England tour of Australia, 2006/07 / Commentary

The Ashes - 3rd Test

Australia v England

Australia won by 206 runs

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100

Two slips, two gullies, point, mid-off, mid-on, short midwicket, fine leg for Hoggard and it's Langer to face

Now then, now then, now then. Here we go. Matthew Hayden's spotted something on the pitch. Grass, Matthew.

Big, big cheers for the two Australia openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden and it'll be Matthew Hoggard to open from the Swan River End

Here come the two umpires, Aleem Dar and Rudi Koertzen. Rudi's off to the Lillee-Marsh End (Or Swan River End, to give it its more evocative former title). And here come England...running out with a great big dose of enthusiasm. "Looking rather eager to be out there, if I may say so," as our man at the ground, Andrew Miller, says.

Morning everyone, Will here - a hearty, post-bacon-sandwich hello to you all wherever you might be. Great to join you for this third Test. We're utterly up for it - not long to go now. Oh and a special hello to Amy and all at the SMH.

11.15am Flagpoles at the ready - here come the schoolkids, and Graham McKenzie, the man who bowled the first ball in Tests at the WACA. And Geoff Boycott. "Earplugs to the fore," suggests Andrew. "The press box is standing. How bizarre." A packed house already - so that's 24,500 including those on the temporary seating.

Now, it's time to hand over to Will who will talk you through the opening exchanges of the day.

11.05am Ricky Ponting has won the toss, after Andrew Flintoff called heads incorrectly, and he has decided that Australia will bat. "It's a little different as has been over the last few years," Ponting said of the pitch. "I think it might nip around early, but if we can get through that..."

Flintoff explained why Sajid Mahmood has been included ahead of James Anderson: "There might be something in it this morning, so that's why we've included the quicker bowler in Sajid." And the pitch looks a bit green first up, so he's backing England's fast bowlers to cause a few problems. There's also some yellow spots mixed up on it, so it could be something of a two-paced pitch. "Monty's very excited about playing today," he added. "And we've regrouped since Adelaide."

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11.00am "There's a very ominous-looking microphone on the outfield," notes Andrew. "I sense national anthems are imminent." But not yet ... here come the captains for the toss.

10.50am "Now then, what's going on? muses Andrew Miller, our man on the spot. "Various bigwigs milling around on the square." (which is an odd image...) "And Andrew Strauss is shadow batting at the Prindiville Stand End."

10.25am The England team is just in. And there's a double change - and it is Monty Panesar who is in for Ashley Giles, while Saj Mahmood replaces fellow Lancashire quick James Anderson. So the side lining up for what Andrew Flintoff described as "the biggest Test of our lives" - and he's not wrong - is:

1 Andrew Strauss, 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Ian Bell, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Kevin Pietersen, 6 Andrew Flintoff (capt), 7 Geraint Jones (wk), 8 Sajid Mahmood, 9 Matthew Hoggard, 10 Steve Harmison, 11 Monty Panesar.

Flintoff, by the way, has brushed aside concerns about his ankle, saying he is fully fit and, needless to say, raring to go.

Lots of fans thronging into the ground already - still an hour to go before the start. The Aussies are on the outfield warming up, and getting very loud cheers for the best of their slip catches. Shane Warne's bowling at two stumps on the pitch that was used for the two-day warm-up and the legends match.

9.30am Good morning everyone, or afternoon, or evening, or night... Here we are in Perth for what, just three Tests in, could be the Ashes decider should Australia win. Following Shane Warne's spine-chilling spinnery last Test, England find themselves staring down the barrel and the bookies are all backing an Australian victory. This, in short, is massive, so thanks for tuning in and welcome along to Cricinfo's coverage.

Team (no)-news England haven't yet named their XI - we'll bring you that side as soon as we have it, but it's a fair bet there will be a few new faces in there. Will Sajid Mahmood replace James Anderson? And it'll be all eyes on Monty Panesar: after all the hype, will he finally get his Ashes break? Ricky Ponting certainly hopes so, promising the Aussie batsmen will "try to put it right back on him and see how he copes". Not that we'd expect anything else.

Now, despite their erstwhile dominance, Australia have had to make one change to their XI after Damien Martyn jumped before he was pushed last week. With the side looking for an extra bowler, in strides the allrounder Andrew Symonds, who offers versatility with medium-pace and off-spin both in his armoury.

And of course he is no slouch with the bat. In fact, he's the opposite of slouchy - all shoulders and intent - and he'll bat at 6, with Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke bumping up to 4 and 5, respectively. It's just his 11th Test and his first in the Ashes.

Here's how Australia line up, then: 1 Justin Langer, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Hussey, 5 Michael Clarke, 6 Andrew Symonds, 7 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 8 Shane Warne, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Stuart Clark, 11 Glenn McGrath.

So they are without the retired Martyn ... and, what do you know, the commentary team for this Test is bereft of our very own Martin (Williamson) and his own special brand of effortless timing. Three become two, which means it'll be Will Luke and myself Jenny Thompson in the chair. Actually, chairs. So, Martyn fans get weeping ... but Martin fans hold on to your hankies - he'll be back for Melbourne.

Let's turn our attention now to the pitch. Traditionally the surface has favoured fast bowling but in recent times it's been gripping and has lost some of its pace making it less a Perth flyer and more of a slow service. It was watered on Tuesday and left to bake yesterday and expectations are that it will start to turn early. We will, of course, keep you updated with the pitch state throughout the match - and bring you the England team as soon as we have it.

In the meantime, you could drop us a line to tell us what you think? Just click here.

"I have a horrible feeling that England may go into this one unchanged," shudders Andy Russell, an England fan surprisingly enough. "Does it really matter who England select?" wonders Chuck in the US. "Monty must play," says Craig, in Australia.

0.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, ooh and immediate swing into the left-hander who clips it to midwicket.

A strong breeze across the ground here helping Hoggard's inswing

0.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, touch wider this time, touch shorter and it fairly pings off the surface. Bit of pace in that delivery and Langer leaves alone

0.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, a better, tighter line this time from Hoggard but Langer leaves this alone on length...as do most batsmen at the WACA

0.4

Hoggard to Langer, 1 run, oh and Langer slips here, trying to flick it down to fine leg but the ball raps his pads and Langer looses his footing. Somehow. He's always doing that...

Monty's down at fine leg and he can hardly stop smiling

0.5

Hoggard to Hayden, 3 runs, shot; fine, confident shot from Hayden punching this down the ground and Harmison slides - dangerously so, given what happened to Simon Jones on the last tour - and does very well to pull this back

"Already murmurings about a two-paced wicket from Angus Fraser," says Andrew. "And he should know - he was playing on the neighbouring strip only two nights ago."

0.6

Hoggard to Langer, no run, left alone outside off and that's a pretty good start by Hoggard

Three slips and a gully, point, mid-off, mid-on, short leg, fine leg. Now then...how's his ankle?

Flintoff to take the new ball from the Prindiville Stand end

End of over 1 (4 runs) Australia 4/0
JL Langer    1* (5b)      MJ Hoggard    1-0-4-0
ML Hayden    3* (1b)     

1.1

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, and here comes Flintoff, charging in and raps Hayden on the pad - quite a big shout for lbw but it pitched outside leg

Flintoff's shaved his mullet. Looks a bit like Ross Kemp from Eastenders

1.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, yikes, bit of pace and bounce there! That pinged off a length but was too wide, too woolly. Good take by Jones

Short leg (who retreated when Hayden was on strike) is back now for Langer

1.3

Flintoff to Langer, FOUR, ooh well, Langer's peeled this over backward point - carved, actually, might be more accurate. Slashing it over the infield for four

1.3

Flintoff to Langer, FOUR, ooh well, Langer's peeled this over backward point - carved, actually, might be more accurate. Slashing it over the infield for four

1.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, Langer's left this, rapped on the pads - dangerous, but that's the Australian way at WACA, leaving it on length

1.5

Flintoff to Langer, no run, slightly tighter line from Flintoff at a pleasingly brisk pace, too, but again it's just a touch too short to trouble Langer

1.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good bounce, good pace, good carry - but too wide again and Langer leaves alone

End of over 2 (5 runs) Australia 9/0
JL Langer    5* (10b 1x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-5-0
ML Hayden    4* (2b)      MJ Hoggard    1-0-4-0

2.1

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, edged! Past a vacant third or fourth slip. Tetchy, irritable, flashing, dangerous shot...but it's four

Where's the gully, England?

2.2

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, much better from Hayden, timing this nicely down to mid-on.

Hoggard's clearly going for the lbw against Hayden, swinging in to the left-hander

2.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, left alone, appreciable bounce from Hoggard&

2.4

Hoggard to Langer, no run, ooh and this fizzes off the pitch, hurrying Langer who is almost knocked off his small feet again, the ball rapping his pads

2.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, pushed off his legs but no great timing there

2.6

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, oh and he's laced this! Absolutely creamed it like a big juicy coronary-inducing cream bun through the covers.

End of over 3 (9 runs) Australia 18/0
JL Langer    9* (14b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-0-13-0
ML Hayden    9* (4b 1x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-5-0

3.1

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, that's a better length from Flintoff this time. Still a touch too short, but it's creeping up...

3.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, good line, just on off stump and cutting away slightly from the batsman who again leaves it alone

3.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, ooh, excellent line this from Flintoff. Hayden shapes to play - he was dying to fish at it - before raising his bat and leaving it alone. Wisely so...

3.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, crikey that's a good leave. A WACA leave, if you like, leaving this on middle stump and it flies through to Jones who, with the slips, roar their collective approval

3.5

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, well that's four, Hayden squidging it down the ground. But it wasn't hit with great timing or power and his bat twisted in his hand, almost closing the face. Still four, mind. I'm just getting fussy

3.5

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, well that's four, Hayden squidging it down the ground. But it wasn't hit with great timing or power and his bat twisted in his hand, almost closing the face. Still four, mind. I'm just getting fussy

3.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, too wide and Hayden can't be bothered with it. No need to touch those

End of over 4 (4 runs) Australia 22/0
ML Hayden    13* (10b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-9-0
JL Langer    9* (14b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-0-13-0

4.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, quick, outside off stump. Actually, perhaps it wasn't that quick but Hoggard's a skiddy, slider type of bowler and it's fairly zipping off the pitch

4.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, left alone outside off

And the biggest cheer of the day goes up to...the Barmy Army's trumpeter! The nice people of the WACA have let him, and his trumpet, in. Well done them.

4.3

Hoggard to Langer, 1 run, excellent cricket from Langer, dropping it down dead by his toes and calling Hayden through for a single. Super piece of running, there

4.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, on leg stump and there was just a hint of that one straightening on Hayden who pushes it back to the bowler...no swing, though, for Hoggard

"You all live in a convict colony" cry the Barmies, to the tune of We All Live In A Yellow Submarine

4.5

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, short, bang, four - pulled powerfully in front of square. He really does whack it, Hayden. Not the most elegant of pullers, but mighty effective

4.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, fuller - that's better from Hoggard. Fuller is better. Full is good.

End of over 5 (5 runs) Australia 27/0
ML Hayden    17* (13b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-0-18-0
JL Langer    10* (17b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-9-0

5.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, Langer goes right back onto his stumps, practically eating them, and edges it to gully who dives athletically to field

5.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, outside off and Langer goes back to defend, which he does with a pleasing clunk of the bat

5.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good one! Excellent bouncer from Flintoff, Langer just ducks out of the way and there's an audible "ooorrr" from the batsman who then skips on the spot, ducking and weaving like a boxing cockney rebel he isn't

5.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, too wide of the off stump, the ducking Langer leaves this alone

5.5

Flintoff to Langer, no run, on leg stump, Langer's head again falls over to the off side and he can't work it to leg. Short leg is crouching tiger hidden dragon and fields

5.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, excellent over, a maiden - and a fair one too

End of over 6 (maiden) Australia 27/0
JL Langer    10* (23b 2x4)      A Flintoff    3-1-9-0
ML Hayden    17* (13b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-0-18-0

6.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, too short from Hoggard and left alone by the batsman

6.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ping! Hayden climbs into this, absolutely murdering it to a wideish mid-off who gets down in time...just in time

6.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, good length, Hayden leaves this alone

6.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, good length, Hayden leaves this alone

6.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, pushed out into the leg side

6.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ooh a flash and a slash and a miss from Hayden, my word that was close. Outside off stump - go on, have some of that - but Hayden can't have some of it, or indeed any of it&

6.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, excellent length and that's the second fair maiden in succession

"Can you please explain what a 'Squidge down the ground' means?" asks Gerard. "I presume it was a shot? I've never heard of the Squidge shot. Is it a cross between the Squirt and the Didge?" Well it's a damn fine question. What is the squidge? It's a drive, certainly, but not a well timed one. A mistimed drive, there you go, that'll do.

End of over 7 (maiden) Australia 27/0
ML Hayden    17* (19b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-1-18-0
JL Langer    10* (23b 2x4)      A Flintoff    3-1-9-0

7.1

Flintoff to Langer, FOUR, ah, shot Langer, a short-arm pull through mid-on. Superbly timed

7.2

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, and Langer follows up that splendid pull shot with a single, dropping this down by his toes and scampering through

7.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, that's the length to Hayden. He leaves this alone but is looking a little uncertain here about what to leave

7.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 no balls, rubbish line, down the leg side. Lucky only to concede a single

A leg gully comes in and Flintoff's going around the wicket

7.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, that was quick - just under 90mph (144.7kph) and left alone by the batsman

7.5

Flintoff to Langer, (no ball) FOUR, ooh Langer again flashes at this one outside his off stump and it flies over the slips, down to third man for four

7.5

Flintoff to Langer, no run, pushed off his pads but straight to short leg

7.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, excellent length, that's good from Flintoff, pushing Langer back who defends

"And it's a big morning for Steve Harmison," suggests Mike Atherton. Another one, we would suggest.

End of over 8 (12 runs) Australia 39/0
JL Langer    19* (29b 4x4)      A Flintoff    4-1-21-0
ML Hayden    17* (21b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-1-18-0

8.1

Hoggard to Hayden, 2 runs, airborne for a while as Hayden clips this off his pads, just to the right of midwicket and Monty Panesar fields

Monty gets a huge round of applause for doing very little. They love him already.

8.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ah that's useful from Hoggard, swinging into Hayden who pushes it back to the bowler. The slips and Jones all cry, roar their approval

8.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, cripes that was close, left alone on length again and it just grazed Hayden's pad. The general consensus is "awwww"

8.4

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, punched off the back foot, "Yes" roars Hayden and they scamper through for a single. Mahmood does excellent work in the covers to prevent two

8.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, ah lovely bowling, drawing Langer forward who plays at this, and misses. The wicketkeeper goes up, but Hoggard doesn't...that was mighty close

8.6

Hoggard to Langer, no run, but this is even closer, Langer impetuously driving on the up but it cuts just enough away from him...and again that was damn close

Two slips, gully, point, mid-off, mid-on, deep midwicket, fine leg, third man

Time for the big man Steve Harmison who gets a very warm, hearty cheer from what sounds like a mainly English crowd

End of over 9 (3 runs) Australia 42/0
JL Langer    19* (31b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-1-21-0
ML Hayden    20* (25b 3x4)      A Flintoff    4-1-21-0

9.1

Harmison to Hayden, 2 runs, down the leg side and it's pulled off his hip - good bounce from Harmison, but you'd expect that

9.2

Harmison to Hayden, no run, good from Harmison, short and rising onto Hayden who goes right back, roars "no" and presents a straight bat to defend this down the pitch

9.3

Harmison to Hayden, 1 run, hooked, or pulled rather, off the front foot and Cook's out there in the deep to prevent four

Leg gully and a short leg now

9.4

Harmison to Langer, 1 run, and that's a little too quick for Langer, the ball rapping him on the pad - Harmison shouts catch, rather optimistically - and it runs down to fine leg

Leg gully and the short leg disappear for Hayden

9.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, quick but down the leg side, too wide

"He was all over the shop," says Mike Atherton of Steve Harmison who he saw in practice this morning. Oh. Dear.

9.6

Harmison to Hayden, 1 run, flamboyantly flicked off his legs, flamingo style, but just for a single

Bit of a nothing over, that. Got a comment to make?

End of over 10 (5 runs) Australia 47/0
ML Hayden    24* (30b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    1-0-5-0
JL Langer    20* (32b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-1-21-0

10.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, swinging into Hayden who is desperately trying to smash Hoggard to smithereens, but again he can only defend. This is clever, tight bowling from Hoggard here

10.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and a lovely line again, outside off stump and straightening a touch. Hayden watchfully leaves it alone

10.3

Hoggard to Hayden, OUT, goddim! What a ball, swinging in on Hayden who on-drives, loses balance, it takes the outside edge and there's the breakthrough for England. Hayden looked to the heavens immediately and didn't wait for the finger.

ML Hayden c †Jones b Hoggard 24 (48m 33b 3x4 0x6) SR: 72.72

"He's due to fail" says Ian my-glass-is-always-half-full Botham

The chewing gum has been spat out with disgust by Hayden. Not a happy chap (not at the decision, but at his shot). Here's Ricky Ponting, averaging 59.99. Useful. Only averaging 104 in 2006 though.

10.4

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 run, very well bowled by Hoggard, outside off but equally very well played by Ponting who simply pushes this into the covers and scampers a single. Easy game this batting lark

10.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, and Langer comes forward, head over the ball, watchfully, cautiously defending it into the covers

10.6

Hoggard to Langer, no run, good length! Left alone outside off

Well bowled Hoggard. Always right on the money. Now then, can Harmison find his radar? If not I've a spare here.

End of over 11 (1 run) Australia 48/1
JL Langer    20* (34b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-1-22-1
RT Ponting    1* (1b)      SJ Harmison    1-0-5-0

11.1

Harmison to Ponting, no run, short, angling into Ponting who goes back - jumps back - and defends off the back foot

11.2

Harmison to Ponting, no run, crikey, that was a bit wild. Like a 60s stoner, miles outside off but somehow cutting back in a bit

11.2

Harmison to Ponting, no run, crikey, that was a bit wild. Like a 60s stoner, miles outside off but somehow cutting back in a bit

11.3

Harmison to Ponting, no run, short, wide, cracked off the back foot but Harmison is saved by the covers

11.4

Harmison to Ponting, no run, oh dear, again miles too wide

11.5

Harmison to Ponting, no run, a little bit straighter, but very short and Ponting ignores this

Flintoff comes up to Harmison to offer some advice. We hope, anyway.

11.6

Harmison to Ponting, no run, and Flintoff's words of encouragement have worked, Harmison finally pitching this up on off stump and it's defended by Ponting

End of over 12 (maiden) Australia 48/1
RT Ponting    1* (7b)      SJ Harmison    2-1-5-0
JL Langer    20* (34b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-1-22-1

12.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, lovely line from Hoggard, just tempting the batsman outside off, but he won't be lured into nibbling at this

12.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, excellent line and length, attacking Langer's off stump who very watchfully defends this

Langer's just gone into his shell a bit here, following the loss of Hayden

12.3

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, ooh and this swings into Langer but he just turns the face of the bat and runs it down to the vacant fine leg. A gimme for four

12.4

Hoggard to Langer, no run, crack! A lovely juicy cover drive but straight to Monty in the covers

12.5

Hoggard to Langer, 1 run, a touch too straight and it's turned off his legs

12.6

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 run, and Ponting works this off his legs for a single

And that's the end of the first hour, an excellent start by Australia after winning the toss, tempered somewhat by the loss of Hayden. I too am going to head back to the pavilion in search of a mugga tea, so it's Jenny to enthral you all until lunch.

End of over 13 (6 runs) Australia 54/1
RT Ponting    2* (8b)      MJ Hoggard    7-1-28-1
JL Langer    25* (39b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    2-1-5-0

13.1

Harmison to Ponting, no run, a touch wide down the channel and the batsman shoulders arms easily enough, jumping backwards as he does so

13.2

Harmison to Ponting, no run, closer to the stumps this time, particularly when that one nips back in off the seam - the batsman shoulders arms once more but this time has to sway back a touch to avoid being clattered in the hips

13.3

Harmison to Ponting, OUT, a big call - all the slip cordon are up and so is Harmison - oh and he's removed the imperious Ponting. Good length, nipping back in off the seam and that's pitched bang on middle. It's OK for height too and suddenly the WACA has come alive

RT Ponting lbw b Harmison 2 (19m 11b 0x4 0x6) SR: 18.18

Two slips, two gullies, point, mid-off, mid-on, square leg, fine leg

13.4

Harmison to Hussey, no run, hostile from Harmison - that bounces right up at the chest area at 90mph (144kph) and the batsman awkwardly fends that one down, with his bottom hand coming off the bat as he does so

13.5

Harmison to Hussey, no run, pitched right up there and that's dealt with - just about - by the batsman, on his back foot

Harmison is looking really fired up here, as well he might, having just removed the dangerous Ponting

13.6

Harmison to Hussey, no run, kept down by Hussey and that rounds off a wicket maiden

End of over 14 (wicket maiden) Australia 54/2
MEK Hussey    0* (3b)      SJ Harmison    3-2-5-1
JL Langer    25* (39b 5x4)      MJ Hoggard    7-1-28-1

14.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, up there, but that's tidy defence there by Langer, bringing down soft hands on the ball and easing it down into the short midwicket region

14.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, defended off the back foot into the gully and that's easily picked up by the fielder there

14.3

Hoggard to Langer, no run, good line and Langer rehearses the shot once the ball has flown through

14.4

Hoggard to Langer, 2 runs, launches into that one, a touch wide of off-stump, and finds Panesar at mid-off. Poor Monty fumbles that a touch - he passes it through his legs, inadvertently - and receives loud cheers for his efforts

14.5

Hoggard to Langer, no run, that's tucked down off the hips

14.6

Hoggard to Langer, no run, the ball cut away from the left-hander and that's left alone outside off

End of over 15 (2 runs) Australia 56/2
JL Langer    27* (45b 5x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-1-30-1
MEK Hussey    0* (3b)      SJ Harmison    3-2-5-1

15.1

Harmison to Hussey, no run, that's left alone outside off and continues to climb as it reaches Jones

15.2

Harmison to Hussey, no run, again that's left, this time a touch more easily, as it was slightly wider

15.3

Harmison to Hussey, 1 run, strayed down leg and Hussey gets off the mark with a clip off his hips and there are rousing cheers for him so doing

15.4

Harmison to Langer, no run, angles that across the left-hander - Harmison over the wicket - and that is defended off the back foot, with a straight bat in the end, but a nervous jump

15.5

Harmison to Langer, 1 run, well tickled round to fine leg where Panesar and his sideshow of a fielding effort deal with it cleanly

15.6

Harmison to Hussey, no run, made to play that one, with a solid defence off the back foot and that ends another decent over

Flintoff coming back into the attack - round the wicket to Langer. Two slips, gully, point and third man for Fred's return, plus a short leg, fine leg, mid-off and mid-on

End of over 16 (2 runs) Australia 58/2
MEK Hussey    1* (7b)      SJ Harmison    4-2-7-1
JL Langer    28* (47b 5x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-1-30-1

16.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, ooh, Langer got stuck in his crease there, with Trescothick-like leaden feet - and he decides to swoosh at it, but could have left it as it was outside the off stump. Ever so nearly an edge, that

A short delay in honour of moving the sightscreen

16.2

Flintoff to Langer, 1 no ball, overstepped there and that one sails harmlessly through

16.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, takes the pace off that a tad and it's just left outside the off stump. "Areas, Freddie!" chirps Alastair Cook who's in close, such is the lot of the youngster

16.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, nimble work from Pietersen there, dashing in from cover to pounce on that one. England's body language and generaly jauntiness a different story in the very early stages of this Test

16.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, left alone outside off

16.5

Flintoff to Langer, no run, ooh, good stuff from Flintoff, spearing that in on a good length, just outside off and the batsman thinks about playing it, but only for a split second

16.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, defended tidily enough in the end as that one's full but straighter and it's turned a touch to leg

16.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, defended tidily enough in the end as that one's full but straighter and it's turned a touch to leg

"It seems that the Aussie are going to rely even more on "Mr Husseyhoff" even more now," groans Mark Pepper. I don't see any red shorts or a beach nearby, though...

End of over 17 (1 run) Australia 59/2
JL Langer    28* (54b 5x4)      A Flintoff    5-1-22-0
MEK Hussey    1* (7b)      SJ Harmison    4-2-7-1

17.1

Harmison to Hussey, no run, that's left alone outside off

17.2

Harmison to Hussey, no run, textbook defence, oak-solid, to one which pitches on a good length and there's the full face of the bat

17.3

Harmison to Hussey, no run, Hussey bends back a touch and pulls out of the shot really early, pulling his bat back and allowing that one to whistle past his chest through to Jones

17.4

Harmison to Hussey, 1 run, good shot from Hussey that, hands quickly down on to that one which he helps in front of square where a diving Cook parries the ball, doing well to get a hand on it, in truth

17.5

Harmison to Langer, no run, just short-of-a-length and he looks to pull that one at 90.3mph (145.3kph) but swishes under it

17.6

Harmison to Langer, no run, ooh, that strikes him on the upper thigh. Aw, that's gonna hurt in the morning, if it doesn't already

Harmison's tail, for once, is up...

End of over 18 (1 run) Australia 60/2
JL Langer    28* (56b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    5-2-8-1
MEK Hussey    2* (11b)      A Flintoff    5-1-22-0

18.1

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, over the wicket at the left-hander and angles that well across him, and it's left easily enough with a bit of theatrical periscoping

18.2

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, oh, oh, that one was much straighter and just flew over the batsman's left hip as it's left well alone

18.3

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, good ball, straight, and that sails through

18.4

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, left alone this time

18.5

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, round the wicket this time and that's good carry from Flintoff but that's left alone again

18.6

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, round again, angled in, but that's good judgement from the batsman, who leaves it

"Is it sightscreen or side screen?" asks Evan Winstanley, about the sightscreens. Well, they do what they say on the tin - and are definitely not, as some girls at my school once thought, wind guards

End of over 19 (maiden) Australia 60/2
MEK Hussey    2* (17b)      A Flintoff    6-2-22-0
JL Langer    28* (56b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    5-2-8-1

19.1

Harmison to Langer, 1 run, dropped. Harmison angles that one across the batsman who shapes to play a backfoot defensive, but a diving Flintoff gets his hand to it at second slip, crouching low and just gets half a hand to it in the end

19.2

Harmison to Hussey, no run, straighter and that's defended this time

19.3

Harmison to Hussey, no run

19.4

Harmison to Hussey, no run, ooh, hostile from Harmison this time, forcing the batsman to sway away off his back foot as that whizzes past his nose. Good control, too

19.5

Harmison to Hussey, no run, defended on the front foot

19.6

Harmison to Hussey, no run, tries to on-drive that one but doesn't really get hold of it and kills the shot

Harmison looking well in control here and England are a constant threat

End of over 20 (1 run) Australia 61/2
MEK Hussey    2* (22b)      SJ Harmison    6-2-9-1
JL Langer    29* (57b 5x4)      A Flintoff    6-2-22-0

20.1

Flintoff to Langer, FOUR, short and Langer latches on to this short delivery very quickly and punches at it with a pull shot. He gets an inside edge, but such is the timing that it finds the boundary

Two slips, short leg, two points, third man. No-one out at deep midwicket, though

20.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, defended on the back foot

20.3

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, good length delivery, well played, just tickling that one behind him and Jones chases it down

20.4

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, that one's a touch short, but on a good line, just outside off, and it's left alone

And Panesar is warming up... now then, now then

20.5

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, solid defensive played on the front foot this time

20.6

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, down the channel, harmless, and that's left alone

Panesar's not just coming on quite yet - Flintoff giving the bowler an over's notice to warm up, as is usual practice. You should see Panesar's beaming grin. He can't wait.

End of over 21 (5 runs) Australia 66/2
MEK Hussey    2* (25b)      A Flintoff    7-2-27-0
JL Langer    34* (60b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    6-2-9-1

21.1

Harmison to Langer, no run, left alone easily enough and that one flies through to Jones

21.2

Harmison to Langer, no run, 86mph (138kph) and that one flies past the grille, but moves away off the seam, so pretty wide by the time Jones pouches it

21.3

Harmison to Langer, no run, again that's angled across a touch wide, and left alone

21.4

Harmison to Langer, no run

21.5

Harmison to Langer, no run, left alone this time

21.6

Harmison to Langer, no run, pitches on leg and Langer works it square but it's picked up easily

And now it's time for Panesar and there's a huge cheer around the ground. Panesar scratches out his bowling spot

End of over 22 (maiden) Australia 66/2
JL Langer    34* (66b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    7-3-9-1
MEK Hussey    2* (25b)      A Flintoff    7-2-27-0

22.1

Panesar to Hussey, no run, right on target immediately and that's very well defended on the front foot

22.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, patient work from Hussey already, moving all the way back and defending that down

22.3

Panesar to Hussey, no run, defended on the front foot

22.4

Panesar to Hussey, no run, pushed into the off-side, looking for that single

Extra cover now comes in to silly mid-off

22.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, on the button again, and that's defended on the front foot this time

22.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, on the button again, and that's defended on the front foot this time

22.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, defended into the man in short on the off-side

Big cheers greet the end of a tidy first over and Panesar is all smiles

22.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, defended into the man in short on the off-side

Big cheers greet the end of a tidy first over and Panesar is all smiles. Kerry O'Keefe, never one to mince his words, says: "That's as good a first over as you'll ever see in the Ashes". And now it's Mahmood, replacing Harmison.

Two slips, gully, point, third man. Third man joins the cordon. Three slips now, gully, point, mid-off, mid-on, deep midwicket, fine leg

End of over 23 (maiden) Australia 66/2
MEK Hussey    2* (31b)      MS Panesar    1-1-0-0
JL Langer    34* (66b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    7-3-9-1

23.1

Mahmood to Langer, 3 runs, full ball on middle-and-leg, clipped off his legs, Cook dived just inside the ropes, stopped it, and Panesar relayed the return

23.2

Mahmood to Hussey, no run

23.3

Mahmood to Hussey, no run, steered to the covers

23.4

Mahmood to Hussey, no run, steered to the covers again and then Hussey prods down a few divots

23.5

Mahmood to Hussey, no run, quickly on to that one with a sweet drive, but that's some tidy fielding in the covers

23.6

Mahmood to Hussey, no run, straight, full, and that's defended on the front foot

Good start from Mahmood.

On sightscreens," begins Ashley Taylor. "My mate once believed that they were there for the batsman to move in front of anyone in the crowd who was becoming annoying."

End of over 24 (3 runs) Australia 69/2
MEK Hussey    2* (36b)      SI Mahmood    1-0-3-0
JL Langer    37* (67b 6x4)      MS Panesar    1-1-0-0

24.1

Panesar to Langer, OUT, And Panesar strikes! It's taken him just seven balls to get his first Ashes wicket and that pitches outside off and beats Langer's forward defensive, knocking back off stump. Panesar is immediately celebrating, running around in a loop, whooping and beaming. Giles on the balcony has a full beaming smile, delighted with England's progress

JL Langer b Panesar 37 (116m 68b 6x4 0x6) SR: 54.41

Slip, silly point, short leg, point, short cover, backward square, mid-off, mid-on and a short midwicket

Welcome back all. Will here. Super curry action from Jenny at Chez Cricinfo. Here come the players and Monty has five balls left in his over. Michael Clarke to face.

And that will be lunch on what has been England's opening session. Ponting had expressed concerns that the conditions would suit the bowlers first up, but batted nonetheless - and now his team are three down, himself included. A confident England head into the break beaming after Panesar found immediate dividends in his first Ashes Test, and Harmison is looking a different bowler out there; they have a wicket apiece, and there's also one for the ever-reliable Hoggard. Hussey has started solidly enough, though, and he and Michael Clarke will need to muster all their defences as Australia seek to regroup this afternoon. To take you through the opening overs of that session, it will be Will.

Why don't you check out Match Vox meantime or have a look at the new Cricinfo 3D - a visual representation of our commentary with various camera angles to play around with. Knock yourself out at www.cricinfo.com/3d

24.2

Panesar to Clarke, no run, ooh and it's tossed up and Clarke immediately goes on the offensive, smashing this into short leg's ankle

24.3

Panesar to Clarke, no run, again it's cracked on the front foot but to the right of short leg this time

24.4

Panesar to Clarke, no run, lovely flighted ball just outside off, defended solidly

24.5

Panesar to Clarke, no run, excellent length, Clarke not sure whether to go forward or back...in the end he stays back and defends

24.6

Panesar to Clarke, no run, Clarke comes down the pitch and pushes this back to the bowler

So it'll be Matthew Hoggard to start from the Prindiville Stand End and he'll be bowling into the Fremantle Doctor

Excellent, controlled bowling this from Parmesan Tony

End of over 25 (wicket maiden) Australia 69/3
MJ Clarke    0* (5b)      MS Panesar    2-2-0-1
MEK Hussey    2* (36b)      SI Mahmood    1-0-3-0

Two slips, gully, point, cover, mid-off, mid-on, midwicket, fine leg

25.1

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, a cracker! Just cuts away enough to beat a tentative forward defence from Hussey. Very close indeed

25.2

Hoggard to Hussey, 2 runs, angled off the back foot past second slip, very neatly played - just using the pace of the ball to guide it easily down to third man

25.3

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, drifting down the leg side, drifting further with the inswing, and Jones tumbles to his right to collect this. Does well, too

25.4

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, that's the length from Hoggard, pitching it up and tempting Hussey into driving. He does drive, confidently enough albeit without really moving his feet, and it's pushed out into the covers

25.5

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, how was that? A huge appeal, and a very good one too. Classical Hoggard, swinging it into the left hander who comes forward, the ball raps him on the pad. Hussey is indicating he probably hit it...and replays suggest Hussey probably did get a nick on it. Good decision from Aleem Dar

25.6

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, again the perfect length, allowing the ball to swing and Hussey clips it to mid-on

A fine start from Hoggard after lunch. Monty to continue

End of over 26 (2 runs) Australia 71/3
MEK Hussey    4* (42b)      MJ Hoggard    9-1-32-1
MJ Clarke    0* (5b)      MS Panesar    2-2-0-1

26.1

Panesar to Clarke, no run, chipped to the right of the bowler who takes a step to his right and fields

26.2

Panesar to Clarke, no run, the arm ball, outside off and it's left alone by Clarke

26.3

Panesar to Clarke, no run, solidly forward by Clarke, pushing it out into the covers

26.4

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, clever bowling, tossing this right up but Clarke, such an excellent player of spin, times this neatly out into the covers and they steal a single

Over the wicket to Hussey

26.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, down the track from Hussey, chipping it into the leg side

26.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run

End of over 27 (1 run) Australia 72/3
MEK Hussey    4* (44b)      MS Panesar    3-2-1-1
MJ Clarke    1* (9b)      MJ Hoggard    9-1-32-1

27.1

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, ooh, good ball, swinging into the right hander who squirts it out - unconvincingly - to midwicket

27.2

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, too wide, for once, from Hoggard who today has been absolutely metronomically accurate

Still just two slips in place...

27.3

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, a confident, near arrogant stride down the pitch from Clarke to defend this, with a perfectly straight bat

27.4

Hoggard to Clarke, 1 run, just short of a length and Clarke decides against pulling it, instead short-arm-bunting it behind square. Neat stroke, too

27.5

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, immediately Hoggard adjusts his line to the left hander, although it's a touch too wide to trouble Hussey who shoulders arms.

27.6

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, clipped off his legs, nicely timed but Cook, at mid-on, tumbles to his left to field

Excellent start from England so far after lunch. For those not in the know, the reason the Fremantle Doctor is so called, as it provides "relief" from the heat. Hence the Doctor bit.

End of over 28 (1 run) Australia 73/3
MEK Hussey    4* (46b)      MJ Hoggard    10-1-33-1
MJ Clarke    2* (13b)      MS Panesar    3-2-1-1

28.1

Panesar to Clarke, no run, ah well flighted, just on middle-and-off and defended

28.2

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, onto the back foot and glanced behind square

over the wicket

28.3

Panesar to Hussey, no run, and it's fired in flat, Hussey comes forward and blocks this out

28.4

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, just a touch too short but Hussey is so quick to rock back and punch it into the covers

28.5

Panesar to Clarke, no run, very well bowled, a touch shorter and Clarke rather nervously pokes and prods at this off the back foot

28.6

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, better shot this time, coming solidly forward to defend

End of over 29 (3 runs) Australia 76/3
MJ Clarke    4* (17b)      MS Panesar    4-2-4-1
MEK Hussey    5* (48b)      MJ Hoggard    10-1-33-1

29.1

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, good line from the bowler attacking the stumps but Clarke is solid in defence - and playing very straight here, too

29.2

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, a textbook defence, with just a hint of a flourish - holding the pose

29.3

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, and this one moves in to the right hander, forcing Clarke to defend once more. Which he does, again with an impressively straight blade

cat-and-mouse cricket here. Fascinating

29.4

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, Hoggard sends this just a little wider, Clarke shuffles across and defends on the back foot

29.5

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, and it's even wider this time, too wide in fact and Clarke doesn't bother playing this. Wise, too...no need to touch those

29.6

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, right on the money once again from Hoggard, on middle stump and it's firmly blocked out by a determined-looking Clarke

Now then. Time for Harmison? No. It's Monty over the wicket

End of over 30 (maiden) Australia 76/3
MJ Clarke    4* (23b)      MJ Hoggard    11-2-33-1
MEK Hussey    5* (48b)      MS Panesar    4-2-4-1

30.1

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, outside off and turned, off his legs, very neatly

Around the wicket

30.2

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, lands this on leg stump - outside leg, actually - and Clarke easily turns it around the corner

30.3

Panesar to Hussey, no run, back Hussey goes and defends

30.4

Panesar to Hussey, no run, ooooh so close! Outside off and it beats Hussey's indeterminate push outside off, the ball hitting Jones' gloves and very nearly bowling him

30.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, defended solidly this time

30.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, left alone outside off this time

End of over 31 (2 runs) Australia 78/3
MEK Hussey    6* (53b)      MS Panesar    5-2-6-1
MJ Clarke    5* (24b)      MJ Hoggard    11-2-33-1

31.1

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, it's on off stump, not much movement and Clarke presents the straightest of bats

31.2

Hoggard to Clarke, no run

31.3

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, just a couple of inches straighter this time, allowing Clarke to whip it to mid-on. But straight to mid-on, who prevents the single

31.4

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, Clarke strides confidently forward and leaves this alone, shouldering arms with a flourish. If that's possible

31.5

Hoggard to Clarke, FOUR, shot! Clever, patient batting from Clarke this, half volley from Hoggard and the batsman just opens the face at the last minute, timing it beautifully through extra cover

31.6

Hoggard to Clarke, 3 runs, and Hoggard over compensates with his line this time, it's too straight and Clarke works him off his legs through midwicket for a couple

Two slips and a gully

"It seems Hussey and Clarke have been reading the English play book," wryly comments Marshall. "Play it slow, slow, slow."

Panesar's spell (5-2-6-1) has come to an end, and it's Steve Harmison replacing

End of over 32 (7 runs) Australia 85/3
MJ Clarke    12* (30b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    12-2-40-1
MEK Hussey    6* (53b)      MS Panesar    5-2-6-1

32.1

Harmison to Clarke, 1 run, quick, straight but too full and Clarke pings it, with excellent timing but rubbish placement, straight back to the bowler who gets half a hand on it and they steal a single

32.2

Harmison to Hussey, 1 run, nasty ball rising on Hussey's chest - that's more like it from Harmison - but it's very well played by the batsman and they steal another single

32.3

Harmison to Clarke, no run, pushed off the back foot - Clarke looked a bit hurried there

Harmison is tearing in here

32.4

Harmison to Clarke, 1 run, dropped down dead and they scamper another single. This is excellent cricket by these two. No fours on offer so they're rotating the strike to upset Harmison's line

32.5

Harmison to Hussey, 1 run, and again, dropped down and they nick another

32.6

Harmison to Clarke, no run, better length, forcing Clarke back onto his stumps - fierce bounce and the batsman plays it off the back foot with soft hands

Ah it's Monty again. Over the wicket

"Oh, don't open up the whole Freo "Doctor" debate," sighs Andrew Hall - who you'd think would have better things to worry about (OK, not that one) - opening up the whole Freo Doctor debate. "If you weren't aware there is a school of thought in Fremantle, as opposed to Perth, that it's the Docker not the Doctor."

End of over 33 (4 runs) Australia 89/3
MJ Clarke    14* (34b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    8-3-13-1
MEK Hussey    8* (55b)      MJ Hoggard    12-2-40-1

33.1

Panesar to Hussey, no run, right up in the blockhole and it's driven, solidly and firmly, but straight to point

33.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, too straight, Hussey clips this off his pads but Flintoff is there at a short mid-on to prevent the single

33.3

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, and Mahmood is too deep at mid-off, Hussey stealing a single

Slip, short leg, midwicket, deep backward square, deep midwicket, backward point, cover, mid-off, mid-on

33.4

Panesar to Clarke, FOUR, shot! Excellent cricket from Clarke, fleet of foot, dancing back onto his stumps and he cuts this hard through extra cover for four. Too short from Monty

33.5

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, fuller, but still to short (if that's not a contradiction in terms) and again he is cut, but to the fielder this time

33.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, pushed back, hard, to Monty

End of over 34 (6 runs) Australia 95/3
MEK Hussey    9* (59b)      MS Panesar    6-2-12-1
MJ Clarke    19* (36b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    8-3-13-1

34.1

Harmison to Clarke, 2 runs, off the back foot, tucked into the leg side very easily - these two are running so well between the wickets, calmly ticking the scoreboard over and rotating the strike with ease

34.2

Harmison to Clarke, FOUR, ah, that's a superb cover drive from Clarke, on the up, and Monty's chase is in vain

There's the 100 up for Australia

34.3

Harmison to Clarke, no run, and an immaculate forward defensive to a straighter delivery this time

34.4

Harmison to Clarke, no run, oh blimey, there's an Adelaide-like delivery from Harmison. Not quite one of his Brisbane specials, but still wider than a row of semi detached houses&

34.5

Harmison to Clarke, no run, defended on the back foot

34.5

Harmison to Clarke, no run, defended on the back foot

34.5

Harmison to Clarke, no run, defended on the back foot

The Fanatics have taken exception to a burst of "Rule Britannia", reports Andrew. Oh they're well liquored up out there now...

34.6

Harmison to Clarke, no run, outside off, too wide again and left alone

End of over 35 (6 runs) Australia 101/3
MJ Clarke    25* (42b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    9-3-19-1
MEK Hussey    9* (59b)      MS Panesar    6-2-12-1

35.1

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, and that's just a bit too short from Panesar, too straight also and Hussey easily glances it fine

35.2

Panesar to Clarke, no run, tossed up this time, the right-handed Clarke solidly forward to defend

35.3

Panesar to Clarke, no run, ooh excellent line this time, on middle-and-off and turning away just slightly. Clarke nevertheless presents a very solid and straight bat

35.4

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, half-volley from Monty and Clarke bunts it down the ground

35.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, Hussey forced to defend his off stump here, which he does very firmly

35.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, like the impish imp Hussey is, he tries to scamper a single here but is sent back by the wise pup Clarke

End of over 36 (2 runs) Australia 103/3
MEK Hussey    10* (62b)      MS Panesar    7-2-14-1
MJ Clarke    26* (45b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    9-3-19-1

36.1

Harmison to Clarke, no run, no, too short and wide and it's left alone

The Barmies are chanting with demonic, drunken enthusiasm on the hill. Loving every minute of it

36.2

Harmison to Clarke, no run, not quite a snorter - a norter, perhaps - which Clarke easily evades but it pings into Jones's gloves

36.3

Harmison to Clarke, no run, short, outside off, Clarke jumps and skips across his stumps and wisely shoulders arms

36.4

Harmison to Clarke, no run, comes forward to this one outside off, turning it to the leg side

Andrew Symonds, with his massive mullet, is looking pretty chilled in the changing room. Next man in.

36.5

Harmison to Clarke, no run, good pace, and Harmison really is charging in here, but it's too wide

36.6

Harmison to Clarke, 1 run, very good running from Clarke, pushing it to mid-on and sprinting like a cheetah through for a single. I don't know if cheetahs are particularly quick, but they probably are

End of over 37 (1 run) Australia 104/3
MJ Clarke    27* (51b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    10-3-20-1
MEK Hussey    10* (62b)      MS Panesar    7-2-14-1

37.1

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, tossed up, Clarke waits for it and refuses to hit over the top...timing it neatly, calmly, patiently down the ground for, guess what?, another single

37.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, breaking news: no single this time. Hussey defends solidly, firmly et al

37.3

Panesar to Hussey, no run, ah well bowled - flatter and straighter, pushed back to the Montster

37.4

Panesar to Hussey, 3 runs, shot; Hussey leans into this, takes a step down the pitch and drives flamboyantly through extra cover for three

37.5

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, pushed off the back foot. Monty's not getting much turn yet

37.6

Panesar to Hussey, FOUR, short and Hussey hammers it past mid-on off the back foot. And that's his first four of the innings

Time for Monty to have a break now. He's being milked like a cow at the moment.

End of over 38 (9 runs) Australia 113/3
MEK Hussey    17* (66b 1x4)      MS Panesar    8-2-23-1
MJ Clarke    29* (53b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    10-3-20-1

38.1

Harmison to Clarke, no run, that was quick, 91.5mph (147ish kh/h), but again too wide

38.2

Harmison to Clarke, no run, wide of the crease this time from Harmison, Clarke times it very neatly but can only find mid-on

38.3

Harmison to Clarke, no run, good bouncer, well directed - that's more like it from Harmison. Get them ducking, get them weaving. It was straight, Clarke ducked but never got his hands or bat down sufficiently...the ball fairly pinging through to the wicketkeeper

One slip is the result of that conference

38.4

Harmison to Clarke, FOUR, shot of Clarke's innings; too full from Harmison, on middle stump, Clarke's head is rock-solid-still and he times it quite beautifully down the ground for four

That was a very fine shot, and it's caused a bit of a headache for Flintoff. His cure is to have a long chat with Harmison. Lots of arm-flapping going on, and a couple of teapots. They're all going out now...this could be short and quick. "Do you want us to ring Michael Vaughan and ask him?" bellows a wag in the crowd, as captain and strike bowler confer

38.5

Harmison to Clarke, no run, and that was short and quick, but far too short and easily evaded

38.6

Harmison to Clarke, 1 run, better from Harmison, rising onto Clarke's chest who defends solidly off the back foot

End of over 39 (5 runs) Australia 118/3
MJ Clarke    34* (59b 4x4)      SJ Harmison    11-3-25-1
MEK Hussey    17* (66b 1x4)      MS Panesar    8-2-23-1

39.1

Panesar to Clarke, no run, Clarke comes down the pitch with no shortage of cheek, clonking it to mid-on

39.2

Panesar to Clarke, no run, quicker ball from Monty - flatter, on off stump and Clarke is hurriedly defending this on the back foot, rather ungainly

39.3

Panesar to Clarke, no run, more elegantly defended this time as Clarke comes forward to block this out

39.4

Panesar to Clarke, 1 run, too full and Clarke drives it down to long-off to bring up the 50 partnership.

39.5

Panesar to Hussey, no run, "'ow?" asks Jones as this one hits Hussey's pad, who was hiding his bat, but it was miles outside off

39.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, and it's firmly blocked out to end the over

The game is just ticking over here. The pitch is just starting to look a little flat, conditions slightly more favourable for the batsmen. Harmison it is to continue

End of over 40 (1 run) Australia 119/3
MEK Hussey    17* (68b 1x4)      MS Panesar    9-2-24-1
MJ Clarke    35* (63b 4x4)      SJ Harmison    11-3-25-1

40.1

Harmison to Clarke, no run, and Clarke stays back in his crease, squirting it out into the covers

40.2

Harmison to Clarke, 2 runs, ooh close! Clarke fends this off his hip just to the right of Cook at short leg who doesn't react nearly quick enough. Half a chance. My Gran, etc

40.3

Harmison to Clarke, no run, pushed out into the covers

40.4

Harmison to Clarke, OUT, what a catch! What a fine catch that is from Harmison. Clarke, just when he was looking settled, tried to pull Harmison, and just flat-batted it straight, the ball spearing back to the bowler who was either going to wear it in his chest or get his hands in the way. He did get his hands in the way and there's Harmison's second

MJ Clarke c & b Harmison 37 (62m 67b 4x4 0x6) SR: 55.22

Well that's a great breakthrough for England (although all breakthroughs are great, frankly). Time for drinks out in the middle, and drinks at Chez Cricinfo as Jenny Thompson skips into the chair with all the enthusiasm of a mouse in a cattery. That's lies! I am enthusiastic - and it's Symonds to face. Hello again

40.5

Harmison to Symonds, FOUR, off the mark straight away and that's the first Ashes runs for Symonds who rolls his wrists over that one and tickles it fine through fine leg

40.6

Harmison to Symonds, no run, full ball at 93.5mph (150kph) wings down the channel, pitching pretty much on the line where the stumps are and that's left alone

End of over 41 (6 runs) Australia 125/4
A Symonds    4* (2b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    12-3-31-2
MEK Hussey    17* (68b 1x4)      MS Panesar    9-2-24-1

41.1

Panesar to Hussey, FOUR, walks into that and throws his arms into a sumptuous cover-drive and he picks the gap between the fielders a treat

41.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, 'No, wait there' calls Hussey, turning down the most risky of singles as he merely stuns the ball down with a forward defensive

41.3

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, worked off his pads down to backward square

41.4

Panesar to Symonds, no run, pitches in a testy area and that's left alone outside off

41.5

Panesar to Symonds, no run, ooh! Jaffa. Symonds edges that one down way in front of first slip and he knows he's been done - and he stands there in contemplation, looking back at the bowler

41.6

Panesar to Symonds, no run, defended this time

End of over 42 (5 runs) Australia 130/4
A Symonds    4* (5b 1x4)      MS Panesar    10-2-29-1
MEK Hussey    22* (71b 2x4)      SJ Harmison    12-3-31-2

42.1

Harmison to Hussey, no run, decent ball, that, angled across the lefthander from over the wicket and it's left alone with high arms and bat

42.2

Harmison to Hussey, 1 run, dinked forward to mid-off region and there's a scrambled single which is comfortable enough in the end

42.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, bouncer, ducked under

Three slips, gully, short leg, point, mid-off, mid-on, fine leg

42.4

Harmison to Symonds, no run, tries more of the short stuff, but it's some of the wide stuff, too - and that's left well alone with a duck

42.5

Harmison to Symonds, no run, Symonds sways away from that one on the backfoot

42.6

Harmison to Symonds, no run, again that's left alone - that one was short yet again and it's harmlessly down the channel

End of over 43 (1 run) Australia 131/4
A Symonds    4* (9b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    13-3-32-2
MEK Hussey    23* (73b 2x4)      MS Panesar    10-2-29-1

43.1

Panesar to Hussey, no run, pitches outside and bends in, neatly, at the left-hander who can only defend forward

43.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, more of the same, and this time the batsman tries to work that one square

43.3

Panesar to Hussey, no run, that one crashes into the pads and there's a vague shout of 'Catch', more hopeful than anything

43.4

Panesar to Hussey, FOUR, short and that's four all the way, cut well and forcefully off the back foot - terrific shot

43.5

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, short again and this time it's pulled in front of midwicket

43.6

Panesar to Symonds, no run, defended on the front foot and there's an appeal, but the umpire wasn't even slightly interested

Hoggard has left the field, the sub Ed Joyce is on. And it's Flintoff back into the attack, with three slips and a gully

End of over 44 (5 runs) Australia 136/4
A Symonds    4* (10b 1x4)      MS Panesar    11-2-34-1
MEK Hussey    28* (78b 3x4)      SJ Harmison    13-3-32-2

44.1

Flintoff to Hussey, FOUR, full, wide and that's timed effortlessly through the off-side, straight out of the middle and that scorched through the gap. A loosener from Flintoff at 82mph (132kph)

44.2

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, closer to the batsman this time - Flintoff going round to Hussey - that's wider, quicker and tempting but in the end that's just left alone outside the off-stump

44.3

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, hit to gully

44.4

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, simple delivery, clean, in the channel and that's simply left alone

44.5

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, in the corridor again; a hint of swing away from the left-hander and keeps moving on its way to Jones

44.6

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, darted in at the left-hander and nips back in at him just a touch off the seam

End of over 45 (4 runs) Australia 140/4
MEK Hussey    32* (84b 4x4)      A Flintoff    8-2-31-0
A Symonds    4* (10b 1x4)      MS Panesar    11-2-34-1

45.1

Panesar to Symonds, no run

45.2

Panesar to Symonds, no run, testing him again, just pitching on off and spinning ever-so-slightly away from him

45.3

Panesar to Symonds, 3 runs, worked down to fine again and that's some smart running from Australia

45.4

Panesar to Hussey, no run, on the button and that's defended on the front foot

45.5

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, short and that's pulled powerfully into the leg-side but just a single as the man out sweeping wings that one in

45.6

Panesar to Symonds, 1 run, Symonds waits for that, gets over the ball and tickles it out to leg and, ooh, they've got to be quick... as there's a sharp shy in from midwicket to the danger end that Hussey's scooting to. He throws his bat over the line and slides in on his belly. He could have been a gonner, then

End of over 46 (5 runs) Australia 145/4
A Symonds    8* (14b 1x4)      MS Panesar    12-2-39-1
MEK Hussey    33* (86b 4x4)      A Flintoff    8-2-31-0

46.1

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, driven to mid-on but that's picked up quickly

Three slips and a gully for the Fredster and a point, mid-off, mid-on, midwicket and fine leg - standard assault setting

46.2

Flintoff to Symonds, 1 run, better running this time as that's eased into the cover region

46.3

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, flies that one down the channel but the batsman's arms rise easily to leave that one alone

Only two slips for Hussey, extra man in the covers

46.4

Flintoff to Hussey, FOUR, ah, beauty. Hussey just leans over that one and merely presses a full-faced cover-drive away, bisecting the field. That brings up the 150. Not a bad length, either, from Flintoff

Back over the wicket. Good move, cos Hussey hasn't been unsettled by the change in line

46.5

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, defended off the back foot

46.6

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, that one goes across him and the angle is such that Hussey can leave that one pretty easily

End of over 47 (5 runs) Australia 150/4
MEK Hussey    37* (90b 5x4)      A Flintoff    9-2-36-0
A Symonds    9* (16b 1x4)      MS Panesar    12-2-39-1

47.1

Panesar to Symonds, SIX, bosh, bosh and more bosh. What a cracker from Symonds who dances down and whisks that one straight back over Panesar's head: typical Symonds. Hello, massive

47.2

Panesar to Symonds, no run, defended on the front foot

47.3

Panesar to Symonds, SIX, tries the same shot and gets the same result. This time, though, it's a slightly flatter shot but it's just powered all the way. Lovely

47.4

Panesar to Symonds, FOUR, and he lashes that one away through cover to big acclaim from the crowd. "It's a cow punch," I thought Ian Healy said. He actually said counter-punch, but I quite think cow punch works quite nicely as well, conveying the beefiness of the shot and the power behind it

47.5

Panesar to Symonds, 1 run, Symonds looked for two there, keen to have another dart at Symonds... but Hussey says no

47.6

Panesar to Hussey, no run, defended quietly on the front foot

Great batting from Symonds in that over - looks to be at his bighitting best; those big shots will have helped to settle his nerves.

And now it's Mahmood back into the attack

End of over 48 (17 runs) Australia 167/4
MEK Hussey    37* (91b 5x4)      MS Panesar    13-2-56-1
A Symonds    26* (21b 2x4 2x6)      A Flintoff    9-2-36-0

48.1

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, ooh, asking the question of Symonds there, with that one which slinks deliciously and invitingly down the corridor. Symonds showed his willpower, leaving it alone

Two slips, deep gully, point, short cover, mid-off, mid-on, midwicket, fine leg on the fence

48.2

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, you can see Symonds is itching to get after almost everything and that's driven quickly to cover, but it's collected there

48.3

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, ooh, great judgement from the big man, there. That one just - just, mind - failed to shave the off-bail as it nipped back off a length

48.4

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, defended on the front foot

Mahmood has to start his run-up again as the ball spilled out of his hands...

48.5

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, that one's in the channel, as well, but rising and Symonds leaves that with high arms

48.6

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, driven to mid-off and that's a maiden for Mahmood

Re: that Mahmood spill just then. Fraser and Stewart are reminiscing about an occasion at Teddington when Phil Tufnell did likewise, Stewie came down the pitch to have a swing, took a great big divot out of the pitch, and ended up running his mate out at the striker's end

End of over 49 (maiden) Australia 167/4
A Symonds    26* (27b 2x4 2x6)      SI Mahmood    2-1-3-0
MEK Hussey    37* (91b 5x4)      MS Panesar    13-2-56-1

49.1

Panesar to Hussey, FOUR, that's fractionally short and pummelled through extra-cover

49.2

Panesar to Hussey, no run, drags it down a touch short, pitches on middle and turns into the left-hander who swats it to leg

49.3

Panesar to Hussey, 1 run, worked to long-on

Now then, what will Panesar do here?

49.4

Panesar to Symonds, no run, comes down and driven to mid-on, but without much power on this occasion

49.5

Panesar to Symonds, no run, tries to drive that one to mid-on again, almost like a golf shot he's so tall and upright

49.6

Panesar to Symonds, OUT, he's gone this time! Symonds shapes to cut that one and gets the thinnest of top-edges straight through to Jones who makes no mistake in pouching that one at the second attempt. Good decision from Flintoff to keep Panesar on after his previous pummelling and the Symonds fireworks were sparkling but shortlived.

A Symonds c †Jones b Panesar 26 (39m 30b 2x4 2x6) SR: 86.66

49.6

Panesar to Symonds, OUT, he's gone this time! Symonds shapes to cut that one and gets the thinnest of top-edges straight through to Jones who makes no mistake in pouching that one. Good decision from Flintoff to keep Panesar on after his previous pummelling and the Symonds fireworks were sparkling but shortlived.

A Symonds c †Jones b Panesar 26 (39m 30b 2x4 2x6) SR: 86.66

And it's Adam Gilchrist who strides in now. He's got some work to do...

End of over 50 (5 runs) Australia 172/5
     MS Panesar    14-2-61-2
MEK Hussey    42* (94b 6x4)      SI Mahmood    2-1-3-0
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100
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

Dec 19, 2006

Australia reclaim the Ashes, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, December 19, 2006

Australia reclaim the Ashes

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Dec 19, 2006

Australia reclaim the Ashes, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, December 19, 2006

Australia reclaim the Ashes

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