13th over: England 97-0 (Roy 60, Bairstow 37) Facing Richardson, Bairstow plays a dreamy straight drive for four.
And here’s Tom van der Gucht. “It was interesting watching Root bowl his full 10 overs today. With all the talk of Hales making way for Stokes, when he’s fit, due to his allrounder role, perhaps a conversation has occurred within the dressing room that the decision isn’t quite as straightforward. Maybe Root’s more pedestrian batting strike rate and Moeen’s inability to finish the innings has led to them being told that they too are in the firing line and have to fight it out with Stokes for two allrounder spots…. Pretty unlikely considering Root has our highest ODI average, but the top 3 combo of Bairstow, Roy and Hales is a terrifying prospect for opponents.”
12th over: England 90-0 (Roy 58, Bairstow 32) Agar is playing a different game from everyone else – a game that is not hopelessly one-sided. He keeps these two blasters to three singles, so he has gone for only two an over, while everyone else averages 8.6. He can bat too, and has a calm temperament. As Paine seems quite unsuited to one-day cricket, I’d make Agar captain.
11th over: England 87-0 (Roy 56, Bairstow 31) Roy is seeing it so well that he can play a glide off Richardson through the vacant first slip for four. That was delicious, even if Ricky Ponting called it an edge. Roy has received 40 balls and sent ten of them to the boundary. Bairstow, not to be totally outdone, punches for four himself.
10th over: England 76-0 (Roy 50, Bairstow 26) At last, a good over. Ashton Agar comes on as Paine suddenly remembers that Roy has a weakness against slow left-arm. Agar beats him, has that appeal for a stumping, finds some turn and only concedes a single, as Roy punches to longish-off. That brings up another riotous fifty, off 36 balls.
“Which team will be more disappointed that Australia didn’t score 495?” wonders Robin Hazlehurst. “Australia because it is quite a lot of runs, or England because it would have given them a crack at the 500? Were Australia being deliberate spoilsports by losing those late wickets and not getting there? Will such comments come back to bite me on the bum later on? Have I just doomed us? Oh Hubris! So many questions…”
For stumped against Roy, off Agar. Neat work from Paine but never out.
9th over: England 75-0 (Roy 49, Bairstow 26) That 15-run over has done for Neser. Jhye Richardson takes over and he too goes for four first ball as Bairstow spots something slightly short and flays it past cover. Only Stanlake has started with anything better than a four-ball. Richardson then manages four dots, or a 2/3 maiden (neologisms please), before offering a half-tracker which Bairstow flashes over short third man for four more. He has 26 off 20, which is a new twist on second fiddle.
8th over: England 67-0 (Roy 49, Bairstow 18) A whip for two off Lyon, followed by a rasping cut for four. Can someone please take a wicket?
7th over: England 61-0 (Roy 43, Bairstow 13) Neser continues, and continues making the same mistake – straying onto the pads, once to each batsman, twice resulting in four. When Neser finally locates the off side, Roy cracks another four. He has 43 off 28 balls, and is showing that when you’re in top form, sport becomes dead simple.
6th over: England 46-0 (Roy 33, Bairstow 18) Desperate Tims, desperate measures. Paine brings on Nathan Lyon, about five overs ahead of schedule. He fires in a dart, and Bairstow says thanks very much and cuts it for four.
An email from John Tumbridge, at the ground. “It’s 6pm on the longest day of the year, the sun’s out, Roy is seeing the ball like it’s a beach ball. Why are the floodlights on?” Good question.
5th over: England 38-0 (Roy 32, Bairstow 6) Neser keeps Roy quiet for a full three balls, before handing him a tuck for two. We need a word for that – the half-maiden, quite the triumph these days.
4th over: England 35-0 (Roy 30, Bairstow 5) Roy hooks Stanlake and top-edges for the first six of the innings, before driving another four. Perhaps getting bored, he then invents a new stroke, the flap off the hip, and that goes for four too. Stanlake has gone for 2-0-26-0, and Paine ponders the most poisoned chalice since the Tories put Theresa May in Number 10.
3rd over: England 21-0 (Roy 16, Bairstow 5) “Rich form?” mutters Bairstow. “Him?” So he blasts Neser through the covers for a boundary of his own. Not to be outclassed, Neser has a shout for lbw (inside edge, and maybe going down) and then finds the top of Bairstow’s bat as he tries an expansive cut.
2nd over: England 17-0 (Roy 16, Bairstow 1) Paine plays it straight at the other end, summoning Billy Stanlake. If the idea is to make Neser look good, it works, as Stanlake dishes up two half-volleys in the channel, and Roy punches them away for four either side of mid-off. He is in rich form.
“Evening Tim.” Evening Damian Clarke. “I’m with you, in the summerhouse, drinking in the evening sun, and the Tempranillo. The new wine rack might have been a poor call. There is a good chance my wife will find me here in the morning, snoring gently with a battery dead laptop staring blankly at me.” That’s the spirit.
1st over: England 5-0 (Roy 5, Bairstow 0) Tim Paine throws the new ball to Michael Neser, who starts with a gift – a gentle half-volley on the pads, with no fine leg. Jason Roy duly puts it out of its misery. Still, Neser, like several of this Aussie team, has a good beard, halfway from hipster to WG.
Thanks Simon and evening everyone. Or should that be anyone?
There is, it has to be said, not a lot riding on this. For the Aussies, there’s the chance of a bit of self-respect – which they’ve achieved by reaching 300. For England, it’s just one more step in what could be a first 5-0 rout of their old enemy. Most interesting development of the day so far: Joe Root, spotting that Alex Hales may have edged him out of the first-choice XI, sets about turning himself into an allrounder and rattles through ten tidy overs.
I’m going to hand over to Tim de Lisle, who will take you through England’s reply. Bye!
Ricky Ponting on Sky thinks “if you’d have offered that to the Australians after the toss, they would have taken it”, and that they have posted a very competitive total. I think he’s being a bit optimistic, but the Lyon effect could still make things interesting.
According to The Cricket Prof on Twitter, Paine has played just 18 attacking shots in this series, which have brought 19 runs and seen him dismissed four times, giving him a dismissal rate of one wicket every 4.5 balls he attacks.
50th over: Australia 310-8 (Richardson 5, Lyon 3) Lyon comes out and has a wild swing, the ball hitting the toe of the bat and looping into the air. It’s going nowhere near a fielder so Willey hares after it himself, arriving just a moment too late to claim a five-for. Still, his last two overs brought four wickets at the cost of nine runs, which isn’t too shabby.
WICKET! Paine lbw b Willey 3 (Australia 305-8)
Paine heaves, misses and the umpire’s finger goes up instantly! That’s four wickets in eight balls for Willey!
49th over: Australia 304-7 (Paine 3, Richardson 2) Wood bowls full and straight, and it works so well he keeps doing it. There’s one wide – his fifth delivery, another yorker, slides down the leg side – but two fresh batsmen can do nothing better than occasionally send the ball squirming away for a single, and Australia boost their total by a meagre four.
48th over: Australia 299-7 (Paine 1, Richardson 0) Willey’s sixth over brings three runs, three dismissals and perhaps fatally undermines Australia’s efforts. Both of their centurions have been dismissed the very next ball after reaching 100.
WICKET! Neser c Buttler b Willey 2 (Australia 299-7)
And another one! This one is short, wide, and Neser moves backwards to give himself room to nick through to the keeper!
WICKET! Marsh c Overton b Willey 101 (Australia 296-6)
That’s great fielding! Marsh smashes the ball towards the boundary at long on, Roy catches it but his momentum is taking him over the rope so he throws it to Overton, running round from midwicket in support, whose job is simple! And Willey is on a hat-trick!
WICKET! Carey c Overton b Willey 6 (Australia 296-5)
It’s a low full toss that Carey lifts to deep midwicket, where Overton runs forward to take the catch!
47th over: Australia 296-4 (Marsh 101, Carey 6) Rashid starts the over with a wide, and as far as he’s concerned it goes downhill from there. Marsh batters the ball over cow corner and deposits it deep into the stands for six, and then he cuts the next ball behind square, neatly bisecting two fielders for four, and then goes through the covers for four more, before ending the over with another six over midwicket, which takes him into triple figures! That’s a 25-run over!
46th over: Australia 271-4 (Marsh 77, Carey 6) Willey’s back, and his first ball is smashed straight back over his head, and over quite a lot of other things as well, for a huge six! A single later Carey scoops a slower ball into the air from the toe of his bat, but it lands safe, and if he didn’t anticipate that one he predicts the last well enough, ramping it over his right shoulder for four. 13 off the over.
45th over: Australia 258-4 (Marsh 70, Carey 1) Agar drives dead straight, with Rashid guessing that the ball would go to his left and thus moving out of the way. Then he drives towards mid-on, with Rashid guessing that the ball would go to his left and thus being perfectly positioned to cut it off. He’s out next ball.
Ball tracking suggests the ball was clattering into off stump. It remains with the umpire’s call, but really that was emphatic.
REVIEW! Is Carey out lbw here?
The umpire didn’t think so, but England think he was wrong!
WICKET! Agar c Buttler b Rashid 18 (Australia 256-4)
Agar doesn’t spot Rashid’s googly, which flicks the top of his swishing bat and flies into Buttler’s gloves!
44th over: Australia 252-3 (Marsh 69, Agar 14) Two balls and three runs into the over there’s an extended delay for some field rejiggery. Wood then bowls short, Agar swings his bat and top-edges behind the wicket for four. That aside it’s a diet of ones and twos, and if Australia are to reach 350 they need something above 16 runs an over from here.
43rd over: Australia 242-3 (Marsh 65, Agar 9) Marsh has a wild swing at a googly, which spins past the bat and into Buttler’s gloves, and he only just gets his toe back in time to avoid a stumping. The over ends with Agar sweeping fine; Wood runs round to field but slips at the vital moment and slides with the ball into the rope. Rashid looks disgruntled.
42nd over: Australia 235-3 (Marsh 63, Agar 4) So Marsh’s injury is turning potential twos into safe singles, though there was only one such opportunity in Wood’s latest over. No wickets this time, but only four runs. Australia need, what, 15 an over from here to reach something vaguely par-ish?
41st over: Australia 232-3 (Marsh 61, Agar 3) Marsh has some kind of muscular injury, which doesn’t seem to be significantly damaging his batting, but is affecting his running. Four singles here, from Moeen’s seventh over.
40th over: Australia 228-3 (Marsh 59, Agar 1) Stoinis edges his first delivery – there’s no slip so he’s safely off the mark – and then is out next ball. It’s an inglorious cameo. He’s unexpectedly replaced by Agar. Into the last 10 overs we go, with the complexion of the game suddenly a little different.
WICKET! Stoinis b Wood 1 (Australia 227-3)
And another! Wood bowls a delivery nearly identical to the one that did for Finch, and Stoinis squirms uncomfortably, misses it entirely and it clatters the stumps!
WICKET! Finch lbw b Wood 100 (Australia 225-2)
Finch completes his century and goes next ball, as Wood gives the umpire a very easy lbw decision to make and the batsman wisely doesn’t seek a review.
39th over: Australia 225-1 (Finch 100, Marsh 58) Marsh brings up his half-century in style, hoiking the first ball of Moeen’s over high and wide of long on for six. And then Finch completes his century in less dramatic style, easing the ball away for a single, which brings Marsh back in time for another thwack through midwicket, for four this time. That’s 14 runs from the over.
38th over: Australia 211-1 (Finch 97, Marsh 47) Mark Wood is back, replacing Overton, the only bowler currently leaking more than 5.5 runs an over (though by the end of the over Wood’s economy rate is up to 5.6). There’s one boundary, Finch clipping the ball through his own legs and away fine for four.
37th over: Australia 203-1 (Finch 92, Marsh 44) Australia take their score to 200 with a single, and then another single makes this a 100 partnership. Moeen’s five overs have cost precisely five runs each.
36th over: Australia 199-1 (Finch 90, Marsh 42) Here we go! Overton bowls, and Finch smashes the ball over midwicket for four, and then he pulls another away for six!
35th over: Australia 186-1 (Finch 79, Marsh 40) Marsh sweeps and times it nicely, the ball skimming away for four. Fifteen overs to go, and Australia need to average, what, 11 off each of them? Somewhere north of 10, the higher the happier.
34th over: Australia 178-1 (Finch 77, Marsh 34) Overton is thwacked over mid-off by Finch, the ball bouncing once on its way to the rope. Is this the acceleration? Is it coming? The boundaries are long here, which restricts scoring, but Australia will want something in the region of double their current total to consider themselves competitive.
33rd over: Australia 168-1 (Finch 70, Marsh 31) Australia continue to lay foundations. These are pretty solid foundations now, I’d have thought. With foundations like these it’s going to be an amazing house, when they get round to building it.
32nd over: Australia 165-1 (Finch 69, Marsh 29) Australia take a sharp second from the first ball of the over, but Marsh dives to get home safe. The on-field umpires send the run-out decision upstairs, though it was obvious he was in and no England player celebrated, and Kumar Dharmasena watches one replay prove it and then asks for a second angle, which also proves it. None of this seemed necessary, but Dharmasena might have been bored and pleased to have a chance to contribute.
31st over: Australia 157-1 (Finch 63, Marsh 27) I feel that I have been writing about inexpensive overs of spin bowling for a while now. Here’s Moeen’s second over, which costs four runs. But there now follows a change of pace, with Overton returning.
30th over: Australia 153-1 (Finch 60, Marsh 26) Rashid’s seventh over brings two runs. Twenty overs to go, and Australia with nine wickets in hand can go hard, from whenever it is they decide to go.
29th over: Australia 151-1 (Finch 59, Marsh 25) England are still spinning, with Moeen now bowling. Marsh hits his first delivery to Billings at deep midwicket for two, and his second to the same place in the same style with the same result.
28th over: Australia 145-1 (Finch 58, Marsh 22) 100% of Australia’s sixes have come from Finch’s bat and off Rashid’s bowling. This one, from the last ball of the over, is pumped over long-on.
27th over: Australia 136-1 (Finch 51, Marsh 18) Root completes his allocation of 10 overs, something he has done only once before, against Ireland a couple of years ago. They scored 52 off him that day; Australia have managed 44.
26th over: Australia 133-1 (Finch 51, Marsh 15) Rashid bowls, and Australia score two singles. They need to locate the accelerator pedal at some point.
25th over: Australia 131-1 (Finch 50, Marsh 14) And so here we are, at the halfway stage of Australia’s innings. Root has bowled nine overs at a cost of 4.55 apiece and Finch brings up his half-century from the last ball of the last of them, a single. These are, I suppose, good foundations for Australia. They have looked thoroughly competent. But at this point, England will surely be the happier.
24th over: Australia 128-1 (Finch 48, Marsh 13) A six! Six runs! From one ball! Rashid bowls a googly, and Finch picks it, and thumps it over cow corner!
23rd over: Australia 120-1 (Finch 41, Marsh 12) An eighth over for Root, who is not being treated with remotely enough aggression. Six singles here, and a leg-side wide by way of bonus. “Pah! This is all rather pedestrian after Tuesday’s run-gorging,” writes Guy Hornsby. “It was, to be honest, a spectacle like nothing I’ve ever seen, one continuous highlight reel, that left the viewer dazed (and if you’re an Australian, reaching for the Bundy at 4am). I hope we thrash them again, obviously, but it’s quite nice to see a vaguely normal start to this game. And nice to see Overton back. It feels like it’s been years since he’s played.”
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