England tour of Australia, 2006/07 / Commentary

The Ashes - 4th Test

Australia v England

Australia won by an innings and 99 runs

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

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

0.1

Hoggard to Langer, no run, a loosener wide of off stump and getting wider

0.2

Hoggard to Langer, 1 no ball, full, wide and Langer swished and missed ... quite likely that he would have done that anyway, but it was a no-ball

0.2

Hoggard to Langer, no run, wide and Langer decides on caution this time and watches it rather than lashing at it

0.3

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, Langer aims a drive, the ball squirts off the toe-end of the bat and through third sip, but along the ground, for four

0.4

Hoggard to Langer, 3 runs, short, outside off stump and punched to the left of point who has to chase it all the way to the boundary edge

0.5

Hoggard to Hayden, 2 runs, poor line, clipped sweetly off his toes through midwicket

England took nine overs to reach ten this morning. Australia have taken six balls.

0.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, wide and Hayden happy to leave that as the over's been more than productive already

Flintoff takes the new ball at the Members End

End of over 1 (10 runs) Australia 10/0
ML Hayden    2* (2b)      MJ Hoggard    1-0-10-0
JL Langer    7* (5b 1x4)     

1.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good line and length to start, Langer left it but it was there or thereabouts

1.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, unlike that one which was short and down the leg side

1.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, Langer rushed and cramped, and he gives a stifled grunt as the ball strikes him in the midriff

1.4

Flintoff to Langer, 3 runs, short, Langer pounces and pulls it through midwicket. Anywhere else that would have been a guaranteed four, but on this massive, slow outfield, it's caught a couple of yards inside the rope

1.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, Hayden forced back and he plonks that into the leg side

1.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pitched up, a hint of an inside edge into his pads. Flintoff lets rip an appeal but turns to find Aleem Dar already heading off to square leg. It pitched outside leg anyhow ...

End of over 2 (3 runs) Australia 13/0
ML Hayden    2* (4b)      A Flintoff    1-0-3-0
JL Langer    10* (9b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    1-0-10-0

2.1

Hoggard to Langer, FOUR, thwack. Hoggard gives far too much width and Langer puts everything into that and it races through extra cover

2.2

Hoggard to Langer, 1 run, worked to Panesar in the deep on the leg side and the batsmen opt not to take on his much improved arm

2.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, left alone

2.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and again, no need to play at balls that wide so early

2.5

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, this time it's in the slot and Hayden goes forward and drives it past a tumbling Steve Harmison at mid-off, and the ball is past him by the time he hits the turf

2.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden shoulders arms

It's one-way traffic today and England look bereft of ideas and, to be quite honest, a beaten side.

End of over 3 (9 runs) Australia 22/0
ML Hayden    6* (8b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-0-19-0
JL Langer    15* (11b 2x4)      A Flintoff    1-0-3-0

G'afternoon all. Will here.

3.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, on off stump, angling back into Langer who comes forward and is rock solid in defence

3.2

Flintoff to Langer, no run, and he shoulders arms to this one outside the off stump

3.3

Flintoff to Langer, no run, firmly behind this quicker ball on off stump, blocking it out with gusto on the back foot

3.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, quick, jagging back into Langer who jumps back like a crab, and tucks it to leg

3.5

Flintoff to Langer, 2 runs, almost lost his balance there, hoiking it behind square. Effective, if a little ungainly

3.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, and he's right behind this, pushing it out into the covers&

Hoggard to continue

End of over 4 (2 runs) Australia 24/0
JL Langer    17* (17b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-5-0
ML Hayden    6* (8b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    2-0-19-0

4.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, good length from Hoggard, pitching it right up to Hayden who, rather lazily - and on the walk, too - flicks it back to him

4.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, a big shouldering-arms-flourish from Hayden to one pitching just a little wide of his off stump

4.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, big, big appeal for lbw; it swung into Hayden and looked fairly spot on from where I'm sitting. Hoggard is spitting nails at this and, quite honestly, that's a fairly lame decision. It hit Hayden halfway up in front of middle stump...

Hawkeye suggests it was going over the top

4.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, another big appeal to one which flicks his pad

4.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, shoulders arms outside off

4.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and again it's a touch too wide to trouble Hayden who leaves it well alone

End of over 5 (maiden) Australia 24/0
ML Hayden    6* (14b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-1-19-0
JL Langer    17* (17b 2x4)      A Flintoff    2-0-5-0

5.1

Flintoff to Langer, 1 run, and he pushes this to leg

5.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, again this is too wide of the off stump and Hayden can easily leave it alone. Which he does.

5.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, once more he shoulders arms. Hayden won't be tempted - oh no he won't

5.4

Flintoff to Hayden, (no ball) 3 runs, and finally Hayden can't resist, pulling Flintoff through midwicket but without timing it properly

Flintoff's going around the wicket now, just for variation

5.4

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good line, excellent length and Langer is forced to defend

5.5

Flintoff to Langer, 2 runs, and he tries to pull this around the corner, and does, but doesn't time it sufficiently...but still manages to pick up a couple

5.6

Flintoff to Langer, FOUR, Langer flays this, throwing the bat at a ball miles wide of his off stump, sending it torpedoing over the slips and down to third man for four

This is messy for England. A messy, messy day

End of over 6 (11 runs) Australia 35/0
JL Langer    24* (21b 3x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-16-0
ML Hayden    9* (17b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    3-1-19-0

6.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden goes for an expansive flamingo-like drive but hits it straight to cover

6.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, that's better from Hoggard, a little straighter this time; the ball cuts away markedly from Hayden who shoulders arms

Just a little bit straighter still, Hoggy

6.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, there we go; Hayden tries to match Langer but fails, swinging and missing outside the off stump and it flies through to Read

6.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and that's the line from Hoggard, just a couple of inches or so outside Hayden's off stump who takes a big Haydenish stride forward and shoulders arms

6.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, on off stump, swinging in and Hayden defends

6.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, swinging into Hayden and another huge appeal from Hoggard. That too was dead, and that too was turned down by Rudi.

Hoggard is furious. Usually so affable and easy going, he is chuntering McGrath-style

End of over 7 (maiden) Australia 35/0
ML Hayden    9* (23b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-2-19-0
JL Langer    24* (21b 3x4)      A Flintoff    3-0-16-0

7.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, left alone outside off

7.2

Flintoff to Langer, 1 leg bye, nicked off his legs and they scamper a single

Hoggard's grazing at fine leg and shaking his head in disgust and rage. Well, I exaggerate, but I'm here to entertain you

7.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, blimey, that's a good leave! Angling across Hayden before cutting back into him, the batsman shouldered arms and the ball sailed over his off stump. Just...

7.4

Flintoff to Hayden, (no ball) 2 runs, oh don't bowl there: Hayden eats short leg-side bowling for breakfast. But he doesn't quite time this, pulling it to Mahmood who jogs around the rope to prevent four

7.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, pushed off the back foot into the covers

7.5

Flintoff to Langer, no run, good delivery, rising awkwardly on Langer who was rapped on the knuckles. The batsman stares Flintoff down like the tough guy he is...

7.6

Flintoff to Langer, no run, again this rises on Langer but he gets bat on it this time, pushing it to leg

End of over 8 (5 runs) Australia 40/0
JL Langer    24* (25b 3x4)      A Flintoff    4-0-20-0
ML Hayden    12* (26b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    4-2-19-0

8.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden leaves this alone, just at the last minute

8.2

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, excellent ball swinging into Hayden's leg stump and the batsman is hurried into flicking it to mid on

8.3

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

8.4

Hoggard to Langer, 3 runs, crack! Lovely drive square of the wicket but he can't time it quite as well as he'd like

8.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, defended on the front foot with a straight bat. Well done that bat.

8.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, left alone outside off

End of over 9 (4 runs) Australia 44/0
ML Hayden    13* (30b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-2-23-0
JL Langer    27* (27b 3x4)      A Flintoff    4-0-20-0

Flintoff to continue. Two slips, gully, point, wide mid-off, deepish short-leg

9.1

Flintoff to Langer, no run, left alone outside off. Too wide from Flintoff

9.2

Flintoff to Langer, OUT, GONE. Langer has walked. Angling across Langer who drove, on the up, and got a thin outside edge to Read who took a good catch low to his left

JL Langer c †Read b Flintoff 27 (45m 29b 3x4 0x6) SR: 93.10

Can that lift England? Flintoff roars his delight in a "come, troops; come follow your leader" sort of manner...ah, now then, Australia have sent in Brett Lee as their nightwatchman. Chin music - give him some chin music

9.3

Flintoff to Lee, OUT, GOT HIM! A lovely ball just moving away from Lee who fished at it, edging it through to Read

B Lee c †Read b Flintoff 0 (2m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Flintoff on a hat-trick and here comes Ponting who, oddly, is being booed...perhaps the Australia fans have gone home for the day. Likely. But whatever, here comes Flintoff

9.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, oooh but it's no hat-trick for Flintoff, spearing it down Ponting's leg side

Flintoff's speed has now shot up

9.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, Ponting walks across his crease, as is his wont, and pushes this to leg

9.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, quick ball to end the over, 89mph and Ponting shoulders arms

Terrific, rousing over to lift England's spirits on what has otherwise been a messy day for them

End of over 10 (wicket maiden) Australia 44/2
RT Ponting    0* (3b)      A Flintoff    5-1-20-2
ML Hayden    13* (30b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    5-2-23-0

10.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, swinging into Hayden who pushes at it, a little tentatively, to mid off

How must Hoggard be feeling? Flintoff grabs two-in-two and he could've had Hayden at least twice already

10.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, again swinging into Hayden who defends

Hoggard is metronomic to Hayden...always on the money, always on off stump or a little straighter

10.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, sends this one wider but Hayden won't be tempted

10.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, on off stump, Hayden is firmly, resolutely behind it

10.5

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, too short and, with Hoggard's lack of pace, Hayden easily paddles it around the corner for four

10.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and defended on the front foot to end the over, and the day

England are in the obligatory huddle...and here come Ponting and Hayden. Andrew Flintoff to open the day's bowling with two slips, a gully and a point

10.20am And the lights have been turned on at the ground here - very gloomy conditions. Andrew Miller notes Glenn McGrath is doing the pitch report for Channel 9. Future career? Ian Botham is the man entrusted with the job for Sky and notes the pitch is still very soft and damp and expects it to move around for England's bowlers much as it did yesterday for Australia's. Well, we'll see...

"We never imagined this fat, podgy kid...would end up as one of the world's best bowlers." - Bill Lawry on Shane Warne.

10.05am Bill Lawry, a favourite of Cricinfo HQ, has been wheeled in to talk about Shane Warne picking up his 700th Test wicket yesterday (video). And immediately we had "a great day for Australia" and "a great day for world cricket. He's a superstar, Warne" which has made my day. It's cloudy out in the 'G', almost appears to be darker than yesterday, but at least it's dry. Lawry goes on to say Australia are "a little overrated" when asked whether they will crumble in the absence of McGrath and Warne. So, in other words, yes they will struggle. Anyway - they have a Test-and-a-half left in them yet...

9.50am Good morning all, Will here, and welcome to the second day from Melbourne. As Martin said below, the weather is much the same as yesterday but we're hopeful of getting a full day's play. We'll have news from the ground very shortly.

8.05am An early start for us. And the weather for the second day of the Test is much the same as yesterday. It's chilly and rather grey, with a few light showers forecast but they should clear by the afternoon. Officials hope that it brightens up so that they can break the ground record attendance of 90,800 set in 1960-61, on the second day against the West Indies (read the Wisden Almanack's report. Yesterday 89,155 bought tickets, and Cricket Australia think that if the weather improves, even more will turn up. "If the sun was out all day today, we would have had the world-record crowd," spokesman Peter Young said last night. "Given the effect of the wet and the cold, we're rapt with the extraordinary turnout." When asked if the world record was still possible, Young replied "we certainly hope so" and ticket sales are also very strong for Wednesday's play. The Test match aggregate of 350,354, again set at the MCG during the 1936-37 Ashes Test, is another under threat if this match goes to five days and the weather holds.

Close Well, a terrific day for Australia - beyond their expectations, too, after losing the toss. And although England clawed back some respectability with two late wickets, the day belongs to Australia and, specifically, Shane Warne. It was inevitable he would reach his 700th here, but even he wouldn't have reckoned on bagging five on the first day - in cold, seamer friendly conditions. We hope you've enjoyed our commentary today; don't forget to keep an eye out for the bulletin and verdict from Andrew Miller and Peter English. Do join us tomorrow from 9.30am (10.30pm GMT) but for now, from me, Will Luke, and Martin Williamson, it's goodnight.

End of over 11 (4 runs) Australia 48/2
ML Hayden    17* (36b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-2-27-0
RT Ponting    0* (3b)      A Flintoff    5-1-20-2

11.1

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, just outside the off stump and Ponting shoulders arms

Sky tell us this morning is crucial for England. Well I'll be damned.

11.2

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, too wide to trouble Ponting and he shoulders arms extravagantly

11.3

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, a little bit too short, Ponting pushes it off the back foot without timing it, but a neat, calm stroke with which to get off the mark today

11.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 run, on off stump, Hayden drives it calmly to mid off for a single

11.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, and that's a good length from Flintoff, full enough to drive - but Ponting isn't tempted, and offers no shot

11.6

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, good nut to finish the over, angling into Ponting and it just holds its line, Ponting fishing at it ungainly. Cracking ball

Here's the utterly luckless Hoggard from the Southern Stand End, bowling to Hayden who has used about 12 of his nine lives so far. Two slips and a gully

End of over 12 (2 runs) Australia 50/2
RT Ponting    1* (8b)      A Flintoff    6-1-22-2
ML Hayden    18* (37b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    6-2-27-0

12.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, swinging into Hayden immediately, just short of a good length and Hayden goes back to defend watchfully

12.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, forward comes Hayden to one just outside his off stump

Hayden is standing a good foot, or a little bit more, outside his crease

12.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, touch too wide of Hayden's off stump who shoulders arms

12.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and again he leaves this wider ball outside off

Fuller and straighter, going for the yorker next ball?

12.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, oh there we go, that was the straighter one - on off stump, swinging into Hayden who is rapped on the pad but he's outside the line. Hoggard nevertheless holds his head in his hands

Excellent over thus far

12.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, close! Well, I say close - it was a pretty good leave from Hayden, but it swung back into him prodigiously

End of over 13 (maiden) Australia 50/2
ML Hayden    18* (43b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    7-3-27-0
RT Ponting    1* (8b)      A Flintoff    6-1-22-2

Flintoff to continue

13.1

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, wider of the crease from Flintoff, using the angle and it spears into Ponting's pads who, as he often does, walks across his crease to defend

13.2

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, punched into the covers and they steal a quick single

13.3

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 no ball, too wide of the left-hander's off stump and Hayden offers no shot

Slight delay here as the groundsman is called out to bring some sawdust onto the "take off" area for Flintoff. Spongy, damp pitch and outfield

13.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, that's a better line from Flintoff, tighter and straighter, forcing Hayden to defend

13.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, good, tight bowling, not giving Hayden an inch. On off stump and he comes forward, trying to work it to leg but instead pushes it back to Flintoff

13.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, tries to whip this through midwicket but it's firmly struck straight to the fielder

13.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, an expansive, Haydenish (Haydenesque - whatever) cover drive but he mistimes it straight to Monty Panesar at mid off, who receives a rather pathetic cheer from a sad person in the crowd

End of over 14 (2 runs) Australia 52/2
ML Hayden    18* (48b 2x4)      A Flintoff    7-1-24-2
RT Ponting    2* (10b)      MJ Hoggard    7-3-27-0

Three slips for Ponting

14.1

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, too wide of the off stump and swinging wider still, Ponting offers no shot

Big, big swing on offer here. Now he just needs to control it

14.2

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, slightly tighter line here but again Ponting can leave it. Read takes it by his bootstraps, worryingly low...

14.3

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, ah that's the line from Hoggard, in the channel and just moving away from him like a banana. Left alone.

14.4

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, straighter still - on off stump as opposed to just outside - and Ponting is drawn into a drive, the bat squidging in his hand somewhat. Not in full control there

14.5

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 leg bye, too straight this time, on leg stump and Ponting works it away

Shame. Wasted delivery from Hoggard who now has to adjust his line to the left hander

14.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, clunked to mid off

End of over 15 (1 run, maiden) Australia 53/2
ML Hayden    18* (49b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-4-27-0
RT Ponting    2* (15b)      A Flintoff    7-1-24-2

15.1

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, too straight, Ponting works it to leg with massive ease

15.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, on off stump and Hayden defends this very firmly indeed; head over the ball and blocked out like an oak door

15.3

Flintoff to Hayden, 3 runs, ugly, ugly smash by Hayden, clobbering it straight down the ground - almost a tennis-style backhand smack - and the quicksand pitch prevents it from going for four

15.4

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, big appeal for lbw, Flintoff is furious and excited but it's going down the leg side

15.5

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, excellent line here, quick too and Ponting offers no shot. Touch of movement into the right hander after pitching, too

England have been excellent so far this morning. Controlled and accurate.

15.6

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 run, but he lets himself down here, too straight and Ponting works it to leg

Flintoff and Aleem Dar have a little chat. Flintoff still furious about the decision and Hawkeye suggests the ball would've clipped Ponting's leg stump. Closer than we first thought, then. Flintoff did deliver it from wide of the crease, perhaps fooling the umpire into thinking it would have slid down the leg side more than it did. Anyway.

End of over 16 (5 runs) Australia 58/2
RT Ponting    4* (19b)      A Flintoff    8-1-29-2
ML Hayden    21* (51b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    8-4-27-0

16.1

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, nice banana swing for Hoggard but Ponting leaves alone

Blue skies at the MCG

16.2

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, good line and an excellent, luring length. Ponting though won't be tempted&

16.3

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, very fine ball on off stump, moving away from the batsman who is squared up, just a touch. But this is a man averaging nearly four million, and he played with soft hands

16.4

Hoggard to Ponting, no run, pushed out to midwicket

16.5

Hoggard to Ponting, 1 run, too straight from Hoggard here and Ponting works him to leg

Hoggard must keep his control here to the right hander. Ponting feeds off anything straight...and he's being fed quite a lot

16.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, punched, with good timing, but straight to the man at extremely-short-mid-off

End of over 17 (1 run) Australia 59/2
ML Hayden    21* (52b 2x4)      MJ Hoggard    9-4-28-0
RT Ponting    5* (24b)      A Flintoff    8-1-29-2

17.1

Flintoff to Ponting, 1 no ball, quick, outside the off stump and left alone

17.1

Flintoff to Ponting, 2 runs, tighter line but it's too short and Ponting punches it off the back foot

17.2

Flintoff to Ponting, no run, better length this time, pitching it right up and Ponting squeezes it to gully

17.3

Flintoff to Ponting, OUT, GODDIM! Flintoff banging it in, short and wide and Ponting tries to pull it, gets a top edge to Alastair Cook at midwicket who steadies himself and swallows an easy catch

RT Ponting c Cook b Flintoff 7 (37m 28b 0x4 0x6) SR: 25.00

Massive wicket, that. Mike Hussey, he of the 86.33 batting average, is Ponting's replacement and Flintoff has his tail up. Hayden on strike as the two batsmen crossed

17.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 runs, flicked down to fine leg

17.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pushed back to the bowler

17.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, and he shoulders arms outside off to end the over

End of over 18 (5 runs) Australia 64/3
ML Hayden    23* (55b 2x4)      A Flintoff    9-1-34-3
MEK Hussey    0* (0b)      MJ Hoggard    9-4-28-0

Now then, now then, now then. Hoggard to Hussey

18.1

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, too wide of Hussey who leaves it alone

Botham suggests England try Kryptonite to dismiss Hussey. "And, you have to ask...where has he been?" Change the record

18.2

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, better from Hoggard, on off stump and it's firmly defended on the front foot

18.3

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, little bit too short, little bit too wide, left alone outside off

Sunny out there in the middle now. Give it an hour and what movement there is will have burned away

18.4

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, very well bowled, Hoggard, swinging into Hussey's pads who nevertheless plays it calmly back to the bowler

18.5

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, a tempter; a teaser outside the off stump. Hussey won't be tempted and the Hussey won't be teased, and it's left alone

18.6

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, a solid forward defence to end the over

End of over 19 (maiden) Australia 64/3
MEK Hussey    0* (6b)      MJ Hoggard    10-5-28-0
ML Hayden    23* (55b 2x4)      A Flintoff    9-1-34-3

19.1

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, neatly timed on the front foot to mid off, but he can't pierce the gap

19.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, Hayden shapes to play before shouldering arms, wisely so. A wise bit of shouldering, there

19.3

Flintoff to Hayden, FOUR, oooh very well bowled Flintoff, on off stump and Hayden comes forward, gets a thick outside edge which flies between third slip and gully

First boundary of the morning

19.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, solidly defended back to the bowler, ooh hello - Flintoff wings it back to the batsman! Love it. You can't go wandering down the pitch like that

19.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, Hayden leaves this alone. And doesn't go for a Sunday stroll this time either

19.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, on off stump, firmly defended and Hayden casts a wry smile back to Flintoff

Terrific bowling from England so far this morning

End of over 20 (4 runs) Australia 68/3
ML Hayden    27* (61b 3x4)      A Flintoff    10-1-38-3
MEK Hussey    0* (6b)      MJ Hoggard    10-5-28-0

20.1

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, oh that's a lovely ball, the off cutter which Hussey nibbles at and could so easily have got an edge

20.2

Hoggard to Hussey, 2 runs, nicely bowled but equally craftily played by the batsman, angling the face of the bat past the slips. He's canny, Hussey

20.3

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, a touch shorter this time and Hussey is quick to rock back into his crease, and watch the ball sail by

20.4

Hoggard to Hussey, 3 runs, fine shot, calmly driven through the covers but the long boundaries and slow outfield prevent it going for four, as has been the trend so far in the Test

20.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, straighter delivery to Hayden, attacking his middle stump - no pun intended - and Hayden defends

20.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, swinging down the leg side, Hayden is rapped on the pad

I think it might be time for a change soon. Mahmood needs to come to the party, put his hand up [insert ridiculous phrase here]. Here's Flintoff

End of over 21 (5 runs) Australia 73/3
ML Hayden    27* (63b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    11-5-33-0
MEK Hussey    5* (10b)      A Flintoff    10-1-38-3

21.1

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, on off stump and cutting back into the batsman who is rapped on the pad - Flintoff roars a lonely but impressively throaty appeal for lbw. Very, very close indeed

21.2

Flintoff to Hussey, no run, too wide of the off stump and it's left alone

21.3

Flintoff to Hussey, 1 run, pushed to midwicket and Hussey takes off like a sprinter, making the single with ease

21.4

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, on off stump, Hayden clunks it with a closed face of the bat

Three slips and a gully. Panesar at a straightish mid off

21.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, deliciously struck straight drive but it finds Monty

21.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, this just holds up on Hayden who pushes it off the back foot into the leg side

Time for Mahmood? Harmison's still off the pitch having a lie down.

End of over 22 (1 run) Australia 74/3
ML Hayden    27* (66b 3x4)      A Flintoff    11-1-39-3
MEK Hussey    6* (13b)      MJ Hoggard    11-5-33-0

22.1

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, left alone outside off

22.2

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, ooh my word! That was very, very close indeed. Just outside the off stump and swinging back into Hussey who leaves it alone but it was a wood shaving away from plucking out his off stump

22.3

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, fuller this time and Hussey rightly comes forward to defend

22.4

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, too wide, left alone

Harmison is back on the pitch

22.5

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, forward comes Hussey, like an imp with a bad case of piles - itching to get a run

22.6

Hoggard to Hussey, no run, crack! He laced that, but straight to Flintoff who nonchalantly gobbled it up and threatened to throw down the stumps

What's that noise? What on earth is that dreadful, painful din out there? Oh worry not, it's the Barmies with a truly disastrous rendition of the national anthem. They sound nastily hungover.

End of over 23 (maiden) Australia 74/3
MEK Hussey    6* (19b)      MJ Hoggard    12-6-33-0
ML Hayden    27* (66b 3x4)      A Flintoff    11-1-39-3

23.1

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, and he's rapped on the pads here but it's going down leg

23.2

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 no ball, lovely, fluent drive from Hayden but straight to mid off - and it's a no ball, too

Flintoff has a determined, angry look on his face this morning. Gone is the cheery shrug of the shoulders...he means business today

23.2

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, pushed to leg and Flintoff sprints to his right, massively, to field

23.3

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, and he bangs this in a little shorter but there's very little bounce and, in any case, it's too wide and left alone

23.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 no ball, another no ball as Hayden drives it back to mid off

23.4

Flintoff to Hayden, 2 runs, a reasonably confident shot this time, squirting it through cover

Around the wicket...and he pulls out of his delivery stride. Here he comes once more

23.5

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, on off stump, angling a touch back into Hayden who pushes it back to him

23.6

Flintoff to Hayden, 1 no ball, far too wide, and again Flintoff oversteps for the third time this over...

23.6

Flintoff to Hayden, no run, better this time, straighter, and it's left alone

Drinks out in the middle; drinks here too. I'm pushing the boat out with an extravagant disregard for my well being - it's time for a cup of tea. And here's Martin to take you through to lunch who, like me, is really living the high life with his second cup of the morning.

End of over 24 (5 runs) Australia 79/3
ML Hayden    29* (75b 3x4)      A Flintoff    12-1-44-3
MEK Hussey    6* (19b)      MJ Hoggard    12-6-33-0

Thanks Wilbur. Lovely session that ...

24.1

Hoggard to Hussey, OUT, Hussey, who has been beaten a couple of times in his short stay, is bowled through the gate by Hoggard who brings one back into the left hander. That's the end of a run that has seen him make six fifties on the trot against England

MEK Hussey b Hoggard 6 (37m 20b 0x4 0x6) SR: 30.00

Clarke strides out to the accompaniment of some singing from a revitalised Barmy Army

24.2

Hoggard to Clarke, 2 runs, Hoggard drifts to leg and Clarke whips that off his toes behind square

24.3

Hoggard to Clarke, no run, wide and swinging away from the right hander

24.4

Hoggard to Clarke, 3 runs, again Hoggard loses his line, it is glanced very fine and Panesar has plenty of ground to make up to get to it

24.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, super judgment, left more on length than line as it was close to off stump

24.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden right behind that

Steve Harmison into the attack. Strauss has brought him on as Flintoff is off the field for a few moments

End of over 25 (5 runs) Australia 84/4
ML Hayden    29* (77b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    13-6-38-1
MJ Clarke    5* (3b)      A Flintoff    12-1-44-3

25.1

Harmison to Clarke, no run, decent enough first ball, slightly leg side but Clarke not able to get it away

25.2

Harmison to Clarke, OUT, now this is interesting! Harmison's second ball is just short of a length outside off stump, Clarke spars and a thin but oh-so-audible nick is heard all over the ground and Clarke doesn't wait for the decision as a jubilant Chris Read hurls the ball to the heavens

MJ Clarke c †Read b Harmison 5 (6m 5b 0x4 0x6) SR: 100.00

Andrew Symonds comes out with arms whirling and is met by three slips and a gully as Strauss attacks

25.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, short and Symonds thrusts a leg forward and then leaves the ball

25.4

Harmison to Symonds, no run, nice line and length, Symonds right behind it

The Barmy Army in full voice and making themselves heard in this massive stadium

25.5

Harmison to Symonds, no run, wide and Symonds again leaves it

Flintoff on the boundary edge about to return

25.6

Harmison to Symonds, no run, although Symonds again leaves the ball, that was a really good over from Harmison. The horrors of Brisbane might be being erased ...

End of over 26 (wicket maiden) Australia 84/5
A Symonds    0* (4b)      SJ Harmison    1-1-0-1
ML Hayden    29* (77b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    13-6-38-1

26.1

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, outside off stump and Hayden not remotely interested

Chris Read comes up to the stumps to frustrate Hayden who has been standing well out his ground to counteract the swing

26.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden into line and pats it into the covers

26.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, applause for a decent take outside off stump by Read as Hayden leaves it

26.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, same spot, a call of "yeah, nice," from Read as he makes another good take

The England supporters are adding to Geraint Jones's misery by applauding every take. How Fletcher must hate them too ...

26.5

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, driven uppishly past wide mid-on for only the second four of the day. The shout of "catch it" from Hoggard was wildly optimistic

26.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden reverts to leave-it mode

The cameras have just shown a frustrated-looking Sajid Mahmood ... I think many of us forgot he was on the field!

End of over 27 (4 runs) Australia 88/5
ML Hayden    33* (83b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    14-6-42-1
A Symonds    0* (4b)      SJ Harmison    1-1-0-1

27.1

Harmison to Symonds, no run

27.2

Harmison to Symonds, no run, ... and Harmison is giving him leaving practice!

27.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, oh yes. Symonds beaten all ends up and left groping at air. Mind you, his footwork was almost completely non existent

27.4

Harmison to Symonds, no run, no alarms as he leaves another one

27.5

Harmison to Symonds, no run, that one was a tighter call and Read starts making lots of "ooh" and "aah" noises as if to try to get inside Symonds's head and plant some seeds of doubt about his judgment

27.6

Harmison to Symonds, no run, no such dramas, that one was a more easy decision as it was short enough to leave on length alone

End of over 28 (maiden) Australia 88/5
A Symonds    0* (10b)      SJ Harmison    2-2-0-1
ML Hayden    33* (83b 4x4)      MJ Hoggard    14-6-42-1

28.1

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, edged along the ground through the vacant third slip area for the third boundary of the day

28.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden well forward to block

28.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, Hayden well forward to block

28.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, a foot or so wide of off stump and Read takes it, still standing up

Hoggard pulls up in his follow through feeling his side

28.4

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, Hayden squirts that into the leg side for an ambled single, not controlled but it worked

Hoggard still grimacing and stretching as he trudges back

Read stands back for Symonds

28.5

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, on the button and Symonds into line to block

Hoggard sending up all sorts of distress flares

28.6

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, fullish and Symonds looks to flick it through midwicket but he doesn't time it and the ball bobbles to the fielder

Hoggard staying on, which is odd, and the physio is on the boundary edge waiting

End of over 29 (5 runs) Australia 93/5
A Symonds    0* (12b)      MJ Hoggard    15-6-47-1
ML Hayden    38* (87b 5x4)      SJ Harmison    2-2-0-1

29.1

Harmison to Hayden, 2 runs, too full and Hayden places that neatly between mid-on and midwicket

29.2

Harmison to Hayden, no run, that was off line and Hayden lets it pass

29.3

Harmison to Hayden, FOUR, Harmison drifts to leg, Hayden shifts his weight to the off side and sweetly glances that to the long-leg boundary

29.4

Harmison to Hayden, no run, patted back

Mahmood is warming up and ready to replace Hoggard

29.5

Harmison to Hayden, 2 runs, once more Harmison feeds Hayden off his legs, and there's an easy two to the man in the deep

29.6

Harmison to Hayden, no run, driven with a flourish and mid-on has to move quickly to his right to cut it off

And as Hoggard departs for a quick service, Mahmood, England's forgotten man, gets his chance

End of over 30 (8 runs) Australia 101/5
ML Hayden    46* (93b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    3-2-8-1
A Symonds    0* (12b)      MJ Hoggard    15-6-47-1

30.1

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, er ... it swung for sure, but sadly it didn't pitch and a surprised Symonds steers it from waist height into the slips

30.2

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, and again it swings away from Symonds who aims a massive swish as if this was the final over of a Twenty20 thrash

30.3

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, short with no movement this time and Symonds driven back to block

30.4

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, punched off the back foot and Bell makes a very good diving stop to his right in the gully

30.5

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, Symonds finally gets his mind set about what to do and he leaves the ball outside the off stump

30.6

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, Symonds mistimes a drive and the ball barely reaches mid-on

Good start from Mahmood, and Symonds looks all at sea ...he's not sure whether he should block or blast

End of over 31 (maiden) Australia 101/5
A Symonds    0* (18b)      SI Mahmood    1-1-0-0
ML Hayden    46* (93b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    3-2-8-1

31.1

Harmison to Hayden, 1 run, driven back at Harmison, the ball hits his foot on the follow through and the deflection wrong foots the two men on the leg side

31.2

Harmison to Symonds, no run, Symonds spars at the ball and edges it a yard short of first and second slip. This is painful and those who have argued Symonds is not a Test player have more ammunition than the US army so far

31.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, exaggerated leave

31.4

Harmison to Symonds, 1 run, loud - and possibly sarcastic - cheers as Symonds turns the ball to leg to get off the mark

31.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, short and Hayden gets himself slightly twisted without ever looking troubled

31.6

Harmison to Hayden, no run, short again and Hayden not interested in any heroics so close to lunch

End of over 32 (2 runs) Australia 103/5
ML Hayden    47* (96b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    4-2-10-1
A Symonds    1* (21b)      SI Mahmood    1-1-0-0

32.1

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, Symonds jabs down and the close fielders give orchestrated oohs and aaahs

32.2

Mahmood to Symonds, 3 runs, full, driven through extra cover, again the slow outfield prevents a four even though that was decently timed

32.3

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, played back at Mahmood who bends down to half stop the ball in this follow through

32.4

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, fullish, swinging away from Hayden and a drive squirts to cover with no power

32.5

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, driven straight to the right of Mahmood and Hayden sets off quickly for a single to mid-off ... in fact, he gets two as a fairly pointless shy hits the stumps and ricochets into space for an overthrow

32.6

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, Hayden forward and leaves the ball with his bat thrust towards the heavens

End of over 33 (5 runs) Australia 108/5
ML Hayden    49* (100b 6x4)      SI Mahmood    2-1-5-0
A Symonds    4* (23b)      SJ Harmison    4-2-10-1

33.1

Harmison to Symonds, no run, angled into Symonds who gets in something of a muddle and the ball plops into the off side

33.2

Harmison to Symonds, no run, short and Symonds half ducks as it flies over his shoulder

33.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, outside off stump and Symonds not going to be drawn in

33.4

Harmison to Symonds, no run, this beats Symonds, who has just got outside the line, and it hits him high on the right thigh and dribbles into the slips

33.5

Harmison to Symonds, no run, driven square with a real flourish, a photographer's delight, but straight to the fielder

33.6

Harmison to Symonds, no run, wide and left

One more over before lunch

End of over 34 (maiden) Australia 108/5
A Symonds    4* (29b)      SJ Harmison    5-3-10-1
ML Hayden    49* (100b 6x4)      SI Mahmood    2-1-5-0

34.1

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, Mahmood strays to leg and Hayden turns it into space to bring up his 28th Test fifty. Warm applause from the crowd as the Barmy Army sing on regardless

34.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, wide and full, Hayden squirts it on the half volley to Flintoff at first slip and he makes a good stop

34.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, driven between mid-off and extra cover for a single

34.4

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, Symonds turns square to get everything behind that

34.5

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, full,swinging into the right hander and Symonds jabs down and keeps it out, but again without any real conviction

34.6

Mahmood to Symonds, no run, short, Symonds sways out the line and it passes harmlessly past his chest

Aleem Dar is making some very questionable hand signals there, as though communicating to the deaf. A little harsh on Rudi...

The umpires are out there and England are on the boundary edge. The lurking security guards lurk off the ground, muttering into their earpieces, and on come the England players - followed by the two Australia batsmen, Symonds and Hayden and it'll be Hayden to face Harmison. No word on Hoggard who, just before lunch, appeared to have strained a muscle. We'll send a sniffer down and get an update shortly.

Welcome back, legends. Will here, suitably refreshed. I couldn't find the stuffing, sadly, so tucked into a feast of turkey, ham, sausages and various other underrated leftovers lurking at the back of the fridge. It's the season of goodwill, so the doctors keep telling me, so it's a very happy birthday to Ashwin who's reading somewhere on the globe. Right, we're five minutes away from the afternoon session with the match very nicely poised indeed. Keep an eye on Andrew Miller's bulletin, the gallery and our photo index. And don't forget you can look back at our commentary, the fall of wickets, wagon wheels and all sorts of things in our scorecard. Just click on the options on the left.

Lunch A good, absorbing session ... 63 runs, three wickets and England edge it. Hayden has batted well but he has also had his share of good fortune, although nobody has managed to stay with him. As for Symonds ... well, the pressure is on him, both in the context of this match and of his own Test career. England's one worry will be Hoggard, who limped off with a side injury half an hour before the break.

I am off for a cup of tea, which I am assured is better for you than coffee although perhaps not when you are on a pint an hour, and Will, who has just demolished a Jabba-sized plate of stuffing ... no turkey, just stuffing ... will be back at 1.10pm to guide you through the post-lunch session. If you have any thoughts, drop us a line.

End of over 35 (3 runs) Australia 111/5
A Symonds    4* (32b)      SI Mahmood    3-1-8-0
ML Hayden    52* (103b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    5-3-10-1

35.1

Harmison to Hayden, no run, full and straight - quick, too - and Hayden blocks it out

Hoggard is out on the field, so he should be fine

35.2

Harmison to Hayden, 1 run, pushes this out to mid off - hang on, they're going for a single. This is messy; Mahmood fields and throws down the stumps but, oh, he misses. That was dead if he hit...

35.3

Harmison to Symonds, 4 runs, lovely shot, driving this fuller pitched delivery through extra cover. Hoggard gives chase and prevents it from trickling over the boundary but they run four instead

35.4

Harmison to Symonds, 1 run, too straight from Harmison and Symonds whips him through midwicket

35.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, Hayden is confidently onto the front foot, squirting it to point who does well to field to his left, preventing a single

35.6

Harmison to Hayden, no run, pushed off the back foot to Cook at midwicket who, too, prevents a single

End of over 36 (6 runs) Australia 117/5
ML Hayden    53* (107b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    6-3-16-1
A Symonds    9* (34b)      SI Mahmood    3-1-8-0

Monty Panesar into the attack which is a slight surprise. It's clouded over since lunch, ideal for the seamers - so perhaps Hoggard is less than 100%. Whatever. Monty rocks.

36.1

Panesar to Symonds, no run, excellent start, just outside the off stump and Symonds ignores it

36.2

Panesar to Symonds, no run, tighter line, on off stump this time and Symonds comes forward to smother the spin

Slip, short leg, backward point, short cover, extra cover, wide mid-on, long-off and on, fine leg

36.3

Panesar to Symonds, 1 run, on middle stump this time and he pushes it calmly into the covers

Over the wicket to Hayden

36.4

Panesar to Hayden, no run, short of a good length and Hayden has plenty of time to push this off the back foot into the covers

36.5

Panesar to Hayden, 2 runs, expansively, powerfully driven on the up but the fielder, Cook, did very well to prevent a boundary, diving to his left at extra cover

36.6

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

No major spin there for the Montster yet

End of over 37 (3 runs) Australia 120/5
ML Hayden    55* (110b 6x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-3-0
A Symonds    10* (37b)      SJ Harmison    6-3-16-1

37.1

Harmison to Symonds, no run, Symonds lunges onto the front foot and drives it out to mid off

37.2

Harmison to Symonds, no run, handy bouncer forcing Symonds to take evasive action, and he ducks underneath

37.3

Harmison to Symonds, no run, fuller this time, Symonds again lunges onto the front foot to defend

37.4

Harmison to Symonds, no run, just outside the off stump and angling back into Symonds who presents the straightest of pink bats

The pink bat handles these two are sporting relate to breast cancer awareness

37.5

Harmison to Symonds, no run, that's well bowled; quick and straight, forcing Symonds to defend which he does

37.6

Harmison to Symonds, FOUR, ooh, streaky from Symonds, flashing hard at this outside the off stump and it flies past gully for four. To his credit, he played that deliberately

End of over 38 (4 runs) Australia 124/5
A Symonds    14* (43b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    7-3-20-1
ML Hayden    55* (110b 6x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-3-0

Over the wicket

"Strauss has been off the field suffering from flu," informs the ECB in a cacophony of text messages, according to Dr Andrew Miller

38.1

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

38.2

Panesar to Hayden, no run, again firmly blocked out

38.3

Panesar to Hayden, no run, back in his crease, Hayden defends

38.4

Panesar to Hayden, no run, Hayden pushes this out to midwicket this time, looking to be aggressive

38.5

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, and he takes half a step down the pitch, forcing Panesar to change his length, and it's whipped through midwicket like the big midwicket-whipper he is

38.6

Panesar to Symonds, 1 run, drops this too short and wide, Symonds cracks it off the back foot through extra cover but can't time it sufficiently

Strauss is back on the field, clearly recovered from his 20-minute 'flu.

End of over 39 (2 runs) Australia 126/5
A Symonds    15* (44b 1x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-5-0
ML Hayden    56* (115b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    7-3-20-1

39.1

Harmison to Symonds, no run, pushed off the back foot - good line from Harmison

39.2

Harmison to Symonds, 1 run, short, rising on Symonds who refuses to hook - there's a man out there, mind - and he paddles it in front of square, rather awkwardly

39.3

Harmison to Hayden, no run, watchfully left alone outside his off stump

39.4

Harmison to Hayden, no run, oh that's a belting delivery from Harmison, angling across Hayden who drives on the up, his concrete-like feet cemented to the crease, and the ball flies through to Read

39.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, this time he leaves it on off stump. A good leave, too

39.6

Harmison to Hayden, no run, too wide, left alone

End of over 40 (1 run) Australia 127/5
ML Hayden    56* (119b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    8-3-21-1
A Symonds    16* (46b 1x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-5-0

Here's Monty once more

40.1

Panesar to Symonds, 1 run, too short, no spin and Symonds waits on the back foot, timing it down the ground for a single

Over the wicket to Hayden

40.2

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, down the pitch, confidently, flicking Monty down the ground

40.3

Panesar to Symonds, no run, much better length - slower, too, with better loop - and Symonds is forced to defend

40.4

Panesar to Symonds, 2 runs, but he loses his line here, drifting down the leg side and Symonds simply turns his wrists to pick up a couple

40.4

Panesar to Symonds, 2 runs, but he loses his line here, drifting down the leg side and Symonds simply turns his wrists to pick up a couple

40.5

Panesar to Symonds, 3 runs, lovely shot, flicking this fuller ball through midwicket. No great power, no great flourish or massive follow through, just a gentle flick

40.6

Panesar to Hayden, 1 run, pumped down the ground to end the over

This experiment might be short-lived...there's the fifty partnership

End of over 41 (8 runs) Australia 135/5
ML Hayden    58* (121b 6x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-13-0
A Symonds    22* (50b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    8-3-21-1

41.1

Harmison to Hayden, no run, too wide of Hayden's off stump and he leaves it alone

Time to go around the wicket? No, not yet

41.2

Harmison to Hayden, no run, better length this time, causing indecision from the batsman who shuffles back and clonks it into his pads

41.3

Harmison to Hayden, no run, pushed to short midwicket, Hayden wants a run but Symonds rightly demands he gets back in his crease with immediate effect. That would've been comical.

41.4

Harmison to Hayden, no run, shoulders arms outside off

"Moooonty; Moooonty" is the cry around the MCG.

41.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, lovely shot! He really timed that, with a lovely high elbow, but straight to Mahmood at mid off

41.6

Harmison to Hayden, 4 runs, and he loses his length, Harmison, allowing Hayden to pull him into the deep. And they run four

The Monty experiment is over so all eyes on Hoggard, his replacement, to see if he's recovered from his pre-lunch twinge

End of over 42 (4 runs) Australia 139/5
ML Hayden    62* (127b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    9-3-25-1
A Symonds    22* (50b 1x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-13-0

42.1

Hoggard to Symonds, 3 runs, bash! Bit of horticulture in that stroke, scything it through extra cover with ugly power

Read up to the stumps

42.2

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ooh and Hayden nearly clips this straight to short midwicket...falls just short

Hoggard looking fine so far this over

42.3

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, clever bowling, sending this wider of Hayden - and Read takes this expertly

42.4

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, ooh swinging into Hayden who is a touch late on it, but nevertheless clips it quite firmly to mid on

42.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, tentatively forward from Hayden and he gets a thickish inside edge to the leg side

Hayden not looking as comfortable with Read standing up to the stumps

42.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and he comes forward to defend

End of over 43 (3 runs) Australia 142/5
ML Hayden    62* (132b 6x4)      MJ Hoggard    16-6-50-1
A Symonds    25* (51b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    9-3-25-1

43.1

Harmison to Symonds, no run, classic Symonds; it be short, it be wide and Symonds tried to carve it into the sea. He would've succeeded, too, had it hit it...

43.2

Harmison to Symonds, no run, drifting down the leg side, not the best ball he's bowled all day.

43.3

Harmison to Symonds, 1 run, good cricket; Symonds dropping it down dead into the covers and scampering through for a single

John Howard (Australia's Prime Minister for the uneducated) is spotted in the crowd

43.4

Harmison to Hayden, no run, "NO" is the roar from Hayden as he pushes it back to the bowler

I could really do with a mince pie

43.5

Harmison to Hayden, no run, too wide to trouble the batsman who offers no shot

43.6

Harmison to Hayden, no run, on his leg stump, Hayden pushes it to the leg side to end the over

End of over 44 (1 run) Australia 143/5
ML Hayden    62* (135b 6x4)      SJ Harmison    10-3-26-1
A Symonds    26* (54b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    16-6-50-1

44.1

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, crash! A thumping, monotone drive to mid off

44.2

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, ah well bowled! Excellent cricket all round in fact, Hoggard sending down a slower ball which ended up as a full toss. Symonds spotted it rather late and could only defend it off the back foot

44.3

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, squirted into the gully

Australia trail by just 16 now

44.4

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, on leg stump and Symonds rather misses out here, hitting it too straight and finding mid on

44.5

Hoggard to Symonds, 1 run, swinging into Symonds before cutting away, just a touch, and he streakily drives this on the up, with one hand off the bat, just past a diving extra cover; Bell ending on his knees

44.6

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, ooh, a thick inside edge from Hayden. He really is troubled by Hoggard who could've had his wicket four, maybe five times in this innings alone

Here's Saj Mahmood

End of over 45 (2 runs) Australia 145/5
ML Hayden    63* (136b 6x4)      MJ Hoggard    17-6-52-1
A Symonds    27* (59b 1x4)      SJ Harmison    10-3-26-1

45.1

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, and he starts well, on off stump and it rises on Hayden who goes back and presents a very straight bat

45.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, on off stump, angling back into Hayden who defends it to Mahmood's right; the bowler skips across to field and shadow-throws the stumps down

45.3

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, shot; driven, punched, past extra cover

45.4

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, fuller and a little wider, Hayden clunks it down the ground - with a closed face of the bat, as is his wont - but Flintoff tumbles spectacularly at mid on to prevent two

45.5

Mahmood to Symonds, 1 run, drifting down leg, Symonds turns him down to fine leg where Monty fields

45.6

Mahmood to Hayden, 1 run, pushed to leg

End of over 46 (5 runs) Australia 150/5
ML Hayden    67* (141b 6x4)      SI Mahmood    4-1-13-0
A Symonds    28* (60b 1x4)      MJ Hoggard    17-6-52-1

46.1

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, swinging into Hayden who is watchful in defence

46.2

Hoggard to Symonds, FOUR, smashed on the up past Bell at short extra cover. Smashed is the only way to describe it

46.3

Hoggard to Symonds, FOUR, even better! Too full from Hoggard and Symonds repeats the previous shot but gets underneath it this time, and it sails over cover - very nearly for six

46.4

Hoggard to Symonds, 1 run, and he works this into the covers

Australia now have a lead

46.5

Hoggard to Hayden, 1 run, blocked out on the front foot and they scamper a single

"ooooh loving that, Hoggy" says Read

46.6

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, left alone to end the over

Australia aren't yet motoring...but they're ticking, now. In 12 overs this session they've made 50 runs

End of over 47 (11 runs) Australia 161/5
A Symonds    37* (64b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    18-6-63-1
ML Hayden    69* (143b 6x4)      SI Mahmood    4-1-13-0

47.1

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, a resounding crack as Hayden pings this, hard, back to Mahmood who reacts quickly to prevent the single

47.2

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, good thinking from Mahmood sending down a bouncer - and it's too quick for Hayden who tries to hook and is a yard too late

47.3

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, pushed back to the bowler

Hoggard's wandered over to give Mahmood some advice

47.4

Mahmood to Hayden, FOUR, well bowled Mahmood. Hayden drove this on the up and it flew airborne past gully, down to third man for four

47.5

Mahmood to Hayden, no run, good thinking again - the slower ball which foxes Hayden who attempted to smash him through cover and, instead, got a thick inside edge. Or, as my Irish cousin might say, "a tick insoide edge"

47.6

Mahmood to Hayden, 2 runs, timed into midwicket for a single

Good over, that

End of over 48 (6 runs) Australia 167/5
ML Hayden    75* (149b 7x4)      SI Mahmood    5-1-19-0
A Symonds    37* (64b 3x4)      MJ Hoggard    18-6-63-1

48.1

Hoggard to Symonds, no run, nicely bowled on off stump but Symonds is up to the challenge and defends it with oak-door solidarity

48.2

Hoggard to Symonds, FOUR, shot, Symonds! This is ugly for England. Symonds using plenty of bottom hand to spoon it over midwicket for a powerful, resounding four

48.3

Hoggard to Symonds, 1 run, punched down the ground and they steal a single

Symonds is ticking now, really ticking.

48.4

Hoggard to Hayden, FOUR, and Hayden is ticking now, too, swinging Hoggard behind square with ease for four

Hoggard is tiring here

48.5

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, and it's wide of the off stump, Hayden shoulders arms

48.6

Hoggard to Hayden, no run, defended solidly on the front foot

Well, Australia are just about to break free here. It's drinks out in the middle and time for another litre of tea here. Here's Martin.

End of over 49 (9 runs) Australia 176/5
ML Hayden    79* (152b 8x4)      MJ Hoggard    19-6-72-1
A Symonds    42* (67b 4x4)      SI Mahmood    5-1-19-0

Thanks Will. It's Australia back on the attack at the MCG ...and Will in detention after his comment about Australia's PM for the uneducated. I blame the schools ... and it's Andrew Flintoff into the attack to try to restore order. If you have any thoughts about life, the universe and everything, drop us a line

49.1

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, Flintoff stiffly hits the mark and Symonds forward treating it with great respect

49.2

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, banged in, Symonds climbs on his toes to ensure he gets right over it

49.3

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, Symonds lets that pass by, short and outside the off stump

49.4

Flintoff to Symonds, FOUR, super shot, a rasping cover drive that would have cracked into the advertising hoardings on any other ground but which just about puffs over the rope here

A sweeper out to bolster the cordon on the off

49.5

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, Symonds pushes forward and blocks on the walk, Flintoff changes direction with surprising agility and scuppers all thoughts of a quick single

49.6

Flintoff to Symonds, no run, short and Symonds not able to do anything other than leave it

End of over 50 (4 runs) Australia 180/5
A Symonds    46* (73b 5x4)      A Flintoff    13-1-48-3
ML Hayden    79* (152b 8x4)      MJ Hoggard    19-6-72-1
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150
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 28, 2006

Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath wave at the crowd during the final Test at the MCG, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, December 28, 2006

Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath wave at the crowd during the final Test at the MCG

© Getty Images

Dec 28, 2006

Brett Lee bowls Matthew Hoggard as Australia make it 4-0, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, December 28, 2006

Brett Lee bowls Matthew Hoggard as Australia make it 4-0

© Getty Images

All photos for this match | Galleries