England tour of Australia, 4th Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Dec 26-29, 2013
The Ashes - 4th Test
Australia won by 8 wickets
26,27,28,29 December 2013 (5-day match)
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100
  • Overs 101-150

Ryan Harris with the opening over. He has three slips, a gully and a short leg

Michael Clarke gets his players in a huddle and here they come into the middle to a great reception...England's openers will follow shortly. Sit back and enjoy, folks.

The anthems are done, the players head off again to do their last minute preparations. The ground is packed. Looks terrific. One of the great sporting stadiums.

Kritesh: "With due respect to Anderson, he has looked tired and jaded throughout this tour. He should have been rested. You do not want your best bowler to breakdown physically and mentally. Poor call by Cook and Flower."

10.25am We are set for the pomp and ceremony that precedes Ashes Tests these days...George Bailey, who is on the microphone, says he'd bought tickets to come and watch this Test with his dad about a month ago before earning an Ashes call-up.

10.20am Here's a good spot from Pete Church: "While the Bairstow's will be the first father-son to start a match as keepers for England, the Parks's got there first in 1986 when Bobby kept as a sub when Bruce French was injured - a match more famous for Bob Taylor being called up from the hospitality tent to keep."

Ali Raza thinks England have made the right decisions on selection. "This is the best English team playing in this Ashes."

10.15am Cook and Carberry will be in the dressing room strapping on the pads with Australia's new-ball attack eager to get at them. Will be interesting to see if there's a change of mindset from the England batsmen after the success of Ben Stokes at the WACA who showed some intent.

Brendan: "With Pieterson not showing any sort of leadership (being an experienced player and all), I find it a real shame Ballance hasn't been picked. He's worked so hard."

Rod Wood: "Strange call by Clarke. Australia don't chase well. Thats a decision he may regret." The way England have been playing he may not have many to chase, Rod

ziggy: "Can't believe England haven't selected one of their tall fast men, typical defensive and unimaginative selection from the England selectors." Broad's playing. Isn't he tall and quick? But, yes, I get your point. Not exactly earning their tour fees.

10.05am So that's the important early news out of the way. Clarke was pretty unsure what to do, but at 3-0 up it's quite nice to be able to try something that wouldn't come naturally. You get the feeling Cook wanted to bowl.

Bairstow's selection means he and his late father David David become the first father and son combination to have kept wicket for England

Australia have won the toss and will bowl. Clarke says: "I can't believe I'm saying this, but we'll bowl. The overhead conditions are good."

Cook: "It looks a good wicket, it might do something but most Test wickets do. It's such a big occasion, you don't need to lift the players."

Cook confirms that Jonny Bairstow replaces Matt Prior. Panesar comes in for Swann. Broad is fit. Australia are unchanged.

10.00am Looks as though that shower has moved away in time for the toss which is due any moment. Could be a tricky decision. Conditions suggest some movement this morning. Remember what happened in 2010-11...

Gabbagod: "For those that haven't been to a Boxing Day at the G, strap yourselves in for 7 hours of extreme cricket. It is THE day for cricket in the World." That's a decent build-up...no pressure then

9.50am A shower passing over the ground and the pitch is being covered. Just spotted Greg Matthews working with Monty Panesar in the middle. Sounds like we'll get an unchanged Australian team.

Kritesh: "England should go with Rankin. The Ashes is already lost. There is no harm in giving a few new players a go."

As we wait for the toss, why not our special edition of #PoliteEnquiries with Ian Bell a watch

9.40am Stuart Broad is working alongside James Anderson and Tim Bresnan which suggests he may be fit to play. We'll know for certain in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, did anyone get any weird Christmas presents?

Ryan Thomas: "Instead of considering dropping Prior why not just relieve him from the pressure of vice-captaincy? His poor run of form coincides with promotion." It's an idea, but sounds like he's been dumped.

Masses of people flocking into the G at the moment. Expectations of a record crowd today in excess of 90,000. The atmosphere should be fantastic. A continuation of the Australian celebrations, how can England respond? There will be a large contingent of their supporters who will want to make plenty of noise.

9.30am Hello everyone, Merry Christmas and season's greetings. Trust you are all suitably stuffed with food and ready to settle down for the Boxing Day Test. I'm Andrew McGlashan and along with Alan Gardner will be bringing you all the action over the next five days.

The early news from the ground is that it's a muggy morning and there have been a few spots of rain but it's dry at the moment. Monty Panesar has been applauded in the team huddle this morning which confirms his 50th Test cap as England begin life without Graeme Swann. No news on Prior/Bairstow just yet, but here's George Dobell on England's rebuilding task. It's been a busy few days for cricket retirements, with Jacques Kallis quitting Tests yesterday. Was quite a surprising decision and here's Firdose Moonda all about it.

0.1

Harris to Cook, no run, full at off stump, hint of nip back off the seam, Cook prods forward and gets a thick inside edge to the leg side

0.2

Harris to Cook, 1 leg bye, touch straighter, more on middle and leg, flicks the pad and runs wide of Haddin

0.3

Harris to Carberry, no run, short of a length going across outside off, Carberry draws his bat inside the line

0.4

Harris to Carberry, no run, fuller and a fraction wide outside off, left alone

0.5

Harris to Carberry, no run, keeps it full outside off, Carberry, with his high back life, lets it go through

0.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, this one is, perhaps, a smidgen fuller but it's again wide enough outside off to leave alone...an exploratory first over from Harris

End of over 1 (1 run, maiden) England 1/0

    • MA Carberry 0 (4b)
    • AN Cook 0 (2b)
    • RJ Harris 1-1-0-0

Here he is. Mitch. And he still has his Mo.

1.1

Johnson to Cook, no run, starts full at off stump, 141kph, and Cook defends it firmly back down the pitch

1.2

Johnson to Cook, 2 runs, low full toss on middle and leg, Cook clips it through midwicket to get himself up and running

1.3

Johnson to Cook, 2 runs, neatly played by Cook, leans into a drive against a full delivery outside off and places it into the big gap at cover

1.4

Johnson to Cook, no run, keeping it on a full length, not a huge stride from Cook but the balance is decent as he defends to the off side

1.5

Johnson to Cook, FOUR, cracked...first boundary of the Test, dropped shorter and wider from Johnson, Cook responds with a rasping square cut that fizzes behind point

1.6

Johnson to Cook, no run, gets himself back in a full length on off stump, defended square to point

Phil, meanwhile, is in the Christmas spirit: "I think it's shocking, but not surprising bearing in mind their selection record both for and on this tour, that England have not dropped Pietersen as well as Prior. KP is at least as culpable as Prior for England's debacle down-under; but at least one is in no doubt that Prior is a team man through and through. Ballance should have been given the chance to show what he can do and how hungry he is to play for England."

End of over 2 (8 runs) England 9/0

    • AN Cook 8 (8b 1x4)
    • MA Carberry 0 (4b)
    • MG Johnson 1-0-8-0
    • RJ Harris 1-1-0-0
2.1

Harris to Carberry, no run, worked off the pads but it's well stopped by Bailey at short leg

2.2

Harris to Carberry, no run, full outside off, left alone

2.3

Harris to Carberry, no run, short of a length, Carberry hangs back in the crease and plays into midwicket

2.4

Harris to Carberry, no run, not much swing yet for Harris, this is pushed across outside off

2.5

Harris to Carberry, no run, good carry, Haddin takes this up around his chest - and it was still rising - as Carberry pulls his pat inside the line

2.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, he isn't interested in an early drive as Harris hangs this full outside off

End of over 3 (maiden) England 9/0

    • MA Carberry 0 (10b)
    • AN Cook 8 (8b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 2-2-0-0
    • MG Johnson 1-0-8-0
3.1

Johnson to Cook, no run, full at middle and off, 147kph, Cook meets it with a straight bat and bunts it into the pitch then the ball bounces back to Johnson to bring some 'oohs' from the crowd

3.2

Johnson to Cook, no run, he's on the back foot this time, defending to the leg side

3.3

Johnson to Cook, no run, hint of movement and the pace is climbing, 147mph again, but Cook is able to leave alone

3.4

Johnson to Cook, no run, gets across onto off stump and defends towards mid-on

Chris: "Any indication of a 100k crowd? or not going to happen?" Don't think we'll get 100,000...not sure if the ground actually holds that these days

3.5

Johnson to Cook, FOUR, another positive shot from Cook, drives a very full delivery through the off side...no big follow through to the shot, more a punch and it dribbled into the rope

3.6

Johnson to Cook, 1 run, flicks this off around middle and leg down to fine leg, a few hands on heads in the slips

End of over 4 (5 runs) England 14/0

    • AN Cook 13 (14b 2x4)
    • MA Carberry 0 (10b)
    • MG Johnson 2-0-13-0
    • RJ Harris 2-2-0-0

Chard: "Good to see Michael Clarke in the Christmas spirit. A very generous gift to the English giving them first use of this wicket. Hopefully Cook et al will return the gift by giving Australia a bat latter on today!"

4.1

Harris to Cook, no run, that's his best ball of the morning so far, short of a length and nips away off the seam past Cook's outside...the England captain feeling for it

4.2

Harris to Cook, no run, full and wider, a tempter, but Cook isn't tempted

4.3

Harris to Cook, FOUR, a fortunate boundary, trying to leave the delivery alone and it runs off the toe-end off the bat between Haddin and Watson...nowhere near a catch

4.4

Harris to Cook, no run, short of a length, left alone this time

4.5

Harris to Cook, no run, defended to the off side

Thanks to those who have confirmed the G can, indeed, hold 100,000. We'll get the official count later

4.6

Harris to Cook, no run, another good delivery, nipping off the seam but Cook was able to watch it go through...Harris easing into his spell

End of over 5 (4 runs) England 18/0

    • AN Cook 17 (20b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 0 (10b)
    • RJ Harris 3-2-4-0
    • MG Johnson 2-0-13-0

Early change of bowling and it's the hometown boy, Peter Siddle, to take up the attack

5.1

Siddle to Carberry, 1 run, full on middle and leg, Carberry gets a thick inside down to fine leg to open his scoring

5.2

Siddle to Cook, 3 runs, well driven, very full outside off, Cook getting a good stride forward and places it wide of mid-off although it doesn't have quite enough to reach the long boundary

5.3

Siddle to Carberry, no run, he tries something similar, but only manages to jab another delivery almost pitching on the popping crease to point

5.4

Siddle to Carberry, 1 run, he's pitching it very full, almost yorker length, and it's squeezed into midwicket

5.5

Siddle to Cook, no run, pulls the length back a fraction to Cook who leaves alone

5.6

Siddle to Cook, no run, keeps it outside off stump, nothing offered from Cook

A slightly inconsistent start from the Australia bowlers

End of over 6 (5 runs) England 23/0

    • AN Cook 20 (23b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 2 (13b)
    • PM Siddle 1-0-5-0
    • RJ Harris 3-2-4-0
6.1

Harris to Carberry, no run, Harris is certainly getting the ball to zing through, Haddin taking it on the rise and there's a hint of shape back into the left hander

6.2

Harris to Carberry, no run, there's the error, drawn into driving at a full delivery outside off - 146kph - it moved late and scooted past the outside edge

6.3

Harris to Carberry, no run, back to leaving it alone

6.4

Harris to Carberry, no run, edged! Did it carry? Yes, dropped at third slip by Smith diving across, one-handed, to his left. Carberry pushing forward at a good-length ball outside off. Thick edge. It might have reached Clarke at second but Smith committed

6.5

Harris to Carberry, no run, left alone outside off, probing stuff from Harris

6.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, defended back to the bowler

End of over 7 (maiden) England 23/0

    • MA Carberry 2 (19b)
    • AN Cook 20 (23b 3x4)
    • RJ Harris 4-3-4-0
    • PM Siddle 1-0-5-0
7.1

Siddle to Cook, 1 run, blocked into the off side and that's a well taken single...singles can set a positive intent as well as boundaries

7.2

Siddle to Carberry, FOUR, now Carberry plays his first attacking stroke of the morning, drills this straight down the ground between the stumps and the non-striker...good timing

7.3

Siddle to Carberry, no run, very full outside off, this time he leaves alone

7.4

Siddle to Carberry, no run, another one scoots past off stump from a full length

7.5

Siddle to Carberry, no run, plenty of driving so far today, this one finds Rogers at mid-off

Short leg is now at square leg

7.6

Siddle to Carberry, no run, this one is whipped from around off stump to mid-on

End of over 8 (5 runs) England 28/0

    • MA Carberry 6 (24b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 21 (24b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 2-0-10-0
    • RJ Harris 4-3-4-0
8.1

Harris to Cook, no run, full outside off, left alone, setting him up for the inswinger?

8.2

Harris to Cook, no run, this is a touch shorter, doesn't move much, Haddin can't glove it cleanly

8.3

Harris to Cook, no run, worked off the back foot and Bailey, who is back under the helmet for Harris, dives to his right

8.4

Harris to Cook, no run, an attractive square drive, but it goes straight to Lyon at point

8.5

Harris to Cook, no run, gets a good stride forward, defends solidly towards mid-off

8.6

Harris to Cook, no run, a little wider to end the over as Harris clocks up another maiden...not many scoring opportunities from his end

End of over 9 (maiden) England 28/0

    • AN Cook 21 (30b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 6 (24b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 5-4-4-0
    • PM Siddle 2-0-10-0

Well, Michael Clarke has won the toss, bowled, and spin is on in the 10th over. Here's Nathan Lyon.

9.1

Lyon to Carberry, no run, round the wicket, full on middle, blocked to the off side

Slip and a short leg in place

9.2

Lyon to Carberry, no run, quite tight to Carberry but he cuts it to backward point

9.3

Lyon to Carberry, no run, there's turn, spins sharply from outside off, left alone

Shane Warne has already brought out the "if it seams, it spins" line

9.4

Lyon to Carberry, no run, slightly shorter, Carberry onto the back foot and drives square into the off side

9.5

Lyon to Carberry, no run, that's a ripper! Spin and bounce. Carberry coming forward and is beaten. Haddin jumps to take it. Bounce on offer, too

9.6

Lyon to Carberry, no run, draws him forward, defends to cover, a nice opening over from Lyon

End of over 10 (maiden) England 28/0

    • MA Carberry 6 (30b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 21 (30b 3x4)
    • NM Lyon 1-1-0-0
    • RJ Harris 5-4-4-0
10.1

Harris to Cook, no run, short of a length on off stump, 141kph, defended to the off side

10.2

Harris to Cook, no run, half an appeal from the Australians, for a few things...more likely an inside edge. The ball nipped back at Cook, beat the inside edge and took the top of the bat to Haddin. Not far from lbw, but missing off stump on that call, too

10.3

Harris to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

10.4

Harris to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot and it bobbles to short leg

Shakib: "Lyon on? So basically Clarke's knows, and has accepted he's got this wrong (toss). Only 9 overs in.." Probably not Plan A, but it was an encouraging first over

10.5

Harris to Cook, no run, beaten! That's loose from Cook who has been very good so far, was quite wide from Harris and Cook was drawn into driving but it wasn't quite as full as he thought

10.6

Harris to Cook, no run, he learns from his previous error and has nothing to do with this...three maidens in a row

End of over 11 (maiden) England 28/0

    • AN Cook 21 (36b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 6 (30b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 6-5-4-0
    • NM Lyon 1-1-0-0

Silly point in place now

11.1

Lyon to Carberry, no run, looped in from round the wicket, defended softly to the off side

11.2

Lyon to Carberry, FOUR, dropped shorter from Lyon and Carberry cashes in with a strong back-foot cut which evades the diving cover

11.3

Lyon to Carberry, no run, almost an action replay, except that this time the ball is a little closer to Rogers at cover and he cuts it off

11.4

Lyon to Carberry, 1 run, back on a full length, a good stride forward by Carberry who drives to the right of mid-off who is fairly deep

11.5

Lyon to Cook, no run, driven square to point, Warner is quickly across

11.6

Lyon to Cook, no run, touch quicker and flatter, dead-batted by Cook

gavin: "With all that spin Lyon generated, swann would be licking his li.. oh.. wait." Could just be the early moisture. We shall see. England have Panesar, remember

End of over 12 (5 runs) England 33/0

    • AN Cook 21 (38b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 11 (34b 2x4)
    • NM Lyon 2-1-5-0
    • RJ Harris 6-5-4-0

Harris is off after a miserly six-over spell that included five maidens. Change of ends for Siddle

12.1

Siddle to Carberry, FOUR, slashed! This flies over the slips down to third man. Siddle started short, Carberry didn't hold back as he went for a cut but he was cramped for room a little and was a tad fortunate

12.2

Siddle to Carberry, 3 runs, now he clips nicely through midwicket as Siddle gets a touch straight

12.3

Siddle to Cook, no run, short of a length on off stump, Cook stays back and flicks to short midwicket

12.4

Siddle to Cook, no run, takes this from around off stump, flicked with a lot of bottom hand to midwicket

12.5

Siddle to Cook, 2 runs, a little edgy from Cook who flicks again towards the leg side but gets it wide of midwicket

Sy: "How good a spinner is Panesar? It has never really been discussed... what's your opinion?" He's a very good spinner, although not quite Swann's class

12.6

Siddle to Cook, 2 runs, punched firmly square through the off side off the back foot

End of over 13 (11 runs) England 44/0

    • AN Cook 25 (42b 3x4)
    • MA Carberry 18 (36b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 3-0-21-0
    • NM Lyon 2-1-5-0
13.1

Lyon to Carberry, no run, nice loop outside off, it turns and Carberry leaves alone

13.2

Lyon to Carberry, no run, comes forward and defends to cover

13.3

Lyon to Carberry, no run, a touch shorter, Carberry uses his crease and goes back then drives to point

13.4

Lyon to Carberry, no run, tossed up, more air this time, driven firmly to mid-off

13.5

Lyon to Carberry, no run, comes well forward and drives strongly to cover

13.6

Lyon to Carberry, no run, defended to the off side

And that's drinks on the first morning of the Boxing Day Test. One of the better hours with the bat that England have had. Not a huge amount of help for the bowlers. For the next hour it's over to a turkey-stuffed Alan Gardner

End of over 14 (maiden) England 44/0

    • MA Carberry 18 (42b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 25 (42b 3x4)
    • NM Lyon 3-2-5-0
    • PM Siddle 3-0-21-0

Hello and a merry Winterval to one and all. I hope you're snugly wrapped up in your Boxing Day onesie with copious port and snacks to hand... I know I am. It's Christmas time, so we mustn't let the bells end; and we've done our bit, with Ian Bell's latest column here for your perusal.

14.1

Siddle to Cook, 1 run, length ball on the stumps, Cook shovels it behind square on the leg side for a single

14.2

Siddle to Carberry, no run, goes round the wicket, angled in with the arm, Carberry lets this one through

14.3

Siddle to Carberry, no run, gets on the front foot, this is slightly wider and again left alone

14.4

Siddle to Carberry, no run, slightly back of a length, on middle and off, defended on the back foot

14.5

Siddle to Carberry, no run, Carberry again covers the line and blocks a shortish ball fired in from round the wicket

14.6

Siddle to Carberry, 1 leg bye, sliding down the leg side, attempted pull shot, with the front leg in the air, deflects off thigh pad for a leg bye

End of over 15 (2 runs) England 46/0

    • MA Carberry 18 (47b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 26 (43b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 4-0-22-0
    • NM Lyon 3-2-5-0

"It's not merry Winterval, it's Merry Christmas," fumes Andy, hooking himself on the bait. "Stop being so damned PC!"

15.1

Lyon to Carberry, no run, tossed up from round the wicket, Carberry leans out and defends

15.2

Lyon to Carberry, no run, flighted and spinning away outside the line of off, left alone

15.3

Lyon to Carberry, no run, tossed up on the stumps, again defended on the front foot

15.4

Lyon to Carberry, no run, quicker and flatter and the ball thuds into Haddin's gloves as Carberry cuts hard and misses, to excited groans from the close catchers

15.5

Lyon to Carberry, no run, floated up a little wider, gets a stride in and lets the ball through

15.6

Lyon to Carberry, no run, full and on the stumps, leans out to defend with a straight bat - another tidy maiden for Lyon, who's found that unobtrusive groove of his

End of over 16 (maiden) England 46/0

    • MA Carberry 18 (53b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 26 (43b 3x4)
    • NM Lyon 4-3-5-0
    • PM Siddle 4-0-22-0
16.1

Siddle to Cook, 1 run, length ball angled across outside off, Cook opens the face and steers behind backward point, the collect and throw are quick but even taking into account a moment's hesitation, Carberry made his ground

16.2

Siddle to Carberry, 1 run, short and straying to leg, pulled round the corner for a single

16.3

Siddle to Cook, no run, pitched up, steady stuff from Siddle outside off, left this time

16.4

Siddle to Cook, no run, on the pads, Cook had gone across and misses with a flick, the ball just grazing the trouser leg on its way to Haddin

16.5

Siddle to Cook, OUT, pushed across, Cook nibbles and he's gone! Caught at second slip, an indecorous prod from Cook that seemed to betray the muddled state of mind he has got into with his batting, gulled into hanging his bat out and a thick edge flew to Clarke. Like a man reaching for another chocolate late on Christmas day, Cook couldn't resist temptation there

AN Cook c Clarke b Siddle 27 (70m 47b 3x4 0x6) SR: 57.44

Siddle does the trick, then, on his home ground, a place where he loves to perform. Out comes Joe Root at No. 3

16.6

Siddle to Root, 1 run, outside off, goes back and drops the hands, guides the ball towards backward point and they run one on a misfield

End of over 17 (3 runs) England 49/1

    • JE Root 1 (1b)
    • MA Carberry 19 (54b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 5-0-25-1
    • NM Lyon 4-3-5-0

Australian tails up, here comes Mitchell Johnson back into the attack

17.1

Johnson to Root, no run, over the wicket and fired across the bows, Root keeps his hands in his metaphorical pockets on this one

17.2

Johnson to Root, no run, again he sways and drops the hands as a short ball heading up towards 93mph/149kph zings through outside off

17.3

Johnson to Root, 2 runs, goes back and across, slides the ball off the face past the diving gully once again, this time Root gets a couple

17.4

Johnson to Root, no run, length ball, pushed into the covers coming tentatively forwards

17.5

Johnson to Root, no run, fuller and wider, this time left well alone

"It is Boxing Day after all, and Alistair Cook has decided to give his counterpart a gift, beautifully boxed, elegantly wrapped and with a gorgeous bow on top." Gautam Kunapuli thinks England's captain was just being generous

17.6

Johnson to Root, no run, Johnson's nostrils are flaring, eyes flashing as he slams a bouncer into Root's shoulder, roaring down at 93mph and the batsman wears it - though that schoolboy grin is straight back on his fizzog moments later

End of over 18 (2 runs) England 51/1

    • JE Root 3 (7b)
    • MA Carberry 19 (54b 3x4)
    • MG Johnson 3-0-15-0
    • PM Siddle 5-0-25-1
18.1

Siddle to Carberry, no run, round the wicket, full of a length and left alone outside off

18.2

Siddle to Carberry, no run, gets across and shoulders arms again

18.3

Siddle to Carberry, 1 leg bye, Siddle slides down the leg side and Carberry attempts a glance, the ball rolls behind square off the pads

18.4

Siddle to Root, no run, beaten - or was he? Root plays instinctively but manages to draw his bat inside the line at the last second, like it was on a rubber band

18.5

Siddle to Root, no run, straighter line, Root taps it into the leg side from the crease

18.6

Siddle to Root, no run, again Root is drawn into pushing outside off, a length ball but he manages to just stay inside the line

"An old-school Cook dismissal," says PK, looking for the positives. "I was getting sick of seeing him lose his off stump, playing across the line of the ball moving away."

End of over 19 (1 run, maiden) England 52/1

    • JE Root 3 (10b)
    • MA Carberry 19 (57b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 6-1-25-1
    • MG Johnson 3-0-15-0
19.1

Johnson to Carberry, no run, dug in very short and flying over the ducking Carberry

19.2

Johnson to Carberry, 1 run, gets across and works the ball wide of mid-on for a single

19.3

Johnson to Root, FOUR, short and angled across and Root glides his first boundary through gully, all his runs have come to the same part of the field so far

19.4

Johnson to Root, no run, length ball outside off, this time ignored

19.5

Johnson to Root, no run, comes forward and defends down the wicket

19.6

Johnson to Root, no run, quick and slightly full of a length, pushed towards backward point from the crease

End of over 20 (5 runs) England 57/1

    • JE Root 7 (14b 1x4)
    • MA Carberry 20 (59b 3x4)
    • MG Johnson 4-0-20-0
    • PM Siddle 6-1-25-1

"Let he who has not followed a good delivery outside off cast the first stone..." nods rusty, wisely

20.1

Siddle to Carberry, 1 run, angled in and worked off the pads through leg for one

20.2

Siddle to Root, no run, whoosh, past the outside edge, a lovely line from Siddle had Root nearly suckered again

20.3

Siddle to Root, no run, goes wide on the crease and sends the ball down on a good length, left this time

20.4

Siddle to Root, no run, Root gets very far forward, again Siddle slants the ball in, shoulders arms safely

20.5

Siddle to Root, no run, gets across and in line to defend this time

20.6

Siddle to Root, no run, fullish, wide of the stumps, Root triggers another stiff-armed push, misses again - excellent stuff from Siddle at the minute

End of over 21 (1 run) England 58/1

    • JE Root 7 (19b 1x4)
    • MA Carberry 21 (60b 3x4)
    • PM Siddle 7-1-26-1
    • MG Johnson 4-0-20-0
21.1

Johnson to Carberry, no run, full and outside the line of off, Carberry has all the time in the world to lean on a defensive prod

21.2

Johnson to Carberry, no run, touch short, at the body, worked to square leg

21.3

Johnson to Carberry, 4 byes, the Johnson radar conks out, spraying this down the leg side and even Superman Brad Haddin can't cut that off on the dive

21.4

Johnson to Carberry, no run, back of a length, in the channel outside off, Carberry drops his hands

21.5

Johnson to Carberry, no run, length, a foot or two wide of the stumps, nothing doing from the batsman again

21.6

Johnson to Carberry, FOUR, smack! Johnson drops short again, this time Carberry lands a roundhouse left and bludgeons a pull through midwicket for four, went in the air for a while but brutally struck

End of over 22 (8 runs) England 66/1

    • MA Carberry 25 (66b 4x4)
    • JE Root 7 (19b 1x4)
    • MG Johnson 5-0-24-0
    • PM Siddle 7-1-26-1
22.1

Siddle to Root, 1 run, gets forward to a fullish ball and scoops it into a gap in the covers, Carberry is home as the throw comes in

22.2

Siddle to Carberry, no run, pushed through in the channel, Carberry draws his bat inside the line in characteristic fashion

22.3

Siddle to Carberry, no run, Siddle is bowling round the wicket, fairly tight on off stump, well-judged leave

22.4

Siddle to Carberry, no run, a little wider, good bounce through to the keeper, no stroke

22.5

Siddle to Carberry, no run, line and length outside off, just 82-83mph from Siddle but he gets that fraction of nibble off the pitch which is so dangerous - Carberry again watches it through

22.6

Siddle to Carberry, no run, probes away in the corridor, Carberry gets forward and raises his bat in the air

The lights are on at the G... still plenty of cloud cover for Australia to work with, though England haven't made a complete Horlicks of this first session yet

End of over 23 (1 run) England 67/1

    • MA Carberry 25 (71b 4x4)
    • JE Root 8 (20b 1x4)
    • PM Siddle 8-1-27-1
    • MG Johnson 5-0-24-0
23.1

Johnson to Root, no run, banged in short and Root hops out of the way

23.2

Johnson to Root, no run, pitched up in the channel, Root lets this one through to the keeper

23.3

Johnson to Root, no run, goes full and wide, still ferociously quick, no stroke offered

23.4

Johnson to Root, no run, continues to offer up tempters outside off, Root again happy to leave well alone

There's a spot of rain falling above the ground, though the umpires are happy to continue for now

23.5

Johnson to Root, 1 run, length ball on off stump, neatly dabbed into a gap in the covers for a single

23.6

Johnson to Carberry, no run, another slippery bouncer from Johnson, up around 92mph/148kph, has Carberry taking evasive action

"Seeing a hell of a lot of flies around the guys, can they not use insect repellant!?" wonders SthAussie. "That would be extremely frustrating when you're batting or bowling!" Yes, they've caused one or two minor delays this morning - and, on this occasion, they seem to quite like England players

End of over 24 (1 run) England 68/1

    • MA Carberry 25 (72b 4x4)
    • JE Root 9 (25b 1x4)
    • MG Johnson 6-0-25-0
    • PM Siddle 8-1-27-1

We'll have Ryan Harris back for a burst before lunch

24.1

Harris to Root, no run, pitched up full of a length and wide of the stumps, left alone

24.2

Harris to Root, no run, this one nips back off the pitch and clips the inside edge of the bat before hitting Root's front pad, causing Harris to wear a pained expression

Speaking of flies, Root steps away as Harris steams in to do a spot of semaphore

24.3

Harris to Root, no run, length ball, gets across to push square on the off side

24.4

Harris to Root, no run, on the stumps, worked to midwicket

24.5

Harris to Root, 1 run, Harris angles the ball in towards middle and leg, Root plays back and tucks one through square

24.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, squared up, Carberry fending away from his body at a length ball which just holds up a touch, the edge loops into the off side, well short of the point, though

End of over 25 (1 run) England 69/1

    • MA Carberry 25 (73b 4x4)
    • JE Root 10 (30b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 7-5-5-0
    • MG Johnson 6-0-25-0

Another change, with Shane Watson replacing the wicket-taker, Siddle

25.1

Watson to Root, 1 run, floaty half-volley on leg stump to begin with, flicked off the pads but just a single to fine leg

25.2

Watson to Carberry, no run, goes round the wicket, length ball outside off, Carberry lets it through

25.3

Watson to Carberry, no run, this time Carberry is drawn into a wee flirt, the ball seaming past his outside edge from slightly back of a length

25.4

Watson to Carberry, no run, pitched up around off stump, tapped defensively into the off side

25.5

Watson to Carberry, 1 run, overpitched again, sliding to leg and glanced behind square for one more

25.6

Watson to Root, no run, leaden-footed drive from Root, similar to his dismissal by Watson in Perth, a fullish ball outside off just held its line and beat everything, only a few inches from the stumps too

End of over 26 (2 runs) England 71/1

    • JE Root 11 (32b 1x4)
    • MA Carberry 26 (77b 4x4)
    • SR Watson 1-0-2-0
    • RJ Harris 7-5-5-0

"Re the flies - played golf in Melbourne a few times and when they swarm, there's no repellent in the world that gets rid of them," informs Jonathan

26.1

Harris to Carberry, no run, goes across and defends calmly

26.2

Harris to Carberry, no run, round the wicket, angled in and Carberry plays no stroke, hit on the front pad and well outside off but Harris is interested, so is Clarke after Aleem Dar turns it down - Australia review. As Carberry had shouldered arms it didn't matter that it struck outside the line but the bounce, according to Hawk-Eye, would have seen the ball only flick the bails, so it remains with the on-field call

So Carberry benefits from the umpire's doubt, there. Was a very tight one to call

26.3

Harris to Carberry, no run, angled in on a good length, this time defended in front of off stump

26.4

Harris to Carberry, no run, gets across, shoulders arms again as the ball flies through

26.5

Harris to Carberry, no run, fired down in the channel, just wide enough for Carberry to be confident in thrusting out the front pad and letting it through once more

26.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, touch short, around the line of off, covers the stumps and defends safely to reach lunch, with just the one wicket falling in the session

12.35pm: A nip and tuck session, that 'un, England surviving a few scares although Australia may feel they didn't quite bowl with the same precision they have in the series to date. Speaking of the series, this is the first time England have led at any point, so they will take 71 runs to the good and only one man back in the dressing room. Join us again in 30 minutes for more festive fumbling outside off stump...

End of over 27 (maiden) England 71/1

    • MA Carberry 26 (83b 4x4)
    • JE Root 11 (32b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 8-6-5-0
    • SR Watson 1-0-2-0

The players are meandering back to the middle - well, perhaps a touch more intent than that - to get things underway again. Shane Watson will continue after his one over before lunch...

1.05pm Welcome back. Gnasher with you for the next hour. England the happier with that first session, after being put in, but we've seen how quickly they can crumble in recent weeks. Meanwhile, more on fly-gate (no, not funny?) from Davie: "Re the flies: Played cricket in Oz for many years. Only thing that works is to eat heaps of garlic. Helps stop short leg getting too close as well." James Anderson may try that when George Bailey is stood next to him

27.1

Watson to Root, no run, starts well, full at off stump with a hint of swing, Root jabs forward and defends to gully

27.2

Watson to Root, no run, full, outside off, shaping away and left alone

27.3

Watson to Root, no run, close leave, after a couple moving away this one holds its line past off stump as Root shoulders arms...in fact, may even have nipped back

27.4

Watson to Root, no run, worked off middle and leg to mid-on

27.5

Watson to Root, no run, angled into the pads, Root misses out as he aims to flick through the leg side

27.6

Watson to Root, FOUR, that's a good shot, full again, punches it straight down the ground to the left of mid-on. Siddle gives chase and is just unable to flick it back before his foot touches the rope. Nice piece of timing

End of over 28 (4 runs) England 75/1

    • JE Root 15 (38b 2x4)
    • MA Carberry 26 (83b 4x4)
    • SR Watson 2-0-6-0
    • RJ Harris 8-6-5-0

Ryan Harris resumes...

28.1

Harris to Carberry, 4 byes, wayward start, round the wicket, fired down the leg side (like Mitchell on a bad day) and Haddin has no chance to reach it

28.2

Harris to Carberry, 1 leg bye, short of a length, straighter but still angled towards the pads, doesn't make contact with the bat as Carberry tried to work towards square leg

28.3

Harris to Root, 3 runs, lovely shot by Root, a punchy off-drive this time after the on-drive the over before, over-pitched by Harris, but Root won't get four as it slows up and is flicked back

Staying round the wicket to Carberry

28.4

Harris to Carberry, no run, left alone outside off

28.5

Harris to Carberry, no run, watch outside off, goes through to Haddin

Bright sunshine at the MCG but the floodlights remain on...nice bill coming in the post

28.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, shoulders arms, closer to off stump comes back with the angle

End of over 29 (8 runs) England 83/1

    • MA Carberry 26 (88b 4x4)
    • JE Root 18 (39b 2x4)
    • RJ Harris 9-6-8-0
    • SR Watson 2-0-6-0
29.1

Watson to Root, no run, behind the line to a ball on middle, defended

29.2

Watson to Root, no run, very wide outside off, swings away further, Haddin skips across in front of first slip to take

29.3

Watson to Root, no run, back around off stump, on a full length, defended to mid-off

Venkatpathy 'Muscles' Raju: "McCullum jinxed Cook with "best since Bradman" on 13th March. Since then Cook averages 30.79 over 24 innings (including today's)." Good tactical move by Brendon

29.4

Watson to Root, no run, full outside off, left alone, good carry to Haddin

29.5

Watson to Root, no run, short over off stump, 134kph, and Root ducks comfortably

29.6

Watson to Root, no run, into 'bowling dry' mode by Watson, hangs this outside off, Root leaves alone

End of over 30 (maiden) England 83/1

    • JE Root 18 (45b 2x4)
    • MA Carberry 26 (88b 4x4)
    • SR Watson 3-1-6-0
    • RJ Harris 9-6-8-0

I just dipped into the first of Christmas leftovers during lunch...wonder how long I can make them last

30.1

Harris to Carberry, no run, on off stump, defended back down the pitch

30.2

Harris to Carberry, 2 runs, full outside off, driven through mid-on but it wasn't perfectly timed so is chased down well before the boundary

30.3

Harris to Carberry, no run, short of a length outside off, left alone

30.4

Harris to Carberry, 1 run, gets inside the line and tucks it off his hip down to long leg

30.5

Harris to Root, 1 run, quick single, good rotation of the strike, Root worked a full delivery just to the right of Siddle at mid-on

30.6

Harris to Carberry, no run, still round the wicket to the left hander, a bouncer over off stump that doesn't cause any alarms

End of over 31 (4 runs) England 87/1

    • MA Carberry 29 (93b 4x4)
    • JE Root 19 (46b 2x4)
    • RJ Harris 10-6-12-0
    • SR Watson 3-1-6-0
31.1

Watson to Root, no run, full outside off, offering to move away, Root leaves alone

Will Mac: "Merry Christmas all! Just popped up from Tugun beach on the Gold Coast to find both captains have given each other a present: Clarke bowling, and Cook nicking off. Top morning so far!"

31.2

Watson to Root, no run, a very tempting delivery, fuller on a driving length, but Root is happy to leave alone again

31.3

Watson to Root, no run, closer to off stump, this one doesn't swing, through to the keeper

31.4

Watson to Root, no run, the variation from Watson, an inswinger, full at the stumps and it's flicked to midwicket

31.5

Watson to Root, no run, shorter of a length this time, on off stump, Root defends on the back foot

31.6

Watson to Root, no run, another leave to a delivery outside off and it clocks up a maiden for Watson

End of over 32 (maiden) England 87/1

    • JE Root 19 (52b 2x4)
    • MA Carberry 29 (93b 4x4)
    • SR Watson 4-2-6-0
    • RJ Harris 10-6-12-0

Mitchell Johnson is back into the fray

32.1

Johnson to Carberry, no run, short, down the leg side, Carberry flicks but misses

First time today Johnson is from the Members' End

32.2

Johnson to Carberry, FOUR, poor delivery and well dispatched, offered width from Johnson and Carberry laces his cut through the backward point

32.3

Johnson to Carberry, no run, full at off stump, driven firmly into the ground and back to Johnson

32.4

Johnson to Carberry, 1 run, onto the pads this time, 146kph, flicked through square leg

Three slips wait behind Root

32.5

Johnson to Root, no run, bouncer outside leg stump, Root lets it travel over his back

32.6

Johnson to Root, no run, ooh, he went fishing...Johnson pushed it full outside off, going across Root, who felt for it before belatedly pulling the bat way but he certainly played

End of over 33 (5 runs) England 92/1

    • JE Root 19 (54b 2x4)
    • MA Carberry 34 (97b 5x4)
    • MG Johnson 7-0-30-0
    • SR Watson 4-2-6-0
33.1

Watson to Carberry, no run, back of a length on off stump, Carberry stays on the back foot

33.2

Watson to Carberry, no run, goes fuller, Carberry punches it firmly to mid-on

33.3

Watson to Carberry, FOUR, gets another cut shot away, put all his effort into a wide delivery outside off...perhaps flew a little finer than he intended

Two slips and a gully for Watson

33.4

Watson to Carberry, no run, back on off stump, defended

Comes round the wicket

33.5

Watson to Carberry, no run, left alone outside off

33.6

Watson to Carberry, OUT, That's right on target! Superb bowling. Followed the outswinger with the inswinger. Completely does Carberry who shoulders arms and sees the ball clip off stump. Another start not built on for him. Terrific skill from Watson

MA Carberry b Watson 38 (146m 103b 6x4 0x6) SR: 36.89

You'd think Carberry has three Test innings left to secure himself a place for the medium-term

End of over 34 (4 runs) England 96/2

    • JE Root 19 (54b 2x4)
    • SR Watson 5-2-10-1
    • MG Johnson 7-0-30-0

A warm, Christmas welcome for Pietersen (not really). For now, Root in strike

34.1

Johnson to Root, no run, full at leg stump, defended to midwicket

34.2

Johnson to Root, no run, pushed across outside off, 149kph, Root doesn't play this time, holds his bat behind the pad

Steve sent this moments before the wicket fell: "Time for Carberry to lose concentration and be out..... very soon..."

34.3

Johnson to Root, no run, that's rapid, 152kph, yorker-length outside off stump and Root holds his poise to let it go through

34.4

Johnson to Root, no run, but he loses control this time, driving at a full delivery and was really nowhere near it

34.5

Johnson to Root, no run, slightly shorter, he can sit back on this, defends to the off side

34.6

Johnson to Root, 1 run, dropped into the off side, a well-judged single means he'll keep the strike

End of over 35 (1 run) England 97/2

    • JE Root 20 (60b 2x4)
    • KP Pietersen 0 (0b)
    • MG Johnson 8-0-31-0
    • SR Watson 5-2-10-1

Watson is off and Siddle is back straightaway to target KP

Pete: "Credit to Carberry - he got his cowan! Not a Norman, but an Ed at the 'G when your team is down is still an achievement."

35.1

Siddle to Root, 1 run, full at off stump, pushed to the left of mid-off so we have the battle of Siddle v KP

35.2

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, full at off stump, Pietersen gets forward as he likes to do and defends towards backward point

Not much time for Siddle to get loose, but he'll have known this was the plan as soon as Pietersen walked in

35.3

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, keeping it full and it's driven towards mid-on

Flashman: "Thanks Steve. Watto was bowling well without luck but needed that little gem of assistance"

35.4

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, driven back to the bowler

35.5

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, not quite in control of that drive, skews off a thick outer part of the part but it's along the ground to point

35.6

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, oh, boy, he wanted that off-the-mark single as he dropped this into the off side but then screamed 'no no' to Root who was about to respond. All ends okay.

End of over 36 (1 run) England 98/2

    • KP Pietersen 0 (5b)
    • JE Root 21 (61b 2x4)
    • PM Siddle 9-1-28-1
    • MG Johnson 8-0-31-0

About 3000 more people needed at the MCG to break the crowd record

36.1

Johnson to Root, no run, short ball, over middle and leg, 151kph but he gets out of the line

36.2

Johnson to Root, no run, now he pitches one up, defended into the on side

36.3

Johnson to Root, no run, full outside off, left alone

36.4

Johnson to Root, no run, nearly feels for this one outside off but just retracts his bat in time

Rakesh: "Peter Siddle was always around 135Km/h or he lost a bit of pace recently" There have been a few comments about, but he's bowled well and has a bit more of a holding role to play (except when KP is in)

36.5

Johnson to Root, 1 run, full at middle, turned neatly into the leg side to the right of mid-on

36.6

Johnson to Pietersen, no run, full outside off, Pietersen gets across his crease - you could see all the stumps behind him - and defends towards mid-on

End of over 37 (1 run) England 99/2

    • KP Pietersen 0 (6b)
    • JE Root 22 (66b 2x4)
    • MG Johnson 9-0-32-0
    • PM Siddle 9-1-28-1
37.1

Siddle to Root, no run, keeping it full at off stump, pushed towards mid-on

37.2

Siddle to Root, no run, drags the length back a bit, left alone

37.3

Siddle to Root, 1 leg bye, takes the pad behind square on the leg side and takes England to 100

37.4

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, good length outside off, an extravagant leave from Pietersen

37.5

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, full at middle and off, no freebie yet to get Pietersen going, defended to cover

shanker raj sajjan: "'I'm as good as gold' - says Kevin Pietersen..The gold looks rusty and lost its shine.."

37.6

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, another one left outside off so Pietersen is still to get off the mark

End of over 38 (1 run, maiden) England 100/2

    • KP Pietersen 0 (9b)
    • JE Root 22 (69b 2x4)
    • PM Siddle 10-2-28-1
    • MG Johnson 9-0-32-0
38.1

Johnson to Root, no run, fast and short, 146kph, but it's a bit too short over leg stump

38.2

Johnson to Root, no run, on a length outside off, another one is left alone

38.3

Johnson to Root, no run, full again, just a suggestion of some inswing, left alone again as the dots pile up against Root

Five slips in place

38.4

Johnson to Root, no run, and he leaves another for Haddin to collect. Who will crack first? Johnson with his line or Root with a drive?

38.5

Johnson to Root, no run, well bowled! All defence from Root and this one scoots past the outside edge as it holds its line

Back to three slips and a gully now. Spoilsport, Clarke. Ah, but a leg gully comes in.

38.6

Johnson to Root, no run, back of a length, defended to the on side...a searching maiden from Johnson

Steve is back. "Sorry guys that I got Carberry's wicket... but Pietersen will get a hundred..so not all bad...."

End of over 39 (maiden) England 100/2

    • JE Root 22 (75b 2x4)
    • KP Pietersen 0 (9b)
    • MG Johnson 10-1-32-0
    • PM Siddle 10-2-28-1

I suspect Pietersen will try something this over...

39.1

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, can't get this away, full at off stump, tried to drop it into an off-side gap but straight to point instead

39.2

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, allows this to go through outside off

39.3

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, at the moment KP is holding in his attacking instincts, shoulders arms to a length ball

39.4

Siddle to Pietersen, FOUR, he's off the mark now with a crunching, dismissive pull shot off the front foot that goes over midwicket...he didn't even try keeping it down.

39.5

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, great response! Siddle returns to a full length and this nips back through the gate, just like he got him in the second innings at Adelaide...this time goes over middle and off

39.6

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, defended to the covers, a terrific battle between these two. A bowler who knows he has the wood a batsman, and a great batsman at that

End of over 40 (4 runs) England 104/2

    • KP Pietersen 4 (15b 1x4)
    • JE Root 22 (75b 2x4)
    • PM Siddle 11-2-32-1
    • MG Johnson 10-1-32-0

The fifth over of the spell for Johnson

40.1

Johnson to Root, 2 runs, and it's runs for Root, off a thick outside edge which runs through backward point along the ground...should have been three runs, but only a brace which means he stays facing MJ

40.2

Johnson to Root, no run, edged! But short! Even at Johnson's pace. Root defending off the back foot but the thick edge doesn't carry to Clarke at second slip. Credit to Root for soft hands

40.3

Johnson to Root, no run, on his toes, defends square to point

40.4

Johnson to Root, no run, full outside off, 145kph, left alone...another part of Root's cricket education taking place today

40.5

Johnson to Root, no run, wider, not a threatening delivery

Dave: "Following your coverage from California (can't find it on the TV anywhere) - why are England persisting with Carberry? He's scored one 50 in his last ten innings and he's 33 - surely there's a better young opener somewhere in English cricket?" He's the man on tour, started the trip well so earned his chance. They may well change at the start of the next English season.

40.6

Johnson to Root, no run, short of a length, left alone

And that's drinks in the afternoon session. Still tough to split today. Australia have chipped out another and kept control of the run rate. Over to Alan until tea.

End of over 41 (2 runs) England 106/2

    • JE Root 24 (81b 2x4)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (15b 1x4)
    • MG Johnson 11-1-34-0
    • PM Siddle 11-2-32-1

P-Siddy continues, to Kevin Peter

Afternoon all, or for those joining me at silly o'clock, good morning. For a session and a half, this has been the Christmas present equivalent of a pair of socks; might KP work up something a little more racy for us under the Melbourne sunshine?

41.1

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, good length in the channel outside off stump, left alone

41.2

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, Siddle asks the question, as Pietersen lunges forward and takes a rap on the knee roll but there was a chunk of bat involved

41.3

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, comes forward, on the stumps, worked back on the on side

41.4

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, little bit more width, Pietersen opens the face and steers the ball behind square

41.5

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, pitched up on off and drilled back along the ground, Siddle thrusts out a hand and does really well to stop a ball that would have gone for four

41.6

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, gets on the front foot and lets another ball through wide of the stumps

End of over 42 (maiden) England 106/2

    • KP Pietersen 4 (21b 1x4)
    • JE Root 24 (81b 2x4)
    • PM Siddle 12-3-32-1
    • MG Johnson 11-1-34-0

Clarke turns back to Ryan Harris for a spell

42.1

Harris to Root, OUT, lovely outswinger, right on the money and that's out! Root has been making half-promises and forget-me-not motions at balls outside off all innings and finally he gets something on one, pulled on to the front foot, bat dangling away from the pad and a thin but audible nick sails through to the keeper

JE Root c †Haddin b Harris 24 (116m 82b 2x4 0x6) SR: 29.26

England's innings is progressing along familiar lines... Just like socks, I tells ya, functional but prone to wearing out. Here comes Ian Bell, who's at least a silky pair

42.2

Harris to Bell, no run, on the stumps, Bell gets in line and defends

42.3

Harris to Bell, no run, little bit wider, on the front foot, pushed into the covers

42.4

Harris to Bell, no run, again Bell gets forward and defends with a straight bat into the off side

42.5

Harris to Bell, no run, pitched up around middle and off, tapped back down the wicket to the bowler

42.6

Harris to Bell, no run, fullish, tailing in towards off stump, blocked into the off side

"Into the Underbelly now!" cackles Chris in Taunton, who may or may not be tucking into the last of the Christmas turkey in something approaching desperation

End of over 43 (wicket maiden) England 106/3

    • IR Bell 0 (5b)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (21b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 11-7-12-1
    • PM Siddle 12-3-32-1
43.1

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, Siddle continues on a metronomic line outside off, left alone by the ever-diligent PK

43.2

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, gets across, defends a length ball to mid-on

43.3

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, slightly back of a length, Pietersen can let that through on the bounce outside off

43.4

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, fullish, around the line of off, pushed back down the track

43.5

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, Siddle has his hands on his head as Pietersen fences awkwardly and gets a loopy inside edge towards short midwicket

43.6

Siddle to Pietersen, no run, on the stumps, comes forward to defend - another maiden for Siddle, Australia putting the Chinese burn on England again

End of over 44 (maiden) England 106/3

    • KP Pietersen 4 (27b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 0 (5b)
    • PM Siddle 13-4-32-1
    • RJ Harris 11-7-12-1

"Are you badmouthing socks?" wonders James. Not really. I'm just saying they're not good enough to win the Ashes

44.1

Harris to Bell, no run, off-stump line, gets across and prods short on the off side

44.2

Harris to Bell, 1 run, a little wider, Bell uses the crease, sits back and runs the ball wide of the slips for a single to get off the mark

44.3

Harris to Pietersen, no run, KP comes forward and meets a full-length ball around the line of off stump

44.4

Harris to Pietersen, no run, little bit of extra bounce, blocked into the covers

44.5

Harris to Pietersen, no run, dastardly good from Harris, on a length and arcing back to within a couple of inches of the stumps, Pietersen knew enough to leave, though

44.6

Harris to Pietersen, no run, good pace from Harris, still motoring at 87-88mph, Pietersen pushes his hands out from under his eyeline to dab the ball square

End of over 45 (1 run) England 107/3

    • KP Pietersen 4 (31b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 1 (7b)
    • RJ Harris 12-7-13-1
    • PM Siddle 13-4-32-1

Clarke makes another change up, Shane Watson back on

45.1

Watson to Bell, no run, good length, just holding its line of off, Bell defends watchfully

45.2

Watson to Bell, no run, a little straighter, worked to leg

45.3

Watson to Bell, no run, floated up a foot or two outside off, Bell plays a exaggerrated leave, twirling his bat out of the way

45.4

Watson to Bell, no run, pushed through wide of the wicket, no stroke offered

45.5

Watson to Bell, no run, easy breezy stuff from Watto, defended into the ground to the on side from in front of off

45.6

Watson to Bell, 1 run, length ball, dribbling towards leg stump, nudged off the pad behind square for a single

Since Carberry's dismissal, England have added 12 runs in 12 overs. They're in danger of being sucked into the quicksand again

End of over 46 (1 run) England 108/3

    • IR Bell 2 (13b)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (31b 1x4)
    • SR Watson 6-2-11-1
    • RJ Harris 12-7-13-1
46.1

Harris to Bell, no run, length delivery shaping away a touch outside off stump, Bell lets it through

46.2

Harris to Bell, no run, tighter line, pushed into the covers coming forwards

46.3

Harris to Bell, 2 runs, Harris pitches this up, a little too straight and Bell closes the face to flick a couple through backward square

46.4

Harris to Bell, no run, defended on the front foot outside off

46.5

Harris to Bell, no run, pitched up around the line of off, Bell plays a checked drive towards mid-off

46.6

Harris to Bell, no run, Harris is the like the postman, he always delivers, Bell wards off a full ball on off stump this time

"Actually, my reference to the Underbelly referred to the Aussie series of TV programs - crime dramas," declares Chris in Taunton, "decidedly risque and not for underage viewers. Much like the English line-up." Oh, that went further over my head than a Mitchell Johnson bouncer

End of over 47 (2 runs) England 110/3

    • IR Bell 4 (19b)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (31b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 13-7-15-1
    • SR Watson 6-2-11-1
47.1

Watson to Pietersen, no run, slightly full and wide, angled in and then straightening, left alone

47.2

Watson to Pietersen, no run, pitched up on middle and off, Pietersen pushes the ball back to mid-on

47.3

Watson to Pietersen, no run, Watson floats up something approaching a half-volley on off stump, tapped into the covers

47.4

Watson to Pietersen, no run, good length outside off stump, Pietersen waves it through

Watto is running in when he grimaces and pulls up... Clarke comes running over, there's a brief discussion and Watson is heading off the pitch. Looks like he's done a hamstring, not sure how badly but this isn't good news for him or Australia; he's taken a wicket during another parsimonious spell but England, not exactly by design, have seen him off. Nathan Lyon will finish the over

47.5

Lyon to Pietersen, no run, round the wicket, tossed up on middle and leg, leans out and defends

47.6

Lyon to Pietersen, no run, flighted, drifting across outside the line of off, drops back and chops towards point

Here's Baxter: "This session sums up England's batting all tour. Carberry and Root batted for 2-2 1/2 hours, put no pressure on the Aussie bowlers because of a lack of ability (Carberry) or confidence (Root), and now both are out with not much to show for it, putting the middle order under pressure, with the Aussies dictating play."

End of over 48 (0 runs) England 110/3

    • KP Pietersen 4 (37b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 4 (19b)
    • NM Lyon 4.2-3-5-0
    • RJ Harris 13-7-15-1

Harris will continue to plug away. He's been like Scrooge with runs today

48.1

Harris to Bell, no run, left alone in the corridor outside off as the ball shapes away

48.2

Harris to Bell, no run, fullish, outside off stump, Bell taps defensively towards the covers

Clarke now brings in a man at short extra cover

48.3

Harris to Bell, no run, full, pushed on the front foot to the newly positioned fielder

48.4

Harris to Bell, no run, pitched up outside off stump and again Bell pats the ball to short extra cover

48.5

Harris to Bell, no run, Bell gets a stride in, shoulders arms to a length ball outside off

48.6

Harris to Bell, no run, wide of the stumps, leaving Bell, whose keeping his shots in the cupboard at the moment

Pietersen, by the way, has only managed one scoring shot from his 37 balls...

End of over 49 (maiden) England 110/3

    • IR Bell 4 (25b)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (37b 1x4)
    • RJ Harris 14-8-15-1
    • NM Lyon 4.2-3-5-0

Lyon continues in Watson's absence

49.1

Lyon to Pietersen, no run, tossed up, straightens and hits the knee roll, loops on the leg side and Haddin takes the catch but despite the crowd's audible hope, there was no bat involved

49.2

Lyon to Pietersen, 1 run, on the stumps, nudged into a gap at midwicket and KP skips through for a single, his first runs in 45 minutes

49.3

Lyon to Bell, no run, full, drifting across, defended on the stumps

49.4

Lyon to Bell, 2 runs, down the leg side, Bell waits, keeps on top of the bounce and nudges behind square

49.5

Lyon to Bell, 1 run, tossed up, leg-stump line again, nurdled round the corner

49.6

Lyon to Pietersen, 1 run, flatter, flicked off the pads through backward square for another single

A relative feast for England that over, though hardly turkey and all the trimmings. Here's Lance: "England's attritional cricket has admittedly brought them a lot of success, but I'm glad it is finally backfiring. Captains like Clarke and teams like the Aussie one which are a little innovative and willing to take risks deserve success."

End of over 50 (5 runs) England 115/3

    • KP Pietersen 6 (40b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 7 (28b)
    • NM Lyon 5.2-3-10-0
    • RJ Harris 14-8-15-1
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100
  • Overs 101-150
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Hours of play (local time) 10.30am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30

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