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Ashes 2017, Australia vs England, 3rd Test, Day 2, Highlights: As It Happened

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 15, 2017, 4:11 PM IST

3rd Test, W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth 14 - 18 December, 2018

Toss won by England (decided to bat)

Australia beat England by an innings and 41 runs

Man of the Match: Steven Smith

Ashes 2017, Australia vs England, 3rd Test, Day 2, Highlights: As It Happened

Steve Smith celebrates after hitting a century at the Gabba. (AP image)

Catch all the live updates from the third Ashes Test between Australia and England in Perth through Cricketnext.com's live commentary.

Day 1 Round-up: Dawid Malan said it was time for England to pile the pressure on Australia after his maiden Test century helped the besieged visitors fight back on the opening day of the vital third Ashes Test in Perth on Thursday. After Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, Malan's unbeaten 110 helped the tourists to breathe life back into their Ashes defence by countering hostile Australian bowling on a bouncy wicket at the WACA Ground, which is hosting an Ashes Test for the last time. At stumps, the visitors were 305 for four after their best day of the series, and Malan said the challenge for England was to grasp their chance. "We've just not capitalised on the crucial moments," Malan said of the series thus far. "The first hour tomorrow is crucial for us and if we give them any sniff with the second new ball, we will give the momentum right back to them," he added. "We will have to be quite ruthless in the way we play tomorrow morning." As one of the players identified as suspect going into the series and after failing to get a big score in the first two Tests, Malan said he was relieved to get the monkey off his back. "I was under a bit of pressure coming into the game so it was nice to score some runs," he said. "It was nice to do it when the team needed it and cash in when I made a start" Malan admitted it was tough when he came to the crease against the rampaging Australian fast bowlers, but said he enjoyed the challenge. Already down 2-0 in the five-match series, the visitors were wavering at 131 for four against some fiery pace bowling after lunch, but Malan steadied the innings with an unbroken 174-run stand for the fifth wicket alongside Jonny Bairstow (75 not out), England's highest partnership of the series. England overcame the controversial dismissal of opener Mark Stoneman for 56 on a third-umpire decision, and their cause was helped by some generosity from the Australian fielders, who dropped three catches and missed a run out. Malan was one of the chief beneficiaries as the 30-year-old notched his first century in his eighth Test, and England's first hundred of the series. He would have been run out for 32 had David Warner managed a direct hit, and was dropped by Cameron Bancroft in the slips on 92. He steadied his nerves to reach a century with a powerful pull shot off Josh Hazlewood, having faced 159 balls in 221 minutes at the crease, hitting 13 fours and one six. Malan came to bat with England under pressure against short-pitched bowling from Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who terrorised the tourists with aggressive bowling that was often more than 145 kilometres (90 miles) per hour. Stoneman was dropped twice on 52 and struck on his helmet by a fierce delivery while on the same score. He survived all that, only to be contentiously given out for 56. The opener fended at a sharply-rising delivery from Starc and wicketkeeper Tim Paine pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch, but on-field umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the Australian appeal. The hosts called for a review and third umpire Aleem Dar took little time overturning the original decision, although there did not appear to be any conclusive evidence to support the reversal. The decision clearly upset the England camp, with Root and fielding coach Paul Collingwood coming out of the dressing rooms to voice their concern as Stoneman trudged off. Unfortunately for England, former skipper Alastair Cook's form woes continued when he was trapped leg before wicket by Starc for just seven, on his landmark 150th Test appearance. Cook has more than 11,000 Test runs, but the former England skipper has scored just 69 in this series at 13.80.

Commentary (England innings)

The WACA bows out of the Ashes, making it a memorable game for Australia. They have looked professional and ruthless all throughout. About Australia it is often said - you give them an inch and they grab a mile. England were guilty of doing just that in this series. They have been in dominant positions on more than one occasion, just to give it all away in a platter to the hosts. They have done so with the urn as well. Although the Ashes is won, the series is yet to be completed. Root and his men will look to come out with refreshed vigor at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. That game begins on Boxing Day - 26th of December, 2017 at 1030 local time (2330 GMT). Will it be 4-0 or 3-1 after the game? We'll love to have your company to find out just that. Till then, goodbye! Take care!

STEVE SMITH, the Australian captain, is also the Man Of The Match. He states that he would be happy to have conceded this player of the game trophy to Hazlewood as he doesn't really care about personal awards. He feels good to get his highest Test score in the Ashes and put that stand with Mitchell Marsh. Commends the efforts of his batsmen to get a huge lead after the opposition scored over 400 runs. Is delighted to win his first Ashes as skipper. Lauds Lyon for his efforts in the games. Credits his side for winning the game in spite of not winning any of the tosses. States that they dreaded the unusually horrible weather at Perth but were hopeful of it clearing soon. Iterates that they believed that if they got the ball in right areas it would do the task. Praises the selectors for their bold moves in the series. Mentions that they will celebrate this win before thinking about the Boxing day game. Ends saying that they aim for a 4-0 or a 5-0 win before stating how badly he wants to get back to his teammates and savor this win.

JOE ROOT, the English skipper, admits that it is a very difficult defeat to take but they have been outplayed in the series so far. About the surface today, he reckons that it wasn't fit to play when they arrived but later it dried out due to the sun and the winds around and so was good to play. Agrees that it isn't ideal to have a batting collapse. Lauds Bairstow and Malan for their stand. Opines that the knocks of the above pair and Vince are some of the positives that they would take from here. Ends stating that they are looking forward to preparing and playing well at the MCG.

Let's now see what the skippers have got to say...

To score a Test ton after 22 games and that too in an Ashes Test has been a surreal feeling for MITCHELL MARSH. Admits that it is a good feeling to play a pat in getting his side ahead in the game. Says that they were pretty nervous today and now that the task has been accomplished, it feels great. Asserts that it has been pretty special to walk into a side that was winning and then regain the Ashes.

Shane Warne catches up with the Marsh brothers on the sidelines. SHAUN MARSH admits that winning an Ashes series is a very special feeling. He lauds all the players for the feat. About he having one run more than his brother Mitchell as the highest Test score, he says that they haven't spoken about that yet. States that the plan was to stay nice and calm and bowl well today. Credits the bowlers for the win. Ends saying that they can't ask anything more from them.

Staring down a deficit of 259 runs, England's second innings didn't get off to a good start either. They lost Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Joe Root cheaply, and then Mitchell Starc produced the 'ball of the season' to dismiss James Vince, who before getting out looked in fluent touch. The final day was a rain-marred one. England would have hoped for it to come down and save them but that was not meant to be. It did wash out the entire first session but then eased out soon after the lunch break. The Aussie bowlers emerged out with a spring in their strides and led by Hazlewood's fifer, they snapped the remaining 6 wickets in a little less than three hours. It was only Dawid Malan who provided some resistance towards the end as the rest caved in.

The action didn't end there! In reply, although Australia got off to a decent start, they soon found themselves in a spot of bother. But as we have seen for the umpteenth time in the recent past, Steven Smith stepped up to the occasion and stroked a superlative double ton to push the English team in a corner. His 301-run stand with Mitchell Marsh was the talk of the town on day 3 as they made a complete mockery of the opposition's bowling attack. The junior Marsh in his return game proved his mettle with the bat and entertained his home crowd with a scintillating century.

This was a Test match with plenty of records, batting records to be specific. England elected to bat on the first morning and found themselves in a spot of bother. But then the magnificent record 237-run stand for the fifth wicket between Jonny Bairstow (119) and Dawid Malan(140) bailed them out. Just when they were marching towards a big first innings total, the Australian bowlers made a resounding comeback to force a collapse. It was a complete disintegration of the English lower middle order as they lost their last 6 wickets for only 35 runs. A moment they will rue the most! Mitchell Starc was the wrecker-in-chief with a four-fer to his name, which involved some fiery short-ball spells.

What a game of Test cricket we have witnessed! This historic venue is surely signing off in style. It has withstood the moment of Australia regaining the Ashes in its final game of this historic series.

The urn returns to Australia! The home team is over the moon and the players are delighted. The crowd at the WACA has gone bonkers. A deafening applause going all around. High-fives, hugs, handshakes, smiling faces, hang on where is Steven Smith running? Oh, the skip wants the ball. He takes it from one of the umpires and quietly hands it over to Josh Hazlewood with a hug. Special feeling for each and every individual out there, supporting Australia.

72.5 Cummins to C Woakes, OUT! That's it! AUSTRALIA REGAIN THE ASHES! The plan to lure Woakes (well even if not directly) has worked. The field was in and Cummins banged it short just outside off. Woakes did the unwise choice of looking to take easy runs with a ramp over the keeper's head. All he manages is a nick to Paine who doesn't miss many. The hosts are elated and why not. They win this Test by an innings and 41 runs. 218/10

The field comes in again to keep Woakes on strike.

72.4 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Back of a length just outside off, Woakes goes back and guides it to gully. 218/9

72.3 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Fuller ball outside off, this one almost sneaks through. Chris hangs back and presents a straight bat and the ball hits him very low on the bat. 218/9

72.2 Pat Cummins to Woakes, This is aimed at the off pole on a length, stayed a bit low. Woakes is solid in defense. 218/9

72.1 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Full ball angled in around middle and leg, Woakes plays it with a straight bat through wide mid on but refuses to take a run. 218/9

71.6 M Starc to Anderson, Yorker outside off, Anderson keeps it out towards gully. Huge cheers eclipse the WACA, the majority would be the Barmy Army, I'm sure. 218/9

71.5 M Starc to Anderson, Anderson lives another ball! This is just outside off on a length, Jimmy stays put in the crease and defends it to the off side. 218/9

71.4 M Starc to Woakes, Length ball angling in, Woakes hops and tucks it through backward square leg for a single. 218/9

71.3 M Starc to Woakes, Similar delivery on the stumps, pushed down the ground. The mid on fielder intercepts it. 217/9

71.2 M Starc to Woakes, Full ball around off, defended off the front foot. 217/9

71.1 M Starc to Woakes, On the mark right away! Spears in a yorker on the stumps, Woakes digs it back towards the bowler. 217/9

MITCHELL STARC back for what could be the final burst of this game.

70.6 Pat Cummins to J Anderson, Atrocious! We saw Anderson and Woakes have a chat before this ball and wondered what it was about. Now we know. Cummins bangs it short on the stumps, Woakes crouches low and ducks. There's more. The batters cross over for a bye and are successful in doing so. Paine underarms a throw at his end but misses. It would have been curtains had he hit. 217/9

70.5 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Length delivery down the leg side, Woakes fails to get it away. 216/9

70.4 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Another bouncer, Woakes evades it by ducking. 216/9

70.3 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Cummins hurls in a length ball across Woakes. The latter has a tame poke at it and misses. 216/9

Just for the record, play has been extended as the last wicket is the only one that remains. We were supposed to take Tea at 1520 local time.

70.2 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Bumper on the stumps, ducked under by Chris. 216/9

70.1 Pat Cummins to Anderson, Anderson gets off the mark and gets cheered by the crowd. He taps it towards point and gets to the other end. 216/9

The area under the right ear of James Anderson is swollen, courtesy the blow that he took earlier.

69.6 Hazlewood to C Woakes, FOUR! Banged short around off, Woakes goes for the pull. Ends up getting a top edge over short fine leg for a boundary. 215/9

69.5 J Hazlewood to Woakes, Woakes keeps it out towards point from the crease. 211/9

69.4 J Hazlewood to Woakes, Woakes blocks this one solidly from the crease. 211/9

The field comes in now in order to keep Woakes on strike so as to let Anderson face the next over.

69.3 J Hazlewood to Woakes, The batsman defends it from within the crease. 211/9

69.2 J Hazlewood to Woakes, On a length around off, defended from the crease. 211/9

69.1 J Hazlewood to C Woakes, Length delivery angled into the batsman, Woakes gets an inside edge through backward short leg. 211/9

68.6 Pat Cummins to Anderson, Anderson keeps this delivery down on the leg side with hop. 211/9

68.5 Pat Cummins to Anderson, Appeal for caught behind! This is delivered on a shorter length outside off, Anderson hangs on his back foot and has a waft at that. The ball flies to the keeper who appeals immediately. Nothing doing. 211/9

68.4 Pat Cummins to Anderson, Back of a length ball outside off, Anderson has a feel for that but misses. 211/9

68.3 Pat Cummins to Anderson, Ouch! That's nasty! Cummins bangs it short around off, Anderson does the cardinal sin of taking his eyes off the ball early. Ends up getting hit on the right side of his helmet grille and immediately crouches low in pain. And not for nothing is this sport known as the gentlmen's game. The opposition skipper Smith immediately rushes to him in concern, asking if he is alright. The worried look on his and the other Aussies' faces show that in between the vicious urge to win and compete, humanity is still alive. Help comes from the English dressing room in the form of the physio. He checks on Jimmy to see if he is all good. A change of helmet for the no.11. He takes some time and is good to go now. 211/9

The last man out for England is JAMES ANDERSON.

68.2 Cummins to Broad, OUT! Aussies smell the Ashes now! Cummins steams in from round the wicket and lands it on a back of a length around off. The ball is angled in to Broad. He moves to the off side and looks to fend it away. All he manages is a tickle to the keeper. And we all know that Broad is not a walker. He waits for the dreaded finger to send him back. The hosts roar in delight. One more wicket away they are. 211/9

68.1 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Flicked away off his pads for a single. 211/8

67.6 J Hazlewood to Broad, Defended stoutly by Broad from the crease. 210/8

STUART BROAD makes his way out to the middle.

67.5 J Hazlewood to Overton, OUT! MAIDEN ASHES FIVE-FER for Josh Hazlewood! Bowls a beauty to get this one. Lands it on a length in the line of the off and middle stumps, Overton looks to work it away to the on side. The ball takes the leading edge and goes to gully. Guess who's there - the 31-year old birthday boy Usman Khawaja! He gets down low and catches it with ease before throwing it up in the air in celebration. Josh has an outside chance of getting a 10-fer in this game - he picked 3 in the first innings. 210/8

67.4 J Hazlewood to Overton, FOUR! Overton is no mug with the bat! Seeing the width on offer to this one, Overton decides to cash in on that. Cuts it over backward point for a boundary. 210/7

67.3 J Hazlewood to Overton, Craig misses the flick to this one that is down the leg side. 206/7

67.2 J Hazlewood to Overton, FOUR! Is he a number 9 or what? Seeing this full length ball outside off, Overton gets his stride forward and just creams it through covers for a boundary. 206/7

67.1 J Hazlewood to Overton, Overton keeps it out off the back foot. 202/7

66.6 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Almost takes the leg stump, that! Bowled on a line that is down the leg side, Woakes walks across a touch to flick it but misses. The ball wasn't far from the leg pole as it went on the bounce to the keeper. 202/7

66.5 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Bouncer! The batsman ducks in time to let that one go over him. 202/7

66.4 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Another bouncer, ducked under. 202/7

66.3 Pat Cummins to Overton, Almost an action replay of 66.1! Just that, instead of Warner, if someone as tall as Morne Morkel or Mohammad Irfan would have been there, it could have been taken. The ball flies over leg gully for a single. 202/7

66.2 Pat Cummins to Overton, Length delivery, defended from the crease. 201/7

66.1 Pat Cummins to Overton, DROPPED but what will concern Australia is that Lyon has hurt himself in the process and is running off the field. Cummins runs in from round the wicket and serves a delivery on a length which is on the shorter side. Overton looks to tuck it away unmindful of the leg gully in position. The ball barely carries to Lyon there, who gets his hands down low but fails to catch that. The ball hits his right hand's middle finger and that's seen bleeding. Not for nothing do they say that the Ashes is about sweat and blood! 201/7

65.6 J Hazlewood to Overton, Length ball on the hips, tucked away to fine leg for one. 201/7

65.5 J Hazlewood to Overton, Sprayed down the leg side, Craig looks to flick but fails to make contact. 200/7

65.4 J Hazlewood to Overton, Overton defends this one from the front foot. 200/7

65.3 J Hazlewood to Woakes, 200 up for England, courtesy a tap-and-run from Woakes towards covers. 200/7

65.2 J Hazlewood to Woakes, Woakes gets behind that one and blocks it watchfully 199/7

65.1 J Hazlewood to Woakes, The ball strikes the batsman very low on the pads 199/7

64.6 Pat Cummins to Overton, Cummins comes round the wicket and lands a fiery bouncer, Craig ducks at the last moment. 199/7

64.5 Pat Cummins to Overton, Cricket can be a cruel sport, Starc would agree! Overton drives it towards mid on and sets off for a run. Starc, who already has a sore heel, dives to his left in an attempt to stop that. But the ball deflects off his arms, strikes him on the head and rolls further towards the boundary. Two runs result in this delivery. 199/7

64.4 Pat Cummins to Overton, Full ball around off, blocked from the crease. 197/7

64.3 Pat Cummins to Overton, Back of a length ball on the stumps, Overton fends it awkwardly from the crease. Lands well short of short leg. 197/7

64.2 Pat Cummins to Overton, Banged short in the line of the stumps, Overton spots it and ducks under that quickly. 197/7

64.1 Pat Cummins to Overton, Length delivery outside off, left alone by Overton. 197/7

PAT CUMMINS back into the attack.

63.6 J Hazlewood to Overton, Full ball angling down leg, the ball rolls off his pads towards fine leg after he misses the flick. Gets a leg bye even as the hosts appeal for an LBW. 197/7

63.5 J Hazlewood to Overton, CO stays in the crease and defends it watchfully. 196/7

63.4 J Hazlewood to Overton, Craig was beaten and missed the line of the delivery. 196/7

63.3 J Hazlewood to Overton, Beauty first up. Length ball just outside off, Overton looks to defend it but gets beaten. 196/7

CRAIG OVERTON is the next man in. Remember, he has a cracked rib. Will we see the Aussies be ruthless and feed him with short stuff on the body? A minimum 45.4 overs to negotiate for England now.

63.2 Hazlewood to Malan, OUT! That should be the final nail in the coffin for England! On some days, you get belted for runs off the good balls that you deliver and on others, you get rewarded off the not-so-great ones. This is bowled on a length down the leg side, it should have been blasted to the backward square leg fence for a boundary. With that intention in mind, Malan looks to pull it but ends up feathering an edge to Paine behind. The Australians are elated and why not. The urn is just 3 wickets away from returning to their nation. Malan though, he has played well to this point and has to depart without another ton in the game to his name. He looks disappointed for throwing it away here. Hazlewood is just one wicket away from his maiden Ashes fifer. 196/7

63.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Landed around middle, defended solidly from the crease. 196/6

62.6 M Starc to Woakes, On a length in line of the stumps, kept out from the crease. 196/6

62.5 M Starc to Woakes, FOUR! Pristine! Starc spears it on a full length on middle and leg, Woakes just times his flick. The outfield is fast enough to take the ball to the mid-wicket fence. 196/6

62.4 M Starc to Woakes, Bumper down the leg side, Woakes ducks and just lets it be. 192/6

62.3 M Starc to Woakes, Full outside off, left alone. 192/6

62.2 M Starc to Malan, Full ball on off, pushed through covers for one. 192/6

62.1 M Starc to Woakes, Bowled outside off, driven through covers. Before the fielder retrieves it, three runs have been taken. 191/6

61.6 J Hazlewood to Malan, Angled across the batsman, Malan plays inside the line and lets it go. 188/6

61.5 J Hazlewood to Malan, Length ball down the leg side, Dawid misses flicking it away. 188/6

61.4 Hazlewood to Malan, Yes! The pitching is the problem and hence it stays NOT OUT! Hazlewood bowls it on a back of a length. Malan hops up to keep it away with his bat close to his front pad. The ball strikes the pad and the Aussies appeal. The umpire denies them the wicket. They are sure it is pad first and hence opt for the DRS. The Hawk Eye shows that the ball pitches outside leg, although it goes on to hit the off stump. The on-field call stays and the Australians lose a review. 188/6

Huge shout for LBW against Malan. Australia think they have their man and opt for the referral! Looks very close... Should be out unless it pitches outside leg.

Disastrous wind! So strong it has been, that the boundary rope is seen broken due to that.

61.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, Crack(er)! Hazlewood is the kind of the hit-the-spot bowler. He hits the crack that is close to a full length around the left-hander's middle and leg stumps. Malan looks to play for the angle but the ball deviates away past the outside edge to the keeper. 188/6

61.2 J Hazlewood to Malan, Length ball outside off, left alone unhindered by Malan. 188/6

61.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Bowled on a length around middle and off, Malan hangs back and keeps it down to the off side. 188/6

60.6 M Starc to Woakes, Woakes keeps it out watchfully off his front foot. Another maiden for the hosts. 188/6

60.5 M Starc to Woakes, Low full toss in line of the stumps, Woakes looks to work it away but gets it off the outer half towards mid off. 188/6

60.4 M Starc to Woakes, Back of a length delivery well outside off, Woakes arches back and lets it go. 188/6

60.3 M Starc to Woakes, Length ball that is in the channel outside off, the all-rounder taps it towards cover-point. 188/6

60.2 M Starc to Woakes, Outside off on a full length, Chris pushes it towards covers. 188/6

60.1 M Starc to Woakes, Full length ball on off and middle, Woakes shows the forward defense to this one. 188/6

Enough of spin! MITCHELL STARC is running in with the ball now. Smith wants to have this done and dusted soon.

59.6 J Hazlewood to Malan, Bumper to end the over, which is a maiden. Malan lets it pass to the keeper. 188/6

59.5 J Hazlewood to Malan, In the line of the off stump on a fuller length, Malan presents a straight bat in defense. 188/6

59.4 J Hazlewood to Malan, Josh bends his back and bangs it short. Malan ducks in response. 188/6

59.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, Well bowled. Outside off on a length, Malan looks to push at it but just misses. 188/6

59.2 J Hazlewood to Malan, Landed outside off, left alone. 188/6

59.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Length ball around middle and off, defended from the crease. 188/6

JOSH HAZLEWOOD to bowl now.

58.6 N Lyon to Woakes, FOUR! Flatter outside off, Woakes goes back to cut it. Ends up getting it just past slip, finer than he would have wanted. Gets a boundary nevertheless. 188/6

58.5 N Lyon to Malan, Malan comes down and slices it through point for a single. An air of Cook surrounds Malan, feels Praky, my colleague! If this chap can do what the person with whom he is compared with has done in his Test career, England would be grateful. 184/6

58.4 N Lyon to Malan, This one is negotiated well with a forward defense. 183/6

58.3 N Lyon to Malan, Served just around off, Malan lunged forward in defense. 183/6

58.2 N Lyon to Malan, Dawid goes back to this one and defends. 183/6

58.1 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter outside off, Malan chops it to slip. 183/6

57.6 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Full delivery on off, defended with a straight bat. 183/6

57.5 Pat Cummins to Woakes, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 183/6

57.4 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Full ball around middle and off, Woakes keeps it out from the crease. 183/6

57.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, Ouch! That won't hurt much now but will sting tomorrow. Length ball around leg, Malan fails to flick it. The ball hits him on the right glute before rolling towards fine leg for a leg bye. 183/6

57.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Banged down the leg side, Malan watches this closely before letting it go to the keeper. 182/6

57.1 Pat Cummins to D Malan, FOUR! 4th Test fifty for Dawid Malan, to go with a century earlier in this game. He has stood tall amid the ruins in this innings and would be ruing the lack of support from the other end. How did he get there? Cummins bowls it short down leg, Malan just rolls his wrists to keep his half-pull shot along the ground. It speeds away to the fine leg fence. Well played, son! 182/6

56.6 N Lyon to Woakes, Woakes keeps it out from the crease. 178/6

56.5 N Lyon to Malan, This time, Malan turns it through mid on after coming down. Gets one run that takes him to 48. 178/6

56.4 N Lyon to Malan, Malan comes down to this flighted ball and blocks, 177/6

56.3 N Lyon to Malan, Dawid gets his stride forward and defends that with a straight bat. 177/6

56.2 N Lyon to Malan, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 177/6

56.1 N Lyon to Malan, Malan prods forward in defense. 177/6

Mitchell Starc is back on the field.

55.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length delivery on the pads, it goes off the thigh pad through backward square leg. A leg bye results. 177/6

55.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Bouncer outside off, left alone by Malan. 176/6

55.4 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Woakes punches this through covers and picks up three runs. 176/6

55.3 Pat Cummins to Woakes, The ball takes the outside edge goes towards the slip region. 173/6

55.2 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Woakes hangs back and blocks it with a straight bat face. 173/6

55.1 Pat Cummins to Woakes, Woakes defends this length ball around off with a straight bat face. 173/6

54.6 N Lyon to Woakes, Floated around off and middle, flicked aerially through mid-wicket for a single. 173/6

CHRIS WOAKES is the next man in for England.

Drinks are on the field. Australia are at it from the word go. They are chipping away at the wickets continuously. The track hasn't been as spicy as we thought it would be yet they have bowled well. It's just a matter of when than if the hosts will regain the urn. Malan stands between them and the Ashes at the moment. For how long can he delay the inevitable? Can rains rescue England?

54.5 N Lyon to Ali, OUT! No inside edge this time and Ali has to walk back! 5/6 for Nathan Lyon against Moeen Ali in the series. Lyon serves this flighted ball on off and it skids in with the angle, Moeen lunges forward to defend but misses. Like the previous ball, the ball strikes him on the front pad. This time the hosts know they've got their man. They appeal and the dreaded finger is raised. Ali has a chat with his partner and walks off without taking the review. The tourists trail by 87, which is the figure that the Aussies hate. Yet it has favored them at this moment. The hosts are just 4 wickets away from a win. This is Lyon's 300th INTERNATIONAL WICKET. 172/6

54.4 Lyon to Ali, Howzzaat? Tim Paine appeals his lungs out but to no avail! Lyon tosses this up in the line of the stumps, Ali lunges forward to defend but gets hit on the pad. The umpire stays unmoved after the Aussies appeal. Smith ponders about the review before deciding against it. Inside edge there, confirmed by Hot Spot. 172/5

54.3 N Lyon to Ali, Ali goes back to keep this out with a straight bat. 172/5

54.2 N Lyon to Malan, Worked away through mid-wicket for a single. 172/5

54.1 N Lyon to Malan, Blocked from the crease with a straight bat. 171/5

53.6 Pat Cummins to Ali, Length ball outside off, Ali feels for it but misses. 171/5

53.5 Pat Cummins to M Ali, FOUR! Runs after 21 balls for Moeen Ali! The usually free-flowing batsman has failed to score freely in this innings so far but this should ease his nerves a bit. Cummins hurls it full on off, Ali leans ahead and drives it nicely through the cover region. The ball slows down a touch as it approaches the fence but reaches it eventually. 171/5

53.4 Pat Cummins to Ali, Ali misses to flick this delivery that is down the leg side. 167/5

53.3 Pat Cummins to Ali, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 167/5

Handscomb is on the field as the substitute for the pacer. In the first innings, he was the one who took a brilliant diving catch to end Malan's stay, from where, England slid down to lose 6/35.

53.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Worked away off his pads towards deep backward square leg for a single. 167/5

53.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length ball in line of the stumps, Dawid defends it showing the full face of the bat. 166/5

PAT CUMMINS back on for another burst. The tactic seems to be bowl short as there is a fielder at deep square leg. Starc, meanwhile, is seen rushing out of the field, perhaps to get his heel checked.

52.6 N Lyon to Ali, Darted in line of the off stump, Ali keeps it out from the crease. 166/5

52.5 N Lyon to Ali, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 166/5

52.4 N Lyon to Ali, Ali uses his feet to come down and defend this ball solidly. 166/5

52.3 N Lyon to Malan, Malan comes down the track and eases it through mid on for a run. The visitors trail by 93 now. 166/5

52.2 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter again on middle and leg, kept out from the crease. 165/5

52.1 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter on off, Malan strides forward but then guides it towards backward point. 165/5

51.6 M Starc to Malan, Full on the pads, clipped away to fine leg for one. 165/5

51.5 M Starc to Malan, An attempt to bowl a yorker in line of the stumps ends up being a low full toss. Malan does well to keep it out towards mid on. 164/5

51.4 M Starc to Malan, Four Leg byes! Starc spears this on the pads, Malan misses the flick shot. The ball takes his pads and flies over the leaping Paine for a boundary. 164/5

51.3 M Starc to D Malan, Full length ball outside off, driven towards mid off. 160/5

51.2 M Starc to Malan, Fuller ball on middle in an attempt to swing it back in, Malan looks to drive it down but gets an inside edge onto his pads. Nicely bowled. 160/5

51.1 M Starc to Malan, Length delivery angled across the batsman from round the wicket, Malan covers the stumps and shoulders arms to that. 160/5

50.6 N Lyon to Ali, Ali has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 160/5

50.5 N Lyon to Ali, In line of the stumps, MA gets ahead in defense. 160/5

50.4 N Lyon to Ali, Ali opens the face of his bat and guides it towards backward point. 160/5

50.3 N Lyon to Ali, Seeing some more flight on this one, Ali gets down and turns it towards mid-wicket. 160/5

50.2 N Lyon to Ali, Tossed up around off, Ali prods forward in defense. He is on 7 off 42 balls so far. 160/5

50.1 N Lyon to Malan, Floated around leg, Malan drives it towards wide mid on for a single. The trail now gets below 100. 160/5

49.6 M Starc to Ali, Sprays it down the leg side, Ali tries flicking but misses. 159/5

49.5 M Starc to Ali, Here comes the bouncer, nicely directed, Moeen ducks underneath it immediately. Good take by Paine by stretching to his right. He has been pretty impressive with his glovework in this Test match. 159/5

49.4 M Starc to Ali, Pitches it full and around off, Ali drives it off his front leg to mid off. 159/5

49.3 M Starc to Ali, Fullish and on middle, Moeen keeps it out towards mid-wicket. 159/5

49.2 M Starc to Ali, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 159/5

49.1 M Starc to Malan, Starc speeds in from around the wicket and spears in a very full ball on middle and leg, Malan flicks it over the short leg's head for a single. Bancroft didn't get enough opportunity to react there. Before he can even raise his hands, it has gone over his head. With a leg gully in place along with the around the wicket angle, the length served was a double bluff. 159/5

48.6 N Lyon to Ali, Another ball defended back to the bowler off the front foot. 158/5

48.5 N Lyon to Ali, Ali prods forward in defense to this ball. 158/5

48.4 N Lyon to Ali, Flatter outside off, left alone by Moeen. 158/5

48.3 N Lyon to Ali, Ali defends it from the crease. 158/5

Lyon has dismissed Ali 4 times out of 5 in this series. The only time he didn't get him was in the first essay here.

48.2 N Lyon to Ali, Ali comes down the track and defends it towards mid on. 158/5

48.1 N Lyon to Ali, Flatter on off, Ali lunges forward in defense. 158/5

47.6 M Starc to Ali, No! Another full ball angling down leg, Moeen flicks it through backward square leg for a single. 158/5

Five full deliveries so far. A short one for surprise?

47.5 M Starc to Ali, Sprayed full outside off, left alone by Ali. 157/5

47.4 M Starc to Ali, Ali blocks this full ball confidently from the crease. 157/5

47.3 M Starc to Ali, This ball is driven towards mid on. 157/5

47.2 Starc to Ali, Full delivery on the pads, Ali fails to flick it away. A small appeal made, to not avail though. 157/5

47.1 M Starc to Ali, FOUR BYES! Starc serves a full inswinging delivery down the leg side. Ali misses the flick. The ball bounces on the crack on the crease and flies past the keeper for four byes. Paine had no chance to even have a try at that. Still this would go down in his account. 157/5

46.6 N Lyon to Malan, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 153/5

46.5 N Lyon to Ali, Clipped through mid-wicket for a single. 153/5

46.4 N Lyon to Ali, Moeen defends this ball in line of the stumps from the crease. 152/5

46.3 N Lyon to Ali, Ali defends it back towards the bowler. 152/5

46.2 N Lyon to Malan, Malan has looked good against Lyon throughout this game. Slinks down the crease and flicks it a touch aerially past mid-wicket. There are shouts of 'catch it' but the ball is nowhere near the fielder. Khawaja, the birthday boy, chases it from mid on and saves a run for his side. 152/5

46.1 N Lyon to Malan, Malan gets his front foot to the pitch of the ball and drives it back towards the bowler. 149/5

NATHAN LYON to roll his arm over now. He could extract a great deal from the cracks on offer...

45.6 M Starc to Ali, Ali hangs on his back foot and defends it with a straight bat. 149/5

45.5 M Starc to Ali, Ali drives it nicely towards mid off where Warner dives to prevent a run. 149/5

45.4 M Starc to M Ali, Fuller just outside off, moves in a touch. Ali drives it towards mid off. 149/5

45.3 M Starc to Ali, It's amazing how one's shortcoming plays on his mind rather than the opposition's. Ali expecting a short ball, hangs on the back foot. Starc serves a full inswinging delivery angling down. Ali fails to flick it away and gets hit on the pads. A stifled appeal follows but isn't persisted with. Sliding down leg for sure. 149/5

45.2 M Starc to Ali, A touch shorter than the previous one, Ali plays it with soft hands towards mid-wicket. 149/5

45.1 M Starc to Ali, Full length ball on off, turned towards mid on. 149/5

MITCHELL STARC to bowl now. He has a bruised heel but is fit and raring to go at the moment.

44.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Malan gets forward in defense to this delivery that is around the off stump. 149/5

44.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Malan defends this from the crease. 149/5

44.4 Pat Cummins to Malan, Oh crack! Cummins spears it on a length outside off, Malan shoulders arms to that thinking that the ball would pass straight from where it landed. But no, the crack at that spot says 'I'm here'! The ball nips in after landing on that and raps Malan high on the front pad. 149/5

44.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, Banged short on the stumps, Malan ducks. 149/5

44.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Back of a length delivery angling in to Malan, he looks to clip it away but the ball rolls towards the off side after striking him high on the thigh pad. 149/5

44.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length ball around off, kept out from the crease. 149/5

43.6 J Hazlewood to Ali, Outside off, left alone. 149/5

43.5 J Hazlewood to Ali, Ali gets his front foot forward and defends with a straight bat. 149/5

43.4 J Hazlewood to D Malan, A touch short length on the stumps, pulled through mid-wicket for a single. 149/5

43.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, Defended towards covers by DM. 148/5

43.2 J Hazlewood to M Ali, Close single! This isn't one of Moeen's wisest decisions, I must say. He pats it towards covers and sets off for a quick run. Warner gets ahead and collects the ball. Has a shy at the stumps at the non-striker's end but misses it by a hair's breadth. Ali wasn't even in the frame as this happened. Gets a run eventually but he should be careful before taking on one of the best fielders' arms. 148/5

43.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Flicked off the pads towards fine leg for a single. 147/5

42.6 Pat Cummins to Ali, Ali blocks this solidly from the crease. A maiden from Pat. 146/5

42.5 Pat Cummins to Ali, Ali's struggles against the bumpers is well documented and he is being fed with them at the moment. He crouched and lets it go yet again. 146/5

42.4 Pat Cummins to Ali, Bouncer! The batsman ducks in time to let that one go over him. 146/5

42.3 Pat Cummins to Ali, Length ball on off, defended from the crease. 146/5

42.2 Pat Cummins to Ali, Another banged in delivery, ducked under by MA. 146/5

42.1 Pat Cummins to Ali, Cummins continues round the wicket and bangs it short on the batsman. Ali gets down low and lets it go. 146/5

41.6 J Hazlewood to Malan, Dawid gets forward a touch and defends. 146/5

41.5 J Hazlewood to Malan, FOUR! Not that line, Josh! Spears it full on the pads, Malan just glances it away through fine leg for a boundary. The trail comes down to 113 now. 146/5

41.4 J Hazlewood to Malan, Landed outside off, left alone. 142/5

41.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 142/5

41.2 J Hazlewood to Malan, Aimed at the off stick on a length, defended from the crease. 142/5

41.1 J Hazlewood to Ali, Woah! The cracks in play! Hazlewood angles this across the batter on a length. Ali plays inside the line. The ball, however, lands on a crack and moves away. It flies towards the left of first slip. The keeper leaps to his left but fails to get some hand to that. Marsh at the former position does so. A bye results. 142/5

40.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Another short ball to end the over, Malan ducks under that. 141/5

40.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Blocked solidly from the crease. 141/5

40.4 Pat Cummins to Malan, Defended off the back foot by the batsman. 141/5

40.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, Another bouncer, left alone by Malan. 141/5

40.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Banged in short on the stumps, ducked under by DM. 141/5

40.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, FOUR! Well struck. Length ball just outside off, Malan stands tall and punches it through covers. Even after all the rain we've had so far, the outfield is quick enough for this to result into a boundary. 141/5

39.6 J Hazlewood to Ali, Ali defends it back towards the bowler. Hazlewood has a few words to offer to Ali who remains unfazed. 137/5

39.5 J Hazlewood to Ali, Not Out! The benefit of doubt seems to have gone in the batsman's favour here. This is on a length around middle, angling away from Ali. He is forced to play at that and gets a thick outside edge straight towards Smith at second slip. The ball was dipping in towards him and so he had to bend low forward to catch that. He catches it after what appears like the ball bounces off his fingers and he is claiming it. Marais Erasmus isn't sure and refers it upstairs, the soft signal being not out. On having repeated looks, it seems on some angles that Smith's fingers are underneath the ball. But there is no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field call. Hence the original decision stays and Moeen survives. Some shouts of 'booo' go around the WACA. Surely, the Barmy Army is at work. 137/5

Steve Smith seems confident of catching Ali at second slip. The umpires aren't sure and hence they refer it upstairs.

39.4 J Hazlewood to Ali, Angled outside off, left alone. 137/5

39.3 J Hazlewood to Ali, FOUR! Ali is off the mark and the pair as well. Lovely shot that. Josh serves it on a length in the line of the middle and off stumps. Ali just pushes it down the ground gently. The timing is good enough to take the ball to the fence. 137/5

39.2 J Hazlewood to Ali, Length ball on middle, defended solidly from the crease. 133/5

MOEEN ALI walks in next. He is no mug with the bat but hasn't been at his usual best in this series so far. Will love to change that now. Moreover, he is on a pair now.

39.1 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, OUT! My word! Hazlewood and Australia are up and running straightaway. The first innings centurion, Bairstow has to depart with an incredulous look on his face. Hazlewood runs in from over the wicket and lands it on a length just outside off. Bairstow looks to play that angle but the ball doesn't come in. It stays a touch low as well and beats the outside of Jonny's bat and disturbs the off stick. The bowler roars in delight and is joined by the WACA crowd. England had to just contend with the crack yesterday and now with some dampness on the surface, this is what happens. The ball didn't get up at all. Australia 5 wickets away from regaining the urn. 133/5

JOSH HAZLEWOOD will run in from the other end.

38.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length ball around off, defended from the crease. 133/4

38.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, From round the wicket, Cummins lands it on a length outside off, Malan has a feel for it but gets beaten. That landed on a crack and didn't come in with the angle. 133/4

Smith moves to second slip as Cummins changes his angle now. Mitchell Marsh is standing at first slip.

38.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Another short delivery down the leg side, Malan ducks under it again. Umpire Gaffaney at square leg says enough and signals a no ball for height. 133/4

38.4 Pat Cummins to Malan, Another bouncer on the stumps, Dawid crouches low to let it go. 132/4

38.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, Cummins runs in from over the wicket and bangs it short on the stumps. He has two men in the deep for the hook. Malan ducks under it to let it go. 132/4

So! Finally we are all set to get underway. The sun is shining brightly as if nothing wrong had happened till now. After getting into a huddle, the home team makes its way out to the middle. PAT CUMMINS will run in to bowl the remaining 4 deliveries of his over. The first innings batting heroes for England, DAWID MALAN and JONNY BAIRSTOW, are at the crease for them and have 32 runs between them as of now. They stride out with the bat in a bid to save the game for the side. They will be a touch happy with not having to face Mitchell Starc, who hasn't taken field due to a bruised heel. Just a lone slip in position.

1255 local time update - Play will resume at 1300 local time and carry on till 1520 local time. After a 20-minute tea interval, the game can continue till 1800 local time.

1240 local time update - We're back but not with any promising news. The players are done with the lunch break but even the rain gods return after having a break with their tanks full. It has started to drizzle and the covers are in place. The wait continues. Stay with us, we will keep you posted.

...Day 5, 2nd session...

1155 local time update - LUNCH has been taken early. On a lighter note, England manage to negotiate a session today with some help (all of it) from the heavens! We should resume at 1240 local time provided there is no rain then.

1148 local time update - The rain disappears yet again. The groundsmen fold the covers. We could be in for a start soon, if there's no further downpour. The clouds appear and disappear as if someone is sitting up there with a remote and having fun.

1135 local time update - The rain returns, forcing the covers to come on the track. Just a while earlier, there was a tweet from Michael Vaughan, the former English skipper, which said that the game would start at 12 noon. That goes into trash as of now. More than hide and seek, the rains seem to be working by a click of a switch and hence this constant bursts of downpour.

1045 local time update - Still no signs of resumption of play. The umpires are still skeptical about the surface and Trevor Bayliss, after having a look at the surface, is happy to go with the umpires' decision. Darren Lehmann voices the same opinion in a small chat with Mark Taylor. So, the wait continues...

1005 local time update - The visuals, that we have, show that the drizzle has returned. The pitch is starting to go under the covers. The stop-start nature of rain was predicted today. It is coming to the fore now.

0955 local time update - We are hearing that the start of play today has been delayed. There was a visual where we could see the strong winds blowing away the cover on the pitch. This has made water seep into the cracks. The umpires want the pitch to be as it was when play was stopped yesterday. Hence the delay. Hang on with us for more updates...

On paper, we should have 98 overs to be bowled today, though we await an official confirmation about this. Only time will tell how much we get to see actually. We hope to get enough play to get a result today. Will Australia regain the urn today? Or will England manage to cling on to it for another game at least? On the weather front, here is what the Bureau of Meteorology, Western Australia have tweeted a while ago - 'Heavy showers this morning will have dampened conditions around the WACA. Showers are expected to continue throughout the day, though gaps are more likely this afternoon'.

Hello one and all! Welcome to our coverage of Day 5 of this third Ashes Test being played at the WACA in Perth. Although we are into the final day in the game, we are actually forced into the day after rains washed out around an hour of the evening session. Not that we wouldn't have come this far if not for the inclement weather but few would have thought it to be possible seeing Starc and Hazlewood go about their task towards the end. A while back, Cricket Australia's tweet said that although it was raining earlier this morning, it has stopped now and the covers are off the center.

... Final Day, First Session...

What shall we expect on the final day of this game? Maybe rain. More rain. Even more rain. Because that's what the forecast suggests. If at all England need any help from someone or something apart from their own selves, it would have to appear from the skies. The stop-start nature of the game would be another obstacle that stands in the way of the tourists. They have to see off three sessions, especially with the Aussie bowlers breathing fire. The trail stands at 27 runs more than 100. We have an early start tomorrow - at 1000 local time (0200 GMT). We'd be glad to have your company then. Till then, be safe. Take care. Adios!

All this was after Australia batted for a long time to get ahead by 259 runs in the game. Although Smith and Marsh couldn't add anything to their overnight stand, their tail wagged - 8th wicket partnership precisely. Paine and Cummins added a good 93 runs to deflate England (if they were even in good spirits then) completely. The strategy of not giving some easy time for the English openers saw the declaration being done 4 overs after the lunch interval and boy, didn't it work!

Called off! That's it for today then. Rain playing hide and seek has meant that cricket has to take the back seat for now. Who will be happy with this? No prizes for guessing, England! They were rocked early in the piece by Hazlewood who sent back both the openers quickly. Then there was a mini-resistance from Vince and Malan - the former getting to a fifty - before Starc returned with a fiery delivery to leave the former in a state of incredulity.

1710 local time update - Scrap all of the happiness that you had after reading the previous update. The rain has returned and so have the covers. The players were actually walking out to resume the action but were forced back into the the dressing rooms as the downpour returned.

1700 local time update - We are still waiting for the resumption. It is taking longer that we expected. We should get underway in about 5-10 minutes from now, provided the rain stays away.

1653 local time - Good news folks! The sun is out and the covers are coming off now. We should soon see the resumption of play.

Here it is... the rain! It forces the players and the umpires off the field. The groundsmen are quick to bring the covers on. The pitch is covered immediately. At this point, England are still 127 behind Australia. We should be in for a lengthy stop if the visuals are anything to go by. It is pelting down at the WACA with heavy winds blowing across as well. My colleague says, 'You have lights that can be used if it turns dark, do you have roofs to cover the ground if it rains?' Not at the moment. Stay tuned as we get you further updates.

38.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length delivery, defended from the crease. 132/4

38.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Landed around off and middle, Malan goes back and keeps it out with a straight bat. 132/4

37.6 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, Jonny guides this length ball through point for a brace. 132/4

It has gone dark now and the floodlights are starting to take effect...

37.5 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, Defended from the crease to the off side. 130/4

37.4 J Hazlewood to J Bairstow, FOUR! Glorious cover drive that. Full ball outside off, it swings in a touch. Bairstow does well to hit it through covers for a boundary. 130/4

37.3 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, Full ball angling down the leg side, Bairstow misses the flick yet again. Huge appeal from the Aussies but the umpire stays put. All the three stumps were visible when he was hit, actually. 126/4

37.2 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, On off, blocked towards the point region. 126/4

37.1 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, Fuller ball angling down leg, Jonny misses the flick and the ball goes off his pads towards backward square leg. 126/4

JOSH HAZLEWOOD back on.

36.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length delivery around off and middle, defended solidly towards cover-point. 126/4

36.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Fuller on middle, flicked away to mid on. 126/4

36.4 Pat Cummins to Malan, On a length on the stumps, defended off the back foot. 126/4

36.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, This delivery is blocked watchfully from the crease. 126/4

36.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, Fuller on the leg, Malan misses the flick and gets rapped on the pads. 126/4

36.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length ball outside off, Malan covers his sticks and lets it go. 126/4

35.6 M Starc to Bairstow, FOUR! Bairstow's time out in the first essay is helping him gauge the track here. Length ball just outside off, Bairstow punches this nicely through the cover region for a boundary. 126/4

35.5 M Starc to Bairstow, Full outside off, squeezed away to the off side. 122/4

35.4 M Starc to Bairstow, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 122/4

35.3 M Starc to Bairstow, On the pads, flicked away towards square leg. 122/4

35.2 M Starc to Bairstow, Fuller outside off, driven towards cover. 122/4

35.1 M Starc to J Bairstow, This ball is driven to mid off. 122/4

34.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, This ball is defended with a straight bat. 16 runs have come off this over. 122/4

34.5 Pat Cummins to D Malan, FOUR! Is this Dawid Malan playing some other match or what? He isn't playing a game where his side is trailing by 141 (now 137) runs. Cummins changes his angle but the result doesn't change. Serves it on a length outside off, Malan hangs back and cuts it through backward point for another boundary, the fourth in the over. 122/4

34.4 Pat Cummins to D Malan, FOUR! The third one of the over! Malan is getting all over Cummins here. Another delivery, the length of which is on the shorter side. The confidence from the first innings' knock is seen here. He pulls this nicely through mid-wicket for another boundary, the third of the over. 118/4

34.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 114/4

34.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, FOUR! In response to the previous ball, Cummins bangs this short. Malan knows this and is in readiness. Pulls this powerfully through square leg for another boundary. 114/4

34.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, FOUR! Ahhh! The straight drive combined with the left-hander's elegance - sumptuous! Cummins is brought into the attack and he steams in from round the wicket. Bowls this full just outside off. Malan drives it straight down the ground past the bowler's right hand for a boundary. 110/4

33.6 M Starc to Bairstow, Fuller on the stumps, driven to mid on. 106/4

33.5 M Starc to Bairstow, Hurled outside off, left alone by JB. 106/4

33.4 M Starc to Bairstow, Jonny blocks this solidly off the front foot. 106/4

33.3 M Starc to Bairstow, FOUR! The extra yard of pace can help the ball speed away to the fence. Angled this full around middle and leg, Bairstow just clips it away through square leg for a boundary. 106/4

33.2 Starc to Bairstow, Yorker on the stumps, blocked well by Jonny. 102/4

To add to the previous insert about Starc, here's an inserting observation that my colleague Praky had just before the wicket. He said that the beauty of this seamer is that he never bowls in search of the edge of the bat. He always aims at the stumps to beat the batsmen's defense and that's what helped him make the crucial strike today.

33.1 M Starc to Malan, On the pads, flicked away to fine leg for a single. 102/4

32.6 J Hazlewood to Bairstow, Sprayed down the leg side, Jonny misses the flick. 101/4

32.5 J Hazlewood to Malan, Short ball on the body, pulled through backward square leg for a single. 101/4

32.4 J Hazlewood to Malan, Hazlewood comes round the wicket and bowls it fuller on off, pushed towards mid off. 100/4

32.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, Fuller around off, defended off the front foot. 100/4

32.2 J Hazlewood to Malan, Outside off, left alone. 100/4

32.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Malan blocks this one from the crease. 100/4

31.6 M Starc to Bairstow, Fuller around off, defended off the front foot. 100/4

31.5 M Starc to Bairstow, This ball is pushed towards mid-wicket. 100/4

The on-air commentators analyze Starc's bowling. As a left handed bowler, the natural momentum in the followthrough takes him to the right. But when he steams in from round the wicket, he has to watch that he doesn't go with his natural momentum and tread on the danger area. This is not an easy task. Hence, that wicket becomes an even more commendable effort.

31.4 M Starc to Bairstow, Defended off the front foot back towards the bowler. 100/4

31.3 M Starc to Bairstow, Jonny looks to work it away to the on side but gets it off his thigh pad to the off side. 100/4

A bit of rain in the air and very windy, says Shane Warne on air.

31.2 M Starc to Bairstow, The batsman shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 100/4

31.1 M Starc to Bairstow, Landed in line of the stumps, Bairstow presents a straight bat in defending it towards the bowler. 100/4

30.6 J Hazlewood to Malan, DM shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 100/4

30.5 J Hazlewood to Malan, Bouncer on the stumps, Dawid sways back and lets it be. 100/4

30.4 J Hazlewood to Malan, Outside off, left alone. 100/4

30.3 J Hazlewood to Malan, Driven towards point off the front foot. 100/4

30.2 J Hazlewood to Malan, Blocked solidly from the crease. 100/4

30.1 J Hazlewood to Malan, Malan was beaten and missed the line of the delivery. 100/4

JOSH HAZLEWOOD brought back from the other end.

29.6 M Starc to Bairstow, Look what a wicket can do to a bowler. Hurls this one at 147.6 kmph! But this was down the leg side, Bairstow looks to flick but misses. 100/4

JONNY BAIRSTOW is the next man in. He is fresh from a big ton in the first essay and has his partner from the first innings, Malan at the other end. Encore?

29.5 Starc to J Vince, OUT! Knocked him over with a jaffa! Ball of the summer, says Mark Taylor on air. Starc angles in from round the wicket and hurls a length ball pitching around middle at 143.9 kmph. The ball pitches and deflects at an angle of 3.9 degrees (as seen in the pitch map later). Vince looks to clip it away with the angle but finds the late movement tough to counter. The ball uproots the off stump and the anguish on Vince's face is telling. Starc, well, he is up and running and just sprints in celebration. On another look, it shows that the crack has a part to play in that deflection. Vince's stay at the crease ends, England still 159 behind. 100/4

James Vince is currently batting on 55. It features 12 boundaries and 7 singles. Shows that he is playing a lot of dot balls. The on-air commentators reckon that he should try and convert those into runs and include the running-between-the-wickets aspect in his game more.

29.4 M Starc to Vince, Vince has driven that ball straight back. 100/3

29.3 M Starc to Vince, This is bowled outside off, left alone by James. 100/3

29.2 M Starc to Vince, Blocked solidly from the crease. 100/3

29.1 M Starc to Malan, Length ball outside off, Malan is tentative in his defense. Gets an inside edge through square leg for a single. 100/3

28.6 N Lyon to Vince, FOUR! Authoritative and clever! Lyon floats it around middle and leg, Vince gets down and sweeps it powerfully through backward square leg for a boundary. Shouts of 'yeah, nice bowling' were heard after that shot as it seems that the Aussies don't mind such shots. A chance that he mistimes the shot and gets a top edge can never be ruled out. 99/3

28.5 N Lyon to Vince, Vince lunges forward and defends it stoutly. 95/3

28.4 N Lyon to Malan, Malan uses his feet to come down the track and eases it to mid on for a single. 95/3

28.3 N Lyon to Vince, This is tapped towards covers and Vince gets to the other end. 94/3

28.2 N Lyon to Malan, On the pads flicked away round the corner for one. 93/3

28.1 N Lyon to Malan, Defended off the front foot onto the ground. 92/3

27.6 M Starc to Vince, Length ball around off, bunted watchfully. 92/3

27.5 M Starc to Vince, This ball is defended towards backward point. 92/3

27.4 M Starc to Vince, Vince looks to turn this away to the on side but gets squared up a touch. Ends up getting it off the outer half towards the off side. 92/3

27.3 M Starc to Vince, The batsman shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 92/3

27.2 M Starc to Vince, Vince stays in the crease and defends it nicely. 92/3

27.1 M Starc to Vince, Starc runs in from round the wicket to the righty with the reverse swing coming into play. Lands it around off, defended from the crease. 92/3

26.6 N Lyon to Vince, Gets to his 2nd Test fifty with a flick, does James Vince. Sees the tossed up ball outside off, he slinks down and works it past mid-wicket for one. Well played, James! He has doubled his first innings score and the tourists would hope he doubles or maybe quadruples it from here. England 167 adrift. 92/3

26.5 N Lyon to Vince, FOUR! Well played, Vince. Lyon bowls it wider outside off, Vince goes back and slaps it through cover-point. There are wide open spaces in the off side and the ball speeds away to the fence to take him to 49. 91/3

26.4 N Lyon to Vince, Driven to the cover fielder. 87/3

26.3 N Lyon to Vince, Defended solidly with a stride forward. 87/3

26.2 N Lyon to Vince, Flatter on the pads, flicked away. Short leg does well to stop that. 87/3

26.1 N Lyon to Vince, Aimed at the off stump, defended off the front foot onto the ground. 87/3

25.6 M Starc to D Malan, Similar line but this one moves in more prodigiously than the previous one. Defended nicely off the front foot. 87/3

25.5 M Starc to Malan, A hint of reverse swing there. Hurled just outside off, the ball moves in a touch. Malan blocks it with a straight bat face. Another look reveals that Starc has the shinier side inside and the rough one out. 87/3

25.4 M Starc to Malan, That ball has taken the inside edge onto the pads. 87/3

25.3 M Starc to Malan, Fuller around off, Malan defends with his bat close to his front pad. 87/3

The wind has picked up now. Every pacer loves this, but not what is being mentioned next. The groundsmen are getting ready to get into the mix now. The trees are seen swaying heavily. Signs of a storm brewing as some drops of rain are visible as well...

25.2 M Starc to Malan, Starc spears this wide outside off, the ball nips in after landing. Not enough to make Malan play. 87/3

25.1 M Starc to Malan, On off, blocked from the crease. 87/3

MITCHELL STARC has the cherry in hand now. His current figures of 4-0-22-0 show how easy to handle he had been in his first spell.

24.6 N Lyon to Vince, Vince lunges forward and blocks it watchfully. 87/3

24.5 N Lyon to Vince, FOUR! James Vince is looking so good out there. Lyon serves it on a length outside off, Vince gets back quickly and slaps it through the cover-point region for a boundary. Moves to 45 now. 87/3

24.4 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter on the pads, turned away to deep fine leg for a single. 83/3

24.3 N Lyon to Vince, Vince uses his feet to this flighted ball and drives it to long on for a single. 82/3

24.2 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter outside off, Malan goes back and punches it to deep cover-point for one. 81/3

24.1 N Lyon to Malan, Floated up outside off, defended back towards the bowler. 80/3

23.6 Pat Cummins to Vince, This ball is flicked to mid-wicket. 80/3

23.5 Pat Cummins to Vince, FOUR! This shot proves that Vince has watched the ball till the very end. Another back of a length delivery just outside off, Vince hangs back and cuts it powerfully through backward point for a boundary. Vince goes to 40. 80/3

23.4 Pat Cummins to Vince, Bumper around off, Vince sways back and lets the cherry fly to Paine. 76/3

23.3 Pat Cummins to Vince, A touch fuller than the previous one, pushed towards covers. 76/3

23.2 Pat Cummins to Vince, Similar delivery on the stumps, blocked solidly. 76/3

23.1 Pat Cummins to Vince, On a length in the line of the middle and off stumps, Vince goes back and presents a straight bat in defense. 76/3

22.6 N Lyon to Malan, Malan again drives it confidently towards mid off. 76/3

22.5 N Lyon to Malan, Driven back towards the bowler. 76/3

22.4 N Lyon to Malan, What's that? Floated around off, Malan uses his feet and looks to drive it but hits it straight back to the bowler. Lyon catches it and asks the umpire whether it came off Malan's boot. The umpire rightly refers it upstairs, the soft signal being not out. Replay shows that the ball bumped up off a crack and went to the bowler. 76/3

22.3 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter on middle and leg, Dawid gets his bat in front of his pad and defends it back towards the bowler. 76/3

22.2 N Lyon to Malan, Malan comes down the track and eases it towards covers. 76/3

22.1 N Lyon to D Malan, Malan had handled Lyon well in the first outing and looks at ease so far even this time round. Gets his right foot to the pitch of the ball and drives it to mid off. 76/3

21.6 Pat Cummins to Vince, Length ball on the stumps, kept out safely from the crease. 76/3

21.5 Pat Cummins to Vince, Yorker on off and middle, Vince does well to dig it out towards the bowler. 76/3

21.4 Pat Cummins to Vince, Banged short in line of the stumps, Vince crouches to let that go. 76/3

21.3 Pat Cummins to Vince, Four Leg byes! Now the crack makes the ball go the other way. Hurled on a fuller length on middle, Vince again looks to clip it away. The ball lands on the crack and moves in, taking James' pads on the way to the fine leg fence. 76/3

21.2 Pat Cummins to Vince, Careful Vince, careful! Playing across the line could be dangerous. This is a fuller ball on middle that straightens after pitching. Vince looks to work it away but the ball takes the face of the bat and rolls towards mid off. That straightened off the crack. 72/3

21.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Landed around middle and leg, clipped away through mid-wicket for a single. 72/3

20.6 N Lyon to Vince, Vince gets it off the inside edge of the bat towards backward square leg. 71/3

20.5 N Lyon to Vince, This stays a touch low as James keeps it out towards short leg. 71/3

20.4 N Lyon to Vince, Flatter on the stumps, defended off the back foot. 71/3

20.3 N Lyon to Vince, Vince goes back to this one and blocks it with a straight bat. 71/3

20.2 N Lyon to Vince, Flatter on a length outside off, Vince goes back to cut it but the ball just passes the outside edge and through into the keeper's mitts. 71/3

20.1 N Lyon to Vince, Floated outside off, pushed towards mid off. 71/3

NATHAN LYON continues.

19.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Length around middle and leg, defended from the crease. 71/3

19.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Driven towards the man at mid on. 71/3

19.4 Pat Cummins to Malan, Blocked off the front foot towards mid on. 71/3

19.3 Pat Cummins to Malan, Shout straightaway for an LBW! Cummins steams in from over the wicket and pitches it on a fuller length around leg. Malan misses the flick and gets hit on the pads. The Aussies ask the question but the umpire stays put. Pitching outside leg, as confirmed by the Hawk Eye. 71/3

Rain has eased off! We're done with the tea break and are set to resume. The players are back on the field. Pat Cummins to continue...

...Day 4, 3rd session...

The responsibility to save this game and the urn has once again fallen on the shoulders of the middle and lower order batsmen. James Vince has looked delightful with his stroke play and is in the company of Dawid Malan, who got a century in the first innings. It's a tall ask for them from here onward but they have the batting depth. Let's see how they respond after the break, provided the rain stops. Do join us to find out.

Another session belonging to the home team. They batted for a little while after the lunch break before declaring their innings with a lead of 259 runs. England, in their reply, were rocked early as their openers failed to provide any solid platform. It became even worse for them when their skipper got dismissed without contributing much to the cause.

And the players are off! The rain is coming down hard and the umpires have called for covers. EARLY TEA has been taken.

19.2 Pat Cummins to Malan, In the channel outside off, Malan watchfully lets it through to the keeper. 71/3

It has started to rain. The Barmy Army is making a lot of noise, they are certainly excited. They don't want any more play in this Test match so that England can survive and keep their hopes of retaining the urn. Won't judge them for this. It appears to be the best option they have at the moment.

19.1 Pat Cummins to Malan, Angles across a back of a length delivery outside off, Malan jumps on the back foot and pushes it with an angled bat to point. 71/3

18.6 N Lyon to Vince, Bowls it in the flatter trajectory, quicker than the usual pace, James covers the line and blocks. Tidy over. 71/3

18.5 N Lyon to Vince, Quicker through the air again, shortish and on off, Vince moves across the stumps and defends it back. 71/3

18.4 N Lyon to Vince, Leans forward to a full ball and defends it off the outer half of the bat to point. 71/3

18.3 N Lyon to Vince, Quicker one, short and on middle, turned on the leg side but straight to short leg. 71/3

18.2 N Lyon to Vince, This one is served full and outside off, Vince takes a good long stride forward in defense. 71/3

18.1 N Lyon to Vince, Flighted ball outside off, a touch on the shorter side, Vince defends it off his back foot. 71/3

17.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, Extra bounce from a length around leg, Malan goes back and defends it on the leg side. 71/3

17.5 Pat Cummins to Vince, Straying down the leg side, Vince eases it through backward square leg for one. 71/3

17.4 Pat Cummins to Vince, Straighter in line on a good length, James gets behind the line and defends it towards mid on. 70/3

17.3 Pat Cummins to Vince, The batsman defends it from within the crease. 70/3

17.2 Pat Cummins to Vince, Once again it's on the shorter side, outside off though, Vince defends it off his back foot and then immediately looks behind thinking it's going back onto the stumps. 70/3

17.1 Pat Cummins to Vince, Back of a length delivery on off, Vince solidly gets behind the line and defends. 70/3

16.6 N Lyon to Malan, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 70/3

16.5 N Lyon to Malan, Tossed up ball on middle, defended on the leg side. 70/3

16.4 N Lyon to Vince, Flatter ball outside off, staying low, Vince chops it down towards point for one. 70/3

16.3 N Lyon to Vince, Shortish and on middle, Vince keeps it out from the crease towards the right of mid on. 69/3

Huge dark angry clouds surrounding the WACA! They are looking quite threatening.

16.2 N Lyon to Vince, FOUR! Tossed up ball on off, Vince walks down the track and drills it through the gap between covers and mid off for a boundary. This is the danger period for Vince. He looks good for his first 25-30 runs but then loses his concentration. 69/3

16.1 N Lyon to Vince, Flighted and full on off, defended off the front foot. 65/3

15.6 Pat Cummins to Malan, In the line of the stumps, Dawid defends it from the crease. 65/3

15.5 Pat Cummins to Malan, Angling away from the batsman, on a length, Malan pushes at it and misses. 65/3

15.4 Pat Cummins to Vince, Helps it off his pads through backward square leg for one. 65/3

15.3 Pat Cummins to Vince, Good length ball on off, Vince defends it off his back foot. 64/3

15.2 Pat Cummins to Vince, Defended off the back foot by the batsman. 64/3

15.1 Pat Cummins to Vince, Fullish and outside off, driven back without much timing. 64/3

14.6 N Lyon to Malan, Flatter and on middle, defended off the pads towards short leg. 64/3

14.5 N Lyon to Malan, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 64/3

14.4 N Lyon to Malan, The batsman has played it towards mid-wicket. 64/3

14.3 N Lyon to Malan, FOUR! Good shot to get off the mark. It's a bit on the shorter side around off, Malan stays back and plays at it late. He runs it wide of backward point for a boundary. 64/3

14.2 N Lyon to Malan, Gets on the front foot and defends it back. 60/3

The centurion from the first innings, DAWID MALAN arrives with his team in a spot of bother.

14.1 N Lyon to Root, OUT! Steven Smith takes a fantastic reflex catch! Not easy when there is a deflection from the keeper's gloves. Lyon is up and roaring in celebration. England lose their third wicket and trail by 199 runs. A flighted delivery landing full outside off, Root strides forward to drive it through covers but gets a thick outside edge behind. Paine tries catching it but it brushes his gloves and flies behind towards first slip. Steven Smith stationed there initially looks to move to his left but then realizes that it's coming to his right. Immediately shows good reflexes to grab it with his mouth wide open. The Aussies are delighted. They are inching closer to winning the urn after hunting down the opposition captain cheaply, yet again. 60/3

NATHAN LYON to roll his arm.

13.6 Pat Cummins to Vince, EDGY FOUR! A length delivery just outside off, Vince gets forward in defense but it takes the outside edge of his bat and speeds past the slip cordon for a boundary. Runs are coming at a good rate for England in this partnership. 60/2

13.5 Pat Cummins to Vince, Vince has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 56/2

13.4 Pat Cummins to Vince, FOUR! Excellent shot off the back foot. Vince has looked quite positive from the onset. Cummins dishes out a back of a length delivery just around off, James goes on the back foot and packs a punch through cover-point for a boundary. 56/2

13.3 Pat Cummins to Vince, A rising delivery from a shortish length around off, Vince goes on his toes to block it. The ball drops nearby the stumps and James shapes up to keep it out if it heads towards the sticks. 52/2

13.2 Pat Cummins to Vince, Shortish and around middle, turned to square leg. 52/2

13.1 Pat Cummins to Vince, Good line first up, no gentle looseners. Keeps it on a length around off, decent pace, Vince gets behind the line and blocks it back. 52/2

PAT CUMMINS replaces Josh in the attack.

12.6 M Marsh to Root, Defended off the back foot by the batsman. 52/2

12.5 M Marsh to Root, FOUR! Misfield in the deep by Shaun Marsh! He did the hard work of reaching the ball but then fails to stop it with a dive. Marsh once again keeps his length short around off, Root stands tall and pulls it with a swivel through square leg. Shaun runs across to his left from fine leg but as mentioned above failed to prevent the boundary. 52/2

12.4 M Marsh to Root, Another back foot defense by Root. He loves staying back inside the crease. 48/2

12.3 M Marsh to Root, Back of a length ball on off, Root remains back and defends it on the off side. 48/2

12.2 M Marsh to Root, Root has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 48/2

12.1 M Marsh to J Vince, Short and on middle, pulled down to fine leg for one. 48/2

11.6 J Hazlewood to Root, A length ball around middle and off, Root stays back in defense. Two boundaries from the over. 47/2

11.5 J Hazlewood to Root, Pulls his length back and lands it around off, Root shifts his weight on the back foot and punches it on the off side. 47/2

11.4 J Hazlewood to Joe Root, FOUR! Getting Root to drive early in his innings is a good idea. Australia won't be minding these boundaries as there is always a chance of an outside edge. A conscious effort here by Hazlewood to pitch it up outside off, Root unveils a lovely cover drive for a boundary. 47/2

11.3 J Hazlewood to Root, Shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 43/2

11.2 J Hazlewood to Root, FOUR! Hazlewood overpitches it slightly outside off, Root strides forward and drives it through extra cover. Warner gives it the chase from mid off but fails to pull it back. Ian Chappell on air - If David Warner can't catch up with it, nobody can! 43/2

Rain in the air...

11.1 J Hazlewood to Root, Full and on middle, defended back. 39/2

10.6 M Marsh to J Vince, Once again it's full and straight, Vince keeps it out safely on the leg side. 39/2

10.5 M Marsh to J Vince, FOUR! Lovely shot! Too full in length this time by Marsh, it's around middle and Vince clips it past the right side of the mid on fielder. It just races past and reaches the fence in no time. 39/2

10.4 M Marsh to Vince, Shaping back into the batsman from around off, Vince plays it off his pads to mid-wicket. 35/2

10.3 M Marsh to Vince, FOUR! Nicely played! A short delivery angling into the batsman, Vince gets on top of the bounce and pulls it through backward square leg. Nice placement to beat the fine leg fielder and the deep square leg fielder. 35/2

10.2 M Marsh to Vince, Outside off, on a length, Vince stays back and pats it down to point. 31/2

10.1 M Marsh to Root, Sliding down the leg side, Root flicks it fine down to leg side for a run. 31/2

Mitchell Marsh to continue after the drinks break...

Drinks are on the field now. England are in a situation that they would have got in their worst nightmare. They are rocked back early with a couple of scalps. Cook's horrid run with the bat continues and he will be spending time in the dressing room contemplating where his midas touch has disappeared. Hazleweood is going through an impressive spell that reads 5-2-8-2! Starc meanwhile hasn't found his radar yet. Will England manage to stand their ground atleast till the time the weather has a try to bail them out?

9.6 J Hazlewood to Vince, Bowled outside off, left alone. 30/2

9.5 Hazlewood to Vince, An appeal for LBW dies down after Hazlewood spots that Vince got an inside edge there. Vince had looked to flick that full delivery to the on side. 30/2

9.4 J Hazlewood to Joe Root, Root gets off the mark with a risky single. Taps it towards covers and sets off. Lyon gets to his right and misses his shy at the bowler's end. England should be careful in taking on Lyon's arm as they have paid the price for doing so earlier in the series. 30/2

9.3 J Hazlewood to Root, The batsman shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 29/2

Two slips and a catching mid-wicket in place.

9.2 J Hazlewood to Root, Root punches this off the back foot towards covers. Lyon there misfields a touch and Root looks to make use of this opportunity to get off the mark but Warner runs in from mid off to quell any such chance. Throws it to the keeper. 29/2

9.1 J Hazlewood to Root, Root hangs on his back foot and keeps it out towards mid on. 29/2

8.6 M Marsh to Vince, Bumper in line of the stumps, Vince ducks under that to let it pass. 29/2

8.5 M Marsh to Vince, On a length in line of the stumps, driven towards mid on. 29/2

8.4 M Marsh to Vince, Bowled outside off, left alone. 29/2

8.3 M Marsh to Vince, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 29/2

8.2 M Marsh to Vince, Vince gets ahead and defends it off the front foot. 29/2

8.1 M Marsh to Vince, Begins with a delivery in line of the stumps, Vince stays in the crease and defends it solidly. 29/2

MITCHELL MARSH into the attack. He bowls more in the line of the stumps and that would mean that he exploits the cracks available more.

7.6 J Hazlewood to Root, Root stays in the crease and blocks this with a straight bat. 29/2

7.5 J Hazlewood to Root, Outside off, left alone. 29/2

7.4 J Hazlewood to Root, The batsman has played that off the front foot and into the ground. 29/2

Skipper JOSEPH EDWARD ROOT strides out with the bat to play an important innings. He needs to emulate his counterpart for his side to save the game and hang on to the urn.

7.3 Hazlewood to Cook, OUT! Cook's misery continues! Josh Hazlewood is breathing fire at 'The Furnace'! Cook has been guilty of hanging on the back foot and he eventually pays the price for that. Gets a full length delivery on middle, he looks to work it away from the crease. Is a touch early into the shot and ends up getting it close to the edge of the bat back towards the bowler. The speedster is alert and gets low to his right and grabs it inches over the ground with his right hand. This is Cook's 10th Test innings without a fifty, his most barren spell. The tourists have lost both their openers cheaply in pursuit of saving the game. Not at all ideal. 29/2

7.2 J Hazlewood to A Cook, FOUR! Short ball in line of the stumps, Cook is already on the back foot. Just pulls it through mid-wicket. Cummins hares after it from mid on but fails to prevent the boundary. 29/1

7.1 J Hazlewood to Cook, The batsman shows the full face of the bat and defends the ball off the back foot. 25/1

6.6 M Starc to Vince, Defended off the front foot by the batsman presenting the full face of the bat. 25/1

6.5 M Starc to Vince, FOUR! Lovely shot yet again! Starc hurls it full outside off, Vince drives it through covers for a boundary. The elbow position was so good there. 25/1

James Vince needs to be aware of where his off stump is. He has been out nicking four times in this series so far. Awareness of where his off stump is will make it easier for him to know which ones to play at and which ones to leave.

6.4 M Starc to Vince, Driven towards mid off. 21/1

6.3 M Starc to Vince, That ball has taken the inside edge onto the pads. 21/1

6.2 M Starc to Vince, FOUR! Starc is not on the radar here! Comes round the wicket and sprays it on the pads. Vince just tickles it away to the fine leg fence for a boundary. 21/1

6.1 M Starc to Cook, Alastair Cook's confidence seems to be on a low here. He is not getting his feet moving at all. He is seen hanging on the back foot on many occasions when he should be forward. Does so again to a full delivery angled in to him. Ends up flicking it off the inner half of his blade towards fine leg. 17/1

5.6 J Hazlewood to Vince, Defended off the front foot onto the ground. 16/1

5.5 J Hazlewood to Vince, The batsman defends it from within the crease. 16/1

5.4 J Hazlewood to Vince, Outside off, left alone. 16/1

5.3 J Hazlewood to Vince, Flicked away towards square leg. 16/1

5.2 J Hazlewood to Cook, Similar delivery outside off, Cook plays it with soft hands. Guides it through the slip cordon. Smith hares after it from second slip and dives to save a run. He's making sure that the out-of-form Cook doesn't get easy runs. 16/1

5.1 J Hazlewood to Cook, Cook fishes and misses! Hazlewood delivers this on a length outside off, a length similar to one that got Stoneman. Cook pokes at it away from the body and the ball just misses the blade. Needs to be careful, the batsman. 13/1

4.6 M Starc to Vince, Solidly defended by James from the crease. 13/1

4.5 M Starc to Vince, The batsman has defended it by getting right behind the line of the delivery. 13/1

4.4 M Starc to Vince, Bouncer on the stumps, ducked under by James. 13/1

4.3 M Starc to J Vince, FOUR! Classy, crisp and delicious! Starc bowls it full outside off, Vince gets a nice stride forward and drives it nicely through covers to get going with a boundary. 13/1

4.2 M Starc to Vince, Well outside off, James doesn't bother getting bat to that. 9/1

4.1 M Starc to Vince, In the zone of apprehension, Vince hangs back and defends it solidly. 9/1

3.6 J Hazlewood to Cook, Blocked out safely from the crease. 9/1

3.5 J Hazlewood to Cook, The batsman fails to put bat on ball. 9/1

3.4 J Hazlewood to Cook, Cook stays in the crease and presents a straight bat in defense. 9/1

3.3 J Hazlewood to Cook, Outside off, left alone. 9/1

3.2 J Hazlewood to Cook, Another delivery outside off, left alone. 9/1

3.1 J Hazlewood to Cook, Speared close to the off stump but outside that. Cook watchfully lets it go. 9/1

2.6 M Starc to Vince, Kept out from the crease. Fine back foot defense. 9/1

2.5 M Starc to Cook, Fuller around off and middle, Cook hangs on his back foot and drives it off the inner half of his bat towards mid-wicket for a single. 9/1

2.4 M Starc to Cook, Well outside off, left alone. 8/1

2.3 M Starc to Cook, Sprayed down the leg side, Alastair misses his flick. 8/1

2.2 M Starc to Cook, FOUR! Starc hasn't found his rhythm yet and he sprays this on the pads. Cook flicks this through backward square leg for a boundary. This is the first of many to come in this innings, England would hope. 8/1

2.1 M Starc to Cook, Landed around off, Cook defends it from the crease. 4/1

1.6 J Hazlewood to Vince, Vince blocks it off the front foot towards covers. 4/1

JAMES VINCE is the next man in. He got to a start in the first innings yet couldn't carry on for long. Needs to rectify that wrongdoing.

1.5 J Hazlewood to Stoneman, OUT! Josh Hazlewood draws first blood! For a change today, this isn't a good wicket that is aided by a crack on the surface. Hazlewood angles this across Stoneman on a length, the English opener has a tame nervous poke at it. That's enough for the ball to grab the outside edge and land in the waiting hands of Paine, who accepts it gleefully. No doubt the ball was good, but the batsman could be faulted here as well. He never got his feet moving - a cardinal sin - as he got stuck inside the crease. When you are so deeply rooted inside, you'd rather not look to hang your bat out like Mark did here. For now, England are rocked back early. 4/1

As seen earlier, there are visible cracks on the surface. If there is an accurate bowler who can exploit that, it is Josh Hazlewood, who is bowling right now.

1.4 J Hazlewood to Stoneman, Short delivery, Stoneman looks to pull it but misses. 4/0

1.3 J Hazlewood to Stoneman, Stoneman blocks this by getting solidly behind that. 4/0

1.2 J Hazlewood to Stoneman, The batsman fails to put bat on ball. 4/0

1.1 J Hazlewood to Stoneman, This is hurled outside off, Mark just lets it be. 4/0

0.6 M Starc to Cook, Fuller on off and middle, blocked towards mid on watchfully with a straight bat. 4/0

0.5 M Starc to Stoneman, Bowled in the line of the stumps on a length, Mark flicks it aerially past short leg for one. There is a man stationed at deep square leg. 4/0

0.4 M Starc to Stoneman, Length ball on off, defended from the crease. No real swing seen from Starc so far. 3/0

0.3 M Starc to Stoneman, Speared outside off, Stoneman drives it through point for a brace. He gets going as well. 3/0

Two slips and a short leg in place.

0.2 M Starc to Cook, Cook's away! On a length on middle and leg, the former skipper hops and clips it away through square leg for a single to get going. 1/0

0.1 M Starc to Cook, A misdirected back of a length ball to start with. Bowls this down the leg side, Cook has nothing to do with it and just lets it be. 0/0

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First Published: December 14, 2017, 11:41 PM IST

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Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 India 5313 121
2 South Africa 5154 117
3 New Zealand 3886 102
4 Australia 4599 102
5 England 5029 97
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