leg stump and another set besides, with a leg bye added to the score. At least England get it back at 80 overs. Frivolous.

  39. Umpire review

    Aus 255-3

    Steven Finn appeals

    Now then. My immediate thought was that Steve Smith hit this delivery from Steven Finn, but Aleem Dar signals leg byes. It might be close. Alastair Cook thinks so.

  40. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It has been one of those days where England have bowled OK but I've never really thought they have been in the contest. The crowd have been quiet, it has been a kind of sleepy day. I thought earlier Australia would get 420, I think that is still on the cards."

  41. Aus 255-3 (71 overs)

    Mark Wood has one delivery to complete the 71st over, which Adam Voges leaves alone. There are nine overs to go until the new ball is available.

  42. Post update

    Struggling to think why the umpires waited so long to get us back on. Did one of them have a horse running in the 17:40? When the players return, Alastair Cook is wearing shades. We can now play until 18:56.

  43. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    Can you pass the suncream, please?

  44. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    Struggling to describe the ridiculousness of this situation. The weather is currently better than it has been all day. The sunshine is burning the corneas of the those inside the ground. Yet the only entertainment is a man driving round the outfield on a tractor. Farcical.

  45. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ian Bradley: One of these days cricket will move into the 21st century, from the 19th, get on with it.

  46. Play to restart at 17:50

    It's true! We really aren't restarting until 17:50. Are they waiting for it to rain again? There are no covers on the pitch, we are literally watching the sun poke through over an empty stadium. Get on with it!

  47. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    The red wheelie covers that protected the track have been pushed off. Ben Stokes leans over the England balcony, asking the umpires for some instructions. I'm hearing a rumour that we might not start until 17:50. That's 14 minutes away!

  48. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    The on-field umpires are out there, having a look. Looking very likely that we'll be back before that 18:00 cut-off. If anything, we're doing a little dawdling.

  49. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    The sheets are being pulled away, a rope is being dragged around the outfield. It looks like we'll be back on fairly swiftly.

  50. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Ed: I am in Twickenham and had the rain you have got, it only lasted 10-15 mins and is quite bright now.

  51. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    I think there's a touch of blue sky in the distance, so optimism abounds for a swift restart. The slight issue comes if the rain gets heavier. More covers would mean more time to get them on and off, edging us closer to that 18:00 cut-off.

  52. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Richard Sanderson: It's actually quite refreshing to have what looks like it will be a close Test instead of being so one-sided.

  53. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    Umbrellas are going up in the crowd, red covers are being wheeled on to the wicket. I don't think we'll be off for too long, but we do have to be back on by 18:00. Fourth umpire Michael Gough is out there to supervise. Bar bring out the new balls and supervise the covers, what does the fourth umpire do?

  54. Rain stops play

    Aus 255-3

    Joe Root

    We wondered how long it would be before the weather came to scupper us and now we have the answer. The rain is in, heavy enough for the umpires to confer and decide to send the players to the pavilion.

  55. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Michael Clarke

    Dan Green: Be interesting to see how many innings this series that Clarke has been outscored by Extras. A sad end to a great career.

  56. Drinks break

    Aus 254-3 (Smith 70, Voges 23)

    Three men on the drive for Adam Voges, but there's no chance of the right-hander driving the ball when Stuart Broad is nipping it back in. Setting him up? These two go way back, having played in county cricket together for years. Drinks.

  57. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Richie Macca: For someone with such a good record, I can't get over Smith's technique outside off stump. He would have been G McGrath's bunny.

  58. Aus 249-3 (partnership 63)

    The Oval

    I'm not sure that will cut it, JoElle. The Oval is an excellent ground to watch cricket from outside the arena, with lots of surrounding flats providing a view over the stands. Two chaps have used a ladder to climb on the roof with some deckchairs. We remain surrounded in gloom, the sights of London not visible through the clouds. Still the big-hearted Wood, continuing to trouble Voges with some nip off the pitch.

  59. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    JoElle: Lost internet, missed two wickets. Naked skateboarding cancelled. Sincere apologies.

  60. Aus 248-3 (Smith 68, Voges 23)

    Stuart Broad

    Stuart Broad, sweat shimmering on his forehead, his asked to stir himself for a short burst before the new ball is due. He strives towards Smith, who continues his pre-delivery journey from leg stump to outside the off, working a ball of decent line off the hips down to long leg. When Broad gets full and straight, his mate Voges tucks in for four through mid-wicket.

  61. Aus 242-3 (Smith 67, Voges 18)

    Is that MP Ken Clarke in the crowd? I'm not sure about that linen suit, Ken. Very dark at The Oval now, I'm not entirely convinced we're going to get all of the remaining 23 overs in. If we get that far, England will have the new ball due in 13. I suspect it might do a bit under the lights. Then again, they wanted it to move in this morning's gloom, and it didn't do a great deal.

  62. Scorecard update

    Australia 237-3 (66 overs); England won toss

    Batsmen: Smith 63*, Voges 18*

    Fall of wicket: 110-1 (Rogers 43), 161-2 (Warner 85), 186-3 (Clarke 15)

    Bowling figures: Broad 13-3-32-0, Wood 13-3-34-1, Stokes 14-4-54-1, Finn 16-2-56-0, Moeen 10-1-49-1.

    Full scorecard

  63. Aus 237-3 (Smith 63, Voges 18)

    I'm slightly concerned that if we use any more of Patrick's tweets we might have to start paying him. There might be a live text on the birth of baby Moeen. Speaking of Moeen, he's still tweaking his beard towards this pair of right-handers without exerting any control. Too full, too leg side, Voges helping himself to a trio of twos. When Moeen comes round the wicket and drags it down, short leg Jonny Bairstow is very close to a blow in the unmentionables.

  64. Get Involved

    Baby Moeen update

  65. Close!

    Aus 230-3

    Mark Wood into the attack and almost getting immediate rewards. Adam Voges tries to turn the ball on the leg side and gets a leading edge, the ball looping into the air but not quite carrying back to the bowler. The "oooohhhh" of the crowd at least tells us they are still awake.

  66. Post update

  67. Aus 229-3 (Smith 62, Voges 11)

    It's at least one boundary-ball an over from England here, this time with Moeen sending a wide half-volley that Smith slices away. The Oval crowd is barely involved in the action, involved in private conversations, trips to the bar and today's newspapers. I haven't heard a song all day. I'm not sure they do them in London.

  68. Aus 224-3 (Stokes 14-4-54-1)

    Ben Stokes

    Ben Stokes has bowled some all sorts today, rozzers mixed in with some filth. This over is more of the latter, a half-tracker followed up by a horrible full-bunger, both of which Adam Voges takes through the off side for four. Even when he gets it right, Stokes shows his frustration by aiming a right boot at the ball.

  69. How's stat?!

  70. Aus 216-3 (Smith 57, Voges 3)

    England are excited when a leggy delivery from Moeen Ali ends up in the hands of Jonny Bairstow at backward short leg, but it's nowhere near Steve Smith's bat. This is, though. A skip, a checked drive, the ball somehow carrying all the way over long off for six. All the timing of Dave Grohl on the drums.

  71. Finding his touch

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    Steve Smith

    "This pitch has played a little bit more like the Lord's surface, not as much seam or swing through the air. Smith's first 20 looked awkward when he didn't quite know how to play it but his last 30 have been a lot more controlled."

  72. 50 for Steve Smith

    Aus 209-3

    Steve Smith

    The captain-in-waiting goes to a half-century, Steve Smith ending a mini-slump with his 13th Test half-century. Barely a bean since his double ton at Lord's, Smith completes a fifty that has characterised Australia's new-found patience with a cover-driven four off Ben Stokes. All but one of his six boundaries have come on the off side, all but one of his other scoring strokes have come on the leg. He got his maiden ton on this ground two years ago.

  73. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    AJ Manktelow: Another way to enjoy the ashes.

    Wine glass
  74. Aus 205-3

    Thirty overs left in the day, so we'll be going to 18:30 I fancy. Weather struggling to make its mind up. At the moment, the shiny side of the ball is reflecting the light of the floodlights, rather than sunshine.

  75. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Geoff Kidd: In 25 years time when Mo Jones is dismantling the Aussie top order, we can all say we were there when he got his name.

  76. Aus 205-3 (Smith 46, Voges 3)

    Thanks, Marc. To the tweeter Mark (see below), I can report that it's dark enough at The Oval for the floodlights to be called upon. They flicker into life as Moeen Ali, now with a baby named after him, announces his arrival into the attack with a long half-volley that Steve Smith sends through the covers with a flourish. In fact, it is just starting to drizzle.

  77. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    The weather at The Oval

    Mark Wardman: Up in my 36th floor office in Canary Wharf I can report that rain is slowly moving across London towards The Oval.

  78. Aus 200-3

    With one side of the ball all scuffed up, Ben Stokes is trying to generate some reverse swing. He gets Adam Voges to edge towards the slips but soft hands mean it falls short. Right then, time for me to step aside. Here's Stephan Shemilt.

  79. Baby Moeen

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Lord Camomile: It's telling the kid I'd be worried about: "I gave your name away for a single wicket in a dead rubber Test."

  80. Aus 200-3 (Finn 0-56)

    Steve Smith really doesn't like facing Steven Finn. He shows that in some of the shots he plays - one shovelled chip into the leg side and then he's squared up by a straight one. He does, however, bring up the Australia 200 with a late cut for four.

  81. What's a good score?

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    Alastair Cook

    "We said at the toss we'd be hoping for six wickets by tea to justify the decision. We haven't got there but Alastair Cook will be thinking if he can keep Australia to around 260 for six or seven it will be a reasonable day."

  82. Aus 194-3

    Michael Clarke and Steve Smith

    The players Ben Stokes has dismissed the most in his Test career? Michael Clarke (four times) and Steve Smith (three times). He clearly has a knack of getting the big players on the opposition team. The next man in the list? Brendon McCullum. He's a golden arm and appears to be getting more overs in the absence of James Anderson. Just two from his latest over.

  83. Text 81111

    Roy, Liverpool: Let's judge this England team in five months after they have faced Pakistan in the UAE, they were pitiful against spin there last time, and after they have faced the best team in the world, South Africa in their own back yard. Remember we have only one batsman in form and a very average spinner. This series could be papering over some very large cracks.

  84. Aus 192-3 (Smith 34 off 71)

    Adam Voges is the new man to the crease, fresh from his unbeaten half-century in the last Test. He needs another big innings to stay in the team much longer than this series. He also needs partners at the other end, and he almost loses Steve Smith when the right-hander throws his hands at one outside off stump and whistles a catch past the diving Joe Root in the gully region.

  85. Get Involved

    Big breaking news from the scan department...

  86. Just a little tickle

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Well bowled Ben Stokes. Good pace, just going from that angle where it looks as though it is shaping in and then it goes away. Clarke is usually one who, if he knows he is out, he goes. It was just a little tickle - and I love being able to hear the third umpire."

  87. Clarke falls

    Jonathan Agnew

    BBC Test Match Special

    Michael Clarke

    "So there's no memorable end for Michael Clarke, at least not in the first innings. He'll probably get another go in the second."

  88. WICKET

    Clarke c Buttler b Stokes 15 (Aus 186-3)

    Ben Stokes

    The review is futile - the outside edge doesn't show on Hot Spot but a feint nick shows up via RTS. The decision stands and Michael Clarke trudges off, possibly for the last time as a Test batsman.

  89. Umpire review

    Michael Clarke reviews a decision

    Great delivery from Ben Stokes, beats Michael Clarke outside off stump and appears to induce an outside edge to the keeper. England appeal, given out. But Clarke mouths that he "didn't hit it" and reviews it.

  90. Aus 186-2

    Ben Stokes is quicker than he looks. Bowls, what they call in the trade, a heavy ball. He certainly beats Michael Clarke for pace when the Aussie skipper lines up a booming cover drive.

  91. Aus 186-2 (54 overs)

    Steady over after lunch, two runs coming off Steven Finn who is trying to probe away outside off stump but not getting any seam or swing to really interest the slip cordon.

  92. Aus 184-2

    Steven Finn

    Steven Finn gets us under way after tea. 37 overs left in the day.

  93. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Simon: It has probably been noted before but if the men used the points system used by the women, Australia could still win The Ashes!

  94. Post update

    Here come the England team, filing out of the dressing room one by one. Australia in charge but add two wickest to the scoreline and it's all very different. Here come the Australians.

  95. Get Involved

  96. England options for Pakistan series

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Adam Lyth needs some runs in the bank, just to make sure he's on the plane to the UAE. They've got a few options - they could open with Moeen Ali and bring Adil Rashid into the side. I'd look at giving James Anderson a good breather and resting him ahead of South Africa. Do you need four seamers in the UAE? You certainly need to take three spinners as two will play."

  97. Post update

    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    Former England leg-spinner Ian Salisbury: "Leg-spinners are magical, I believe. I think the crowd would love to see Adil Rashid out there. He's a very confident boy and he wouldn't let anyone down. It would be nice to see him have a go."

  98. Text 81111

    Justin: Based on our performance at Lords and the start of this test, CA will be pushing for the next Ashes series to simply be an Ashes Tour of London.

  99. Tea scorecard

    Graphic
  100. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Paul in Yorkshire: About the lack of spinners in England - perhaps if we stopped this idiotic nonsense of fining and docking points to counties every time the pitch shows the slightest hint of turn before the fourth day, we might encourage more spinners into the game.

  101. Post update

    If you train your ears on TMS now, former Surrey and England leg-spinner Ian Salisbury, who has just joined the England disability coaching set-up, is being interviewed by Jonathan Agnew.

  102. Tea

    Aus 184-2

    A Rod Stewart lookalike pops up on television wearing a t-shirt which makes out he's got a Chippendales-like body. What was that Rod song? Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?

    Two more singles advance the Australian score and the players mooch off for some tea.

  103. How's stat?!

    Alastair Cook and Nick Compton

    Alastair Cook and Nick Compton average more than any opening pair to score more than 900 runs in Test cricket since 2012.

  104. Text 81111

    Rob in Lymington: A question for you. Do you think Cook would have opted to bat first today had his opening partner been in any kind of form?

  105. Aus 182-2

    Michael Clarke

    Michael Clarke, wearing a black armband in memory of Philip Hughes, is trying to put the pressure back on England with his quick singles. No sign of a dodgy back today. Mark Wood nips the ball back into Steve Smith and rattles the batsman's box. Just the two singles in the over.

  106. Back to school?

    Michael Vaughan

    Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been old-school Test match cricket here. They've been scoring at 3.53 - they didn't get a boundary until the 15th over, but they've earned the right to score more freely since then."

  107. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Batman

    Jack Ambler: Lithuanian colleague got words muddled and asked when the next Batman comes in. Reckon he would be pretty handy down the order

  108. Aus 180-2 (Smith 27, Clarke 12)

    A gentle hum envelops The Oval as tea-time approaches. Michael Clarke - dare I say it - looks in fairly decent nick as he purposefully angles the ball down to third man where he is denied a four by excellent boundary fielding by Joe Root and then Ben Stokes.

  109. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Smith: Can't help but feel sorry for Chris Rogers. Sitting there wondering why he wasn't given a guard of honour in his last test...

  110. Aus 174-2 (50 overs)

    Mark Wood is also given a pre-tea burst. England have used him in five over spells so far - seems the best option as they try and manage his chronic ankle problem. Maiden over.

  111. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Steve Arrundale: Clyth B. Moeen. Sounds a great name, obviously they are going to be a blues musician when they grow up..

  112. Aus 174-2

    Stuart Broad is chucked the ball to try and get rid of the Australian captain present and future. He has a decent record against Michael Clarke in particular, nipping one back in and hitting the right-hander on the thigh pad. Trapped on his crease, Clarke might have been expecting a short ball.

  113. Premier League chairman at The Oval

    Top-flight newcomers Bournemouth's chairman Jeff Mostyn has been joined by ex-Cherries, West Ham, QPR and Northern Ireland midfielder Keith Rowland.

  114. Aus 173-2 (48 overs)

    Michael Clarke

    As I mentioned in the last entry, Michael Clarke is trying to impose himself early on - belting Moeen Ali back down the ground for four. Good shot. Like Clarke at his best.

  115. Suited and booted

    Sam Sheringham

    BBC Sport at The Oval

    Graeme Swann

    "The Oval will be a sea of blue on Saturday for Cricket United Day with everyone urged to wear blue clothing to raise money for charity. Graeme Swann has plumped for this natty number."

  116. Aus 168-2 (Clarke averages 17 in the series)

    Michael Clarke

    That was Moeen's 10th wicket in the series at an average of 46. He'll take some confidence from that dismissal. Michael Clarke is trying to be positive early in his innings - using his feet to the spinner and looking lively against Steven Finn.

  117. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    PtheP: Moeen Jones then? Nice. If it's a girl you can call her Mo'reen instead?

    Matt Duckworth: Hopefully Patrick Jones (15:06) will get back in touch and confirm his wife is expecting triplets.

  118. Get Involved

  119. Aus 165-2

    Michael Clarke is given a guard of honour

    Michael Clarke, playing in his final Test, is given a guard of honour on his way out to bat but he's almost dismissed straight away when he tries to turn the ball round the corner and is almost run out thinking the ball had beaten the fielder. He's off the mark with three through the covers.

  120. Venting his frustrations

    Graeme Swann

    Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    David Warner

    "Warner is absolutely livid with himself, he knew there was a hundred there and he turned round with a big swish of the bat and nearly took his bails off. Well done Moeen Ali though."

  121. WICKET

    Warner c Lyth b Moeen 85 (Aus 161-2)

    Moeen Ali celebrates

    Can somebody nip into the scan room and inform Patrick that his baby will be called Moeen. Or Ali?

    England's offie does the business, drawing David Warner forward and the opener prods the ball to Adam Lyth at first slip. Big wicket that, and the fourth time Moeen has got Warner in this series.

  122. Aus 161-1 (Warner 85, Smith 22)

    So, if England get a wicket before tea we'll have a baby named Stuart, Mark, Steven, Ben or Moeen and a streaker.

    It's not looking likely at the moment as Steve Smith plays a sumptuous straight drive for four off Steven Finn, then grabs a tip and run-style single. A good way of putting pressure on England. Hurts more than a boundary. Eight from the over as England become ragged in the field.

  123. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Patrick Jones: Sat waiting with my wife for our 26 week scan. If we get a wicket before tea, I'll name my son after the bowler!

  124. Aus 153-1 (run-rate 3.52)

    David Warner

    David Warner gets after Moeen Ali straight away, playing a perfect cover drive which pierces the close fielders and runs for four. The type which Jos Buttler would be proud of.

  125. Aus 149-1

    Moeen Ali

    Time for Moeen Ali's off-spin...

  126. Aus 149-1 (Smith 15 off 36)

    Every now and again, OK... more often that... you see Steve Smith play a shot and wonder how this guy is playing Test cricket. He gets himself in a right mess when faced with a Steven Finn length ball - a hybrid between an attempted pull shot, pirouette and leave. If you get the jist.

    Then, playing a forward defensive prod outside off stump, he benefits to the tune of two down to third man. He's not relishing playing Finn here.

  127. Post update

    A Question of Sport Teaser

    Here's the answer to today's #QSTeaser from @QuestionofSport.

    We asked you: since Michael Clarke in 2004, who are the three Australian batsmen to score centuries on their Test debut?

    The answers are Marcus North in 2009, Shaun Marsh in 2011 and Adam Voges in 2015.

  128. Aus 144-1 (Warner 79, Smith 11)

    Alastair Cook and Steve Smith share a little joke when the batsman, with the ball dead, does a spot of gardening but knocks off the bails with his bat. A cheeky appeal from Cook, a smile from Smith. Two singles and a leg-bye from Ben Stokes's latest set of six.

  129. Aus 141-1 (run-rate 3.46)

    David Warner

    David Warner scores his 10th boundary of the innings off Steven Finn - the bowler, other than Stuart Broad, he has the lowest strike-rate against in this match. He has 18 runs in 38 deliveries against Finn, compared to 23 off 24 against Ben Stokes.

    Finn is bowling at a decent lick, getting one to rear up at Steve Smith and rap the Aussie number three on the fingers.

  130. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    JoElle: A wicket before tea and I will skateboard naked down Hawthorne

  131. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Chris Rogers

    Daniel: Player of the series? Has to be Chris Rogers for me. Determination and professionalism personified. Performed admirably under some intense pressure. Might not be the easiest on the eye sometimes but what England wouldn't do for a batsman of his quality opening with Cookie!

  132. Drinks break

    Aus 135-1 (40 overs)

    Ben Stokes

    Steve Smith gets a lucky four runs when he inside-edges down to fine leg. Ben Stokes can hardly believe it. Australia get through to drinks without further loss.

  133. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rob Meech: Steven Finn's right arm is much more muscular than his left. He's the opposite of Rafa Nadal.

  134. Aus 130-1 (Warner 73, Smith 5)

    Steven Finn's getting some decent carry from a good length, showing there's bounce in this pitch if the bowlers bend their backs. Alastair Cook might start to cop some flak for bowling first after winning the toss but Michael Clarke wanted to field first too.

    A helmeted Adam Lyth is at fourth slip, almost in Steve Smith's eyeline. A smile on his face, he crouches ready to pounce on anything which pops up. Just one run from the over.

  135. Get Involved

  136. Aus 129-1 (Stokes 0-32)

    Ben Stokes

    Alastair Cook turns to Ben Stokes.

    Menacing look, collars upturned, tattooed arms bulging out of his shirt... the Durham man looks every inch a powerful all-rounder. He's a good fielder off his own bowling too - flinging himself to his right to deny David Warner a straight-drive four. A bouncer keeps the batsman honest. Two from the over.

  137. Aus 127-1 (Finn 0-22)

    The seagulls grazing on grass seeds on a practice wicket scatter when David Warner forces Steven Finn off the back foot and advances his score by three. It's all very sedate at the moment - Australia rebuilding, England trying to claw another wicket. Steve Smith already looks more assured with the ball not hooping round corners, helping four leg byes on their way.

  138. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Rogers

    Luke Flannigan: Sadly Rogers misses out on chance to finish with a Test average of over 50. Assuming no handsome quadruple hundred in 2nd innings.

  139. Aus 120-1 (extras 3)

    Steve Smith

    Mark Wood, sporting a classic short, back and sides haircut and a hint of a goatee beard, charges in from his short run-up. Keeping the ball pitched up, Steve Smith punts him for two into the leg side.

  140. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matt Davies: I heard from a steward beer snakes are not allowed due to "health & safety". Has anyone ever actually been hurt by one?

  141. Get Involved

  142. Scorecard update

    Australia 118-1 (35 overs); England won toss

    Batsmen: Warner 70*, Smith 2*

    Fall of wicket: 110-1 (Rogers 43)

    Bowling figures: Broad 10-3-23-0, Wood 9-1-30-1, Stokes 6-2-32-0, Finn 7-2-19-0, Moeen 3-1-12-0.

    Full scorecard

  143. Aus 118-1

    Mark Wood and Stuart Broad have shown why they are England's new-ball bowlers in this match, executing their plans to perfection in this afternoon session. Between them, they gave Chris Rogers a working-over and now they are doing the same to the next two. David Warner takes on the bouncer and almost top-edges a catch to the man at fine leg. Instead it runs for four.

  144. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Just Another Moron: 111 for 1 at 33.3 overs... Shep would have been doing all sorts of contortions.

  145. Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Beer snake

    Matt Churchward: Beer snake from the heady days of The Oval, summer 2014 - even the police appreciated a good one.

  146. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stuart Broad and Joe Root

    Sarah McGettigan: Just voted for player of the series - hmmm Broad or Root? Broad - why? He's more handsome! Girl decision making at its finest!

  147. Aus 112-1 (34 overs)

    Steve Smith, the next Australia captain, joins his future vice-captain David Warner at the crease. He's off the mark straight away when he gets over a bouncer and pulls a single into the leg side. He's the best in the world at getting on top of the bounce and playing that shot.

  148. Post update

    Andrew Samson

    BBC Test Match Special statistician

    Alastair Cook

    "Alastair Cook now has 121 Test catches for England - he's level with Andrew Strauss at the top of the fielders' list. Ian Botham and Colin Cowdrey are next, both with 120."

  149. Post update

    Geoffrey Boycott

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Should a player like Mark Wood have his workload managed if there are concerns that he's not played a lot of first-class cricket?

    "That's my point about the misnomer of 'coaches'. They're managers. I would manage the Australian kid who I think should have played here, Cummins, You've got a talent there - if he can't play back-to-back Tests, use him when it's wise. Don't be afraid to manage your assets."

  150. Post update

    Ed Smith

    Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    Mark Wood

    "Mark Wood brings great energy to a cricket match. I think the England fans have really warmed to him. He'd bowled without luck today, but Cook caught it at the second attempt and England have their breakthrough."

  151. WICKET

    Rogers c Cook b Wood 43 (Aus 110-1)

    Mark Wood celebrates

    We have a wicket! Chris Rogers fences at a shortish one and pokes the ball to Alastair Cook at first slip who catches at the second attempt. The door has been forced ajar. Now can England kick it in and decimate the Australian top order once more?

  152. Aus 110-0 (Broad, 21 wickets in the series)

    Stuart Broad

    Stuart Broad is holding the ball back ever so slightly, going through his range of skills, and is almost rewarded with a return catch from Chris Rogers. Drops just short.

  153. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Kevin Carter: GCSE Q2. If you are 3-1 up in an Ashes Test, then Australia come back strong in the fifth, at what point should we care?

  154. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    David Moore: Tobin right, Glen forgot /60. A check shows 1600 revs at 2000 pm means a Moeen delivery takes 45 seconds. Even I could hit that.

  155. Aus 109-0

    Chris Rogers only needs another 25 runs to become the first batsman to score 500 runs in this series after driving four down the ground. He's in the form of his life, and retiring!

  156. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Brendan Crossan: Is it compulsory in GCSE to convert to metres even when the wicket is measured in yards?

  157. Aus 104-0

    Mark Wood and Alastair Cook

    England telegraph their intentions to the batsman when Mark Wood and Alastair Cook have a long chat at the top of the bowlers' run-up and then start positioning fielders ahead of some short stuff. That pushes Chris Rogers back, and he almost pays with his wicket when he plays and misses outside off stump. Good passage of play.

  158. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tom Clempson: Australian media slagging England off for preparing the pitches to suit them is a tad hypocritical...

  159. Get Involved

  160. Aus 103-0 (Rogers 38 off 88)

    Chris Rogers

    Chris Rogers is clearly winning his battle against Stuart Broad, who goes back to over the wicket. Three slips in place and a catcher at short mid-wicket. Rogers just carries on regardless, driving another four through the off side.

  161. Post update

    A Question of Sport Teaser

    Today's #QSTeaser from @QuestionofSport: Since Michael Clarke in 2004, who are the three Australian batsmen to score centuries on their Test debut?

  162. Aus 99-0 (Warner 63 off 99)

    Good running from David Warner brings two, then a firm push away from his body flies through gully for four. He's plundered plenty of runs through the off side today. Always a sign that Warner is at his best.

    Graphic
  163. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Glen: Re Terry Mahoney's GCSE Q. 54.4mph = 26.59 yds/sec. (1/26.59)*22= 0.8274s 2000rpm*0.8274=1654.8

  164. Get Involved

  165. Aus 93-0 (Broad 7-3-12-0)

    You know in that split second when you recognise somebody famous and let on to them as though you know them, despite them clearly not knowing you? Well, I did that to Chris Woakes recently. Awkward. Chris, being a nice guy, did let on back.

    Stuart Broad continues round the wicket to Chris Rogers, squaring the left-hander up and almost inducing a leading edge. The batsman responds with a great off drive for four to end the over.

  166. Get Inspired with Woakes

    Chris Woakes

    England and Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes was in the BBC Sport offices recently, and he spent some time with the Get Inspired team where he offered some bowling tips for any aspiring cricketers. You can view the video here.

  167. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Tobin Broadfoot: Re Terry Mahoney (13:25) - I calculate 27.57352941176471 revolutions per Moeen Ali delivery...am I right?

  168. Aus 89-0 (run-rate 3.18)

    David Warner

    David Warner loves a good drive. Not of the Sunday afternoon variety but of the ball-pitched-up variety. He finally gets hold of Mark Wood and clouts him through the covers. Then another play and miss. Good battle this.

  169. Aus 85-0 (Warner 53, Rogers 30)

    Australia are up and running after lunch straight away, Chris Rogers whipping three off his pads. Mark Wood responds with a beautifully pitched-up delivery which beats the outside of David Warner's driving bat.

  170. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Fi Cousins: Looks like we finally have a Test match on our hands! Fingers crossed for 10 Aussie wickets when I wake up.

    David Beckett: Why isn't there an option for Alistair Cook as player of the series? His captaincy has been superb.

  171. Post update

    David Warner and Chris Rogers

    Mark Wood, who has five tidy over under his belt from this morning, will take the cherry after lunch. His foes remain the same as this morning. Play.

  172. Get Involved

  173. Join the debate at #bbccricket

    We'll be back under way shortly, but first make sure you vote for your player of the series at the top of this page.

    Oh yeah... and let's have some fun this afternoon. Wickets or no wickets.

    I'm inspired by the team of Mervs (12:58), so am asking for pictures of your cricketing fancy dress? Don't have any? Just grab the office marker pen, draw a tash and you're on your way to a Mitchell Johnson look.

    You can send a tweet to #bbccricket, text us on 81111, email tms@bbc.co.uk or post to the BBC Sport Facebook and Google+ pages.

  174. Post update

    Thanks Stephan. I think the itchy fingers stem from having some salt and vinegar crisps while nursing a paper cut. Perfect storm.

    From an England perspective, hopefully I can bring a change in luck? Nothing beats a good old Australian batting collapse on a Thursday afternoon, does it? Nothing.

  175. Post update

    Marc Higginson tells me he's got "itchy fingers", so eager is he talk you through the afternoon session. I best make myself scarce.

  176. Post update

    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    ECB CEO Tom Harrison on the county structure: "I can see a situation where we have a concentration of talent. The desirable position is to have a block in the summer given to a particular format, probably playing one or two less first-class matches and allowing the system to breathe a bit. That will raise the performance levels and help us make sure T20 is being played at the time of year to get more people to see it. Counties have to be sustainable businesses, we are not the bank of last resort but we are doing everything we can that enable our counties to be as sustainable as possible."

  177. Post update