Flintoff falls to McGrath!

GD does it again. Useful catch by Warne at first slip, pretty straightforward though. Fred just wafted outside off, and is gone for a really well-played 72. Massive wicket…England were starting to look comfortable. Five for 274, as the Aussies say. And it’s Paul Collingwood in now; what a match to make your Test comeback in!!!

Oh, and by the way, still just one slip. Who says Ponting’s captaincy is arthitic? Well – me, for one. Extraordinary…put the guy under pressure, surely?

Strauss reaches his hundred against Australia

His second of the series, and a quite excellent knock, under pressure. Patient, calm, but always dispatching the bad ball, it was a fine innings and has saved England from a useless score. Still need 400, mind…and Flintoff’s going beserk. The over before Strauss, he struck three fours; the first two were down-on-one-knee slogs to a wide fine-leg. But the third was a lovely straight drive down the ground – and this was immediately after tea.

Perhaps regardless of the result of this match, it is England’s intent which has got them this far in this series.

181 for 4, 50 partnership for Strauss and Flintoff

Thrilling cricket. “Proper” cricket! Flintoff and Strauss both calmly defying Warne, who is throwing everything at them. McGrath, strangely, bowling less effectively than he was earlier in the day – and he wasn’t great then. This is tight.

Flintoff has just struck Warne quite brilliantly for four. Just a check shot, through mid-off (or just wide, I guess) for four. This is quite remarkable, incredible cricket – dare I say it, the best of the series? In some ways…

Warne gets his fourth, and the fourth of England’s innings

Shane Warne is doing what all of Australia hoped he would, and what millions of Britons prayed he wouldn’t. He’s bowling like a bloody genius…although Pietersen’s shot ten minutes ago wasn’t one to remember. It didn’t turn as much as Boycott said, but the drift and loop was enough to out-fox Pietersen’s favoured leg-side shot.

Australia are all over England at the moment.

England v Warne (again)

It’s the afternoon session. And it’s England v Warne, yet again. Even McGrath hasn’t been at his best, and Lee too has struggled. But it’ll be Lee to start the second over of the afternoon, with England 117 for 3. Australia will be chuffed at the position they’re in. England, well…3 wickets before lunch is simply too many on this “road” of a pitch.

And now Bell falls. To Warne…

And now Bell falls. To Warne…was it the straight-on one? Can’t remember…104-3, with lunch coming up. Australia’s session…England need to consolidate. Strauss and Kevin Pietersen at the crease.

Vaughan gone, 102-2

Long-hop from Warne, seemed to bounce a bit more and he’s caught at mid-wicket. Out for 11. Not a good shot, and a key wicket for the Aussies who might put away their white flag (for now). Warne is here, ladies and gents, and he wants more…

England 102 for 1 after 23 overs

England romping along, as is their wont (want?) at over 4/over. Scott from Ubersportingpundit assures me some Australians are about to wave the white flag, and/or hang themselves.

As good this start is for England, it’s by no means “white flag time” for the Australians.

Trescothick falls to Warne

81 for 1, and Matthew Hayden has taken a very special slip catch at ankle height. Trescothick nudged a Warne delivery, who was bowling around the wicket, and Hayden lunged to his left, and took it in front of his left ankle. Really top catch.

England 61 without loss after one hour

And Warne is coming on to bowl. Lee not on form, and McGrath lacking support. Very good start by England and, of course, Warne’s getting it to turn…even on the first day. And CLOSE, Warne nearly gets Strauss, who edges past Hayden slipping at first