England tour of Australia, 2006/07 / Commentary

The Ashes - 1st Test

Australia v England

Australia won by 277 runs

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150  | Overs 151-200

Here's Harmison...

Now then, it'll be Steve Harmison bowling to Justin Langer for the first ball of the Ashes. The roar goes up - it is unbelievably loud out there - "Langer's wearing a sweater! He's obviously in it for the long haul," says Andrew Miller.

Here come England to rapturous applause and cheers of "Ingerland, Ingerland, Ingerland" from the hordes of England fans. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden are on the boundary edge and they are seriously pumped up; swinging their bats wildly, sparring with them like boxers before a bout.

We're moments away - the ground looks a picture, under a morning sun which is already scorching hot. We hope you enjoy out commentary today, wherever you are in the world, and don't forget to keep an eye on our bulletin - from Andrew Miller at the ground - as well as our photo index.

Morning Martin, and good morning to everyone, wherever you might be. At last, we're nearly there and the Gabba - or Gabattoir as some call it and, judging by the cacophonous noise out there, it's damn close to a fortress-like atmosphere - is slowly filling up. Ricky Ponting had no hesitation in choosing to bat and both teams have gone with the tried and tested. The pitch is dry and, although there's a hint of grass, the cracks are visible and it could turn a country mile come the fourth day.

The national anthems are over - Adam Gilchrist was thankfully the only one to do The American Thing and hold his baggy green next to his heart. All very patriotic.

10.55am Well, we made it through that. It's five minutes away and we are all set. Your commentators throughout this match will be Will Luke, Jenny Thompson and Martin Williamson. Here we go ... Will Luke, who has been even more excited about this in recent days than my four-year-old on Christmas Eve, to take you through the first spell. Good morning, Will ...

10.50am Ian Botham and Ian Healy are carrying out the two flags and we are about to have the national anthems. The two teams are coming out as well and the noise inside the Gabba has been upped a few decibels. I bet the opening batsmen are delighted to be standing out in the middle minutes before they have to open the innings.

Oh my God. We have an American-style national anthem sung by a Kylie wannabe ... the ceremony must have been organised by a republican. The Aussie anthem gets four girls singing it ... not much improvement.

10.40am Nasser Hussain is in the middle and giving his pitch report. It's about 29 degrees and an 8mph wind coming from the north. The surface is dry and there are cracks on it, and the consensus is that the pitch will play well for a couple of days before the cracks open up, and thereafter there will be uneven bounce for the quick men ... not to mention what Warne will do.

10.35am Australia have won the toss and will bat A huge cheer goes up from the home crowd but a shocker from Sky TV. Nicholas is interviewing Flintoff and the on-field analysts are yakking over the top of him. Shambles. Our man on the spot gives us the quotes nevertheless ... "We'd probably have had a bat, but we're not too bothered," says Flintoff, perhaps not as convincing as he would like to be. "The ball doesn't swing for long, so the first ten overs we've got to get it in the right area."

As for Ponting, he is clearly happy to have first crack. The wicket does look particularly good. There's a bit of moisture on the top of it but there are a few cracks which might open up." Asked about the decision to play Stuart Clark, he said: "Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Tait have both missed out. The way Stuart bowls in these Brisbane conditions will be handy and if there are some cracks - he's a straight bowler, so he will find them hopefully."

A reminder of the teams:

England 1 Andrew Strauss, 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Kevin Pietersen, 6 Andrew Flintoff (capt), 7 Geraint Jones (wk), 8 Ashley Giles, 9 Matthew Hoggard, 10 Steve Harmison, 11 James Anderson.

Australia 1 Matthew Hayden, 2 Justin Langer, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Damien Martyn, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Michael Clarke, 7 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 8 Shane Warne, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Stuart Clark, 11 Glenn McGrath.

10.30am The captains are walking out to the middle ... here we go. Both are wearing blazers and caps, and they are going to be tossing with a special commemorative coin (that will doubtless be on eBay within hours!). All lined up on the wicket, very portentous music playing. And here's Mark Nicholas ...

10.25am The commentators are pontificating about life, the universe and everything. Behind them, the pitch is beginning to clear in preparation for the toss which is in less than five minutes. The stands are filling out nicely and the PA is getting really quite deliriously excited ...

Wayne writes: "Australia's selection of Stuart Clark is a good choice but I think Mitchell Johnson would have done a great job and offered something a little more different to Glen McGrath's clone."

10.15am England have named their XI and as expected, Ashley Giles has been preferred to Monty Panesar. "It's safety first from Fletcher, but with some reason," Andrew Miller tells us. "Remember 2002-03, when Craig White was England's No. 7. The idea of a tail that long is anathema to the coach. Giles acts as ballast, and should allow England's top six to play with greater freedom."

Feedback on the decision to play Giles coming in. "Giles starting in place of Panesar? We all knew it was coming. What is going on? Fletcher you haven't got a clue," writes Neil. "Even if the long tail is a good point, and I rate Giles, has he really played enough cricket to be prepared for this match?" asks Michael Wells.

Sriram Veera, our insomniac in Bangalore, advises us that this is the 100th Test that Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have played together.

9.55am Andrew Miller, our man at the Gabba, reports as follows: Definite green tinges in the wicket, and Ricky Ponting reckons there's some moisture lurking beneath the rock-hard surface as well. The team that wins the toss will probably bat first, but as Nasser Hussain demonstrated four years ago, nothing can be taken for granted

England team have been in a huddle on the practice strip and are now jogging round before going through their stretches. Ashley Giles has been busy going through his bowling action, which may or may not be a sign of anything

9.30am Good morning and welcome to coverage of the first Test at Brisbane. In 80 minutes the phony war is over and the talking stops. The weather is clear and sunny and there will be a prompt start. Read Andrew Miller's preview by clicking here and send us your thoughts by clicking here

There is no news at the moment on whether England will play Ashley Giles or Monty Panesar but as soon as we hear, we'll let you know. The local pundits are betting on Giles, however.

0.1

Harmison to Langer, 1 wide, and it's wild and woolly, a massive wide taken by first slip. Welcome back to Australia, Steve

0.1

Harmison to Langer, no run, and it's down the leg side this time, but no wide signalled from the umpire.

0.2

Harmison to Langer, no run, much better, fuller and straighter and it raps Langer high up on the pad.

Three slips and a gully

0.3

Harmison to Langer, no run, good ball right on middle stump, hurrying Langer - but Harmison still looks tentative, nervous, and hesitant here

0.4

Harmison to Langer, FOUR, yorker length and quick, Langer clips it past square leg and falls over in doing so...but still gets enough bat on it for four. Slippery pitch out there, bit of grass

0.5

Harmison to Langer, FOUR, outside off, driven on the up and it's edged past third slip and down to third man for four. Very edgy, Ashley Giles didn't have a hope of reaching it at gully

0.6

Harmison to Langer, no run, down the leg side and ignored by Langer

It's Matthew Hoggard from the other end - man at deepish silly mid-off, as per the Ashes in 2005

Poor first over from Harmison; wayward, nervous and unpredictable

End of over 1 (9 runs) Australia 9/0
JL Langer    8* (6b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    1-0-9-0
ML Hayden    0* (0b)     

1.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, outside the off stump, Hayden comes forward and shoulders arms. Touch of swing for Hoggard there away from the left-hander

1.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, lovely ball - that's the length from Hoggard, nice and full and just for a moment Hayden shaped to play...before leaving it alone. Again a bit of swing into Hayden

1.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, crisply struck by Hayden to the right of Pietersen mid-off who dives and makes a really good stop

1.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, just short of a good length but Hayden remains on the front foot, defending it with that enormous bat of his and growls "NO" to Langer

1.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, oooh so close; Hayden swings outside off stump. It wasn't the half-volley he thought it was and he was inches away from edging that, through to Geraint Jones

1.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, poor end to an otherwise impressive first over, drifting this one down the leg side

Here comes Harmison...

End of over 2 (maiden) Australia 9/0
ML Hayden    0* (6b)      MJ Hoggard    1-1-0-0
JL Langer    8* (6b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    1-0-9-0

2.1

Harmison to Langer, no run, very good ball on off stump, Langer is forced onto the front foot and defends it solidly.

2.2

Harmison to Langer, FOUR, very well bowled just short of a length forcing the drive from Langer who doesn't come forward sufficiently, edging it wide of gully and down to third man for four

A third slip has moved a touch wider to plug the gap

2.3

Harmison to Langer, no run, on off stump this time, Langer tries to turn it to leg but without any timing

2.4

Harmison to Langer, no run, rapped on the pads and Harmison points his finger to the umpire in a half-shout for lbw - very good ball, hurrying Langer, but it was going over the top

2.5

Harmison to Langer, FOUR, "Catch!" is the shout as Langer flails his arms at this shorter, wider delivery and it's over the slips and down to third man

Slips or gullies? That's what Flintoff needs to decide. Langer's off on a roll here, albeit without convincingly

2.6

Harmison to Langer, no run, down the leg side to finish the over, as has been the trend so far this morning

End of over 3 (8 runs) Australia 17/0
JL Langer    16* (12b 4x4)      SJ Harmison    2-0-17-0
ML Hayden    0* (6b)      MJ Hoggard    1-1-0-0

3.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden shoulders arms outside the off stump, warily keeping an eye on what little swing there was

3.2

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, the first fine shot of the morning; Hoggard pitched it up, too full really, and Hayden slams his front foot down the crease and just times it perfectly past mid-off for four. Lovely shot

3.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, just short of a length, not driveable and Hayden rightly leaves it alone

3.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, bit of swing there, encouraging sign for the bowler as it pitches just outside off stump and swings away from the left hander

3.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ooh very well bowled Hoggard, causing Hayden indecision as it swings back into the left-hander this time...Hayden comes forward but hides his bat behind the pad, unconvincingly

3.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, excellent end to the over, Hayden again unsure of whether to come forward or back...remains on the front foot nevertheless, defending it high on the bat

Two slips, gully, short-leg, mid-on, mid-off

Now then, what does Flintoff do about Harmison? He could try another end...oh, and he's straight out of the attack and replaced by James Anderson, another bowler who - let's be perfectly frank - is short of match practice.

End of over 4 (4 runs) Australia 21/0
ML Hayden    4* (12b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-1-4-0
JL Langer    16* (12b 4x4)      SJ Harmison    2-0-17-0

4.1

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, short and Langer goes back and pulls it, well in front of square and without much timing...but it races for four. Dreadful start from Anderson.

4.2

Anderson to Langer, no run, better length and straighter, too, but Langer is looking in fine touch here, crisply driving it back to the bowler who athletically stoops to his right to field

4.3

Anderson to Langer, 3 runs, too short again and Langer reads the swing, what little there was, pulling it straighter past mid-on

4.4

Anderson to Hayden, no run, outside the off stump, quicker too, and Hayden watchfully leaves it alone

4.5

Anderson to Hayden, 3 runs, classy shot from Hayden clipping it off his legs wide of mid-on, Harmison gives chase once more

4.6

Anderson to Langer, no run, good delivery outside the off stump, Langer leaves alone

Poor, wayward start from Anderson. Poor, wayward start from England too. They're rustier than a bag of spanners left out in the winter rain

End of over 5 (10 runs) Australia 31/0
JL Langer    23* (16b 5x4)      JM Anderson    1-0-10-0
ML Hayden    7* (14b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-1-4-0

5.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, too wide for Hayden to worry about it, leaves it well alone. Perhaps this is Hoggard's tactic...

5.2

Hoggard to Hayden, 2 runs, no, don't bowl there - short and down the leg-side. Perhaps it was the attempted bouncer, but it certainly didn't come off...Hayden pulls it down to fine leg and Hoggard rather gets away with that

5.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, far too wide of the off stump. Hoggard's contracted Harmison's wayward disease

5.4

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, OOH but he nearly got his man there, pitching it up and Hayden drove it loosely in the air but, yet again, wide of the sole gully. And yet again it's down to third man for four

5.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, defended off the back foot with a solid, firm clunk of the bat

5.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, excellent delivery: full, straight, swinging back into Hayden who misreads the swing and is rapped on the pads

Australia off to a flyer here; England have yet to board the plane, let alone become airborne

End of over 6 (6 runs) Australia 37/0
ML Hayden    13* (20b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-1-10-0
JL Langer    23* (16b 5x4)      JM Anderson    1-0-10-0

6.1

Anderson to Langer, no run, good ball from Anderson luring Langer forward who defends it on the front foot

6.2

Anderson to Langer, no run, excellent delivery again, on off stump and just swinging back into Langer who - head right over the ball - comes forward to defend.

6.3

Anderson to Langer, no run, three out of three for Anderson, this time causing Langer trouble on the back foot

6.4

Anderson to Langer, no run, Langer tries to cut loose, cutting this wider delivery off the back foot but it's straight to gully. Pressure being built; this is better from England here

6.5

Anderson to Langer, no run, quicker, but it's a little too short - Langer rocks back and defends off the back foot without alarm. Still no run, though...

6.6

Anderson to Langer, 3 runs, and the sixth ball is Australia's let-off as Langer pulls it, misjudging the length slightly, through midwicket

End of over 7 (3 runs) Australia 40/0
JL Langer    26* (22b 5x4)      JM Anderson    2-0-13-0
ML Hayden    13* (20b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-1-10-0

7.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, well bowled on off stump but solidly defended from Langer, getting his head over the ball and watching it closely onto the bat

7.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, nearly did Langer for length here who comes forward, shaping to hit him over the top, but defends it on the front foot

7.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, and he shoulders arms this time outside the off stump. Super shouldering, there

7.4

Hoggard to Langer, no run, Langer gets into a tangle here, misjudging the length and it bobbles out a few metres

7.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, fabulous ball - the first of the morning, short of a length and Langer fishes at it

7.6

Hoggard to Langer, no run, quicker ball from Hoggard and a touch of swing, too, into the left-hander who is hurried into edging it to the leg side

End of over 8 (maiden) Australia 40/0
JL Langer    26* (28b 5x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-2-10-0
ML Hayden    13* (20b 2x4)      JM Anderson    2-0-13-0

8.1

Anderson to Hayden, no run, crisply clipped off his legs but straight to midwicket

8.2

Anderson to Hayden, no run, now that's well bowled from Anderson, drawing him forward but Hayden is too wise and canny...leaves it alone

8.3

Anderson to Hayden, no run, clipped again off his pads but straight to midwicket once more

8.4

Anderson to Hayden, no run, fuller from Anderson, seeking swing but finding very little, and Hayden leaves it alone

8.5

Anderson to Hayden, no run, Hayden bullishly advances down the pitch, shaping to smash Anderson over the top before shouldering arms

8.6

Anderson to Hayden, no run, very well bowled, fuller and quicker but it's just wide enough for Hayden to ignore it

End of over 9 (maiden) Australia 40/0
ML Hayden    13* (26b 2x4)      JM Anderson    3-1-13-0
JL Langer    26* (28b 5x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-2-10-0

9.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, good ball, well done Hoggard; outside the off stump, Langer swishes his bat over it in a dramatic shouldering of arms. Perfect length

9.2

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, Langer edges this airborne, never moving his feet, but somehow it evades backward point. This is excellent bowling from Hoggard, and rather impetious batting from Langer

9.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, oooh terrific bowling! Just outside Langer's off stump, drifting into the left hander and he leaves it alone...not far away from his off bail

9.4

Hoggard to Langer, no run, clubbed to mid-off

9.5

Hoggard to Langer, 3 runs, but he finds the gap this time, crashing it through extra cover and Kevin Pietersen gives chase and does well, pulling it back to Giles who flings in a decent throw

9.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, left alone

Yet another mixed over. England look rusty, wayward, unsure of specific plans to the batsmen and, frankly, not very good. It's going to be a long night...Drop us a line with your thoughts and musings.

End of over 10 (7 runs) Australia 47/0
ML Hayden    13* (27b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-2-17-0
JL Langer    33* (33b 6x4)      JM Anderson    3-1-13-0

10.1

Anderson to Langer, no run, nudged to the leg side

10.2

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, crash: Langer cuts hard in front of point, smashing it for four

10.3

Anderson to Langer, no run, quick bouncer there, Langer threatened to hook before ducking underneath it. Oddly for Langer, he hasn't been hit yet - and we've nearly had a whole hour's play

10.4

Anderson to Langer, no run, crashed off the back foot, but to Pietersen in covers

10.5

Anderson to Langer, no run, that's nicely bowled from Anderson - that's the line and length, forcing Langer forward and forcing him to defend his stumps. It's not rocket science.

10.6

Anderson to Langer, no run, pushed off the back foot but he can't find the gap

Ah look who it is, Hercules himself Andrew Flintoff

End of over 11 (4 runs) Australia 51/0
JL Langer    37* (39b 7x4)      JM Anderson    4-1-17-0
ML Hayden    13* (27b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-2-17-0

11.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 runs, timed off the back foot to mid-on who fields neatly...the batsmen scamper a single but it's going to be tight, there's a shy at the stumps and - oh no! - overthrows. Oh dear, that was village from Anderson

Immediately Flintoff goes around the wicket

11.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, short and quick but it's misdirected, too straight and left alone down the leg side

11.3

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 no ball, perfect length and line, just on off stump and defended solidly. Oh, but a no ball.

11.3

Flintoff to Hayden, (no ball) 1 run, squared up by a shorter delivery but he gets decent bat on it, and they scamper a single

11.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, struck on the pads, hurried onto him and short leg fields

11.4

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, short ball which Langer doesn't quite get hold of

11.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, defended on the front foot

11.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, left alone outside the off stump

Fine start this by Australia - as good as it gets, really. 57 from the first 12 overs, and they're sitting pretty

End of over 12 (6 runs) Australia 57/0
ML Hayden    16* (33b 2x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-6-0
JL Langer    38* (41b 7x4)      JM Anderson    4-1-17-0

Fine start this by Australia - as good as it gets, really. 57 from the first 12 overs

12.1

Anderson to Langer, no run, full and straight, clipped off his legs but straight to the fielder

12.2

Anderson to Langer, no run, pushed back to the bowler

12.3

Anderson to Langer, no run, straighter this time, on off stump and Langer defends it on the back foot. Wary, though, wary of the swing - what little there is

12.4

Anderson to Langer, no run, Langer rides the bounce here, pushing it off the back foot into the gully. Really neatly played

12.5

Anderson to Langer, no run, left alone by Langer

12.6

Anderson to Langer, no run, fine ball - and a maiden over - defended on the front foot

Thanks Will and good morning everyone - or evening, or afternoon, wherever you happen to be, welcome. Fortunately you can't hear my very rubbish Richie Benaud impression - and after all there's only one Richie - so I'll just leave it at that. Well, England started off very loose here and Flintoff tried four bowlers in a bid to find the first wicket. They haven't done that, as Australia picked up a flurry of boundaries and were very quickly into their groove, racing through the first hour.

It's drinks out in the middle, and time to hand over to Jenny Thompson.

End of over 13 (maiden) Australia 57/0
JL Langer    38* (47b 7x4)      JM Anderson    5-2-17-0
ML Hayden    16* (33b 2x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-6-0

13.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 leg byes, Flintoff round the wicket to Hayden and ooh, that's just down the leg side - ah, it's a leg bye - and Jones palms that one down to long leg

13.2

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, an easy single clipped off the legs to midwicket

13.3

Flintoff to Langer, 3 runs, good line, but the batsmen gets on his back foot, punches, and that bisects the two gullies. There's some quick running, too

13.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, on the back foot again and that's forced to the gully where it rolls gently and that's picked up easily

13.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, defended this time

13.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, shoulders arms as that one sails down the channel just outside the off stump, but that's high enough - sailing way over the sticks - to leave

That was a pretty decent over from Flintoff, generally bowling in the right areas, but Australia are taking full advantage of this pitch

End of over 14 (6 runs) Australia 63/0
ML Hayden    17* (38b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-10-0
JL Langer    41* (48b 7x4)      JM Anderson    5-2-17-0

14.1

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, bosh - great shot from Langer there, a full-blooded cover drive from one which pitches just a touch short and that races away

14.2

Anderson to Langer, no run, good reply from Anderson - straight, and that raps Langer on the thigh pad

14.3

Anderson to Langer, no run, a play and a miss from Langer, looking for a repeat of the pull shot that's worked well for him already today

14.4

Anderson to Langer, 1 wide, bouncer and that climbs and climbs and Langer has got no need to even pull out of that shot, as it's nowhere near him

14.4

Anderson to Langer, no run

14.5

Anderson to Langer, no run, a touch of width this time, only a hint, mind, and that's cut firmly to point where it's picked up without trouble

14.6

Anderson to Langer, no run, decent delivery, straight and on a good length but Langer defends it easily

Harmison is back on now - having changed ends; not a bad idea, either, given that his first two overs went for a whopping 17.

"The atmospherics are somewhat muted at the moment," reports Andrew Miller. "A contented hubbub, but it's not exactly excitement."

End of over 15 (5 runs) Australia 68/0
JL Langer    45* (54b 8x4)      JM Anderson    6-2-22-0
ML Hayden    17* (38b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-10-0

15.1

Harmison to Hayden, 2 runs, a rising delivery is controlled well by Hayden, who takes it off his nose and pulls it down and round to the 45

15.2

Harmison to Hayden, no run, that one bends well, well away from the left-hander - Harmison is struggling with his radar again

15.3

Harmison to Hayden, 1 leg bye, the bowler overcompensates for the previous delivery and this one goes down leg

15.4

Harmison to Langer, no run, that's down leg again and it's easily pouched by Jones

15.5

Harmison to Langer, no run, a straighter one this time

15.6

Harmison to Langer, no run, straight again and Langer bends over that as he defends it and the ball drops to the man in short on the leg side

The Barmy Army bugler has just started up, trying to lift England's spirits - but it's all Australia at the moment. Flintoff is on at the other end

End of over 16 (3 runs) Australia 71/0
JL Langer    45* (57b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    3-0-19-0
ML Hayden    19* (41b 2x4)      JM Anderson    6-2-22-0

16.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, that one pitches on leg and Hayden tries to work that behind him, but doesn't quite time the ball

16.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, Langer thinks about playing that one, but pulls out of the shot at the last moment as he realises the ball is a fuller length than he was expecting, pitching just outside off

16.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good areas again from Flintoff, this time the ball is fired down the channel and just to say nips away from the lefthander as it pitches

16.4

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, decent shot from Langer, who gets nicely on top of that one and strongly pulls away to the leg-side boundary

16.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, that's a big leave there from Hayden as the ball sails down the off-side channel

16.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, good line, but a good leave, too, from Hayden

End of over 17 (2 runs) Australia 73/0
ML Hayden    20* (44b 2x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-12-0
JL Langer    46* (60b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    3-0-19-0

17.1

Harmison to Langer, 3 runs, didn't time that cover-drive properly, but found enough space through the covers and there was such power behind that one that the batsmen run three

17.2

Harmison to Hayden, 1 run, this one wasn't timed properly either, another drive, and Pietersen does a tumbling dive to stop that

17.3

Harmison to Langer, no run, straighter, and full, and that's defended on the front foot

Here's the field: still two slips and a gully, point, mid-off, mid-on, short leg, backward square and a third man

17.4

Harmison to Langer, no run, defended again

17.5

Harmison to Langer, no run, ooh, a bottom edge and Langer nearly chops that one on - it flies wide of the off-stump though and bounces down way in front of Jones. That would have been an unfortunate way to get out just short of his half-century

17.6

Harmison to Langer, 1 leg bye, cheers from the crowd who think Langer's brought up his fifty, but he keeps his bat down and smiles, knowing it's a leg-bye, as does the umpire who signals so

End of over 18 (5 runs) Australia 78/0
JL Langer    49* (65b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    4-0-23-0
ML Hayden    21* (45b 2x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-12-0

18.1

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, he's got his fifty this time, with a nice drive and it's a good one, too, full of aggression and all of the shots and coming up from just 66 balls. He raises his bat in muted celebration, a smile on his face - but he'll be aiming for his hundred next, and the way he's batting, there's no reason why he can't get it. It's his first fifty in 11 Test innings

18.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, shouldered arms this time

18.3

Flintoff to Hayden, OUT, a good line and length from Flintoff and Hayden is caught fishing on the front foot; he's squared up a treat and a thick edge flies straight to Collingwood at second slip. England have the breakthrough at last and Hayden departs after an erstwhile-supportive innings

ML Hayden c Collingwood b Flintoff 21 (88m 47b 2x4 0x6) SR: 44.68

18.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, on the money to Ponting immediately and that's defended on the front foot

18.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, defended off the back foot this time

18.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, another good line to end a fine over and Ponting brings his bat down on that on the last minute, fending the ball into the covers

Tim de Lisle is awake and blogging: read his views on England's first hour.

On the field, there are three slips and two gullies, and Flintoff's cranked it up a notch too

End of over 19 (1 run) Australia 79/1
RT Ponting    0* (3b)      A Flintoff    4-0-13-1
JL Langer    50* (66b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    4-0-23-0

19.1

Harmison to Langer, 3 runs, more runs for Langer, this time through midwicket, with his ever-productive pull shot. Good stuff

19.2

Harmison to Ponting, no run, that's a better length from Harmison and the batsman can only defend that one, coming on to his front foot to do so, but quite comfortably

19.3

Harmison to Ponting, no run, strays down leg this time - the batsman chases it round but is too late with his shot and that's pouched easily by Jones

19.4

Harmison to Ponting, no run, shorter one, that's more like the old Harmison here, and he has Ponting defending on the back foot. The Aussie captain looks for the quick single, but both decide, rightly, that it would be too dangerous to risk

19.5

Harmison to Ponting, no run, that's left alone this time

19.6

Harmison to Ponting, no run, ooh that's very wide, down the off-side, and the batsman isn't interested at all

Flintoff has a face of intent meanwhile; he's just itching to have another bowl

End of over 20 (3 runs) Australia 82/1
RT Ponting    0* (8b)      SJ Harmison    5-0-26-0
JL Langer    53* (67b 8x4)      A Flintoff    4-0-13-1

20.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good pace and good bounce - that one spat and the batsman pulled his bat away from the ball, inside the line, at the last minute

20.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, cracker of a delivery - good aggression from Flintoff, and he spears that one in and it rises sharply, Langer sinking to his knees as he swerves out of the way. The batsman has a wry smile afterwards - this is a good contest between the two

20.3

Flintoff to Langer, (no ball) 2 runs, Flintoff overstepped there and the batsmen run positively as Langer helps the ball to leg

20.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, the batsman pulled out of chasing that one at the last minute

Flintoff's coming round the wicket now to Langer. Two slips and two gullies for Langer. And a short leg. Flintoff on the attack

20.4

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, Langer plays that one carefully off his hips and it glides to square leg where it's picked up easily

20.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, a big leave as that one sails down the corridor outside the off stump, wide enough to leave

Ponting has the same field, though short leg's gone into the covers

20.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, Ponting walks forward to play that one off his front foot - he thinks about driving but checks the shot and the ball rolls into the covers

End of over 21 (4 runs) Australia 86/1
RT Ponting    0* (10b)      A Flintoff    5-0-17-1
JL Langer    56* (72b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    5-0-26-0

21.1

Harmison to Langer, no run, Langer gets a headrush and has a waft at that one, but the ball sails under his bottom edge and through to Jones

21.2

Harmison to Langer, 1 run, strays a touch on leg and that's worked off his hips

21.3

Harmison to Ponting, FOUR, off the mark with a cracker - a really confident pull shot off the bottom third of his bat, which is cleanly hit

21.4

Harmison to Ponting, FOUR, second four in a row, this time smacked off his back foot and punched through the covers. The ball just makes it to the boundary, creeping over the rope at the last minute for the loudest cheer of the day

21.5

Harmison to Ponting, no run, this one - rising outside off stump - is left alone

21.6

Harmison to Ponting, 2 runs, comes forward to meet the ball and flicks it through leg, another neat shot

End of over 22 (11 runs) Australia 97/1
RT Ponting    10* (14b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    6-0-37-0
JL Langer    57* (74b 8x4)      A Flintoff    5-0-17-1

22.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, that's defended into the covers off the front foot

22.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, that's hit down to gully

22.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, defended forward and that flies back to the bowler

22.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, hit off the back foot into cover

22.5

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, full, but Langer gets bat on it, working it behind square, his bottom hand leaving the bat as he plays the shot

22.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, defended this time

Hoggard back on for a dart. Two slips and a gully for Hoggard, plus a point, short cover, mid-off and mid-on, midwicket and fine leg. No third man though

End of over 23 (1 run) Australia 98/1
RT Ponting    10* (15b 2x4)      A Flintoff    6-0-18-1
JL Langer    58* (79b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    6-0-37-0

23.1

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, jabbed into the gap between slip and gully and that races away over the lightning outfield, with two men chasing in vain - and that's Australia's hundred in what seems like no time at all. Good stuff&

23.2

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, four more and that's another boundary behind square for Langer - he has ten to his name now

23.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, ooh, good reply from Hoggard, with one which comes back and dives over off stump - Langer chose to leave that and he judged well

23.4

Hoggard to Langer, no run, left alone again

23.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, defended on the front foot this time

Second slip has moved to third

23.6

Hoggard to Langer, 2 runs, that's on the legs and Langer works that one easily out to square, with the batsmen coming back for two to close out an expensive over from Hoggard

Ooh, what's this? It looks like Ashley Giles is coming on just before lunch to offer a bit of spin. He's been a controversial choice ahead of the more attacking Monty Panesar, and to say Giles has not got that much cricket under his belt is an understatement

End of over 24 (10 runs) Australia 108/1
JL Langer    68* (85b 10x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-2-27-0
RT Ponting    10* (15b 2x4)      A Flintoff    6-0-18-1

24.1

Giles to Ponting, no run, defended on the front foot

24.2

Giles to Ponting, no run, more defending from the batsman. Giles is hardly gambolling into bowl; it's more of a gentle stroll

24.3

Giles to Ponting, no run, "Oh yes Ash," screams Jones. "We like it there, Gilo." But the batsman doesn't - defending on the front foot

24.4

Giles to Ponting, 1 run, that one's paddled away fine for a single

24.5

Giles to Langer, no run, good bowling from Giles, pushing the batsman on to his back foot and he defends again

24.6

Giles to Langer, no run, a big leave and that's lunch

Lunch It's been Australia all the way in the opening session at Brisbane, with some authoritative batting on a belter of a pitch. Justin Langer has led from the front, with a tremendously confident knock - and he's only just getting started; currently he's on 68 not out. Matthew Hayden provided some useful support, but he was nailed by Andrew Flintoff, England's only glimmer of cheer this morning. Their bowling has been loose and wayward, but that's not to take anything away from Australia's batsmen, and Langer in particular, who are in control. After lunch it will be Martin Williamson to take you through the opening exchanges of the afternoon. Join us then, but meanwhile why don't you have a go at our competition?

End of over 25 (1 run) Australia 109/1
JL Langer    68* (87b 10x4)      AF Giles    1-0-1-0
RT Ponting    11* (19b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-2-27-0

12.40pm Anderson to resume the second session

12.25pm During the interval the punters at Brisbane have been treated to kids playing Kwik Cricket to the backdrop of "horrible Australian rock" according to Andrew Miller (a man who lists The Darkness among his favourite bands) while we have been enjoying a delicious shepherds pie and purple carrots cooked by Jenny. It's almost time to resume battle with Australia in the driving seat after the first session of the series.

25.1

Anderson to Ponting, 1 run, on target, defensive block steered into the covers and a sharp single - good running

25.2

Anderson to Langer, no run, punched into the covers off the back foot

25.3

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, a little more width and crashed square through the covers for four

25.4

Anderson to Langer, no run, tries the same shot but this time fails to time it as well and Pietersen fields

25.5

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, take that! Again up in the zone and Langer launches a ferocious off drive, much straighter, and the ball races to the rope

25.6

Anderson to Langer, no run, Short and Langer attempts to hook but doesn't get hold of it. Nine off the over and Australia in the box seat from the off

End of over 26 (9 runs) Australia 118/1
JL Langer    76* (92b 12x4)      JM Anderson    7-2-31-0
RT Ponting    12* (20b 2x4)      AF Giles    1-0-1-0

Giles out of the attack after one over

26.1

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, on the spot and Ponting blocks with relative ease

26.2

Flintoff to Ponting, 2 runs, Ponting pushes at the ball and ends up playing it well in front of him, off balance, and the ball squirts square on the off for two. Moral victory to the bowler but the runs to the batsman

26.3

Flintoff to Ponting, FOUR, as sublime as the previous ball was unconvincing. Up in the slot and Ponting drives straight on the leg side for a lovely four

26.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, good response from Flintoff

26.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, seamed into Ponting at 84.5mph and Ponting gets into line and plops it into the leg side

26.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, outside off stump and left alone by Ponting

More chat about the ball. The umpires consult once again but after a pleasant chat it's back to Anderson with the same ball. Let's see if it goes as far this over ...

End of over 27 (6 runs) Australia 124/1
RT Ponting    18* (26b 3x4)      A Flintoff    7-0-24-1
JL Langer    76* (92b 12x4)      JM Anderson    7-2-31-0

27.1

Anderson to Langer, 1 leg bye, squirted behind square on the leg side for a single

Another moan about the ball.

27.2

Anderson to Ponting, 1 run, Pushed into the leg side

Security Rottweilers confiscate an inflatable balloon that was clearly threatening public order

27.3

Anderson to Langer, FOUR, Langer is feasting on this. Wide and smeared to the cover boundary. Anderson shakes his head, as well he might. Expect another complaint about the ball ...

27.4

Anderson to Langer, 1 run, Langer doesn't quite get hold of this but it still produces a run

27.5

Anderson to Ponting, no run, at last Anderson manages a dot ball

27.6

Anderson to Ponting, FOUR, it was too good to last. Ponting whips this through the leg side, sweetly timed, but this is men against boys at the moment. That's 20 off Anderson's first two overs since lunch

End of over 28 (11 runs) Australia 135/1
RT Ponting    23* (29b 4x4)      JM Anderson    8-2-41-0
JL Langer    81* (95b 13x4)      A Flintoff    7-0-24-1

28.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, lovely response from Flintoff as he beats Langer's parry outside off stump. Sadly for England, they need another three or four Flintoffs

28.2

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, Langer drops and scurries through for a quick single ... for a horrible moment it seemed as if Flintoff in his follow through might flatten Ponting who was rushing to make his ground

28.3

Flintoff to Ponting, FOUR, slashed in the air inches from the grasp of a full-stretch gully. Ponting looks off balance, a sure sign he is not in the best of form

28.4

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, pushed into the leg side

28.5

Flintoff to Langer, OUT, at last one goes to hand and again it's Flintoff who makes the breakthrough. Langer slashes at a wide one but the ball is steered straight into the midriff of Pieterson at point. A fine innings from Langer, but one must wonder why he was quite so gung-ho after the break

JL Langer c Pietersen b Flintoff 82 (136m 98b 13x4 0x6) SR: 83.67

28.6

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, Martyn forced onto the back foot and Flintoff makes him play from the start

Can Anderson maintain the pressure. I suspect we know the answer, but let's see

End of over 29 (6 runs) Australia 141/2
DR Martyn    0* (1b)      A Flintoff    8-0-30-2
RT Ponting    28* (31b 5x4)      JM Anderson    8-2-41-0

29.1

Anderson to Ponting, no run, Ponting forced onto the back foot ... a little more zip there from Anderson

29.2

Anderson to Ponting, no run, another good delivery. That wicket has inspired Anderson

29.3

Anderson to Ponting, no run, some movement as the ball jags back and Ponting blocks

29.4

Anderson to Ponting, no run, Ponting on the move as he plays that, again his balance not quite right, and the ball goes into the leg side

29.5

Anderson to Ponting, no run, that was around 88mph and Ponting left it, but it was close enough to his off stump to cause a few grunts from the close fielders

29.6

Anderson to Ponting, no run, yet again Ponting on the walk as he plays it, no run, and a much better over from Anderson

End of over 30 (maiden) Australia 141/2
RT Ponting    28* (37b 5x4)      JM Anderson    9-3-41-0
DR Martyn    0* (1b)      A Flintoff    8-0-30-2

30.1

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, turned to square leg

30.2

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, down the leg side with a bit more bounce and Martyn sways inside the line as Jones takes at head height

30.3

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, outside off stump at 86mph

30.4

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, textbook backward defensive stroke, and Martyn holds the pose for the photographers

30.5

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, another one at 86mph but again the line is a bit amiss

30.6

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, Martyn blocks to end a good over

All a bit post-lunch. After Langer's onslaught there have been two maidens and the ground is slightly quieter than it was

End of over 31 (maiden) Australia 141/2
DR Martyn    0* (7b)      A Flintoff    9-1-30-2
RT Ponting    28* (37b 5x4)      JM Anderson    9-3-41-0

31.1

Anderson to Ponting, no run

31.2

Anderson to Ponting, no run, jagged back into Ponting at 88mph and it cuts him in half. Will Luke screams "ball of the day" but he's missed half of them as he keeps sneaking out for a fag

31.3

Anderson to Ponting, no run, timed to mid-off

31.4

Anderson to Ponting, 2 runs, sweetly flicked into space on the leg side

31.5

Anderson to Ponting, no run, Ponting forced back by a 90.1mph ball

31.6

Anderson to Ponting, no run, Ponting does well to keep a good ball out. Anderson has been inspired after two dreadful overs to start the session

End of over 32 (2 runs) Australia 143/2
RT Ponting    30* (43b 5x4)      JM Anderson    10-3-43-0
DR Martyn    0* (7b)      A Flintoff    9-1-30-2

Plunkett on the field for Harmison. Ponting asked the match officials to keep an eye on substitutes before the match ...

32.1

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, dug in and Martyn has to hurry to get out of the way

32.2

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, straight and blocked

32.3

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, Flintoff into a groove and Martyn happy to play along

32.4

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, slightly shorter and Martyn onto tiptoes to control it

32.5

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, outside off stump at 88.4mph

32.6

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, speared into Martyn and it hits him on the thigh pad. No hint of an appeal, and rightly so

a rather slumberous session continues. It's a key spell nevertheless.

End of over 33 (maiden) Australia 143/2
DR Martyn    0* (13b)      A Flintoff    10-2-30-2
RT Ponting    30* (43b 5x4)      JM Anderson    10-3-43-0

33.1

Anderson to Ponting, no run, Ponting forced to hurry again by Anderson

33.2

Anderson to Ponting, no run, cut straight into the ground to Pietersen and a few spectators momentarily thought that was a catch

33.3

Anderson to Ponting, FOUR, pulled with real class but not quite timed ... however, Hoggard's progress round the boundary was more Julie Christie than Linford Chrsitie and he bent for the ball like a 70-year-old as it trickled past him for four

33.4

Anderson to Ponting, 1 run, easy single to rub salt in the wound

33.5

Anderson to Martyn, 3 runs, beautifully-timed square drive, Pietersen retrieves inches inside the ropes

33.6

Anderson to Ponting, FOUR, short, and Ponting on it like a cheetah and hammers it through midwicket. Expensive over with 12 off it

Andrew Miller reports that the first chants of "Hoggard's a w****r" have been heard. Almost like Headingley ...

End of over 34 (12 runs) Australia 155/2
RT Ponting    39* (48b 7x4)      JM Anderson    11-3-55-0
DR Martyn    3* (14b)      A Flintoff    10-2-30-2

Harmison back on the field and back into the attack

34.1

Harmison to Martyn, no run, decent start on the spot

34.2

Harmison to Martyn, FOUR, short, wide and got what it deserved. It's hard to believe that this man so battered the Australians on the first day of the 2005 series. I watched that from behind the bowler's arm and he was awesome. Today it's just awful ...

34.3

Harmison to Martyn, no run, bouncer, but at 85mph. He's not been much quicker all day

34.4

Harmison to Martyn, no run, again just short and Martyn plays on the back foot with ease

34.5

Harmison to Martyn, no run, similar ball, same end result

34.6

Harmison to Martyn, 1 run, Martyn almost waited and angled the ball into space in the covers. Pietersen was quick but the placement was too good even for him

More moans about the ball as Hoggard returns to the fray.

End of over 35 (5 runs) Australia 160/2
DR Martyn    8* (20b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    7-0-42-0
RT Ponting    39* (48b 7x4)      JM Anderson    11-3-55-0

35.1

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, very gentle loosener

35.2

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, only marginally more aggressive than an Ashley Giles faster ball

35.3

Hoggard to Martyn, 3 runs, turned fine on the leg side and Harmison scurries round to stop the boot with a size 12

35.4

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, better line and length

35.5

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, straight and blocked

35.6

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 no ball, only just over the line, but just is enough

35.6

Hoggard to Ponting, FOUR, short and once again pulled with conviction. Hoggard - around 80mph - is simply not fast enough to try that to a man who has shown all day that's a shot he can play with ease even if he is not in great form

Apologies to those wanting speed in kph. Two reasons it's not. Firstly, the speed gun is in mph and secondly, I am old and don't understand kph. Sorry.

End of over 36 (8 runs) Australia 168/2
RT Ponting    43* (52b 8x4)      MJ Hoggard    7-2-35-0
DR Martyn    11* (23b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    7-0-42-0

36.1

Harmison to Martyn, no run, perhaps Harmison is slowly finding his rhythm and line

36.2

Harmison to Martyn, no run, peach of a ball which beats Martyn. 88.3mph

36.3

Harmison to Martyn, no run, leg side and a ripper which Jones has to stretch and pluck from on high like a cherry picker reaching for a high branch

36.4

Harmison to Martyn, no run, another decent ball which Martyn has to think about

36.5

Harmison to Martyn, no run, Martyn on the back foot

36.6

Harmison to Martyn, no run, Martyn forced to jump to play that one, but he got well over it. A better over and the England players rush to congratulate him. Imagine what they will do if he takes a wicket ...

"There are only two types of shirt on display in the stadium - white and gold," Andrew Miller informs us. "And probably an equal proportion of each. The atmosphere is very flat."

End of over 37 (maiden) Australia 168/2
DR Martyn    11* (29b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    8-1-42-0
RT Ponting    43* (52b 8x4)      MJ Hoggard    7-2-35-0

37.1

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, decent enough line, but no movement and moderate pace

37.2

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, Ponting untroubled

37.3

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, wide outside off stump. No doubt it would have been a one-day wide and Ponting never even sniffed at it

37.4

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 run, worked away with no effort

37.5

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, straight and safely defended

37.6

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, much the same and a low-key end to a low-key over. Hoggard is not doing much and at around 80mph, Ponting and Martyn will have been more tested in the pre-match nets

Thanks Martin, I think. Afternoon everyone. Super to be here, hope you're enjoying our commentary from your offices, or bedrooms, or wherever else. If your boss catches you, don't blame us...

Drinks come onto the field to end a session which started with some crash-bang and a hint of wallop, but ended in a rather quiet way. It's now the turn of Will Luke, the thinking man's Dale Winton, to keep you informed and entertained through to the tea interval

End of over 38 (1 run) Australia 169/2
DR Martyn    11* (31b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-2-36-0
RT Ponting    44* (56b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    8-1-42-0

38.1

Harmison to Ponting, 1 run, poor, down the leg side from Harmison and Ponting easily turns it away for a single. More dross from Harmison

38.2

Harmison to Martyn, no run, quick, certainly, but ineffective and wide outside the off stump...left alone.

38.3

Harmison to Martyn, no run, a touch straighter, and a bit of movement into the right hander but Martyn ignores it

This is just all too easy for Australia

38.4

Harmison to Martyn, no run, that's a bit better from Harmison, shorter and quick, rising onto Martyn who shoulders arms but it fairly zipped through

38.5

Harmison to Martyn, 1 run, neatly played from Martyn, tucking it off his hip down to fine leg...easy single, easy life

38.6

Harmison to Ponting, no run, bit more fire there from Harmison, causing Ponting to jump up and defend...which he does with ease

Thanks for all the feedback about KPH and MPH. For those of you who really want to convert to KPH, here's a useful link http://www.metric-conversions.org/length/miles-to-kilometers.htm

End of over 39 (2 runs) Australia 171/2
RT Ponting    45* (58b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    9-1-44-0
DR Martyn    12* (35b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-2-36-0

39.1

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, good swing from Hoggard, played out into the off side

Quite a subdued feeling out there

39.2

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, well, a touch straighter from Hoggard and Martyn nudges it to leg but...this pitch is looking flatter than an ironing board now

39.3

Hoggard to Martyn, no run, oh, Martyn misses out here - crashing a wider delivery straight into the covers. That had "hit me, please" all over it

39.4

Hoggard to Martyn, 3 runs, gorgeous shot off the back foot, effortlessly played out into the deep..sheer class

39.5

Hoggard to Ponting, 2 runs, Ponting plays this on the move, as he has done all day, and there's a vain cry of "catch!" from someone. Probably in the barmy army

39.6

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 run

End of over 40 (6 runs) Australia 177/2
RT Ponting    48* (60b 8x4)      MJ Hoggard    9-2-42-0
DR Martyn    15* (39b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    9-1-44-0

40.1

Harmison to Ponting, no run, a good ball from Harmison - no need to re-read that last sentence - right on middle, forcing Ponting forward who defends solidly

40.2

Harmison to Ponting, no run, too short, too wide, left alone

40.3

Harmison to Ponting, no run, and this time Ponting is hurried onto the shot, nevertheless playing it out neatly into the covers

There's just no consistency from Harmison today

40.4

Harmison to Ponting, no run, driven hard back to the bowler who makes a good stop with one hand

40.5

Harmison to Ponting, 1 wide

40.5

Harmison to Ponting, 2 runs, terrific cricket from Ponting, dropping the ball dead on the leg side, sprinting the first and taking two

And there's his fifty from 65 balls. Another gem, it has to be said.

40.6

Harmison to Ponting, no run, down the leg side

Apologies for the mph/kph confusion - we'll do our best to give you both. We can't, however, give it in knots as requested by one of you. That's just daft. Anyway, enough of that. Here comes Ashley Giles

End of over 41 (3 runs) Australia 180/2
RT Ponting    50* (66b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    10-1-47-0
DR Martyn    15* (39b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    9-2-42-0

41.1

Giles to Martyn, no run, tossed up outside off - a bit of spin there. Spin, of sorts...

41.2

Giles to Martyn, FOUR, what a shot! One step down the pitch and Martyn smacks him over his head with the minimum of fuss, one bounce and that's four.

Australia are really going to target Giles here. Mid-on goes back to long-on

41.3

Giles to Martyn, no run, quicker, straighter, and defended

41.4

Giles to Martyn, no run, well bowled, straight and full and defended

41.5

Giles to Martyn, 3 runs, ah, class from Martyn, sitting on the back foot and waiting for the spin - the very slow spin, it must be said - before guiding it past first slip down to third man

41.6

Giles to Ponting, no run, defended on the front foot

Ineffective over, that. I wonder how Monty Panesar is feeling in the dressing room. Pretty glum, I'd imagine

End of over 42 (7 runs) Australia 187/2
RT Ponting    50* (67b 8x4)      AF Giles    2-0-8-0
DR Martyn    22* (44b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    10-1-47-0

42.1

Harmison to Martyn, no run, cut off the back foot straight to point, no timing there. And it was massively wide. If a wide can be described as massive - which in Harmison's case, it can

42.2

Harmison to Martyn, no run, neatly tucked off his hip but no run available there

42.3

Harmison to Martyn, no run, on a good length, turned off his toes but straight to the man just behind square leg

42.4

Harmison to Martyn, no run, far too wide. Just, well...Martyn couldn't have reached that with three bats

42.5

Harmison to Martyn, no run, much better delivery, straighter and threatening Martyn's neck who jabs his head out of the way

42.6

Harmison to Martyn, no run

And a big hello to Mention Moreton Bay Boys' College - hello! - who, we gather, have a big projector with Cricinfo's commentary showing. Kids these days have it far, far too easy

End of over 43 (maiden) Australia 187/2
DR Martyn    22* (50b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    11-2-47-0
RT Ponting    50* (67b 8x4)      AF Giles    2-0-8-0

43.1

Giles to Ponting, no run

The field has scattered for Giles. One slip and a short cover, and the rest dispersed into the deep

43.2

Giles to Ponting, no run, defended out to leg

43.3

Giles to Ponting, no run, well bowled outside off, batsman comes forward to meet it

43.4

Giles to Ponting, no run, good stuff from Giles, a little bit of drift into the right hander&

43.5

Giles to Ponting, no run, defended solidly

43.6

Giles to Ponting, no run, Ponting gets into a tangle here, the ball spitting up a touch and Jones makes a hash of it behind the stumps

End of over 44 (maiden) Australia 187/2
RT Ponting    50* (73b 8x4)      AF Giles    3-1-8-0
DR Martyn    22* (50b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    11-2-47-0

44.1

Harmison to Martyn, no run, quick, full, but too wide...defended solidly

44.2

Harmison to Martyn, no run, too short from Harmison

44.3

Harmison to Martyn, no run, super ball, that, right outside the off stump and Martyn shuffles across to defend. He makes batting look disgustingly easy

44.4

Harmison to Martyn, 2 runs, terrible ball. Really awful delivery outside off, miles wide and slapped off the back foot

44.5

Harmison to Martyn, 3 runs, delicious shot once again from Martyn - sorry if I'm getting carried away here - off the back foot, through extra cover but Bell chases it down well

44.6

Harmison to Ponting, no run, shouldered arms outside off

End of over 45 (5 runs) Australia 192/2
RT Ponting    50* (74b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    12-2-52-0
DR Martyn    27* (55b 2x4)      AF Giles    3-1-8-0

45.1

Giles to Martyn, 1 run, pushed down to long-on

45.2

Giles to Ponting, no run, and he comes confidently down the pitch, chipping it to leg but there's no timing there. Good intent though

45.3

Giles to Ponting, no run, ooh well bowled from Giles, tossing it up and giving it air and almost foxing the batsman...but he adjusts his shot and defends it neatly

45.4

Giles to Ponting, 1 run, chipped down to long-on - tip'n'run

45.5

Giles to Martyn, no run, rocks back and cuts it, but mistimes

45.6

Giles to Martyn, no run, perfect length from Giles this time

Reasonable over from Giles...but nothing more than reasonable.

End of over 46 (2 runs) Australia 194/2
DR Martyn    28* (58b 2x4)      AF Giles    4-1-10-0
RT Ponting    51* (77b 8x4)      SJ Harmison    12-2-52-0

"We'd like to know," says Brendon, "would Damien Martyn get your vote/s for prime minister?" - that'll be a no.

46.1

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, streakily edged down to third man. Something always happens when Hercules has the ball in his hands

46.2

Flintoff to Martyn, no run, outside off, too wide and Martyn ignores it&

46.3

Flintoff to Martyn, 1 run, Martyn pokes at this, ungainly so, but as ever times it perfectly down to third man

46.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, Ponting almost shaped to cut that over the slips, but he wisely left it alone

46.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, "waiting" cries Ponting as he rocks back into his crease, timing it out into the covers where Pietersen runs to his right and makes a good stop

England's fielding has been sharp so far today

46.6

Flintoff to Ponting, 2 runs, clipped very neatly off his legs

End of over 47 (4 runs) Australia 198/2
RT Ponting    54* (81b 8x4)      A Flintoff    11-2-34-2
DR Martyn    29* (60b 2x4)      AF Giles    4-1-10-0

The Barmy Army are doing their best to sound even more ridiculous than usual. "Who we are....where we come from" and all that. They're the mighty England, apparently

47.1

Giles to Martyn, no run

47.2

Giles to Martyn, OUT, goddim! A late-cut from Martyn - who has played that shot perfectly all day until now -to a ball which turned just enough -- straight into the hands of Paul Collingwood at first slip. Well, that's a massive breakthrough for England - and unexpected, too, as Martyn was looking in sublime touch.

DR Martyn c Collingwood b Giles 29 (79m 62b 2x4 0x6) SR: 46.77

Terrific comeback for Giles. And here's Mr Cricket himself, Mike Hussey

Around the wicket

47.3

Giles to Hussey, no run, defended

47.4

Giles to Hussey, no run, and he comes forward solidly again

47.5

Giles to Hussey, no run, pushed to short-leg...this is great stuff from Giles

47.6

Giles to Hussey, no run, defended on the front foot once more

Well done Ashley Giles, who receives enthusiastic pats-on-the-back from all and sundry

End of over 48 (wicket maiden) Australia 198/3
MEK Hussey    0* (4b)      AF Giles    5-2-10-1
RT Ponting    54* (81b 8x4)      A Flintoff    11-2-34-2

48.1

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, on the move Ponting flicks this down to fine leg. He wants to be a bit careful, Ponting, walking across his crease like that

48.2

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, Hussey takes a big step down the pitch to shoulder arms outside the off stump.

Tricky little period this for Australia

48.3

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, full and straight, Hussey jabs down on it and almost falls over - as he often does - fooling Ponting into thinking he's going for a run.

48.4

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, excellent bouncer! Terrific aggression from Flintoff, and well directed too; Hussey snapped his neck out of the way and the ball zipped through to Jones

48.5

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, ooh very close! Very well bowled, fuller and flicking Hussey's pad who left it alone. No appeal, superbly bowled nevertheless

48.6

Flintoff to Hussey, FOUR, shot, Hussey, driving it back past Flintoff. The moment he pitched it up, Hussey pounced

Giles to continue

End of over 49 (5 runs) Australia 203/3
MEK Hussey    4* (9b 1x4)      A Flintoff    12-2-39-2
RT Ponting    55* (82b 8x4)      AF Giles    5-2-10-1

49.1

Giles to Ponting, 1 run, down the pitch comes Ponting, driving it to long-on

Short-leg comes into position for Hussey

49.2

Giles to Hussey, FOUR, immediately Hussey is down the pitch to meet the ball, clipping it powerfully off his toes and, well...that's superbly timed, fine confident shot

49.3

Giles to Hussey, no run, "no" shouts Hussey who defends this ball into the covers

49.4

Giles to Hussey, no run, better ball - tossed up and straighter - and Hussey clamps down on it

49.5

Giles to Hussey, no run, Hussey again watchfully defends this, head right over the ball

49.6

Giles to Hussey, no run, good line, really well bowled outside off but Hussey pushes it out to cover

End of over 50 (5 runs) Australia 208/3
MEK Hussey    8* (14b 2x4)      AF Giles    6-2-15-1
RT Ponting    56* (83b 8x4)      A Flintoff    12-2-39-2
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150  | Overs 151-200
Series Results
Australia v England at Sydney - Jan 2-5, 2007
Australia won by 10 wickets
Australia v England at Melbourne - Dec 26-28, 2006
Australia won by an innings and 99 runs
Australia v England at Perth - Dec 14-18, 2006
Australia won by 206 runs
Australia v England at Adelaide - Dec 1-5, 2006
Australia won by 6 wickets
Australia v England at Brisbane - Nov 23-27, 2006
Australia won by 277 runs
More results »

Match Coverage

Photos

Nov 27, 2006

Dad's Army: Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath celebrate the win at Brisbane, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, November 27, 2006

Dad's Army: Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath celebrate the win

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Nov 27, 2006

Glenn McGrath raises a stump in celebration after Australia trounce England at Brisbane, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, November 27, 2006

Glenn McGrath raises a stump in celebration after Australia trounce England at Brisbane

© Getty Images

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