Adam Shergold for MailOnline

  • Adam Shergold

    Host commentator

Adam Lyth has the look of a man who knows he’s out of chances. He falls cheaply again. Superb ball from Peter Siddle finds the edge and caught by Michael Clarke at second slip. Too easy I’m afraid. 

It falls to Cook to face the spin of Lyon again. The England captain watching each and every ball closely, not wanting to fall victim to the spinner again. He opts to leave alone and it’s another maiden as this innings continues at a crawl.

Another moment of alarm for Lyth – fancied putting away the wider ball from Siddle but it flew past the bat. A nervous prod at the next delivery too, similar to the one in his previous over.

No joy to be had – a third consecutive maiden. And Siddle almost pins Lyth again with his final ball. Just evades the edge. 

Runs hard to come by for Alastair Cook this morning. Forced to bat with patience and just four runs from 30-odd balls. Not that England are in any rush whatsoever, of course.

He attempts a couple times to drive Lyon but finds the fielder on both occasions. Maiden. 

What a beauty from Peter Siddle. Deserved better. Beat Lyth’s outside edge and the England opener gives a wry smile. A life used up.

A little issue for Siddle – his spikes have split and the 12th man trots on with a couple of replacement pairs to choose from. A chance for Lyth and Cook to have a swig of water too on this very hot afternoon.

No spare change again from Siddle. Maiden over

Cook waiting patiently for a chance to get off the mark. And there it is. Rooted deep in the crease, a swoosh of the bat and away it goes through point to pick up FOUR off Nathan Lyon.

Another change of bowler as Peter Siddle resumes from the Vauxhall Road End.

Finds a bit of pace straight away and his third ball flashes past Lyth’s bat, which is removed from the line of fire just in time.

And Lyth then has to get on top of an 87mph ball – quick for Siddle – but does well to keep it grounded. Maiden to begin with.

Adam Lyth plays the ball away during England’s second innings

A whole new problem for England’s openers to cope with. Spin. From Nathan Lyon. And Alastair Cook is well aware of what to expect after being bowled by him yesterday.

The England skipper fends him off. Maiden over. Cook still not off the mark from 23 balls. 

Nicely played. A confident shot by Adam Lyth, lifting Mitchell Johnson’s 89mph rising ball over gully and away for the first boundary of the innings with a flick scoop of the bat.

The next ball glances him on the elbow and is deflected away to the rope, but he shows no sign of any stiffness by putting away another opportunity for FOUR through the unoccupied cover-point region.

Productive over for England. 

A lot of chatter about how if England can just bat for a day-and-a-half, they might get away with a draw here. The weather forecast is so terrible for tomorrow afternoon and Monday, play is likely to grind to a halt. But who can ever trust the British weather? 

To that end, Lyth plays it away behind square for another single. Then a real rarity in this Test which draws ironic applause – a no-ball called by the umpire! We saw loads of them yesterday but none were called.

Off the mark at last. Lyth, turning his body away, works the Johnson ball away off his hips for a single. 

Cook then forced to duck an 85mph bouncer, wafting his bat up but, frankly, the ball was past him already. 

Adam Lyth and Alastair Cook jog out for England’s second innings

The England physio has just come on to inspect Lyth’s fingers after that nasty blow. A bit of soreness no doubt but he’s fine to continue.

Mitchell Starc will bowl at Alastair Cook and share the new ball. Cook leaves alone and blocks those balls he’s forced into playing. Maiden over.

I’m sure Adam Lyth was dreading that but no need to play at Johnson’s first ball and the hat-trick chances passes him by. 

Lyth then does well to keep the next one, which had plenty of pace and bounce, down as it flew off towards gully. He then gets struck on the gloves – I bet that stings. 

After the briefest of pep talks, Australia return to the field and Michael Clarke gets another round of applause as he walks out as well as various pats on the back from his team-mates.

England’s openers, Adam Lyth and Alastair Cook, follow and the ball is thrown to Mitchell Johnson, who is on a hat-trick of course.

Paul Newman: Well, the Watford Wall didn’t even get the chance to face a ball! All over for England and Michael Clarke, for the first and last time as Australia captain, has enforced a follow on.

England simply must bat much better, take this game into tomorrow and see what the weather will bring. But will they?

There has been no resistance or patience in this series from either side when they’ve been in trouble. It would be such a damp squib if England collapse again and then receive the Ashes urn on the back of an innings defeat.

They must make sure that doesn’t happen.

And that is that. It took Mitchell Johnson a mere four balls to wrap things up and now England will have to bat again.

This is the first time Michael Clarke has ever enforced the follow-on. But it’s his last Test and it’s too good an opportunity not to.

Mitchell Johnson celebrates after taking the final English wicket

Moeen Ali is the final batsman out

Here comes Mitchell Johnson to try and plug this leak of runs this morning. It has all gone England’s way so far. 

And he immediately has Mark Wood twisting his body to escape being struck. Not so lucky next ball, though.

Wood goes for a loose pull shot and it’s mis-timed, picking out Mitchell Starc for a straightforward catch. And clearly we spoke too soon about it being England’s morning. 

Clarke shuffles his deck and in comes Nathan Lyon, who took two wickets yesterday including that of Alastair Cook final ball before tea. 

Ali goes after him, with enough loft and power to clear Peter Siddle in the field and away for FOUR. Nice shot against the spin. 

The next one is hit with even more conviction – straighter and more accomplished, bouncing about an inch in front of the rope. 

That brings up the 50 partnership for the ninth wicket. A big improvement on yesterday.

Paul Newman: Well, so far so good for England today. Mark Wood and Moeen Ali are putting England’s efforts yesterday in perspective. There is not much wrong with this pitch! Wood is a really good tail-ender. He plays a lovely cover drive. These two have to take as much time out of this game as possible in the Oval sunshine.

David Lloyd poses in his blue suit specially made for Cricket United day

Steven Finn, the next man in for England, in discussion with Alastair Cook inside the dressing room. 

And Finn nearly called upon as Wood plays at a Marsh ball he had no right going for. Gets away with his swing and a miss.

Wood wasn’t happy with himself, shaking his head, and he takes out that frustration on the next ball, which is played away square on the off-side for FOUR more. 

And again! Wood gobbles up another wide delivery with a well-executed cut to the boundary. Nice shot. 

Nutmeg! Peter Siddle looks miffed as Moeen guides the ball away to gully and it goes through the legs of David Warner, running away for FOUR. 

And just to add insult, Moeen then deflects the ball a couple of feet to Warner’s right and it races away to pretty much the same spot on the boundary. Warner not to blame that time.

The third one is the best though, a firm push from the middle of the bat and the off-drive coasts down the ground for FOUR. 

Three Moeen boundaries from the over.


Michael Clarke turns to Mitchell Marsh, who was excellent value for his three wickets yesterday. He proved himself a wicket-taker, rather than a mere fifth bowling option.

And that’s another lovely stroke from Mark Wood. Clearly knows how to hold a bat! A second well-placed cover drive of the morning gains FOUR, takes him to 16 and reduces England’s deficit to a mere 360. 

Moeen Ali, his trademark bushy beard spilling out from beneath the grille of his helmet, off the mark for the morning, two runs after flicking it away to square leg. 

Very little noise around the ground. A hum but a very faint one. Lethargic morning, as though everyone is waiting for the next phase of the game. 

 

Certainly a day for caps and sunglasses at The Oval and those lucky ones who have rooftop perches overlooking the ground and a fridge-full of beer. Could well top 30C today in London but the inevitable break-up in the weather is set for tomorrow afternoon.

That’s a lovely shot from Mark Wood. Nicely timed cover drive to pick up FOUR and the fielder didn’t even move. 

 

Peter Siddle, who claimed two wickets yesterday on his return to the side, will bowl from the Vauxhall Road End. Moeen Ali sends him back – a little bit of movement in the giant OCS Stand distracting him.

Moeen resumes on eight this morning – a batsman forced onto the defensive by England’s dire situation last night and clunked on the head by Mitchell Johnson – and no opportunities to score off Siddle here. A maiden. 

An immediate cheer from the crowd, which is filling up slowly on this leisurely Saturday morning, as Starc’s first ball hits the thigh pad of Wood and deflects down to long leg for FOUR LEG BYES. 

Both teams are wearing black armbands today following news of the death at 93 of the former Australian batsman Arthur Morris, a key member of Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ team of 1948. 

Another beautiful rendition of Jerusalem as the players enter the field for this third day. Lots of blue t-shirts and hats in the crowd in support of Cricket United day and little blue touches everywhere.

Blazing sunshine at The Oval, a glorious day for anyone fortunate enough to be in London. Mark Wood will face Mitchell Starc – and here we go. 

A very good morning to Paul Newman, who is at The Oval for us today. He writes: 

Morning from the Oval where this most thrilling yet unpredictable of Ashes series could well come to an end today.

What an extraordinary state of affairs that is, a five-Test series with not a single fifth day. A very modern Test series, that’s for sure.

England were really awful last night and that has left them facing the probability of the follow on today which Michael Clarke looks sure to enforce.

I’ve had a few messages on twitter criticising me for being too harsh on the England team in yesterday’s report because the Ashes have been won and I understand that. Yet it was still a very poor effort from England.

They had a real chance here to make history with a fourth win in a home series against Australia and they’ve blown it.

All they can do now is try to limit the damage, try to get into a fourth day and hope the thunderstorms that are meant to be around tomorrow strike in Kennington. For now Moeen Ali and Mark Wood have to extend this England innings for as long as they possibly can.

Lawrence Booth: Steven Finn insisted England could escape The Oval with a face-saving draw after their batsmen collapsed in a heap in the fifth Investec Test against Australia.

England finished the second day on a dismal 107 for eight in reply to the tourists’ 481, and still need 175 simply to avoid the possibility of the follow-on.

Finn, who had earlier taken his 100th Test wicket, admitted: ‘We’re disappointed. We’ve had a very very poor day.

‘Australia, credit to them, batted very well and then showed us how to bowl on this pitch. We’ve had a poor day but we’ll come back tomorrow and fight as hard as we can.’

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Finn points out where his foot overstepped the mark after getting Steve smith out

Steven Finn was denied the wicket of Steve Smith on 92 yesterday because he over-stepped the mark. He’s clearly a decent footballer though.

England want to express themselves and play positive cricket but throwing away their wickets like they did on Friday is not the way to do it.

Where were the ugly runs? Or the batsman getting his head down and making the hundred that would have made all the difference by applying himself?

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL COLUMN

Alastair Cook trudges off after being bowled for 22 just before tea during day two

You will notice from the pictures we post today that The Oval is looking very blue. The Sky punditry team are wearing blues ties, our very own Bumble is even in a blue suit.And even the stumps are painted blue today.

Why? Well, it is Cricket United day. This is a joint fundraising appeal by three leading cricket charities – the Lord’s Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund – and hopefully they will raise lots of money for good causes today.

Find out more here

Paul Newman at The Oval: So much for making history and finishing this tumultuous Ashes with a fourth win to send an emphatic signal to the rest of the cricketing world that England are well and truly back.

That will not happen now, not unless there is a turnaround more extraordinary than anything even this topsy-turvy series has mustered after Australia took complete control of the fifth Investec Test.

The urn will be presented to Alastair Cook at the end of this match but that looks almost certain to be on the back of a crushing defeat after England plummeted to a totally inept 107 for eight still a massive 374 behind, by the close of the second day.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT

Mitchell Marsh celebrates taking the wicket of Ben Stokes on day two at The Oval

Good Morning and welcome to our coverage of the third day of the fifth and final Test between England and Australia at The Oval. 

It’s set to be an absolute scorcher in the capital today, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. And Australia’s bowlers will certainly be hoping to turn up the heat on England and restore some more pride at the end of a pretty disastrous series.

England will resume on 107-8 this morning in rather hopeless pursuit of Australia’s 481.

It now remains to be seen whether Michael Clarke puts England in again or gives his bowlers a rest and piles on a few more runs. 

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