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Tourists keep Australia in check

By Rob Barnett

England battled gamely after losing the toss on a placid Adelaide Oval pitch, limiting Australia to 273 for five on the opening day of the second Ashes Test.

The tourists, trailing after a 381-run loss at Brisbane, did well to reduce their opponents from 155 for one to 174 for four at tea. The stumps score would have been even better for Alastair Cook’s side had they taken one or more of three evening-session chances.

Michael Carberry shelling Brad Haddin on five at backward point was the sole regulation one, but Monty Panesar could have had George Bailey caught and bowled for 10 and Joe Root nearly held Michael Clarke at midwicket on 18. Bailey went on to 53, his first Test fifty, and Clarke was unbeaten on 48 alongside Haddin on seven.

Monty Panesar gets sharp turn to bowl Steven Smith, making Australia 174 for four at tea. They recovered to 273 for five

England can point to some outstanding work in the field, including the recalled Panesar brilliantly bowling Steven Smith on the brink of tea and Graeme Swann’s outstanding take at square-leg to oust Bailey.

Panesar’s wicket was one of three late in the afternoon session, James Anderson having Shane Watson caught and bowled for 51 in the over before Swann snared Chris Rogers caught behind for 72.

Watson and Rogers had shared a century partnership after David Warner was held at point for a breezy 29 on a windy and unusually cool day that saw Ben Stokes make a Test debut. Although Stokes went wicketless in his eight overs, he was economical along with the rest of the attack.

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Evening Session

Watch the highlights of the evening session, including Graeme Swann's magnificent catch to oust George Bailey

7.39am - STUMPS! Aus 273/5; Clarke 48, Haddin 7 - Unusually for a modern-day Test, and thanks to England’s good over-rate, there are 91 overs in the day. Given how flat the pitch is, that score represents a decent effort from England after they lost the toss. Clarke hit the penultimate ball, delivered by Panesar, down the ground for four.

7.32am - CHANCE! - The usually reliable Michael Carberry shells a regulation chance at backward point, spilling a two-handed opportunity and failing to take a right-handed rebound attempt. Haddin, who cut loosely at Panesar, survives on five.

7.26am - New man Brad Haddin pulls Broad just out of the reach of Swann at midwicket immediately before England review an lbw appeal against the same batsman. Broad’s delivery was going narrowly over the stumps.

7.14am - WICKET! Bailey c Swann b Broad 53; Aus 257/5 - That’s just what England needed! Swann holds a stunning catch high to his right at square-leg to make Bailey regret hooking. Although the wicket is Broad’s, Anderson must take credit for delivering consecutive maidens beforehand.

6.57am - FIFTY! Bailey (80b 4x4 3x6) - The right-hander hoists Broad for six over midwicket to raise a first Test half-century, and Australia’s 250, that is helping to make this the hosts’ day.

6.52am - England take the second new ball in the first over that it becomes available, bowled by Anderson. Clarke sweetly flicks four to square-leg.

6.44am - Bailey, originally a one-day specialist, pulls Stokes to the rope and then advances to Swann to lift four over the bowler’s head. He repeats the latter shot versus Panesar to gain six over mid-off.

6.37am - Clarke pulls Swann for two to bring up a restorative half-century stand in warm afternoon sun.

6.27am - Ben Stokes is back into the attack alongside Swann, who continues to ask questions. The second new ball is available in five overs, but will England take it?

6.16am - Bailey drives one back at the bowler Swann, who touches the ball en route to the striker’s stumps. Is Clarke out? Umpire Kumar Dharmasena refers the decision, but Clarke grounded his bat in the nick of time.

6.06am - CHANCE! - Clarke, on 18, advances to Swann, who has replaced Panesar, and clips aerially to midwicket where Joe Root dives high to his right but can only parry the ball. It was another tricky one, yet nevertheless an opportunity to oust Australia’s dangerman.

5.49am - Stuart Broad, having taken over from Anderson, has a caught-behind appeal against Bailey turned down. HotSpot showed the ball hit the batsman’s back leg rather than bat. Bailey then advances to Panesar, striking him for a straight six that moves Australia to 200.

5.43am - CHANCE! - Panesar puts down a tough caught and bowled opportunity when Bailey, on 10, belts the ball back at waist height. Will that be costly?

5.34am - James Anderson starts the session with a maiden. Bailey punishes a Panesar long-hop to the cover fence before Michael Clarke clips Anderson through midwicket for four.

5.25am - After a short shower that did not delay the resumption, Monty Panesar completes his pre-tea over with three balls to new man George Bailey, who gets off the mark with a cut for two.

Afternoon Session

Highlights of the afternoon session that had a sting in the tail with three late wickets

5.03am - WICKET & TEA! Smith b Panesar 6; Aus 174/4, Clarke 9 - After Clarke picks up two fours and Smith one boundary, the latter is cleaned up by a beauty from the left-arm spinner that turns to beat the outside edge and hit off stump. The makes it England’s session.

4.50am - Following Swann’s wicket-maiden, Anderson and Panesar send down scoreless overs to put pressure on the new pair.

4.38am - WICKET! Rogers c Prior b Swann 72; Aus 155/3 - It’s two wickets in as many overs when Swann gets extra turn and Rogers edges a back-foot drive to wicketkeeper Matt Prior. Suddenly there are two new men at the crease in Michael Clarke and Steven Smith.

4.35am - WICKET! Watson c & b Anderson 51; Aus 155/2 - The right-hander punches a drive on the up and Anderson instinctively grasps a low chance, making a vital breakthrough for England. Once again, Watson has made a fifty but failed to go on, although his stand with Rogers was worth 121.

4.31am - Rogers expansively sweeps Swann and sweetly cover-drives Anderson for fours, the latter taking Australia past 150. The batsmen are making much of getting established at the crease.

4.21am - FIFTY! Watson (109b 6x4 1x6) - After Rogers cuts Broad to the boundary, Watson nudges Swann, into his second over after replacing Panesar, to leg for a single that heralds a smooth half-century.

4.09am - CENTURY PARTNERSHIP! Broad strays down leg and Watson guides the ball to the fine-leg rope, bringing up an impressive stand alongside Rogers.

3.59am - FIFTY! Rogers (135b 8x4 0x6) - The reliable opener cuts Broad for four, raising a third half-century in his eight Tests.

3.51am - Stuart Broad replaces Stokes. The umpires check that the ball hasn’t gone out of shape and decide it’s okay to continue with.

3.44am - Rogers spoils Stokes’ fine figures with a leg-side clip and, after a Panesar maiden to Watson, two cuts for four - the latter from a no-ball for breaking the non-striker’s stumps in his delivery.

3.32am - Watson relieves the pressure built by Panesar and Stokes by lifting the former for a straight six that takes the hosts to three figures.

3.24am - Stokes’ second over is a maiden to Rogers, who perhaps unsurprisingly isn’t scoring as freely as Watson.

3.12am - Ben Stokes is into the attack for his first bowl in Tests. His second delivery is a half-volley that Watson drives for four, but the 22-year-old responds well to concede no other runs from the over.


3.05am - Watson cuts a Panesar long-hop in front of square for four, raising a fifty partnership with Rogers, who soon cover-drives Swann to the rope and cuts Panesar for another boundary.

2.57am - REVIEW! - Panesar beats Rogers’ defence and strikes him on the pad but the appeal is denied. England ask for the TV umpire to take a look and HawkEye shows the ball clipping the top of the left-hander’s leg stump, yet not sufficiently to overturn the decision.

2.55am - Watson clumps Swann down the ground for four to break a spell of pressure from the twin twirlers.

2.42am - Monty Panesar, playing his first Test since March, takes over from Anderson, meaning there is spin from both ends.

2.36am - Anderson and Swann keep it tight for the next few overs. Weather permitting, and it’s still bright, this session will last until 5.05am with stumps scheduled at 7.39am.

2.21am - James Anderson has four balls of an over to bowl. Chris Rogers pushes the third of those square for four, taking Australia to 50. He repeats the shot off Graeme Swann in the next set of six.

2.18am - The players are on the way to the middle, happily in bright sun.

Morning Session

Watch highlights of the morning session after Australia chose to bat first

1.41am - LUNCH! Aus 46/1; Rogers 7, Watson 10 - Lunch is being taken early, although the shower has passed and the covers are coming off. If your eyelids are getting heavy, fix yourself a caffeine-based drink.

1.29am - RAIN STOPS PLAY! Aus 46/1 - Not again! The third rain interruption is a pain.

1.25am - Alastair Cook turns to spin (excuse the pun) in the 14th over, Graeme Swann starting well with a maiden to Shane Watson.

1.20am - Watson moves to double-figures with back-to-back cover-driven fours off Broad. The first was a good shot but the second from a wide half-volley. Rogers is then deceived by Anderson’s slower delivery and chips narrowly past shortish midwicket.

1.13am - The action resumes and, after Watson immediately gets a single, Anderson has a leg-before shout against Rogers declined. The ball pitched a few inches outside leg stump.

1.05am - Good news! The rain has stopped, the sun is out and play is set to resume in 10 minutes.

12.55am - RAIN STOPS PLAY! Aus 37/1 - The heavens have opened again, meaning we have another delay. This weather is not what you associate with Adelaide.

12.49am - Shane Watson, facing Anderson, gets off the mark via a single in front of midwicket.

12.43am - WICKET! Warner c Carberry b Broad 29; Aus 34/1 - The left-hander flicks a head-high catch to the safe hands of Michael Carberry at point, ending a swift innings that occupied 32 deliveries.

12.38am - Rogers pushes down the ground for an all-run four during an otherwise tight over in which Anderson earlier tried to tuck Warner up for room to score.

12.30am - The pitch is proving to be extremely slow and the umpires are checking the ball to see if it has gone out of shape at this early stage, but give it back to Broad for his third over. Warner seems happy enough with it as he powerfully punches a boundary down the ground.

12.21am - Warner flashes a cut aerially through a gap at backward point for a second four. Typically, he looks intent on going for his shots.

12.17am - Warner drives Anderson square of the wicket for the game’s first four. Next ball, the seamer appeals for lbw, but the ball pitched just outside leg and England don’t review.

12.12am - The squall has passed and Stuart Broad is steaming in at David Warner, who scores the sole run of the over with a single to leg. Australia are up and running.

12.03am - RAIN STOPS PLAY! Aus 0/0 - The players scamper from the field but it looks to be just a brief shower. Umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus soon return to the field and wave for the players to follow them.

12am - We are under way in the second Ashes Test. James Anderson is bowling to Chris Rogers, who gets a short delivery stuck in his jumper from the fourth ball of a maiden. Conditions are unusually cool for Adelaide.

Pre-Play News

11.55pm - We’ve just had the national anthems. The action is minutes away.

11.50pm - Three years ago Australia also chose the bat first in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide and soon found themselves two for three. Can lightning strike twice?

11.32pm - AUSTRALIA WIN TOSS & BAT - Alastair Cook calls incorrectly and, like at Brisbane, Clarke asks England to bowl. Cook confirms Stokes and Panesar replace Trott and Tremlett while the hosts are unchanged. Joe Root will bat at three and Stokes at six.

11.27pm - The toss is just minutes away. Surely the winner will bat first?

11.15pm - While waiting for the toss, which should be on time at 11.30pm, why not watch the newly-released first Swanny’s Ashes Diary of the tour?

11.05pm - Stokes will make his Test debut, having just been presented with his first cap by former England captain Andrew Strauss. Does that mean Panesar will play too?

10.55pm - While Australia have named an unchanged side from the 381-run win at Brisbane, England must make at least one change with Jonathan Trott absent through a stress-related illness. One of Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance or Ben Stokes are set to replace Trott. Another alteration could see Chris Tremlett drop out for either the fit-again Tim Bresnan or Monty Panesar, if England opt for a second specialist spinner on a dry drop-in pitch.

10.45pm - Stay here for all the build-up to play, which is due to start at midnight, with the toss set for 11.30pm UK time.


10.30pm - G'day, as the Aussies say, and welcome to's live text commentary on the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. I'm Rob Barnett and hopefully I will be bringing you news of a resounding England fightback in the coming days.

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